• Daily Devotions. Day 8, Patient in Affliction

    Image may contain: nature and outdoor, text that says 'Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer ROMANS 12:12'

    As I mentioned yesterday, Romans 12:12 is a succinct summation of the Christian life. “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Yesterday we talked about being joyful in hope. So today, we talk about being patient in affliction.

    Patience is the one thing I definitely need more of in this time. Patience with technology as I keep learning new tools to connect with people, patience with governmental leaders as they make extremely challenging decisions that affect millions of people, patience with medical researchers as they continue to work on ways to fight, cure, and test for COVID-19, truly patience with everything and everyone.

    Yet the patience I find most lacking is patience with myself. It has been a challenging month. I’m tired. My to-do list keeps getting longer and longer. There are hundreds of people looking to me to be their pastor and I’ve never been a pastor through a pandemic. None of my pastor friends has either. It’s new territory, and it requires exceptional amounts of patience.

    Be patient friends, for God is with us through every trial and affliction, including this one.

    God’s blessings on your day. Keep the faith.

    Pastor Andy

  • From Suffering to Hope

    This past week I spent a lot of time in the car, driving to hospitals and other visits. On these drives I listened to the entire book of Psalms. Something I noticed while listening to every psalm is that the psalmists (whether David or Solomon or the Sons of Korah) talk about enemies a lot. They often express feelings of being surrounded by enemies, isolated from friends, cut off from God. There seems to be a lot of danger from these enemies.

    Few of us experience earthly enemies who are out to kill us. Few of us can related to the psalmists on a one to one level. But let’s not fool ourselves. We are dealing with an enemy who wants to kill us, who wants us to be separated eternally from our heavenly Father. That enemy is Satan.

    Satan has been attacking us in waves for the past couple of weeks. Satan believes he is terribly clever, that he can tempt anyone to any sin at any time. But as we heard in Bible study over the past couple of weeks, Satan is a liar and the father of lies. There is no truth in Satan.

    When Satan tells you that God doesn’t love you and has abandoned you, Satan is lying. When Satan tells you that your neighbor deserves nothing by hate and shame and disdain, Satan is lying. When Satan tells you that you can’t be forgiven, that your sins are too great, Satan is lying. And when Satan tells you in the midst of your struggles that despair is the only option, Satan is lying.

    God promises that He will never leave you or forsake you. God tells you to love your neighbor as yourself. God promises forgiveness and life and salvation to all who trust in Jesus. God gives us hope.

    The Apostle Paul writes that suffering produces endurance, endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame because our hope is in our living Lord and Savior, Jesus. Right now, we as a church and preschool are suffering and our suffering is producing endurance and building character and pointing us to hope in Jesus. I pray the attacks of Satan are thwarted. I pray everyone who has been sick and is recovering are healed. And I pray that you remember God’s promises.

    God’s blessings on your week.

    Pastor Andy

  • The Steadfastness of Job

    James mentions the Old Testament character of Job as an example to us of steadfastness in the face of suffering. This sermon reviews Job's story and compares it with Jesus' story.
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