What Does God Do in the World?

Jeremiah 31:31-34/Psalm 119:9-16/Hebrews 5:5-10/John 12:20-33

Today I want to ask the question, “What does God do in the World?” Let’s talk about that.

There is little debate among Christians about the natural world. From the beginning of creation, God laid down the laws of nature. God fixed the stars in their places, hung the sun and moon, created the earth, and said to the proud waves of the sea, “thus far shall you come, but no further.” That’s poetry–but there is truth in it.

God’s natural law extends to the animal kingdom. Ducks fly south in the winter, and bears hibernate because they are governed by the instincts God gave them. Animals are bound by instinct but are free from the moral law. When the great racehorse Secretariat produced 600 foals (colts and fillies) by almost as many mares, he was not living promiscuously but according to his nature. When a wolf kills another wolf to gain dominance in the pack, he does not murder but lives according to his nature. Continue reading

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Facing Evil in God’s Light

In the story of the fiery serpents, God sends the serpents among the people of Israel to punish them for believing that he has delivered them from Egypt in order to kill them in the wilderness. When they repent and confess their sin of speaking against the LORD and his servant Moses, God instructs Moses to make a bronze serpent and set it on a pole so that everyone who is bitten by the poisonous serpents may look upon the bronze serpent and live.

In the 4th Gospel, the author compares Jesus to the bronze serpent.  He writes:

And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up (aka lifted up on the cross) so that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.

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Posterity Will Serve Him

I have already exceeded the time I expected to spend as your Interim pastor. It has all been good.

The first year was the source of great joy, as Elayne and I revived old friendships and formed new ones. A friend who visited with us before Covid-19 shut us down recently said, “Worth, I was impressed. You have a great congregation.” I told her that she was right and that I would pass on the compliment. Now I have.

I hope you know that you are special. It matters how you see yourselves. If you see yourselves as a church on the decline, you will decline, but if you see yourselves as a church brought together to God to serve the present age into the future that is coming to us in him, then the possibilities are unlimited. Remember, God has a way of choosing the least and the least likely and then doing great things through them. Of course, you are far from the least. If you were a developing congregation, any pastor would be encouraged to serve as your pastor. He or she would be stunned by your resources. Your location and your physical plant are second to none. Very few churches of your size can equal your commitment to stewardship. And you possess Spiritual gifts and dedication. Spiritual gifts without dedication mean nothing. Gifs coupled with dedication can change the world. Continue reading

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Humility: Who Needs It?

Psalm 25:1-10, Mark 1:9-15

I have a friend who is a  very successful and multi-talented person. When he attended high school, he played short-stop on a State Championship Baseball Team, and he also represented North Carolina in the Shrine Bowl, starting at wide receiver. He is the kind of guy that can play golf once a year, and still shoot in the ’70s when he does. He is more than an athlete. He has also enjoyed good careers in retail and as a policeman right here in Winston-Salem. At present, in his late 60’s, he travels the world training America’s allies in Africa and the Middle East in marksmanship and anti-terrorism techniques. He has a lot going for him. I once asked him his favorite song. He didn’t answer. He just started to sing:

Oh Lord it’s hard to be humble
When you’re perfect in every way
I can’t wait to look in the mirror,
‘cause I get better looking each day.

To know me is to love me
I must be a (heck) of a man
Oh Lord It’s hard to be humble,
But I doin’ the best that I can.

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Drive Thru Communion

Bring your own communion elements.

Sunnyside Ministry Donations Needed:

  • Canned vegetables
  • Crackers
  • Pasta
  • Rice
  • Cereal
  • Powdered Milk

All canned foods and pantry items are always welcome.

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