Monday, September 30, 2013
Thursday, July 18, 2013
Saturday, July 6, 2013
“Freedom in the Bible”-From the New Testament
First Sunday-Freedom Sunday Series
By Media Pastor Rev. Keith Kiper
By Media Pastor Rev. Keith Kiper
Common English Bible (CEB)
“There is neither Jew nor Greek; there is neither slave nor free; nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
God the Creator placed in man and woman the capacity for free choice at the very beginning when He placed them in Eden. God gave Adam and Eve the freedom to choose between good and evil. We have recorded in our Bibles the results of both good and bad choices over the centuries. As created beings, we possess that same freedom to choose today. During the next few Sundays in July, we will take a closer look at slavery in the past, and at the scourge of modern human trafficking.
Today let us look at what it means to have freedom in Christ. Sin can be the greatest master when we become enslaved to sin. We are all born into sin, we have no control over aspect. Christ’s death and resurrection offers freedom to live again through the new birth. We celebrate this every year especially on Resurrection Sunday. Did you know that as Christians we can still become enslaved. We can be enslaved to religious customs, to focusing on how things used to be. History should be a guiding post, not a hitching post as someone well said. We can even become a slave to the law.
Galatians 5:1 tells us: “ Christ has set us free for freedom. Therefore, stand firm and don’t submit to the bondage of slavery again.”
Jesus rebuked the Pharisees in Mark Chapter 7. The Pharisees had a form of ritualistic washing where they would wash from the hands to the elbows. I always think of Norton from the Honeymooners when I read this. Listen to what Jesus tells them when they criticized His disciples:
8 You ignore God’s commandment while holding on to rules created by humans and handed down to you.” 9 Jesus continued, “Clearly, you are experts at rejecting God’s commandment in order to establish these rules. 10 Moses said, Honor your father and your mother,[b] andThe person who speaks against father or mother will certainly be put to death.[c] 11 But you say, ‘If you tell your father or mother, “Everything I’m expected to contribute to you iscorban (that is, a gift I’m giving to God),” 12 then you are no longer required to care for your father or mother.’ 13 In this way you do away with God’s word in favor of the rules handed down to you, which you pass on to others. And you do a lot of other things just like that.”
Freedom in Christ means we are to be salt and light, and not just within the four walls of the church building.
John Wesley said; "When I speak of building an house for our great God, let none think I mean to comprehend God [contained] within it, for He is infinite." (Notes, 2,6)
Common English Bible (CEB)
13 You were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; only don’t let this freedom be an opportunity to indulge your selfish impulses, but serve each other through love. 14 All the Law has been fulfilled in a single statement: Love your neighbor as yourself.[a]
There are many ways we can love our neighbor as ourself. Who is our neighbor? The parable of the good Samaritan should answer that question for all of us. Would not the enslaved children of the world be our neighbor? Wouldn’t the immigrant coming to our country hungry and looking for opportunity be our neighbor? Would the good Samaritan care how he got here? Remember our families were all immigrants from a foreign land . Maybe God is providing us with the greatest opportunity for evangelism in our lifetime. Please pray about this. Go to Wesleyan.org or our website where you can read the Wesleyan Position statement on this. Don’t let the us or them politics influence what God wants to do. Finally, Acts tells us:
Common English Bible (CEB)
38 “Therefore, brothers and sisters, know this: Through Jesus we proclaim forgiveness of sins to you. From all those sins from which you couldn’t be put in right relationship with God through Moses’ Law, 39 through Jesus everyone who believes is put in right relationship with God.
Monday, June 24, 2013
News from April
Dear Family and Friends,
It has been a little while since my last update, so there is a lot of news to share. There are many children who have come and gone (pictured below) who could use your prayers. Would you commit to praying for a new child each day or once a week?
Taking care of young children has its ups and down, good days and bad days, as I am sure a lot of you can relate to. No day has been tougher then the day we got word that our little Ruth had gone home to be with the Lord on March 7, 2013 after a short illness. She was a sweet little girl who brought smiles and joy to everyone who met her.
“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” Revelation 21:4
I have been working very hard for quite a few weeks in the closets in each of the wings. Being a person who likes things organized and in their place, I guess it made me the perfect person for this job. I went through each of the wings looking at all of the clothes and sorting out things that had become worn out and needed to be replaced. I then labeled the closets to try and make it easier on the caregivers to dress the children. Once the closets were organized, I then filled in whatever clothes they needed from our storeroom. When the closets were finished I then started on the task of reorganizing and sorting the storeroom. This will also help in the future for people wanting to donate clothing to know what our immediate needs are.
I have also put out a sign-up sheet in the wings asking what ladies would be interested in doing a Bible study during their lunch hour. I have gotten a very positive response (28 ladies), and I am in the process of finding relevant materials for the ladies to dive into. Please pray as I look for the materials that God would want me to use, for the ladies who are going to be involved to be encouraged and to grow stronger in their walks with the Lord as well as be an accountability to each other for studying the word of God. I will share more details as things unfold. “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11
The AGC Baby Centre is in the process of beginning a children’s home, the name of which is going to be AGC Nyumbani ya Tumaini, or Africa Gospel Church Home of Hope. This home will be for our older/un-adoptable children. The Africa Gospel Church has sent missionaries Pius and Evelyn to be the parents of this home. Please pray for not only Pius and Evelyn but also for all of the details of the home to fall into place and for the children who will be a part of this family. For right now it will be located in one of the duplex homes on the Baby Centre compound. The plan for the future is to build a home in Salgaa.
I want to thank each of you for being such an important part of this ministry. I could not be here without the sacrifices that each of you have made in praying and giving of your time and resources. My part here at the AGC Baby Centre entails a variety of things from helping feed kids, reading to them, working with them on crawling/sitting/walking, playing games, helping with homework, helping the kids to learn Bible verses, teaching them how to use a hula hoop, working in the closets, doing what I can to help wherever I am needed. It is a joy to watch as the kids show their creativity in turning a hula hoop into a car, and a cardboard box into a house. I was even told the other day that one of the kids was watching one of the grounds guys and the child began pretending their hula hoop was a lawn mower and he was walking back and forth as though he was cutting the grass. I feel blessed that God asked me to come here and there is nowhere else I would rather be.
Are you interested in being a part of this ministry? Feel free to contact me or you can go to the following website to give online: http://www.wgm.org/hershberger. Do you feel God calling you to serve Him? Check out http://www.wgm.org/recruiting and find opportunities for you to serve all over the world to all the different nations. Would you like more frequent updates? Check out the links below for my Facebook and blog accounts.
Thursday, June 13, 2013