The Light of Life

image1MESSAGE. Preparing for this Sabbath message my thoughts were concentrated on the words of Jesus: “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12 NIV). What is this light of life? How is it different from the other sources of light that we find around us? Here are just a few reasons to search for the divine light:

First, God’s light reveals the truth. It shows flaws as well as perfections. In Psalm 36:9 the Bible teaches: “For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light.” We can know the truth about all of creation and ourselves by trusting God’s word. When we trust God, His word and His light, we begin to see that God is faithful and true, steadfast and unchanging, just as He says. If we doubt God’s light, we waver as James says and our faith falters (James 1: 6-7.)

Second, God’s light provides direction. Where do we go in life? How do we navigate through circumstances and trials? On what will we base our goals or happiness? The Bible teaches in Psalm 25:5: “Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.” In Psalm 119:105 we read, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path…”

Third, God’s light offers hope. Psalm 37:23-24 says, “If the LORD delights in a man’s way, he makes his steps firm; though he stumble, he will not fall, for the LORD upholds him with his hand.” We want and need God’s powerful hand to help us through, especially when trouble comes. God wants you to have the light of Jesus today.

The good news of the Gospel is that in the midst of the darkness of sin, God sent a light. And the darkness was not able to overcome it. It wasn’t just a temporary flicker but a true eternal flame.

We need to receive Jesus into our hearts so that he can lead us, guide us, and direct us. This requires an act of surrender, submission, and obedience. In Deuteronomy 29:29 Moses teaches that the secret things belong to God, but the revealed things belong to us. If we humbly ask God to be led by his light, God gives us what we need to go forward. God wants you to have the light of Jesus today.

This weekend I’ll be speaking at the Ministerial Candidate Recognition event for the School of Religion at SAU. The meetings are will take place in Thatcher Hall tonight at 7:30 p.m., and tomorrow morning for Sabbath school and the Worship service. I am looking forward to a wonderful time of fellowship with the future pastors of our SDA church.

Of course, I’ll miss my beloved Ooltewah church family. At our own church pastor David Bissel will be speaking for the first service. Douglas Alan Tilstra, Ph.D., Director of Outdoor Leadership and Education at Southern Adventist University will present the second service message. Dr. Tilstra will speak on Domestic Violence Awareness and how it can impact individuals, families, and the church.

PATHFINDERS. Any idea why it’s raining today and will storm tomorrow? I believe I know the answer. Our Pathfinders are going camping this afternoon! It may not be the best weather for outdoor activities, but I know that it will help our children learn how to deal with challenges and inconveniences of life. They will come back even stronger and ready for new heights in their club journey. We’ll be praying for their safety on the road.

IMG_3100OAKS. This was a week of prayer at OAKS. Pastor Aubrey was the speaker for the school’s daily worship services. God has richly blessed Aubrey in her ministry to the school. With a recent car accident and an illness last weekend Aubrey had a lot to deal with, but the Lord has blessed her messages. Every morning she was teaching our students to trust Jesus and to talk to him in prayer. Many children were encouraged to start bible studies and to be baptized. In the last few days I have also learned that Shelly Turkenkopf is not only a good administrator and capable teacher, but an excellent song service leader. Praise God for OAKS!

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IMG_3046MEN’S MINISTRY. Two weeks ago Lucas Patterson motivated a number of our church members (not just men 🙂 ) to feed the homeless downtown Chattanooga. What a wonderful experience it was. This is the kind of service that Christ praised in his followers in Matthew 25, “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ (Matthew 25:34-36 NIV).

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CHURCH BOARD. Last Monday night our church board members reviewed our church ministry plans and activities. It was encouraging to see a strong emphasis on outreach events like the Health fair, Church Yard sale, Belarus Christian choir concert, and the upcoming It Is Written meetings.

A considerable amount of time was dedicated to a discussion of the church’s support of Christian education. Our commitment to provide monthly subsidy to OAKS, to Student Aid and Collegedale Academy tuition assistance amounts to about $180,000 annually. $120,000 of the total amount comes out of our church budget. Everyone who spoke on this subject was motivated by love for our children who need to receive solid Christian education. The essence of the discussion was about the best ways to create greater awareness of these financial commitments. The Finance Committee and the Board will get together in the next few weeks to pray and brainstorm about the most effective ways of keeping our educational needs in the forefront of our church ministry.

COMMUNITY OUTREACH. This Sunday our church is hosting a Health Fair. Invite your family members, friends, and neighbors. The fair will go from 3 to 5 p.m. Click here to read more about this event.  http://www.ooltewahchurch.org/article/23/the-ministries-of-our-church/health-ministries

A church wide yard sale is scheduled for next Sunday, October 4, from 9 to 4 p.m. The proceeds will go towards OAKS subsidy. Please, contact Jackie or Juanita Rose if you have any questions about this event. Their phone number is in the church directory.

PRAYERS. Please, remember the Phillips family in your prayers. Please also pray for Nancy Smiley. Nancy’s only granddaughter was found dead in CA early this week. Let the Lord give Nancy and her family comfort and strength to go through the pain of loss. Please also remember Cindy Cole who has returned home from the hospital and is on her way to recovery.

Here is an update from Rebekah Bissel, “Hi Pastor, I just wanted to update that Linnea is starting to look better! It has taken almost 5 days of prayers and antibiotics but there is finally good evidence of improvement and I am so thankful. Please continue praying for her.”

“The Lord is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation. Shouts of joy and victory resound in the tents of the righteous: “The Lord’s right hand has done mighty things! The Lord’s right hand is lifted high; the Lord’s right hand has done mighty things!” (Psalm 118:14-16 NIV)

Pastor Peter

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