The PATH to Prayer
Over the last couple of weeks, I have shared with you about the PATH to prayer- "Praise, Admit, Thank, Help." Last week, we looked at what it means to praise God, so this week we turn our attention to "Admit."
Admitting when we have done something wrong is probably one of our least favorite things to do. It takes humility to say we are wrong, and it comes with perhaps a bit of shame. Yet admitting our faults is an important part of our prayer lives. Why do we need to admit what we have done when God already knows it, though? Admitting the wrong we have done frees us up. When we know we have done wrong but do not admit it, we feel the need to hide it, cover it up, or pretend like it's not there. Yet that wrong stands in the middle of our relationship with those we have hurt. God knows what we have done and forgives us, but until we admit it the wrong damages our relationship. To admit our wrongs is to take away the power they have to hurt our relationships. That is why we should admit what we have done.
But what about if we do not realize we have done something wrong that has damaged our relationship with God and others? In Psalm 19, the author questions how one can know all the wrong they have done and asks God to clear them of hidden faults. In a way, this is about admitting not just specific sins that we have committed but also to the fact that we are sinful and need God's help. To admit this is not about making us feel bad about who we are but to remind us that we need God's strength every moment.
Take some time this week to praise God and then to admit both the wrongs you have done and your need for God!
Blessings on the journey, Jim
Called: Son of Encouragement
Sunday's Sermon Snippet: Son of Encouragement! (Acts 4:32-37, 11:19-30)
Long before Paul arrived on the scene to first persecute and then to preach the gospel of Jesus, the church in its earliest days was a community that shared life together and spread the good news. When any had need, those who had property would sell it and give the money to the apostles so that it could be shared with those who needed it. Many of the followers of Jesus did just this, but Luke notes one man in particular who sold his property and gave it to the community. His name was Joseph but he was given the nickname Barnabas, meaning "son of encouragement." We are not sure what specifically the apostles saw in him that would lead them to give him this name at this point, but he would certainly live up to this name. When Paul came to Jerusalem a changed man preaching Jesus, the believers remembered his former persecution of them and were wary of accepting him into their midst. Barnabas, however, spoke up and vouched for Paul and his preaching in Damascus. With this endorsement, Paul was accepted and his ministry encouraged to its next phase. Of course, Paul made new enemies and had to flee back home to Tarsus. Years later, a new Christian community was growing in nearby Antioch. The apostles heard of this and sent Barnabas to encourage the new believers there. What made this community special was that it included Gentile in addition to the Jewish Christians. The believers there had taken up the calling given to Paul to spread the good news among the Gentiles. Barnabas encouraged the church there, and in time went to Tarsus in search of Paul. He brought Paul back to Antioch to join in the work to which he had been called. Again, Barnabas encouraged Paul in his ministry and set him back on the right path. In all things, Barnabas lived up to the nickname given to him. We all need someone to encourage us and so we all ought to encourage one another as Barnabas did for Paul. May we one day be found worthy of such a great nickname as sons and daughters of encouragement!
Ash Wednesday, March 1
Ash Wednesday is a holiday marking the beginning of the season of Lent, a time of spiritual preparation leading up to the celebration of Easter. On Ash Wednesday, we repent of the things that are holding back our faith and make commitments to seek God and spiritual growth. Join us next week on March 1st at 7 pm (following our Wednesday at the Port breakfast-for-dinner meal) as we set out on the journey to Easter together!
Living in Community
Thank you to our bus drivers, Mark, Randy, and Dinah, and our team of riders
who make it possible to bring so many kids to our church each and every week!
Thank you to Dave, Adam, Chris, Meg, and Susie
for their work with the sound and computer system during worship each week!
This Week at Port Church
Tuesday, February 21
9:00 - 11:45 am - Office Hours
Wednesday, February 22
6:00 - Wednesday at the Port
Menu: Pork Tenderloin
Thursday, February 24
9:00 - 11:45 am - Office Hours
Sunday, February 26
9:30 am - Worship: "Worshipping and Fasting"
11:00 am - Sunday School
6:30 pm - Financial Peace University
March 1, 7 pm - Ash Wednesday Service
March 17 - Paint Night
News and Updates
Find out what is going on at Port Republic UMC this week and in weeks to come!