Monday, October 11, 2021

October 10 Sermon and Announcements

 

CERRO GORDO CHURCH OF THE BRETHREN

October 10, 2021

 

THE BEATITUDES Part 3

How Far Will We Go?

Matthews 5:10-12

 

The past two Sunday we have looked at the first 7 of the Beatitudes. Two weeks ago, we discussed the first three and, last Sunday, the next four. The first three Beatitudes are about how everyday life affects us and then how we react to some of those disappointments and challenges as well as what God promises us when we remain faithful. The four we looked at last week are about choices we have made, both to life as well as to God’s call in our lives. The Beatitudes are all about choices and attitudes that drive us or about how life challenges us and what our reactions and responses are.

 

The last two Beatitudes that we read this morning are different yet from the others. These Beatitudes warn us about how others may react to the choices and attitudes we have made, especially our stand on God’s word and our relationship with God because of Jesus Christ. The first we read this morning says, “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” We are being warned by Jesus that if you stand up for God’s holy standard not everyone is going to agree. As Jesus got more and more into his ministry, we see the Jewish leaders of the day were constantly opposing him. When we looked at Acts and the early church proclaiming the good news of salvation through Jesus, it cost many everything, including their lives. Jesus is warning the people, standing up for God and his holy standard will not always be easy, but once again look at the reward. The kingdom of heaven awaits those who will stand up for God’s righteousness. What is interesting is Jesus said the exact same thing of those who are beaten up by life in the very first Beatitude. The reward for both is the kingdom of heaven awaits. Many who may feel poor in spirit may feel that way because of what had happened to them for doing the right thing for pursuing God’s righteousness and encouraging others to do the same thing.

 

The final Beatitude read in verse 11 really warns Jesus’ followers the reality of serving God in an honest yet visible way. “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil again you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven.” This morning’s message title is “How far will you go?” If we are really willing to put it all out there. If we are unafraid, unashamed and willing to boldly proclaim the truth, be ready. People very well may insult you, persecute you and spread lies about you to stop you. Notice one important thing Jesus said. Sometimes sin can get us into trouble and these same things can happen because in many ways we deserve it. Jesus made a point in telling everyone if people insult you, persecute you and lie about you because you are firmly in God’s hands doing his work, do not be surprised. Jesus wanted to make sure everyone knew if these things happen because of your belief in him, be ready. But if these things happen because of him, great is your reward in heaven.

 

The Beatitudes remind us that things will happen to us while we are in these bodies on this earth. Sometimes it is because of what we have brought on ourselves because of sin. Sometimes it is because we live in a world that is stained by sin. Sometimes it is because we purposely took a stand with Jesus for God and his righteous, his holy standard. When things happen to us, especially because of our faith in God, Jesus wanted to make sure we all know God is watching. When God created us, He always intended for us to spend eternity with him, not live forever in this body as it currently is. Jesus was telling his disciples, the ones gathered on that mountainside and us today, that being one of God’s children can and will be difficult at times.

 

The last Beatitude Jesus shared really makes it very clear that if you truly pursue a righteous godly life, not everyone is going to be excited about it. And if you dare share your faith with others, you really better get ready.

 

We will continue with the more specific details of a godly life Jesus shared on the Sermon on the Mount starting next week. The Beatitudes gave an overview to us all of what we can expect not only from people and from the world, but also from our God. God is there ready to bless us, and Jesus has just given us the recipe for blessings. The question for you and me is will we follow it or try to create our own? Sometimes altering a recipe works in cooking, but it is not a good plan to change God’s recipe if we want to spend eternity with our heavenly Father and Jesus Christ our Savior when our time is up on this earth.

Pastor Larry

Announcements:

 

Bible Study 9:30 Tuesday

 

October 13 7:00 Executive Committee

 

November 5, 6 District Conference—One delegate still needed

November 10—Board Meeting

November 14—Council meeting after worship

 

Offering plates are in the back of the sanctuary. Thank you!

 

Donation Box: Pastor’s Assistance Fund

First Sundays: food donations for food banks

 

Pastor Larry Traxler- (217) 454-2362

 

To keep up on Church of the Brethren news:

Denomination: www.brethren.org/news Sign up for Newsline by clicking link on left side of page.

District: iwdcob.org (click on newsletter link) and on facebook

Our pages: cerrogordocob.com (printed sermon, announcements, & calendar) and on facebook

Keep in Your Prayers

Matt & Jill Reed and family; Andy Flenner and family; Mindy Sawyer; Jim (Buck) West; Marlene Schultz; Randy West; Jen Durst; Sarah Rudelick; Sydney (Nancy Gorrell’s niece); Tera Runyan; Carl and Wilma Cable; Marge Starr; Mike Gentry; Larry Albro; Mike McCleery; Mike and Carol Seidenstricker; Sonna Hall; Brittany Wright; Owen Wright; Anna Gentry Thompson; Clyde and Nancy Fansler; Adiline Young; Kim Lehmann; Doug Fansler; Liza Yore; Candy Dobson; Anna Rose Larrick; Shawn Cain; Robert Cripe; Mayo & Darlene Hanaver; Zola Copeland; Patty Cripe; Lauren Gross; Stacie Warren; Nancy Gorrell; many unspoken requests; Coronavirus crisis; healthcare workers and first responders; the families of the 700,000+ people who have died from COVID-19; those who are ill from the virus; the unemployed; school teachers, staff, and students; victims of disasters; victims of shootings; nursing home residents; the Nigerian church; Haitian Brethren

 

Military and Other Services and their families

Brethren Volunteer Service workers; Disaster project workers

 

Church of the Brethren vision statement:

Together, as the Church of the Brethren, we will passionately live and share the radical transformation and holistic peace of Jesus Christ through relationship-based neighborhood engagement. To move us forward, we will develop a culture of calling and equipping disciples who are innovative, adaptable, and fearless.

                       

Our Mission Statement:

Love God, grow with others, serve faithfully, reach the lost, find peace.


 

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

October 3 Sermon and Announcements

 

CERRO GORDO CHURCH OF THE BRETHREN

October 3, 2021

 

THE BEATITUDES Part 2

Matthews 5:6-9

 

This morning, first of all, let us look at what the word “beatitude” means. It simply means “supreme blessedness.” Today we are going to look at four more of The Beatitudes. Jesus is continuing to show his disciples and those gathered what God’s recipe of godliness and blessing is. In the 6th verse we read, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” If we want God’s supreme blessing, we not only should seek righteousness it should be so powerful a desire that we view our need for righteousness as important as food and water. Of course, without enough food and water, we will die. We are told here there are supreme blessings in store for anyone whose desire for God’s righteousness is that important. For all of God’s people who have that hunger and thirst, not only will you have enough to be satisfied, you will be filled.

 

Next, we read, “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.” Jesus is reminding us all not only can we expect mercy from a loving God but we must be ready to show the same level of mercy to others that we hope to receive from God. Being merciful means we are willing to recognize others around us will make mistakes or may have a different point of view about things than we have, and we have an obligation to understand and at times be willing to accept those opinions. If we are willing to show mercy to others, we will be blessed by God for that expression of love.

 

In verse 8 we read, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” God looks at our attitudes and what motivates us to do the things we do. A pure heart is a really high standard for us to achieve. The question Jesus is really asking is why do we do and says the things we do? Are we wanting to make ourselves look good and make someone else look bad? Or are we really wanting to be a part of God’s answers to the problems that happen to us and others? The pure heart Jesus is talking about is truly motivated by a desire to see everyone become the best they can be, not to have people simply agree with us. The most important thing is that we all want to do God’s will and that is the motivation for everything we do. Is that an impossible attitude to achieve? Is it possible to have a pure heart guiding every single thing we say and do? Probably not, but Jesus is saying if that is our true, honest goal, we will see God. What a promise!

 

The last of The Beatitudes we read today is, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called Sons of God.” Jesus knew that, then just as now, there is a need for peacemakers, for fence menders. To achieve true unity in our church, our community, our nation we need people who are willing to set aside their own agenda and get a real discussion started. Sometimes an issue is so important or a principle so essential there can be no compromise. God expects us to hold the line on those occasions, but there should always be a desire to understand where someone with a different view point is coming from. On those occasions with God’s help, a gentle loving discussion could make all the difference in the world. Those who honestly pursue the only peace that can ever last, which is one rooted in God and his word, for those who honestly seek that peace, we will be called God’s sons and daughters. Recognize what is also being said if that is not our desire, our motivation. We will not be God’s sons and daughters. It is clear that eternal blessing awaits everyone who is truly a peacemaker.

 

Upon looking at these four Beatitudes this morning, we see they are all rooted in attitudes and what motivates us. If we have an undeniable desire to seek God and his will for our lives, blessings await.

 Pastor Larry


Announcements:

 

Bible Study 9:30 Tuesday

 

October 9 Rummage sale at Brethren Church to benefit the Lord’s Storehouse.

 

October 13 7:00 Executive Committee

 

November 5, 6 District Conference—One delegate still needed

November 14—Council meeting after worship

Nominating committee will be calling for volunteers to serve on the church board. Four people are concluding their 2nd terms on the board and need to be replaced.

 

Offering plates are in the back of the sanctuary. Thank you!

Offering received to date: $47,034 ($1206 per week)

Expenses to date: $40, 421

Thank you for blessing Christ and his church with your giving!

 

Donation Box: Pastor’s Assistance Fund

First Sundays: food donations for food banks

 

Pastor Larry Traxler- (217) 454-2362

 

To keep up on Church of the Brethren news:

Denomination: www.brethren.org/news Sign up for Newsline by clicking link on left side of page.

District: iwdcob.org (click on newsletter link) and on facebook

Our pages: cerrogordocob.com (printed sermon, announcements, & calendar) and on facebook


Keep in Your Prayers

Andy Flenner and family; Missy Wright and family; Mindy Sawyer; Jim (Buck) West; family of Kres Lipscomb; Marlene Schultz; Randy West; Jen Durst; Sarah Rudelick; Sydney (Nancy Gorrell’s niece); Tera Runyan; Carl and Wilma Cable; Marge Starr; Mike Gentry; Larry Albro; Mike McCleery; Mike and Carol Seidenstricker; Sonna Hall; Brittany Wright; Owen Wright; Anna Gentry Thompson; Clyde and Nancy Fansler; Adiline Young; Kim Lehmann; Doug Fansler; Liza Yore; Candy Dobson; Anna Rose Larrick; Shawn Cain; Robert Cripe; Mayo & Darlene Hanaver; Zola Copeland; Patty Cripe; Lauren Gross; Stacie Warren; Nancy Gorrell; many unspoken requests; Coronavirus crisis; healthcare workers and first responders; the families of the 700,000+ people who have died from COVID-19; those who are ill from the virus; the unemployed; school teachers, staff, and students; victims of disasters; victims of shootings; nursing home residents; the Nigerian church; Haitian Brethren

 

Military and Other Services and their families

Brethren Volunteer Service workers; Disaster project workers

 

Church of the Brethren vision statement:

Together, as the Church of the Brethren, we will passionately live and share the radical transformation and holistic peace of Jesus Christ through relationship-based neighborhood engagement. To move us forward, we will develop a culture of calling and equipping disciples who are innovative, adaptable, and fearless.

                       

Our Mission Statement:

Love God, grow with others, serve faithfully, reach the lost, find peace.