A Real Disciple
There are two principle messages Jesus gave near the end of His time here on earth. The first one, given just before His arrest and death, was:
“… Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” (John 13:33-35 , NLT)
He repeated this message several times that evening. It is the thing identified as the mark of Jesus’ followers. Without this love, you can call yourself anything you want, but you’re not a true follower of Jesus.
The other message is the last thing Jesus said before being taken to Heaven – it’s related to the statement we just read:
“… Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20 , NLT)
So, what was to be the identifying characteristic of a disciple?
It was loving like Jesus loved. This is the most important thing we can teach someone who is just coming to know Jesus.
While you could make a case for all the commandments, Jesus Himself summed them all up in love and in what we call the Golden Rule (see Matthew 7:12).
When Jesus commands us to make disciples of all nations, He is really asking us to teach people to be real lovers. He wants us to teach them how to live in the wonderful love of God and Jesus and then to share that love with others.
This love lived and shared will do more to advance the Gospel than any amount of condemnation, Revelation flow charts, or demonstrations demanding repealing laws regarding gay marriages or abortions.
This love can only be lived and shared if God has given us the new heart and put His Spirit in us as He promised to do in Ezekiel 36 – which we discussed a bit last week. Because He is a Gentleman, He will only do it with your permission.
Have you given Him permission to change out your heart and to put His Spirit in you?
Maybe now’s the time to do that!
Do you know the name Lolo Jones? She was a wiry youngster from Iowa, who early-on discovered she was born to run. Ever since she could remember she loved to run. As a teen she couldn’t remember a day in her life that she hadn’t. Sometimes only five miles; sometimes much more.
She didn’t walk anywhere; she ran. Out to get the mail, from the school bus to the school building, from her folks’ car in the church parking lot to the front door of the church. Others walked; Lolo ran. When there were races in her gym class at school no one else ever expected to win.
Growing up she had learned about the Olympic Games, and in her young heart she began to dream about becoming an Olympic athlete. No one who knew her doubted that she would one day compete with the best … (Click here to read the rest of the story.)
Take Time – Pause & Pray for a Sabbath Rest
“Sabbath affords a rest by which we are not so much restored as re-storied.”
– John Koessler –
This Sabbath, as you rest, take time to P.R.A.Y:
- Pause: Invite the Holy Spirit to be present as you spend a moment in silence
- Rejoice and Reflect: Give thanks for one thing that you’re grateful for right now, and use it to reflect on the goodness of God
- Ask: Bring to God one thing that’s on your mind right now, and lift it before Him
- Yield: Devote the remainder of your day to Jesus
May this Sabbath bring rest to my heart and my home. May God’s image in me be restored, and my imagination in God be re-storied. May the gravity of material things be lightened, and the relativity of time slow down. May I know grace to embrace my own finite smallness in the arms of God’s infinite greatness. May God’s word feed me and His Spirit lead me into the week and into the life to come.”
Adapted from 24-7 Prayer.
Wall of Love
The focus for our Wall of Love for the month of October is Operation Christmas Child. For those who have access to the church building or who join us in person for services, gift boxes are available in the foyer to fill and return by the middle of November. For those who would like to participate on line, the Wall of Love has been added to our Online Giving Link. Any money designated to Wall of Love in October will be given to Operation Christmas Child to assist with postage and other expenses.
Sunset this Friday – 6:30 pm
Sabbath School begins at 10:00 am:Click here to view our updated guidelines (9/28) for attending in person.
- Our Alternate Sabbath School Class will continue to meet online through video conferencing. If you would like to be a part of this group, please text Alfredo Diaz (920-216-3625) to get the information you need to join them.
- To study the current Sabbath School Lesson on-line, click here.
- Our Worship Service begins live and online at 11:10 am with Mission Spotlight followed by the Children’s Corner. This Sabbath, Pastor T will continue the series Beyond the Fluff with a message titled Hated or Loved? as we explore some issues related to Women’s Ordination and the LBGT movement. You can view it on our Website, our Facebook Page, or our YouTube Channel.
- To download and print a PDF copy of last week’s message titled Judge or Judged?, some thoughts on the 1844 movement, click here. To watch it on YouTube, click here. To download the page with Bible verses, questions, and this week’s assignment, click here .
- You can watch any of our previously recorded worship services by clicking here.
Pathfinders and Adventurers meetthis Monday (Oct. 26) at 6:30 pm. For information about Pathfinders contact Holly Degerness (402-917-4718) or Marina Nolasco (402-215-6048); for information about Adventurers, contact Lori Knutson (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Prayer Meeting meets this Tuesday (Oct. 27) at 6:00 pm. We are going through the book of Hosea. We are still meeting on-line. For instructions on how to participate, click here. Contact Pastor T for more information (402-517-5333).
MLT will meet take this Tuesday (Oct. 27) at 7:15 pm. For instructions on how to participate, click here. If you have any items that need to be considered, please text or email Kalvin Tuel (e-mail or 402-201-0630).
Sabbath Services – Opening Update
We still continue with social distancing, required face masks, and a format for our worship that focuses on both those who are watching at home and those attending in person.
Whenever you feel you’re ready to join us in person, you’ll be welcome – as long as you’re willing to follow the current health and safety guidelines (click here to see them).
Operation Christmas Child
It is that time of year again! We have the opportunity to make a big difference in a child’s life by participating in Operation Christmas Child . These boxes may be turned in here at church anytime during the next several weeks, no later than November 21, 2020.
You will find plenty of boxes and supplies on the table in our Lobby. For information and ideas on packing a box, click here – for a list of frequently asked questions about what can and cannot be sent, click here.
For more information about the program, click here or speak with Carol Fennessy or Pat Martinsen.
Christmas Shoe Boxes cost $9.00 each to ship.
- Please remember to include a check in the box for this amount made out to Samaritan’s Purse (note OCC on the memo line) or include $9.00 in cash.
- Click here to pay this amount on-line and print out a label for your box if you would like to know where your box goes.
If you would like to donate funds to help ship the boxes our children’s departments are preparing, please turn it using one of our tithe envelopes marked Operation Christmas Child.
You may donate funds directly of Samaritan’s Purse for their many outreach and humanitarian projects by clicking here.
Life Line Screening
Ultrasound screenings to Identify risk factors for Cardiovascular disease include; Carotid Artery (plaque buildup-a leading cause of stroke), Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (an enlargement or weak area in the main blood vessel that carries blood from the heart to the rest of the body), Peripheral Arterial Disease (hardening of the arteries in the legs), a Heart Rhythm Screening (an EKG to detect Atrial Fibrillation-irregular heartbeat) and an Osteoporosis Risk Assessment for men and women. Being proactive about your health by knowing your risks helps you and your doctor address problems early.
Register online TODAY by clicking here or call 1-866-229-0469 to receive your discount and preferred appointment time.
Worship Service DVDs
There is a video recording made of each week’s worship service. It is available on DVD. If you would like to receive these please contact Lori Knutson (402-980-5018).
Remind is our emergency alert service. To get notices through Remind, you must be signed up. You can do this by simply texting the message @tmartinse to the number 81010 (or 941-787-5566) – click here for more detailed instructions.
Help for Survivors of Current Natural Disasters: ADRA (Adventist Development and Relief Agency) works with other disaster relief agencies to assist survivors of the many current natural disasters. To find out how you can help, click here.
On-Line Church Directory Information: If your contact information has changed in the last few months (phone number, email, address, etc.) please either log on to the Church Directory App and correct it or send a note with your updated information to Judy Carroll (402-290-3306).
You can sync our church directory directly to your Apple, Android, or Kindle Fire device with a FREE APP! You can search for other members – and then email, call, or text right from the directory app. It’s easy!
- Go to your device’s App Store. (Click here for Apple products, click here for Android devices, or click here for Kindle Fire.
- Search for Instant Church Directory.
- Enter your email as it’s listed in our church directory.
- Follow the directions on the screen to complete the login process.
On-Line Giving Available! Our church offers on-line giving through our website. If you would prefer to give electronically or if you are going to be away and want to stay up-to-date with your giving, click here. Adventist Giving now has an App you can download directly to your smart phone to make the process even easier. For an iPhone, click here. For Android phones, click here.
Golden News – our church e-mail newsletter, directly to tour inbox! If you would like to receive our weekly, e-mail newsletter, the Golden News, directly to your computer, click here and enter your information in the space provided.
Adobe Reader: To read and download many of the documents we post here you need Adobe Reader installed on your computer. To get a free copy of the latest version, click here.
Adventist Screening Verification
In cooperation with the Kansas Nebraska Conference, we are working with Adventist Screening Verification to provide background checks and on-line education for our church officers and everyone who works with our children. This helps ensure that we have some training to help us recognize and avoid situations that would put our children at risk.
In addition to our elected Church Officers, everyone who works with Pathfinders and Adventurers, Children’s or Youth Sabbath School Classes, Children’s Church, and VBS must go through this training and submit to a background check (there is no cost to you or to our church). It will take about an hour of your time.
To begin this process, click here, then select First-Time Registrant and follow the instructions. If you have completed this in the past three years, you should get an email reminder when it is time for you to renew your certification. For more information, contact Pastor T (402-517-5333).
Last Week’s Sermon
To download and print a PDF copy of last week’s message Judge or Judged?, some thoughts on the 1844 movement, click here. To watch it on YouTube, click here. To download the page with Bible verses, questions, and this week’s assignment, click here.
There are several people and concerns that we are praying about, for more information about any of these or to request something to be added to our list, feel free to contact Pastor T. (402-517-5333)
- That God will control the upcoming election and stay in control of the direction of our country and our world, and we will trust Him with the results. May He come soon!!
- The Holy Spirit – to fill and guide our church
- The Future of Our Church – Please pray that God will make His will and the path to achieving it known and that we will have the courage to follow wherever it leads
- Our Church Leaders (Pastor, Elders, Deacons, Board Members, Sabbath School Class Leaders, Pathfinder/Adventurer Leaders, Etc.)
- The Lippincott Family
- Kevin Klesh (Safety in his work as a Police Officer)
- Those dealing with Health Issues: Bill Agan, Al Bakerlis (Diane Harrington’s brother-in-law), Tammy Burville (Amy Newman-Holub’s cousin), Tanya Callahan (Elizabeth Knutson’s sister), Brenda Carroll (Judy Carroll’s sister-in-law), Dennis Cushman, Emma (Mary Jane Agan’s granddaughter), Tammy Gagne, John Hiers, Jane (Mary Jane Agan’s daughter-in-law), Janice (Elma’s friend), Brett Knutson, Reagan Knutson, Ginger Kroeker, Dagny Martinsen, Steve Newton (and family), Melody Parker, Gary Parker, JoAnn Swensen (Les Swensen’s step mom), Charise Talley, Cindy & Bob Tice (Elizabeth Knutson’s parents)
Pastor T’s Contact Information
email@example.com or call/text 402-517-5333.