Wednesday, September 28, 2016

The Bethany Bullet - Week of September 25, 2016

“Follow the Leader…Lead the Followers”

Can you picture Archie Bunker or Pete, Goofy’s neighbor, saying, “I brought you into this world and I can take you out of this world!”?  This would have been said in order to intimidate.  Paul says, “We brought nothing into the world and we can take nothing out of it.”  In order to have us imitate our Lord. 

Yet, more than likely, we tend to act like the scoundrel in Luke’s parable.  The one in chapter 16 who was about to get fired from his job because he had been cheating his boss; then just before the proverbial axe fell he renegotiated the debts of all his masters debtors so that he might gain pleasure with them and protection for himself.   At least one truth to be told in this parable is that, by nature we are inclined to do just about anything to take care of ourselves even if it means causing pain to others. 

Not so with our God, He acts on His own - in order to take care of us, at tremendous cost and pain to himself, He does the only thing that can be done; and He is the only one who can do such.  In Jesus, God pays our debt.  Not gold or silver at that, but the holy, precious blood of Jesus and His innocent suffering and death. 

It was after Paul told Timothy that, “We brought nothing into this world and we can take nothing out of it” that he reminds Timothy this truth, “You belong to God.”

Those words were not written about Timothy alone!  You too, by grace through faith, belong to God!  If we belong to God, what does that say about that which “belongs” to us? 

It’s His…all His!  In our “Blueprint” here at Bethany we’ve set Giving Proportionately as a core value among us.  When we return to God a first fruit gift, off the top, from that with which we start upon payday rather than that which we have left at the end of the week, we are confessing that it is His, all His; and is there any better way to imitate Him who gave everything for us and the world, “into which we brought nothing and from which we can take nothing.”?

-Pastor Kevin Kritzer

Monday, September 26, 2016

The One Year Bible- September 26th

A number of years ago I was introduced to a form of devotion and reading called Lectio Divina. In short it is a tool to use when you are reading God’s word. Here is a quick definition: Lectio Divina is Latin for divine reading, spiritual reading, or "holy reading," and represents a method of prayer and scriptural reading intended to promote communion with God and to provide special spiritual insights. It is a way of praying with Scripture that calls one to study, ponder, listen and, finally, pray from God's Word. The past few weeks I have used this tool to stop and spend some time just chewing on God’s word and praying through what we have been reading. I have stopped in various places including parts of Isaiah, Ephesians and especially Psalms. I encourage you to give it a try. One thing you have been doing without even knowing it is something called Lectio Continua which is Latin for continuous reading. It is the discipline of reading the entire Bible without omitting anything. Both Lectio Continua and Lectio Divina can bring some depth as well as breadth to the study of God’s Word. On to the study...
Seth’s Thoughts
The Old Testament
I think I could write a novel on what we found in Isaiah this week. I think I told you that I am putting a star in the margin of my Bible each time I read “The Holy One Of Israel”. Remember that this is a term that points to the coming Messiah, Jesus. One thing to keep in mind is that you need to remember who the “I” is in some of these passages. Sometimes it is Yahweh, other times it is Isaiah. Make sure you know who is talking. This will go far in helping you understand some of the significance of the passage. Some general thoughts; we have entered the second part of the book of Isaiah and we will start to see much more of a prophetic message. Isaiah’s audience has changed from the people living in the Promised Land, to the exiles living in captivity. Here we see a message of hope and promise. Chapter 40 begins the new section with such a message, “Comfort, comfort my people says your God” (Isaiah 40:1 NIV). The people are in need of comfort because of what has happened. The people have been exiled. They are living in a foreign land and they need to hear the comforting words of their God. Chapter 40 gives a hope filled message and ends with a verse near and dear to my heart, “But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (Isaiah 40:31 NIV). This verse is my confirmation verse given to me by my father. It has been a source of comfort and hope for me for most of my life. I know that God is right there beside me giving me the strength I need to do his will. He promises to be with me when all other things seem to go wrong. Chapter 41 continues this same theme. Some of the most controversial parts of the book of Isaiah come from the sections where he mentions a character named Cyrus. He is called a shepherd, and one who will fulfill the purpose of God. He is also called an ally of God. Some translations use the Hebrew word Messiah to describe him. Cyrus was not a follower of Yahweh, he was the king of Persia, and a Gentile. He was used by God to bring the remnant back to the Jerusalem. Many believe that this name was inserted in later years to make Isaiah look good. There is no proof of this, and we should be careful to say that God was not the one who inspired Isaiah to write about this king. Many years later it would come to pass that King Cyrus would issue a decree that would allow many Jews to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the city and more importantly the temple. Isaiah also spends much time on the topic of monotheism. There are so many references to the Messiah in Isaiah it is hard to mention them all. Keep on looking for things that seem familiar to the life of Christ.
The New Testament
We finished up Galatians and now are in Ephesians. One of the main themes in Ephesians is “The Body of Christ” and the church. One key idea to keep in your mind while reading is one of Paul’s presuppositions of the book, namely that we are “In Christ” and apart from Christ we can do nothing. We are part of Christ by what he did on the cross and by claiming us as his own in baptism. We have been adopted into the family and now we can celebrate with all the rights and privileges as heirs of salvation. This is an amazing gift of God. This idea of “gift” is huge in Ephesians. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV). What a wonderful message. It is not up to us. If it were, I know I would be in trouble! I think I could just give quote after quote from Paul for this post. I have underlined so much in my Bible this week. Here are some of the best in my mind. “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. (Ephesians 2:13 ESV). “For he himself is our peace” (Ephesians 2:14 ESV). “So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God” (Ephesians 2:19 ESV). “There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” (Ephesians 4:4-6 ESV). “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32 ESV). I could go on and on, but you get the point. This book is a deep rich read, filled with so many good things. Don’t just skim over these things. Meditate on them, let them sink in, roll them around you head for a while. You will be blessed by doing so.
Bits and Pieces

The Old Testament
We will finish up Isaiah this week. I will have a lot to say next week about it. This week we will start the book of Jeremiah. Here are the vital stats:

PURPOSE: To call Judah to repentance, announce the Babylonian exile, and prophecy the new covenant.
AUTHOR: Jeremiah
TO WHOM WRITTEN: Judah (the southern kingdom) and its capital city Jerusalem
DATE WRITTEN: During Jeremiah’s ministry approx. 627-586 B.C.
SETTING: Jeremiah ministered under Judah’s last five kings—Josiah, Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin, and Zedekiah. The nation was sliding quickly toward destruction and was eventually conquered by Babylon in 586 B.C. (see 2 Kings 21-25). The prophet Zephaniah preceded Jeremiah, and Habakkuk was Jeremiah’s contemporary.
KEY VERSE: “’Your wickedness will punish you; your backsliding will rebuke you. Consider then and relize how evil and bitter it is for you when you forsake the LORD your God and have no awe of me,’ declares the Lord, the LORD Almighty” (2:19).
LAW THEMES: The nations plucked up, broken down, destroyed, and overthrown; punishment of Judah by sword, famine and pestilence; faithless shepherds; turn in repentance; forsaking the Lord and His covenant; idolatry; Judah cursed like Sodom.
GOSPEL THEMES: The nations built and planted; healing; the Lord will relent; the remnant will return; a righteous branch to sit on David’s throne; new covenant; new hearts; God’s steadfast love and mercy; judgment of nations.
KEY PEOPLE: Judah’s kings (see list above), Baruch, Ebed-Melech, King Nebuchadnezzar, the Recabites
KEY PLACES: Anathoth, Jerusalem, Ramah, Egypt
SPECIAL FEATURES: This book is a combination of history, poetry, and biography. Jeremiah often used symbolism to communicate his message.

The New Testament
We will finish up Ephesians, read Philippians and start on Colossians this week. Here are the vital stats for Philippians:

PURPOSE: To thank the Philippians for the gift they had sent Paul and to strengthen these believers by showing them that true joy comes from Jesus Christ alone.
TO WHOM WRITTEN: All the Christians at Philippi and all believers everywhere
DATE WRITTEN: About A.D. 61, from Rome during Paul’s imprisonment there
SETTING: Paul and his companions began the church at Philippi on his second missionary journey (Acts 16:11-40). This was the first church established on the European continent. The Philippian church had sent a gift with Epaphroditus (one of their members) to be delivered to Paul (4:18). Paul was in a Roman prison at the time. He wrote this letter to thank them for their gift and to encourage them in their faith.
KEY VERSE: “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” (4:4)
LAW THEMES: Suffering, uncertainty, and physical sacrifice; rivalry over the Gospel; growth in humility and right-mindedness.
GOSPEL THEMES: Joy in Christ; Jesus’ exaltation after the cross; righteousness through faith in Christ; heavenly citizenship.
KEY PEOPLE: Paul, Timothy, Epaphroditus, Euadia, and Syntyche
KEY PLACE: Philippi

Here are the vital stats for the book of Colossians:

PURPOSE: To combat errors in the church and to show that believers have everything they need in Christ.
TO WHOM WRITTEN: The church at Colosse, a city in Asia Minor, and all believers everywhere
DATE WRITTEN: About A.D. 60 during Paul’s imprisonment in Rome
SETTING: Paul had never visited Colosse—evidently the church had been founded by Epaphras and other converts form Paul’s missionary travels. The church, however, had been infiltrated by religious relativism, with some believers attempting to combine elements of paganism and secular philosophy with Christian doctrine. Paul confronts these false teachings and affirms the sufficiency of Christ.
KEY VERSES: “For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority” (2:9-10).
LAW THEMES: Threat of false teaching and self-made religion; Satan’s domain; struggle to fulfill God’s calling; God’s coming wrath; the old self; admonish one another; God’s order for families and labor.
GOSPEL THEMES: Gospel growth; the Son’s kingdom and reign; mystery: Christ dwells in you; Baptism, the new circumcision; the new self; the Lord’s inheritance.
KEY PEOPLE: Paul, Timothy, Tychicuys, Onesimus, Aristarchus, Mark, Epaphras
KEY PLACES: Colosse, Laodicea
SPECIAL FEATURES: Christ is presented as having absolute supremacy and sole sufficiency. Colossians has similarities to Ephesians, probably because it was written at about the same time, but it has a different emphasis.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The Bethany Bullet - Week of September 18, 2016

“Follow the Leader…Lead the Followers…In Prayer”

I am not a good dancer.  Just ask my wife.  If you are a fan of Seinfeld, and I know at least one of you is.  My dancing abilities are comparable to one Elaine Benes, with all the kicks and the thumbs.  As George Castanza described it, “It’s more like a full body dry heave set to music.”

If Seinfeld is not your thing perhaps you remember the many, many times that Lucille Ball made her way to the club to dance on stage with Ricky and the band.  Quite often Lucy was one step behind and woefully off from the others on stage eyes fixed on the others trying to follow along.

Or, maybe you have seen the funny clips online of a dance or cheer routine where one member, usually in the back, has their eyes glued to one in the front searching desperately for someone to follow, and usually not doing well. 

You might be a great dancer, but I would bet that there is some skill or activity you wish you possessed that you need someone to lead and you could just follow. 

Perhaps it is singing or parenting.  It could be drawing or even cooking. 
The same could be said about our life of faith. 

Last week Pastor Kevin began our new series titled, “Follow the leader…Lead the follower,” and today we are going to talk about prayer. 

Few are the followers of Jesus who would claim they are good at prayer.  I know sitting in the pews this morning there are passionate prayer warriors, but there are many who struggle to pray. 

A recent Pew Research study showed that close to 60% of Americans pray at least once a day.  Depending on how you look at it, that is either encouraging, or discouraging. 

The biggest struggle many have when it comes to prayer is not being sure how to pray.

Our text reminds us that prayer should be a part of every believer’s life. 

From 1 Timothy chapter 2, “First of all, I encourage you to make petitions, prayers, intercessions, and prayers of thanks for all people, for rulers, and for everyone who has authority over us.  Pray for those people so that we can have a quiet and peaceful life always lived in a godly and reverent way.  This is good and pleases God our Savior.  He wants all people to be saved and to learn the truth.  There is one God.  There is also one mediator between God and humans—a human, Christ Jesus.  He sacrificed himself for all people to free them from their sins.”  (1 Timothy 2:1-6a)

Paul encourages the young pastor Timothy, and us today to “make petitions, prayers, intercessions, and prayers of thanks for all people.”

The words used here are not mutually exclusive but each have a special emphasis when it comes to prayer.  Let’s take a look at each one.

First, we can make petitions or requests to God in prayer.  We lay before God our needs.  Yes, God already knows our needs but we acknowledge Him as the one who alone can satisfy them.

The word translated as “prayers” is the most general of the four but prominent in this word is the element of devotion and reverence as we approach the Lord in prayer.

Third, intercessions include those things we boldly and confidently bring before God for the sake of others.

Finally, thanksgiving needs almost no explanation but perhaps has been lost in recent times.  I remember a time in my life when we not only began each meal in prayer, but we ended the meal as well by returning thanks to God for His gracious provision. 

It is interesting to note that Paul not only encourages prayer for personal things but for others, and he does not limit who we are to pray for by saying “all people.”  This includes those we might disagree with, those who are not believers and even those who are enemies of the Church. 

Through the power of prayer, many will be saved and learn the truth.

First takeaway — We are called to pray for all people.
When you walk into a church you enter a place of worship. When you bow your head or fold your hands you engage in an act of worship.

Prayer is an act of worship.  It is something done within the context of a relationship with Christ at the center.

Another recent study on prayer asked the question, “Where do you pray most often?”  The answers were interesting to me.  Only 4.4% of people said they pray most often in a house of worship.  Other places that were mentioned were: While traveling—9.8%, at work—3.8% and by far the most common place for people to pray most often was, at home—79.5%.

The second take away for this morning — Prayer is not limited to a location. 
Your car or your classroom, your dining room or deck can be a house of prayer.

OK, pastor this is all well and good but we still haven’t talked about the struggles that people face in prayer. 

Well, that will be our third take away for this morning and it leads right into our theme—Follow the leader… in prayer. 

In the Gospel accounts, Jesus says over and over again, “Ask.”

Prayer is asking God.

God invites you to communicate with Him just as you would communicate with a friend or family member who loves you and cares about you.

You wouldn't only call that person when you want something from them. You call to thank them, to compliment them, to share your joys, your sorrows, and your life-and to share theirs. The same is true of our prayer life with God.

Paul reminds Timothy, “There is also one mediator between God and humans—a human, Christ Jesus.  He sacrificed himself for all people to free them from their sins.” 

Many people struggle with prayer by simply giving it over to others. Letting the professionals handle the tough stuff.  I have been asked on many occasions to pray for someone and of course I will, with the help of God, hold that person or request in prayer, but Scripture is clear, your pastor is not your mediator.

Sorry to burst your bubble, my prayers are not a hot line to heaven; they are not heard by God before others or with more emphasis. 

There is only one mediator and His name is Jesus.  You can come to Him in prayer directly.  And you can also follow His lead for all are called to pray.

Jesus led by example.  He prayed for Himself and for others. 

Jesus also led in words.  When the disciples asked, “Lord, teach us to pray,” (Luke 11:1b) He gave them the words known today as the Lord’s Prayer.

If you are wondering how to pray, this is a great start.  Using the word’s taught by Jesus we can be bold in trusting these words in prayer. 

We can follow our Leader, Jesus in prayer.  We can use the words He taught us to begin a prayer life.
Each phrase is packed with powerful words from Christ himself and can guide your own prayer life. 

Let’s take a look at each petition. 

Our Father who art in heaven: We approach God as a good and faithful Father who loves us and seeks for us to be in a relationship with Him. God is good. He promises to show His goodness in our lives.

Hallowed be Thy Name: God's Name is holy. We, as His servants, want to honor His holiness and show the holiness of His Name in all we say, think and do.

Thy kingdom come: In addition to eagerly wanting Jesus to come back and restore all things, we pray that God's work is active in our lives.

We want Him to prevail with His blessing, His truth, and His mission. We also pray that our lives show what God's kind, gracious and righteous ways are all about to the world around us.

Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven: God's will is for all people in the world to be saved through faith in Jesus Christ. Our text this morning reminds us of this.  We humbly subject all our wants and desires to

God's goals and desires for our lives and for the world.

Give us this day our daily bread: Jesus lets us know we can ask God to supply our daily needs. He cares about us to provide for us. No concern is too small for our faithful God.

And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us: We depend on God for the forgiveness of our sins. We also ask that His forgiveness flow through us to others in our lives. We are asking that God's spirit of grace and compassion takes hold in our relationships.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: God doesn't tempt us, but He sometimes permits us to go through difficult times to teach us to rely on Him and not ourselves or others. Satan uses those same situations to tempt us to doubt our Father's love, and turn away from Him and His will for us. We pray that He keeps us from everything that would lead us away from His will. We also pray He would protect us and our loved ones from all evil and harm.

Martin Luther said this of the Lord’s Prayer in his Large Catechism, “So this prayer is far superior to all others that we might devise ourselves.  For in that case our conscience would always be in doubt, saying, ‘I have prayed, but who knows whether it pleases Him or whether I have hit upon the right form and mode?’  Thus there is no nobler prayer to be found on earth for it has the powerful testimony that God loves to hear it.  This we should not trade for all the riches in the world.”  (LC:23)

It doesn’t take a research study to know that it’s not just prayer that we struggle with.  Our battle with sin is real and our sinful nature follows after its own desires and thoughts all the time.  Another prayer we can say is, “Abide with me!”

When we ask God to be with us, to abide with us - He promises to come.  When He comes He brings with Him grace and mercy and love and forgiveness. 

It is the grace and mercy of God displayed on the cross that restores our relationship with God and is what makes prayer possible.  As Jesus died and rose again we have been restored, forgiven and renewed.  In that newness of life we can pray. 

When we struggle with prayer we can follow the leader as He leads His followers in prayer, and in turn we can lead others to follow the leader Jesus Christ. 
-Pastor Seth Moorman

Monday, September 19, 2016

The One Year Bible- September 19th

There is an art to discipline. Being a classroom teacher for many years always reminded me that for every student there is a way of dealing with his or her behavior. Sometimes they need to be yelled at, other times they need to feel loved. But there is always that one child where nothing seems to work. No matter what you say, they still make poor decisions; they still put their foot in their mouth. While reading through Isaiah, I get the feeling that the prophet tried everything to get the people to listen. He used harsh words, he used loving words, and nothing seemed to work. His message was very important for their well being. If they would listen, they would be saved. At times it seems like Isaiah (and the other prophets as well) just repeats himself. What else could he do? He was called by God to be His mouthpiece. Sometimes it comes down to being faithful to the calling you have received and not worrying about how the message is received. That’s my two cents for the day. On to the study...

Seth’s Thoughts
The Old Testament
The major theme of Isaiah is the proclamation of what will happen to those who do not put their trust in Yahweh. Isaiah has a simple message for all the countries: you will be destroyed. This same message is for Israel as well, with one caveat; there will be a remnant. This faithful remnant will return to the Promised Land ready for the coming of the Messiah. One neat thing I read this week revolved around the idea of applying the book of Isaiah to our lives in the 21st century. The book was not initially written to us, but it is preserved for us. The question is why? Many things come to light when answering this question. First of all, Isaiah’s warnings should ring true for us today. The same warnings he gave to Israel, we should heed today. We must put God first, and look to him for wisdom and strength. Second, Isaiah is preserved because of its wonderful Messianic prophecy. Can you imagine Christmas or Easter without quotes from Isaiah? A third thing I read, and I am still digesting, is the idea that just as Israel needed to watch its alliances with other countries, because of the problems that can develop (think about Isaiah’s warnings about Egypt), we also need to watch what things we ally ourselves with. We need to watch who we hang out with and spend time with. We must be careful of those close to us and their influence upon us. Chapter 36 begins a narrative section that gives some insights on the events from the reign of King Hezekiah. This is a neat section that shows how even when all seemed doomed, God rescued his people. Even after this, a few years later Jerusalem is destroyed and the people are taken into captivity.

The New Testament
I love Paul’s letter to the Galatians!! Many Bible scholars see the wonderful theology of Romans in an infant form in this smaller letter. Galatians shares many of the same themes and analogies as the longer letter to the Romans. Remember that Paul was not writing to one church. This letter went to all the churches in the area that Paul founded on his first missionary journey. I am sure Paul had fond memories of his very first mission trip and the people he saw and taught. These were memories he would cherish his whole life. I will never forget my very first class of students as a teacher. Some of the other years are a bit fuzzy at times but that first class will always be with me. Paul has some strong emotions for what he has heard from the believers in Galatia. Right from the get-go Paul tries to snap them out of the influence of a group known as the Judaizers. This group of people demanded that to become a Christian, one first had to convert to Judaism. The person must fulfill all the requirements of the law before being allowed to become a part of the community of believers. Paul was strongly opposed to any such group. He believed that these people were taking the free gift of God and turning it into a work. This was quite contrary to the message of Jesus Christ. The argument was settled by the church at the first Jerusalem council where it was agreed that one did not have to first become Jewish before believing in Jesus as the Messiah. The balance of the letter addressed this same issue. In Chapter one Paul lays it down, But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!(Gal. 1:8-9 NIV). Strong words from a passionate man. Paul goes on with saying that faith in the Law is worthless. Trying to gain salvation by the Law is hopeless for sinful people. Paul reminds the people of Abraham, the father of the promise. The Jews considered Abraham to be one of the big guys and we now live according to that same promise because of Jesus. In one of the best passages in all of Paul’s letters we find this, But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons. Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, "Abba, Father." So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir.” (Gal 4:4-7 NIV). I could probably write a dissertation on these verses!!! To me they spell out the clear message of salvation. We were slaves, but Jesus adopted us as sons and we now enjoy all the blessing of being his own. I can’t imagine better news!!! Most of the rest of the letter spells out the difference between following the law and the ideas of the Judaizers in contrast to living in the Grace of Jesus Christ. One quick note on the fruit of the spirit; notice it does not say fruits (plural), it says fruit (singular). The Holy Spirit produces all of these things in our lives!!

Bits and Pieces
The Old Testament
We will be finishing up the first part of Isaiah and start the second (remember the divisions from last week). The second part, which starts at chapter 40 is more focused on future events. Isaiah will be writing about things that will happen beyond his own lifetime. There will be a lot said of Israel’s salvation and savior. The return from exile will be a major theme with an emphasis on redemption. Isaiah will still give warnings but his audience has changed and so has his message.

The New Testament
We will finish up Galatians this week and jump right into Ephesians. Here are the vital stats for the book of Ephesians:
PURPOSE: To Strengthen the believers in Ephesus in their Christian faith by explaining the nature and purpose of the church, the body of Christ
TO WHOM WRITTEN: The church at Ephesus, and all believers everywhere
DATE WRITTEN: About A.D. 60, from Rome, during Paul’s imprisonment
SETTING: The letter was sent with Tychicus to strengthen and encourage the churches in the area. Paul had spent over three years with the Ephesian church. Paul met with the elders of the Ephesian church at Miletus (Acts 20:17-38)—a meeting that was filled with great sadness because he was leaving them for what he thought would be the last time. Because there are not specific references to people or problems in the Ephesian church and because the words “at Ephesus” (1:1) are not present in some early manuscripts, Paul may have intended this to be a circular letter to be read by all the churches in the area.
KEY VERSES: “There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope when you were called—one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all” (4:4-6 NIV).
LAW THEMES:  Rivalry between believers; grieving the Spirit through unfaithfulness; marital unfaithfulness; spiritual warfare.
GOSPEL THEMES: Baptism; election by God’s grace; justification by grace alone; the mystery of Christ revealed; unity in Christ’s body.
SPECIAL FEATURES: Several pictures of the church are presented: body, temple, mystery, new man, bride, and soldier. This letter was probably distributed to many of the early churches.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

The Bethany Bullet - Week of September 11, 2016

“Follow the Leader…Lead the Followers”

All are called to follow THE Leader (Jesus); all who do, lead followers! 

Sometimes that leading is done intentionally and actively with those we have a relationship with.

+ Sometimes that leading is done unknowingly with those of whom we are unaware. 

 Sometimes that leading is done by example others see from a distance which we had no idea would make an impact. 

 Sometimes that leading is done from direct actions intended for a purpose. 

Yet, without exception, you can be sure that as one who follows THE Leader, you are one who leads followers.

-Pastor Kevin Kritzer

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