Blessed Lord, who caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning: Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which you have given us in our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Today is the halfway point of the month and I am at 43 miles. Not the greatest effort, but compared to the last couple of months, I’m happy with my progress. This was one of my better running weeks of late, although all my runs were inside, but at least they were on an indoor track and not the treadmill.
When we got to the Y today, I really wasn’t in the mood to run, but I did anyway and was determined to do six miles once I started. It wasn’t the fastest run, but it was a run and when I was done I felt good about it.
In running circles, we say that you never regret the runs you went out on, but you will almost always regret the runs you didn’t do.
Hopefully I can finish near the 80 mile mark for the month. I’d like to be a little higher, but it’s tough without getting 4 mile walks in on the off days. However I am reminded of Paul’s words about living this Christian life, which is much like the discipline of running.
26 So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. 27 I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.1 Corinthians 9:26-27 | New Living Translation (NLT)
Press ON! Run with Purpose
23rd Sunday after Pentecost | November 17
5 Some of his disciples began talking about the majestic stonework of the Temple and the memorial decorations on the walls. But Jesus said, 6 “The time is coming when all these things will be completely demolished. Not one stone will be left on top of another!”
7 “Teacher,” they asked, “when will all this happen? What sign will show us that these things are about to take place?”
8 He replied, “Don’t let anyone mislead you, for many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and saying, ‘The time has come!’ But don’t believe them. 9 And when you hear of wars and insurrections, don’t panic. Yes, these things must take place first, but the end won’t follow immediately.” 10 Then he added, “Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. 11 There will be great earthquakes, and there will be famines and plagues in many lands, and there will be terrifying things and great miraculous signs from heaven.
12 “But before all this occurs, there will be a time of great persecution. You will be dragged into synagogues and prisons, and you will stand trial before kings and governors because you are my followers. 13 But this will be your opportunity to tell them about me. 14 So don’t worry in advance about how to answer the charges against you, 15 for I will give you the right words and such wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to reply or refute you! 16 Even those closest to you—your parents, brothers, relatives, and friends—will betray you. They will even kill some of you. 17 And everyone will hate you because you are my followers. 18 But not a hair of your head will perish! 19 By standing firm, you will win your souls.
Luke 21:5-19 New Living Translation (NLT)
Interesting that this passage comes up this week. At McCrae Brook, I have been preaching a series called Grown-up Faith. We have been looking at the big questions people have about Christianity. It’s been a great series. One of the last big questions we are going to ask is, How will it all end? I think all of us want to know what happens after we die – I think all of us want to know how the world as we know it will end.
The disciples are marveling at the architecture around them. If you’ve ever been to one of the great cathedrals of the world, I think you can understand the feeling. Several years ago, we attended Notre Dame Cathedral in Ottawa, Ontario. It is gorgeous.
The picture doesn’t really do it justice. There is a majesty and awe in entering the facility. I sense that is what was happening with the disciples. As they admire the architecture, Jesus starts teaching. He tells them that the temple and the decorations will be demolished.
The disciples are astonished and begin asking questions. “When will this happen? How will this happen? What are the signs?
Jesus then warns the disciples what to look for. He warns them of false Messiahs. We might even use the word anti-christ. He also gives them several signs that the end will be coming. In the midst of this, Jesus reminds them that when they are dragged into the courts and trials to use the opportunity to spread the gospel and tell people about Jesus.
But this will be your opportunity to tell them about me.Luke 21:13
While not mentioning the Holy Spirit, Jesus reminds his disciples that they will know what to say – giving them the words – and wisdom – so that their opponents will stop! How cool is that?
Jesus reminds his disciples that in the last days, people will betray us – even our family – they might even want to kill us – they will hate us simply for following the name of Jesus.
WHEN ALL OF THIS HAPPENS – STAND FIRM! – vs18
When you stand firm, you will win souls for Jesus. Two-thousand years have passed since Jesus admonished his disciples. The admonition still stands. We need to stand firm, so that our testimony will be heard and souls will be one to the Kingdom.
Who knows what will happen in the future, but God knows. We need to remember if the time was short then – the time is even shorter now. We need a sense of urgency to tell people about the saving work of Jesus!
Last week’s snow and blue skies, made for some beautiful pictures. This picture is my favorite. I love the contrast and the shadows.
It’s the second Sunday night of November and we sit between snowstorms. Thursday we had quite the early November weather event. It wasn’t terrible, just an inch or so, but tomorrow afternoon’s event looks to be shaping up to be a little more – 3 to 6 inches. That’s quite a bit of snow for this early in the season. Then Tuesday some cold air will be moving in for a couple of days but should release by the weekend.
This has been a bit of an odd weekend – many of the schools had off on Friday, but some have off on Monday, but because I drive for two different school districts, I am driving both Friday and tomorrow.
As I wrote last night, I am still struggling with my running – finding the time is the biggest challenge. Hopefully this will be a more normal week.
We had a good week last week and a good worship service this morning. The Holy Spirit’s leading was evident. I preached on the church and what that means, unfortunately, our camera ran out of memory and so, after I finish this, I will record the sermon, minus the interaction from the congregation.
We did have a great prayer time with our local pastors on Monday. I really appreciate the local clergy in Eldred – we are really about building the Kingdom. On Wednesday we had our regular meeting and we really believe God is up to something in our little community.
That about wraps it up. Have a great week.
O God, whose blessed Son came into the world that he might destroy the works of the devil and make us children of God and heirs of eternal life: Grant that, having this hope, we may purify ourselves as he is pure; that, when he comes again with power and great glory, we may be made like him in his eternal and glorious kingdom; where he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.