Dear SanLo Community, an update for the week of October 8, 2017…
Thank you Pastor Scott for the message from 1 John 3:11-18, “Family Love.” Through testing, it was possible to find out about my ethnic heritage, but there’s another family that I am a part of, and that is God’s family. We are related by blood but not our own, it is by the blood of Jesus. To be a part of this family, all we have to do is receive Christ and ask Him into our lives. Maybe you have done this but some may wonder if their faith is authentic. Maybe you’ve grown up in the church or have believed in God but you wonder if your faith is real. The Apostle John wrote this letter to reassure believers in their faith and to fight against false teaching. The question we can ask ourselves is… How do we know our faith is authentic?
1) We love one another. (vv.11-15) Love, here in the original language is, Agapao, meaning unconditional, unselfish love. It is a love that is willing to do whatever it takes for the person being loved. God calls us to love others with a love that takes care of their needs. Agapao is loving others in a way that honors them, cherishes them, respects them, even when others don’t love us back. (vv.12-13). Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you. Cain killed his brother, Abel, because he and his offering were pleasing to the Lord and Cain’s was not. In the same way, people may hate us because of the way we live. It seems people are quick to hate these days. They say they’re mad because they don’t like the way this person is doing something. They are quick to judge, to criticize, to look for the wrong in people. Being easily angered can easily lead to hate. But we are not called to hate. We are called to love. It says in verse 14, we have passed out of death into life. Life used here is zoe, or God’s life. It is the life God created us to live. Not just physical life, it represents the highest and the best Christ gives us. That’s the life God wants for you. But if you do not love, you abide (or remain) in death. Love frees you, but hate brings you down. It controls you. It harms you. (v.15) The Bible says to hate is same as murder. Harsh words. But think about who it really hurts. When you think about that person and anger fills you up, does it hurt that person? No! It hurts you! They walk by and you’re like, “GRRRRRR!” They may not even know what they did. Or it may not bother them. They’re just going about their day and it makes you even angrier. GRRR! Holding a grudge hurts you. GRRRRUDGE! That anger inside you is like a cancer that takes root and can infect the rest of your life, like a wildfire. But forgive and love them, then you are headed in the right direction towards healing. It doesn’t mean when someone is mean, you need to say, “Thank you! I love that you just did that to me. I love you!” No, but you can still choose to not hate them. When you do that, it’s easier to love them.
2) We sacrifice for one another. (vv.16-18) The ultimate example of love is when Jesus died for us. As believers, we are called to follow His example and continually give up our lives for one another. We need to help other believers (brothers). Find ways to use your money, your talents, and your time to bless others. (v.18) Real love is not a feeling, it is action. It is serving others when you have nothing to gain from it. One day, all we see will pass away. It won’t matter how much money you have in the bank. It won’t matter the size of your house or how many cars you have. What did you do with the time you had on this earth to make an impact in the lives of others? Find ways you can bless others. Support ministries and organizations that are making a difference. There is so much need out there. Do your part to help. No matter your age or your financial situation, you can help. We need to go out there and be a blessing to others. They say talk is cheap. Actions speak louder than words. When you can put others people’s needs ahead of your own, then you know your faith is authentic. In time, and with practice, you will find that when you sacrifice for others, you gain as much as they do.
How will you know if your faith is authentic? You will love one another and you will sacrifice for one another. Those two things will help make this world a better place and you will know that you are living the life God created you to live!
Missions Moment: Praise God for the successful mission this year’s team had at NAOMI House in Arizona this July 22 – 25.
Sharing about her experience, Marissa Agraz said it was an honor to share Jesus with the children there through VBS and spending time with them. Naomi Agraz shared how God challenged her to plan it God’s way and not her way by giving the plans to Him by keeping it simpler than past years which allowed for closer quality interaction with the children than focusing on the programs. Raymi Shimada shared about one boy who had to learn how to trust her and she hopes that he will learn to do this when he is reunited with his family.
10/13 5:30pm Little House
10/14 5:00pm Fall Banquet celebrating our 88th Anniversary (10/13/1929)
10/15 both services Return Report, Japan Sodegaura VBS Mission Team
10/15 12:30pm Craft Day planning meeting
10/21 11:00am Memorial Service – Mrs. Eiko Matsuda (Rev. Shunji Mizoguchi officiating – English sanctuary)
10/22 12:30pm Mission Team meeting (rm.0)
10/22 1:30pm FACC Baptism – Nichigo sanctuary
10/27 12:00pm 55+ Potluck Lunch; Hospice Care, with Dr. Marvin Masuda
10/28 8:00am Love East Bay Fall Serve – Grace Baptist, SL. http://loveeastbay2017fall.eve...
10/29 12:30pm Joint Fellowship and Harvest Fest setup
10/31 5:30pm Harvest Festival
11/4 NCNCC meeting – Rev. Nakano (English sanctuary)
11/4 2:30pm Memorial Service for Rev. Fukiagi at Wintersburg Presbyterian 2000 N. Fairview St. Santa Ana, CA
11/10 Craft Day setup
11/11 CRAFT DAY!
11/12 both services Missions Moment – Nick and Eric Petkoff (TEAM, Japan)
11/12 12:30pm Missions Team meeting
11/19 both services Missions Moment – Roy and Nancy Toma (JEMS)
12/1 7:11pm B.A.M.
12/2 8:30am Missions Prayer
12/9 1:00pm Christmas Program followed with reception
Have a blessed week loving one another,
Stan, for SLZJCC
Please use the attached October Mission Prayer Guide this month to remember our supported missionaries.