Staying in Love
Have you ever found yourself reading through a Bible reading plan and the section for the day seems…well…not that interesting? As a pastor, I’m not sure I should admit this, but I try to always be honest. So, the other day, I’m reading through Genesis 4 then 5, with all the names of people who had offspring, who had other people with lots of names. Well, it wasn’t exactly that dry, but it seemed a bit tedious. You get the idea. As I’ve said before, when you hit those “dry patches” in reading the Bible, it’s really important to pay even closer attention than normal. I’ve learned to look closely for the lesson.
This particular day, I’m mentally knee-deep in the decedents of Adam when I breeze past this character, Enoch. This is what it says…When Jared was 162 years old, he became the father of Enoch. After the birth of Enoch, Jared lived another 800 years, and he had other sons and daughters. Jared lived 962 years, and then he died. When Enoch was 65 years old, he became the father of Methuselah. After the birth of Methuselah, Enoch lived in close fellowship with God for another 300 years, and he had other sons and daughters. Enoch lived 365 years, walking in close fellowship with God. Then one day he disappeared, because God took him. Genesis 5:18-24 (NLT2)
That’s it. But do you see what’s different about Enoch? First, he lived 365 years in close fellowship with God. That means his relationship with God was solid. Enoch never grew weary of walking with God. Why? Because he clearly worked hard at be CLOSE to God. I had to ask, would I ever get tired of someone if I lived with them for 365 years? Isn’t that a really long time? And then I thought of my wife and eternity, and I understood. When you completely love someone 365 years is just getting started. Lesson? Work hard at staying in love with Jesus because He’s working hard at staying in love with you.
Second, there are benefits to staying in love with God. “Then one day he disappeared, because God took him.” God allowed Enoch to skip death. And realize this was way, way before Christ died on the cross. What an incredible privilege! Lesson? There clearly are many incredible benefits to remaining in intimate relationship with God throughout our life, and they start with staying in love with Him. Yeah, thanks Enoch...that's a great place to start…every day.
Pastor Rusty <><
MORE GOOD NEWS AND UPDATES:
1. The Indiana United Methodist Church Central District Office has changed the time and location of our Charge Conference. It is now scheduled for 5pm on Sunday, October 17, at Korean First UMC.
2. Old Bethel is excited to host our annual Trunk or Treat! Please join us on Sunday October 24, 3-5pm in the parking lot as we greet our neighbors with creatively decorated trunks, lots of candy and our very own Celebration Puppeteers. We still need at least 5 volunteers who are willing to decorate the trunk of their car and pass out candy. We will provide the candy. You provide the decorated trunk. Invite your friends, family and neighbors for this fun-filled afternoon.
3. Third quarter giving statements are available for pick up at the Welcome Center.
4. Old Bethel is happy to take part in serving our community a Thanksgiving meal again this year. We are partnering with Shiloh Baptist Church and Driven by Faith Outreach to deliver meals to 600 families. This year's meal will look a little different. We will prepare the food the week of Thanksgiving and we will deliver meals on Thanksgiving morning. In addition to a meal, we will also provide hats, gloves and scarves. It is a joy to serve our community and share our many blessings this Thanksgiving! As in years past, we are asking for donations of food items and of hats, gloves and scarves. If you are interested in donating please check out our online sign up at https://www.signupgenius.com/go/9040445A5AA23A6F58-thanksgiving. We are also looking for volunteers to help prepare the food and deliver the meals. To volunteer, contact Community Life Minister Arin Schellenberg at 317-359-9651 or email@example.com
5. Due to the overwhelming demands of the pandemic on the staff of the Marion County Public Health Department, they will only be offering flu shots at their locations this year. They will not be offering a flu shot clinic at Old Bethel this year. You may contact the Marion County Public Health Department at 317-221-2000.
6. We still need volunteer receptionist for several shifts. The morning shift is 9am-12:30pm. The afternoon shift is 12:304pm. You can work each week or every other week. OR you might like to be a sub and serve when others are on vacation. Building traffic is slowly increasing and having receptionists to answer the phone is a GREAT help to our administrative staff! Contact Administrative Assistant Lynda Preston at firstname.lastname@example.org or 317-359-9651, extension 131.
7. This Sunday’s message notes are below. October 17: The Challenge of Real Commitment
God always sees the ______________ He has personally ____________ within me.
“I know the plans I have for you.” Jeremiah 29:11 (NRSV)
In the third month after the Israelites left Egypt--on the very day--they came to the Desert of Sinai. After they set out from Rephidim, they entered the Desert of Sinai, and Israel camped there in the desert in front of the mountain.
Then Moses went up to God, and the Lord called to him from the mountain and said, "This is what you are to say to the house of Jacob and what you are to tell the people of Israel: 'You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles' wings and brought you to myself. Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.' These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites."
So Moses went back and summoned the elders of the people and set before them all the words the Lord had commanded him to speak. The people all responded together, "We will do everything the Lord has said." So Moses brought their answer back to the Lord. (NIV)
God calls them to actually begin to live into the __________________ He has in store for them as a ________ ____________. To make that happen, He wants to create a ________________ with them.
For every ________________ in the Bible, there is a __________________.
A vow is a _____________________ to a special relationship with God, and a __________________ of devotion and dedication—demonstrated by real _____________.
Hypocrisy is NOT acting contrary to the way I feel. Hypocrisy is _____________ contrary to the way I _________________.
As Christ-followers, wedding vows are ___________________ of what we believe, and ____________________ to do whatever’s required to live out that belief.
[Jesus] gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. Titus 2:14 (NIV)
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