Midweek Reflections

Roman’s Road

Read:  Romans 3:10, 3:23, 6:23, 5:8, 10:9-10, 10:13, 5:1-2, 8:1

Do you recognize the above verses? Why are there so many of them? What truths are they sharing? These verses in Romans are often called the Romans Road to Salvation. They contain the essential truths of the Christian faith.  Let’s look in a little more detail to these verses:

1)   The Human Problem (3:10, 3:23, 6:23a)  Our call is to live a glorious, righteous life with God, yet sin (wrongdoing) has entered the world and unfortunately lives in each of our hearts.  Have you sinned?  6:23a says in order to pay for sin and to abolish it, death is what must be paid.

2)   Is there any Hope to be Restored if Death is required? (6:23b, 5:8).  These scriptures tell us that we see God’s love demonstrated by Christ’s action to die on the cross while we are still affected by the sin nature.   He chose to figure out a way for us to have hope.

3)   What is our Response to this Hope?  (10:9-10, 10:13) Salvation comes to us when we confess with our mouths Jesus is Lord and believe in our hearts that God raised Jesus from the dead.  This is available to all people and everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

4)   Result of Salvation (5:1-2, 8:1)  Two of the (many) promised results of salvation are peace and no further condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

This is a long path to walk in such a few short paragraphs.  If you have read these verses and wish to talk to someone about any piece of this, please reach out to the office, or the Ministry team, or your closest friend who is a Christian to discuss this further.

God, Thank you for the Roman’s Road message.  Let us not read it and forget it, but let it help us to come to faith, to encourage others to respond to you, and to give us assurance in our discipleship

~ written by Jenni Marner

June 8, 2022 Midweek Reflection

Read: Galatians 6:10

We just experienced the time of year when graduates were celebrated. At graduation ceremonies much advice is handed out. Barbara Bush gave a speech to graduates and she said, “Cherish your human connections…your relationships with family and friends…the human connections with spouse, children and friends are the most important investment you can make. At the end of your life you will never regret not passing one more test, winning one more verdict or closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a child, a friend or a parent.” It is human nature to want purpose. We would all like to think people’s lives are better because we were  here. How can we in AMC make a difference?

A journalist asked the late Mother Teresa if it weren’t discouraging to work with so many poor people who never seemed to improve their lot in life. She responded, “Sir I wasn’t called to be successful – I was called to be faithful.” We are called to be faithful wherever God has placed us.  God asked Moses what was in his hand. It was a shepherd’s staff, but God used that to change history. What is in your hand? Is it a wooden spoon? That could turn out a cake or cookies that would show God’s love to neighbors or to a college student who just needs to know he’s not forgotten. The pen you hold could produce a note of encouragement or a thank you to someone who needs to know they’re appreciated. The book on your lap could make a special moment with a child. If you have money in your hand it could buy some groceries for a needy family. Sometimes we think we need special gifts to serve God but he desires that we trust Him and give Him what we already hold in our hands. 

Galatians 6:10 tells us that as we have opportunity let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of God. Look around at how you can love others and thus fulfill the love of Christ. Use what you have in your hand. I read that the holiest moment in any church service is when God’s people go out the doors and into the world. God wants us to be dispensers like a Windex bottle squirting life, light and love. If my bottle is empty because I’ve been self centered and plugged up with all the hurts of life my water is not fresh and refreshing. Life is not made up of big moments, but in being faithful in all the small things that come our way.

Make it personal: As you go out this week notice the people God is placing in your path. Be a dispenser of life and love. Use what you have in your hand to make a difference for someone else.

~ written by Gloria Yoder

Rejoice & Mourn

Read: Romans 12:9-21

Recently I have had the opportunity to celebrate with those who have received good news and mourn with those who have received bad news or have lost a loved one here on earth.  As a pastor I have these opportunities often but in Roman 12 we are reminded that this is something that all believers should do for one another, and often.

How easy is it for you to “Rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn?”  We often feel sympathy and extend sympathy to those who are going through difficult times or have lost a family member or friend, but how good are we at celebrating with those who rejoice even though we may not be blessed or as fortunate as they are.

In my Bible this section of scripture in Romans is titled “Love in Action.”  As fellow believers we need to support each other and love each other in all courses of life.  We are not to be jealous of others successes or ignore the plight of the needy.  We are even encouraged in these verses to bless those who persecute us instead of cursing them.  May the Lord help us all to be the people of God we are called to be.  To rejoice, mourn, bless, and love others in the ups and downs of life.  We ourselves will be blessed if we do so.

Make It Personal:  Think of someone you know who has been especially blessed with good news recently.  Now think of someone who is going through a very rough time in their life.  Find ways this week to rejoice with the one who is blessed and come close to the one who is stressed.

Have a great week,  Glen Rhodes

Your Burning Bush

Read: Exodus 3:1-12

The account of Moses and the burning bush in Exodus 3 is one that always intrigues.  While the details are very clear it often leaves us wondering what a burning bush that never burns up might look like.  The physical attributes are really not the most important part of this story though, God is speaking to Moses and this was how he chose to get his attention.  How does that work for us today?

We often hear people talk about getting in touch with God or feeling close to the Lord through prayer, reading the Bible, meditating on scripture, being silent and listening, nature, and other means, but how do we know if what we are hearing is a clear guidance or directive from God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit?  The first step is to offer yourself to God.  Moses did that by saying, “Here I am.”  Then the Lord spoke.

The next step is to test the word to see if it lines up with God’s word and the life of Jesus.  Prayer, talking with other believers, and asking God for more details can often be a way to distinguish between God’s directive or that of a false prophet or false directive.  Moses questioned his call to lead the Isrealites out of Egypt and didn’t think he had what it would take, but God always had the answer to his questions.  God was calling and God would provide.  How might the Lord be speaking to you these days and in what way is God speaking?  What is your response going to be? 

Make It Personal:  Make sure you are seeking the Lord and asking for his guidance with some of the big decisions in your life.  Always be listening because sometimes the Lord will speak into your life even if you are not asking for it.  My prayer is that we will always respond to God’s leading and trust that the Lord will be with us and provide for us.  Here I am Lord!

Have a great week,  Glen Rhodes

Giving It All

Read: Luke 6:37-42

The current inflation problem in the United States has eaten its way into your bag of chips.  Recent news reports have said that Frito-Lay and other companies admit to reducing the amount of product in their bags in order to keep from raising their prices.  While this may not be good for getting value out of your purchase it just might help us shed a little more weight.

When reading this news report I thought of what Jesus said in Luke 6:38.  He said, “Give, and it will be given to you.  A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be poured into your lap.  For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”  Jesus was speaking about forgiveness in these verses not chips.  He is encouraging us to forgive others in the way that God forgives us.  But this also can be applied to other things in our life.

When time is short, schedules are full, and we are weighing our options of what to do and what not do what gets our vote?  Do we pull back from things of God and reduce our commitment to church and other acts of kindness and outreach to do what we want, or do we give God our all and let other things fall where they may?  God blesses us in so many ways, we need to give back in any way that we can.

Make It Personal:  Where have you been cutting back lately?  Are you cutting out the most important things?  Remember the words of Jesus this week, “Give, and it will be given to you.”  That holds true for forgiveness and many other things in life.

Be blessed this week,  Glen Rhodes

Greater Far

Read: 1 John 4:9-16

Do you know how many words are in the English language?  Do you know how much water is in the oceans of the world?  I think of these things every time I sing the hymn “The Love of God.”  It says, “The Love of God is greater far than tongue or pen can ever tell… To write the love of God above would drain the ocean dry.”  If you have ever wondered about God’s love for you the words of that song sum it up.  It is greater than you can imagine and it extends further than the highest star in the sky.  That is a great love and it will last forever.

Frederick M Lehman wrote that hymn in 1917 after he lost everything in some businesses that went wrong.  He then began working in a packing house in Pasadena, California packing oranges to try and get back on his feet. One Sunday he was moved by a sermon on the love of God and could not sleep that night.  The next morning he penned the lyrics to this hymn on some scrap pieces of paper and broken crates as he worked.  He later put it together with the melody as he sat by his piano.

In 1 John 4:9 the Bible says that God showed us his love by sending his one and only Son Jesus into the world so that we might live through him.  He sent him to show us how to live this life but he also sent him as a sacrifice for our sins.  Those verses go on to say that since God loves us this much, and continues to love us this much that we should also love one another.  If we do that it says that God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.  God loves you far greater than you could ever imagine, I hope you will accept his immeasurable and unending love for you today.  By the way, according to Google and the Oxford dictionary there are currently 171,146 words in use in the English language.  According to the U.S. Geological Survey there is 321,000,000 cubic miles of water volume in the worlds oceans, seas, and bays.

Make It Personal:  These scripture verses and this hymn share about God’s love for us but in verse 19 of 1 John 4 it says, “We love because he first loved us.”  Let’s go out and love others in the way that God loves us.  This will make the world a much better place to live.

Have a great week,  Glen Rhodes

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