Pastor Mark's Weekly Blog, Uncategorized

Live Wide Awake: Loved

We are in a new Summer Series from Laura Degroot’s book: Live Wide Awake

Romans 5:8, John 3:16-21

How are you?  Really… how are you?  It seems to be a question at present that if asked of someone could unleash a myriad of emotional reactions.   In the hearts and minds of most people, the toll of COVID lifestyle, disruptions, and alterations in school, work, homelife, etc is having a cumulative effect.  As our families anticipate the open questions yet unanswered about returning to school and what changes that will bring, as churches are figuring out what does church look like in September going into winter, as businesses continue to determine how to adapt to new patterns of functioning and seek to survive, as parents continue to juggle the demands of work, home and family, in the same space all day long, as people are affected adversely physically, emotionally, socially, mentally, financially, and as another announcement goes out, ‘Anyone up for another zoom meeting?’…

It is into the now of our time in the world and in our lives and the lives of others that God speaks, through his Word and his Spirit.  Now is the time, and the time is always now, for us to seek Him.  Now is the time, and time is always now, to look outside ourselves to loving others well.  Now is the time, and the time is always now, to look to our spiritual heart’s health and attend to it.  Nurture it.  Feed it.  

This week, in Laura’s chapter, Oh You Love Me Like That, we will be attending to the knowledge, understanding, and experience of God’s love.  God demonstrates his love for us in ‘that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”  The love of God through JesusChrist empowers us through his Spirit to have the knowledge, understanding, and experience of the depth, breadth, width, and height of it.  And this leads us to a life of love toward God and others.  It leads us to ‘will the good’ of another.  Leads us to ‘seek the best for another.’  

This coming week, the Spirit will lead us through stories in John 3, 8, 13, 15 in the daily practices of engaging God.  Each story reveals a dimension of God’s character, his great love.  God’s love is for you and for me.  

We do not know the future in detail, but we do know this about the future – God holds it.  We may not feel the love of God for us every moment of every day, but we do know that ‘God loves me like that.’  So much that he gave his one and only Son.  

We have all we need in God to move together into the future.  You have all you need in God to face the continued challenges ahead.  As we experiment with an outdoor worship service beginning August 9th and discern the shape of our fall/winter ministries we will lean into God’s love for us and let it empower us forward. 

The message is entitled, Loved.  Our text for Sunday will be Romans 5:8 and John 3:16-21.  The message will be illustrated with stories from John 3, 8, 13 and 15. 

In Him we live and move and have our being (The Book of Acts),

Pastor Mark