“LIVING AND SHARING THE GOSPEL”
June 4, 2017
“Exalt the Lord Our God”
“Holy Spirit Thou Art Welcome”
“Come Holy Spirit”
Prayers of Intercession
SERMON: Don Auxier
“What God The Spirit Holds for Us”
“The Church’s One Foundation”
Worship God in Spirit and Truth
Grow in His Grace and Knowledge
Share the Love and Hope we have in Christ.
HAPPY 80TH BIRTHDAY!!
by GCI President ~ Joseph Tkach
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I remember as a child lining up in the schoolyard where sides were chosen for a sports competition. Invariably, the most athletic or popular were picked first. Though kids lacking athleticism and popularity were some of the brightest in my class, they typically were picked last. I remember feeling sorry for them—some, no doubt, still bear emotional scars.
So that no child would suffer the humiliation of being picked last, a gym teacher in my school tried a different approach. He assigned two kids (ones that often were picked last) to serve as captains who then chose the other team members. One began by picking kids usually selected last. Unfortunately his team lost and the next time captains chose sides, they reverted to picking the most athletic and popular first.
Perhaps you remember Merlin Olsen.
As a child, he was one of the non-athletic, less-than-popular kids who got picked last. The embarrassment he felt apparently motivated him to work hard at sports. Eventually he excelled—during a 15-year career in pro football he was selected for the Pro Bowl 14 times! After retiring, he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame and went on to become a popular actor, portraying Jonathan Garvey on the TV show Little House on the Prairie.
Thinking about the humiliation of being picked last in sports got me thinking of the very different way God picks people to be invited into his kingdom. Instead of choosing on the basis of talent or popularity, God chooses on the basis of who he is and what he, in Christ and by the Spirit, has done. On that basis, as we say in GCI, all are included!
Jesus made it clear that he came into the world not to reject or condemn, but to include and to save. In his economy, those who (by worldly standards) seem highly qualified, may end up going into his kingdom last, while the seemingly UN-qualified may end up going in first. In his parable of the vineyard workers, Jesus declared that “the last will be first, and the first will be last” (Matthew 20:16). His point was that God invites all into his kingdom and so excludes none. Jesus made a similar point when, speaking of his death, he said, “I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself” (John 12:32).
The Eleventh Hour Laborers by Jan Juyken (public domain)
As the “son of man,” Jesus (the “Son of God”) is the elected (chosen) human. In and through him, and by the Spirit, we all have been chosen to share in all the benefits of God’s grace—we all are invited to become participants in Christ’s rule and reign. The Day of Pentecost (June 4, this year) celebrates this inclusive calling. It is made possible by Jesus’ death, resurrection and ascension, followed by the Spirit’s post-ascension ministry to lead all people to repentance and faith, and as followers of Jesus, to live into the reality of who they have been called to be—members of God’s household.
Pentecost is thus a joy-filled reminder that everyone has this calling—everyone has been selected to be on God’s team. On Pentecost Sunday we celebrate that inclusion—the reality that, in Christ (the elected One) and by the Spirit, all are included!
The interesting twist here is that God does not force those he selects to play on his team. Each person must decide whether they will play or remain non-participants, watching from the sidelines. Though God loves all unconditionally, he loves each one of us enough to want us to participate and thus receive all he offers. But God does not force that participation—personal fellowship and communion with God cannot be impersonally coerced or mechanically caused (Hebrews 4:2). Instead, God sends the Spirit to free and enable us to share in all that Christ has accomplished for us, in our place and on our behalf. Though, in love, God permits people to reject his love, forgiveness and grace, he never stops loving them—he never stops calling them to participation.
As the captain of our salvation (Hebrews 2:10 KJV), Jesus continues to reach out to all people—and his training is available to all who say “yes” to his “Yes” to them. What a blessing it is to be on the Lord’s team—and what a joy it is to share with him in reaching out to those who, though included, remain on the sidelines. Happy Pentecost!
†† Pastor’s Corner ††
Pastor David Perry & Jonnie
On this Pentecost Sunday, I would like to thank all of you for your faithfulness to this part of the Body/Church of Jesus Christ. On Pentecost, the Spirit filled Jesus’ Church with power, understanding and gifts – so that it could be a place where people come to find the Lord’s grace and mercy, to worship the Lord, to be renewed from a hard week, to grow as disciples and as a family of believers who help and encourage each other. Then the body of believers was dispersed to share Jesus’ life and love with others during the week. That is true for Believers today.
The Church was Jesus’ idea – and I think it was and still is a great idea! Jesus’ Church has been and continues to be my life, and I’d be lost without my church and my church family. Thank you for being my family!!! We need each other to survive and thrive!
What does Pentecost mean to you personally? One thing it means to me is that I can be filled with more and more of the Life of my Savior Jesus, as I allow the Spirit to do His awesome work in my life. Pentecost reminds me that I am blessed to be INCLUDED in the Body of Jesus – His Church – My Church…through which I have received so many blessings in my life because of Jesus.
It seems that not a week goes by when I don’t talk with someone who is TIRED – tired of life’s struggles, physically tired, emotionally tired or sometimes spiritually weary. Jesus understands this about us…as He was “us” for 3 decades. That is why He left these words for us: “Matt 11:28-30 ~ Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
The REST we really need is — REST from OUR STUFF….and to come to HIS CHURCH & REST IN THE LORD’S PRESENCE. The most important REST that you and I need is SPIRITUAL REST IN JESUS. We are loved immensely by the Father, Son and Spirit…who deeply desire to strengthen us to face all of life’s difficulties and to Rejoice and Rest in THEM. Jesus is our Rest. AMEN!!!
Pray for the Persecuted Church – Pray for Revival in the Church
Pray for our Nation & Pres. Trump
LOCAL PRAYER REQUESTS
Mary Coffey, Jerry Hudson, Helen Pavy – healing, strength & encouragement
Anita – niece of Barb Hudson – proper medical treatment & healing
Janis Beck – That proper treatment can be received for her injured left wrist
Deb Spangler – The fractured back disc has not healed with a back brace.
Tom Conklin – (GC Indy) His bladder cancer has returned. They will treat it aggressively with chemo and radiation. Prayers please.
Peggy Perry – (Pastor David’s sister) Test results on abdomen showed no cancer or tumors – has another appointment this Friday.
Lucy (Anita Franz’s sister) has upcoming surgery on her left eye
Tim Maguire – Complete healing of broken leg
Patricia Robinson (GC Indy) Healing of brain tumor that is getting larger, causing her many problems
GC Indy – Prayers for Pastor Josh & Heather as they lead GC Indy in a new church location – for insight and opportunities to share the life and love of Jesus in the Irvington area of Indianapolis
Richard Cravens (friend of Jim & Donna Dunbar) He is not doing well…continued prayers as he and his family deal with his cancer.
Joseph & Georgette Franklin, Our Haiti Church & School– Prayers for safety & blessing & provision.
GCI International Churches & Mission Leaders – Blessings, protection & provision as they share the Life & Love of Jesus, and train up new leaders and pastors. Prayers that they can share the gospel despite opposition.
Joe & Tammy Tkach – Protection, safety, wisdom & encouragement
Our Persecuted Christian Brothers and Sisters Around The World
For Divine Appointments To Touch Others With Jesus’ Life & Love