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Read 1 Peter 3:18-22

18 "For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, 19 in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, 20 because they formerly did not obey, when God's patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water. 21 Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to him.​"

The ESV uses the term "suffered" where other translations use the more blunt term of "died". I believe the ESV to be more impactful here because when you consider what Jesus went through to offer us salvation from sins, it was not just that He died, but that He was beaten, humiliated, scarred, emotionally crushed, physically and violently assaulted for our sake. Jesus went through more than we can even comprehend. I have heard many say that when they watched Mel Gibson's interpretation of the Passion week of Jesus, that they simply could not watch as Jesus was scourged and crucified, and yet I have been guilty of letting that appear as having no affect on my life. Do we truly understand what He went through for us? This is by no means intended to be some type of guilt trip, but for those who have committed themselves to be followers of Christ, it should be proof that you have aligned yourself with the only One who can save you from your sins. 

For more on this topic, I encourage those who would like to read more to go to the blog that I have set up at https://simplified-christianity.blogspot.com where a blog will be up later this morning.

May God be able to bless you today!

In Him,
Scott

There are so many exciting things to tell you! God is good
and there is reason for us to rejoice.
 
I hope that you have found yourself, and your family,
within a VINE. We believe that time spent together will
strengthen us, and we want you to experience that as well.
Seek out your VINE. It will be from within these groups
that we do good works, which the Lord has called us to do.
 
Work camp is coming in the first week of June. Please be
praying for our initial works to be completed so we can have
things in order when it’s our time to have TN folks with us.
We need homes to paint, so take so time to drive a road for
us, and let us know of potential places so we can follow up
with the home owners. These kids are all coming to work,
and that should inspire us. In connection to this, we are
going to be putting together an evangelism team, willing to
work while the kids are here. Naturally, this will not be
everyone, but if you did not participate in last year’s event,
this it the right time for you to step forward. We will be
having a special preparation class, being taught by some
folks from Cox Blvd church. On Sat, May 5th, we will have
a team of their folks come and spend the day with us (from
8am-4pm) to help us get educated, and comfortable, with
beginning, and conducting, bible studies with unbelievers.
Some people will be totally committed to the effort of work
camp that week, but maybe you will only be hosting kids in
your home, and fixing a meal one night….then there will be
opportunity for you to do some work during the day time to
reach our community with the gospel.
 
We can reach our town, and with the Lord’s help, we are
going to be out there again, and again.
 
Serve with us. God will bless our efforts.
 
- Alex

Read Romans 15:1-7

"We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. 2 Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. 3 For Christ did not please himself, but as it is written, “The reproaches of those who reproached you fell on me.” 4 For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. 5 May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, 6 that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. 7 Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God."

Notice the highlighted part above...

​I believe that in times past, I have been guilty of seeking out ways to live against harmony with my Christian family because of a petty difference of opinion or because of constructive criticism that I took personally. When I read these two verses, I am immediately knocked back on my heels because when I allow there to be discord and when I allow there to be division, I am removing the connection I have through this wonderful family God has given me to Christ. Pray today that if there be any type of issue that is knocking us out of harmony with one another, that those involved would recognize it and humbly go to those they feel out of harmony with and mend that broken area. We are coming together with one voice to glorify our Creator and nothing can or should get in the way of that. 

One other comment to leave you with: If for some reason, you feel that our family here is not holding to the standards given to us in the word of God, I beg you and plead with you to speak to someone concerning that feeling... Please help us to do our part to stop slander, libel, or as we know it better, gossip... May God bless you today and if I can ever be of any help, do not hesitate to call, text or write.

In Him,​
Scott 

Read Galatians 4:1-7

Read it a second time... Do you see the worth that God has placed on you? It is not a false worth like fool's gold that is revealed to be worthless when tested... Instead, when our enemy tries to take us from the hand of God and destroy us or damage us, God reveals again and again how much we are worth to Him. 1 Corinthians 10:13 says He provides a way of escape for us amidst every temptation... Therefore, we desire to be strong and immovable in the work of our Father who values us more than we can ever understand. The reason for this value? Because He (God the Father) sees us not as sinners who can never add up to something, but rather as children who are worth everything. You are not "worth-less", as a matter of fact you are "worth-more." Don't ever lose sight of that. I hope you are encouraged to keep moving forward today.

In Him,
Scott

We are striving to influence our community and leave an
instructional impression that would encourage people and
lead them to a knowledge of what it looks like to follow
Jesus. When they are able to see our lives, it should be that
a path to Jesus is clearly visible.
 
We are wanting to participate in an effort to show
appreciation to our teachers at LCHS. We are going to do
this by writing cards for all the high school staff. Cards
should be written from the perspective of expressing our
thanks for their being a teacher, and remind them that we
pray for them. We will have a list of names on the table in
the foyer and when you have placed cards for the teacher,
just mark through the name so that others will know who
remains.
 
We are urging our parents to take the lead and help your
younger children to do this project, called “Love Our
Teachers.” But this is NOT limited to parents. We would
like for everyone to jump in and participate. Cards need to
be completed my March 12, so they can be delivered that
week.
 
If we are going to be light to our community, then we can
take opportunities, like this one, to show our respect to
those to whom respect is due. We can honor those who
deserve honor. This is what Jesus has taught us to do.
Our Lord was a teacher. He is still teaching us through his
words and life. Today, in our worship, we will honor our
Master Teacher.
 
May God bless us as we serve His Son in our community.
We are the salt of the earth, and the light of the world.
People are watching our lives. We are seeking to live with
to the glory of God.
 
- Alex