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The Cook and His Daughter

Sunday, February 18, 2018

If you grow weary when times are troubled, your strength is limited, Proverbs 24:10.    
 

The Cook and his Daughter

A daughter complained to her father about her life and how things were so difficult for her. She did not know how to go forward and she thought she would give up. She was tired of fighting. It seemed when she solved a problem, another appeared.

Ecclesiastes 7:14 – “When times are good, be joyful, when times are bad, consider this: God made the one as well as the other, so people won't seek anything outside of his best.” 

Her father and a kitchen chef took her to her place of work. There he filled three pots with water and placed them on a strong fire. Soon the water in the three pots was boiling. In one he placed carrots, in another he placed eggs and in the last he placed coffee beans. He let them boil without saying a word. The daughter waited impatiently, wondering what her father was doing. Twenty minutes later the father put out the fire. He pulled out the carrots and placed them in a cup. He took out the eggs and placed them in another cup. He put the coffee in a third cup. Looking at her daughter, he said: "Dear, what do you see?" "Carrots, eggs and coffee" was her response. He asked her to touch the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. Then he asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard boiled egg. Then he asked her to sip the coffee. She smiled as she enjoyed its rich aroma.  

The daughter humbly asked, "What does this mean, Father?" He explained that the three elements had faced the same adversity - boiling water, but they had reacted differently. The carrot entered the water strong and solid, but after going through the boiling process it became weak. The fragile egg entered the water, its thin shell protected its liquid interior, but after being in boiling water, its interior had hardened. The coffee beans however were unique. After being in boiling water, they had dissolved in the water. 

“Which one are you?” he asked his daughter. When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean? 
Are you a carrot that seems strong but when adversity and pain touch you, you become weak and lose your strength? Are you an egg, which starts with a malleable heart? You had a fluid spirit, but after a death, a separation, a divorce or a dismissal, have you become hard and rigid? On the outside you look the same, but are you bitter and harsh, with a hardened spirit and heart? Or are you like a coffee bean? Coffee changes to boiling water, the element that causes pain. When the water reaches the boiling point, the coffee reaches its best flavor. If you are like the coffee bean, when things get worse, you react better and make things around you better. How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

Wherefore I take pleasure in weaknesses, in injuries, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong, 2 Corinthians 12.10.

- Jaime Restrepo

We Shall All Be Changed

Friday, February 16, 2018

Sunday Scripture Reading: Bob Hoopes

Sunday Song Leader: Dru McLaughlin

TEXT: 1 Corinthians 15.50-58

When Benjamin Franklin was a young man, he wrote out an epitaph that he planned in including on his tombstone. It says, The body of Franklin, printer, like the cover of an old book, its contents torn out and stripped of its lettering and gilding, lies here food for worms. But the work will not be lost, for it will appear once more in a new and more elegant edition, revised and corrected by the Author. This is the hope of the Christian and it is the message of 1 Corinthians 15.

One day, you will die. Are you living with the hope Paul talked about in this chapter?

From before time began, God created a plan for us. He knew sin would affect us. He know we would have to suffer the consequences of our sin, and live inside the circumstances created by those who have come before us. Now, through Jesus, He gives us a way to get past death … and be with Him for all eternity.

On Sunday, we’ll examine 1 Corinthians 15.50-58. We’ll learn about

    1. The mystery surrounding how we’ll get our new body.
    2. Victory over death and how it happens.
    3. Three imperatives that come from trusting this information.
    4. See how peace can be found through the word and prayer.

As you get ready for worship, be thinking about these questions:

  • When Paul uses the word mystery, what do you think he is communicating?
  • How quickly will our bodies be transformed?
  • What two new things will characterize our spiritual body?
  • How shall death’s apparent victory be completely reversed?
  • How can believing this message produce peace in your heart?

Where are the Nine?

Sunday, February 04, 2018

And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful” 

– Col. 3:15

Where are the nine?

Luke 17:11-19

Ten men had come to Jesus covered in leprosy. “And they lifted up their voices saying, ‘Jesus, Master, have mercy on us’" (v.13). They had begged him. The Savior said to them: "Go, show yourselves to the priests" (v.14), thus fulfilling the law of Moses. Undoubtedly the ten had enough faith to obey the words of Christ, because they left for the temple. "And as they went they were cleansed" (v.14). Without a doubt, a powerful miracle. Their flesh, moments before rotten, was now soft and healthy. Surely they would return to give thanks for the healing, but only one came back.

“Then Jesus answered, “Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine?” (Luke 17:17-18). So soon they forgot to give thanks? 

How ironic that a non-Jew came back to thank the King of the Jews for his healing. That day he became safe and sound because of his immense faith. He became an example of the grace that must dwell in the hearts of the heirs of Heaven.  

Even today, the question remains. Once a pastor lived in an active seaport. After a terrible storm, he nailed a sign in his church with the names of nine sailors. On the names he wrote: "Lost in the sea." The news spread throughout the city, and one after another the nine men came to protest. After each protest, the pastor crossed out a name. At that evening's meeting he explained: "I was asked to pray for the safety of eleven people from the shipwreck on Friday, only two came to ask me to give thanks for their happy return, I assumed that the other nine had drowned."  

How often we resemble the nine! Daily the Lord pours out thousands of blessings. He gives us life, health, food, roof, employment, air to breathe, light to see, the song of the birds to brighten the day and many more. He takes care of the dangers, visible and invisible. He raises us from the sickbed. He offers us the riches of salvation through Christ. 

Do you appreciate this? Have you given thanks for this day of life that you live today? Are we among the nine, or are we like that Samaritan who came back, full of gratitude?

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you, 1 Thessalonians 5.18.

 - Jaime Restrepo

Facing the Cross

Friday, February 02, 2018

SUNDAY SCRIPTURE READING: Jason Schofield

SUNDAY SONG LEADER: Russ Robins

TEXT: John 12.27-34

As we move into February, we want to look at Jesus and His actual execution of God’s plan. It is where victory was accomplished. Jesus fought the battle for us and came out victorious! Satan has been mortally wounded. Death has been overcome. Through Jesus’ death, much spiritual fruit would come, John 12.24.

On Sunday we will examine John 12.27-34. This is Wednesday of the crucifixion week. Jesus is now turning his full attention to the cross. The cross is why He came. Jesus was going to be glorified by dying. He knew He was God’s chosen sacrifice in order to bring forgiveness to the world.

As we worship Sunday we’ll consider these things:

  1. The background of John 12.27-34.
  2. The anguish Jesus experienced.
  3. How God answered Jesus in this very painful moment.
  4. What would be accomplished through the cross.

As you get ready for worship, be thinking about these questions:

  • What do you think was troubling Jesus’ soul in 12.27?
  • Are there any things you can find comfort from in 12.27-28?
  • Why do you think some people could not figure out it was God who spoke in 12.28b?
  • How had the Father already glorified Jesus? How would He do this again?
  • Why do you think it is important to remember Satan was dethroned at Calvary?

A Dwelling Place for God

Friday, January 26, 2018

A Dwelling Place for God

SUNDAY SCRIPTURE READIng: Wes Grushon

Sunday SONG LEADER: Roy Pyle

TEXT: Ephesians 2.17-22

During January, we’ve been studying through Ephesians 2. We’re calling it God’s Tactical Plan. It’s the story of how God made it all happen. It’s an explanation of what He did to execute the plan devised from before time began, 1.4. Everything in the chapter is an explanation of how God has worked the immeasurable greatness of His power toward us who believe, 1.19. 

The first ten verses  show us how salvation is by grace through faith.

The second twelve verses show us how God demonstrated His power by removing every barrier to division and making all Christians one in Christ. We are growing into a holy temple in the Lord, having been built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit, 2.21-22.

On Sunday we will do three things:

  1. See how we have been reconciled to God and one another, 2.17-22.
  2. Realize the challenge we have today.
  3. Understand that the gospel gives us all the power we need to succeed, 3.20.

As you get ready for worship, be thinking about these questions:

  • When we look at God’s people, what should we see?
  • What are some of the major social divisions we face in our country today?
  • How can the gospel help us bridge the divide?
  • What are some forces that seek to wreck harmony among God’s people?
  • What are some attitudes that will help our relationships inside and outside the church flourish?

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