SanLo Community, an update for the week of July 15, 2018…
Thank you Pastor Scott, for the message from Malachi 2:17-3:5, 3:13-3:18, “Here Comes the Judge.” Life seems unfair. But that’s not anything new. Even for people over 2,400 years ago, life seemed unfair. Malachi here means “messenger.” It was written around 450-425 B.C. At this time, it had been about 100 years since the exiles had returned from Babylon. The temple was rebuilt but the priests were careless and the people were losing hope in God. There was a drought and the crops were failing. The people were discouraged, disappointed and downtrodden. They stopped trusting God and began inter marrying outside Israel. But Malachi had a message for them – God is still in control! Even if it doesn’t look like it! And the same message is for you all today! Even if you have been discouraged, disappointed, depressed, dejected and disheartened. Even if it seems life is unfair. You can know that God is still on the throne and He is still the One in charge! What does God bring when the world seems unfair?
The first thing He brings is judgment. God brings judgment. (v.2:17) The people already questioned God’s love, majesty and fidelity. Now they have concerns about justice. does = to work, to create, to acquire. It’s not just doing something aimlessly. It’s about creating something. This verse is talking about everyone who “does” evil and for those who say that those who do evil is good in the sight of the Lord. “Evil” = bad, inferior quality, unpleasant, pain giver, causing unhappiness. Less than/worse than what God offers. God does not want us to be unhappy. He does not want to cause us pain. But we see people who do bad things apparently excel in life. We see the rich and famous and many of them live lifestyles that are in contrary to how God would want us to live. It doesn’t seem fair. You see people living in sin who make more money, have more friends, have bigger houses, seem happier, drive nicer cars and just being more prosperous than you. And you think – how is this fair? How can God allow this to happen? Doesn’t He love me? And like verse 17 says, “Where is the God of justice?”
The answer to that question comes in three parts: 1) The Lord will send his messenger (John the Baptist). (v.1) His purpose was to prepare the people for the coming of Jesus. This is a sign that God’s judgment is for the wicked. His judgment is coming! 2) The Lord will come to the temple and His purpose is to refine the people. (vv.2-4) We were all created in His image. But we are all sinful and we fall short of God’s glory. In Heaven, there is no sin. We are refined. Silver when heated with fire will melt and will produce dross on the top that can be separated away. This leaves behind the pure, clean and shining silver and the reflection of the worker can be clearly seen. As we are being refined and purified by God, His reflection can be seen in our lives and apparent to those around us. If it’s not sliver and some other metal to begin with, the refiner will blow and blow but it’ll be in vain as only lead dross will appear. The soap mentioned is also a symbol of the purification process. 3) The Lord will bring judgment. (v.5) Although it will be delayed for ages, judgment will come to those who have broken His commandments. But as an expression of His patience, compassion, grace and willingness to forgive, the Lord works on a plan of redemption, and that leads us to the next and last point.
What does God bring when the world seems unfair? He brings hope (3:13-18) vv.13-15 – the people are still complaining that things were not fair. Have you ever had thoughts like, “Why should I follow God? What use is it?” We may have doubts. We may not see the fruits of our labor. We may get impatient but God is still at work. Keep following Jesus - He will lead you to the right places. Keep obeying Him – He will help you make good decisions. Keep trusting Him – He will not let you down. We have seen that God will bring judgment to those who don’t obey Him. Now we see what happens to those who do. (vv.16-18) “fear” – this is much more than just the outward appearance, it shows a devotion. A true follower stays close through both good and difficult times too. The word, “remembrance,” is like a record, and account AND a celebration. All will see a clear distinction between the righteous and the wicked. Those who ignored God, those who disobeyed Him and chose to live apart from Him on earth will live apart from Him forever. But for those who loved God, honored His Word and followed Him will be set apart and forever will be with Him in Heaven for they are His!
Where will you be? You can decide how you want to live. Will you live for your own self – hoping that you will get the goals that you set out for? Or will you live for God and do the things He created you to do? Will you aim for trophies that will gather dust and rust? Or will you seek the prize that will last forever? Will you live for the here and now? Or will you decide to live for the only One that matters? Choose to follow Jesus.
Please pray for Gloria Kama and her staff and many helpers (30+) as they serve the community through VBS this week.
Please pray for the NAOMI team as they prepare to begin serving in Arizona on Saturday, July 21. Ross Yamamoto, Doug, Samuel and Daniel Inori, Shinja, Alex, Amy, Andie and Allison Yoo-Oh and Stan and Judy Naruo will begin driving on Thursday while Scott, Michi, Dayla, Raymi and Jadey Shimada, Naomi and Marissa Agraz, Greg and Craig Ng, James, Esther and Jihae Song, Helen and Cale Lee-Takaki, Patti Okui and Nathaniel Yee will fly out Saturday morning and the team will make their way back the following Saturday.
Please pray for Jondy Natividad who will be serving in Japan with On The Mission 7/21 – 8/5. Also, pray for Jondy as upon his return will begin a certificate program through Western Seminary in preparation for future ministry through missions.
Please pray for Teon Lee, serving with the Hong Kong Short Term Mission July 16 to 27.
Praise and Prayer Requests:
Welcome back to Holly Yamagata from our sister church, LAHC, seeking to be sent to Brazil on a 4-month mission trip to Pompeia with JEMS. She will serve through the Igreja Evangelica Holiness de Pompeia Church, through teaching English, baking and art classes, bible studies, basketball clinics and hosting youth hang-out times. If you are led to support her in this ministry, you may do so at: https://jems.networkforgood.com/projects/50338 Pending the required funds coming in, (currently under 20%) she hopes to depart this August and serve through December.
SanLo’s long term missionary in Rifu, Japan, Julie Nitao, is hosting a summer mission team from Gardena Valley Baptist Church from July 13-23rd. In August she will be helping with Kid’s Camp. Please pray for good planning and communication.
Ellen Yano shared praise to God for how He has removed the infections from her sister, Jean Sakai’s body and she is much improved and was able to be back in the worship service after being out for over a month.
Please pray for Jordan Kataoka as she will be driving back with her dad, Jeff, to Texas at the end of this week to resume her graduate program.
Please continue to pray for Kay Mayeda and his family in Bothell, WA. Kay is rapidly declining after being diagnosed with Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease a few weeks ago. He is now in hospice care and barely able to eat or sit up. Please pray for Kay and his family as they go through this difficult time.
Prayer request through Steve and Ann Tedrow: Enith, Selvy Lopez's mother, fell and broke her wrist on July 4th. On July 10th she was seen by an Orthopedic Surgeon. All the medical specialists who had seen Enith's X-ray anticipated she would need surgery. We are thanking the Lord for the great news that she just needed a cast. The surgeon said the X-ray looked good and she shouldn't need surgery. A follow-up appointment is on the 24th. Enith will return to her home in Peru on the 30th. Thank you for praying with us.
7/29 12:30pm Annual Meeting – English and Nichigo
8/12 9am-10:30am Adult Sunday School Class – End Times
8/19 12:30pm Wedding Shower – Mika Matsumoto and Nathan Masuda
9/1 9am-noon All-Church Cleanup
9/2 9am-10am Small Group leaders’ meeting (rm.8-9-10)
9/9 both services Mission Moment – Patricia K.
9/15 3 on 3 Basketball Tournament
9/29 NorCal Regional Gathering
10/13 9am-2pm Grow SanLo Day