CERRO GORDO CHURCH OF THE BRETHREN
September 20, 2020
GOD IS CALLING TO EVERYONE!
2 CHRONICLES 7:14-16
Today is Back to Church Sunday. God is reaching out to all people no matter where we might be, no matter what we have done. God seeks to encourage each person to draw closer than ever before to him. Many here this morning, maybe most of you, attended church faithfully your whole lives. That may also be true of most of you watching on Facebook. But some of us may have had times when we haven’t been as faithful in attending worship as now. Is it essential to literally worship with fellow believers in a church building to be a faithful worshipper of God? Probably not, I cannot say, only God knows the heart. We are, however, encouraged to as much as possible worship with fellow believers. We read in Hebrews 10:25— “Let us not give up meeting together as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another and all the more as you see the day approaching.” Yes, God knows we are stronger together than we are when we try to go it alone.
Even though this year sports have been a challenge at all levels, I cannot help but think how successful a pitcher in baseball would be if there was no one in the field to make plays for him? Or how long a quarterback would last if no one blocked oncoming rushers once he got the ball? No, in almost every major sport, if you are going to be successful you need a strong team around you. As we live life, God has caused us, on purpose, to have a need for, first of all, God himself, but almost as importantly, a need for one another. We are never intended by God to face life’s up and downs alone. My family this past week faced what everyone here today and everyone watching on Facebook has faced before. We said goodbye to someone we deeply loved and will miss. What makes these difficult times easier to face is the love and support of so many like you in our church family, as well as other friends and family.
God wants us to rely first of all on him. God has promised to be there for us in all of life’s joys as well as sorrows. But God also knows there are times we have wandered away from him. In Romans 3:23 it says, “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” It does not say a few, it does not say some, it says all. God is limited by his righteous nature on what he can and cannot do if we have walked away from him. However, God is constantly reaching out to us. The verses we read to begin with from 2 Chronicles are very blunt on what we must be willing to do to be able to receive all God has for us. In these verses is kind of a check list for us, God’s people, on what we must do. When we do these things, God has made a powerful promise to you and me. The second part of the 14th verse say, “Then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” Not only will we personally see God move in our individual lives but God will move in our Nation in a powerful way as well. It all begins with you and me and the choices we make. But God wants us to be a united people working together, lifting up one another, supporting one another. Going back to the beginning of the 14th verse in 2 Chronicles 7 it says, “If my people who are called by my name.” You see God wants us to be working together as a people. He knows that is when we are the strongest and the best.
On this Back to Church Sunday, God is calling us to be a unified people. Gathering together at houses of worship, loving God and one another. Yes, we are in unique times. I realize many have real concerns gathering together in large groups. Each of us must decide what we feel is right in that regard. But the most important thing is God wants us connected with one another. If you have not been worshipping with fellow believers, we would love to have you join us. This is a place you will be loved.
The most important thing is to find a place of worship to be connected with and remember God loves you and care about you. God makes an incredible promise to us in 2 Chronicles 7:15-16. If we will do what is said in the 14th verse, this is what God is promising his people and his church.
15 Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place. 16 I have chosen and consecrated this temple so that my Name may be there forever. My eyes and my heart will always be there.
God is saying to each and every one, “Come home, I have a place for you.”
Every Tuesday 9:30 Bible Study—studying Acts. All are invited to attend.
October 14 7:00 Executive Committee
October Newsletter submissions due to Carol by September 29 please.
Bread and Cup Communion on October 4, World Communion Sunday, during worship. Those worshipping at home are invited to participate with us using your own bread and juice.
No Women’s Fellowship for the rest of the year. We will try to find a creative way to reveal prayer partners and get new ones.
Upper Room and Daily Bread issues are available.
Donation Box September/October: The Lord’s Storehouse
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)
Our pages: cerrogordocob.com (printed sermon, announcements, & calendar) and on facebook
Keep in Your Prayers
Larry & Cathy Traxler and family; Evelyn Eads; Mike Gentry; Anna Gentry Thompson; Larry Cripe; Arnold Schultz; Clyde and Nancy Fansler; Adiline Young; Barb Baker; Kim Lehmann; Dylan Junior; Doug Fansler; Liam Martina; Jeff Sawyer; Liza Yore; Candy Dobson; Anna Rose Larrick; Gary Jesse; Norm & Marge Starr; Shawn Cain; Robert Cripe; Mayo Hanaver; Zola Copeland and family; Patty Cripe; Lauren Gross; Stacie Warren; Nancy Gorrell; many unspoken requests; Coronavirus crisis; healthcare workers and first responders; the families of the 200,000+ people who have died from COVID-19; the unemployed; school teachers, staff, and students
Military and Other Services and their families
Brethren Volunteer Service workers; Disaster project workers
Our Mission Statement:
Love God, grow with others, serve faithfully, reach the lost, find peace.