March 19 - Message Update

Dear San Lo Community, an update for the week of March 19, 2017

Thank you Pastor Brian, for the message from Exodus 19:1-17, “The Great and Powerful.” In the 1939 movie classic, The Wizard of Oz, the wizard proclaimed his greatness and power but he was just a feeble man hiding behind the facade. The wizard’s power was not authentic, but manufactured. How do you know God is great and powerful? 

God is great and powerful because He... 1) KEEPS His word. (vv.1-6) God is the promise keeper. He will always do what He says. Unlike us. How many times have you been disappointed by those who say they will do something but fail to do so? Or how often have you promised something but didn’t keep it? None of us keep our word 100% of the time but that’s what makes God so great and powerful because He always keeps His word. Arriving in the wilderness of Sinai is God’s word coming true. Exodus 3:12, “This will be a sign when you are brought out of Egypt you shall worship God at this mountain.” For the next 11 months, Israel camped in front of Sinai where God made a covenant with them saying in verse 5, “If they would obey His voice and keep His covenant they would be His own treasured possession among all the peoples and be a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” God kept His word to Israel and biblical history reveals there is a remnant of Israelites who obeyed the voice of God and became His treasured possession. God’s word in Exodus is for us today. Hebrews 1:1-2 tells us that, “God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son.” This implies that those who by faith receive and believe in Jesus, are, as 1 Peter 2:9 tells us, “A chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession (treasure).” Because of Jesus you too are chosen, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, treasured by God, even when we sin. John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sin and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” The vicious cycle of fighting sin is broken when we accept and receive by faith that God is great and powerful enough to forgive us, because He keeps His word to cleanse us from all of our sin.               

God is great and powerful because He... 2) EMPOWERS His faithful followers. (vv.7-9) (v.9) The LORD said to Moses, “Behold, I will come to you in a thick cloud, so that the people may hear when I speak with you and may also believe in you forever.” Whenever you’re assigned a task, it is necessary to be recognized as the one in charge. God is the supreme One who has the power to give anyone He chooses the authority to be the boss. God empowered Moses to take charge and now as Moses was guiding the nation to the Promised Land, God re-emphasized Moses’ authority by coming to him in verse 9, “in a thick cloud so that the people may hear when I speak with you and may also believe in you, forever.” God has empowered every follower of Jesus with the authority to speak on His behalf. 2 Corinthians 5:20 informs us that, “We are ambassadors for Christ, God making His appeal through us.” This can be an overwhelming thought to realize that you have been chosen to represent God in a world that rejects Him. For all of His devoted followers, God presents opportunities to take the lead in expanding His Kingdom. If there is a sense God is moving you towards something, take the time to pray and consider what He is saying to you. Your salvation is not at stake but you might miss out on God’s empowerment to accomplish His call in your life. God not only calls individuals but He also calls churches to expand His Kingdom. God has empowered His faithful followers in the past and in the present to accomplish His will. There is no reason to believe He will not do the same in the future for you or this church.

God is great and powerful because He... 3) PREPARES His faithful followers. (vv.10-17) (v.11) “Let them be ready for the third day.” God wanted His people to be ready for Him because if they weren’t, they would have touched the mountain and died. In verse 16 God demonstrated His might as He descended upon the mountain with thunder, lightning, a thick cloud and a very loud trumpet blast. The incident was so dynamic it caused the people to tremble. This spectacular event caught the attention of His people but God (v.12) further exerts His power, warning the people not to touch or go up the mountain or they will surely be put to death. Why does God present Himself this way for the Israelites?  So they would know of His greatness and understand His power. God has prepared His people today though His Son Jesus. Because of Jesus, we can stand before God without fear. Hebrews 11:19, “We can enter the holy place with confidence by the blood of Jesus.”  Spiritual slumps can be overcome when we recall that God prepares His faithful followers through Jesus.  He is the One who has paved the way to stand before God without fear. 

God is GREAT and POWERFUL because He KEEPS His word, EMPOWERS and PREPARES His faithful followers. God’s greatness and power is seen in changed lives.  A transformed life is a vivid picture of God’s presence in our lives.  

Missions Moment:

Nick Wong was in Thailand to seek God’s plan and will for his future mission involvement in South East Asia. He was able to get a sense of the spiritual climate (Buddhism) and the people’s relationship with their king, as the country is in a year of mourning after his recent passing. Nick was also able to spend time with long-term missionaries and participate in some of the outreach bible studies plus visit ZOE. Upon his return, he has enrolled in seminary, attended the OMF Mission Mentor Training in Colorado, and asks for prayer in continuing to seek God’s long-term vision for himself.

Calendar Items:

3/26      10:45am            Missions Moments – Daisuke & Cheryl Ikegami; Joey & Jasmine Tell

4/1          8:30am           Missions Prayer

4/4          9:30am           55+ Group to Kotobuki, Umenoki and J-sei Homes with music and Easter Gifts.

4/7          7:11pm           B.A.M.

4/8       11am-3pm         Church Picnic at the CV Community Center (Vern Hu)

4/9                                Palm Sunday

4/14        7:00pm           Good Friday Services (English service & Japanese service)

4/16                              Easter

4/23   both services       Greetings/sharing from David and Sue Verwey (Japan Mission)

4/29     8am – 2pm         Love East Bay – Spring Serve (Pastor Eric)

5/14      12:15pm            Mother’s Day Potluck

6/18   both services       Missions Moment – Makoto & Amy

6/18      12:15pm            Father’s Day Potluck

7/4-7                             Shuyokai

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

7/17-21                         Vacation Bible School

7/21-25                         Brazillian Holy Arts Youth Choir (hosted by LAHC HYC) homebase & concerts at SanLo

7/22-28                         NAOMI House Mission

Have a blessed week in Christ’s presence,

Stan,  for SLZJCC