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11/20/2017 - Pastor Tim

Excellent article about preaching the entire word of God by Kimberlee Johnson. 

  • "While some choose to be selective about what Scriptures they’ll believe or teach, I have committed myself to embracing and sharing all of the Bible’s teachings—even those that are complex, confusing or downright uncomfortable for me. Never do I pretend to understand it all, or even to like everything that the Bible says, but its words are light and life, and I am compelled by love for God and humanity to declare it."

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As I work on this Sunday’s message about unity in the body of Christ, I’m finding this difficult while I witness much disintegration in our denomination.  So, just what is unity that honors God?  Is it loyalty to a denominational structure?  Is it tolerance that pays no attention to anything other than unconditional acceptance of all?  What does the unity that Jesus calls us to look like and how do we achieve it?

Sometimes we have to deal with the inevitable disintegration of people-made structures in order to experience the new wine that God is preparing for us.  Steve Kriss’s aptly put article in the Mennonite World Review, “A falling tower” helps me view things with our denomination with a kingdom perspective.  His invitation to “a faith so strong that mountains move and storms calm while towers and empires around us fall once again" inspires me to look eagerly to the unfolding of God's mysterious plan without worry.

You can find his article here

Written by Pastor Tim Bentch
Nov 2, 2017
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Mockery

This morning as I started reading through Proverbs during my devotional time, verses 22-23 stood out to me - especially the part about mockery.           

22“How long will you who are simple love your simple ways?

   How long will mockers delight in mockery

   and fools hate knowledge?

23 Repent at my rebuke!

   Then I will pour out my thoughts to you,

   I will make known to you my teachings.

Ouch. How easy it is to delight in mockery - to try to make myself feel better by putting someone else down; to dwell on negative thoughts and then, far worse, to let critical or complaining words escape through my lips. Sometimes I feel like I rightfully have the right to complain about others especially if I feel I have been treated unjustly. But, the truth is, allowing myself to indulge in negative speech about someone else is sin - a grievous sin. God’s word is full of warnings about slander and the power of words. James 1:26 says, Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.  Again, ouch. My religion is worthless if I do not diligently guard and keep a watch on the things I say. This is serious.  

This morning, I needed to spend some time repenting and examining my heart. It makes me sick to my stomach to realize that I’ve allowed this in my life. But, there is hope. The passage above says that if we repent at his rebuke, then the Lord will pour out his thoughts to us and make his teachings known to us. That is an incredible promise. Yes, I want to know the thoughts of God and I really need his teaching.

How often have I blocked the voice of the Lord with the attitudes of my heart and with critical words?  

Written by Pastor Tim Bentch
11/1/2017