Passage: “Now those who were scattered went from place to place, proclaiming the Word. Philip went down to the city of Samaria and proclaimed the Messiah to them. The crowds with one accord listened eagerly to what was said by Philip, hearing and seeing the signs that he did, for unclean spirits, crying with loud shrieks, came out of many who were possessed; and many others who were paralyzed or lame were cured. So there was great joy in that city.” (Acts 8:4-8)
Thoughts: Due to the persecution of the Church by Saul, the Church was scattered. The Apostles stayed in Jerusalem and Philip could have stayed, may be and yet Luke tells us that he went to Samaria. Do you think he chose to leave or did he run? Based on the way Luke presents the actions of Philip, I believe he went. Luke tells us, “Philip went down… and proclaimed the Messiah to them.” This indicates that he went with purpose and determination to share the Good News of Christ Jesus! What do you think?
Prayer: “Sending God, thank you for not allowing Your Church to get stuck in Jerusalem, limited to one location or bound to one era. Instead, Your Church fits and functions in any and every context, spread across the world and yet joined in heart and will, united in one and the same Spirit. Thank you that I am part of this amazing community of faith. Amen.” (Belgic Confession 27)
Blessing: “May the grace off the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” (2 Corinthians 13:14)
Blessings, Pastor Robert
Passage: “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” (Acts 5:1-5)
Thoughts: Justified by our faith in God through Jesus Christ, we are able to stand. Yes? Yes in the “hope of the glory of God” which does include suffering! God does not leave us alone in the sufferings. God goes before us, Jesus walks beside us, and His Holy Spirit walks within us SO WE MAY be able to Persevere in the trials that come our way in this life. The ability to persevere in His strength and grace builds our character and this very growth increases our hope. Yes?
Prayer: “Three-person God, You are a wonder. God the Father our Creator, God the Son our Deliverer, God the Holy Spirit our Sanctifier. United and yet each unique, sole God but not solitary, three and yet One. Thank you for this mystery; that at the heart of the universe is a communion of love. Amen. (Heidelberg Catechism 24/25)
“May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” (2 Corinthians 13:14)
Blessings Pastor Robert
Keswick Chapel for today, June 6, 2020. Pastor Robert Wallace – “An Obedient Heart.”
This message was recorded for the Keswick Chapel & is found on YouTube:
Your thoughts are welcome. Also, your praises & prayer requests.
Blessings always, Pastor Robert Wallace
Thought: “More men and women than ever began to believe in the Lord. As a result, people carried their sick into the streets. They placed them on stretchers and cots so that at least Peter’s shadow might fall on some of the sick people as he went by. Crowds from the cities around Jerusalem would gather. They would bring their sick and those who were troubled by evil spirits, and each person was cured.” (Acts 5:14-16)
Do we not realize that God is STILL in the healing business? Do we not realize that Jesus STILL intends to use HIS Church to reach the broken, sick, and hurting? God, being the same yesterday, today, and forever IS still using US to fulfill the mission. Reaching the lost, helping those who hurt and need hope.
Prayer: “Jesus, what wonder you’ve given me in the Holy Spirit. Not some impersonal energy or vague force, but Your life, Your very presence in me. Thank you for the peace, power, gifts, and all Your blessings the Holy Spirit pours out in my life. As You make me share in all Christ’s blessings, MAY I SHARE THE MIRACLE AND WONDER OF YOUR LIFE WITH ALL. (emphasis mine) Amen. (Heidelberg Catechism 53)
Blessings Pastor Robert
“And now, Lord, look at their threats, and grant to Your servants to speak Your Word with all boldness, while You stretch out Your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of Your Holy servant Jesus.” Acts 4:29-31 (NRSV)
“Listening God, You invite us to pray, to call on You and change our world. How bored You must be with our sometimes safe and harmless prayers. Saturate our lives with the Holy Spirit so that we know what to pray, who to pray for, and how best to pray. Holy Spirit, shake up the ways we pray, quicken our hearts and expanding our expectations so that we may live our faith more boldly. Amen.” (Westminster Large Catechism 182)
Blessings Pastor Robert
The majority of US citizens call themselves Christians and yet the importance of church outreach within the local community cannot be overstated. The disciples were not labeled Christian until they had been scattered due to Stephen’s death and the Good News was being shared in Antioch. (Acts 11:19-26) Whether they were called disciples or Christians it was the same to them because of their relationship with Jesus. Even though Jesus had ascended, He was still an active part of their lives. This has been lost somehow in our culture today and we need to refocus on the local community because outreach will enable us to give, guide, and grow.
By giving ourselves in service to our communities through different charitable needs, we will live out Jesus’ command to love our neighbors as ourselves. We will be able to learn about material needs and then be able to assist in meeting those needs. Many organizations working to meet local needs do not have the resources to have a permanent meeting place and making our church facilities available will aid in meeting the need for a safe and secure location for their meetings. We are able to give to our communities by reaching out in service, helping with needed material items, and through the use of our facilities.
Through active outreach we are able to help guide our communities. By living out our relationship with Christ, we will point the lost to Jesus. Sacrifice our time to stop and help regardless of our busy schedules will show that people are more important than things. Mentoring programs for children and youth are in great need and as Christians we should be involved to allow Jesus to work through us as a positive influence in their lives. Through living out our relationship with Christ, we will be able to guide our communities back to Jesus through sacrifice and mentoring.
Growth of God’s kingdom will become a result of our newly formed relationships. The knowledge we gain will help us to better understand the needs and challenges of our communities at large. Christ’s church, His body of believers, will grow stronger and shine brighter to become the beacon on a hill. Stronger relationships in the community and increased knowledge of needs and the positive impact on Christ’s church will all grow as a result.
Allowing Jesus to live actively in our lives in an ongoing relationship is crucial. Because church outreach will give, guide, and grow in the local community; the level of importance will be realized.
*This work was originally submitted for an assignment in English Composition. It is posted here for your consideration and response.*
Blessings and Peace Always,