Pastor’s Devotions #123

 

Pastor Mark’s Devotion – Day 123

May 25, 2021

“11:13”

“If you then, who are sinful, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him.” Luke 11:13

 

What’s in a number? It’s all in what you do with it!

Set the alarm on your phone for 11:13 a.m. – For those of you who missed Sunday, I’ll explain.

Last Sunday, we celebrated the event of Pentecost. On that Jewish day of Pentecost, 2,000 years ago, our heavenly Father poured out the Holy Spirit upon those first believers “in POWER”. Fear was transformed into life changing faith. Jesus’ followers were moved in such a way that a spiritual fire was ignited and spread across continents.

Where are the spiritual fires today? We are well aware of the mega-fires in CA that have burned across millions of acres of forest land. Counties and states are already hurriedly preparing for another season of massive fire burns amidst devastating drought conditions.

Where are the spiritual burns taking place? What about Stanwood and Camano Island, Washington. Can you conceive of a spiritual burn of the Holy Spirit spreading across the lines of Snohomish and Island Counties? Fears transformed to faith; discouragement turned to hope; lethargy turned to empathy; and apathy turned to love? This transformation would require a move of God. This transubstantiation would require the power of the Spirit.

One day, Jesus taught his disciples, “If you then, who are sinful, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him.” Those words are recorded in Luke 11:13.

My proposition to the congregation on Pentecost Sunday, was to proposition God to send us his Holy Spirit – In Power! When have you asked for God to empower you through his Spirit? When have WE, as a congregation, united in faith, asked God to send His Holy Spirit to us in power?  

So, I decided to suggest that each of us – set our phone alarms for 11:13 a.m. And when that alarm sounds, we would simply pray. “Come, Holy Spirit.” You can pray more than that. I suggested four areas that the Holy Spirit would be poured out – 1. In Our Personal lives, 2. Our Family’s lives. 3. Our Saviour’s life, and 4. Our Community’s life.

Jesus has told us what is the Father’s desire. The only question that remains is, “What is our desire? And “What does that reveal about our hearts?” 11:13 is not to be a duty or obligation to fulfill – but rather a heart- felt desire to know more of God through the outpouring of His Holy Spirit.

I set the challenge for 42 days – six weeks. Similar to our Lenten or Advent Seasons in which we sometimes give up coffee or chocolate or adhere to a spiritual discipline – The 42nd day of this challenge will find us celebrating the Fourth of July – our nation’s Independence Day; our Nation’s Freedom Day. So too, it is the Holy Spirit, sent to us, that allows us to live freely in our faith.

As I sat behind my desk this morning, suddenly my alarm on my phone rang out. I looked at my phone. It was 11:13 a.m. I stopped what I was doing for a few moments. I prayed, “Come, Holy Spirit!”. I prayed for the Spirit to be poured into my heart, my family’s hearts, Our Saviour’s heart and our Stanwood/Camano Island’s heart. It was a really cool moment, knowing that I was uniting with others in our congregation, where ever they might be, who have committed to join in this prayer.

Will you join with us? What do you think might happen as God sees the hearts of his people humble themselves and call out, even cry out, for the Father to send us his Spirit? I can guarantee you this – It’s ALL GOOD!

Will you join in?  I hope so.

This morning – I realized – “Hey, 1+ 1+ 1 = 3. Father + Son + Spirit = Trinity – the fullness of God!                                

What’s in a number? It’s all in what you recognize in it!

Can’t wait for 11:13 a.m. tomorrow.

Your Prayer Partner for the next 42 days!

Pastor Mark



Pastor Mark’s Devotions, April 6

Please note – the videos for the Palm Sunday sermon are now posted on our website – just click the little “video” icon at the far right. (Thanks, Sharon!!)

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“Spread the Word”

Jesus said, “GO home and TELL how much God has done for you. So, the demoniac went away and told all over town how much Jesus had done for him.” Luke 8:39

 

EASTER MORNING: “DRIVE THROUGH COMMUNION” –

7:30 – 11 a.m.

EASTER CROSS DECORATED! 

SPREAD THE WORD!

 

I am jumping the gun a bit. This is Monday morning of Holy Week and what’s up with already writing about Easter Morning. We just want you to have time to spread the word. If people want to drive to church and receive Holy Communion while remaining in their cars = we are going to provide the elements for you. The sun is expected to shine. The SON we know will rise. It will be a beautiful Easter morning the celebrate the resurrection of our King. We are going to do what we can to honor him as we also honor the restrictions that have been laid down. The Easter cross will be decorated.                        

 He is Risen. He is Risen Indeed, Hallelujah!!

On that first Easter morning, the angel of the Lord told the women, “Come and see the place where Jesus lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead’”. (Matthew 28:6-7)

The command to “Come and See” and “Go and Tell” has been a directive that has been given many times in Scripture. Easter morning, the women, the most unlikely characters, were invited to witness the evidence of the empty tomb. They  were then directed to share the unfathomable news with their friends. Even though the women’s voices were to carry no weight, there would be no wait for this proclamation. The Gospel of Mark says that the women initially refrained from saying anything to anyone out of fear. But that didn’t last long! Thus, began the spreading of the Easter message that has been spreading over the globe for over 2,000 years.

In the middle of Jesus’ ministry, in the midst of the Decapolis, Jesus calls another most unlikely character to “Go and Tell” the Good News. A demoniac encountered Jesus and was resurrected from a legion of demons. His home was living among the dead, but Jesus raised him to new life. The one restored, wanted to follow Jesus as one of his disciples. But Jesus sends him back to his hometown with the instructions, “Go and Tell how much God has done for you.”

Each morning we are given the opportunity to “Come and See” what God is doing. And then when we see it, to “Go and Tell” anyone who will listen. This is the mission of the church. Whether we gather together in a church building or not, we are to sharing what we know about the One who knows us!

This week, we will not be able to gather together in our sanctuary. But nothing can keep Easter from arriving. And we are determined to do what we can to celebrate Jesus victory over death.

So, we will offer “DRIVE THROUGH COMMUNION” for anyone that wants to participate. The Easter cross will be decorated and “INDIVIDUALLY SEALED” communion sets will be handed out in your cars, as you drive through the parking lot.  

I will be at church from 7:30 a.m. -11:00 a.m.

My thought is you can come to church, receive communion then return home and watch our Easter Worship online.  

We will not be gathering publicly. We will honor safe distancing along with using masks and gloves. The local news covered an Anglican church celebrating in this way yesterday for Palm Sunday.

IF YOU HAVE ANY SAFETY CONCERNS, PLEASE SIMPLY STAY AT HOME!

If you feel directed, Spread the Word.

Worship and Messages will also be on our website for Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter!

Pastor Mark