Tom’s Midweek Greeting
Crossroads Community Church
We’re having such good times on Sundays – meaningful worship, sharing of ideas and vision, enjoying time together, studying God’s Word. I hope you’ll make it to the Y this Sunday at 10:00. (See below for the new sermon theme.) Let’s add prayer to all these things. As we’ve talked about the particulars of building a strong, healthy community, let’s be sure now to commit our ideas to the Lord through prayer. Then, … let’s take action as He leads us !
As we move toward Easter (April 4), we’re going to look, through our sermons, at Jesus’ relationship to tax-collectors. A charge made against Jesus was that “he welcomes sinners and even eats with them!” Tax-collectors, prostitutes, and Samaritans were among those discarded and despised people with whom Jesus associated. We probably wouldn’t have liked tax-collectors either, … and, in fact, we don’t, do we?! Yet, it’s interesting the positive tone taken toward them in the gospels.
- In Luke 3, we see tax-collectors being baptized.
- In the passage we’ll read this Sunday, a tax-collector, Matthew, becomes one of the Twelve disciples!
- Elsewhere (at least twice) we read of tax-collectors being in the crowds of people listening to Jesus teach (Luke 7, 15).
- Jesus tells a parable where the tax-collector is the role model (Luke 18).
- Finally, Zaccheus, a chieftax-collector, receives Jesus’ friendship and salvation in Luke 19.
There are wonderful lessons for us in the relationship Jesus had with tax-collectors. These are people the world stayed away from; yet, Jesus moved toward them. You and I are no better than tax-collectors. Paul said, “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all” (1 Timothy 1:15). Join us this Sunday as we receive from the Lord a message about His love for sinners.
Notes from Elders Meeting
Our elders met last Sunday following Crossroads Connection. Here are some notes from that meeting :
- Tom time off. Tom will take off the week of Spring Break (March 15-21). Shane McCasslin will preach in Tom’s place on Sunday, March 21.
- Kim and Michaela have volunteered to help organize an Easter breakfast for the church at the Y prior to the worship service on Easter Sunday.
- Bushwhacker Days. A decision was made to help sponsor the Gospel Night at Bushwhacker Days. Crossroads will have its name in the programs that evening.
- Youth Group. The first youth group went well. Next get-together is March 31.
- “In-House” Preaching. Discussion took place about others within our congregation who might be able to give a personal testimony, lead the Communion portion of a worship service, or preach.
Evan and I will host a Seder (Passover) meal at our house on Friday, April 2, and Saturday, April 3, to help us in our remembrance of the death and resurrection of the Lord Easter weekend. The Seder is based on the command given to the Jews to retell the story of the Exodus from Egypt. It involves telling the story, discussing it, drinking from the four cups that are a part of the meal, eating matza, partaking of symbolic foods, and enjoying a carry-in dinner together. We’ll draw connections between this Passover meal and the meal celebrated by Jesus and the disciples on the night of his betrayal and arrest. We’ll be limited to around twelve people each night, so I’ll have a sign-up sheet available if you would like to participate!
This Saturday, March 6, from 9 am til 2 pm, there will be a “No Place Left” workshop at First Baptist Church in Nevada. NPL is a movement that equips Christians to reach people all over the world. The focus is to share the Gospel until there is “no place left” where it has not been heard. The workshop will be led by Courtney and Brian Majors, a young couple committed to spreading the Gospel in Nevada, along with their brother and sister-in-law, Bryan and Lana Eckart, missionaries to India. The workshop is designed for followers of Christ who want to help others follow Christ. if you’re interested in attending, let me know, and I will let Courtney know to plan on you. Lunch will be provided. There is no cost for the workshop.
Taking Strides Toward Forgiving Others
Here are six strides we can take toward complete forgiveness of people who have hurt us … based on Ephesians 4:30-32, and the teaching by Colin Smith last Sunday night at our “Momentum” Home Group:
And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. (Ephesians 4:30-32)
- Remember that the Holy Spirit lives in you (4:30). Every sin you’ve ever committed is a sin against God; yet, God has forgiven all these sins, and His Spirit now lives in you! Forgiveness may be beyond your capacity, but the Spirit of God works in you!
- Don’t dwell on the injury. (“Let all bitterness, wrath, and anger be put away – 4:31.) When you rehearse over and over how someone has wronged you, you stoke a fire of bitterness and anger in your soul.
- Don’t fight and quarrel. (“… clamor, slander, and malice …”) Clamor and slander involve dredging up and passing on the faults and failings of another person. Malice is the desire that a person who has hurt you will get what they deserve. Put these things away!
- Have compassion on the one who has hurt you. (“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted.”) Some may be blind to the fact that they’ve hurt you. Jesus had compassion on the crowds (Matthew 9:36).
- Realize that you need, or will need, the forgiveness of others. (“… forgiving one another” – 4:32). “Forgive one another,” as Paul wrote here, travels in two directions.
- Savor your own forgiveness in Christ (“… as Christ forgave you” – 4:32). God’s forgiveness of us is both the model and the motive for our forgiving others.
I look forward to seeing you this Sunday at 10 a.m. at the Y for worship and our first sermon about Jesus, friend of tax-collectors and sinners!
Worship Team, we’ll meet following the service this Sunday! Thank you!
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