April 30 - Message Update

Dear San Lo Community, an update for the week of April 30, 2017

Thank you Pastor Brian for the message from Exodus 28:1-30, “The Holiest People on Earth.” Have you ever gotten a jury duty summons?  For some, it is something you look forward to the opportunity but for most of us it is an inconvenience and a bother. I wonder if that is how we feel when God calls us. Do we feel inconvenienced or do we look forward to what God has invited us to do with Him?  When God summons us He prepares His people for the work of ministry. This morning we ask, “How does God prepare His people for ministry?”

1) God prepares His people for ministry by His CALLING. (vv.1-5) After presenting a detailed blueprint for the building of the sanctuary which Chris last week identified as “The Holiest Place on Earth,” God instructs Moses to bring Aaron and his sons together for a meeting. Hebrews 5:4, “And no one takes this honor (High Priest) for himself, but only when called by God, just as Aaron was.”  Aaron was called by God to be the high priest for Israel. In the same way Aaron was called, God has called all believers to the priesthood. 1 Peter 2:9-10, “Every believer in Christ is chosen, a royal priesthood, and holy…”  (vv.1b, 3, 5) Priests are called to minister or serve God.  To minister means to meet their needs and or desires, but Acts 17:25 tells us God is not served by human hands.  Obviously God does not need anything but we can minister to Him when we meet His desires. From the Bible we know that God desires us to serve others so when we serve others, we are ministering to God. Jesus is our greatest example. He ministered to God through serving others. Mark 10:45. "Even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve.” It is not just missionaries or pastors who are called by God, but every person who believes and receives Jesus as Lord is called to service. God summons all believers to the task of expanding His Kingdom by serving others. You may not be called to the mission field or pastorate but God could be calling you to serve Him at your workplace. A question that you might consider is, how does my work effort reflect my service to God?  In other words do my actions, words, or attitudes align with Colossians 3:23, “Work heartily for the Lord and not for men?”  Besides church, is God calling you to serve Him at your home, work, or school?  I believe He is. 

2) God prepares His people for ministry by His COVERING. Aaron and his sons were not perfect. They had the same faults as we do but God chose them to be His priests. God provided these ordinary men with garments that were holy to cover their imperfections and make them ready to serve. We’ll only focus on two holy garments of the High Priest. The ephod: (vv.6-14) The two stones were placed on the shoulders of the ephod which had the names of the six tribes of Israel on one stone and six tribes on the other. The breast-piece: (vv.15-21, 29, 30) On the breast-piece, Aaron had four rows with three stones in each row for a total of 12 stones.  Each stone had the name of one of the tribes of 12 tribes of Israel over his heart (v.29). These stones on the ephod and the breast-piece were placed on the shoulders and over his heart to remind Aaron that he represented Israel before God as he carried them near his heart. These garments were symbolic. They represented God’s covering of sinful man to make him holy. The detailed description of the covering of the priests is an illustration that physically describes what happens spiritually. The pastor’s robe is also a symbolic covering. Christians are called to minister to God by loving and serving others.  Sin tells us we are unworthy, no good, or capable of making a difference but God’s covering frees us from the chains of sin. God says you matter, are loved and are holy.  Because our sins have been covered, God views our glory and beauty (vv.2, 40), not our shame or ugliness.  You and I are free to love as God loves us. We are set free to be different from the world to love and be loved. If we truly grasp God’s covering, it will transform us into a people who PRAY for people not PREY upon them. Colossians 3:12, Put on then as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.”  God is commanding Christians to clothe ourselves with garments of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.  As God’s representatives we ought to carry hurt people on our shoulders and close to our heart.  As God’s priests we should be praying for, not preying on those that rub us the wrong way. God has prepared His people to serve Him by covering our sins so that we would respond to injustice in ways that honor and serve Him.  God does not seek ways to pounce on us when we disrespect or even reject Him but instead He loves us.  God gave us His only Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.  God prepares His people to serve Him by covering our sin so that we will be transformed into someone who will pray for rather than prey on people.  Yes, wrongs should be made right but how we make things right is the key to serving to God.

For those who have committed their lives to Jesus are CALLED to honor and minister to God by serving others as God has provided new clothes. His COVERING has made us “the holiest people on earth.”  Each morning as we get dressed, let’s remember to clothe ourselves with these new garments of compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.


Children’s Message:

Thanks to Eric, Lynne and Stephanie Kishi for sharing about bridges. What does a bridge do? It connects two places with a way to travel across. The Bible talks about how sin creates a separation with God, but the Good News of the Gospel is that Jesus came and died to pay for the punishment of our sin to bridge us with God. One bridge that we have been seeing often is the Golden State Warrior’s logo which is a great visual aid to remember we have a bridge to God in Jesus Christ.

Calendar Items:

5/2        1pm-5pm           55+ AARP Driver Safety Course session 1 – See Yumi Fujii

5/6          8:30am           Missions Prayer

5/7          9:00am           Deacons Meeting (rm.8)

5/7     both services       Missions Moment – NAOMI House Team

5/9        1pm-5pm           55+ AARP Driver Safety Course session 2 – See Yumi Fujii

5/14   both services       Missions Moment – Japan Mission (Chiba, Sodegaura VBS)

5/14      12:15pm            Mother’s Day Potluck (no Joint Fellowship hour on 5/28)

5/21   both services       Missions Moment – Mitsu & Karen Nakamura

6/3   10am – 12pm         Special Camp Team Building (English sanctuary)

6/7          9:30pm           Women’s Bible Study Praise Brunch – last meeting before summer.

6/18      10:45am           Missions Moment – Makoto & Amy

6/18      12:15pm            Father’s Day Potluck (no Joint Fellowship on 6/25)

6/24         (t.b.d.)            Fong’s ministry breakfast

6/25      10:45am            JEMS summer camp workers’ commissioning

7/4-7                             Shuyokai

7/2-8                             JEMS Mt. Hermon Summer Camp & Special Camp

7/13-15                         General Assembly at WCCC

7/17-21                         Vacation Bible School

7/21-25                         Brazilian Holy Arts Youth Choir (hosted by LAHC HYC) home base & concerts at San Lo

7/22-28                         NAOMI House Mission


Have a called and covered week in the Lord,

Stan,  for SLZJCC