From: Rich Carlson
Date: February 16, 2021
Subject: It's February 16; Good Morning Union



Messiah chapter 2      “the Chosen People”

 

“He came to the world that was His own, but His own people did not accept Him.”           John 1:11

 

God had a new plan. Blessing Adam and Eve with EVERYTHING, including daily face-to-face communion with their Maker, failed because they chose instantaneous satisfaction rather than delayed gratification. So He turned to Abram and said, “I’ll bless you SO THAT you can bless everyone else and they’ll see that I am the source of all the good that can be in their lives.” Father Abraham became the “father” of Israel, God’s chosen people.

 

But that chosen status turned into centuries, even millenia of selfishness and the hording of God’s blessings rather than being the “dispensers of His grace and the revealer of His goodness.”

This eventually cost them their special status as God’s chosen people. As I reflected on this chapter I found several characteristics of what caused the eventual fall.

 

1.         Lure of worldly greatness.

2.         Stubborn unfaithfulness

3.         They trusted the sacrifices and rituals instead of trusting the God to whom those rituals pointed

4.         Added more rules and the more they added the more judgmental they became and the less they showed of God’s love.

5.         They weren’t looking to be saved from sin—they wanted to be saved from the Romans.

6.         Greed, violence, and a lack of interest in spiritual things were eating the heart right out of the nation. Pride blurred their vision. They interpreted prophecy to fit into their own selfish plans.

 

And for that they lost their special position in God’s plan to keep showing the world His love. Their “loss” became our gain! God still loves the Jewish people, but as individuals not as a nation. He now offered EVERYONE who want to be His “special people” that position. And He now blesses us for the same reason… SO THAT we can be a blessing to others and show the world a visible demonstration of His undying love. And what I learned from this chapter, that focused my life again today, is the potential, that if I turn those 6 causes of Israel’s fall into 6 opportunities to be used by God to bless others, I too can be His “chosen and blessed.”

 

  1. I choose to focus on God’s goodness and not the world’s greatness
  2. I choose to submit my life to Him and faithfully follow His leading in my life
  3. I choose to focus on Jesus, allowing systems and traditions in my life only if they are assisting in that focus. (a side note, I DO still find church part of that assistance!)
  4. I choose to show God’s love and mercy; His grace and goodness above any human system or tradition.
  5. I choose to look to Jesus as my Savior and not fret about the world’s distractors.
  6. I choose sharing, peace, and a focus on spiritual things, allowing nothing to blur my vision, or keep me from His plans, not mine, for life.

And God continues to be faithful, blessing me way beyond imagination, SO THAT I can continue to be a blessing to others. THAT, is my calling and I believe THAT is God’s calling on each of our lives.

 

Have a great day focusing on His calling,

Pastor Rich

 

Quote for the day:      “You can spend your life judging people or loving them, but you can’t do both.” ~Randy R. Reed

 

PS        NO LIVE CLASSES TODAY DUE TO THE EXTREME COLD!! CHECK WITH YOUR TEACHERS TO SEE YOUR LEARNING WILL STILL TAKE PLACE—PROBABLY OVER ZOOM!! STAY WARM—STAY BLESSED!!

PPS      More camp recruiting! Idahaven Camp representatives will be here today and tomorrow sharing the opportunities for summer camp ministries. Visit them in the Ortner Center lobby.

PPPS    UC BB vs Ozark; W @ 4; M @ 6 in the Thunderdome            https://ugroups.ucollege.edu/events?topic_tags=1756286

Fans will be allowed to attend this game, but are required to wear masks at all times. The game will also be streamed on UTV.

PP..S    Christ on Demand. 7:30 p.m. | Shawnee Porter Room and Zoom Come and connect with new friends but most importantly with the best friend you can have, Jesus! This year’s theme is based on 1 Corinthians 13:13 and tonight Pastor Harold will be sharing.

PPP..S              The Garden | Bible study for women. 8:00 p.m. | Zoom (click the link to learn more) Join Megan Fleming and Annabelle Harper for some time with Jesus.