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Got to visit FCBCLA today, it’s my summer roommate’s church, a really encouraging brother whom God has placed in my life during my bouts with depression. Today was a bit special, so I will probably need to visit again to get a feel of the church. Also, God gave the courage and opened the door to spend time with my cousin in reading and studying His Word together! I ask for prayer, that God would continue to pique his interest in eternal things, revealing to us our sin and need for the Savior.

The sermon was only 15 minutes long, but really spoke to me as I am currently praying for which church to commit to and serve my coming senior year at UCLA. Also, today was their annual men’s ministry BBQ (awesome burgers!) and had a college event at a brother’s house, got to hear the testimonies of a brother and two sisters, one going through depression as I am, another sharing about her teaching english experience overseas (something I am planning to do after graduating!), and also a high school friend sharing about God’s sovereignty in bringing her to an unwanted choice for  college.

Sermon Notes:

Topic: If I want to be like Jesus…

1. Be a servant, not a consumer

– It’s not about what I get, but what am I giving?

“How am I being a servant” vs. “what am I getting out of this situation?”

2. Own your giftedness (1 Peter 4:10, as each received a special gift…)

– God has given each of us a gift, use it to edify His church (Music, encouragement, exercise, etc.)

– God will ask us “What did you do with the gift I gave you?

3. Pay it forward (Hebrews 5:12-14, every Christian ought to be a teacher/mentor to younger Christian at some point.)

– There is expectation for all of us to be teachers of God, not necessarily classroom teaching.

Invest in others

_______

Today’s sermon, though short, has changed my perspective in seeking out which church to attend this coming year. Instead of “What does this church offer me?” Jesus challenges me to instead ask “Where can I serve God best?” Really, it is more blessed to give than to receive. Will probably visit FCBCLA one more time, praying about it!

Churches to consider for senior year:

GCC:

– Has a on-campus ministry that I may serve at. Many opportunities, such as STM.

– Close by, may invite friends to, also fellowship during the week with believers.

FCBCLA:

– Would be one of the younger Christians, many older godly examples to learn the Christian life from.

– Would be able to continue serving at KCCC since they do not have an on campus fellowship.

– Also pretty close by, 30 minutes. A great network of (many!) older brothers and sisters to plug in seekers and young Christians.

EFCHH:

– Would be one of the older Christians, many people already to invest and love.

– Years of relationships, many people have invested in my life.

– Would be serving in the core group.

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Ch 15

v 1-3 The Pharisees accused Jesus of breaking tradition and Jesus responds by pointing out the Pharisees hypocrisy when they break God’s command.

v 4-6 Many people, including myself, use the excuse of going to church and serving God as a way of neglecting our own parents/families. Although Jesus teaches that we are to love Him more than them, He did not teach us to neglect them. Jesus Himself took care of His earthly parents and siblings, making sure they were taken care of as He was on the cross.

v 6 What is more important to us? Traditions created by man, or God’s commandments?

v 7-9 Actions without the heart is hypocrisy.

v 10-20 It is not what we take in from our environment that makes us unclean, nor is it the sinful acts I commit everyday. It is myself, as a sinner, that I am unclean. Because my heart is unclean my actions will be also. Only by God’s Holy Spirit may I be sanctified, and until the day He takes me back it will be a daily struggle against my sinful self and God’s work in me.

v 12 Jesus knew He would offend the Pharisees.

v 15 Interesting note; Peter would later be faced with the issue of clean and unclean food (Matthew 15:11 and Acts 10:12).

v 23-26 Jesus was not ignoring the woman because He did not come to save her, but was showing how Jews of the day treated the Gentiles.

v 23 The disciples here, instead of trying to help the needy woman, was annoyed by her. We should not be so focused on trying to love God that we neglect the very people God commands us to love and care for.

v 24 Jesus was sent to God’s chosen people, the Jews. They were to have the first opportunity to hear the Good News, yet many of them were the same people who would be sending Jesus on the cross.

v 27-28 The woman was willing to humble herself to Jesus’ supposed contempt because she had faith that Jesus could make her daughter well. Jesus came to save the whole world, not just the Jews.

v 32-33 Even though we can so easily criticize the disciples for forgetting just recently when Jesus fed the five thousand, how many times do we worry and forget all that God has done in our lives? Jesus is more than enough in any situation, I need to constantly remind myself of this!

 

 

Hey! It’s been a while since I have written or done my devotional email, please continue to pray for me!

Matthew Ch 3 V1-12

1In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the Desert of Judea 2and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.” 3This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah:
“A voice of one calling in the desert,
‘Prepare the way for the Lord,
make straight paths for him.’ “[a]

4John’s clothes were made of camel’s hair, and he had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey. 5People went out to him from Jerusalem and all Judea and the whole region of the Jordan. 6Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River.

7But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them: “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? 8Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. 9And do not think you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. 10The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.

11“I baptize you with[b] water for repentance. But after me will come one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. 12His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”

.  John the Baptist was a prophet who preached the word of God in the Desert of Judea. A desert is very dry, and finding food, water, and people there is usually uncommon. God provided John with food to sustain him, and people even went out of their way to go to the desert to find John the Baptist. God tells us that, no matter where we are called to go, He will always provide for us. Just as the people went out of their way to seek John to confess their sins, we also went to seek God for repentance. (1-6)

. As John rebuked the Pharisees and Sadducees, when we see false prophets leading people away from God, we should be ready to let them know that what they are doing is wrong. If those false prophets continue on, in the end they will be cast into hell. (7-9)

.  Before Jesus came to die for the people, men had to constantly make sacrifices to repent for their sins. Since Jesus died so that our sins would be washed forever, whoever believes in Him and repents with all their heart will be made anew with the Holy Spirit. We will spend our eternities in heaven, while the unbelievers will spend their eternity in hell. (11-12)

Bible Verse: The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.” Matthew 3:10

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