I often am reminded of how undeserving I am of God’s love, presence, and deliverance. This is a very true statement, and it also leads sometimes to great fear of my incapability to draw near to God. As I try to obey the Lord’s commandments, on my own it would be impossible for me to gain salvation- a fact that is gut-wrenching and sometimes overwhelming.

I was recently reading Matthew 19:16-26, which is a favorite passage of mine. This is the story of the rich young ruler. This rich man who is seeking eternal life, is told by Jesus that not only must he keep all of the commandments, but if he wants to be perfect, he must also sell his possessions and give to the poor- a large hit to a man who has “everything”.

The rich young ruler leaves sorrowfully, as he had such a great amount of possessions. The key to this story is what happens next. Jesus explains how difficult it is for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven, which the disciples are astonished by. During this time, the rich were looked upon as being favored by God. So, the disciples are thinking, “If the rich can’t enter the Kingdom of Heaven, who can?” Jesus answers with a beautiful, praiseworthy statement in verse 26. 

“But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

The truth is we are incapable of deserving to be with our Heavenly Father for eternity. However, God didn’t leave us there. He sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sin. He lived a life that we could never live, and shed His perfect blood on the cross for our sins. Because of Jesus, when God looks at us, He sees Christ. Because of our Savior King we have eternal life with our Heavenly Father where we will worship Him, which is what we were created for.

 

Blessings in Christ,

Caleb Holt

 

May 24 Service Information:

Finishing the Work of Discipleship (John 17:6-19)

I. Jesus discipled His men by MANIFESTING THE FATHER’S NAME TO THEM.
II. Jesus discipled His men by GIVING THE FATHER’S WORD TO THEM.
III. Jesus discipled His men by ASKING FOR THE FATHER’S PROTECTION FOR THEM.

When I was visiting my brother in Arizona a few years ago we drove past a building that was started years ago, but was never completed.  All that was standing in the Arizona sun was a skeleton of rusting iron.  I am sure it was a topic of conversation among those who drove by this unfinished project.  I can just hear people saying, “Why in the world don’t they finish what they started?”

In John 17 we find the longest recorded prayer of Jesus in all of Scripture.  It’s an amazing prayer because it gives us a glimpse into the heart of Jesus as He faces the cross.  The commitment that Jesus expresses in this prayer is to finish the work that the Father had given to Him.

This work included the work of salvation.  Jesus knew that He was about to face the most difficult days of His life.  Yet He was committed to die on the cross for the sins of the world.
This work also included the work of discipleship.  In this prayer Jesus prays for His disciples that they would be protected from the evil one.  Jesus would continue to accomplish His work through them.

This work also included the work of evangelism.  In this prayer Jesus prays for us.  He looks forward into the future as he prays for those who will believe in Him through the inspired word of His disciples.

Jesus is committed to finish what He started, and for that we can be thankful.
Join us as we examine this prayer of Jesus for the next three Sundays.

 

In His Grace,
Pastor Peter Franz

 

Sermon Series
May 17 – Finishing the Work of Salvation (John 17:1-5)
May 24 – Finishing the Work of Discipleship
May 31 – Finishing the Work of Evangelism

Finishing the Work of Salvation
John 17:1-5

I. Jesus finished the work ACCORDING TO THE TIME OF THE FATHER.
II. Jesus finished the work FOR THE GLORY OF THE FATHER.

 

Dear Grace Members and Friends,

There are so many wonderful hymns that it would be difficult to choose a favorite, but if I had to choose one it would be the hymn Great is Thy Faithfulness.

This hymn was written by Thomas Chisholm, based upon a familiar passage of Scripture from the third chapter of Lamentations.

22 The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease,
For His compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.

Thomas Chisholm didn’t have an easy life. He suffered ill health most of his adult life and therefore had a smaller than average income. Of this circumstance he said, “God has given me many wonderful displays of his providing care, which have filled me with astonishing gratefulness.”

Chisholm wrote hundreds of poems during his lifetime. In 1923, he was inspired by Lamentations 3:22-23 to write the text for the hymn, Great is thy Faithfulness.

Chisholm sent the words of this poem to his friend, William Runyan, who wrote the music. Runyan was a friend of Dr. Will Houghton, the president of Moody Bible Institute, and Great is thy Faithfulness soon became Houghton’s favorite. He invited George Beverly Shea, an unknown singer at the time, to sing hymns on the Institute’s radio station. Shea included Houghton’s favorite hymn in his repertoire.

Through those radio broadcasts Billy Graham, then a student at Wheaton College, became familiar with George Beverly Shea and the song, Great is thy Faithfulness. Graham asked Shea to become part of his ministry of evangelism. It was through their crusades that this hymn became internationally popular.

I will be preaching on Lamentations 3 this Sunday. And, of course, we are going to sing this song! Join us for the live stream at 9:00 AM. Or view it any time after that.

We continue our mid-week study on the life of Joseph. God did some amazing things in his life, in spite of some very difficult circumstances. I think you will be encouraged by this study.

We continue to pray that we will be able to meet together soon. I miss you all. If you have any prayer requests or needs please contact the church office. May the Lord give you His peace and strength each day.

 

In His Grace,
Pastor Peter Franz

 

Dear Grace Members and Friends, 

       Before Jesus ascended into heaven He met with His disciples on several occasions for two important reasons.  He  needed to prove to them that He was alive.  And He needed to give them instruction regarding their mission.  This is how Luke describes it in his introduction to the Book of Acts.
The first account I composed, Theophilus, about all that Jesus began to do and teach, until the day when He was taken up to heaven, after He had by the Holy Spirit given orders to the apostles whom He had chosen. To these He also presented Himself alive after His suffering, by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over a period of forty days and speaking of the things concerning the kingdom of God.  (Acts 1:1-3)
One of those times that Jesus appeared to His disciples is found in John 21.  After seven of the disciples went out fishing on the Sea of Galilee Jesus “manifested Himself again to the disciples” (John 21:1) and He gave them three very important priorities for their mission.  This is what we learn about this coming Sunday as we look at The Priorities of a Disciple.
We are also looking at the life of Joseph in our Wednesday evening Bible Study.  You will find the second lesson online for you to view.  I think you will find the story of Joseph to be pertinent to what we are facing today.  Things happen in our lives that are beyond our control, but through it all God has a plan to accomplish something good in our lives and the lives of others.

In His Grace,
Pastor Peter Franz

Sunday Worship, April 26, 2020

 Sermon Title: The Priorities of a Disciple

Sermon Text: John 21

Sermon Outline:

  1. The priority of FISHING FOR MEN.
  2. The priority of FEEDING THE SHEEP.
  3. The priority of FOLLOWING JESUS.

Call to Worship: Hebrews 12:1-2

Scripture reading: Exodus 34:11-16

 

Other Updates

Check out the online Bible Study for children and adults Online Bible Education.

 

God Bless you and Your family during this time. We look forward to when we can gather again!