Worship Service begins at 10:30 AM
Third & Adams Street, PO Box 9774, Moscow, Idaho USA | (208) 882-3715

Live a Life Worthy - September 9, 2018

Colossians 1:3-14 What: a letter from Paul, possibly penned by one of his mentees to the church in Colosse. The church in Colosse was started by Epaphras, whom Paul likely trained to share the gospel and start churches. While it’s Epaphras’ church, so to speak, Paul’s kind of like a grandpa to the church—hes respected as the main apostle (meaning church planter—a guy who takes the gospel to a new place and new people).

When: Probably sometime between 40-60 AD since that’s when this area was destroyed and there’s no talk of

the destruction.

Why: Why do we have the letters (aka Epistles) as part of the Bible? Well, we can take a guess at a variety of reasons—because Paul wrote many of them, because they show how the gospel came to life in the local community, they show the growth of the church into different countries and communities, and because they show common church issues, which seemingly have not changed much in 2000 years (I guess we’re still only human). And how is a letter written to a community that no longer exists relevant for us today? Well, as I said, people are people and as people, we are both touched and changed by the Gospel and we struggle with putting it into practice in everyday life. And like with most scriptures, we’re invited to hear the words as if we were in that time and place and then see how that message applies to us today.

Paul starts here by going thanks for the community—praising them for the good things he’s hearing—for the ways the good news of Jesus is coming to life in them. For their trust in Jesus, for how they love the people, and for the hope they have in things to come. Then he shares that the same good news that affected them, that brought them together and changed how they are living is being shared all over….to more and more people and it’s changing their lives too.
I want to stop there, Paul says something that struck me in a particular way. He says, “just as [the gospel] changed your [life] that very first day you heard it.” Now, these folks grew up before hearing about Jesus and what he does for us. So they were grown. And that’s true for some of us here. But others of us were born into the church, we never knew a message outside of grace and forgiveness through Jesus. Nevertheless, I want us to pause and ask a question. Do you remember when the Gospel first changed your life? (repeat) Do you remember when the gospel first changed your life? Maybe a moment of forgiveness, maybe acceptance, maybe a challenge to love the “Samaritan” in your community—when did the gospel first change your life? (see if anyone wants to share). (Debbie’s moments: hearing something in the sermon on Christmas Eve when I was in kindergarten that maybe I ask if we could pray for Jesus to come into my life. Accepting my call and falling prostrate in prayer at the UM event for potential pastors. Being slain in the Spirit in Cuba. Receiving the gift of intercession. Praying with others to see their physical and emotional healing).
How is the Gospel changing our life? Really. Do we even desire to be changed? Do we think we need to be changed? How? Are we ready for God to do that in our lives? Thinking about it, I have many moments over the years where God’s message has changed how I live and what choices I make. And today, I have to wonder, how am I being receptive to what God wants to do in me NOW?
Going back to the letter, Paul goes on to praise Epaphras as a faithful leader who has helped the church and shared about their faithfulness and then goes on to say that they continue to pray for them—asking God for a whole lot. Listen to what all Paul prays for:
• for God to help you understand what God wants you to do
• asking God to make you wise about spiritual things
• asking that the way you live will please the lord
• asking that how you live will honor the lord
• that you would be able always to do good and kind things for others
• that you will always be learning to know God better
• AND that you will be filled with strength to persevere no matter what
• that you would be always full of the joy of the Lord
• always thankful to God

And on reading that, I asked myself another question—what is it that we are praying for our church? Are we praying for our church? As a whole? Not just individuals, but for our church and our ministries and all that is happening….what do you pray for our church? (see if anyone wants to share).

some of my prayers:
• That following God would change us so that people would look at us as a church and give thanks
• that we would be the living presence of Jesus in our community
• That people who come here would feel safe and welcome
• That we would know when and how to invite others
• For our leaders
• for our staff
• for new leaders as we seek to do more things and improve on old ministries

What are your prayers for our church? What would you like to see God doing? What do you want to look back and celebrate in a year?

And then I was moved to a different type of question….how are we praying for other churches? Are we lifting up their ministries regularly? Do we know what they’re celebrating? (One friend posted of their sunset church from the summer where a family opened their home and they worshipped in the backyard. The kids swam in the pool while the adults worshipped (even some adults swam during worship!). I want to challenge us this week to connect with another church, each of us…. talks to a friend or family member and ask about their church. What is their praise? What is going well? And what are their prayers? How can we be praying for them?

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Sunday morning parking at the church is available in the high school parking lot on Third Street across from the church and in the city lots west of the church. These lots are available only on Sunday mornings. A small lot for handicapped parking is available just off of Adams Street on the north side of the church, with an accessible entrance directly into the sanctuary. A lift operates between the Fellowship Hall (3rd Street level) and the Sanctuary. William Sound System Receivers and Headsets are available to assist with hearing problems.

322 East Third Street
Moscow, ID 83843


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The First United Methodist Church of Moscow, Idaho takes as our mission to be the body of Jesus Christ, ministering to a community which draws strength from its diversity. Our mission centers on the worship of God, expressed through varied forms of prayer, preaching, music, and ritual.  See more...

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