Sunday Letters

Sunday March 22, 2020

From Pastor Brent:

I’m trusting in Jesus this letter finds everyone safe and healthy.
Since worship has been suspended for the next month, I thought it a good idea to post a letter of encouragement in place of a sermon in the sanctuary.
The edification from today’s letter isn’t coming from me, as I am being edified myself, but rather we are all edified by the Holy Spirit, the Word of God and that power found only in Jesus.

Shall we begin with a prayer?

Heavenly Father Your children have gathered today, not in our usual way, but rather we are gathering spiritually today in Your throne room as we have made the intentional decision to approach You in prayer. We lift our hearts to You in adoration and gratitude for this precious gift that is today. We do love You so very much. One of the many reasons that we do, is You truly are in control and You are sovereign over all creation, including the global virus outbreak that is occurring right now. At this time I would like to quote a passage from John 17, that finds Jesus praying for Your children including the congregation of disciples in Vienna and in Underwood.

9 I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours. 10 All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them. 11 I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one. 12 While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled.
13 “I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. 14 I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. 15 My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. 17 Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. 19 For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.

As You are sovereign over all, You are our defender and protector, and we love You and adore You for loving us so very much.

Please hear us as we lay down our burdens, our shortcomings and our sins at the altar. As we engage in confession, our hearts become light and we receive that true joy of Heaven.
We want to praise You and thank You for watching over us, we want to praise You and thank You for being with us in this very difficult time.

Heavenly Father we pray for those who are living in fear and terror at this time. We know there are hearts being softened by the Holy Spirit right now, we pray for opportunities to share the Gospel naturally and safely with these individuals being warmed by the Spirit. Truly in times like these we can’t understand how anyone could go from day to day without Jesus, and we pray for many to find the seed of the Gospel bursting forth in their heart that they will know You Jesus. Those once lost and scared, can now be found and know true peace and joy even during unusual times such as this.

My brothers and sisters and I pray for those in our congregation who need healing, please heal them. We pray for those who need comfort, please comfort them. We pray for those who need encouragement, please encourage them. We pray for those who need strength, please strengthen them.

We lift up this prayer to You heavenly Father in the Name of Your Son Jesus Christ that this prayer and all those being lifted from all the hearts of our brothers and sisters right now would resound in heaven and that You would bend a special ear to listen to them, we thank You with grateful hearts as we know Your response is already on the way.
Amen.
As I have been out and about searching for paper towels and toilet paper like everyone else, Jesus will not let me just walk by folks without trying to see in their eyes. I see people living in fear, and fear is a mother emotion that gives birth to many other emotions such as rage, anger, greed and just a general disregard for other human beings. One can witness all of these in any retail store now. It did not take long walking through the stores looking into the eyes of so many scared people for this hymn to come into my heart and then come out of my mouth.

In Times Like These
(Ruth Caye Jones – Mother Jones)

In times like these, we need a Savior
In times like these, we need an anchor
Be very sure, be very sure
Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock
This Rock is Jesus, Yes, He’s the one
This Rock is Jesus, The only One
Be very sure, be very sure
Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock
In times like these oh be not idle
In times like these we need the bible
Be very sure, be very sure
Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock
That Rock is Jesus, Yes, He’s the one
That Rock is Jesus, The only One
Be very sure, oh you’ve gotta be sure
That your anchor holds, and it grips the Solid Rock
Your anchor it holds, and it grips the Solid Rock
In times like these, I have a Savior
In times like these, I have an anchor
I’m very sure, I’m very sure
My anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock
That Rock is Jesus, Yes, He’s the one
That Rock is Jesus, The only One
Be very sure, oh you’ve gotta be sure
That your anchor it holds, and it grips the Solid Rock

One day after stopping by the grocery and hearing about the locusts in Africa and the earthquake in Utah, I Was compelled to read this-
Matthew 24:
4 Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many. 6 You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 7 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of birth pains.
9 “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. 10 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

One of the constant threads in Jesus‘ ministry is how do we as disciples wait for Him to come back?… While we wait we’re called to give an answer for the peace and the joy in that continues to flourish within us even though all around us the earth is having one contraction after another. In sharing the Gospel, we are giving out the peace and joy that God abundantly sheds abroad in our hearts!

And let us not forget the majesty and beauty that we are waiting on.
Revelation 21:
A New Heaven and a New Earth
21 Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. 2 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
5 He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
6 He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. 7 Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children. 8 But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”

The New Jerusalem, the Bride of the Lamb
9 One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.” 10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God. 11 It shone with the glory of God, and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal. 12 It had a great, high wall with twelve gates, and with twelve angels at the gates. On the gates were written the names of the twelve tribes of Israel. 13 There were three gates on the east, three on the north, three on the south and three on the west. 14 The wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
15 The angel who talked with me had a measuring rod of gold to measure the city, its gates and its walls. 16 The city was laid out like a square, as long as it was wide. He measured the city with the rod and found it to be 12,000 stadia in length, and as wide and high as it is long. 17 The angel measured the wall using human measurement, and it was 144 cubits thick. 18 The wall was made of jasper, and the city of pure gold, as pure as glass. 19 The foundations of the city walls were decorated with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, 20 the fifth onyx, the sixth ruby, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth turquoise, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst. 21 The twelve gates were twelve pearls, each gate made of a single pearl. The great street of the city was of gold, as pure as transparent glass.
22 I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. 23 The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. 24 The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. 25 On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there. 26 The glory and honor of the nations will be brought into it. 27 Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

We can be prudent without being fearful, we can go against the grain and help others, in a safe way, and in doing this help them find the Anchor of our souls– Amen?
That person you know who you’ve been praying to come to Jesus?
They need a phone call from you.

Linda and I both want all of you to know that we love you very much, each of you are being prayed for by name as well as constant prayer in our hearts.

May God bless us and keep us and make His light to shine upon us all in this strange and trying time!

Only Jesus saves,
Pastor Brent