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Old 01-14-2009, 07:39 PM   #1  
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Smile MID-WEEK BOOST Jan. 14th

Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen.
He said to them, "Go into the entire world and preach the good news to all creation.

Low expectations

The disciples, after the crucifixion, were suffering from low expectations - like they had no purpose and meaning in life.

They were troubled, afraid, in hiding, and thinking Jesus was dead and the kingdom He was bringing gone. They felt sorry for themselves, thought the “rug” had been pulled out from under them, and their lives would never be the same.

Like the disciples - We too can feel lost, like our prayers disappear, and helpless to do anything about it, drifting without purpose or meaning.

Pastor spoke this weekend about our low expectations and how that affects not only our quality of life – it affects our very being.

We forget how powerful God is, and that He has a purpose for each one of us.

When the disciples felt lost and alone – what did Jesus do?
He reminds them of their purpose in life, and He comforts them – telling them:

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name
of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them
to obey everything I have commanded you.
And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." “

And what happens – we know the story – the Holy Spirit descends on them and they begin the process of spreading the Good News of our salvation through the person and work of Jesus Christ. Christianity spreads like “wildfire” as they travel the known world preaching the word of Christ and baptizing the people.
(read about it here: - Passage Lookup: Acts 2:1-47; )

Christ reminded them of the purpose in life
He has for them - raising their expectations

Through our baptism and in Word and Sacrament, we are Gods children, His heirs!

What are we going to do TODAY and THIS YEAR, 2009 with what God has given us?

Are we going to listen to the world ( our doubts, fears, and anxieties ) and have low expectations, or are we going to listen to the One who created and controls the world - Christ, Emmanuel, God with us , He who gives us purpose and meaning in life!

The world's expectations can change with the tide of public opinion,
God's never change, and He has a purpose for each of us!

Our Strength comes from: God the Father, The Holy Spirit and Christ,
who set us free to live life as loving responsible children.

Through Christ, we are the adopted children of God.
He will never leave us, or forsake us!

Like the disciples, when Christ gave them the Great Commission, we too have a purpose in life - or we wouldn't be here - God would have taken us home to be with Him in Heaven.

The basis for the Disciples, the Church, you and me to have high expectations rather than hopeless, futility and doom is because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
So we can look forward to 2009, not in fear and doubt – but with Joy and excitement - as God’s forgiven children.

We have the assurance of our salvation and God’s promise that He will never leave us!
We know that whatever the purpose God has for us, He has equipped us to accomplish it – Hallelujah!

This week, use the gifts God has given you to make a difference as forgiven children, and as the disciples did, we too will renew our purpose
and meaning in life.

As He tells us in Isaiah 41

10 So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

13 For I am the LORD, your God,
who takes hold of your right hand
and says to you, Do not fear;
I will help you.


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Old 01-15-2009, 12:19 PM   #2  
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Thanks, Gary! Excellent reminder, especially in this "post-Christmas let-down" time, of what we are here for and what we need to do.
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Old 01-16-2009, 08:59 PM   #3  
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I think remembering CHRIST and the mission he has sent us on ... to share the good news about GOD's Love and Grace with a needy world, can help us keep focused on others. I love those promises in Isaiah; some of my most favorite verses: they give hope to those who are going thru troubled times.
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