Christian Suffering Comes From the World

Christian Suffering Comes From the World

Who do you put first?

There’s a popular saying in our culture that goes, “Happy wife, happy life”. It implies that if the husband puts his wife’s wishes first, then all parties will be happy. And while that might be true in some cases, it’s really not what God asks of us.

Yes, the husband is called to love his wife as Christ loved the church, the wife is called to submit and children are called to honor their parents – but none of us should be considered in “first place” for the other. Rather, our first place should always be God.

Whether married, single, parent, or child; our “first place” person should always be God. Sounds easy on paper, right? But of course, it’s difficult to put into action. Our sinful flesh will always prefer to make an idol out of someone that we can see in the flesh over believing the promises of God. This is the cross that we are asked to bear; the cost of discipleship to believe in God more than we do in the world.

It’s hard for the outside world, and even our loved ones sometimes, to understand why God should come first. Driven by selfish desires or lack of trust, it’s easy for the world to look at the believer and accuse them of wrongdoing – for following God first. This is where divisions arise and suffering becomes real.

And this is what Christ warns us about in the text below. It is not an easy path to follow. We are promised suffering and hardship. We will be challenged.

But thanks be to God for His promise to always be with us!

Here is today’s sermon text from Luke 14:

The Cost of Discipleship
25 Now great crowds accompanied him, and he turned and said to them, 26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. 27 Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. 28 For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? 29 Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, 30 saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ 31 Or what king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? 32 And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace. 33 So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.

Salt Without Taste Is Worthless
34 “Salt is good, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? 35 It is of no use either for the soil or for the manure pile. It is thrown away. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

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Voters Meeting: The next one is scheduled for September 18th at 3:30 via Zoom.

Vacation: Pastor Jenson is taking a well-deserved, extended vacation until September 18th. If a need arises, please contact one of the Deacons (Loyd Harris, Sean Poe, Doug Helwig, Andrew Berg, and Bruce Selin). Their contact information is printed in the bulletin and in our church directory.

Bible Study: Our midweek Bible study is on hiatus. Sunday morning Bible study starts at 10 am.

Donations: Even during the pandemic and with a decline in attendance, the expenses continue. If you wish to make a donation please mail them to the St. James post office box as that is a secure location. You may also donate online.

Prayer requests. Bring your prayer requests to Pastor Jenson, Deacon Poe, or Loyd Harris (bulletin typist). They will be printed in the bulletin and prayed in the Sunday service. The deadline is Tuesday. Remember to obtain permission if you bring a prayer request on behalf of another person.

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