Blessings to you, family and friends of Bartimaeus Baptist Temple. I’m looking forward to sharing with you again this Sunday. Last Sunday we got an unexpected surprise as Cindy brought the Sunday school lesson on wisdom and the importance of teaching our children. Pastor David brought a great message about how God sees people and that we should learn to see them as He does.
As we were gathering, news was just breaking about the tragedy in Orlando. Since then the news has been filled with little else. A man with ties to Moslem terrorists killed 49 people and injured 53 more at a gay night club. How do we respond at times like these? What would God want us to say? Maybe not much. Maybe what He would like us to do is act with compassion. We tend to be particularly vehement in our rejection of the sin of homosexuality. In part this may be due to the militant activism we encounter, especially in recent years. In part it might be because God seems to speak out so strongly against it in scripture. We should not shy from calling sin what it is, but do you realize that God has just as strong a revulsion for many other sins? Some of them we don’t think are so bad. Maybe we should be looking at our own lives. When we find some of those there, maybe we’ll discover a little more compassion for those struggling with another one.
There’s a reason that God hates sin. It destroys the people for whom Jesus died. It is not love when we refrain from sharing the news that saves from Hell. Neither is it love to use the truth as a weapon to attack people who are already hurting. Let the Holy Spirit be your guide to the time and place. Remember God’s heart in the matter. He does not want anyone to die without knowing Him. I had a hard time settling on a single scripture that carries the point of this week’s message, but I think 2 Peter 3:9 is a good place to start. Pray that those misled by the false teachings of Islam will find Jesus. Christianity is the true “religion of peace.” Pray that those trapped in the sin of homosexuality will be restored to the kind of relationship God made for us. Therein they will find life and true love. Join us on Sunday as we explore God’s word together.
It was great to see Edith back with us last week! Keep praying for Kim. She is at home now but still requires daily treatments. Cindy was doing the Sunday school because Priscilla had to stay and help her. Debra has been out for several weeks still battling the pain and vertigo and it doesn’t seem like the treatments are helping her much. Check the prayer requests page for the other requests that were made in our service. There’s also a link there where you can submit one during the week if you want. You can select a box to have us share it with everyone or else only the leadership will know.
See you this Sunday!