Heavenly Joy

Heavenly Joy – Luke 15:1-7

We have a wonderful group of men at Parkway, men who spend hours in prayer, in planning, in thought and in hours concerned for our spiritual well-being. It’s a labor of love and it is also a lot of work. Just imagine a shepherd out in the field with his sheep and everything is going smooth. The sheep are grazing and staying close, there is perfect weather it’s a perfect day with his flock. When suddenly, the shepherd notices one of his sheep has wondered off. Now he is troubled, but what about all the others? There isn’t anyone to help him look for the one who has wondered off.

Jesus told us story just like this in Luke 15:1-7, in it he says who wouldn’t leave the flock of ninety-nine to find the one lost sheep. This points out the way He loves each one of us; the way our shepherds love each one of us. So what does this parable mean by one wandering off? It means, one falling into the trap of sin, they lose their way and find themselves lost, hopeless and away from their family in Christ. The good shepherd comes to the rescue, he grabs them up, places them on his shoulders, brings them back to the fellowship of the flock and the protection of the shepherd’s oversight.

The greatest feeling a Christian could have is the conclusion of the story. The great celebration that takes place when the wonderer is returned to the flock. It’s not only a joy here on earth and even more joy in heaven when one sinner repents, but also because of the great efforts of the shepherd who seeks and finds the wonderer and returns them back to the flock.

Thank our elders for their labor and their service and let us rejoice with the angels in heaven for the ones brought back.

I can’t wait to see you.

Jason Freed

BEZALEL AND AHOLIAB’S HUGE PROBLEM!

If you don’t know who these guys are, open your bibles to Exodus 35:30ff.  They were the head-craftsmen put in charge of building the tabernacle, in the day of Moses.  To do their work, they depended upon the offerings and gifts of the Israelites.  Amazingly, their problem was not that the people were bringing too little.  They were bringing too much!  They had to be told to stop!

I was reminded of this bible story one night of VBS, when Debra found herself in a similar quandary.  “We have more cookies than we need” she said.  “I’m going to have to ask everyone to stop bringing them!”

This is a beautiful problem to have among God’s people.  We are grateful for the spirit of cooperation and generosity that exists, today, at Parkway Drive.  A big thank you to all who were involved in Vacation Bible School, whatever the service you rendered.  May the Lord richly repay you!

If you continue to read the account of the building of the tabernacle, you reach an interesting verse in Exodus 38:8.  The great bronze basin for the priests to wash in, before doing their spiritual duties, was made from the mirrors of women serving at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting.  Service to God was obviously more important to these ladies than tending to their own personal beauty.  What a beautiful example of healthy priorities!  Another lesson from this which grabs my attention is that, even in Moses’ day, when the focus was on men, women were important servants in the Lord’s house.  How true this is in our congregation, today.  We’re thankful to our sisters who carry so much of the work load.  Where would we be without them?

Now, we’re on to the rest of the Summer season.  The Youth Group has a big trip planned for early July and Wednesday evening Summer Series continues.  May the Lord bless those of you who travel!  And may the Lord continue to bless the work here at home!

  • Monty Huffman

Seek

“Seek the LORD and His strength; Seek His face evermore!”
I Chronicles 16:11 NKJV

What are you looking for? Have you ever asked yourself that question and given yourself an honest answer? It is a question we should definitely have the right answer too.

Let’s be honest, we get drawn away from the lures of this world. If we aren’t careful, we just might find ourselves seeking after what this cruel world has to offer, and not what God wants us to seek. The passage from 1Chronicles 16:11, states we are to seek the Lord and His strength. It’s important we draw from His strength, we learn from this not to rely on our own strength. Much like when Paul wrote “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength”. When we keep our perspective and know the power source that we should draw from, we can overcome, we can triumph over the tricks and schemes Satan throws at us. Mathew 6:33, Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and the necessities will be given to you. The problem we often have is, we lose our focus and start seeking the wrong things, the wrong people, the wrong role models. Most of the time we seek after them, because of their success or their passion or simply because the things they say or do appeal to us. The key is to stay focused, keep our perspective on the Lord and His desires for us. Let’s seek Him and His ways, then take a good look at those whom we admire. I know, no one can measure up to the Lord, but we also know we should surround ourselves with godly people. Don’t try to justify the ungodly lifestyles of others.

“Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.” I Corinthians 15:33

Let’s seek Him! I can’t wait to see you!

Jason Freed

Praise, O Servants!

“Praise the Lord! Praise, O servants of the LORD.” Psalms 113:1

Reading this verse it is very clear about what he calls for…praise to God. That is what we are here to do, isn’t it? We want to sing praises to God. We pray and give Him praise for being the God of the Universe, yet being our God and our Father as well. We want to offer our hearts and thoughts to our Lord as we remember His great sacrifice and coming as we partake of the Lord’s Supper. We want to praise Him as we give back to Him a portion of the money with which He has blessed us. We want to praise Him as we listen to His Word preached to us.  We come together to praise the Lord!

Who is it that is to be offering the praise? The psalmist is very clear about who He has in mind as well…servants of the Lord. The function of a servant is not just to sit down and think about how great and wonderful His master is. The work of a servant is not just to heap words of glory and honor upon the Master. There is more!

What do servants do? They serve! They serve the Lord by the way they live. They serve the Lord in the manner in which they share His story with others who need to hear it. They serve the Lord by letting their light be seen in their exceptional work ethic whether it is at the fast food restaurant or the high finance corporation. They serve the Lord by loving and actually serving one another in their families. They serve the Lord by being a functioning part of the Lord’s body, His church.
What shall we do? We will listen to the Psalmist. Praise, O servants of the Lord!

I can’t wait to see you

Jason Freed

It’s Not Magic!

The battle field was strewn with bodies as about four thousand men lay dead! The defeat was devastating. The leaders of the defeated nation were posing that often asked question, “Why?”

From the story, found in 1 Samuel 4, it seems that almost with the same breath as “why” came the leaders’ choice of a remedy. Even though they were the leaders of the nation of Israel, even though they would have known by heart all the stories of the Lord’s deliverance of His people, evidently, they didn’t think about calling on Him, seeking His favor or requesting His aid. Instead, in their own human reasoning, they said, “Let us take to ourselves from Shiloh the ark of the covenant of he Lord, that it may come among us and deliver us from the power of our enemies” (4:3). Instead of seeking the Lord…they sought what they thought might serve their purpose the ark of the covenant. Even though it was a holy object…still, that is what it was an object. Israel’s elders missed the point the power is of God and of course, they lost the battle!

Sometimes I think we might have the same attitude as those Israelite’s of old. Sometimes, we attribute power to objects rather than to God. For example, there are some who attribute power to…

Attendance. Some believe that as long as they are “here” (they might not actually be in worship or with other saints in Bible study, but are in the building), then they feel like God is on heir side and everything will be alright. Guess what? It’s not. True worship “in spirit and truth” is required (John 4:24)! Attendance, in and of itself, is not magic!

Baptism. Some think that all one has to do is “get baptized” and that alone is enough to win the victory. Just as long as you complete that step (with no regard to the fact that true faith, a repenting heart, and a mouth willing to confess Jesus as Lord are mandatory in preparation for baptism to be genuine. Baptism, in and of itself…is not magic!

The Lord’s Supper. Some think that as long as they come and “take communion” they can check off their requirement for the week. (A preacher once received a call asking to know the exact time for the communion, so they could come just prior to, and leave immediately after it.)

The Supper was never intended to be a “check list object.” Instead, it is a time for reflection on the sacrifice of Christ on the cross, a time for mediation on self, and a time for true “communion”—with the Lord and with others! The Lord’s Super, in and of itself…is not magic!

There are other things we could include, but you get the idea. Are we seeking to find our spiritual victory in some mere object…or from the King of Kings and Lord of Lords? Focusing on any thing rather than the Lord is a fatal mistake—IT ISN’T MAGIC!

Borrowed from a dear brother in Christ

I can’t wait to see you

  • Jason Freed

Together

Wow what a fellowship! When God’s family gets together, great things happen! There is a lot to be said about the Lord’s people and being united together in the Bible. We learn from the book of Acts, that the early church spent a lot of time together. They were consistent since they had an opportunity to learn more about the Lord and what it takes to please him. As they spent time together they love one another and even gave what they had to provide for those that needed.

Being together was very important. They made themselves one. They loved and needed each other. Being together meant they were stronger. Opposition was great against them. But together they had strength. Today, together we are the same. When we unite with one another we fuel each other to press on and resist opposition. “Oh, magnify the LORD with me, And let us exalt His name together.”Psalms 34:3 NKJV

We live in a world that wants to do what whatever pleases them and not what God wants them to do. And they want to pull us away from our cross that we bare. Luke 9:23 We deny ourselves to the lusts of the world and give ourselves to each other resisting those who want us to live their way of life. We have to make the choice. We are responsible for our own selves. Making the choice to be together where Jesus gathers also. What a fellowship! “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”” Matthew 18:20 NKJV

I can’t wait to see you

Jason Freed Read more… “Together”