Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Bethany Bullet - June 30, 2015

This past week (June 22-26) at VBS our theme was Everest: Conquering Challenges with God’s mighty power.  One of the challenges of the week happened on Friday.  I brought a mobile climbing wall for the kids to climb and to talk about the many challenges we face in daily life. 

Of course I decided that I could climb the wall as well.  I got pretty far for someone who does not like heights but on my way down, I landed hard on my leg and twisted my knee, re aggravating an old injury.  A doctor’s visit and a cortisone injection occurred and I am on the mend.  God’s mighty power was displayed once again in my life.  I also was reminded that although my brain thinks I am 25, I’m really 45. 

There are many challenges that we face on a daily basis.  This week one of our younger volunteers said to me, “I have snot on my shirt and it’s not mine.”  Well, that is another one of the challenges of working at VBS and loving kids in Jesus name.  But God’s mighty power can help us conquer much greater challenges than that. 

In the beginning of his ministry, Jesus was starting to get a reputation for his mighty power and amazing miracles.

The Gospel writer Mark has chronicled what Jesus had done on the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee.  He calmed a storm, he healed a man filled with demons, displayed God’s mighty power, and as our text begins, Jesus is on his way back across the water to the western shore

When he arrives something interesting occurs.  I’ll let Mark tell the story.
In the crowd was a woman who had been suffering from chronic bleeding for twelve years. Although she had been under the care of many doctors and had spent all her money, she had not been helped at all. Actually, she had become worse. Since she had heard about Jesus, she came from behind in the crowd and touched his clothes. She said, “If I can just touch his clothes, I’ll get well.” Her bleeding stopped immediately. She felt cured from her illness. At that moment Jesus felt power had gone out of him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?” (Mark 5:25-30)

Of course now the disciples start asking questions and making excuses, but Jesus was not unaware of the identity of the woman, but was providing an opportunity for the woman to confess her faith and serve as an example to the pressing crowd. 

Power had gone out of Jesus.  His mighty power was there to provide for her needs, to comfort her distress to heal her illness to forgive her sins and love her forever.   In that one display of power Jesus showed his true character and his identity. 
At VBS this week we heard the same five powerful things from God’s Word.
1.       God has the power to provide…Hold On!
On Monday the kids experienced the story of Elijah and how God provided for him in the wilderness.  They learned that God can provide everything we need.  He may not provide everything we want, but generously gives us everything we need. 

Martin Luther said it this way in his small catechism, “I believe that God has made me and all creatures; that He has given me my body and soul, eyes, ears, and all my members, my reason and all my senses, and still takes care of them. He also gives me clothing and shoes, food and drink, house and home, wife and children, land, animals, and all I have. He richly and daily provides me with all that I need to support this body and life. He defends me against all danger and guards and protects me from all evil. All this He does only out of fatherly, divine goodness and mercy, without any merit or worthiness in me. For all this it is my duty to thank and praise, serve and obey Him.  This is most certainly true.

2.       God has the power to comfort…Hold On!
On Tuesday the kids revisited Elijah and saw the comfort that God gave him during a very difficult time.  When Elijah was in the wilderness God comforted him with his word that came in a whisper.

We read in the Bible that God, “…comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others.” (2 Corinthians 1:4)

3.       God has the power to heal…Hold On!
On Wednesday at VBS the kids experienced the story of Naaman who had a disease called leprosy.  God’s power healed him, but not quite the way he was expecting. 

Psalm 147:3 tells us, “He heals the broken hearted and bandages their wounds.”

4.       God has the power to forgive…Hold On!
On Thursday the kids heard the powerful story of Jesus, his life, death and resurrection.  This powerful story has been told throughout the centuries and still has the power to change lives. 

In Christ, God forgives all our sins and shortcomings and shows us his incredible, powerful love.

5.       God has the power to love us forever…Hold On!
On Friday we got a sneak peek at heaven and learned a truth about Jesus found in John chapter 3, “Everyone who believes in Him will have eternal life.” (John 3:15)

These same five powerful truths are for all of us as well. 

God provides everything we need.  He may not provide everything you want but he does give us his Word which can sustain us.  He promises to call us his own in the waters of baptism and he feeds us a life giving meal in bread and in wine in communion.

God comforts us.  Life is hard, things don’t go the way we think they should.  We feel grief in death and the guilt of our sin, but God comforts us in the presence of his people gathered in the church who become the hands and feet of Jesus offering help and hope and life. 

God heals us.  Illness and disease, sickness and death are something we deal with every day as we live in this sinful world.  But God offers us healing.  It may not come the way we expect but his healing is perfect.

God forgives us.  The Bible is clear, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”  (Romans 3:23)  “But God demonstrates his love for us in this, while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)

I’m not sure what things you are carrying around with you.  It could be pain our doubt, grief or guilt.  Our powerful God is here to offer your forgiveness and freedom and his words to the woman that day are also for you, Go in peace, you are freed from what ails you.

God desires to love you forever.  Listen to the words of Jesus himself, “Don’t be troubled. Believe in God, and believe in me. My Father’s house has many rooms. If that were not true, would I have told you that I’m going to prepare a place for you? If I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again. Then I will bring you into my presence so that you will be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.”  Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you’re going. So how can we know the way?” Jesus answered him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one goes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:1-6)

In heaven we will be with God forever.

Our theme song for VBS had the following line,
My God is powerful,
he stands invincible,
I will hold on to Him!

With the gift of faith, we are able to hold on to the mighty power of God who provides, comforts, heals, forgives and loves.
Let us pray…

-Pastor Seth Moorman


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