Monthly Archives: April 2017

Broken Justice: Restored in Christ

Week of Wednesday, April 5th – Tuesday, April 11th  

Authors: Denny & Marilyn Dahl

Justice – Conformity to truth, fact or sound reason. Fairness in the way people are dealt with
Isaiah 59:9-20

So justice is far from us, and righteousness does not reach us. We look for light, but all is darkness; for brightness, but we walk in deep shadows. Isaiah 59:9

Isaiah is lamenting over the fact that they had become a sinful people and that they acknowledged their iniquities: rebellion and treachery against the Lord. No matter where they looked or what they did they couldn’t find the justice and righteousness they were looking for.

Truth is nowhere to be found, and whoever shuns evil becomes a prey. Isaiah 59:15

When the Lord looked and saw there was no justice he was displeased, and was appalled there was no one to intervene. So the Lord intervened for the faithful.

“The Redeemer will come to Zion, to those in Jacob who repent of their sins,” says the Lord. Isaiah 59:20

John 19:1-16 Jesus Sentenced to be Crucified

The account of Jesus before Pilate is a perfect example of broken justice. Pilate found no facts or reasons to crucify Jesus but gave in to those who wanted him crucified. Justice was not served that day but God’s plan was. God was there with his son that day just as he is with us.

In our lives we witness or experience injustice (broken justice) periodically. We might look at a person dying unexpectedly or too young, or someone suffering from a physical or mental condition as being not fair or an injustice. These two scripture readings remind us that although things may seem unjust and not fair, God is always there to help us through, that he does have a plan, and that all things happen to fulfill it.

Prayer: Dear Lord God, please be with us and reassure us that no matter how unjust or unfair things may seem at times you will always be there to walk with us or carry us through. We know we can’t always understand the reason certain things happen in life but help us to realize it is part of your plan for all of us. Amen.

Broken Promises: Restored in Christ

Week of Wednesday, March 29th – Tuesday, April 4th

Author: Pastor Sarah Carlstrom

John 21:15-17: 15 When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.” 16 Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.” 17 The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.

Peter is a well-known follower of Jesus. He is a water-walking, storm-sinking, church-rocking, stumbling-blocking, Christ-denying, sheep-feeding disciple of Christ. In many ways I can relate to his life journey.

When reading about his life in the Bible, I often pinpoint the night of Jesus’ arrest as what must have been his lifetime low: the night he denied Jesus three times. I began to notice God calling me into ministry when I was a senior in High School. It was not only an internal nudge, but also people around me pointing out gifts I had never noticed on my own. What I remember most, however, was my ‘Peter denial’ day. This was the day that, after much wrestling, I told God that I was going to school to study music and he could come with me if he wanted to. When I look back on this day, I not only see myself denying God’s call on my life, but also denying God himself. This has often been a place I go back to and recall. What place in your life have you rejected God and his call? Do you continually go back to this place? Do you try to relive it, change it, or repent of it?

The story of Peter does not end there. Neither does mine. God really shook my life (and my husband’s for that matter.) He shook our housing, our finances, our jobs, and our life goals. When we hit rock bottom, we found that the ROCK (of Christ) was solid. We gave our entire lives over to him with a blank check. And it was there that Jesus gave me a second chance, not only on having my life grounded in him, but also in his calling for my life. He gave me a second chance, not only do be in ministry, but to love more deeply than I could imagine.

Even though Peter had denied Jesus, he had repented of this and wept bitterly. Jesus does not leave him there in the place of sorrow. Jesus dies to pay for this sin, is buried, raises from the dead, and comes to him in the flesh. The promises Peter made to Jesus were all broken, but the promises Jesus made to Peter were restored completely. Jesus covers the three bitter denials Peter made with (not one, not two, but…)three loving statements, entrusting him with what Jesus values most: feeding and tending him lambs and sheep. This is truly Christ’s loving power to restore

Brothers and sisters in Christ, bring Jesus the broken promises you have made. Repent in a heartfelt way and do not be afraid to face the truth of this brokenness. Then, hear Jesus as he restores you – not by anything you have done, but by the promises he has made to you. You are God’s beloved child. You have an important role to play in his Kingdom here on earth. He loves you, and does not want you to stay in that broken place. Bring it to him, and receive the greatest gift he could give you, a part in feeding and tending his beloved the lambs and sheep! Believe me, there’s no greater honor and joy.

Let us pray: Lord Jesus, just like Peter, I have denied you and the call you place on my life. I have broken the promises I made. Yet, you are trustworthy even when I am not. Thank you! I can’t believe you invite me to take part in your Kingdom work here on earth. Please show me the role you have called me to and empower me through Holy Spirit to care for this responsibility in a way that honors you. Amen.

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9:15am Sunday School & Adult Bible Study
10:00am Fellowship
10:30am Worship

Pastor Sarah Carlstrom
(church) 320-312-7729
(cell) 320-226-5676

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