This Month's Messenger

Greetings Fairview Heights!

With the coming of the summer months we are looking forward to many things. You may be excited about your vacation time to roll around, or simply for Saturdays on the beach. The long daylight hours may be a time for you to stay outdoors in the evening leisurely riding your bicycle with your family through your  neighborhood, or playing ball with your kids or with your friends on the softball field. Grilling season, getting back into shorts and sandals, feeling the warm sun, and enjoying the weather are good times that mark the summer months. Another summer phenomenon, that I actually enjoy, are those great big thunderstorms! You know the ones where the lightening takes you by surprise and even though you know the thunder is coming, you still jump when you hear the boom. Man, they put the fear of God in me sometimes! Instead of telling myself that its just God “bowling in heaven” I remind myself of how incredibly awesome God is that He has the power to even control something that powerful! I feel very insignificant and out of control when one of those storms starts up. That’s what awesome about it, though; God can take care of me and do the things that are impossible for me to do on my own. This is the promise that Jesus shares with us in the story of the rich young ruler:

Mark 10.17-31 -

17  As He was setting out on a journey, a man ran up to Him and knelt before Him, and asked Him, "Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?"   18  And Jesus said to him, "Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone.   19  "You know the commandments, 'DO NOT MURDER, DO NOT COMMIT ADULTERY, DO NOT STEAL, DO NOT BEAR FALSE WITNESS, Do not defraud, HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER.'"   20  And he said to Him, "Teacher, I have kept all these things from my youth up."   21  Looking at him, Jesus felt a love for him and said to him, "One thing you lack: go and sell all you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me."   22  But at these words he was   saddened, and he went away grieving, for he was one who owned much property.   23  And Jesus, looking around, said to His disciples, "How hard it will be for those who are wealthy to enter the kingdom of God!"   24  The disciples were amazed at His words. But Jesus answered again and said to them, "Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God!   25  "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."   26  They were even more astonished and said to Him, "Then who can be saved?"   27  Looking at them, Jesus said, "With people it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God."   28  Peter began to say to Him, "Behold, we have left everything and followed You."   29  Jesus said, "Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or farms, for My sake and for the gospel's sake,   30  but that he will receive a hundred times as much now in the present age, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and farms, along with persecutions; and in the age to come, eternal life.   31  "But many who are first will be last, and the last, first."

If it was up to me to make myself presentable to God apart from Jesus, I would fail miserably over and over — it would be “like catching lightening in a bottle” — impossible. Try as I might, I will never have a bottle full of lightening. However, God through Jesus makes the impossible possible by making my belief — my trusting faith in Jesus Christ — my “lightening in a bottle.” That is bottle of lightening is eternal life and all of its blessings and persecutions, now. How do you hold lightening in a bottle? You empty your hands and surrender your life, leaving all of your ways, to follow Jesus and make His ways your ways. You will then be richer than you have ever imagined, eternally vested in heavenly treasure and filled up with the richness of Jesus Christ. This is treasure that is impossible for your to gain on your own, but all things are possible with God. Trust God and the way of Jesus Christ. Let those pesky lightening storms remind you of the power of God… to give life and care for it, eternally!

Pastor Paul