Because We Love Each Other
Romans 14:13~21 (The Message)
Forget about deciding what's right for each other. Here's what you need to be concerned about: that you don't get in the way of someone else, making life more difficult than it already is. I'm convinced—Jesus convinced me!—that everything as it is in itself is holy. We, of course, by the way we treat it or talk about it, can contaminate it. If you confuse others by making a big issue over what they eat or don't eat, you're no longer a companion with them in love, are you? These, remember, are persons for whom Christ died…Your task is to single-mindedly serve Christ. Do that and you'll kill two birds with one stone: pleasing the God above you and proving your worth to the people around you.
So let's agree to use all our energy in getting along with each other. Help others with encouraging words; don't drag them down by finding fault. You're certainly not going to permit an argument over what is served or not served at supper to wreck God's work among you, are you? I said it before and I'll say it again: All food is good, but it can turn bad if you use it badly, if you use it to trip others up and send them sprawling.
When you sit down to a meal, your primary concern should not be to feed your own face but to share the life of Jesus. So be sensitive and courteous to the others who are eating. Don't eat or say or do things that might interfere with the free exchange of love.
Friends, the Apostle Paul is talking about adjusting your life to accommodate others as a humble act of love. His conversation about what to eat or not eat is really about the much larger issue of placing others before yourself.
We are moving toward in-person worship beginning July 5th. If you’ve read “The Plan” you’ll know that a cornerstone part of coming back together physically is the “required” wearing of facemasks. The above Scripture is the “why” behind the facemask requirement.
I am also aware that some of us do not like that idea of facemasks. In fact, count me among those who do not like the idea of wearing a facemask in worship. However, I will wear the facemask and am happy to do so, not because I like it, but because I love you. And if me wearing a facemask can help you and others feel more comfortable as we ease back into in-person worship, then I am actually happy to do it. I guess the short version is that I love you more than I dislike the wearing of the facemask. And I am certainly not alone. I have heard that same sentiment from many of you.
But remember, this is NOT an issue of who has more faith. It is an issue of, as we are able, willingly doing whatever is necessary to help others in their faith walk. However, please hear me very clearly—if you do not want to or can’t wear a facemask, THANK YOU for staying home and continuing to engage worship on our YouTube channel, for the time being. You BLESS others by not placing an obstacle in the way of someone else who may be so distracted or concerned about you not wearing a mask that it prevents them from worshiping with their whole mind, heart, and spirit.
If you intend to attend the 9:00 or 11:00 Sunday morning service, please make your reservation, as soon as you can so that we can plan accordingly. (Call Lynda at the church office or send an email to email@example.com) Friends, I can’t wait to see at least your eyes on July 5th, of those who are ready. I am also so very grateful to God and Old Bethel leadership for expanding our virtual ministry presence, so that there is NO PRESSURE for anyone to return to in-person worship until they are ready.
Please remember how very much you are loved!
--Pastor Rusty ><>
Vacation Bible School is July 6-12. This year’s theme, Rocky Railway: Jesus’ Power Pulls Us Through, will be virtual and presented live each night via a closed Facebook group. Participants need to register in advance so we can deliver all the materials to you. The registration form can be found on our website (www.oldbethel.org) or you may use this link to register by June 29: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1l4iJpeP3_KPRBs_lxuB-WDKyGtccLRh1YzbQ9ysuP-A/viewform?edit_requested=true
We are still looking for helping hands to come to the church to serve the National Guard members serving at the Food Pantry lunch and to clean up afterwards. It’s super easy – the meals are planned and in most cases already purchased. Open dates are July 7, 14, 16, 18, and 28. Contact Lynda Preston at 317-359-9651 or firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up for a date.
The Message Notes for this Sunday are below.
June 21, 2020 (Father’s Day): Choose to Pick Flowers
There is no perfect model man except _____________ _____________.
Parents, don't be hard on your children. Raise them properly.
Teach them and instruct them about the Lord.
Ephesians 6:4 (CEV)
Four suggestions for me to develop in order that the children within the sphere of my influence might have what’s needed to grow up to be all God intends:
1. ___________ children respect for _______________.
When it's all over, your body will waste away, as you groan and shout, "I hated advice and correction! I paid no attention to my teachers, and now I am disgraced in front of everyone." Proverbs 5:11-14 (CEV)
If children are not taught to ____________ _______________ in the home, they will not ____________ _______________ in the rest of the world.
Kids will ALWAYS pay far more _____________ to what you _____ than what you _______!
2. _________ children ______________!
Jesus was irate and let them know it: “Don't push these children away. Don't ever get between them and me. These children are at the very center of life in the kingdom.” Mark 10:14 (Msg)
Genuine _________ is ________________.
3. _____________ that giving children ___________ things is not an adequate ____________ of love.
For the wicked boast of the desires of their heart, those greedy for gain curse and renounce the Lord. Psalm 10:3, (NRSV)
Only real ______________ generates real love….and only by spending __________ with a child can you have that.
4. _________ children to _____________ love God.
We will not hide these truths from our children but will tell the next generation about the glorious deeds of the Lord. Psalm 78:4a (NLT)