Dear Friends and Family!
It was another wonderful day in the Lord, Sunday! What would you ask for on your birthday? When asked, all Janie wanted for her birthday was to have her 4 grandkids in church with her. What a blessing to see her big smile as all 4 were in church! From 6-month-old Jacob, who after an exhausting praise team practice and Sunday school hour, spent the worship service asleep in the arms of Jennifer C. in the nursery, to Colten, Jenna, and Johnathan who enjoyed children’s church, it was a full and wonderful day for everyone! Bless all of you for being the church to little ones! God is good! Yup, all the time!
We continued our Discipleship Essentials series by looking at another essential belief: Justice! What do you think of when you think of justice? A dictionary defines it as fairness, impartiality, evenhandedness, honesty, morality, neutrality, equity, and righteousness. But, many in our culture believe justice is getting what you deserve.
Yet, in Matthew 25:31-46 we discover the kind of justice Jesus expects from His disciples is the same kind of justice His Father provided – the same kind of justice He offered. Justice based on gracious love that lifts the imprisoned, meets the needs of the poor, and sides with the crushed, enslaved, and powerless. Justice based on gracious love isn’t something new. We find examples throughout the Scriptures, including Psalm 72:12-14, Proverbs 14:31, and Isaiah 10:1-2. In Luke 4:18-19 we find it on the lips of Christ as He reveals He is the fulfillment of Messianic prophecy:
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor” (Luke 4:18-19).
In Matthew 25:31-46, we discover Jesus expects disciples to extend this loving, gracious, justice into the lives of the poor and hurting, too! Like Him, we’re called to care for the hungry, thirsty, those in need of hospitality, the naked, sick and those in prison (vs. 38-39).
Jesus concludes in verse 40: ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me’ (Matthew 25:40).
So, are you offering God’s justice to ‘the least of these?’ When was the last time you left your comfort zone to feed the hungry; give drink to the thirsty; show hospitality to strangers; clothe the naked; care for the sick; and visit the imprisoned?
Painfully, Jesus concludes His teaching by saying our action (or lack of) has consequences! In verse 34, Jesus informs those who extended God’s loving and gracious justice may expect blessings, an inheritance, and the kingdom! But, to those who withheld God’s loving and gracious justice, will be will be cursed, separated from Him, and will inherit eternal fire prepared for the devil (v. 41).
As a disciple, justice begins with right belief! Are you thinking the way God thinks about the least of these? Good! Then, justice takes action! Find a place to share the love of God and do it! Need help finding a place to serve? I’d be glad to help you find your place! Blessings! Pastor Dan
NEWS AND EVENTS
Please meet at the church at 8 AM and we can ride there together. We will be feeding 45-50 people. Breakfast is served for one hour – 9 to 10 AM. These people have loved ones in the hospital. We will give them a good first meal of the day and pray for those who wish us to do so. There is still time to be a part of this!
ANNUAL CHURCH BLANKET/COAT DRIVE BEGINS AGAIN!!
During the month of November, the church will again be collecting blankets and coats to be donated to Mel Trotter Ministries. This is a wonderful opportunity to help an organization that helps others. GOAL = As many as possible!
PEOPLE WANTED TO PRAY FOR STRANGERS!
Our church has placed a “prayer mail box” out by the bus stop. The Holy Spirit has indicated that there are many hurting and broken people walking right past us without a church to pray for them! If you are interested, let Pastor Dan know by calling/texting (616) 204-1153 or email him at email@example.com.
FREE ONLINE SECURITY TRAINING!
Due to the generosity of Janie H. and her employer, we have free access to their online security training class for anyone interested. Here is some information from the training site:
More than ever, your users are the weak link in your network security. KnowBe4 is the world’s most popular integrated Security Awareness Training and Simulated Phishing platform with over 10,000 customers.
Our basic training modules specialize in making sure employees understand the mechanisms of spam, phishing, spear-phishing, malware and social engineering, and are able to apply this knowledge in their day-to-day job. You get high quality web-based interactive training combined with common traps, live demonstration videos, short comprehension tests and scenario-based Danger Zone exercises.
As someone who has helped many clean up viruses, I think this could be valuable. Here is the link: https://www.knowbe4.com/homecourse Use the password: homecourse
SIX (6) CHILDRENS MISSIONARY BOOKS ARE HERE!
Anyone with children, have them read these enjoyable books. For any child who reads all 6, a special event will be planned for them (a movie, Chuck E Cheese, or Craig’s Cruisers). See Cherry. [For adult missionary books, please see Sherry J.]
SUNDAY AFTERNOON BIKE RIDES
Let Pastor Dan know if you’re interested or have questions. This would be a great event to invite a friend!
What: Weekly Bike Rides
Where: From Rogue River Park in Belmont to Rockford on the White Pine Trail. Rogue River Park is located at 6300 Belmont Ave NE – Belmont, MI 49306
Cost: Free! (unless you plan to buy ice cream!)
INTERESTED IN CHURCH MEMBERSHIP?
A series of membership classes will be starting soon. If you are interested in learning more about the Church of the Nazarene, or becoming a member of our church, please let Pastor Dan know by contacting him at: 616-204-1153 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
SOUND BOOTH PERSON STILL NEEDED:
The church is looking for someone who is interested in being a sound booth technician. You will need to be able to attend music practices Sunday morning at 9 AM. Let Janie know if you are interested at 616-204-2499 or email@example.com.
GATHER BOX TOPS FOR NAZARENE INDIAN MISSIONS!
Thank you to everyone who is collecting Campbell Soup labels and General Mills box tops! While it seems small, the cash they generate really adds up! This program has provided PA equipment, computers, and even a 15-passenger van for Nazarene Sun Valley Indian School. Questions, labels and box tops should go to Fran S. or Sherry J.
CHURCH POSTCARDS ARE AVAILABLE!
Is there someone missing or would like to invite to church? Why not grab a few church postcards and send them out? A simple hand written note blesses everyone! You will find them on the table under the missionary bulletin board in the Annex.
DAILY DEVOTIONS – “REFLECTING GOD” IS AVAILABLE! FREE!!
“Reflecting God” is a daily devotional guide our church makes available free to anyone interested. The devotions provide a brief truth from the Bible every day. Reflecting God also has a section for reading the Bible in a year and praying for our missionaries! Feel free to take one! You’ll find them located on the table outside the sanctuary!
GUIDELINES FOR PRAYER REQUESTS:
Remember, to keep our prayer lists current, we only place requests in the newsletter and bulletin for 3 weeks without an update. If you want to keep your prayer request in the bulletin or newsletter, just keep filling out the tear off tabs and keep us informed!
October 17 Bible Study “Remembering the Forgotten God” @ 10 AM
October 18 Wed. Night Meeting @ 6:30 PM