T H E F R U I T O F T H E S P I R I T – “T H A N K F U L N E S S”
In review of the last nine months, we have covered the nine attributes of the “Fruit of the Spirit” found in Galatians 5:22-23. They are: “Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-Control.” At the beginning of the year, in January, we looked at Jesus as the “True Vine” (John 15:1,5) or the Source to Whom we must be connected as His branches, and from Whom we can produce fruits of righteousness. The last ten months have been a very interesting and, hopefully, rewarding journey for all of us. The journey, however, is not over. We are still looking at our overall theme for 2018: “Being Faithful to be Fruitful” through the end of the year. So…what do November and December have in store for us? The last two months of this year will be a continuance of “…bearing much fruit, showing ourselves to be His disciples…” as we read in John 15:8. In December, we will emphasize Hope – the eternal hope that Jesus brought into the world for all mankind. In November, we will take a deeper look at what it means to be grateful Christians. The theme for this month is THANKFULNESS. Thankfulness, though not listed in the Galatians 5 account, can easily be included as one of the main attributes of the Christian life. The Apostle Paul writes in I Thessalonians 5:18 “…give thanks in all circumstances, for this is GOD’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” The concept of “thankfulness” is mentioned over one-hundred and fifty times in the Bible. Thankfulness, then, is greatly emphasized as an important characteristic of the Christian life, and that’s why we are studying this topic this month. We will look at how gratitude must always be present in our approach to GOD, in our prayer times, our worship, and as part of our daily lives. We will explore the experience and expression of gratitude, as illustrated in the one lone leper in Luke 17, who was healed and came back to Jesus with praise and thanks. We will be observing the importance of giving a Thank Offering (First-fruit) to GOD as a priority in worship, and in our trust and personal devotion. Last, we will take a new look at leftovers…not the turkey kind! Instead, we will look at the concept of leftovers as it pertains to our lives, our faith, and GOD’s blessings! Speaking of GOD’s blessings, November is the month in which we naturally think about being more grateful for our blessings from GOD. Let’s begin to think about them, count them, and thank GOD for them – starting the first day of the month and going all through the thirty days of November. Hey, what would happen if we would think of at least one blessing from GOD each day in November, give Him thanks for it, and record it all on a tablet or in a journal? All through the month, we could actually keep a personal history of GOD’s blessings and the prayers of thanks we pray for them. Then, if we choose, we could share those recorded entries with others. This “Thankful Journal”, if we decide to write it, will become an inspiration in the future to ourselves and others as we refer back to it, and recall the blessings of GOD we received during the thankful month of November, 2018!
Love (for God) - Love (for others), Pastor John
Out of My Mind . . .
Our Sunday school class was trying to decide what Bible study we were going to do next and we were leaning towards either a study helping us deal with all the bad that is going on in our world every day or a Bible study about hope. We decided to go with hope. That way we will be more prepared to deal with this confusing world, a world that is more and more calling what is good, bad and what is bad, good! Every day the news is full of stories of people doing very bad things; like politicians, entertainers, parents, children, even so-called Christians! The question is the same for all: How could everybody do such horrible things? Just think about everyone behaving so badly! It is hard to understand the unethical behavior and choices that people are making these days! We need hope!
Obviously, there are no simple answers in understanding why; but at the end of the day, we have to realize that people are complicated! Often times, good people can do really bad things. Why is this? Could it be that people don’t start off doing bad things but rather they build up to it, step by step, over time? Could it be that they are in an abusive situation, or caught in an addiction or even suffering from so many personal problems? These are not excuses for being bad but perhaps, they have given up hope and have just turned to a life of sin?
But there is still hope for all. People living this way need saved most! So, rather than being to judgmental by the behavior of those we see and read about around us, maybe we should stop and try to understand them and their situation. Rather than being condemning people, maybe we can be more loving, understanding, and helpful to everyone by showing grace to them and letting them know of God’s hope. We need to set an
example through our own lives and actions! Unless we fully surrender our lives to God and be filled with the Holy Spirit, we too will struggle with doing and being good. We must allow His Spirit to control our lives in everything we do and say. When we start not feeling guilty when we do or say the wrong thing, then we have not yielded control of ourselves to Him! Doing the right thing is more complicated than just willing it or being a "good person." It takes Christ in us to save us from our sins and the Holy Spirit to give us the power to do the right thing all the time, even when, and especially, if no one is watching. That gives me hope, for me and the world! I hope it does for you too!
Paul wrote it this way in Romans 7:15-22:
15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good.17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature for I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. 21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law, 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!
From my heart . . . Sharon
From the Children's Department
Gospel Truths : from the Happy Jesus Room
The Bible is not just a story that helps us learn about JESUS; it is a story that helps us know HIM and have a relationship with GOD through HIM. The Old Testament helps us understand who GOD is, who we are, our need for forgiveness and salvation from GOD, and what GOD has done to save us through JESUS.
What does a parent need to know?
• Every story connects to JESUS.
• All of the gospel truths are fulfilled in the life , death, and resurrection of JESUS.
What does a preschooler need to know?
• The Bible teaches us about sin and GOD'S forgiveness.
• JESUS is GOD'S answer for our sin.
What does an elementary kid need to know?
• The Bible teaches us about sin and GOD'S grace and forgiveness.
• The gospel exits so that we can have a relationship with GOD.
Three important words we must learn definitions for;
GRACE- the unmerited love and favor of GOD
FORGIVENESS- to cancel a punishment, pardon
RELATIONSHIP- being related to, a connection to another by origin or marriage.
God our Father, Jesus our brother, Holy Spirit our helper.
“I am so glad I am a part of the Family of God!”
In His Service,
The Youth Group will leave Cross Roads at 4:00 pm Thursday, November 1st to stop and eat at Mc Donald’s before going to Muncie Fieldhouse to hear Tim Tebow speak. Several of the youth helped with the meal at 1st UMC on October 28th and continue to help with service projects. I would like to encourage more youth to attend Sunday School at 9:30 each week. The Wednesday meetings are growing in numbers. We will be working on the Youth Sunday worship for the last of December. We are already planning for church camp next summer.
Please keep the youth and their leader in your prayers.
Thank you for your continued support!
Diana Ockomon, Youth Director
All material on this web site is the property of Cross Roads United Methodist Church Anderson, copyright © 2015