We are planning a trip to Ohio this week to see my dad and Cathy’s mom. We’ll be back for worship on Sunday. Be safe if you plan to travel.
We have much to be thankful for in spite of ____________ (fill in the blank). Do intentionally thank God (see 1 Thessalonians 5:18). 1 John 5:19 says “That the whole world is under the control of the evil one.” But 1 John 4:4 tells us “Because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” You are a child of God and you are in His hand.
We’ve all had a troubled heart before. Maybe you do right now? Even Jesus did. In John 12:27 He says, “Now My heart is troubled.” None of us are immune from life’s troubles. In John 16:33 Jesus said, “In this world you will have troubles.” More are coming. Prepare. How do we deal with a troubled heart? John 14 is a great passage for that. I want to share a few thoughts from verse 1, which says, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in Me.”
This verse indicates that we have a part to play. We are to “not let.” If that was impossible Jesus would never command it. It’s possible then to “not let your heart be troubled.” Maybe it means not watching the news? The word troubled means a “stormy sea.” Is there a storm in your life right now? What can you do?
Trust God. Believe in His ability. Hang on tightly to Him. Jesus was talking to men with troubled hearts. He could see it on their faces. He had just told them they couldn’t go where He was going. He told Peter he would soon deny Him. One of them would betray Him. They’d all run and hide in Jesus’ darkest moment. They were disappointed that He wasn’t going to defeat the Romans and put them in charge. And if He died, what would happen to them?
We all feel similar when circumstances don’t go our way. Maybe we try and ignore it, just pretend all is well. Or we escape into more work, or more TV or more alcohol. Or moan and grown and trouble everyone else’s heart. Or trust God through the trouble. Job did. He said, “Though He slay me still will I trust Him.” Right now, with the uncertainty in our country over the election, we must not let our hearts be troubled but trust God.
If you haven’t already voted, I trust you will tomorrow. Vote the closest to your beliefs, values, and conscience.
Rev. John Piper recently wrote that he is not voting at all. He can’t vote for Biden because he is pro-abortion. He can’t vote for Trump because of his many sins. Dr. Michael Brown has answered Piper convincingly.
I can’t recall a list of character requirements for politicians. I can think of one for pastors (elders; 1 Timothy 3). I don’t think I’m voting for a pastor but a politician when I go to my voting place.
I doubt John Piper would vote for King Cyrus either, but God did. In Isaiah 44:28-45:1 it says, “Who says of Cyrus, He is my shepherd and will accomplish all that I please; he will say of Jerusalem, Let it be rebuilt, and of the temple, Let it’s foundations be laid. This is what the Lord says to his anointed (this word means Christ or Messiah!) to Cyrus, whose right hand I take hold of to subdue nations before him and to strip kings of their armor, to open doors before him so that gates will not be shut.” In 45:4 it says, “for the sake of Jacob my servant, of Israel my chosen I summon you by name and bestow on you a title of honor, though you do not acknowledge Me.”
I am asking our church family to set aside blocks of time to pray for our country and the upcoming election November 1, 2, and 3. We will gather again this Sunday night at 6:30 for corporate prayer. The previous two Sunday nights have been great! I would also encourage you to fast a day, or a meal those days. Or fast from something you usually do and devote that time to prayer. May God bring needed revival to this land.
Church Leaders including Franklin Graham are calling for a day of prayer and fasting for Sunday, October 25th. We have already planned that evening to come together for prayer for what is on your heart, but especially intercession for our country. We had our first prayer gathering last night and it was a lovely time. The Spirit was present! Join us the 25th and Nov. 1st at 6:30! Consider fasting that day or a meal that day or some other day before the election. Let’s make sure God hears our voice about our concerns for the country and the church.
Thank you for all the love you showed Cathy and I yesterday and show all year. We love you all.
I’m offering a New Member’s Class on Saturday at 9:00. It will be over by noon. Let the office or me know this week if you plan to come so we can get materials together.
Join us the next three Sunday evenings at 6:30 for a time of prayer for our church & country.
Kim Southerland sent me this email about a court case against Governor Northam’s restrictions on church went against the First Amendment of the Constitution and the Virginia State Constitution. He relented for churches under 250. What does this mean for us? Take a look at the article.
Jim Trusty mentioned the need to pray. If you are feeling that, come and pray for our country together on Sunday evening at 6:30 on October 18th, 25th, and November 1st.
I’m glad Ted gave you an update on our church finances. I, too, want to thank you for faithfully and generously giving to Hanover Friends. You can give in person or through the mail or have an electronic check sent to the Church like we do.
Many of you watched some of The Return this weekend or the Prayer March that Franklin Graham organized. It’s so important that we are praying for our country and upcoming election. We will be offering 3 Sunday evenings to come together and pray, October 18th and 25th and November 1st at 6:30.
We’ve been dealing with COVID 19 since March with the shutting down of businesses and wearing masks. The CDC recently released death figures for the USA that showed that 94% of those who died from COVID had an average of 2.6 other comorbidities. In other words, they were very ill to begin with. Perhaps you’ve heard about the 6% who didn’t, but 94% is significant.
CDC also released survival rates for COVID by age:
You should be careful, but don’t live your life in fear!
Today is Labor Day as I write this, a day to celebrate work by having a day off. Work is a 4-letter word but not that kind of 4-letter word.
I have enjoyed all my jobs over the years: mowing lawns, helping Dad at his part-time job, Studer’s Sports, Harrison Paint, Landscaping, foamer at a factory, and pastoring 3 great churches!
But if your labor is laborious then listen to Jesus, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.” Paul said, “Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”
Last week I wrote you about Troy’s need for a car. He’s found one for $2000. If you would like to give toward that purchase, let me know the amount and I will manage the money until he has enough to purchase the car.
Cathy and I plan to join with The Father’s House to prayer walk Atlee High School Saturday at 9 am if you’d like to join us.
I appreciated Ryan’s passionate word in the service Sunday about not being lukewarm. If you weren’t in the service, check it out on the website, Facebook page or our YouTube page. I also loved the line in the Casting Crowns song: “If we’ve ever needed You, we need You NOW! We do need Him now. Seek Him, call out to Him. Let’s get desperate.
Cathy and I went for a walk as it was lightly raining. The sun came out in the western sky. Guess what we saw in the east? A rainbow. God saw it with us. Very cool.
I am beginning an 8-week sermon series on Revelation called “The Last Word.” Rather than teach verse by verse, I will hit on major themes. I encourage you to use RightNow Media along with this series. Follow the instructions in Lisa’s email last week and David Platt has one on Revelation. Do your own study, too!