Sisters and brothers,
Happy Tuesday to all! On Sunday as we worshipped our glorious Redeemer, we considered from John 13 how God worked even in the darkest time to bring about His redemption for the world. We thought about Judas Iscariot who refused Jesus’ offer of grace and rejected the forgiveness and life Jesus offered. Judas turned His back on Jesus’ grace and entered into eternal darkness. However, God even worked through the wickedness and unbelief of Judas to bring about His redemption for those who will receive His grace. We also saw that we, like Peter, in our weaknesses, can fail our Lord by denying or refusing to speak up for Him. God does not give up on us in those weaknesses but restores us to Himself. God teaches us not to depend on our own commitment or willpower, which are never strong enough to oppose the evil forces of Satan. God teaches us to depend on His power, the power of His Holy Spirit living in and through us. We also learned that we need each other, especially during the dark times. When there are dark times when we cannot sense the presence of the Lord, we need to seek to love and be loved by those who believe, the family of God. The people of God are His tangible presence in the world. The people of God love each other as Jesus has loved us. In the darkest of dark nights, God often reveals His presence, power, and glory to us.
Remember that next Sunday, September 12, 2021, we will move the start of our worship gathering to 10:30 AM.
If you are interest in trying to help in Afghanistan, I received this from the International Mission Board and the North American Mission Board:
The Taliban recently seized power of Afghanistan, storming the nation, and capturing most major cities within a matter of days. In the aftermath of the political coup, a mass exodus is taking place as Afghans try to flee the country by the thousands. Religious and ethnic minorities, along with women and girls, are the groups most in danger of Taliban violence as they try to escape. As Afghan refugees are resettled, this crisis will impact communities all around the world, including yours. Through Send Relief and the combined resources of the IMB and NAMB, Southern Baptists are able to serve Afghan refugees wherever they are resettled. Send Relief is strategically working with our trusted ministry partners to minister to Afghan refugee families. We can connect you and your church with opportunities to pray, serve and give to support this response! If you or your church would like to get involved by prayer, financially, or by other means, resources are found on the SEND Relief website: https://www.sendrelief.org/projects/afghanistan-crisis/
Remember to keep praying continually for each other.
Love being your pastor,
Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church