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Sunday, February 3, 2013

Monthly Message from Pastor Shim Habte

I'm starting something new. I do the newsletter for our church, and once a month Pastor Shim gives me a short message to put in the newsletter. Now, I happen to know most of you don't get our newsletter, but maybe you'd like to see Pastor Shim's wisdom occasionally.

The Journey of Lent reminds us of our Lord’s life and the steps he took to fulfill his Father’s will. As Jesus was, so are we in this world as his representatives – are we committed as he was?

The first step that Jesus took was obedience in Baptism – he submitted himself to John the Baptist. When John protested against baptizing Jesus, “Jesus answered, ‘Allow me to be baptized now. This is necessary to fulfill all righteousness.’” So John agreed to baptize Jesus. Jesus was baptized to be an example for us and we know that he didn’t need baptism.

The second step for Jesus was being tempted by Satan in the wilderness for 40 days – he overcame Satan’s deceitful attempts by focusing on doing his Father’s will. You can read what Jesus suffered and his victory in Luke 4.

The third step that Jesus took to fulfill his Father’s will was to minister to the dire needs of people where ever he went. He fed the hungry, he healed the sick, he encouraged the weak, he pointed people to God’s kingdom as the ultimate destiny of those who trusted in him.

The final step that Jesus took to accomplish his Father’s assignment was dying on the cross for the forgiveness of humanity’s sin. God put his stamp of approval by raising Jesus from death on Easter morning and taking him to heaven to sit side by side with his Father. What happened to Jesus at the end will be our destiny; read John 14:1-6. Jesus promised to take us to his place.

Before closing, let me restate what Jesus’ commands are for us to do until we go to be with him.

First, to take care of the needy to do so means to meet his own need – read Matthew 25. This Easter’s offering will go the Willows food bank to help those in need in our community.

Second, Jesus doesn’t want us to neglect the spiritual need of a person, which is eternal, for the physical need, which is temporal. He wants us to do both. When he said, “It’s written, people won’t live only by bread, but by every word spoken by God.” This statement deal with both needs. However, statements can remain static. That’s why Jesus calls us to action, as in Matthew 28:19-20: “Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything that I’ve commanded you. Look, I myself will be with you every day until the end of this present age.”

– Yes, Lord!
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