CERRO GORDO CHURCH OF THE BRETHREN
March 27, 2022
Don’t Give Up!
Jesus is continuing to teach his disciples as the time gets closer to when the perfect sacrifice will be made. This time we read Jesus is talking just to the disciples. The teaching moments are soon going to end, and then the disciples will have to stand on the their own. So here we see Jesus pointing out the most powerful tool God has made available to his people. Prayer. Jesus gives a unique example of how they should go about it. Actually, first of all, this example was given to the disciples, but from the time this teaching moment was written down to today, it is available to all believers. Jesus is, in some ways, comparing God to the judge in this story. Obviously with a couple of big differences. First, Jesus said the judge in this parable did not fear God. Then he said the judge also did not care about what people were going through. Clearly, the exact opposite of the loving God we believe in.
In Jesus’ story there is a woman who apparently had been treated unfairly by someone. For the woman to bring it before a judge would seem to indicate it was definitely a legitimate complaint. The judge, to begin with, ignored the woman’s request for justice because as Jesus said the judge really did not care. In fact, it seems he was irritated that she was bothering him with the problem. Apparently, day after day, week after week, the woman came to the judge for help. Time after time the judge ignored her request. Finally, the judge said to himself, “The only way to get this woman to stop taking up my time is to agree to solve her problem.” So that is what the judge finally did.
Now in the 6th verse Jesus tells how God the Father will listen and meet the needs of his people. Jesus is basically saying that if this uncaring, godless judge will rule in the favor of someone who keeps asking for help, how much more will our Heavenly Father meet the needs of his children? After all, God purposely created us because he wanted to have fellowship with us. Jesus then gave an important tip, if you will, of how we should make our request known to God in the 7th verse. Jesus says God will bring justice to his “chosen ones” when they cry out to him day and night. Do you want to see God move in your life? Do you want to see prayers answered for yourself and loved ones? Do not make it a one and done request. Pray to God in the morning. Pray to God in the afternoon. Pray to God in the evening. Pray until you get an answer from God. Do not just pray once a day, once a week, once a month. Stay persistent until you undeniably hear from God. How many of us are that persistent? I also want to say what scripture also tells us; be specific. Do not offer generalized prayers. If there is a health problem, name the problem. If it is relationship problems, pour it out on God what exactly the problem is and how you think it can be resolved. Whatever the problem or concern is, be specific. And do not give up. I cannot say it enough. Jesus is giving us the green light to keep the pressure up on God. I wish I could honestly say I have done this in every situation I have faced or a loved one has faced that I was concerned about. Jesus is making it clear. You want to see God move in your life in this world, pray and do not give up.
Jesus closes out these verses with a promise and a question. The promise is if you are persistent in prayer, you will see results. The question Jesus presents to the disciples and to us today, however, is very sobering. When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth? Jesus asked this question because he knew if you are going to be persistent in prayer, that will show God you have faith that your prayers will be answered. Otherwise, you may say a one-time prayer and be done because you do not have faith that God will answer.
We are now 3 weeks from Easter, the single most important event that has ever happened on earth took place on the cross 2000 years ago. Do we have faith that it really happened as the Bible says? And do we believe it changed the direction of mankind forever? These are some of the questions you and I must answer for ourselves. I believe everything changed when Jesus died on the cross for my sins, for our sins. I believe Jesus gave the disciples valuable lessons that stayed with them the rest of their lives. The disciples clearly used the power of prayer to transform their lives and the lives of so many others. Clearly the majority of the disciples did not give up. I believe those of you here today and those joining us on Facebook also have not given up. My only question for you and, yes, for me is, are we using all the tools God has given us? Are we like the persistent widow? As we see things happening in this world that are oftentimes troubling, are we flooding heaven every morning, afternoon, and evening with our concerns? That is what Jesus is saying we have every right to do. Let us change our families, our community and our world by being persistent in prayer. Do not give up! The victory has already been won!
Bible Study 9:30 Tuesday
March 30 11:30 Women’s Fellowship luncheon and meeting;
Bring a covered dish; meat & drink provided; a time of visiting and reconnecting
April 10 – 17 Holy Week
April 13 Executive Committee
April 16 Food Bank Distribution at Kirby Medical Group, Cerro Gordo, 9:30 – 10:30 a.m.
Offering plates are in the back of the sanctuary. Thank you for your continued giving!
Donation Box: Camp Emmanuel
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
Oren Wright; Devon Wright; Leah Flory; Joe Waltz; Doug Larrick; Anna Rose Larrick; Ron Petersen; Anna Gentry Thompson; Louis & Carol Sulwer; Maralyn Heckman; Debbie Leibrock; Dorthea Wood; Sonna Hall; Tina Wilhelm; Baby Gemma; Baby Tate; Bryce Ashenfelter; Mindy Sawyer; Marlene Schultz; Sarah Rudelick; Sydney (Nancy Gorrell’s niece); Carl and Wilma Cable; Marge Starr; Mike and Carol Seidenstricker; Clyde and Nancy Fansler; Adiline Young; Kim Lehmann; Doug Fansler; Liza Yore; Candy Dobson; 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 those who have died from COVID-19; those who are ill from the virus; school teachers, staff, and students; victims of disasters; victims of shootings; nursing home residents; the Nigerian church; Haitian Brethren; Ukraine
Military and Other Services and their families
Brethren Volunteer Service workers; Disaster project workers
District Prayer Calendar: Pray for the Canton congregation and their ministry in Fulton County. Also pray for Andrea Garnett, the district’s administrative assistant.
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.