Pastor's Blog

May 25, 2018

We all have times when we feel discouraged.  Paul’s second missionary journey had a discouraging start.  We read in Acts 15-16 that there was a sharp disagreement between Paul and Barnabas about whether to take young John Mark with them again.  Apparently Mark got homesick and left them, so Paul refused to take him again.  Barnabas, whose name means “Son of Encouragement” wanted to give him a second chance, so he parted ways with Paul and took John Mark to Cyprus.   So Paul took Silas and Timothy and headed west through Asia Minor.  John Mark needed someone to give him a second chance, to encourage him; and soon Paul would learn that he needed that too.  A number of roadblocks soon brought them to Troas, on the shore of the Aegean Sea where they were unsure of their next step.  It’s very possible that Paul got sick in Troas, and that this is the reason he met Dr. Luke, a man from Europe.    

If Dr. Luke was sent to encourage Paul, it was confirmed one night in a vision of a man from Mac...

May 5, 2018

“Sharing Christ by Serving Others” is St. John’s current vision focus, but last week we saw that Jesus warns that doing good and serving others can become a performance for human applause (Matt. 6: 5-6).  That being said, there is joyin helping those in need, in mutual encouragement, in bringing more of heaven to earth, and in serving the One who has served and saved us by His grace (Mark 10:45).  So what about serving when it’s literally killing us? Didn’t Jesus say that he came not to be served but to serve, and to lay down his life as a ransom for many (Matt. 20: 28)?  If Jesus was willing to serve until it killed him, shouldn’t we be willing to do the same? 

Following Jesus’ example, let’s first clarify that while Jesus came to serve, “Jesus was not, first of all, one who served the world, but one who served God.” (Anderson, The Soul of Ministry, pp. 78-86)  A sane theology of service for the follower of Jesus will affirm that it is the F...

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