Friday, March 17, 2017

Dear Church Family,

Notice these words which remind us of our need to daily surrender ALL to Jesus!  Before our feet hit the ground each morning, may we surrender ourselves to Him completely, giving Him our time and resources that He might direct our paths and write our story.  May we live in a state of constant surrender.

“The willful commission of a known sin silences the witnessing voice of the Spirit and separates the soul from God. Whatever may be the ecstasies of religious feeling, Jesus cannot abide in the heart that disregards the divine law.”  The Sanctified Life, page 92

As I have repeatedly stated, being perfect in Christ is simply described as, “Saying ‘yes’ to God with all my known choices.”  By the way, this phrase was introduced to me in the script of the “Thunder in the Holy Land” series and I have held onto it for I believe it is the most succinct way of describing Biblical perfection.  When we agree to this and seek by His grace to practice this throughout our days, then we will be in perfect peace in Him.  This definition of perfection isn’t legalistic or complicated.  It’s simple and true.

As an added note, please consider sharing these Thunder in the Holy Land DVD’s with your friends and neighbors.  You can use it as a small group curriculum, a tool for personal Bible studies, or as a tool for Bible correspondence where you stop by from week to week to share a new DVD.  Please take advantage of this resource.

In the news:

  1. This Sabbath we will have the choir sing and also celebrate the baptism of Sierra Barrett. I will share the morning message with a look at Simon Magus in Acts 8.
  2. There will be a fellowship lunch this week. Remember that as members we are asked to bring enough food for our family and another of like size.
  3. AYA this week will feature Heritage Academy and their Bell Choir and Chorale. The program will begin at 7pm.
  4. Our Church Board and Finance Committee will meet this coming Monday with Finance meeting at 6pm and Board meeting at 7:15pm.
  5. The ABC VANMOBILE will be here on Sunday, March 26th from 10 to 11 a.m. Fliers are on the glass table in the foyer. Remember that Wednesday, the 22nd is the deadline to place special orders.
  6. Our school will have a kindergarten round up day on March 29 as a way of letting prospective students have a chance to see what we offer. There are so many people in our community who are still unaware of our school behind the hospital and this is a wonderful opportunity to introduce new families to the blessings of an Adventist Education.
  7. As I understand it, today is the release of Disney’s remake of the movie Beauty and the Beast and I would like to sound a note of caution again about the stuff that is coming out of the so-called “Magic Kingdom.” If you were like me you noticed how the images in the news of this movie’s beast looked extremely satanic.  If one considers the Baphomet symbol that Satanists use to celebrate the devil, this image of the beast bears a striking resemblance. And the image of this beast dancing and courting a delicate young innocent woman appears to be prophetic.  baphomet   Let us remember that the magic kingdom isn’t named such by accident.  As one movie critic put it:

“Believe me, I never thought I would be discussing our mortal coil in relation to a Disney film featuring a talking teapot, but this strange darkness adds a new wrinkle to the story. The castle’s servants need Belle to stay as much as the Beast does — their lives depend on it. Suddenly the standout song “Be Our Guest” feels more like a plea than an invite.”  – VOX  Certainly, the great controversy is more blatant than ever and yet all the world wandered.

The movie also promotes other material contrary to God’s design.  Let us remember to filter everything by Philippians 4:8 and quite honestly, when you think of how a movie uses hypnotic music and rapid scene sequencing to share its story, well, need I say more.

  1. This week I came across this article and this testimony which illustrate some of the issues facing protestant Christianity and yes, perhaps even more so as an Adventist church. In our study of Ezekiel, we have been reminded of the temptation to offer “Flattering divinations” (claiming to speak for God while telling people they are ok as they are in their sins) and  the temptation to  follow after the “customs of the Gentiles” (looking to Babylon for how to carry out the will of God).  See Ezekiel 11 & 12.  We are called to be repairers of the breach and must lift up the beauty of the Sabbath rest that we have in Jesus.  Isaiah 58 comes to mind as does the notion of the Sabbath as the sign of the new covenant experience we have in Him. But as we will note in our sermon tomorrow, following Christ isn’t something we just add to our lives, it’s a new life implying we have died to our old life which involves a putting away of sin.  As we surrender all and are filled with His Holy Spirit, the fruits of His Spirit will serve as the colors used to give beauty to the message that is sketched out in His Holy Word.
  2. Just a reminder that next Sabbath we will celebrate communion. Let us prepare our hearts now for this sacred service.

Blessings as you prepare for the coming Sabbath.

In His Service,

Pastor Jeremy

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