Thursday, 6/29/2017

Good Morning, Friend,

What an exciting week this has been. It is Wednesday when I am writing and much has gone on during the past few days. On Tuesday evening we had four people from our church come and help on three different projects to get ready for our next steps in the remodel program. John Reed came to help with the staining a million pieces of trim (okay, there were not that many, but a lot). Vickie Love came along to help John and my wife in the staining process. While that was going on, Donnie Patterson came along and did some important shimming of the “hole-in-the-wall” area that will accept the cabinet top as well. He got inside our “hole” and scoped out the situation and later crawled back inside to nail in the 2x4’s to get it ready for our counter tops. As Donnie was finished with his project, Greg Cox came along to do some necessary plastering at the north end of the kitchen. He does more in 2 minutes than I do in 20 minutes. He is an expert and very efficient in what he does. The work is progressing quite well. We have some priming and painting to do after the plaster dries. Linda is becoming very excited as we see each day pass, but we are both patient as we wait for each phase to fall into place all in God’s timing. On Wednesday morning I received a call that the counter tops may not be going in on Thursday. The machine that attaches the sink to the bottom of the counter top is broken. It is made in Italy and it may not be done in time so they would have to reschedule it for next week…maybe Friday. At 3:30 p.m. I receive another call saying that they have it fixed and will be on schedule for Thursday at about 10:30 a.m. God works all things for His glory.

1 Corinthians 5:8 Let us therefore celebrate the festival, not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. (ESV)

Subject:  Celebrate with Sincerity & Truth

Paul has just talked about cleansing out the old leaven (sin) that the new lump (batch of dough…our lives) can be unleavened. This is not talking about our position, but our state or spiritual condition at this time. Our position in Christ never changes, our condition can change moment by moment or at any time in our relationship with the Lord. Our position is steadfastly secure in our eternal destiny in heaven because it is a free gift of God. Our condition in Christ is changed when we sin or live in sin as a believer in Jesus Christ. When we are living in sin, the only alternative to be restored in fellowship with our God is to repent. That involves acknowledging our sin and agreeing with God that what we have done is wrong and seek His help not to commit that sin again. Then we need to thank Him for His grace, mercy, and forgiveness and move on in our spiritual walk.

It is at this time that we can celebrate (observe a feast) and rejoice because the old leaven (sin) is gone. Wickedness and a wicked attitude and our fleshly nature can get a believer down in the dumps. It can cause depression, a lack of joy and peace, and even a lack of security in our salvation. The longer we hold on to sin and not confront it, confess it, and surrender our wills to God’s will, the deeper and longer you may have challenge of getting to the “abundant life” that we can have in Jesus Christ.

What festival is Paul talking about? It could be a fellowship meal with other believers in Christ. It could be a time celebrating the Lord’s Supper. It is at this time that one needs to come without yeast (sin) in our lives along with sincerity (purity of motive) and truth (reality) in our hearts and minds. It is here that we truly enjoy our times of fellowship and worship in the feasts with God’s people and with the Lord.

God is always looking at our hearts. He sees deep inside and discovers who we are and what we are truly like (truth). He looks for the motivation that we have down deep inside and sees how it plays out in each day that we live.

There are times we become a hypocrite (actor). This is not a good place to be when it comes to our relationship with God. Obviously, He sees through our pretending to be a good Christian and He knows that we are just playing the part. He also knows when we are putting up a front for others to see us, but we are not sincere in what we believe and live out in our lives.

So, be genuine and transparent with God and others. Things are not always fantastic in anyone’s life. We all have struggles, challenges, and afflictions that weigh us down. Some have more than others. These things that weigh us down can cause us to feel like God abandoned us or is not there for us, but He is. You can trust HIM because He is faithful.

Celebrating with sincerity,

Pastor Les

Scripture is from the ESV® Bible  (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.  Used by permission.  All rights reserved.