Beloved Concordia Family,
School starts this week! Where, oh where, did the summer go? I hope you’ll join me in praying for kids and families, educators and administrators, counselors and everyone involved in helping our children to grow up healthy, well educated, well rounded and SAFE. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer!
A Special Opportunity to Help!
But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.
1 John 3:17-18
There have been many news stories related to the unaccompanied minors entering the US from Mexico. Political questions aside, there are 150 immigrant girls (5-17 years old) being housed at the Baptist Child and Family Services center here in San Antonio. They are VERY much in need of our help. If you are able to help with any of the above items (new or gently used), please bring them to church with you on Sunday or to the Reception Desk (in the Administration buildiing) during the week. This Sunday is the last day of the campaign. Thank you for considering this opportunity to SHINE!
The Infamous 12 – Zechariah
What does God do when we don’t pay attention to his call to repentance? He “turns up the heat.” He does what He has to in order to get our attention. God loves us too much to just let us go our own way. However, when God turns up the heat, it gets hot!
This is what the LORD Almighty says: “Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another. 10 Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the alien or the poor. In your hearts do not think evil of each other.” 11 But they refused to pay attention; stubbornly they turned their backs and stopped up their ears. 12 They made their hearts as hard as flint and would not listen to the law or to the words that the LORD Almighty had sent by his Spirit through the earlier prophets. So the LORD Almighty was very angry. Zechariah 7:9-12
The message of Zechariah is Repentance. And it is a message that relates as well to our day and us as it did to the people of Zechariah’s time. God doesn’t like to be ignored and pushed away.
The Lord was very angry with your forefathers. 3 Therefore tell the people: This is what the Lord Almighty says: “Return to me,” declares the Lord Almighty, “and I will return to you.” Zechariah 1:2, 3
The heart of the message on Sunday was to look at the three parts of Repentance from the book of Zechariah. Beginning with …
Repentance IS … Admitting. Admitting to God (and ourselves) our sin.
Where are your forefathers now? And the prophets, do they live forever? 6 But did not my words and my decrees, which I commanded my servants the prophets, overtake your forefathers? Then they repented and said, “The Lord Almighty has done to us what our ways and practices deserve, just as he determined to do.” Zechariah 1:5, 6
Repentance IS … Believing/Trusting. Trusting in God (for forgiveness).
God keeps HIS promises. Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. Zechariah 9:9
My favorite Messianic Prophecy (foretelling about the Messiah, Jesus) in the book of Zechariah is Zechariah 3:9. I love it because it points to a day we still hold sacred, Good Friday!
I will remove the sin of this land in a single day. Zechariah 3:9
Repentance IS … Change. When we repent, we realize that we NEED to change.
The third part of Repentance is always the part where we ask God, through the Holy Spirit, to help us change!
What does that (Holy Spirit) change look like? It looks like the masterpiece life God wants for us. Let’s look at Galatians and what God’s Word calls the “Fruit of the (Holy) Spirit. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:23
There is NOTHING to repent of on this list! And while this list is comprised of the paving stones for a Masterpiece life, it is also a long list and a bit overwhelming. So let’s just focus on the very first item on the list … LOVE. Or as Paul writes in 1 Corinthians …
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13
The changes we pray for are changes that lead to the life God wants for us. It is part of His recreation of us, through Jesus, to lead us into the life He always intended for us.
The life God wants for us is a life of Love
The word of the LORD came again to Zechariah 9. This is what the LORD Almighty says: “Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another. 10 Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the alien or the poor. In your hearts do not think evil of each other.” Zechariah 7:9, 10
The life God wants for us is a life of Hope
I will defend my house against marauding forces. Never again will an oppressor overrun my people, for now I am keeping watch. Zechariah 9:8
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Hebrews 10:23, 24
5-Minute Challenge: What can you do?
Random Act of Kindness for …
Someone you know.
Someone you don’t.
I love you and hope you have a GREAT week!
God bless you!
Pastor Bill Tucker