The breakfast cereal. The new car. College. Career path. Whether the choice is big
or small, how do you choose? On what will
you base your choice? You want the best, the most reliable, consistent, and fulfilling
option. So maybe it’s hard to imagine that God would ever choose you.
Maybe you are all too aware that your life is riddled with poor
choices and decisions. Maybe you feel your weaknesses and inconsistencies are
too hard to hide. Maybe you don’t care, but it doesn’t matter. God has chosen you, because that is who he is
and what he does. His choice is based on
his own undeserved love.
He has chosen you to be led by the Son whom he chose to be
your Savior. When you follow him you will
discover that you have been chosen to be blessed and glorified, to show radical
love, and to choose others.
Three words we speak very often. To our children, to our spouse, to the friend who is crushed and heartbroken, to the friend who is exuberant and ecstatic.
That short, little three-word phrase is intended to overflow with meaning. “I love you” is not supposed to be flippant, or meaningless, or sarcastic, or devoid of emotion. Yet, how often has that phrase lost its charm and charisma because it seems less than heartfelt? How often do you yourself struggle to demonstrate what you claim with that phrase? Our love can often be imperfect.
Maybe you’ve been the recipient of such imperfect love in your life, that you have given up on love all together. Not just that you have given up on dating, or marriage, but on the whole idea that people can show one another love. Our world seems to struggle mightily to demonstrate real love. We have become great at conditional love; love that depends on who you are and what you do for me.
Jesus says, “I love you!”
And Jesus means it.
Jesus shows it.
It is unconditional.
It is amazing.
When Jesus says it, that phrase is not flippant, or sarcastic, or charmless, or less than heartfelt. When Jesus says, “I love you,” his phrase overflows with meaning and with his very own blood that was spilled out upon the cross for you.
Jesus loves you. Whether you feel great or small, whether you are rich or poor, whether you are afflicted or at ease, Jesus loves you. He loves you with that type of love that knows exactly what you need. Jesus loves you. Jesus has loved you. Jesus will love you – and always with his Amazing Love.
Join us for this worship series on Sundays, October 7-28, 2018, at 9:30am.
Are you a movie fan? If you are, summer is a fantastic time for you. In summer, Hollywood always seems to pull out some of their biggest blockbuster attempts. So did you see or are you planning to see any blockbuster films? Transformers: Age of Extinction? Dawn of the Planet of the Apes? How to Train Your Dragon 2? Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? Planes: Fire and Rescue?
You might have huge anticipation built up for these movies. You may check every day to see when they are going to come to a theater near you. You long for that movie to come out so you can take it all in. As the release gets closer it’s almost as if you can taste it – the excitement, the adventure, the drama, the explosiveness! In Psalm 63 David expresses his longing and anticipation for the Lord, even comparing it to a deep thirst:
O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
Do you have such a longing for God? Much of the excitement and anticipation of the blockbuster movies comes from the previews. There you see glimpses of what to expect. David’s longing for God came from knowing who God is and what God does. David had seen not just glimpse, but the entire beauty, majesty, and splendor of God. He writes:
I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory.
You also have seen God. You also have seen his power and his glory. His power and glory goes beyond the special effects of blockbuster films. Your God created the heavens and the earth. Your God created you. Such thoughts of our holy, majestic, and glorious God may even bring sadness and despair, because we know we have fallen far short of his expectations for us. You know the disgust and disappointment when the Hollywood blockbuster doesn’t live up to your expectations. Imagine God’s disgust and disappointment as he views the film roll of our lives. Yet, David praises God because he knows his love:
Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands. My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you.
This love that produces praise is the incredible love and forgiveness God has displayed in his son, Jesus, and in all Jesus has done for us. Jesus’ death to take away our sins and his gift of righteousness and eternal life are God’s true glory and majesty.
When a movie truly is a blockbuster and wows, dazzles, and impresses us, it also sticks with us. We rave about it to our friends. We keep thinking about the incredible scenes and the climax, and the twist we didn’t see coming. David also kept thinking of God and his love, reveling in happiness, delight, and security:
On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night. Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings. My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me. – Psalm 63
As you consider the blockbuster films of the summer, remember the blockbuster love of your God. He has forgiven all of your sins and brought you satisfaction and life in Jesus. He upholds you with his right hand.
Beautiful Savior’s newsletter articles in 2014 will focus on portions from short Psalms. These Psalms can be easily committed to memory and serve as wonderful prayers and tools for daily meditation on God’s Word.
Are you ready for Valentine’s Day? If you have a “special someone” in your life – whether it is your wife or husband, your boyfriend or girlfriend, or your children – you probably want to start to think about Valentine’s Day and how you can express your love and affection. From chocolates to red paper hearts, there will be many expressions of love and affection exchanged once again this Valentine’s Day.
God has also expressed his love to you. In fact, there is no greater act of love than the life, death and resurrection of Christ Jesus for our salvation. All of the Bible, God’s massive greeting card to all human beings, revolves around this one supreme act of unconditional love!
That tremendous expression of love can be highlighted in a simple little word and title. Unfortunately, we often use this word in vain as we cry out in surprise or curse our bad luck, but Christ is a title of Jesus that truly expresses God’s love for us.
What does the word Christ mean?
Matthew begins his book of the Bible by recording the genealogy of Jesus: “…and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.” (Matthew 1:16). As Matthew sets the tone for his Gospel, he is careful to note that Jesus was revered as Christ. This title is a form of the Greek word chrio meaning “to pour or anoint.” To anoint was to pour sacred oil over someone’s head as a visible sign that God had set him aside for a special task. Jesus bore the title Christ because he was the one God anointed – set aside – to be the world’s Savior.
Another biblical writer, John, reveals Jesus as the Word made flesh and then describes Andrew’s excitement when he met Jesus: “The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, ‘We have found the Messiah’ (that is, the Christ)” (John 1:41). Andrew bursts forth in joyful acclamation. He used the title Messiah, which is the Hebrew equivalent of Christ, “the Anointed One.”
The Gospel writer John is keen to point out that from the time Jesus presented himself publicly the hope of the ages was intimately associated with salvation in Jesus. Yes, at the time of his baptism Jesus’ anointing as the Christ took place in an eye-opening way: “heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:16-17). Jesus was anointed by the Spirit of God and received the clear approval of his heavenly Father; a divine endorsement!
Because Jesus is the Christ, the Anointed One, he is the one God chose, even from ancient times, to bring salvation; redeeming us from the curse of sin!
There is no greater act of love! Jesus, the Christ, is God’s magnificent valentine to you!
Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.” Each of us is ridden with the disease of sin and we need so much more than a doctor. Jesus does not shy away from us. He is not repulsed by the blackness of death that grips us. He does not turn away, but instead draws near to us. He searches us out. He became our Savior and even our friend.
Join us as we witness Jesus’ own interaction with men and women just like us; sinners in whose lives and struggles we see our own, and through whose stories we also see that Jesus is indeed the friend of sinners.
Beautiful Savior Worship – September 15th through October 6th, 2013.
Easter Sunday morning is a morning filled with magnificence. Just as the sun rises on a new day, our Beautiful Savior, Jesus, rose again to life. Celebrate the victory God won for us! Regardless of your past, regardless of your circumstances, God wants you to know the joy of Easter. Join us as we celebrate that joy.
However, you have experienced this kind of love in your life. This kind of love, this perfect love, has been poured out lavishly upon you by God your heavenly Father. He poured out this love on you as the blood of his Son Jesus Christ spilled for you. God’s patience lasted, through Jesus. God’s just anger was stayed by Jesus. Jesus did not boast in pride, but in humility made his way to the cross for you. The only red in God’s record book is the blood of Christ that has covered each one of us. God’s love persevered through hell for you.
Will the love bug be catching you later this month? Will you have cards written, chocolates bought, flowers wrapped, and a table reserved? To put it bluntly, are you ready for Valentine’s Day?
On Valentine’s Day we like to celebrate love. We do that in cute ways as our children give their classmates those punch out Valentine’s cards based on the latest Disney movie, comic book characters, or princesses complete with the red and pink wrapped candies. As we get older, V-day becomes a little more serious, and we maybe take advantage of the aura of Valentine’s as we ask someone out on that first date. Valentine’s Day might even lose some of its significance the older we get, but whenever it comes around we do seem to pay a little more attention to “love.”
In 1 Corinthians 13 the apostle Paul talks about love:
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
How does the love we show measure up to that description? Sadly, whether it is on Valentine’s Day or throughout the rest of the year, that kind of love is hard for us to maintain. Our patience can only go so far. The boiling pot of envy is hard to cover. Sometimes we just have to boast about our accomplishments, and our record books have numerous red checkmarks against others. Sometimes our trust and hope fail. We so often fail to demonstrate this love, because sin stains the love we try to show.
Interestingly enough, this year Valentine’s Day falls one day after Ash Wednesday. The first thing to come to your mind on Ash Wednesday may not be love, but think about it a little bit. As we recognize our deep seeded sins, we also turn to recognize God’s deep-welled love, the love that led to our forgiveness.
1) How might you use Valentine’s Day to talk to your children, or a friend, about God’s incredible love for them?
2) How might you use Ash Wednesday to talk to your children, or a friend, about God’s incredible love for them?
3) Based on your answers above, write a prayer asking God to open up opportunities in your life to share his amazing love.
What is “Lent”? Lent is the traditional term we use for the period of 40 days that lead up to Easter. In the Christian Calendar it is a season of preparation. We prepare to celebrate Jesus resurrection on Easter Sunday morning, as we contemplate why he was in the grave in the first place. Often Lent focuses on the pain and suffering Jesus’ endured on our behalf and for our sins.
Some Christians have a tradition of “giving up” something for Lent. While this may not be a bad practice, and can lead us to concentrate on Jesus more, it is not a demand that God makes of us. Our Sunday morning services in Lent will focus on different things that God does call us to give up so that we may see him more clearly.
During Lent, we will also hold special devotional services on Wednesday evenings. Various pastor from our nearby sister congregations will lead these services. It will be a great opportunity to hear someone other than Pastor Boushek. Please join us for these midweek opportunities. The services will be at 6:15pm. A soup and salad fellowship meal will be offered prior to these services at 5:30pm. Please note that there will not be a meal prior to the Ash Wednesday service on February 13th.