Date: January 1, 2023
Speaker: Nate Winters
Series: Why Jesus Came
Good to see such a full house. You know, January 1. I know it’s just one service this morning, but good to see you here. Beautiful day outside, right? I mean, who would have thought? January 1, it’s, uh, you know, gonna get up into maybe mid high 50s this afternoon, I’m told, you know, good afternoon for a walk on a Sunday. But Happy New Year, and good to see you. Thanks for coming in. It feels good to worship God together on day one of 2023. So, yeah, amen to that. There are a lot of kids in the room right now I know, we don’t have Awesome Adventure. So it’s good to have the kids and want to commend the families. Thanks for coming, when you could have slept in, or you could have just stayed home and kept them in the pajamas there or what have you. But here you are, and just want to say well done to all the moms and dads and that you brought the kids along, right here into the sanctuary this morning. Because of that, this morning sermon, it’s gonna look a little different. There’s just going to be, at least for me, more pictures and more stories kind of along the way, we’re going to try to move it along here, maybe a little bit more quickly this morning than usual, again, at least for me, and, and so we’ll see how that goes. I want to draw your attention to something that if you’ve got the notes in your hand, little half sheet, go ahead and take a look at that. As we come together with all the members of our family, no matter who’s in the room, when we come together for this occasion, always the most important thing is to come before the living God of the universe, okay. The best way to do that, he says, and we believe is through His Word. So please understand that even though there’s going to be a lot of stories and pictures this morning, it is the word of God that we are most interested in.
You’ll see from our text, you can go ahead and turn there now, in Hebrews 13, it’s going to be Hebrews 13, verses one to eight. We’re going to see seven kind of what I’m calling quick reminders, just good things to have kind of mentally handy, as we start out the new year. But you’re going to see that in these eight verses. There are seven ideas, people groups, really, and the last one is not a people group. It is a man, Jesus Christ, the man himself. So we’re going to look in verse eight at him for just a moment at the end. But you’ll see that there are categories of people, then there’s the verse listed, and then there’s kind of the essence of the verse that will flow after that in each of the seven points. So just take a look at that and know that, especially for the adults this morning, you’re going to find the scripture there and as we read it along the way. Okay, so let’s go ahead, we’re going to start with Hebrews 13. It’s gonna be up on the screen as well.
This is Hebrews 13 1-8. It says, Let brotherly love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them. And those who are mistreated since you also are in the body. Let marriage be held in honor among all and let the marriage bed be undefiled for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have. For he has said, I will never leave you nor forsake you. So we can confidently say, The Lord is my helper. I will not fear What can man do to me. Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the Word of God Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. A strong text and there’s a lot in it.
So back up to verse one. It says Let brotherly love but I got to share something here real quick. I was reading somewhere. This was I remember, maybe it was a female news anchor and in Philadelphia was sharing a story about the five rudest, meanest cities in America. Okay, and number five, I’m gonna get I’m gonna give you a list for from five backup the one number five, Boston. I’ve spent some time boss I like Boston. Number four, Las Vegas. I’ve never been to Vegas. I kind of thankful for that. Number three, New York City. Maybe no surprise there. Number two, and this is out of left field. Memphis, Tennessee. Like where did that even come from? Number one. And you guessed it. What? Philadelphia and whoever was a mentor the rudest meter and whoever was writing or speaking, I forget who it was. She was like, You know what we are who we are. We are proud. We are no holds barred. We are in your face. We are straight shooters here in Philadelphia. Okay. Brotherly Love. It says Let brotherly love continues. Let it just continue to unfold, not unravel. But unfold. Let it continue. Now I have a niece who’s studying at a big 10 University. It’s not Penn State. It’s not Ohio State either. Okay, so she’s safe. Not going to tell you where she studies but she’s studying the big 10 University. She’s studying veterinary science or animal behaviorist something or other. I want to introduce you to the two patients that she was responsible for this past summer and her internship. And so we’re going to go ahead and have some pictures up. This is the first picture now isn’t that? Pretty cool, huh? So that little guy on the left, his name is Titan. Okay. He is a lion. That little guy on the right, his name is Magic. He’s a leopard. He has some pretty cool coloring because his mom was what they call black leopard, or a black panther you maybe some of you have seen the movie The Black Panther. So that’s Titan, and Magic. They are brothers. So let’s show the next picture. This is Titan. Titan is getting a little bit bigger. Okay. That’s what happens to lion or lions. He has written a letter to Santa. I did my best Titan needs to work on his handwriting skills. Because I was trying to read his handwriting. The gist of it is this. He says, Dear Santa, what I really want for Christmas are some streamers so that me and my brother Magic can have a lot of fun on Christmas day playing together. Okay, so that’s what Titan is wishing for from Santa and then show the third picture, please. Low and behold, they got it. The streamers and there they are playing together Titan and Magic. I just wanted to say let brotherly love continue. Right? Isn’t that a good example of of brotherly love. So, there they go. Thanks for showing us pictures.
Let’s have Galatians 6:10 up and go ahead and read this. I’m going to read it with you so that it says as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith. When it’s talking about brotherly and sisterly love. In this first verse, it’s talking about love that we we in the room, those of us who are in Christ, who have begun that relationship with him, have for one another. Again and again and again in the Word of God, we’re called to exercise that. So brotherly sisterly love 2023. Let’s make sure that we continue to just let that flow. Verse two says this, do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unaware. We had the coolest thing happen. This was many years ago. I want to say 20 21 years ago, and I had a group of students were in upstate New York we had just finished hiking in the high peaks region. It was about this time of year, maybe late November into December but it was getting cold in that region. We had been on the trail all day. We’re now back in the van, we’re headed back home about a two hour drive. We were hungry. We hadn’t eaten a whole lot that day. So we decided to swing into McDonald’s. It was the McDonald’s, right there at the exit off the north way in Warrensburg, New York, okay, if you’ve ever been to that McDonald’s, and we were there, and so we came in, we ordered our food. We hadn’t had our lesson yet, for the day, we had been kind of slated to talk about the last two chapters of Revelation, last two chapters in the Bible, Revelation 21, and 22, that are all about heaven. So we’re going to talk about heaven. We thought, you know, we don’t have to make it back real quick, back to home. So let’s just kind of sit back here, let’s get all of our food together. We’ll eat and and we’ll just kind of go back and forth a little bit like we do in men’s Bible study a little bit of back and forth, talking about having talked through these two chapters. We had begun to do that. Just as I’m kind of opening up to the text, and I’m kind of standing there at the back of McDonald’s again, about eight o’clock at night, so there’s no one else around. The managers like, yeah, that’s, that’s fine. Go ahead. This guy walks around the corner, and he kind of sits down back in the corner, you know, behind my students there. He just kind of nods, and he kind of smiles and I said, Hey, you know, good to have you, you know, we’re just talking about book of Revelation. He’s like, I know, you know, it’s alright, good. Well, please be, you know, feel free to join us. So we talked for about an hour, at the end of that talk. You know, we get up, we’re starting to put our layers back on and have to go back outside of the vans, there’s about 20 of us in there, about 10 men and 10 women, and we get up, and I see this guy stand up, and I see him walk around the front, and kind of disappear from my vision, because he was back up to where the counters were. I said to a few of the women, hey, go grab that guy. Because I just like to say hi to him and maybe get to know him a little bit. They walked around. Then they come back and they said, it’s not there. Like, what, what guy? I said, well check with the manager, maybe he was maybe he’s an employee, and he walked back into the, you know, back behind the counter and we did. The manager comes out, she comes out and says to me, who are you looking for? I said, well, the guy that was sitting here the whole time for an hour with us. She’s like, you know, I stuck my head around, because we’re still having to get ready to clean up the restaurant closed for the night. There was no guy there. She says. There was no door on that side of the restaurant where the guy could have gotten out. I looked at these two women, young, you know, they’re probably in their mid 20s and I said, you know, I’m thinking that was an angel. They started crying. They started crying. You know, I remember the one kind of they were kind of shoulder to shoulder one turn and grab the arm of the other one, they started crying. Awesome. Sometimes we entertain angels, unaware, the Bible says that, right? You just read it. Pretty cool. So practice hospitality toward people you don’t know, to because you never know. But practice hospitality toward people you don’t know. Also, how to do that. I think first pray, pray for opportunity. I remember one time, I was actually kind of in that same region by myself. It was cold time of year I’m driving back home, it’s raining. I was headed up the north way and over the overpass, I see this guy and he wasn’t well dressed for the rain. He had like on a flannel shirt like I have. He’s just walking across and on his shoulders. He had what I assume had to have been his little baby girl. I remember that she had on a pink coat. I shot under that overpass and my heart just went out to them. I’m like I you know, there was no off ramp there. So I’m not able to get off or anything like that. But I just thought I was overwhelmed with the sense of pray for that guy and for that girl. I’ve never seen them since. I have remembered them always. Hopefully I pray for them every now and then. I’m hoping that I don’t know maybe in 100 years, maybe in 1000 years, and Heaven, guy comes up to me and says, Hey, you know what, thanks for praying for me. By the way, here’s, here’s my daughter, stop, pray, pray for that, pray, pray for opportunity. Just that the Lord would would open our eyes, so that we see those that we don’t know. That our heart goes out toward them.
Another thing I wanted to share greet people. I want to give a lesson on how to greet people. You know, it occurred to me in my neighborhood, and sometimes when I’m out and about, I’m driving out, and women are, it just seems to me that women are so much better at this, you know, the guys are that, that when I drive by, and maybe I’ll toot my horn or something like that, or, you know, they’re looking, they’re looking to see who it is, or they’ve looked, and they’ve seen who it is. So they’ll turn around, and they’ll make eye contact and, you know, sometimes, like, get down like this, you know, wave like that they’ll smile. You know, God bless women for smiling. You know, but I love how women say hi, guys, it’s like, you know, this is the best I usually get from guys. You know, as I drive by, they only turn around, you know, and that guys you know, if there’s the need to be really tough, or, you know, this is how they say hi. Like, like, Did you see that? Did you see how I just said hi. But it just kind of, uh, you know, I’m gonna I’m gonna exaggerate how I that’s how you say Hi, sorry. You know, my brothers. Maybe work a little bit on greeting people, you know, to make yourself a little bit more approachable. Maybe this afternoon in that walk I was talking about to get out in the neighborhood with you engage some folks, some folks that you do not know yet, would be such a good thing. God honoring thing. Then develop a heart. Just ask, ask God for His heart.
I want us to go ahead and read we’re going to have this up on the screen, Deuteronomy 10. This is verses 18 and 19. This is Deuteronomy 10. Verses 18 and 19. I think we have that, yay. It says this about God. He executes justice for the fatherless, and the widow and loves the sojourner, giving him food and clothing. Love the sojourner, therefore, for you are sojourners in the land of Egypt. Have you seen this commercial by the way? Did you know I’m talking about I forget the name of the in the organization that’s running the commercials now, but I’ve seen it in a few of the bowl games yesterday, where, you know, they they show you a family that looks Hispanic, and then they start to talk to you about this family having to run away and they’re showing you all these pictures that are current day pictures, and that a ruler wanted to go ahead and send an army into their region, and to persecute and to harm some of them. So they’re on the road. It’s a very hard road and they’re hungry, but they’re still on the road and all they want to do is go home and then it wraps up by saying they didn’t want to let have to leave Bethlehem. Then it says Jesus was a refugee. Very powerful commercial, anyway, the heart of God, for the sojourner, for the stranger for the alien. Father, give give that to us. Verse three, remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them? Those who are mistreated sense you also are in the body, remember the imprisoned and remember, remember the persecuted as though with them? How do we go about that? is thinking about this and is a little tough to invite everyone to visit a jail. yet I go back to and I’m gonna go ahead and read this. I go back. I go back to Matthew 25 where Jesus says I was naked and you clothed me. I was sick and you visited me. I was in prison and you came to me. Now granted, this text is talking about those of us who are being persecuted and imprisoned because of our faith. I still think it would be such a good value, you would find it valuable. If you had never done this to at least visit and visit at time, you know, for a time or to a prison. You know, I know at this church that pastor in I think he still offers alpha in the prison on a lot about 12:30 on a Friday afternoon weekly, the course of the year I think he does that maybe once or twice in a year. I know that my friend Margaret Gray, has for many years reached out and gone into whether it’s Cumberland County Prison or perhaps Camp Hill I’m not sure. Okay. There’s something about even the opportunity to hear the slamming of the cellblocks. You know, when you when you see the then you’re in a jail, and you see the bars separating you from the inmates, and those gates are open, and then there’s RAM shut kind of a thing. It sends something into you that is of great value, as you look to care for those Jesus called us to care for. So perhaps visitation is something to think about. Pray, there’s another picture that I wanted to show, let’s go ahead and show that. Yeah. They just stamp that with my phone yesterday is most recent issue of Voice of the Martyrs. That is a church in Cuba. Those are brothers and sisters, you see some kids, they’re right in the middle in the last row. But you can see where they’re worshiping, that someone has come along, the authorities, I’m told, have come along and destroyed all the walls of their church, I don’t know how the roof is still standing. But there they are. They’re still worshiping. Okay, that’s in Cuba, like maybe close to the same time zone as us. I’m guessing that they are there right now. That’s the scene. So, with an organization like Voice of the Martyrs dedicated to getting out and around the world, and those places where our brothers and sisters are most severely persecuted, do we pray for their efforts? Do we pray for them. So we want to be people of prayer. Thanks for that picture. We want to be people of prayer that way. Then it’s such an interesting phrase here when it says, Since you also are in the body. Now there are some scholars who are going to say about that phrase that it could mean, there are some a handful, who say it could mean that you are in the body, being the church, universal, you know, church with a capitalist, all those men and women, boys and girls who are in Christ. That sense, you’re in that by since you’re in the church, you should do these things, you should remember those who are persecuted in prison. But more often than not, the general consensus seems to be just that, hey, if you’re not invalid, if you are, if you’ve got a beating heart, and life requires to you to be out and about to live your life, to provide for your family, to, to just go along and be a participant in the world. Okay? Just kind of the daily grind that that’s what this is talking about. Hey, if you’ve got a body and a beating heart and you’re out there, then you qualify to be the kind of person who needs to be mindful of this kind of person who is persecuted. This kind of person who is perhaps even imprisoned. Just go ahead and be in the real world. Go ahead. Let’s all of us go ahead. Let’s not shy away. I try to dart into CVS as fast as we can and you know, hope no one sees us and hope we don’t run into anybody and they’d get what we need and be gone. Whether we’re at the gym, we’re running errands. We happen to be in the mall. Out at a restaurant, get to know the waiter, get to know the waitress a little bit, go back to the same one again and again ask them, hey, there’s not a whole lot of people in your second just yet. How are you doing? Can I be praying for you? What do you want me to pray for you for, you know, that kind of thing.
Let’s remember, first four. Let marriage be held in honor among all and let the marriage bed be undefiled for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous so on our marriage, on our marriage and on our marriage by keeping it pure. How for, you know, by what means? Well, it’s three observations here real quick on this one. It says, not just husbands and wives, don’t say husband. Let it be honored by all I want to say by all men and women, let it be honored. That lets me know that I need to whether or not I’m married, be thinking about marriage in the right way. I need to be speaking about marriage in the right way. When I say the right way, I mean the biblical way, that’s what I want to be about. So in includes everyone, it does not matter if you are married or not, it does not matter if you’re married yet or not to be honored. By all, it also says, to honor the bed, not just the institution. It is not enough for me as a pastor at this church, for instance, to say that I can sign off on Trent Thompson’s or our elders, position paper on marriage or sexuality or something to that effect. It is not enough that I agree philosophically with the institution of marriage. I want to be practicing honor, in my own marriage, and in all of us need to do the same. Let’s keep that in mind. Honor the bed, not just the instant by the by the way, our next enrich seminar is a good time to plug this thing. Next enrich seminar February 11. And we’re going to be talking about this issues of marriage bed and institution and so forth. You know, wanted to be a little careful here with young years. But it was a year ago, and we did a paper hard copy survey to I don’t know, 60 70 couples that were in the room then for that particular seminar. If we talk about this topic, will you come back to a couple? They said yes. So we’re going to kind of hold you to your word, expect you to show up on February 11 to talk about it. It’s going to be a good thing. All right. So please turn out for that. Honor the bed not just the institution.
Third and final thing for verse four here, just the point that God will judge that he will judge. The verse says, not just adultery, but sexual immorality, please let’s understand it. 2023 America that sexual immorality can include so much more than adultery let’s please understand that and that God has his eye on that that’s not me up here railing. The text says that God has his eye on that and that he takes that seriously. So please, when we when we come to understand issues of sexuality and sexual morality and immorality, these sorts of things, adultery, let’s please on understand that we’re called to honor marriage. To have that be such a more comprehensive thing that maybe we had thought, let’s honor marriage. verses five and six, keep your life free from love of money and be content with what you have. So here here’s something that makes me feel content is going to show you that it’s going to not get me to tell you what I was going to show you. But go ahead and show ya yeah, I love flowers. I want to go ahead and my wife tells me that I need to open up with you all and be more vulnerable and So this is, this is one of those things that I just love. This is this is a hydrangea lacecap variety in my own backyard. I took that just looking down from my porch and snap that. Don’t you love the color of violet there? Yeah. Okay, next picture. That’s my favorite flower. Morning Glory. And there are all kinds of varieties of Morning Glory. I love the deep purple. I mean, there’s something it’s so delicate, and the texture is so perfectly soft. And the colors are so rich. And that’s not even the traditional sky blue morning glory. Next picture. That is an orange Cosmo. If you get orange pie, I’ve got a few of these seeds that I, I keep in a jar all winter long, and then just scatter them in certain beds in my backyard. They’re pretty hardy, but orange Cosmo, I love such love flowers, okay, so and when I’m out in my yard, and I’m doing yard work and I’m tending to my garden, it gives me a great field feeling of contentment. So I am content in that moment.
I had been riding with some of my police officers in downtown Harrisburg. It was end of shift. There were four of us piled into one of the marked Tahoes. You just need to know that the three guys that I’m with, I’m in the passenger seat. The guy next to me is 6’6 260 Arms like tree trunks. The guys in the back seat, almost as big. One of the guys played defensive end for Penn State football. These are big guys. Tough guys. Alpha dog types. I’m, I’m sitting there. You know, I’m just I’m kind of curious. I asked them a question, what do you guys do for self care? The guy next to me, I mean, before I finished the question, he just says, Pedicure. Immediately, as soon as he says, dude, pedicure, the guy behind him says pedicure. The guy behind me says, Dude, it’s like, it was like a unit, they were a comedy routine, immediately, the all three of them. I’m just like, you are so full of it. They started immediately, you know, they’re talking about all the different nails, places where they go and where their favorite spot is. You know, I don’t even need to bring my girlfriend along. You know, I’ll just go on my own. It’s alright. I guess. They’re like, dude, what? Then when, when she takes that hot wet towel and lays it over your ankle, and just says now just sit there for about six minutes. It is heaven. I am so content. I’m like, Alright, so Kim and I went home, or I went home, I told Kim and Kim said, Well, I’ll take you and we’ll get you a pedicure. We did. She was right. I’m just telling you. So much so in family time. Here’s the second part of this story. That you know, the church staff here we had a party not too long ago, and we’re playing a game and the question got asked if you’ve ever had a pedicure, stand up and move to the back of the room. Every woman on staff got up and walked to the back of the room and me and not a single and I’m telling you I felt. I had guys looking at me. Like Nate really? Like yeah, you don’t know. I mean when she lays that hot towel on your ankles. So the verse is talking about contentment, content with what you have. Those guys are pretty silly. Some of my officers are pretty sad, but they were serious. You got to believe them. It was it was I don’t know that I’ll go back soon, but it was it was worth the trip.
Says four things in these two verses verses five and six. One free from love of money. I read you something here this is from 1 Timothy six. It says but godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing enter the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these, we will be content. That’s 1 Timothy six. Back into our verses here. Keep your life free from love of money, say keep it free from money. Keep it free from love of money and be content with what you have. For he has said, I will never leave you nor forsake you. So we looked at that a couple of weeks ago, right? Remember that from the life of Jacob in Genesis 28:15? Behold, I am with you and I will keep you in all places wherever you go. It’s okay to say if you’ve got to be so strict in Genesis 28:15, well, that was a promise made to Jacob not to me. Well, you know what, in Hebrews 13, it just got made to you. Take that, from God as a promise, I will never leave you nor forsake you. This is what the author of Hebrews wants us to remember. So keep your life free from the love of money. Be content with what you have, for he said, I will never leave you nor forsake you. So we can confidently say, The Lord is my helper. God is our refuge and strength and ever present help in trouble? You go back and memorize all of Psalm 46. Or at least Psalm 46. One God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble? That’s true. We know that to be true. It says, I will not fear that there’s a kind of confidence. You know, I was reminded of Proverbs 28 One such a cool verse, especially I think, in the old King James Version, it says this, The wicked flee, the nun pursue with but the righteous are bold as a lion. Don’t you love that? But I love that verse. Have you ever experienced just the feeling of having to do the right thing and you just, you’re scared to death, but you do the right thing. As you’re doing the right thing, it’s like the Holy Spirit of God just infuses this, this feeling of for command do to me, I am bullet proof. I hope I hope you’ve experienced that I pray that we would each know what that is like. given an opportunity to do the right thing, when it’s very hard to do the right thing to know going into your attempt to do it, that you cannot do it on your own. Then to follow through in the strength of God as the Holy Spirit is present in you and in the situation. Then just to come away from that with a sense of command. I just feel like I’ve gotten your fire in my veins, kind of a command.
Alright, verse seven. says Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the Word of God, consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. You know, it makes me a little self conscious to read that. Yeah, which leaders are what what what is it about a leader? What are the what are the distinctions of a leader that is, in a sense worth following that you should follow when at least underscore the Word of God and what is called in the Word of God, the whole counsel of the Word of God, that you want to follow, and I want to follow only those leaders, those teachers, whether they’re on their pastoral staff, fellowship group leaders, you know, all of our different ministries as we’re teaching and so forth. We want to follow those who are committed to the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth of the Word of God. Because if I have a leader who is committed to some of the truth, I’m not interested. If I have a leader that is only wanting to tell me the pieces of the Bible, the pieces of the truth that are going to be palatable for me, in my flesh, I’m not going to. Assuming that leader when a leader who is going to bring the whole word of God, the truth, the whole truth, nothing but the truth. That’s what I want. Let me say this also, just one other thing about this, this verse seven is is just this that when you consider your leaders don’t get wrapped up in considering the things that have happened to them. Don’t get wrapped up in superstition all that person really got slammed. I guess they did something bad God got them. No, but don’t go down that road. When you consider your leaders consider how it is. They respond to the things that come their way. That’s what you want to consider. Don’t consider what happens to them. Consider how they respond to the things that happened to them. If it helps, remember, job, right? It was his three friends. We all know, you know, those guys were not highly commended. Because they came back with an attitude of, oh, look at all the bad stuff that’s happened to Job, you know, he must have really gone off the rails. It was the friends who said that. But meanwhile, it was job responding by not charging God with wrongdoing, who was really worthy of imitation and one at the end of the book God praises. Respond, or response. That’s, that’s what we what we want to consider. How are you responding as a leader to the things that come your way in life, that’s what’s worthy to be considered. Then that’s the response that should get imitated. I want to respond that way and trial, the way I saw that leader, that teacher respond and trial, that’s what I want. Final verse, verse eight, Jesus Christ. Let me just say this, he alone in the universe, is the only one who can say, and of whom it can be said, He is the same. Yesterday, today, forever, and not just in his nature. But in his promises, in his purposes, he is the same he is unchangeable. us kind of a big word, I guess, theological word, he is immutable, unchangeable, he is the same. That makes him perfectly reliable. You know, one last picture. Then we’re done. So this is a picture that my daughter took, because she and her husband, my son in law, Aaron. So Aaron and Anna, they live in Australia, and they went to New Zealand in Australia, they go to New Zealand, the way that we go to like the Bahamas, so much more majestic, I think, than the Bahamas stood there so blessed, but she was in New Zealand. This was probably, I don’t know, a couple months ago. She took this picture of the mountain range. This is the same range that you’re going to see. If you’ve watched the Lord of the Rings, movies, this is where they film Lord of the Rings. So you’ve got Gandalf in the Fellowship of the Ring, and they’re up along the ridge line, somewhere in there, whatever. But I want you to see how majestic that is, and how impregnable how immovable. That is. Then here are this verse from Isaiah 54:10. As to the unchangeableness of God, the unchangeableness, that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. Hear this in Isaiah 54:10, it says this, For the mountains may be removed, and the hills may shake, but my loving kindness will not be removed from you. My covenant of peace, will not be shaken, says the Lord, who has compassion on you. Says the Lord who has compassion on you. The same Jesus who fed the 5000 and who it says in the book of Mark, when he’s feeding the 5000, that I have compassion on them. I have compassion on these 5000 people. The same Jesus of whom it says in March For one, that he had compassion on the leper who came to him and said, I know that you’re able to heal me, but are you willing to heal me? It says, Jesus had compassion on him. The same Jesus 2000 years ago, who said that whether it’s to the crowd, or the individual, same Jesus, of whom had said, I say, a 54:10, for the mountains may be removed and the hills may shake, better chance of that being lopped off thrown into the sea. The compassion of Christ is not changing, loving kindness of God, counted on forever. So be encouraged by that, let’s pray.
Father, just, we come before you and we want to acknowledge my gratitude for the unchangeableness of Jesus. We pray for the strength of your Holy Spirit to just now engage these reminders in this new year. We want to be people who let the brotherly and sisterly love, continue to flow in our community, just here to one another, those who can’t be with us this morning. Want to remember, reach out and practice hospitality with those we don’t know also, that can be a tricky thing. In this world, in this American culture, we’re told to be safe and to never do things like that. But Father, I pray that you would put a smile on our face at least give us a heart and eyes to see the people around us the way that you see them. There help us to remember those who are persecuted. And to do that around the world, pray regularly for them was to honor marriage, prayer practice, kind of marriage, that the church and your son, your son Jesus practices with us, lays his life down for us, and we submit to Him. They help us to be worthy imitators that way. Father, help us to be content. We have to forsake a love of money. Father, when our portfolios continue to plummet, let’s to forsake a love of money. You are the one who has said Behold, I am with you and I will keep you. It doesn’t matter where you go. To help us to remember that strengthen our faith, we would be content. And then Father help us to look to our leaders and our teachers and to see the outcome by noting the response of the things that are your sovereignty You have ordained And Father help us to never forget Jesus Christ. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. Help us never forget him. In Jesus name. Amen