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May 26, 2018

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May 26, 2018 

Read Genesis 19

To read this text click HERE.

Scripture- Genesis 19:26- But Lot’s wife looked back as she was following behind him, and she turned into a pillar of salt.

Observations- There's a lot going on in this chapter and not much of is very good. One of the unique things about the Bible is that it tells the unvarnished story of God's desire for His people to live and love well within graceful limits and the failure of people to do so. Here we see Lot's wife looking back with long for the sin filled cities of Sodom and Gomorrah after being instructed not to look back. The movement in Genesis, however, is forward with God into His preferred future. 

Application- How often do we settle in, rest on the past, or fail to take God's forward movement seriously in our lives? God desires for us to fix our gaze on Jesus, who is always inviting us to pursue a future on the horizon in His love and grace. This isn't a word about not looking back fondly on good times in our past; rather it's about not letting our longings from the past keep us from God's present and future. 

Prayer- (from N. T. Wright) God forgive us that we have imagined true humanness, after the Enlightenment model, to mean being successful, having it all together, knowing all the answers, never making mistakes, striding through the world as though we owned it. Amen. 

"No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us." (Philippians 3:13-14),

Pastor Jamie

P. S. - This Sunday, May 27, at 4pm in Logan Hall we will have Town Hall Meeting to have specific and detailed questions and concerns addressed about our proposed new Social Hall. We’ll be able to go over the plans extensively, discuss anticipated costs, the construction process, the kitchen details, and anything else you would like to know. One thing that would be helpful to us in preparing for both the Town Hall and the Church Conference (June 3 at 4pm in the Sanctuary) is for you to share your questions or concerns in advance with Joe Kuebler, Building Committee Chairperson ( ).

To contact me:

To connect with the New Hope website: www.findnewhope.com

Posted by Jamie Westlake with
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May 25, 2018

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May 25, 2018

Read: Genesis 18

 

To read this text click HERE.

Scripture- Genesis 18:20-23 20 So the Lord told Abraham, “I have heard a great outcry from Sodom and Gomorrah, because their sin is so flagrant. 21 I am going down to see if their actions are as wicked as I have heard. If not, I want to know.”22 The other men turned and headed toward Sodom, but the Lord remained with Abraham.23 Abraham approached him and said, “Will you sweep away both the righteous and the wicked?”

 

Observations- A couple of aspects call our attention in this portion of the Scriptures. First, the righteousness of Abraham is presented as a contrast to the depravation of Sodom and Gomorrah. And second, right in front of our eyes, this whole chapter describes God’s unthinkable ability to establish a dialogue with mankind.

 

ApplicationBut both aspects are neither independent nor irrelevant. Just as the light shines brighter in the darkness, sometimes God places His righteous men and women in places where His creation is more corrupted, and it is with them that He wants to establish a conversation. The interesting thing is that our human nature is wired to resist both, being exposed to the darkness of the world and engage in a gracious dialogue with God. But as we walk with Christ we soon learn that exposure brings experience just as grace brings growth. Abraham used his exposure to ask God not for His punishment but for His grace. Our growth as persons and community of faith would be faster if we learned to consent and not resent where God has placed us and use it as leverage for His Kingdom. Let us always remember that wherever God sends us, we are not called to be attorneys of His law but witnesses of His grace.

 

Prayer- Oh Lord, help us stay open to your purpose in the midst of all surrounding chaos and threats. Help us get rid of all judgmental attitudes and speak your truth with grace and love. In your Holy Name, we pray, Jesus, AMEN!

 

Pastor Roberto

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