July 23 - Message Update

Dear San Lo Community, an update for the week of July 23, 2017…

Thank you Pastor Rod for the message from Matthew 20:20-28, “SEAT SELECTION.”  We like it when we are able to choose where we will sit in the plane when flying; here there are a couple of the disciples who thought they could choose their own seat in heaven. We continue in the Gospel of Matthew in our summer series, Time, Talent and Tithe. Our serving attitude is closely tied to our stewardship. It is a privilege, an honor, and a joy to serve Him. When is being great good?

BEING GREAT LATER   (VV.20-21) 20 Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee (James and John) came to Jesus with her sons, bowing down and making a request of Him. 21 And He said to her, “What do you wish?”  Here we have two brothers with their mother; two of Jesus’ inner three disciples with Peter cut out. In the book of Mark,“Teacher, we want You to do for us whatever we ask of You.” Teacher, is a title, a sign of honor, but then they ask a favor without saying what the favor was. Jesus had to ask, “What do you wish?”  Jesus wants specifics for all the other disciples to hear. We need to be specific in what we ask God. She said to Him, “Command that in Your kingdom these two sons of mine may sit one on Your right and one on Your left.” The right was a place of honor, and the left was next highest. (v.22) 22 But Jesus answered, “You do not know what you are asking.” The disciples only saw the crown. James and John should have been more aware of their situation. Jesus had just told them again of His suffering, death and resurrection. They did not see that type of crown, a different and more difficult crown. They thought that glory could be obtained without suffering. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink?  The cup Jesus is referring to is a cup of suffering. They said to Him, “We are able.”  They were ignorant in thinking they could skip any suffering and go right to glory. It is easy to be ignorant to what is eternal, important, and life giving. Ignorance is not bliss, not when you miss out on the gospel of Jesus Christ. Mark emphasizes it even more – are you willing to be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?  This is an immersion in overwhelming grief, plunged into great sorrow in the last days, His last hours. Don’t think about being great later, look what I have in front of Me. (v.23) 23 He *said to them, “My cup you shall drink; but to sit on My right and on My left, this is not Mine to give, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by My Father.” Jesus tells them they will suffer. The heavenly seat selection is not theirs to ask or Jesus’ to give. It is the right of the Father alone to bestow their place in His kingdom. For many years, Vietnam veterans were not recognized for their sacrifice because the cause was questioned. For us, the cause of Christ is not recognized because our sacrifice is questioned. We seek ease and comfort. We don’t want to be put out but just serve out of convenience.

BEING GREAT NOW   (V.24)  24 And hearing this, the ten became indignant with the two brothers. The other disciples are hearing this and become indignant. They obviously missed that there is suffering before glory. (v.25) 25 But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. Even in modern days, many rulers call themselves servants of the people. The phrase, exercise authority, refers to being tyrants to the people; power sought for personal reasons. Then Jesus says, (vv.26-27) 26 It is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, 27 and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave. Jesus does not condemn the desire to become great but greatness is measured and demonstrated in our serving. How we use our time, talents, and tithes is based on how we serve others. From the word, servant, we get deacon: dia (thoroughly) and konis (dust) it has the image of moving in a hurry and raising the dust. How many of us serve that way to move quickly and raise the dust? Wherever God has you, there are opportunities to serve right now.  

BEING GREAT ALWAYS   (V.28) 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”  Jesus Christ gave of His life. He served us, and we can now realize the places on His right and on His left are places of suffering. Ransom refers to an equivalence, a redemption of a slave, a ransom for life, the price of a captive. It is the price paid for a slave and then that slave is set free by the buyer. That is deliverance. Jesus did that for us. He gave His life for us. He served us in that way. He sacrificed in that way. What is our sacrifice, our participation? The Son of God became a man to enable men to become sons of God (CS Lewis). It’s never about, ‘look how much I’ve done for God. It is all about our participation; not just later, not just now, but always. People are drowning in sin all around us. We go about our lives, doing our thing, taking care of ourselves, yet there are people all around us ignoring the hand of Christ reaching out to them. We can reach out a hand to help them come to know the Lord. What would you do, what would you say? He said be great because He is great. He is the great God for eternity.

Thank you to the Holy Art team from Brazil for sharing in our services with praise music and body worship. It was an encouragement to hear the testimonies of these young people with how the Lord had taken them from difficult and dark places and transformed them to see His love that they could share their talents and gifts to offer praise to Him. 

Praise God, we commissioned the 2017 Japan Mission to Sodegaura, Chiba to assist them with VBS for the 30 children registered. Please pray for the team of Rev. Sunao Shimada, Gloria Kama, June Harada, Kimi Sarena, Makiko, Makoto, Nozomi and Kokoro Takasaka as they depart early Monday, June 24 and return Aug.2.

Praise God, we commissioned Jondy Natividad as he serves with “On A Mission” for basketball/English camps in Nagano, Yokohama and Tokyo July 25- Aug 6 along with 9 other team mates from Southern CA.

Please remember to pray for the NAOMI House team: Scott, Michi, Dayla, Raymi and Jadey Shimada; Naomi, Marissa Agraz; Eric, Stephanie Kishi; Helen, Cale Lee-Takaki; Crystal Tran; Patti Okui; Greg and Craig Ng; Doug, Daniel and Samuel Inori; Shinja Yoo Oh, Alex, Amy, Andie, and Allison Oh, as they arrived in Arizona on July 22 and will serve there until July 28 with VBS, construction, and serving the staff and residents with meals and love.  

Praise God, Del Tsoi served at the City Impact Conference. He writes: It was an awesome day of outreach in the SF Tenderloin.  We had a great team working together translating Cantonese/Mandarin for immigrant Chinese living in the area. Please pray for many who were met and came and that the Chinese tracks explaining the gospel will have an impact.

Also, next Sunday, July 30 from 9am – 10am, Makoto and Amy will be giving an extended sharing of their work. Please come and hear from them, as they will be able to share what they are not able to when in the field.

Calendar Items:

8/5 SanLo Annual Golf Outreach
8/12 1pm-6pm Special Camp Post Camp Retreat
8/13  9:00am SS Teacher’s Kickoff Meeting
8/13 12:30pm Craft Day planning meeting for room assignments and favors
8/27 12:30pm Missions Team meeting

9/10  9:00am Deacon’s Meeting
9/16 3 on 3 Hoops Classic
9/17 12:30pm Craft Day planning meeting for assignments, confirm teachers and design program

10/7 JCCWC 40th Anniversary
10/14 88th Anniversary (13th) and Fall Banquet
10/15 12:30pm Craft Day planning meeting final details
10/31 Harvest Festival
11/10 Craft Day setup
11/11   CRAFT DAY!

Have a great week,
Stan , for SLZJCC