STP (Study, Trust, Pray) for March 4, 2021

STP (Study, Trust, Pray) for March 4, 2021

Zeal for God’s House

“When the Passover Feast, celebrated each spring by the Jews, was about to take place, Jesus traveled up to Jerusalem. He found the Temple teeming with people selling cattle and sheep and doves. The loan sharks were also there in full strength. 15-17 Jesus put together a whip out of strips of leather and chased them out of the Temple, stampeding the sheep and cattle, upending the tables of the loan sharks, spilling coins left and right. He told the dove merchants, ‘Get your things out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a shopping mall!’ That’s when his disciples remembered the Scripture, ‘Zeal for your house consumes me.’ 18-19 But the Jews were upset. They asked, ‘What credentials can you present to justify this?’ Jesus answered, ‘Tear down this Temple and in three days I’ll put it back together.’ 20-22 They were indignant: ‘It took forty-six years to build this Temple, and you’re going to rebuild it in three days?’ But Jesus was talking about his body as the Temple. Later, after he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered he had said this. They then put two and two together and believed both what was written in Scripture and what Jesus had said.”—John 2:13-22 MSG

Today we have this week’s scripture from John’s Gospel from The Message Translation. I’ve had people tell me that they didn’t believe Jesus was ever angry, but I always show them this scripture. Jesus had attended the Passover celebration at the Temple all His life, so this was not the first time He had seen the livestock salesmen and the loan sharks committing sin in the Temple. I’m sure He had seen His parents bring their money from Nazareth and exchange it for the Temple money at an exorbitant exchange rate. He probably knew someone who had brought what they thought was a perfect sacrifice but were forced to exchange it for a calf, sheep, or dove and pay for the so-called better animal. Jesus was angry that the Temple authorities were taking advantage of God’s people.

Lord, we thank you for Your Son continues to stand up for Your people…Amen.

Central Avenue Worship Service, 10:50am Sunday

(https://www.facebook.com/CentralAvenueUnitedMethodistChurch/)

Bethesda Campground Worship Service, 9:00am Sunday (https://www.facebook.com/groups/316159025410964/)

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STP Study Guide for March 3, 2021

STP Study Guide for March 3, 2021

Zeal for God’s House

“On the first day of the week, when we met to break bread, Paul was holding a discussion with them; since he intended to leave the next day, he continued speaking until midnight. There were many lamps in the room upstairs where we were meeting. A young man named Eutychus, who was sitting in the window, began to sink off into a deep sleep while Paul talked still longer. Overcome by sleep, he fell to the ground three floors below and was picked up dead. 10 But Paul went down, and bending over him took him in his arms, and said, ‘Do not be alarmed, for his life is in him.’ 11 Then Paul went upstairs, and after he had broken bread and eaten, he continued to converse with them until dawn; then he left. 12 Meanwhile they had taken the boy away alive and were not a little comforted.”—Acts 20:7-12 NRSV

This has always been one of my favorite scriptures. Every time I think about sermons that I have preached that I thought fell flat or were BORING, I think of Eutychus. Becca once had a cat that I named Eutychus because I really feel that every preacher should have a pet, or a child named Eutychus as a reminder against boring sermons. As we talk about “Zeal for God’s House” I would hope that we can overcome the boring sermons that we have heard be able to glorify Jesus Christ, who sits at the right hand of God in the heavens.

Lord we thank you for those times we feel Zeal for You even when we can barely keep our eyes open…Amen.

Bethesda Campground Service, 9:00am Sunday

(https://www.facebook.com/groups/316159025410964/)

Central Avenue Worship Service, 10:50am Sunday

(https://www.facebook.com/CentralAvenueUnitedMethodistChurch/)

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STP Study Guide for March 2, 2021

STP Study Guide for March 2, 2021

Zeal for God’s House

“Those who had arrested Jesus took him to Caiaphas the high priest, in whose house the scribes and the elders had gathered. 58 But Peter was following him at a distance, as far as the courtyard of the high priest; and going inside, he sat with the guards in order to see how this would end. 59 Now the chief priests and the whole council were looking for false testimony against Jesus so that they might put him to death, 60 but they found none, though many false witnesses came forward. At last two came forward 61 and said, ‘This fellow said, “I am able to destroy the temple of God and to build it in three days.”’ 62 The high priest stood up and said, ‘Have you no answer? What is it that they testify against you?’ 63 But Jesus was silent. Then the high priest said to him, ‘I put you under oath before the living God, tell us if you are the Messiah, the Son of God.’ 64 Jesus said to him, ‘You have said so. But I tell you, From now on you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven.’”—Matthew 26:57-64 NRSV

In our scripture this week from John’s Gospel after the religious authorities asked Jesus to show them a sign giving Him authority for cleansing the Temple, He said, ‘Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.’ Jesus wasn’t speaking of the Temple at the time but of His body. The authorities didn’t understand it, but they used that claim against Him at His trial before Caiaphas in today’s scripture from Matthew. Many false witnesses had come before Caiaphas testifying against Jesus, but nothing was near true so finally the last two used this statement of Jesus against Him. They were willing to try anything to destroy Jesus. There are those today who would try to destroy Jesus also. But Christ defeated the cross of Calvary and He will defeat any attempt to destroy Him today.

Lord, we thank you for Your Son, Jesus, and the strength we can draw from Him…Amen.

Central Avenue Worship Service, 10:50am Sunday

(https://www.facebook.com/CentralAvenueUnitedMethodistChurch/)

Bethesda Campground Worship Service, 9:00am Sunday (https://www.facebook.com/groups/316159025410964/)

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STP (Study, Trust, Pray) for March 1, 2021

STP (Study, Trust, Pray) for March 1, 2021

Zeal for God’s House

“The Passover of the Jews was near, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 In the temple he found people selling cattle, sheep, and doves, and the money changers seated at their tables. 15 Making a whip of cords, he drove all of them out of the temple, both the sheep and the cattle. He also poured out the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. 16 He told those who were selling the doves, ‘Take these things out of here! Stop making my Father’s house a marketplace!’ 17 His disciples remembered that it was written, ‘Zeal for your house will consume me.’ 18 The Jews then said to him, ‘What sign can you show us for doing this?’ 19 Jesus answered them, ‘Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.’ 20 The Jews then said, ‘This temple has been under construction for forty-six years, and will you raise it up in three days?’ 21 But he was speaking of the temple of his body. 22 After he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this; and they believed the scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken.”—John 2:13-22 NRSV

Jesus had gone up to Jerusalem and when He entered the Temple, He saw a problem in God’s house. They had turned the Temple into a marketplace selling cattle, sheep, and doves for sacrifice for exorbitant prices. The people who brought their own sacrifice were told theirs wasn’t perfect, so they had to buy what the sellers in the Temple had. The Temple Tax had to be paid in Temple money, so the people had to exchange their money for Temple money at a high exchange rate. If Jesus came to our church today would He find us lacking?

Lord help us to be Your church in Your world…Amen.

Bethesda Campground Service, 9:00am Sunday

(https://www.facebook.com/groups/316159025410964/)

Central Avenue Worship Service, 10:50am Sunday

(https://www.facebook.com/CentralAvenueUnitedMethodistChurch/)

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STP (Study, Trust, Pray) for February 25, 2021

STP (Study, Trust, Pray) for February 25, 2021

“Now large crowds were traveling with him; and he turned and said to them, 26 ‘Whoever comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and even life itself, cannot be my disciple. 27 Whoever does not carry the cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. 28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not first sit down and estimate the cost, to see whether he has enough to complete it? 29 Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it will begin to ridicule him, 30 saying, “This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.” 31 Or what king, going out to wage war against another king, will not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to oppose the one who comes against him with twenty thousand? 32 If he cannot, then, while the other is still far away, he sends a delegation and asks for the terms of peace. 33 So therefore, none of you can become my disciple if you do not give up all your possessions.’”—Luke 14:25-33 NRSV

This Sunday we welcome the Rev. John Fleming, Northeast District Superintendent/Chief Mission Specialist as our speaker. This is the busiest time of the year for our District Superintendents. They have District Boards of Ordained Ministry that meet in each district to interview young pastors who are exploring their calls to ministry along with all the Local Pastors serving in the district. They also meet with the Bishop and other District Superintendents two to three times a week to discuss new pastor appointments for the coming year and then meet with the Staff Parish Relations Committees to present the pastors being appointed. I look forward to John being with us Sunday and I hope you will be with us at Bethesda Campground at 9:00am or at Central Avenue at 10:50am.

Central Avenue Worship Service, 10:50am Sunday

(https://www.facebook.com/CentralAvenueUnitedMethodistChurch/)

Bethesda Campground Worship Service, 9:00am Sunday (https://www.facebook.com/groups/316159025410964/)

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STP (Study, Trust, Pray) for February 22, 2020

STP (Study, Trust, Pray) for February 22, 2020

Take Up Your Cross

“Then he began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. 32 He said all this quite openly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. 33 But turning and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, ‘Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.’ 34 He called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, ‘If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 35 For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it. 36 For what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life? 37 Indeed, what can they give in return for their life? 38 Those who are ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of them the Son of Man will also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.’”—Mark 8:31-38 NRSV

This week we welcome the Rev. John Fleming, our District Superintendent/Chief Mission Strategist, to bring the message at Central Avenue and Bethesda Campground. John received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Lambuth College in Jackson, Tennessee, and his Master of Divinity degree from Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. John is married to Susie Fleming, and they have two daughters, Annie Grace, and Julie Ann. He is an avid baseball fan, and his favorite team is the Atlanta Braves but let’s not hold that against him. I hope you will join me in welcoming John to our Charge.

Lord, we thank you for spiritual leaders in your church…Amen.

Bethesda Campground Service, 9:00am Sunday

(https://www.facebook.com/groups/316159025410964/)

Central Avenue Worship Service, 10:50am Sunday

(https://www.facebook.com/CentralAvenueUnitedMethodistChurch/)

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STP (Study, Trust, Pray) for February 18, 2021

STP (Study, Trust, Pray) for February 18, 2021

Alive in the Spirit

“That’s what Christ did definitively: suffered because of others’ sins, the Righteous One for the unrighteous ones. He went through it all—was put to death and then made alive—to bring us to God. 19-22 He went and proclaimed God’s salvation to earlier generations who ended up in the prison of judgment because they wouldn’t listen. You know, even though God waited patiently all the days that Noah built his ship, only a few were saved then, eight to be exact—saved from the water by the water. The waters of baptism do that for you, not by washing away dirt from your skin but by presenting you through Jesus’ resurrection before God with a clear conscience. Jesus has the last word on everything and everyone, from angels to armies. He’s standing right alongside God, and what he says goes.”—1 Peter 3:18-22 MSG

This morning we have this week’s scripture from The Message Translation. This Sunday is the first Sunday in the Season of Lent and our scripture from 1 Peter focuses on the features of salvation. Christ’s suffering during His final week in the body, the resurrection on that first Easter morning, and His ascension into Heaven to sit at the right hand of God shows God’s triumph over the powers of the universe. Christians use the time of fasting and penance during Lent to remember God’s grace that was given them at baptism. 1 Peter also reminds us that our hope extends beyond this life to a reunion with our heavenly Father.

Thank you, Lord, for the hope we have through Jesus Christ…Amen.

Central Avenue Worship Service, 10:50am Sunday

(https://www.facebook.com/CentralAvenueUnitedMethodistChurch/)

Bethesda Campground Worship Service, 9:00am Sunday (https://www.facebook.com/groups/316159025410964/)

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STP Study Guide for February 17, 2021

STP Study Guide for February 17, 2021

Alive in the Spirit

“Now all the tax collectors and sinners were coming near to listen to him. And the Pharisees and the scribes were grumbling and saying, ‘This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them.’

So he told them this parable: ‘Which one of you, having a hundred sheep and losing one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the one that is lost until he finds it? When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders and rejoices. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, “Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.” Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance. ‘Or what woman having ten silver coins, if she loses one of them, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it? When she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, “Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.” 10 Just so, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.’”—Luke 15:1-10 NRSV

Our two parables this morning along with the parable of the prodigal son and his brother are remarkably similar. The lost sheep, the coin, and the son were valued, they were treasures, they were special, and they were missed. When we speak of ‘lost’ Christians we often fail to recognize that those Christians are valued, treasures, special, and missed. As fishers of men and women we need to start looking differently at those that are lost. We need to remember that God values them in a special way and wants them to return to His kingdom. We need to open our hearts and welcome them home to the kingdom of God.

Lord guide us as we find Your children and bring them home to You…Amen.

Bethesda Campground Service, 9:00am Sunday

(https://www.facebook.com/groups/316159025410964/)

Central Avenue Worship Service, 10:50am Sunday

(https://www.facebook.com/CentralAvenueUnitedMethodistChurch/)

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STP Study Guide for February 16, 2021

STP Study Guide for February 16, 2021

Alive in the Spirit

“‘If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever. 17 This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you. 18 I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you. 19 In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me; because I live, you also will live. 20 On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. 21 They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me; and those who love me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them.’ 22 Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, ‘Lord, how is it that you will reveal yourself to us, and not to the world?’ 23 Jesus answered him, ‘Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. 24 Whoever does not love me does not keep my words; and the word that you hear is not mine, but is from the Father who sent me.’”—John 14:15-24 NRSV

This week we’re talking about faith and the Holy Spirit making things right with us after the death of Jesus. In our scripture this morning Jesus is telling His disciples that after He leaves that the Father will send an Advocate (the Holy Spirit) to be with them always. We continue to have the Advocate with us today to give us strength and courage to face the days and get us through the dark nights of our lives. We’re reminded to put our faith in Jesus, and everything will be okay.

Thank you, Lord, for sending the Holy Spirit to guide our lives…Amen.

Central Avenue Worship Service, 10:50am Sunday

(https://www.facebook.com/CentralAvenueUnitedMethodistChurch/)

Bethesda Campground Worship Service, 9:00am Sunday (https://www.facebook.com/groups/316159025410964/)

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STP (Study, Trust, Pray) for February 15, 2020

STP (Study, Trust, Pray) for February 15, 2020

Alive in the Spirit

“For Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, in order to bring you to God. He was put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit, 19 in which also he went and made a proclamation to the spirits in prison, 20 who in former times did not obey, when God waited patiently in the days of Noah, during the building of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were saved through water. 21 And baptism, which this prefigured, 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 made subject to him.”—1 Peter 3:18-22 NRSV

Because Christ is alive in the Spirit, we have hope. I often put myself in the disciples’ shoes when think about my faith walk. I have certainly run and hid like most of the disciples. I have doubted like Thomas. I have denied like Peter. And, unfortunately, I have betrayed like Judas. I often think of the disciples when they were hiding from the authorities during the crucifixion and before the resurrection. They had given up everything for Jesus and now He had been put to death. The difference for us is that we know the end of the story. We know that Christ is alive in the Spirit and we have the hope of the resurrection.

Thank you, God, for assurance through Jesus Christ…Amen.

Bethesda Campground Service, 9:00am Sunday

(https://www.facebook.com/groups/316159025410964/)

Central Avenue Worship Service, 10:50am Sunday

(https://www.facebook.com/CentralAvenueUnitedMethodistChurch/)

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