Tom’s Midweek Greeting
Crossroads Community Church
Dear Crossroads Family,
It took me a second today to process the subject line of an email I received from a friend and former missionary colleague. The subject was “Doug, Jen, and family in Beirut.” I had forgotten, when watching the horrific videos yesterday of the explosion in downtown Beirut, Lebanon, that this friend’s son and his family live in Beirut. Their apartment is, in fact, only one kilometer from the port where the massive explosion took place. Windows and doors on the apartment were blown out, but thankfully the family was away on vacation at a small town along the Mediterranean, 40 km from Beirut.
Life is fired at us from point-blank range, isn’t it? In the midst of worldwide pandemic, who would anticipate a massive explosion in their own city? Many of us in the U.S. have little awareness of the ongoing suffering that takes place in many other countries of the world. Lebanon is a country that has been going through huge political and economic unrest for a long time.
Pastor Jerry Carlin’s sermon last Sunday morning helps us to put our faith in Jesus into practice when life’s circumstances create anxiety. Here is a very brief summary of that message from Matthew 6:24-34, and Psalm 23.
Think About What You Think About
- Some anxiety is a natural part of life.
- Sinful anxiety occurs when worryreplaces my trust in God.
- Anxiety leads to many other problems, many other sins.
Jesus’ Teaching on Anxiety Matthew 6:24-34
- Anxiety thinks too little of, and about, God. Anxiety is connected to the things we are most devoted to in life. An oversized love of money and material things can be a significant source of our anxiety in life. (See Matthew 6:24.)
- Anxiety minimizes how much we believe God thinks of us. (See Matthew 6:25-30.) To understand how much God really cares about you, you can go from the small picture to the big picture: “God clothes the wildflowers and feeds the wild birds. Won’t he, then, care for you?” Or we can go from the big picture to the small picture: “He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:32). Can you trust God? Yes, you can! God is not just tolerating you! He truly cares for you!
- Anxiety tends to think about things it cannot change or control. (See Matthew 6:27.)
An Example of God’s Pathway to Anxiety-Free Living Psalm 23
In Psalm 23, we see that the good life lies in God (his promises to provide pasture, water, peace). He leads his sheep in right paths, not just for their sake, but for his own name’s sake (Psalm 23:3). He leads us through the valley of the shadow of death where our ultimate fears reside. It’s in that valley of the shadow of death that all other shepherds (money, possessions, reputation, job) abandon their sheep. Only Jesus will guard and provide for us there.
What to think about when anxiety occurs: “The Lord is my shepherd.”
Thanks to Jerry and Donna Carlin for joining us last Sunday! It’s great to be connected with other Evangelical Free churches and leaders near us! Let’s be in prayer for The Springs Church in Springfield – their new senior pastor, Zach Grell, and their associate pastors, Tom Semmelbeck and Lawson Albey. You can read about The Springs Church at www.thesprings.church.
I’m looking forward to a wonderful time of worship this coming Sunday morning, 10:00, at the Y! We’re going to continue, in the morning sermon, working our way through some of Paul’s letters. Since last spring we’ve been through Galatians (our freedom in Christ) and Ephesians (our riches in Christ). This Sunday we’ll begin a new series from the book of Philippians (our joy in Christ). Philippians is the “joy book,” and this Sunday’s message, from Philippians 1, is called “Keys to Joy.” I hope you’ll plan to be with us
Sunday! Good worship, fellowship, and teaching! If you’re unable to join us, the message will be posted on the Crossroads Facebook page late Saturday afternoon or evening.
Elders Meeting. Please pray for our Crossroads elders as they meet following worship this Sunday.
Grab ‘n’ Go Lunch Distribution. Thank you to everyone who has served the Nevada community by helping with lunch distribution on Fridays. There are two more Fridays (August 14 & 21) where we need volunteers, 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., at Pine Street Baptist Church. Please sign up today, or contact Heather Hall, if you could serve on one or both of those Fridays.
Monday Night Bible Study. Monday Night Bible Study will start again Monday, September 14, on Facebook Live with a theme of “The Strength You Need: Ten Great Strength Passages of the Bible.”
I look forward to seeing you this Sunday at 10:00! The world in trouble needs the church at its best. Spiritually strong people make a strong church.