September 10 - Message Update

Dear San Lo Community, an update for the week of September 10, 2017

Thank you Pastor Brian, for the message from 1 John 2:3-11, “The Diamond Effect.” Right before and immediately after the moon passes between the sun and earth is called the Diamond Effect, which is a magnificent and brilliant light before and after darkness. It is a good visual aid of how we, as followers of Christ, should be viewed in our world which is experiencing so much darkness. With the hurricanes, the wildfires, the racial divide, the threat of a nuclear war, let alone our own struggles, it’s easy to be feel afraid and hopeless, but as followers of Christ we have the high calling of God to shine with hope in spite of our circumstances.  How are we a light to a world filled with darkness?

1) Followers of Christ are a light to the world when God’s instructions are OBEYED. (vv.3-6)  “By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments.” (v.2) Sometimes when we hear the word “obey,” our first reaction is to not obey. It’s our sin nature to rebel. We want to be in control or at least feel like we are the masters of our own destiny. It’s challenging to be told that being a light to a world filled with darkness requires obedience to God.  But like any loving father, God has given us directions to protect, guide, and nurture His children. John points out that to “know” God is more than an academic process it is a lifestyle that adheres to or abides with the teachings of God. “The one who says I have come to know Him, and does not keep His commandments, is a liar and the truth is not in him.” (v.4) This verse emphasizes the significance of knowing and keeping God's commandments.  Verses 3 through 6 speak about "knowing" God by obeying His Word and acting upon what you know.  John is calling out followers of Christ to not only study God’s Word but to do it. It seems harsh to be told that everyone, including Christians, are liars and therefore sinners because we do not keep all of His instructions. But the Bible tells us we are sinners (Romans 3:23) and yet at the same time, God lovingly rescues us from our sins by His grace. (Ephesians 2:8, 9)  To live as a light in this world we are called to obey God’s instructions, which ultimately is to be full of grace and love for others both within and without the church. To obey God is walking in the same manner as Jesus walked as verse 6 instructs us.  Walking is a metaphor for a way of living. When we live as Jesus lived our entire being, our attitudes, actions, choices, character etc., mirror the life of Jesus. How can you and I be the Diamond Effect in a world that is darkened by so many issues?  To be a light, we obey God and walk as Jesus walked, believing this truth, that we are forgiven and loved beyond measure and in turn pay it forward and live in love for others as God loves us.    

2) Followers of Christ are a light to the world when God’s instructions are LIVED OUT. (vv.7-11) Being a light is being a positive influence with your life. When you are intentional in living out God’s instructions in love then you become a radiant beam of confidence that everything will be alright.  When others observe or receive your love you become their ray of hope.  “The one who loves his brother abides in the Light and there is no stumbling in him.” (v.10) The main idea here is when we love one another, we are living out the Light who is in us. Verses 7 and 8 can be confusing but if we realize that John is talking about Jesus, who is the new commandment, then it makes sense. The old commandments are what the Jews knew from the prophets and forefathers. The new commandment is, “Loving others as God loved you.” John 13:34-35. The world is watching us, the church. If we live out love inside the church God’s love becomes more credible to a skeptical world and sets us apart as a place where the Light can be found. When we love our brothers and sisters we are living out the truth of God’s love. Being a light could mean taking the time and effort to be a good listener. That moment of silence while listening could be the time when God’s love shines best through you.  Good listening will help you begin conversations and develop trusting relationships. By being a good listener you can be the Diamond Effect during someone’s darkest times. Verses 9 though 11 make clear the comparison between living in the light and in the darkness.  Living in the light is living with the love of God.  Living in the dark is living without the love of God. What does it mean to live out God’s instructions? According to these verses it means we cannot hate our brothers, fellow believers. It’s between you and God to determine if you are hating a fellow believer or just angry. It’s a crucial distinction to make because the world is watching.

Wouldn't it be awesome and amazing if Christians shined in this particular time of darkness? Regardless of differing views, or how you might feel disrespected, hurt or disappointed, to be a light is to determine within your soul to obey God and live out God’s instructions with love as Jesus did. "Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that," Martin Luther King. There are many in this world who need light but don't know it’s available.  How else will they find it but through you?  How is God instructing you to shine and be the Diamond Effect in someone’s life?

 

Missions Moment:

Andy, Nathan, Nia Jeung, David Ing, and Kimmie Mark will go to Kanagawa, Japan November 18-30, 2017 to serve at JLodge coffee shop, David and Yuka Mills’ mission where they do outreach to students at Tokai University through Bible studies, conversational English, and various fellowship outreaches. Please pray as their JLodge Music Team prepares to give concerts, teach cooking classes and whatever the Mills may ask of them. Please pray for them and join their support team as the Lord may lead you and follow them at: facebook.com/groups/JlodgeSTM/   Checks written to SLZJCC, memo line JLodge will be forwarded to the team.

 

 

Calendar Items:

9/15        6:00pm           6th Grade Welcome Party

9/16        8:30am           3 on 3 Hoops Classic at Alameda Point Gym

9/17   both services       Missions Moment – Pastor John Katagi and Holly Yamagata on Brazil

9/17      12:30pm            Craft Day planning meeting for assignments, confirm teachers and design program

9/17                              Evening Praise and Worship Service is canceled for this week

9/21      10:00am            First weekly Lamb’s Club

9/22        7:00pm           Missions Report from Ken Kong hosted by Nick Wong

9/23    10am-12pm         Potluck Brunch for supporters of Andy Jeung / ERRC

9/29      12:00pm            55+ Potluck Lunch – Dancing Through Life – Dorothy Toy Story (Rick Quan)

 

10/1      12:45pm            Mission Team meeting (room 8-9)

10/7        8:45am           Missions Prayer

10/7   9:30am-1pm         Winter Vision Planning meeting (8-9-10)

10/7                              JCCWC 40th Anniversary

10/8        5:00pm           Evening Praise Service with Junko Nishiguchi Cheng

10/13                            40 Days of Prayer from September 4

10/14                            88th Anniversary (10/13/1929) and Fall Banquet

10/15    12:30pm            Craft Day planning meeting final details

10/31                            Harvest Festival

 

11/4    9:30am-1pm        Winter Vision Planning meeting (8-9-10)

11/10                            Craft Day setup

11/11                            CRAFT DAY!

 

Shine with the light of Christ this week,

Stan, for slzjcc