From The Pastor's Desk: DO YOU WANT TO SEE GOD?
“DO YOU WANT TO SEE GOD?”
Hebrews 12:14 (KJV)
“Follow peace with all men, and holiness,
without which no man shall see the Lord.”
Seeing God is the foremost desire of Christians. We believe in God, but we have not seen Him; nonetheless, the writer of Hebrews informs us that we can see God by pursuing peace with everyone and pursuing holiness. As a Pastor, I encourage all of us to avoid strife and avoid ungodly living because Hebrews 12:14 says: “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.”
HER PRACTICE PAID OFF
There once was a strongman at a circus sideshow who demonstrated his power before large audiences every night. Toward the end of one performance, he squeezed the juice from a lemon between his hands. He said to the onlookers, “I will offer $200 to anyone here who can squeeze another drop from this lemon. A thin older lady hobbled up the stage, and she picked up the lemon and clamped it between her two frail, boney hands. When she squeezed the lemon, a teaspoon of lemon juice came out. The strongman was amazed, and he paid the woman $200 but privately asked her, “What is the secret of your strength?” “Practice,” the woman answered. “I have been the treasurer of my church for forty-two years!”
This elderly woman served as the treasurer of her church for forty-two years but had the unfortunate experience of worshipping with people who gave parsimoniously. People who are frugal with God will experience God being frugal with them. 2 Corinthians 9:6 reads: “But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.” Thus, we can experience bountiful blessings by giving bountifully our tithes and offerings.
Tithing is an important part of faith for people who follow God, and tithing (10 % of our gross income/increase) should be money we set aside before paying anything else. Our offerings are what we give in addition to our tithes. At St. John, we currently give in person during Sunday Morning Worship Celebrations, by mailing or dropping off our tithes and offerings at our Administration Building or South Campus, or by giving online through our website (sjmbc.org).
OUR DAILY BREAD
Thursday, April 7: Judges 20-21; Luke 11:1-28
Friday, April 8: Ruth 1-4; Luke 11:29-54
Saturday, April 9: 1 Samuel 1-3; Luke 12:1-34
Sunday, April 10: 1 Samuel 4-6; Luke 12:35-59
Monday, April 11: 1 Samuel 7-9; Luke 13:1-21
Tuesday, April 12: 1 Samuel 10-12; Luke 13:22-35
Wednesday, April 13: 1 Samuel 13-14; Luke 14:1-24
Thursday, April 14: 1 Samuel 15-16; Luke 14:25-35
Friday, April 15: 1 Samuel 17-18; Luke 15:1-10
Saturday, April 16: 1 Samuel 19-21; Luke 15:11-32
Worship Celebrations: Our two in-person Worship Celebrations are on Sundays at 9:00 a.m. (the North Campus) and 11:00 a.m. (the South Campus). Everyone (especially people who are elderly and physically disabled) is encouraged to arrive at least 10 minutes beforehand to be seated safely and comfortably. Temperatures are checked, hand sanitizing is urged, social distancing is applied regarding where people shall sit and walk, wearing a mask is requested, utilization of restrooms is restricted to 2-4 people at a time (depending on the size of the restroom), and congregating before and after Services is prohibited.
Our virtual audience is growing rapidly. Let’s continue to share with others how they can view our Worship Celebrations via live streaming (YouTube) or hear them via podcasts. For more information, you may visit our website at sjmbc.org.
Building Fund Pledges: We still desire to construct a multimillion-dollar Family Life Center, adjacent to our current sanctuary at the North Campus, which will consist of a gymnasium, game room (for the youth), and weight room. Many of us made a pledge that we fulfilled, but some have not. I personally thank those of us who have already fulfilled our pledge and others who have made “Building Fund” contributions. I encourage everyone (if you have not already done so) to :
1) $10,000.00 or more
2) $5,000.00 to $9,999.00
3) $1,000.00 to $4,999.00
4) $500.00 to $999.00
5) Below $500.00
Weekly Activities: I strongly encourage everyone to participate in the St. John activities that benefit you. In regards to each of the following activities, visit our website at sjmbc.org if you need more information. What’s forthcoming?
Worship Celebrations at 9:00 a.m. (North Campus) and 11:00 a.m. (South Campus) Online Church School at 2:00 p.m.Online J.A.M. (Children Fellowships) 2nd and 4th Sundays at 4:00 p.m.Online Lord’s Supper 1st Sundays at 7:00 p.m. To participate, each believer will need bread or a cracker and grape juice (or something similar).
Preparation For Grocery Giveaway at 10:00 a.m. (South Campus)Online Women Missionary Ministry (General Mission) 4th Mondays at 6:00 p.m.
Grocery Giveaway (North Campus and South Campus) at 12:00 p.m.Online Church Leadership Council Tuesdays before 3rd Sundays at 6:30 p.m.
Online Prayer at 12:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.Online Church School at 7:00 p.m.
To see God, we must pursue peace with everyone and holiness (Heb. 12:14). Also, to be blessed bountifully, we must give bountifully (2 Cor. 9:6).
May God bless and sustain each of us.
Your Servant In Christ,
Dr. Kevin B. Hall, Pastor