Favorite Verses

1. John 3:16

 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

2. John 14:6

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

3. Ephesians 2:8

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God...

4. 2nd Timothy 3:16

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousnes...

5. Matthew 11:28

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."

 

 

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Wednesday
Jun262019

July

From the Pastor's Desk:

“For the Lost”
An ancient sermon on Luke 15:1-7:
Now the tax collectors and “sinners” were all gathering around to hear [Jesus]. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” Then Jesus told them this parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.
Saint Gregory the Great, one of our early church fathers, sums up this parable of the lost sheep with eloquence and insight: Our good Shepherd left the comforts of his Father’s house in heaven, and came down to the stony paths and thorn-choked gullies of this world to bruise his feet and tear his flesh with the sharp rocks and thorns, searching for each lost sheep wherever it had strayed.
“He who was purer than the very light of heaven did not hesitate to wade into the putrid swamp-waters where the lost sheep was drowning in lust, or into the sordid dens where the lost sheep was choking in greed for filthy lucre. The prostitute, the tax collector, were sought where they were at, and in the Shepherd’s eyes they did not see the look of an angry and avenging God, but the joy of the good Shepherd at finding his lost sheep.
“He’s bruised and scratched and caked with foul-smelling muck from the swamp, so that the squeaky-clean stay-at-homes will turn their eyes away from him and hold their noses, but he has found his sheep, and it will not drown or starve or be food for the wolf.
“He takes it in his arms, and his familiar voice gently calms its panic; he places it on his shoulders and carries it home, singing for joy. And when he arrives back home to his Father’s house on the day of the Ascension, with the lost sheep of sinful humanity on his shoulders, he cries out to the angels and archangels: ‘Rejoice, because I bring back the lost sheep!’ And great is the shout of joy among the ranks of heaven.”
Consider the great lengths which our Lord is willing to travel on our behalf. Grace and peace to you, church, and have a blessed summer!
In Christ’s love,
Matthew

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