Weekly Update: April 5, 2016

"If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful." - Luke 6:32-36

Dear Family,

Keith Snow preached beautifully on the Parable of the Good Samaritan this past Sunday. In processing his message, I grew in gospel conviction that I am not as generous as I should be. I learned many things from the sermon, but perhaps what struck me most was the timely reminder that mercy is not optional or an addition to being a Christian. Rather, a life poured out in deeds of mercy is the inevitable sign of true faith. Mercy does not lead me to Christ's righteousness, but it is a mark of Christ's righteousness given to me by God's grace.

Consider the above text from Luke's Gospel. Jesus teaches many things in this text, but perhaps what is most clear is his call that we be free from the love of possessions. How else can we expect nothing in return as the above text says? Of course, the topic of mercy and generosity extends even to the church. How do we care for and love people in our church who are in need? Are we faithfully supporting the work of the church? Am I supporting the church as generously as I support people in need? All of these questions raced through my mind as Keith preached. We know that the Spirit has ways of speaking and convicting us in light of the good news of Jesus Christ. This is one of the many ways the preached Word doesn't return void.

We have a very busy week before us! A new Women's Bible Study begins today (Tuesday), there's a Women's Ice Cream Social on Wednesday, the Men's Prayer Breakfast and Health Fair is this Saturday, and Sunday School classes have begun as well. For the latest news and updates on all events, please stay informed through social media and by our website.

This Sunday we will continue in our series on mercy. I can't wait to worship with you.

Blessings,

Paul