Sermon notes from today’s service in Ennis. Montana – Rev. Steve Hundley Taken in poetry as I listened – written through JanBeek’s filters.
Church: A Miracle of God
I can’t scold you today – Not because we are in this place, Not because I’m in a good mood, But because of the love in this space.
Because of the words of Paul (the ones our Paul read so well today), I am encouraged to join in With what Gentle Jesus had to say.
He wrote to the Thessalonians While he was out traveling, making a tent, “We were gentle among you,” He said. “We spoke soft words – whispered encouragement.”
Paul’s words to other churches Were not so gentle and kind. But to the Thessalonians, He set aside Sternness – and praised the ties that bind.
The Gospel is a powerful book. It can and does transform lives. We are astonished at how God’s Word Teaches, changes folks, lives, and survives.
The church, like the one in Thessalonica, Is a place where people love and give. They pray for you, they stay with you, They make life better and help you live.
Our old church in McAllister, Montana was built in the early 1900s. It has no running water, so when we use it for church services once a year, we have to rent a porta-potty, chase the mice away, and clean the mouse droppings from the chairs and alter.
But, it is a place that reminds of how simple God’s church can be. It doesn’t have to be a large, elaborate cathedral to be worshipful.
It is not the building that makes a church. In the early days, many of the “church services” were held in people’s homes. Some people in today’s world still hold their worship services in living rooms, tents, or on an open hillside. The Miracle of God that is His Church is not the place, but the people.
Wherever we gather, with the focus on worship of our God, He is with us. That’s what Paul was telling the church of Thessalonica.
1 Thessalonians 2:9-13 was what our scripture volunteer, Paul Carlson, read to us today:
“Surely you remember, brothers and sisters, our toil and hardship; we worked night and day in order not to be a burden to anyone while we preached the gospel of God to you. You are witnesses, and so is God, of how holy, righteous, and blameless we were among you who believed. For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into His kingdom and glory. And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is indeed at work in you who believe.”
As Christians, members of His Church, that is our goal: to hear His Word, and respond to it by encouraging, comforting, and urging fellow Christians to live lives that demonstrate He is indeed at work in us. That is what makes our church “God’s Miracle.” Not the building, but we, the people.
Whether we are in our old McAllister treasure, or our salmon-colored church in downtown Ennis, our job is to love one another, support one another, and spread the Word to those who may not know the Peace of Christ that “passeth all understanding.”
Philippians 4:7 “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
God Bless You, my friends. I hope you have the joy of a supportive church family. And I pray that you are one of those who is God’s hand at work in this world. Have a lovely Sunday night.
Kind words are easy Spoken from a sincere heart They can change a life
Think of all the words You might speak to folks today Do they pass the test?
Are they lily pure? Is every word uplifting? You can’t take them back!
Words spoken with love Can be the perfume of life Hurtful words just stink!
We have declared November to be the month of kindness and gratitude. Not just kindness to those who are kind to us, but kindness to to everyone and everything. Kindness to ourselves, our neighbors, our pets, the neighbor’s pets, our plants and trees… even kindness to those who hurt us!
Let our words be like the fertilizer that helps others to change and grow.
What’s a word you might say today from your sincere heart that will brighten someone’s day? It doesn’t have to be eloquent. It isn’t flattery. It’s just simple and honest.
I love that you are here on JanBeek today. You make my day brighter with your “like” and your comment.
But, you really lift my spirit when you are inspired to take the message to heart – and go out and LIVE a LIFE of LOVE.
Sing along with this beautiful song that reminds us to speak and sing and think and live in the perfume of “Wonderful Words of Life.”
Feed your mind loving words… “Wonderful words, beautiful words, wonderful words of life” and then go out and feed others!
A couple days ago I asked you to pray for my cousin, Cliff, who had esophageal cancer and had his esophagus removed. I know some of you are praying people who take requests like mine to heart and actually add CLIFF HURN to your prayer list. I want you to know how much I and his family appreciate it!
Today I received the following news from Cliff’s daughter, Heidi:
“You can see from the smiles that Cliff had a great day… and of course it helps that he’s surrounded by his favorite ladies 😉 The nasal tube is gone – good news since that means he can wear his CPAP and get some sleep, he has a new feeding tube installed near his tummy, and he finally gets to eat ice chips! Who knew these milestones would be so exciting!?”
Continue those prayers, please. We are hoping Cliff can go home on Monday. His wife, Janine is a nurse. Between his daughters, spouse, and God, he is in good hands.