The Way of Love

You’re familiar with this quote from 1 Corinthians 13:

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.

Here are some other characteristics of love from 1005 Grant Street in Imperial, Nebraska:

Love pulls into town in four 5th wheel travel trailers; love is four retired couples traveling the country helping small rural churches; love works together sharing the load. It begins the day in prayer and song and devotional thought; it covers nails, strips, floats, and sands drywall; cuts in around doors, ceilings, and floors; paints walls and trim. Love prepares lunch for everyone; cleans the kitchen, wipes down pews and songbooks, and vacuums the floors. Love seeks to serve others.

We cannot say enough in thanking the Sojourners for the work they’ve done here this week. The outdated dark paneling is gone. The walls have been repaired and painted. The interior of our building has a fresh “new” look. Thank you for your experience, expertise, and hard work.

Jesus once said, “By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13.35). Thanks, Glenn and Anita, Joe and Linda, Meredith and Pat, Robert and Larue, for loving us.

“So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three;
but the greatest of these is love.”

1 Corinthians 13.13

– Bill

About the Sojourners:

Sojourners are a group of mostly retired Christians who own RVs. Their goal is national evangelism. Upon request, the Sojourners travel to smaller congregations of the churches of Christ to help them grow spiritually and physically. The National Evangelism with Sojourners of the Church of Christ is established for the purpose of working with congregations to strengthen the church, to encourage, instruct, teach, edify, and evangelize.              –from Sojourning.org

 

 

The Back Page 6/18/2017

In Our Prayers

Remember Mildred Meyers, Sue Jackson, and Harold Brunswick in nursing homes.

Bible Classes:

It’s not too late to join in on our Sunday morning Bible study of the Holy Spirit – nor the Wednesday evening study of Paul’s letter to the Philippians. Ask Bill for study guides.

On the Calendar

Today: Noon potluck, for some final fellowship with the Sojourners.

 

Memorial Day 2017

Tomorrow the nation pauses to observe Memorial Day in remembrance of the men and women who have lost their lives in the service of this country and specifically in memory of those who perished in war.

Freedom. That’s the watchword of our republic, and while taken for granted so much of the time, we must remember it has been secured and maintained at a precious cost. Those who laid down their lives to protect the freedom of others deserve to be remembered.

Sunday, and each Lord’s Day, is also a Memorial Day. We gather to worship, and to give thanks, and to remember the One who laid down His life for us.

Freedom. That’s the watchword of our faith, and while taken for granted so much of the time, we must remember it was secured at a precious cost.

And the soldiers took Him away into the place (that is, the Praetorium), and there they called together the whole Roman cohort. And they dressed Him up in purple, and after weaving a crown of thorns, they put it on Him; and they began to acclaim Him, “Hail, King of the Jews!” And they kept beating His head with a reed, and spitting at Him, and kneeling and bowing before Him. And after they had mocked Him, they took the purple off Him, and put His garments on Him. And they led Him out to crucify Him. (Mark 15.16-20)

And so we assemble on Sunday, each first day of the week, our Memorial Day, to remember Jesus, our Lord and our Savior and our Sacrifice. We gather to remember the One who freed us from the bondage and condemnation of sin. We gather to proclaim His death as God’s gracious gift to all mankind. And we gather in sure expectation of His return to call His church to her eternal home.

– Bill

 

The Back Page 5-28-2017

In Our Prayers

Remember Mildred Meyers, Sue Jackson, and Harold Brunswick in nursing homes.

Friends and Family: Pray for those you know who need God in their lives. If you need a daily reminder, you can use the business-card-size cards, available on the back table.

On the Calendar

Thursday, June 1: Women’s Bible Study, 10:45 to noon at Sunset Apartments, studying 1 Timothy 6 – our last study until the fall. Plan to go to lunch at Broadway Steakhouse after the study.

Friday, June 9: The Sojourners will be here! They’re going to spend a week with us, painting and brightening up our auditorium. Three other couples are coming with Joe and Linda Thomas: Glen and Anita, Meredith and Pat, and Robert and Larue.

 

 

The Gospel Message of Resurrection

Ten days after the ascension of Jesus to heaven the apostles received the Holy Spirit and began preaching the gospel (Acts 1-2). This was fifty-three days after His death. Their message from the beginning to the end of their ministry was built upon and around the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus.

Jesus had commissioned them: “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to the whole creation” (Mark 16.15).

In explaining the gospel, Paul wrote,

“Now I make known unto you, brethren, the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye received…For I delivered unto you first of all which also I received: that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; that He was buried; and that He hath been raised on the third day according to the scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15.1-4).

Christ’s resurrection from the dead is our assurance that He was the Son of God and that His sacrifice is acceptable with God. The basic fact upon which the entire scheme of redemption is supported is the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. Everything in the Christian religion is founded upon the resurrection of Jesus. Therefore, the church itself becomes a monument to the resurrection, since from the beginning it has rested on the resurrection of Christ as its foundation.

– Homer Hailey, From Creation to the Day of Eternity, 83-85

 

The Back Page 5-21-2017

In Our Prayers

Remember Mildred Meyers, Sue Jackson, and Harold Brunswick…Pray for Boomer, Amanda, and Chase, as they make their move to Imperial.

Evangelistic Prayer Cards: On the back table are business-card-size cards designed to be daily reminders to us to pray for those we want to reach with the gospel of Christ. Feel free to pick up several, fill one out, and carry it with you as a reminder.

Deb Bartlett has place a small blackboard at the back where you can post prayer requests. If you want a prayer request posted in this bulletin, email Cheryl at annieb44@gmail.com or text her at 883-0265.

On the Calendar

Thursday, May 25: Women’s Bible Study, 10:45 to noon at Sunset Apartments, studying 1 Timothy 5. If everything goes as planned, our last study until the fall will be Thursday, June 1.

 

Jesus and Prayer

A study of the Gospels should impress us with Jesus’ dependence on prayer. The greatest illustration of His intensity and persistence in prayer occurred in the garden prior to His death: “He knelt down and began praying, saying, Father, if Thou art willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Thine be done…And being in agony He was praying fervently; and His sweat became like drops of blood, falling down upon the ground” (Luke 22.41-42, 44).

While on earth, Jesus performed many mighty works and miracles. Scripture says “power went out of Him,” yet there is nothing to suggest He had to exert any effort to perform His miracles. Only when He prayed do we see Him agonize and toil over His petitions – even to the point of sweating great drops of blood. Such persistence is foreign to us, yet it’s that kind of intensity He would have us learn from two parables. In Luke 11.5-10, the man requesting bread from his friend didn’t recite some formulated request – he pleaded for what he needed. Likewise in Luke 18.1-8, the widow cried out for protection to the one who had the power to grant her petition. His message is clear: If we are to prevail, we must persist! We are not heard for our many words – but for the cry of our hearts.

Persistent, continual prayer welling up from the innermost part of our being is what moves the heart of our compassionate and loving Heavenly Father. Jesus’ promise to His people is this: “Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you” (Mark 11.24).

– Bill

 

Unceasing Prayer

Paul instructed believers to “pray at all times” (Ephesians 6.18) and to “devote yourselves to prayer” (Colossians 4.2). He urged the Thessalonians to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5.17)…the Philippians to stop being anxious and instead, “in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God” (4.6)…the Colossians to “devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving” (4.2)…the Ephesians to arm themselves to combat the spiritual darkness in the world around them, “with all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints” (6.18).

Unceasing prayer is essential to the vitality of our relationship with God and our ability to function as God’s called out people in the world. “Pray without ceasing,” what does that mean? To “pray at all times” obviously doesn’t mean we are to walk around praying in noticeable or formal ways every waking moment. Neither does it mean we are to devote ourselves to reciting ritualistic patterns and forms of prayer.

To “pray without ceasing” refers essentially to recurring prayer – not non-stop talking.  “Ceaseless prayer” is living in continual God-consciousness: When we are tempted, we hold up the temptation before God and ask for His help. When we experience something good or beautiful, we immediately thank the Lord for it. When we see evil about us, we ask God to use us to make it right according to His will. When we meet one who does not know Christ, we ask God to help us be effective messengers of the Good News. When we encounter trouble, we turn to God as our Deliverer. Life becomes a continually ascending prayer: all life’s thoughts, deeds, and circumstances become an opportunity to commune with our Heavenly Father – in that way we “set our minds on things above, not on the things that are on the earth” (Colossians 3.2).

– Bill

 

Prayer, the Center of Christian Experience

Prayer has always been at the center of the Christian experience.

Immediately following the Lord’s ascension, the eleven apostles returned to Jerusalem, and Luke records, “These all with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer, along with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers” (Acts 1.14).

At the conclusion of the great events on Pentecost—the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, the preaching of the gospel, and the response of the three thousand—the text states, “They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer” (Acts 2.42).

When Peter and John told the brethren of their arrest for publicly preaching Jesus as the resurrected Messiah, “when they had prayed, the place where they had gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness” (Acts 4.31).

When Peter was imprisoned by Herod, “prayer for him was being made fervently by the church to God” (Acts 12.5).

Prayer was their source of power. Their complete dependence upon God, as expressed by their frequent and fervent prayers, enabled them to accomplish the unimaginable—the saturation of their world with the gospel of Christ.

– Bill

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened,
so that you will know what is the hope of His calling,
what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,
and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe.

These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might
which He brought about in Christ,
when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him
at His right hand in the heavenly places,
far above all rule and authority and power and dominion,
and every name that is named,
not only in this age but also in the one to come.

Ephesians 1.18-21

 

Westside Church of Christ Imperial, Nebraska

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