Dear San Lo Community, an update for the week of July 2, 2017…
Thank you Pastor Scott for the message from Matthew 25:14-30, “Response Ability.” We have all been entrusted with things such as our money, our resources, our time, our gifts, our talents from God and we are to be responsible with them. What is our responsibility with our resources?
1) We are to serve God faithfully. (vv.14-23) To be “called” – to call anyone is a divine invitation to participate in the blessings of redemption. The man (referred to as master) called his servants. In the same way, God calls us into service. No matter what we do for a living – a banker, housewife, student, teacher, or whatever, if we are a follower of Jesus, we are called by Him into service. We can all serve wherever we are! You don’t have to work for a church to be in full time ministry. The master gave them what was His. God entrusts us with HIS property. All the things we have are not ours, but sometimes we forget that. We think because we worked for it or we bought it at a store or we did something to achieve it, we think it is ours. But it’s not, it is God’s. A talent was a measurement of currency - about 6,000 denarii. One denarii was a day’s wage. So if someone made $100 a day in today’s world, one talent would be worth about $600,000. So the first guy was given 5 talents. Do the math and you have $3,000,000. The first two guys went out and traded it and doubled it. But that word traded means “to work for,” “to be employed and labor for.” These guys worked hard. Notice a few things: They took all they had and put it to work. It doesn’t mention that they hid half and worked with the other half. No, it says they took what they were given and worked with it. God gives us resources – money, abilities, time, etc. He calls us to use them for His Kingdom; to take these things and use them to serve Him faithfully, not to let them waste away. Notice also that the servants didn’t complain about what they received. God gives us all different resources; different gifts, talents, jobs, incomes. It was all given to you by God and it’s not what you have or don’t have – it’s what you do with it! We do not own these things. We are caretakers, not owners. If you can’t share what you have, you don’t own them, they own you. It’s not just material things either. You can serve God by encouraging others, spending time with people, sharing the love of Jesus with your neighbors, by cleaning the church, by baking cookies, by doing whatever God calls you to do. Notice also they didn’t criticize each other. “Look – I only got 2 and he got 5!” Who would do that, right? Well, it happens all the time. We criticize people who have different resources than us. We all have different strengths. When you serve God faithfully, you don’t criticize others. You just serve with what you have. When you criticize others, you are not being helpful, you are part of the problem. We want to serve Jesus faithfully, but sometimes it’s hard. Sometimes we don’t feel like it, or sometimes we feel like we don’t have much to give.
2) God also calls us to serve Him unselfishly. (vv.24-27) This man was selfish. He was only thinking of himself. He just wanted to protect himself. Remember in verse 14, he was called by the master to serve him faithfully, but he failed. Why? He was afraid and only thought of himself. He misjudged the character of the master and acted in fear and not in love and obedience. His misconception of the master led to laziness and bad stewardship. Instead of working with what he was given, he buried it in the ground. It did nothing but get dirty. He was afraid and that fear prevented him from serving faithfully. Instead of presenting a profit, he offered up excuses. When God calls you, do you make up excuses? When He wants you to speak to your neighbors, do you worry what they’ll think of you? When He tells you to donate to that ministry or to those in need, do you worry that He won’t provide for you? There is more to life than this life. Nothing lasts. It says “Do not be afraid” 365 times in the Bible. That’s once for every day of the year. If you let fear drive you, you will miss out on some really cool things God wants to do through you! Instead fear that God will judge you for your self-centeredness. (vv.28-29) For those that use God’s given gifts and resources wisely, more opportunities will be given to use these for God’s Kingdom! If you don’t, you will miss out.
What will you do with the things God has given you? You can ignore it and just let it sit there or you can put it towards expanding God’s Kingdom! Remember these two different attitudes of Christ’s return. 1 – Don’t care that He is coming back and ignore the inevitable. Or, 2 – Do what you can to share with as many people as you can. Find ways to share. Use what you have to help God’s Kingdom! No matter what your job is, God can use you. Don’t let your gifts and talents waste away. Find ways to share God with others. Use the gifts God has given you. Find a way to make this world a better place. Find a way to use whatever you have to share Jesus with the world!
Please pray for all those attending the JEMS Mt. Hermon camps going on this week, and for our Nichigo Departments who are gathering in Santa Barbara for Shuyokai July 4 – 7.
Thank you for your prayers and support for Holly Yamagata and the Brazil 2017 team who arrived safely in South America this past week and praise God for supplying over 100% of their needed support! The team will be there June 28 – July 17.
Please remember to pray for our other short term missions going out soon:
July 22 – 28 NAOMI House in Arizona: Pastor Scott, Michi, Dayla, Raymi, Jadey Shimada, Naomi & Marissa Agraz, Eric & Stephanie Kishi, Helen & Cale Lee-Takaki, Crystal Tran, Patti Olui, Jaime & Gracielle Yee, Greg & Craig Ng, Doug, Samuel & Daniel Inori, Shinja Yoo Oh, Alex & Amy & Andie & Allison Oh, currently at approximately 80% support raised.
July 24 – August 2 Chiba Japan Mission to Sodegaura Church for VBS: Rev. Sunao Shimada, Gloria Kama, June Harada, Kimi Sarena, Makiko, Makoto, Nozomi, and Kokoro Takasaka, currently at about 50% of support raised.
July 25 – August 6 OAM Basketball camps in Nagano, Yokohama and Tokyo: Jondy Natividad and nine others from Southern California.
Please continue to pray for the Grow San Lo Capital Campaign and for our English Department Annual Meeting this coming Sunday, July 9 following each service. For our voting members who have not received their ballot, yours will be sent via postal mail this week, to be returned no later than 2:00pm July 9 for the selection of 3 elders for the coming term.
Also, please remember to pray for our conference as our leaders and delegates gather at West Covina Christian Church July 14 – 15 for General Assembly.
July 17 – 21 is the San Lo VBS, “Maker Fun Factory” so please pray for Gloria Kama and her staff as they prepare.
Other Upcoming Calendar Items:
7/9 both services NAOMI Team commissioning
7/9 12:30pm Craft Day planning meeting for teachers and helpers (rm.8-9-10)
7/15 1:00pm OMF China Update by David Leung (Steve Weemes)
7/21-25 Brazilian Holy Art Youth Choir (hosted by LAHC HYC) home base for NorCal at SanLo
7/23 both services commissioning of Japan Mission 2017 Team & Jondy Natividad to Nagano, Yokohama & Tokyo
8/5 San Lo Golf Outing
8/12 1pm-6pm Special Camp – Post Camp Retreat
8/13 9am-10am Teachers’ Kickoff Meeting
8/13 12:30pm Craft Day planning meeting
Have a blessed week being responsible stewards,
Stan, for SLZJCC