03/10/17

CPC THIS WEEK
THE E-NEWSLETTER OF CHRIST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH March 10, 2017

Jealous for Justice?

“With what shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before God on high? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old?
Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression,
the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?”
He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk
humbly with your God?
Micah 6:6-8

The sermon this week moves from God’s Holiness to His Justice. It would be truly difficult to grasp and understand the scope of God’s justice without the backdrop of His holiness. Without it, justice could well become a rudderless ship. Justice, God’s perfect justice, has long been the cry of His people – piercingly heard in both the Old and New Covenant age. And, from the depths of our own hearts, a personally desperate cry that rises out of our own souls today. That cry will echo in the voices and prayers of generations to come until that day when Righteous Judge of all the earth returns in His Glory. Oh, how we long for that day – and it will come!

But until then, until every hint of injustice is remedied and removed, how do the covenant people of God, those redeemed in Christ, express and extend that justice? What impact should it have in our lives, individually; and in the church, corporately? Today, we look to the prophetic counsel of Micah to help with that answer.

Micah’s message is both judgment and hope; judgment for their sin, hope for their Savior (remember, it is Micah who reveals Bethlehem as the birthplace of Christ). By the end of this book, we’re presented with a relationship in the context of a great lawsuit; the indictment of chapter 6 followed by the confession, pardon, and declaration of chapter 7 – “Who is a God like You?”

The answer to the question I asked earlier is voiced by the covenant-keeping God through His prophet in strikingly simple statements.

Do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with your God.

That’s it? Yes, that’s it. But trust me, that “it” can be a challenging combination. This triad of traits - justice, kindness (some translations “mercy”) and humility - serve as a collective explanation of being right with God; that which is good and what He requires. Of course, we can do none of these without the Spirit’s sanctifying assistance. How can a sinner, lost and helpless, practice a God-honoring justice, kindness/mercy, and humility? He, or she, can’t! We must experience the grace of God’s justice, mercy, and humility in our own lives first; and that only through Christ.

It was Christ who stood in our place and suffered the wrath of His Father that we “justly” deserved. It was Christ who divinely demonstrated kindness and mercy to those who would demand Rome’s justice against a life of love. And it was Christ who came to supremely serve sinners by walking humbly with His God. A

walk of that found its final steps leading to the Place of the Skull where “heaven’s peace and perfect justice, kissed a guilty world in love.”

Are you jealous for justice? Does your soul scream at the sinful atrocities scattered in our world? Does a righteous anger burn within your heart for wrongs to be righted? Mine does – whether reported in our papers or unleashed on the screen, I want justice. But then I ask myself, “What is the condition of my heart that longs for this justice?” Is it a justice joined at the hip to kindness and humility? Is the justice I seek clothed with the patient mercy that drew my heart to Christ? Well, I’m working on that.

Listen to these words of Christ as He encountered the self-righteous Pharisees and Scribes – words very reminiscent of Micah’s message.

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!
For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others. You blind guides, straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel! –
Matthew 23:23,24.

Is being jealous for justice wrong? No, not if measured by the map we find in Micah. But remember, Jesus – the very Word of God - speaking through the prophet then and in His own day, encourages us to be people who “do” justice. A justice wedded to kindness, with humility. And yet, there is an inescapable desire for the child of God to be in that place and time where perfect justice finds its eternal victory in the Kingdom of Christ!

Until then, Lord, keep me from the Pharisees’ sins of “self-justice” and hypocrisy. My sinful heart can so easily move to that place. Instead, move me from gavel to grace.

For Justice that Grows out of His Jealousy for Me,

PB

CPC MINISTRY INFORMATION

SUNDAY'S SERMON
Title:
“God’s Spectacle of Justice” Text: Romans 3:21-26; Luke 23:32-49 Pastor Bob Clark

MEN’S PRAYER BREAKFAST – Saturday, March 11th at 8am
DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME BEGINS – Time springs forward one hour on Sunday, March 12th.

Remember to set your clocks!

MISSION’S COMMITTEE will meet Sunday 12/Mar/17 at 8:15 am in the first classroom on right in west hall.

YOUTH FUNDRAISER PANCAKE BREAKFAST – Sunday, March 12th Breakfast begins at 9:30am, followed by Worship at 10:30am (no Sunday School this week). Please RSVP to Jeff Schrage at jeff@knowingchrsit.net Donations Appreciated

DEACONS’ FUND OFFERING – This Sunday, March 12th, we will be collecting the Deacons’ Fund Offering for the Mercy Ministries of the Church

CPC OFFICER NOMINATIONS –The Session will be receiving nominations for the offices of Elder and Deacon until Sunday, March 12th. The nominee must be a male member of the church (or will become a member prior to election) 18 years or older. To nominate, you must be a communicant member. Also, you should speak with the individual to be sure he would be willing to both serve, if elected, and participate in an officer training class. Nomination forms are at the Welcome Center. All nominations due Sunday

ROSZELL LIFE GROUP – will be meeting Sunday, 12/Mar/17 at 6:30pm in the home of Les & Jane Hunt. See Jim or Kathy Roszell for more information

YOUNG MARRIED LIFE GROUP meets Wednesday, March 15th from 6-7:30pm at the church for a Timothy Keller study on the book of Acts. For more information see Lance or Lori Fowler

CHOIR REHEARSAL Choir will rehearse on Wednesday, March 15th at 7pm

LIFEMATES LIFE GROUP EVENT! – Lifemates has been revived! Lifemates is a group for married couples of all ages! Our first of four events a year will be March 18th from 6-8:30pm at the Kehlenbrink's home. It will be a speed couple dating event where you meet with other couples to get to know them a little better. Heavy appetizers and dessert included. There is a 20 couple limit on this event so sign up ASAP! $5 per couple

SHORT STACKS FOR A CAUSE – Applebee®’s Flapjack Fundraiser Event to support Good News Habitat for Humanity. Saturday, March 18th 8am-10am. Contact Shana Lewis 765.962.5988 or lewissk21@gmail.com. Tickets are $8

CPC FAMILY GAME NIGHT – Please join us on Fri, Mar 24 for a Family Game Night at the church. The evening will also include a pizza dinner. More details coming soon.

CONCERT– Ali Deckard will be singing & playing in the CPC Lobby Fri, Apr7that 7:30pm.

VICTORY LANE CAMP We all want to experience the joy of serving others and to share that joy with the next generation. See how Victory Lane Camp can give you the opportunity to do that through a local summer camp. Read one family’s story below.

http://victorylanecamp.org/brewster-blessings/
Learn how to sign up for camp by visitingwww.VictoryLaneCamp.org/serve.

WOMEN’S MINISTRY
Tuesday Morning Ladies’ Bible Study, Old Testament overview, led by Pastor Bob Clark, meets Tuesday

mornings at 8:30 a.m. in the fireplace area at the church.

SAVE THE DATE!
CONCERT – Ali Deckard will be singing & playing in the CPC Lobby Fri, Apr7th at 7:30 pm

THE CHURCH IN THE WORLD

 Update: Petr Jasek Finally Free

Czech national and long-time VOM staff member Petr Jasek has been released from prison in Sudan, following a pardon issued by Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir. Petr was arrested by the Islamic Sudanese regime after visiting Sudanese Christians and providing a small gift to help with a man’s medical treatment. He was convicted of multiple “crimes” last month, including espionage and entering Sudan illegally. He was sentenced to life in prison for espionage, which according to Sudanese law means 20 years in prison, plus four additional years for other alleged crimes. Negotiations between the Sudanese and Czech governments have been ongoing since the sentence was announced, culminating in a visit to Khartoum by Czech Foreign Minister Lubomír Zaorálek. Zaorálek tweeted out a picture of Petr Jasek returning home on the plane with him Sunday afternoon.

Jasek was arrested in December 2015 and had remained in prison since that time. He was found guilty in January by a Sudanese court of “waging war against the state,” “violating restrictions in military areas,” “spreading rumors to defame the state,” committing “espionage” and “inciting strife between communities.” Jasek has passionately served persecuted Christians as a staff member with The Voice of the Martyrs for more than 15 years. Prior to his arrest, he served as VOM’s Africa Regional Director. He traveled extensively throughout Africa, personally overseeing the delivery of material and spiritual assistance to Christians on behalf of VOM.

“Early in his imprisonment, Petr made the statement that ‘God holds the key to my cell,’” said VOM spokesperson Todd Nettleton. “We are so thankful that God has opened that cell door and that Petr is back with his family.”

Petr was originally tried with three Sudanese men, including two pastors. Near the end of the trial, the judge ruled that there was no evidence of a crime by Rev. Kuwa Shamaal, and he was released.

Rev. Hassan Abduraheem and Abdulmonem Abdumawla, however, were tried and found guilty of aiding Jasek in espionage. These two Sudanese men remain in prison, each serving a 12-year sentence.

“This has been a sobering reminder of the dangers VOM workers face as we serve persecuted Christians,” Nettleton said. “But it has been such a blessing to see Petr’s faith — and that of his family — shine through in this time of trial. Once again, God has shown Himself faithful. We are overjoyed at the opportunity to welcome our friend and co-worker home.”

After returning home, Mr. Jasek is expected to be hospitalized to evaluate the physical toll these long months in prison have taken on his body. He and his family request privacy as they reunite and begin to recover from this experience. After a period of rest, reflection and recovery, Mr. Jasek looks forward to sharing some of his experiences and the lessons God taught him in prison.

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CONGRATULATIONS!!!

BIRTHDAYS!

March

3 Bob Clark

3  Shirley Morgan

4  Frank Koditek

4  Les Hunt

15  Nathaniel Cheek

15  Robert Foust

16  V al Moore

17  Sharon Watt

19 Calvin Pfeil

25  Grace Anderson

26  Jaimee Kreps

30 Gail Bratton

ANNIVERSARIES!

March

18 Bob & Nedra Clark
31 Tom & Mindy Deckard 

 Christ Presbyterian Church  -  (765).966.4017  -  350 Henley Rd. Richmond, IN 47374  -  Office@KnowingChrist.net