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Finding Jesus in the Gathering Dark - 1

Author Warren Wiersbe made this comment in his commentary on Philippians: But if there is a price to pay, they suddenly lose interest.

Jesus became obedient to death—even death on a cross! He says that the woman with the submissive mind does not avoid sacrifice. She lives for the glory of God and the good of others; and if paying a price will honor Christ and help others, she is willing to do it. What do you think about that? Do you realize that humans are more likely to buy into an idea that costs something? Cult leaders know that. When recruiting men, communists would ask someone boldly to undertake something that would cost him.

The willingness to sacrifice was one of the most important factors in their success.

How much greater and more beneficial is the cause of Christ! Wise Christian leaders know that sacrifice is necessary if there is going to be true growth and ministry. There is a difference between sacrifice and suffering. Suffering is usually imposed on you by someone else. Sacrifice is something you are willing to give. Whining has no place in willing sacrifice. We live in a nation of complainers. Everywhere we turn we hear complaints. Doing a job and then griping about it is not service. Jane Austen, a nineteenth century author, wrote novels that were humorous commentaries on the social behaviors of her time— Pride and Prejudice, Emma, Sense and Sensibility , and Persuasion.

In the latter, she draws a stark contrast between whiners and true servants in the form of three sisters. The younger sister complains continually about how she takes care of everyone else but receives no respect from anyone. Actually, she complains continually and spends more time trying to draw attention to herself than serving anyone. The middle sister Anne is the true servant, cheerfully caring for others, not drawing attention to herself.

The only one experiencing joy is the one who is spending less time thinking about herself and her own needs. Saying no to some things is okay—to be more effective in what we are doing. Some tasks or situations in a ministry need to be eliminated or changed because they are not an effective way to serve Jesus. As sisters in Christ, part of the Body of Christ, knowing how our actions affect everyone else in the Body, we need to do this the right way. There is a difference between complaining and seeing a problem and working toward a solution. We are living letters to the world around us.

We are telling the truth about who God is by the way we live as well as by what we say.

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And, that glorifies God. One day all will bow before Him and confess that He is Lord. Of course, it is possible for people to bow and confess today, and receive His gift of salvation. If you have never done this, now is the perfect time.

Ephesians 2:10

Now that you know who Jesus is, you can talk to your leader about how to trust in Him. Serving one another is not the main goal, serving Jesus is. The other is the means. He is our source of joy. Therefore, we can be joyful servants for Him. Serving Jesus is from the heart, not a task.

How am I serving Jesus? True Christian service is fun, for you.

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And, gives glory to Him. Handing Off the Baton 2 Timothy 4: Walking the Romans Road. Facing Winter Seasons 2 Timothy 4: A Study Of Philippians. Knowing Jesus, Knowing Joy: This is how the Nicene Creed reads: Jesus thought of others before Himself. Jesus served—He used that physical body of His to be a servant. Jesus sacrificed—He took that body to the cross and willingly died. Jesus glorified God—He humbled himself, but God raised him from the dead and exalted Him back in heaven. So, Joyful servants think of others before themselves.

Jesus served, so Joyful servants serve. Jesus sacrificed, so Joyful servants willingly sacrifice. So, Joyful servants glorify God. A huge basket of clothes to be ironed sat nearby. Two dirty children were fighting in one corner, and in the other a cat sat licking spilled milk. What a picture of the local church! Pastors and church staff are overwhelmed with work.

More needy people cry out for their attention than they have time for. Sunday school and other youth programs lack workers. Visitors need a personal call. New people need someone to befriend them.

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The missions program needs dedicated workers. Facilities need maintenance and improvements. The fact is, God does not save us so we can sit, but so we can serve. Just as there is no such thing as a non-functioning member of your human body, so there ought to be no such thing as a non-functioning member of the body of Christ.

If God has saved you from your sin, He has called you to serve Him in some way in accordance with your gifts and abilities. What often happens is, you hear this truth taught, so you take a stab at getting involved in doing something for the Lord. But not very far into the process, you find yourself in over your head. You thought you would be serving in line with your gifts and abilities, but you find yourself overwhelmed with inadequacy as you face a situation not in line with or far beyond your gifts and abilities. You thought you would be having a wonderful time of fellowship with others in the body, but instead you find fellow Christians being petty, criticizing you for picayune things.

Timothy found himself there. He had been a teenager in a home with a pagan father and a Jewish mother, living in the town of Lystra in what is today south-central Turkey.

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Paul healed a man who had been lame from birth and preached the gospel, but then was stoned by the fickle mob and dragged out of the city, thought to be dead. Amazingly, he got up, went back into the city and left the next day. Timothy was one who had believed. In the years that followed, he grew in the Lord and was highly regarded by the church for his ministry in their midst.

Then the Apostle Paul came through town again and this time he invited Timothy to join him in his itinerant ministry. What an opportunity, to travel and serve with this courageous man of God who had led Timothy to faith in Christ! Timothy would have been in his early twenties, Paul near 50 at the time. For about the next 18 years, until Paul was beheaded by Nero, Timothy served with Paul, as a devoted son would serve his father. The Book of Acts ends with Paul in prison in Rome.

There is good reason to believe that he was released around A. Timothy had been in Rome with Paul Phil. From there, sometime between late 62 and early 64, Paul wrote First Timothy to his younger co-worker, to encourage him in his ministry there and to give apostolic instructions on church life for the whole congregation 3: Timothy often felt like he was in far over his head.

Timid and shy by personality, he was not inclined toward conflict; yet he often found himself in the midst of controversy. He was inclined to back off rather than to confront difficult people and situations. Many times he felt like quitting. And this was one of those times! We often hear people talk about the New Testament church as if it were nearly perfect. Ephesus was a town rife with sexual immorality and occult practices. On the surface, that sounds simple.

But as you can imagine, people are not detached from their strange doctrines!

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In fact, people get emotionally attached to their strange doctrines! When your job is to confront their doctrines, they take it personally. Do you get the picture? No doubt there were people in the church who liked these men and who thought their teaching was helpful and good: A number of themes occur under the overall theme of guarding the deposit of sound doctrine. The theme of sound doctrine or teaching occurs repeatedly 1: The theme of faith meaning personal trust in Christ and the Word We can draw the lesson:. God has saved us and conscripted us into service so that we might bring forth true children in the faith.

The foundation for any service we render to God must be the glorious truth that:. He will preach in both the 9: An afternoon district-wide prayer conference will follow here at Pioneer 3: Mark your calendar, and let us discover how to make collective prayer our high priority in The Vocal Christmas program is 7: Hope Channel is celebrating 15 years of changed lives, and we want to hear yours! Has your life been impacted, changed, or improved since watching Hope Channel? Click below to share your Hope Channel story or by calling 1- On Sunday, December 2, Dwight K.

Following a delightful meal, they headed to a nearby ice skating rink. The team is thankful for the time together! Seasons cheer was in the crisp, cool air as the pastor's kids and the rest of the team circled around the rink. A few huddled on the sidelines while laughing, taking pictures, and waving through the merry gang of PMC skaters. Almost an hour after getting on the ice, Pastor Nelson incurred an injury to his right hip and right shoulder. Everyone is thankful that he did not hit his head on the ice. The staff from the arena responded professionally, assessing the situation and calling for the paramedics.

They even responded warmly to the suggestion from one of the other pastors. On arriving at the hospital, they were received and attended with great care. Thank you to all who work in medical services for the professionalism and attentiveness you offer your patients. As of December 3, Pastor Dwight went through his first successful surgery for his hip, and on December 5 he is scheduled to go into surgery again to attend to his shoulder. During this season we are reminded of many things, but today we are thankful that even through the disruptions this life brings God is watching over us.

He is the Lead Physician and the Loving Shepherd. We welcome your prayers and cards.

Finding Jesus in the Gathering Dark - 2

We have set up a CaringBridge site www. At the present time, we are asking for no-one to visit so that Pastor Dwight can have the necessary rest and recovery important in these early days post surgery. If you have care packages or cards, please feel free to deliver them to the church office. The pastoral staff will ensure they are delivered.

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If you would like to assist in this way, please contact Pat Erhard at or the church office at Brighten someone's holiday and bring smiles to struggling individuals. This is a great opportunity to show someone in need that we as a church care. Choose an angel from the tree, you can either give a donation money, gift card, food, toys, etc. Thank you for your ongoing financial support which makes ministry happen at Pioneer!

Many of you have been utilizing our SecureGive portal for giving recurring and one-time gifts, both online and via the SecureGive App. Once again thank you for your commitment to Pioneer Memorial Church.