THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT IS FAITHFULNESS
This month, we are looking at Faithfulness. Our first observation is, of course, the great and almighty faithfulness of GOD. His faithfulness to us is described in the hymn, “Great is Thy Faithfulness” – one of the best loved hymns of the Church. The lyrics, written by Thomas Chisholm in 1923, speak of how GOD is faithful to us, of His unchanging nature, and His unfailing love. The words are all about how faithful GOD is to us – especially to those who believe and trust in Him. Read the following verses:
“Great is Thy faithfulness, O GOD, my Father, There is no shadow of turning with Thee. Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not. As Thou hast been Thou forever wilt be. Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth, Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide; strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow, blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!” Then, the chorus puts even more emphasis on the faithfulness of GOD. “Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness! Morning by morning, new mercies I see. All I have needed Thy hand hath provided; great is Thy faithfulness, Lord unto me!” There is so much truth and inspiration in the words of this lasting hymn - sung now by Christians for nearly one hundred years! This month, we will be exploring the vast faithfulness of GOD to us in our lives. His faithfulness to us is vital. It is the source and basis of our own faithfulness in life, and from which we can have and maintain faithfulness in all aspects of our lives – in relationships, responsibilities, and the determination to live righteous lives in the face of a sinful world. The fact is, faithfulness is needed everywhere, but is becoming more difficult to find anywhere! Not only are we looking at being more faithful to GOD, but we are needing faithfulness to marriage, in our schools, at home, in the workplace, for our nation, and throughout our society as a whole! The time in which we live is crying out for faithful people! In August, we will be putting our faithfulness to the test. How committed are we in our faith-walk with Christ? (Are we only Sunday morning Christians?) How devoted are we, really, to the Church? (Some ways to measure this are by our attendance, service, and giving.) Are we responsible to our families, and to others? (Modern culture says, “Me first, and others last or not at all!”) Relationships require faithfulness! So does Responsibility. In fact, the two terms are almost synonymous. To be responsible actually means to be faithful. Let us not leave out the call for Righteousness. When describing Jesus, the prophet Isaiah writes: “Righteousness will be His belt and faithfulness the sash around His waist.” (11:5) Righteousness involves living apart from sin, keeping faith in Christ, and telling others of His saving love. One of the biggest problems we face in our culture today is a lack of commitment, a shortage of devotion, and an almost “who cares” attitude! Faithfulness is greatly needed. GOD has been and always will be faithful to us. He is calling us to be Faithful to Him. Bear much fruit!
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
Konversations with the Kids
A tremendous thank you to all who were involved with the success of Vacation Bible School 2018! The three nights were power packed with great fun, friendship, & worship in the knowledge of JESUS, our Lord!
It is our prayer that the Cave Quest VBS has allowed JESUS’ love to come to life like never before….touching lives, changing hearts, and drawing kids and adults closer to JESUS. “In this mixed- up world today that is sometimes not a priority in young lives.” We, at Cross Roads will be praying for you, asking GOD to guide and bless you on this firsthand exploration of JESUS’ invitation to “follow me” even in the dark places!
In His Service,
The youth had a great time at church camp. They made new friends, and some rekindled friendships from previous years. The praise and worship was wonderful. The camp counselors thought this was one of the best years yet. There were great speakers that ministered twice a day to the youth. There were 3 youth that dedicated their lives to Christ at camp. Congratulations to Tyler Griffis who graduated from high school!
More recently the youth helped with vacation bible school.
As they prepare to go back to school, we are planning a road trip to Chesterton, Indiana to spend the day with our new friends from camp on Friday August 3rd at 4:00 pm for a sleepover. We will return on Saturday, August 4th at 9:00 pm.
As leaders we are hoping to help the youth be bold enough to live Christ like lives in the world they live in.
Please keep them in your prayers
Diana Ockomon, Youth Director
The Youth will have a Spaghetti Dinner Fund Raiser immediately after church on Sunday August 19th. Please make plans to stay at church for your Sunday dinner or purchase some take out for your family
Thank you for your continued support!
Diana Ockomon, Youth Director
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