Some thoughts from the 5 July 2020 sermon.
Loving our enemies is done by invoking the value of self-giving love through action in concrete circumstances framed with a Biblical perspective on reality that incorporates both seen and unseen realities.
Prayer was appropriate for many reasons, and in this case was a sound fighting strategy.
Every ethical action is made within concrete historical circumstances.
Paul and Silas’ action was made in a historical situation unique unto itself, in which they applied the commands of Christ accordingly.
Sometimes, doors the Lord opens before us are not meant for us to go through, but for us to help or allow others through.
What’s best for all is a who—Jesus.
Thought I’d single out some thoughts from my last sermon. This could be ongoing. We’ll see.
The Bible teaches us that love is not love without self-giving.
Satan’s goal, of course, was to sabotage this value of self-giving love, and hence, God’s mission and name.
Receiving a benefit from a selfless action does not make that action selfish.
At times, abdicating our legal rights upholds love towards God and neighbor.
Sometimes it is necessary to unjustly suffer in order to win the battle against evil.
Amid the Coronovirus Pandemic (ACP) of 2020, Monroeville Presbyterian Church (MPC) postponed our church congregating together physically to inhibit the spread of the virus. Despite this, we continued to worship together in our homes, etc., using the tools available. Posted here are the services (22 March – 10 May 2020), that we streamed online to our congregation (and all who tuned in), at monpres.org. You’ll notice that, due to the nature of the services, there are no hymns included (except for Easter). So, I encourage you to worship with songs and hymns and spiritual songs while worshipping at home with the Lord (Colossians 3:16). If you only want to listen to the sermons, these are posted here: Roger’s Sermons.
The session of MPC invites you to join us in a time of fasting and prayer. If there is ever a time to pray and fast, we are living in it now. Normally, on Wednesday, we at MPC have our fellowship meal in the evening, but we are on hold from that for wise reasons. So, instead of feasting, let us fast and pray together in the Lord as families and individuals.
It is a very biblical practice of God’s people that we see throughout the Old Testament and the New. Jesus himself fasted (Matt. 4:2).
There’s a method to fasting, but let’s start small. If your health allows, on Wednesday, pick a meal (or if you want to skip more that’s fine, but if you’ve never fasted, it is good to start small), so pick a meal, and skip it—don’t snack, but be sure to hydrate. If you can’t fast on Wednesday, pick another day. The important thing is to fast and pray.
Now, fasting isn’t just skipping a meal or a few meals. It is a discipline meant to focus us towards a particular purpose. The particular purpose of this fast, as a congregation, is for heartfelt and diligent prayer along seven points. With your scriptures open (seeking the Lord’s Word), pray to the Lord, and pray diligently.
The Seven Focus Points of this time of Prayer and Fasting:
1. Give thanks and praise to the Lord for his many blessings.
2. Pray according to whatever the Lord is putting on your heart.
3. Pray concerning this whole coronavirus situation (fill in the details—there are so many—a short list includes praying for the Lord’s mercy, our leaders, healthcare workers, healing, for the sick, for a cure, for those who mourn, for protection, and prayer concerning this whole situation’s impact on the community, nation, and world), praying particularly, about how we, as God’s people might be faithful to him during these times.
4. Pray the Lord will turn this terrible situation from being a victory for evil, and that he would overcome it, using it, somehow, according to his sovereign will, for his good purposes.
5. Pray for revival across the nation, even the world. Pray that if, as people say, things will be different from here on out, then may that difference include a resurgence of faith in the Lord Jesus everywhere.
6. Pray with a willingness to obey, when he answers your prayer—even if he’s calling you to missions or ministry in some way.
7. And again, pray according to whatever the Lord is putting on your heart.
Some verses to consider concerning fasting:
Matthew 4:1-2; Matthew 6:16-18; 2 Samuel 1:12; Ezra 8:21-23; Nehemiah 1:4; 9:1-3; Daniel 9:3, 20; Jonah 3:5-10; Esther 4:3; and many more.
Some websites to consider:
What is TULIP?
You may have heard the term TULIP. While tulips are beautiful flowers, TULIP is an acronym for certain Biblical principles of the beautiful salvation of the Lord: Total Depravity, Unconditional Election, Limited Atonement, Irresistible Grace, and Perseverance of the Saints.
Below are a series of articles I wrote for “The Link” newsletter briefly explaining each principle of TULIP:
What Did Jesus Say About
The End Times?