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March 22 Have, Have-Not, & the Kingdom of God
Superhero: Iron Man
Real-life Superhero: St Teresa of Calcutta
4 Be glad in the Lord always! Again I say, be glad! 5 Let your gentleness show in your treatment of all people. The Lord is near. 6 Don’t be anxious about anything; rather, bring up all of your requests to God in your prayers and petitions, along with giving thanks. 7 Then the peace of God that exceeds all understanding will keep your hearts and minds safe in Christ Jesus.
4Paul’s joy and gladness is not based on sunny optimism. It is based on confidence that God is in control and God has his back! He has gone through hell and back, but still he can and does possesses joy in that Paul knows that God has him. His circumstances may not bed of God, but they are in God!
5Its not what you say, but what you do! Paul used an interesting ancient Greek word (epieikeia) that is translated gentleness here. Other translations of the Bible translate epieikeia as patience, softness, the patient mind, modesty, forbearance, the forbearing spirit, or magnanimity. Jesus shows “gentleness” towards the woman caught in adultery. Treat all like they were Christ and how Christ treats you!
6We must have an active prayer life! Have faith! Worry is concentration and meditation upon the things that don’t matter or things we cannot change. We are to meditate upon God’s word and God alone.
Talk to God and have two way conversation with God. Ask! Give thanks!!
7Peace and Joy can be ours, even in troubling times. Three types of peace: Peace from God; Peace with God; Peace of God!
John 1:16 – From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.
Study: 16God has given us God’s fullness which is grace on grace on grace on grace!
Language is so important:
There are four types of language:
Public: What we want everyone to hear.
Private: What we don’t want any one to hear unless we are telling them.
Disguised: This is public language that people hear but we hide our true feelings to get others to get on our side.
Defiant: Public draw of our “line in the sand” but can change based upon public reaction.
The division between haves and have-nots can sometimes unfairly be seen as a sign of God’s blessing or lack thereof. We start off by saying how blessed we are.
What about those that have had troubles? Are they cursed?
Blessing and curse are diametrically opposed forces!
We must change our language to say, “We are thankful!” Sometime what we perceive is blessing is actually not a blessing.
In any given situation, you are either a candidate for a miracle or the channel through which the miracle happens. In other words, blessings take many forms. It is a blessing to give, and it is a blessing to receive.
Giving thanks for God’s grace that brings the two together helps us see an even deeper meaning to Paul’s words: “I know what it is to have little, and I know what it is to have plenty. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being well-fed and of going hungry, of having plenty and of being in need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me”
Comic Publisher: Marvel Comics
Created by: Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, Don Heck, and Jack Kirby
First appeared: Tales of Suspense #39, March 1963
Character Alter Ego: Anthony Edward “Tony” Stark
Hometown: New York, New York
Powers: Genius-level intellect, Superhuman strength, Supersonic flight
Interesting fact: Forbes magazine named Tony Stark in their article ranking the wealthiest fictional characters.
Origin: When wealthy weapons-inventor Tony Stark is captured by terrorists, he is grievously wounded by shrapnel from an explosive. Thanks to the help of a fellow captive, Tony is able to survive.
Heroic Moment: In the acclaimed comic book series dubbed “Demon in a Bottle,” Tony Stark, the alter ego of Iron Man, confronts his alcoholism. One night in a drunken rage, Tony yells at his butler, who immediately resigns. With the help of a friend, Tony decides to get sober once and for all. He works through withdrawal and addiction, apologizes to his butler, and moves forward into a life without alcohol.
Saint Teresa of Calcutta
Born in Macedonia in 1910, Saint Teresa of Calcutta, popularly known as Mother Teresa, was an Albanian-Indian nun who dedicated her life to serving the poor in Calcutta, India.
Saint Teresa entered the convent when she was eighteen years old, serving first as a high-school teacher for girls in Darjeeling, India, where she was struck by the intense poverty and suffering around her. One day while riding a train, she felt “a call within a call” that she was to “follow Christ into the slums to serve him among the poorest of the poor.” After training as a nurse, she moved to the slums of Calcutta and began visiting and caring for the sick and impoverished people around her. Soon many volunteers joined her, forming the Missionaries of Charity. Saint Teresa was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979. She died in 1997, was beatified in 2003, and was canonized a saint by Pope Francis in 2016.
“I see God in every human being. When I wash the leper’s wounds I feel I am nursing the Lord himself. Is it not a beautiful experience?” – Mother Teresa
This is the opportunity for us to shine! Be salt and light!!!
“Only in the darkness can you see the stars” – MLK
Livestream will appear below at the start of the service at 10:30am.