A Spirit of Power, Love, and Self-Control

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Dear Servants,
 
This reading from 2 Timothy was our New Testament reading on Sunday. I have been preaching through some of the hard parables in Luke chapters 16 and 17 over last few weeks, so I didn't spend a lot of time studying this passage. However, a few minutes into the sermon, God brought the truth of this passage to mind. If you weren’t there, let me tell you we had a fire alarm go off (false alarm), and I attempted for a while to preach through it. After stopping to pray in frustration with a room full of believers desperately trying to push through this ordeal, the alarm went to a constant buzz, and we evacuated. The alarm was eventually turned off, and we returned to worship the Lord through Communion. If you walked in at the end, you would have never known what had occurred 30 minutes prior. I thank God for the spirit of self-control because before considering Paul's words, I wanted to run out screaming.
 
Despite that interruption, I know that ministry happened and God worked in the lives of those who endured the sound attack. I also have video-recorded my sermon and it is now uploaded to our Facebook page. I do believe it is a sermon that needs to be shared and I have no doubt our enemy wanted to keep it from happening. The attack was unsuccessful, and Jesus gets all the glory. As I said to the congregation after the alarm was turned off: sometimes we are called to suffer. In those times, we witness to the goodness of God and victory of Jesus, not by how we are prospering but how we struggle. Now Paul suffered in greater ways than most of us will ever know, but that doesn't mean the truth of Paul's word is not for us. It is a privilege to suffer for the Gospel.
 
Please keep the Vestry in your prayers this week as we continue to seek the Lord about His future for our congregation. We too have a holy calling, not because of our works but because of His purpose and grace which He gave us in Christ Jesus.
 
Onward and Upward,
Alex +

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