by Michael Cisler – Pastor, North Kent Bible Church I have found recently that no matter how busy we find ourselves at our house we still have time for entertainment like watching television, playing Candy Crush, or spending time on social media. One of the results of being a follower of Jesus is an involvement in service. If Jesus is our example for life then we ought to strive to serve. Jesus said of himself in Matthew 20:28, “Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” That service looks different for each one of us as we each have different skill sets and different callings to ministry. Peter says in I Peter 4:10, “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.” So our responsibility is not to serve or minister in the exact same way as someone else, but rather that we would serve in the areas in which God has gifted us and called us. This service should also be with our full effort and sacrifice. Paul says in Colossians 3:23, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men”. We need to have proper boundaries within our lives as we consider keeping a margin of time, resources, and energy. The Bible is also very clear on our responsibility to serve and minister to our family first and foremost. I wonder though, how much more we actually have to give. How much time do we spend on entertainment or social media that could be spent instead on serving and ministering to others? I encourage you to consider how much of a blessing you could be to others by transitioning some of your time to purposeful service to others.
A Message for You
What a difference by PASTOR MICHAEL CISLER North Kent Bible Church There is a song made popular in the late 1950s entitled “What a Difference a Day Makes.” I have heard this song used in movies and commercials to support the point of how quickly life can change. Certainly we have experienced this truth in our own lives as well. As we look forward to what is typically known as Holy Week next week, we certainly see the truth of this concept of change in a short period of time. On one day Jesus dies on the cross. Only a few days later he is raised to life again. Today I would like us to consider, however, Jesus’ triumphal entry and the mood of the crowd compared to their mood only a few days later. In Matthew 21:1-11 (as well as Mark 11, Luke 19, and John 12), we find the account of Jesus entering Jerusalem only a few days before he is arrested, tried, crucified and eventually raised from the dead. When Jesus enters Jerusalem on this day, there are large crowds spreading their cloaks and palm branches on the road in front of him. This spreading of the palm branches and waving them in the air was done in the presence of someone thought worthy of honor. Matthew 21:9 says, “The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David!’ ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!’ ‘Hosanna in the highest!’” The crowds are proclaiming by their actions and words that this Jesus was very special. It seems by their words, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” that they even understood him as Messiah, the anointed one of God. Upon his arrival into the city it says “the whole city was stirred.” This triumphal entry into Jerusalem by Jesus was celebrated and he was honored by the crowds that accompanied him. It is hard to believe then, that just a few days later, the crowd in Jerusalem was shouting, “Crucify him!” What a difference a few days make. I would encourage you to be involved in worship this upcoming week. Throughout the week, many local churches will be remembering and celebrating […]
Going for the Highest Good by PASTOR MARK W. LOVE St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, Rockford “Silence is a text easy to misread.” These words taken from the “Quotable Quotes” in Reader’s Digest speak a great truth about the way people communicate with each other. The lack of communication in any relationship leaves those in the relationship to be guided by ignorance, assumptions and guesswork. The lack of honest and continuous communication is the chief cause for relationships to breakdown, whether in marriages, families, friendships or faith. Jesus Christ was born into the flesh for the purpose of accomplishing several things. One of the most important purposes was that God might speak to us in these latter days by His Son (Heb.1:2). This Jesus did and still does to make sure that there is no lack of honest and continuous communication from God to us. There is no silence on the part of God for us to misread. God offers us no reason for our relationship with Him to be guided by ignorance or guesswork and no reason for it to break down. This is not to say that God tells us all, that is, He tells us everything there is to know. God tells us all that is necessary for a vibrantly living faith life with Him. Let’s be clear, there are many areas where God would have us be ignorant, because our minds cannot grasp what He is able to do in every single thing, nor are we able to comprehend the “how” or the means through which He does things. God’s communication with us is living and fresh every day. While this seems hard to believe, we must remember, “The Word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart,” Hebrews 4:12. As we approach the Holy Week it is important we do not travel with a “been there, done that” attitude. This journey is with the living and active Word of God, a Word that will speak with a freshness that is new every day. This God promises us “His mercies are new every morning,” Lamentations 3:22-23. Now if His […]