In the first chapter of the book of Joshua, Joshua has become the leader of God’s people after the death of Moses and they are ready to enter the Promised Land. What a monumental task he had. It is estimated there were well over a million Israelites and possibly as many as three million. Also, even though God had already promised them this was to be their new home, there still must have been some anxiety about going into this new unknown country where they were to displace the inhabitants and take over the land. Four times in this first chapter God tells Joshua, “Be strong and courageous,” and once God even tells him, “Be strong and very courageous.” In Joshua 1:5, God tells Joshua why he is to be strong and courageous; “I will not fail you or forsake you.” The Israelites were victorious over the Canaanites, not because of their own power, but because God is a promise keeper.

Today, our world is different from what we have recently considered normal. Our country, our state, our towns, are all dealing with a virus that has infected thousands and killed many. In some ways, like Joshua, we are entering into uncharted territory. Travel is restricted, touching our faces is warned against, and gathering in groups has been restricted. This has caused concern and anxiety about what we as members of the Lord’s body should be doing. We may not have all the answers, but we are trying to do the best we can to pay homage to our God and obey the laws of our government. We are worshipping God and partaking of the Lord’s supper in our homes, tuning in to bible lessons taught in internet broadcasts, and staying in touch with our brothers and sisters by phone, email, text, and the post office. How long will this continue? We do not yet know the answer to that question. However, we will remain faithful through this crisis. To calm any anxiety you may be having, I would recommend daily reading of God’s word and prayer. One thing I do know, is we can “be strong and very courageous” because He has said He will “never fail us or forsake us”. And remember, He is a promise keeper.

 

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Deacons

     The necessity for deacons to help manage all the needs for service in the church; in Acts 6:1-7 this was recognized and men where appointed. The bible explains the importance and the qualifications of men to serve in the church as deacons. Every congregation has its own needs and is to select qualified men with the talents to fill positions of service. It is important that we do not overlook the needs of anyone because we are too overcome with things to be done to best reach all that have need. In (1Timothy 3:8-13) we see the qualifications for deacons and how these men are to be selected. Once the need is recognized and the elders have selected a nominee they will be put before the congregation.

     We are blessed with many wonderful deacons doing so much, seen and unseen, that we could not do without them. They have desired the position and fill it well with much effort and service to our Lord. I cannot say enough about these men and their loving wives that support them in all they do. We have so many members that volunteer to help out with so many tasks anytime the deacons ask them for help. It is up to all of us as members to help the Lord’s church here run smoothly and lovingly so to reach the lost and fill all needs. May we all not only show a desire to join together and serve together with loving wisdom and gratitude.

    

     There may come a time to find more deacons as we grow. We pray that men serving now will desire to someday serve as elders. Thank you all for the giving of yourselves to the Lord to serve His church in Ripon. The hard work of our members encourage us all and is noticed in our community. (Colossians 2:6-7) "Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude."

                                                                                                  Thank you all, Chuck

 

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In our recent gospel meeting with Bill Steward, he made this statement more than once. He would never say no to a work of serving the Lord. He took the can’t out of his vocabulary. As we view our Christian walk here on this earth, how many times have we said I can’t? I am reminded of Jesus’ words when He spoke about the men with ten, five, and one talent. Matthew 25:14-30 The words of the men with ten and five said, “I can” the man with one said “I can’t.” Would Jesus have been happy with the one talent man if he had said I can? I believe our Savior would had been very pleased with him. All of us start out the same way, as little babies. Now I know not all have the same abilities but we all have gifts that God has blessed us with. You never can have that second talent until you have used the first one, we build on talent after talent.

How many of us have abilities that are still hidden because the can’t word is in our mind? Would it not be easier to say I can do this? It may be something very small in nature but can bring great results. Some of us remember Hildred. There was not much she could do with the body she had but she always did what she could with a smile. We all remember the cards that we got from her. She would smile at you and say it’s alright, even though she was in real pain most of the time. She said, “I can.” Last Sunday evening three young men came to me and said they can pull weeds. It is a start in their life of putting I can in their mind set. A saying that came to my mind from a person of great importance to me was, “can’t never did nothing.”

 

The words that come through the inspirited Word says in Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” Now Paul made this statement in every condition he was in, good or bad, which in most cases were bad. There were many trials along the way but Paul put his trust in the Lord and said I can do it.

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In 1 Kings 18:20ff, Elijah a great man of God goes up to Mount Carmel and sent a

message to King Ahab to bring the people and the prophets of Baal up to the mountain. Elijah

then proceeded to ask the people why they waffle between worshipping God and Baal. He tells

them that they need to choose one or the other. After saying this he sets up a way to show the

people that God is really the almighty living God. He basically challenged the 450 prophets of

Baal to a duel. He had both set up altars and see which God would answer by fire from heaven.

Elijah gave an abundant amount of time to the prophets of Baal to attempt everything

they could do to try and get an answer from their god, even to the point of cutting themselves.

Inevitably their god never answered them so Elijah stood up built his altar to God, prepared the

sacrifice, and then soaked it all in water for emphasis. As soon as Elijah prayed to God rained

down a mighty fire that consumed the soaked sacrifice as well as everything else. God came

through for Elijah to prove his point to the people that they need to choose the true God.

Today many people look at the world and see how many people, who don’t follow God,

seem to be better off and more blessed in this life. However, just because they have what they

want in this life does not guarantee their spiritual life. Many times the wicked people of the bible

prosper, right up until God brings judgment on them. God’s judgment will come to all of us, but

we have a peace because unlike those who don’t follow God in this life, God will come through

for us on the Day of Judgment, just as he came through for Elijah

God Comes Through

In 1 Kings 18:20ff, Elijah a great man of God goes up to Mount Carmel and sent a

message to King Ahab to bring the people and the prophets of Baal up to the mountain. Elijah

then proceeded to ask the people why they waffle between worshipping God and Baal. He tells

them that they need to choose one or the other. After saying this he sets up a way to show the

people that God is really the almighty living God. He basically challenged the 450 prophets of

Baal to a duel. He had both set up altars and see which God would answer by fire from heaven.

Elijah gave an abundant amount of time to the prophets of Baal to attempt everything

they could do to try and get an answer from their god, even to the point of cutting themselves.

Inevitably their god never answered them so Elijah stood up built his altar to God, prepared the

sacrifice, and then soaked it all in water for emphasis. As soon as Elijah prayed to God rained

down a mighty fire that consumed the soaked sacrifice as well as everything else. God came

through for Elijah to prove his point to the people that they need to choose the true God.

Today many people look at the world and see how many people, who don’t follow God,

seem to be better off and more blessed in this life. However, just because they have what they

want in this life does not guarantee their spiritual life. Many times the wicked people of the bible

prosper, right up until God brings judgment on them. God’s judgment will come to all of us, but

we have a peace because unlike those who don’t follow God in this life, God will come through

for us on the Day of Judgment, just as he came through for Elijah

God Comes Through

In 1 Kings 18:20ff, Elijah a great man of God goes up to Mount Carmel and sent a

message to King Ahab to bring the people and the prophets of Baal up to the mountain. Elijah

then proceeded to ask the people why they waffle between worshipping God and Baal. He tells

them that they need to choose one or the other. After saying this he sets up a way to show the

people that God is really the almighty living God. He basically challenged the 450 prophets of

Baal to a duel. He had both set up altars and see which God would answer by fire from heaven.

Elijah gave an abundant amount of time to the prophets of Baal to attempt everything

they could do to try and get an answer from their god, even to the point of cutting themselves.

Inevitably their god never answered them so Elijah stood up built his altar to God, prepared the

sacrifice, and then soaked it all in water for emphasis. As soon as Elijah prayed to God rained

down a mighty fire that consumed the soaked sacrifice as well as everything else. God came

through for Elijah to prove his point to the people that they need to choose the true God.

Today many people look at the world and see how many people, who don’t follow God,

seem to be better off and more blessed in this life. However, just because they have what they

want in this life does not guarantee their spiritual life. Many times the wicked people of the bible

prosper, right up until God brings judgment on them. God’s judgment will come to all of us, but

we have a peace because unlike those who don’t follow God in this life, God will come through

for us on the Day of Judgment, just as he came through for Elijah

Shepherds’ Corner – Chuck Saarloos

October 13, 2019

Thank You for Giving to the Lord

            As Christians it is important that we give of ourselves as much as we can. I’m not just speaking in terms of money, though that keeps the doors open and the lights on. It is the other things we do with our time: the work being done out and around the building, landscaping, new gates and all that trenching. It is great work and savings, also it shows the community that we are working together. You never know what will reach a person’s heart. All the teachers that so willingly give of their time to put a class together for the kids and the adults alike. The seeds that you plant today you may not see the fruit from this side of heaven but the work that you do is so important. You may have people being saved for years to come because of your efforts. Even people who you have never seen, may be taught by someone you reached out to, and they may plant more seeds. There is so much to do while we are here. We must not wait, for time may be short this side of eternity. To each and every member, your being here and sharing the family work load that our Lord has blessed us with, “we thank you.” We are blessed to have such a loving, caring family to serve God with. We can accomplish so much together for whatever time we are given here. Let us always look to our Lord for strength and guidance as we serve with love in our hearts. You can be comforted by the words God breathed into Paul.

  1Thessalonians 1:2-3, (We give thanks to God always for all of you, making mention of you in our prayers; constantly bearing in mind your work in faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the presence of our God and Father,)

 

   Know that all you do here matters so much, and may save many souls. It is God’s desire that we bring His gospel to as many as we can, lives are at stake. As Bill Stewart had us agree, never say no. Again thank you for all you do, and remember God loves you.

                                                                                                

                                                                                                     In Him,  Chuck

 

 

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In the past weeks we have written about older Christian men and women and then of younger Christian women. In Titus 2:6-7 Paul’s writing to Titus give the example of how younger Christian men are to live their lives so that God will be glorified. Although it is addressed to Titus, it still applies to all younger Christian men. Titus 2:6-8. Likewise urge the young men to be sensible; in all things show yourself to be an example of good deeds, with purity in doctrine, dignified, sound in speech which is beyond reproach, so that the opponent will be put to shame, having nothing bad to say about us.

 

Young Christian men need to be sober minded just like young Christian women. Sober minded means to be discreet and sensible. It means to be of sound mind. They are to live and deal with the fact that one day they will answer to God for the lives they have lived. Titus and young Christian men are to be good examples of Christian living. Paul mentions some things that should be characterized by Titus and these young Christian men. Christians must live what they preach. Titus is to set the example for these young men and others as well. Titus must always have pure motives as he teaches and preaches.

Titus must have dignity as he preaches. Dignity recognizes the responsibility one has to be a messenger for God. He must not be petty, must not hold grudges, must have no bitterness and must treat others as a Christian should, regardless of the way they act toward him or others. Matt 7:12.

 

In sound doctrine means he must have a sound message. He must not pollute the word of God by adding to it or by taking away from it. The gospel can do its work if it is kept pure.

Sound speech means Titus and young Christian men must speak the truth in love. They must preach plainly so they are not misunderstood. All must live what they preach.

We are very blessed to have younger Christian men in Ripon who do their very best to follow the instructions that Paul gave to Titus.

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13397 West Ripon Road, Ripon CA 95366

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