Zis-N-Zat From Pastor Asher

God is my conscience, Jesus lives in my heart… this blog is about what I see, what I think, what I do and how I serve God

Approximate Notes for Sunday’s Message; February 5, 2017; Matthew 5:1-2, 13-16

We will continue to explore what it means to open ourselves to the Holy Spirit guidance and transformation.

Scriptures for this Sunday are: Matthew 5:1-2, 13-16

You can read these Scriptures here: {NIV2010 and ESV}

We will also dedicate and commission a new wheelchair in memory of Irene Toth Genbauffe

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Am I the only one who gets tired and needs to rest once in a while? Can anyone else remember a time in your own life when you were so frustrated that you just did not care about what was going to happen next?

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Today’s Scripture records a time when Jesus was talking about this in the wilderness of Judea, “… if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again?” (Matthew 5:13). The sad truth is that all of us lose our “saltiness” once in a while. And we are in a good company.

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In 1 Kings 19 we learn that Elijah, one of the greatest prophets of Israel, was running for his life from a tyrant. He was scared, discouraged, and depressed.

1 Kings 19: 3 Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, 4 while he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness. He came to a broom bush, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.” 5 Then he lay down under the bush and fell asleep.”

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In the Book of Numbers, we learned that when the Children of Israel became exceedingly whiny after leaving Egypt, they tried to dump their anxiety on Moses.

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NIV2010 Numbers 11: 10 Moses heard the people of every family wailing at the entrance to their tents. The Lord became exceedingly angry, and Moses was troubled. 11 He asked the Lord, “Why have you brought this trouble on your servant? What have I done to displease you that you put the burden of all these people on me? 12 Did I conceive all these people? Did I give them birth? Why do you tell me to carry them in my arms, as a nurse carries an infant, to the land you promised on oath to their ancestors? 13 Where can I get meat for all these people? They keep wailing to me, ‘Give us meat to eat!’ 14 I cannot carry all these people by myself; the burden is too heavy for me. 15 If this is how you are going to treat me, please go ahead and kill me—if I have found favor in your eyes—and do not let me face my own ruin.”

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To paraphrase all that, Moses is saying, “Lord, just take me… Please…”

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We lose our “saltiness” when we lose our vision. We lose our “saltiness” when we lose sight of the big picture. We lose our “saltiness” when we lose our focus and see no way out of our current predicament.

{Illustration}

When we lose our “saltiness” we start dreaming of the “good old days.” In our memories the “good old days” are “good” because we tend to remember all the joys and celebrations and tend to forget the difficulties and frustrations. And all of a sudden, instead of letting the past infuse our future with meaning, we reminisce about what was and is no longer possible because times have changed. If we want to survive we need to change with the times.

This applies to our lives as a Christian community and it applies to our personal lives.

{Illustration: Educational Process}

{Illustration: Accomplishing personal goals}

{Illustration: Emotional and Spiritual healing}

Rediscovering our “saltiness” is about reinventing ourselves. It is about learning to think and react differently.

When we lose our saltiness, it is important to recognize what is happening – “you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” Most of the time we have options; we may not like our options, but we do have options. If we get complacent and do not want to do anything different, eventually we become “no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out” (Matthew 5:13). When that happens it becomes so much more difficult to reinvent ourselves.

To keep us focused, to remind us of our role in keeping our “saltiness,” Jesus himself established the Sacrament of the Holy Communion.

{Celebrating the Sacrament of the Holy Communion}

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