ZION NEWS: MAY

Never Alone

Matthew 10:1-42

(for context please read the chapter)

Matthew 10 is the second of five discourses in his Gospel. The first being the Sermon on the Mount. It was the first time since leaving everything to follow Jesus, they would be on their own. Since most are sequestered in these days. I thought a “discipleship” review may be helpful.

Why send them out on their own? I believe to prepare them for the inevitable future. As I have said many times before, “We are always in God’s classroom”. What will we learn? What will remember? In what way(s) is the Lord preparing His church for our inevitable future? My answer is ever increasing faith and trust in Him who said, “’And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.’” Matthew 28:20b

A few thoughts:

  • “He called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority” vs. 1a Jesus gave His power over the spiritual realm and secondly over physical and emotional afflictions. His power is always available to His disciples. Matthew 16: 24, 25; Mark 8:34, 35; Luke 9:23, 24
  • “These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions:” vs. 5a Jesus spoke truth, wisdom, discernment and guidance for the journey ahead. The Word of God (John 1:1-4, 14) gave His disciples His Word to instruct them in His way. His instruction to us is His Holy Word. 2 Timothy 3:16, 17; Hebrews 4:12, 13
  • “’Brother will betray brother to death,” vs 21a The discourse transitions from their immediate journey to future times. The principle truths in verses 1-20 are ours, even if the specific events are not. “’Be on your guard’”; “’do not worry’”; “’Freely you have received, freely give.’” To name a few.
  • Verses 21-23 are signs before the return of Christ. (Matthew 24:1-14) This includes evangelism in Israel.
  • Verses 24-31 reminds us of our relationship with Jesus and our Heavenly Father. We are reminded of Jesus’ fearless devotion and concrete trust in His Father. And Jesus says with authority. “’Do not be afraid.’” As the old children’s song has it, “For the Father up above is looking down in love.”
  • Verses 32, 33 are facts set in stone. The “chosen and precious cornerstone”. I Peter 2:4-12 Not the words we say, rather the faithful and obedient life we live. Not just what we do, but who we are. Do we belong to Jesus?
  • Verses 34-39 warn of deadly conflict and continuous opposition. The war is spiritual. The sword is truth. John 17:13-21 We should not be surprised or caught off guard when the world seeks our demise. Our well-being is twofold: the “sword of the Spirit,” Ephesians 6:17b and a fiery passionate love for Jesus. Philippians 3:7-14
  • Verses 40-42 encourages us to know there will always be those who will receive Jesus Christ into their hearts. We may always be a blessing and are blessed!
  • Finally, I am very blessed and encouraged by your faith and faithfulness in these days. I sense the sweet aroma of Christ! 2 Corinthians 2:14-16 Love and prayers!

His by grace,

Chris


Debt-Free, By Grace

Visiting with her passenger, Uber driver Latonya Young mentioned her determination to finish college — and a $700 debt that barred her from enrolling in more classes. “Every time I got ready to pay the money, my kids needed something,” she said later. “I said, ‘Okay, I’ll just wait.’” 

To Young’s great surprise, a few days after that Uber conversation, she learned that her customer, Kevin Esch, had paid her debt; she could reenroll! In response, Young persevered to finish her degree with strong grades. “When he paid the balance, I had to do this for him,” she said of Esch, who attended her graduation.

Young’s self-sacrifice for her children and Esch’s self-sacrifice for a stranger both pale, of course, in comparison to Jesus’ sacrifice of his very life to save us. Like Young held back by debt, we were captive to sin until “the Son of Man came … to give his life as a ransom” (Matthew 20:28, ESV). Young did nothing to earn Esch’s gift, and we can do nothing to earn salvation. But as she responded by using the gift to its fullest, we embrace God’s gift by living in thanksgiving and praise, love and service.


A Prayer for Memorial Day

We remember, O Lord, all those people throughout the years who have made the supreme sacrifice for our country, for liberty, for us. Whenever we breathe the air of freedom or claim the right to justice or enjoy the privilege of worship, fill us with gratitude for those who selflessly gave the last full measure of devotion — their very lives — for our benefit. 

May these brave men and women now know the joy of eternity and your presence. And may the families of the fallen receive comfort and peace amid their grief. Help us as we minister to their needs. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Sunday Worship Services/Live stream:  

During these unprecedented times of social distancing and the contagious COVID-19 coronavirus, Sunday morning worship continues to be held at Mount Zion Road Church. The service is video recorded for viewing live on the church’s Facebook account. It is also saved and can be viewed at any time that is convenient to the viewer. Those participating to make this happen are: Kevin/Kyle S. (sound), Allison S./Samantha H. (computer), Allison with live stream recording w/Facebook posts, Zane W./Cynthia S. (choristers), Pastor Chris (order of service, special music coordinator, worship leader, messages) Thank you to all!


Message theme/Scripture schedule for Sunday mornings in May:
5/3     “Your Presence, Lord”   Numbers 9:15-23    
5/10   “A Little Quail with that Whine?”   Numbers 11:1-35   
5/17   “Spiritual Self-Affliction”   Numbers 12:1-16 
5/24   “Faith”   Numbers 13:1-25, Numbers 13:26-14:4 
5/31   “Contempt”   Numbers 14:5-45


Junior Church Service: 

Sammy H. (Kyle S. fiancé) created a public Facebook Group for the younger generation. You can join her with your kids every Sunday morning (or catch her video at a later time) for about 20 minutes of singing, stories, interactive lessons, crafts and more


Wednesday nights Zoom Bible Study: 

On Wednesday April 29th, Corby will start hosting an all-age online bible study through Zoom. There will be a course of study available to everyone prior to the bible study time. If you would like a hard copy of this, contact Corby and he will make sure to get it to you! This will be weekly starting at 7:00pm and will last about 30 minutes. There is room for many people, please join in if you are able. (In light of security concerns, the sessions will be password protected and only open to known participants.) 


Congregational Readings: 

April 9th through April 30th the congregation joined together to read from home Psalm 1 through Psalm 150. Starting May 1st, we will begin reading Proverbs. One chapter a day through the end of May. Thank you all for participating. It’s important that we all stay in sync, even if we cannot join together physically. 


Website: 

The church website (mzrchurch.org) received a make-over. A big thank you to Allison S. who spent a lot of time on this! Take a moment to browse through, changes include: an easier to use format, more information, current and previous newsletter articles available to view, etc.


Zion News: 

If you were not able to read the guest article from April’s Zion News, you can view it on the church website near the bottom of the home page. Thank you, Joanne, for sharing!


Tithes: 

Thank you for continuing to tithe during these times! MZR is blessed with a giving congregation.


Love Feast review: 

During the April 5th worship service, those following along at home could participate as Chris led in Communion. Feet washing and the fellowship meal were also encouraged to be observed at home. This was a very meaningful and unified way for the congregation to partake through the omnipresence of the Holy Spirit!


Spiritual Renewal Services: 
A big thank you to Dave Martin for sharing with us during the 5 Renewal Services from March 8-11. We received a thank you card from Dave and his wife Karen. They felt blessed at MZR and were thankful for the congregation, gifts, and the snacks. Thank you to everyone who had a part in making these services happen, the Sunday fellowship meal, along with the Wednesday’s extravagant refreshments! It was well attended by members and visitors alike.


Activities: 

Sunday School, Bible Studies, etc. that are normally at church will continue to be canceled until conditions are more favorable for meeting, and at the direction of the local government and health experts.


Church activities postponed/canceled: 

The planned Spiritual Gifts Test was postponed to a later date. The Outreach event (Celebration Sunday) that was planned for May 17th was postponed and will be rescheduled to a later date. The annual Strawberry Fest is canceled.   

One Comment on “ZION NEWS: MAY

  1. Thanks so much for all the info. It’s nice to keep in touch

    Like

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