“LIVING AND SHARING THE GOSPEL”
September 24, 2017
“All Hail The Power Of Jesus Name”
“Be Unto Your Name”
Prayers of Intercession
SERMON: Pastor David Perry
The Christian Life – How Do We Live It Out?
“What A Mighty God We Serve”
Worship God in Spirit and Truth
Grow in His Grace and Knowledge
Share the Love and Hope we have in Christ.
After-Birth Abortion’ Coming Soon?
Sep 19, 2017 Indiana Family Institute (firstname.lastname@example.org)
We’ve all heard about the horror that is “partial-birth abortion.” Now two medical ethicists are championing the legalization of “after-birth abortion” in an article for the Journal of Medical Ethics. In their article, the authors “argue that what we call ‘after-birth abortion’ (killing a newborn) should be permissible in all the cases where abortion is, including cases where the newborn is not disabled.”
Although their logic is horrifying, at least its consistent. If it’s legal to kill a preborn child in the womb just hours before its birth, why is it illegal to kill that same child just minutes after its birth?
“The same arguments that apply to killing a human fetus can also be consistently applied to killing a newborn human,” write the authors, both of whom teach in the philosophy department at the
University of Milan in Italy.
According to the medical ethicists, “the newborn and the fetus are morally equivalent” in that neither is a “person” (they define “person” as one who is “able to make aims and appreciate their own life”).
Progressive Criticizes Jesus For Not Being Very Christ-like
September 18, 2017 Worldviews
SEATTLE, WA—After reading several chapters from the gospels over the weekend, local progressive believer Wendy Butler reportedly published a Patheos blog post in which she criticized Jesus of Nazareth for “not being very Christlike.” The blog post took Jesus to task for His “unloving and problematic” teachings.
“He devotes entire sections of His sermons to ranting about archaic religious concepts like hell and the last judgment instead of just coming alongside the marginalized and affirming their sins,” Butler said. “Very little of what He did on earth I would describe as life-giving. Frankly, I do a better job of being Christlike than Christ Himself.”
Hobby Lobby cotton display goes viral for being ‘racist’
Elise Solé September 18, 2017
Crafts store Hobby Lobby is taking serious heat for a store display that one woman is calling “racist.” On Thursday, Facebook user Daniell Rider posted a photo to Hobby Lobby’s Facebook page, of a vase of cotton flowers displayed in a Texas store. She captioned it, “This decor is WRONG on SO many levels. There is nothing decorative about raw cotton… A commodity which was gained at the expense of African-American slaves. A little sensitivity goes a long way. PLEASE REMOVE THIS ‘décor.’”
Rosh Hashanah begins this week at sundown, September 20. A festival with multiple meanings, the Jews celebrate it as New Year’s (Rosh Hashanah means “head [beginning] of the year”). It also commemorates the creation of Adam and Eve. According to Jewish tradition, when God “blew” the soul into Adam, the sound made was like the blowing of the trumpet-like shofar, which in ancient Israel announced this festival (Leviticus 23:23-24). Rosh Hashanah is also considered the anniversary of the creation of the universe, which means that it commemorates the beginning of time.
While reading about time, I was reminded that it too has multiple meanings. One is that time is an asset, shared equally by billionaires and beggars. We all have 86,400 seconds each day, and since we can’t bank them (time can neither be overdrawn nor retrieved) the question for us is this: How will we spend the time we have?
The value of time – Understanding the value of time, Paul, in Eph. 5:16 (KJV), exhorted Christians to be “redeeming the time.” Before I unpack his meaning, let me share a poem about time’s great value:
Realize (author unknown)
To realize the value of one year, ask a student who has failed an exam.
To realize the value of one month, ask a mother who has given birth to a premature baby.
To realize the value of one week, ask an editor of a weekly newspaper.
To realize the value of one hour, ask the lovers who are waiting to meet.
To realize the value of one minute, ask a person who missed the train, bus or plane.
To realize the value of one second, ask a person who has survived an accident.
To realize the value of one millisecond, ask the person who has won a silver medal in the Olympics.
Time waits for no one.
Treasure every moment you have.
You will treasure it even more when you can share it with someone special.
How is time redeemed?
This poem makes a point about time similar to the one Paul makes in Ephesians 5. In the Greek New Testament, there are two words that we translate as redeem. One is agorazo, which refers to buying something in the agora—the normal marketplace. The other is exagorazo, which refers to buying something elsewhere. Paul uses exagorazo in Eph. 5:15-16 (NIV) to exhort us to, “Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.” I enjoy the King James translation, which speaks of “redeeming the time.” It seems that Paul is urging us to redeem the time outside the normal market exchange.
While we don’t use the word redeem much today, it used to be a common business term, literally meaning “to buy up or buy back.” If a person could not pay a debt, they could make arrangements to become servant to the person they owed until the debt was paid. Their servitude could also be ended if someone would pay the debt on their behalf. Debtors who were bought out of servitude this way were said to have been “redeemed.” (We think here of how Jesus redeemed us, but that’s another topic.)
Property could also be redeemed—just like we see in pawnshops today. On one hand, you could say Paul is telling us to buy—redeem—the time. On the other hand, since the context of Paul’s instruction is to be followers of God, we can also say Paul is seeking to focus our attention on the One who has redeemed the time for us. His point is that we don’t have time to waste by focusing on anything other than Jesus and the work he has invited us to share in.
Wuest’s Word Studies in the Greek New Testament (Vol. 1) has this comment on Ephesians 5:16 (KJV):
“Redeeming” is exagorazō (ἐξαγοραζω), “to buy up.” In the middle voice as it is used here, it means, “to buy up for one’s self or one’s advantage.” Metaphorically, it means, “to make a wise and sacred use of every opportunity for doing good,” so that zeal and well-doing are as it were the purchase-money by which we make the time our own” (Thayer). “Time” is not chronos (χρονος), “time as such,” but kairos (καιρος), “time as regarded in its strategic, epoch-making, seasonable, opportune seasons.” The idea is not to make best use of time as such, which is what we should do in the sense of not wasting it, but of taking advantage of the opportunities that present themselves.
Because time is not normally viewed as a commodity that can literally be redeemed, we understand Paul to be speaking metaphorically, saying, in essence, that we are to make the best use of the situation we are in. When we do that, our time will have far greater meaning, significance and thus “payoff.”
It’s God’s gift
As a part of God’s creation, time is God’s gift to us. Some have more of it, and some less. Due to medical advances, good genetics and God’s blessing, many of us will live into our 90s and a few past 100. Recently we heard of the death of a 146-year-old man in Indonesia! But no matter how much time God gives us, as I mentioned in my August 30th letter, Jesus is Lord of time. Through the Incarnation, the eternal Son of God came from eternity into time. Thus Jesus experiences created time differently than we do. Our time, being created, is limited in duration, while God’s time, being uncreated, is unlimited. God’s time is not sequenced, as is ours, into past, present and future. God’s time is also of a different quality—a kind of time we cannot fully grasp. What we can (and should) do, is live in our time, secure in the hope of joining our Creator and Redeemer in his time, which is eternity.
Don’t misuse or waste it
When we speak metaphorically of time, saying things like, “don’t waste time,” we are implying that in some way we can lose the correct use of our precious time. This happens when we allow someone or something to make us use time in ways or for purposes we don’t value. It’s in this metaphorical sense that Paul speaks of “redeeming the time.” He is exhorting us to not misuse or waste time in ways that fail to contribute to what is valuable to God and thus valuable to us as Christians.
In that vein, when we refer to “redeeming the time,” we must remember that our time is redeemed or recovered first by God’s forgiveness through Christ. It then continues to be redeemed as we properly use our time to contribute to a growing relationship with God and each other. That redemption of time is God’s gift to us. When Paul exhorts us in Ephesians 5:15 (KJV) to “walk circumspectly not as unwise but as wise,” he is telling us to buy up the opportunities that time affords us in order to honor God.
On mission “between the times”
God has given us time to walk in his light, co-ministering in the Spirit, with Jesus, in advancing God’s mission. To do so, we have been given the “time between the times” of Christ’s first and second advents. Our mission in that time is to assist others in seeking and knowing God—helping them live by faith and love, secure in the hope that, in the end, God will have completely redeemed all creation, time included.
My prayer for us in GCI is that we will be redeeming the time that God has given us by faithfully living and sharing the gospel of God’s redemption in Christ.
Thankful for God’s gifts of time and eternity, Joseph Tkach
PS: At the time this is being posted, we await final word concerning our members in the Caribbean (impacted by Hurricane Maria) and Mexico (impacted by the recent earthquake). Initial reports from our pastors in Mexico City and Tlaxcala (areas impacted by the earthquake) is that our members, perhaps with a few exceptions, are OK. Please join me in praying for all who are in harm’s way as the hurricane continues, and as earthquake aftershocks occur. We will let you know of any financial needs that arise that we can assist with through the GCI Disaster Relief Fund.
†† Pastor’s Corner ††
Pastor David Perry & Jonnie
HAPPY FALL EVERYONE! Fall officially arrived this past Friday….and so did very hot temperatures. I can’t wait for cooler temps! As I was driving back from Illinois this past Thursday, I noticed soybeans were being harvested – with some fields already gone. In two months, we celebrate Thanksgiving, and in 3 months the Birth of Jesus.
Time marches on, weather and world catastrophes continue to occur; hate, anger, apathy, people being easily offended are so commonplace now; and signs of a society and peoples dismissing God are all over the place. That shouldn’t surprise us – but should dismay us and lead us into praying “Thy Kingdom Come” and looking for more and more ways to share the Life & Love of Jesus with people now…giving them hope and assurance of God’s love for them.
In this bulletin, I have included segments of three articles I read this week that portray a society pushing God out. When God is pushed out, evil rushes in.
Let’s draw even closer to our Lord as evil increases.
You are loved and deeply appreciated ~ Pastor David
Prayers for our Country and Pres. Trump
Prayers for the Body of Christ World Wide
Local Prayer Requests
JW Holmes-(friend of Vicki Auxier) has leukemia Dr’s say two years to live.
Mary Coffey, prayers for healing, strength & encouragement.
Jerry Hudson, PRAISE new med. is helping him. Pray for complete healing
Anita – (niece of Barb Hudson) – very serious illness needs treatment & healing
Hurricane Harvey, Irma & Maria Victims
Sue Durbin Not feeling well
Jacob G – (friend of Jeff Beck) Brain cancer
James Salerno – Narcolepsy
Peggy Perry – (Pastor David’s Sister) Scheduled to begin Chemo this Friday
Mary Ann Brown (Wife of GCI Florida pastor Steve Brown – and very dear friend of Perrys) Suffered a stroke last Monday due to high blood pressure…expected to make full recovery.
Perry Harold (college friend of Pastor David) small brain tumor – prayers that it is benign.
Jeff Harms (Pastor David’s cousins’ husband) Cancer
Connie Whitlock (GCI Laf) Knee pain
Janis Beck – (GCI Laf) therapy to regain full use of hand
Richard Cravens (friend of Jim & Donna Dunbar) Cancer
GC Indy – For Pastor Josh & Heather as they lead GC Indy – for insight & opportunities to share the life and love of Jesus in the Irvington area
Joseph & Georgette Franklin, Our Haiti Church & School– Prayers for safety & blessing & provision.
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