Dear CCGR Family,
“A Christian is someone who allows the spirit of Christ to come into their lives, filling them full with the Love of God. In turn they love their neighbor as much as they’ve themselves.”
Pastor Terry emphasizes in his message from Sunday, 7/19, to “let the Spirit of God direct you completely in your actions.” “If we live by the Holy Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit.” Listen, or register, to what he has to say: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KtkslXsNFVQ
“Treat others the way you’d like to be treated yourself.” Or, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” (Leviticus 19:18). “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and all your strength,” (Deuteronomy 6:5).These are two of the greatest of commandments and or laws that were handed down from the earliest of days …, even before Jesus.
These are God’s ultimate wishes — loving God completely and caring for others as yourself. In all your moments of life….when you are undecided about something…, think what would show your love for God most, and that for others, as well. “WWJD?”
Years and years before Jesus’ birth, people, i.e., the Galatians, thought that if they were obedient (i.e., if they obeyed the ‘laws’/’commandments’ — if they did a good deed), they would be assured a place in God’s Kingdom. The Galatians weren’t unlike many people of today — thinking that as long as they did (or do) something good, and were obedient, they’d be on God’s good side and that they’d be assured of a place in Heaven.
But again, it is far more than that. We are all God’s children, and He loves each of us. However, we do not ‘earn’ a place in His Kingdom like we earn a gold star, or a scout merit badge — by following rules. Salvation is earned more than from just making ourselves feel good from being good or kind, and checking off an ‘accomplished’ chart at the end of the day.
If we are being good or kind in response to trusting in the grace of God — and having Him at the core of the reasoning for what we’re doing to reach out, etc., then we are doing what pleases Him. Being led by the Holy Spirit, sharing conversations with God, listening to Him through His Word — and truly believing that our ‘love’ for Christ is the foundation in guiding us in all we do, is all He desires. He wants us to totally rely on Him, and the Holy Spirit, to base our decisions on. His desire is for us to accept the ‘gift of grace’ we have all been given.
“Grace in Christianity — according to wikipedia is: “Grace is fovour, the free and undeserved help that God gives us to respond to his call to become children of God, adoptive sons, partakers of the divine nature and of eternal life.” It is understood by Christians to be a spontaneous gift from God to people ‘generous, free and totally unexpected and undeserved’.” “Grace is the opposite of karma, which is all about getting what you deserve. Grace is getting what you don’t deserve.”
We all are sinners, so to speak, but we all have the gift of God’s grace of forgiveness, to have the hope of salvation, if we only go to Him. As Harry Horeisch read from Galatians 5:22-26, the Holy Spirit in us gives the us opportunity to grow in our character …, and to be more like Jesus. This is what is God’s desire — for us to ‘Live by the Spirit’ — and to have the ‘Fruit of the Spirit in us at all times –in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control; and “the grace of God will always remain with us and in us.”
Ways of Showing Grace to Others:
Words: Be kind and gentle in what you say and do. “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Proverbs 15:1 (ESV)
Love One Another: “Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.” Romans 12:10 (ESV)
Let It Go: Letting it go is one of the easiest ways to extend grace to others. Respond to others with grace. Sometimes people are going to be rude. Instead of responding to others harshly, keep a calm spirit. “It is an honor for a man to keep aloof from strife, but every fool will be quarreling.” Proverbs 20:3 (ESV)
Be There: Sometimes your presence is all that’s needed to show someone they’re loved. Be happy with the person who’s happy. Be sad with the person who’s sad. “Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.” Romans 12:15 (ESV)
Forgive: When someone asks you to forgive, do so graciously and without correction.
“For if you forgive others their trespasses, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Matthew 6:14-15
Learn to Ask for Forgiveness: Be quick to apologize when you make a mistake or have wronged someone else. “So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First, be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.” Matthew 5:23-24 (ESV)
Watch the Way You Speak: Be careful how you express yourself. “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” Ephesians 4:29 (ESV)
Gratitude: Say thank you often and let people know how much you appreciate them. “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (ESV)
Take an Interest in Others: Learn about the people, ask them questions, listen and care. “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.” Philippians 2:3 (ESV)
Look for Needs and Opportunities: Simple everyday kindnesses and actions often help in great ways. Here are a few ideas to start with….
As many of us continue to remain close to home during this time — or take precautions when we do venture out — we ask that you continue to keep each other in prayer.
Please continue to pray for Rich Dethmers (Vern’s second oldest son), following his recent surgery for a kidney removal.
In addition, please continue prayers for Ed Archbold who facing medical challenges.
Please continue to pray for our church members, families, and those close to us who have shared a special part of our lives — Anne Allen & Family (including Anne’s daughters, Liz & family and Sara & Boyd Lowry & Family); Laura Bird-Bennett & Family; Beryl Ferrari; Jean Franklin; Terry Gilligan & Family; Colleen Janssen & Family; Eric Lundquist & Family; Connie Sinkway and the Sinkway/Emery Family; Bob & Doris Van Ostenbridge; Rev. Jerry Wright and his family; Barbara Zucchino & Family; & the Ruth Rankin Leaper Family.
“A GENUINE ACT OF KINDNESS”
Here is a picture of our own Connie Cassatta who has been making masks with the Paramus Women’s Club since COVID began. She has donated 50 masks to be given to the Christian Health Care Center through Madeleine Barry. (CCGR may just keep a few of these beauties just in case). THANK YOU, CONNIE… FOR ALL YOU DO!!
Wednesday Solitude Prayer and Reflection in Sanctuary!!
Community Church’s sanctuary will continue to be open for prayer on Wednesdays (only) from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Anyone is welcomed to come to the church anytime between those hours, for individual quiet prayer and reflection. Please use the entrance/exit doors adjacent to the Memorial Garden. Know that all precautions have been taken for everyone’s safety.
CCGR Book Discussion Group
Kim Franklin will host our next Zoom discussion on Friday, August 14th at 7:00 pm.
The novel chosen is Madame Fourcade’s Secret War by Lynne Olson. Please check with the library for formats available.
Please continue to show your support to CCGR —
Though we cannot be together in person, we continue to be together spiritually as we face this health crisis together. We are gifted with our weekly virtual services and continue to pray for each other. If you’re able during this unprecedented time, please remember supporting Community Church in your time of giving. In addition to mailing contributions, you may access CCGR’s website and donate on-line, as well: https://communitychurchgr.com