Wait on the LORD: be of good courage,
and he shall strengthen thine heart;
wait, I say, on the LORD.
- Psalm 27:14
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No Comparison 8.13.2017

Dear friend,

May the grace, mercy and peace from God our Father and from His Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ be with you today and always!
We are in our third message in the eighth chapter of Romans, with the first two having the title of No Condemnation and No Fear.

KJV Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

We have been freed from the penalty of sin and from the power of sin, and we are now indwelt by the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. We yet struggle with remaining sin as our body of sin that has been put to death continues to cling to us and is always trying to resurrect itself to regain dominion. We live in the knowledge that daily and richly the Holy Spirit is ministering grace to us so that we live in the assurance of God€™s favor as our spirit witnesses with His Spirit that we are His children.

Today we read from Romans 8:18-27 in the name of Jesus. (Please read it)

Last week during the time of the annual Cokato Corn Carnival, my wife had a garage sale and as I was taking my turn managing the sale, a person stopped in and so in order to have a conversation I asked him if he had come for the corn. He said yes, he had and that he had come all the way from Fargo for it. I replied, wow, that is a long ways to come for corn. He went on to say that when he had told his co workers in his office that he was coming down here for some corn, they told him that he was foolish for going such a long ways just for corn. Then he said, €œThey don€™t know what they are missing.€

I then told him that he had just provided me a very good sermon illustration for my upcoming sermon which is going to be centered on the truth that the €œthat the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.€ That launched a very interesting conversation about his recent conversion to Christ and of the ministry that he had been led to begin in order to help others to be found by Christ. We both agreed that until lost souls get a taste of the wonderful grace of God which came from heaven (Jesus Christ), they do not know what they are missing.

Our message today is entitled €œNo Comparison€ and is taken from verse 18 of chapter 8 of Romans.

Romans 8:18 For I reckon (count this as true) that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

The meaning of the word reckon is very important here, as in our world it can be used to mean, I think, I suppose or perhaps. But it is not to be taken that way, but rather it is to be understood that that which follows is agreed with. I count this to be true because God says it in His Word.
What is being said here by our God is that whatever pain and suffering we endure here in our earthly journey pales in comparison to the glory that is going to be revealed in us.

We fully realize that there are many who will find it difficult to understand and to even accept this reality, for their pain and suffering has clouded out their ability to see past their present situation and circumstance. The problem of pain and suffering is one of the greatest stumbling blocks that people cannot get past.

There would be much to say concerning this very difficult reality, but we hope to stay focused on this one point today. May it be that the righteousness, peace and joy that we already experience here would be increased and that our longing for heaven would lift our eyes off of our problems. Our dear brother Doug shared with us on Friday morning this gem: €œWhen we look to heaven, our eyes are kept on the Problem Solver, but when we look down here, our eyes are on our problems.

All creation is groaning towards renewal and rebirth as it is said in our text today. There is a better day coming, but that is sometimes a small comfort for those who are asking God, why me. We can like the child who is taken to the doctor for some shots, and the child knowing what is coming is staring with pleading eyes into the eyes of its mother. Why are you letting the doctor do this to me?

The Apostle Paul wrote of this struggle, of knowing our future is glorious, but yet somewhat of a mysterious glory. He writes of our foretaste of that which is to come yet.

1 Corinthians 2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.

He also wrote of his experience of €œseeing€ that glorious homeland of the future.

KJV 2 Corinthians 12:1 It is not expedient for me doubtless to glory. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord.
2 I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven.
3 And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;)
4 How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.
5 Of such an one will I glory: yet of myself I will not glory, but in mine infirmities.
6 For though I would desire to glory, I shall not be a fool; for I will say the truth: but now I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth me to be, or that he heareth of me.
7 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.
8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.
9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

We look at things eternal
2 Corinthians 4:16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.
17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;
18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

€œIt would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.€
€ C.S. Lewis

We were not made for this world, but for another, as C.S.Lewis so well put it.....

€œIf we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.€

The Spirit intercedes for us

Romans 8:26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

In our text today, we heard of how the creation itself is groaning for renewal, (8:19-22) of how we are groaning for the consummation/rebirth of all things (8:23-25) and God in us is groaning for this new heaven and new earth. (8:26-27) Within us oftentimes there are groanings that cannot be uttered, but yet God hears them very well, understand them very well and in His time and in His way brings what He wants for us.

How does God understand and interpret groans that cannot even be verbalized?

A pastor went to visit a man who had had a stroke and who could not speak. After the pastor made small talk, the man began to make noises which were not understandable by the pastor. He looked at the man's wife of 60 plus years, she smiled at him and said: "He thanks you for coming, he would like you to read the Bible to him and pray with him." The man's wife of 60 plus years knew the heart of her husband and did not need to hear the words in order to know what the desire of her husband was.

Dear friend, God the Spirit in you is able to carry your silent groanings to heaven's throne, where God the Son intercedes on your behalf before God our Father, the One who works all things together for the good to those who love Him and are the called according to His purpose.

ESV Romans 8:18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.

"There was a young man who was to get married to a beautiful young lady, whom he had never seen with his physical eyes, but had only been able to feel with his fingers of her beauty. Some time before the wedding, he underwent surgery to give him sight, and at the wedding the bandages would be taken off with the hope that for the first time he would look upon his bride with his eyes.

Suspense was in the air, expectation was great and all eyes were on the groom as the physician took off the bandages from his eyes. All watched as the groom took a step forward, his head jerked as his eyes reacted to seeing for the first time. They all wondered...Did he see? What did he see?

He straightened up, then turned and looked for the face of his beloved, and then with a dignity and a joy never seen on his face before, he looked into her eyes and she into his. As the onlookers quietly gazed upon this sacred moment, it seemed as if the eyes of the couple would never go away from each other's eyes. They only looked into the face and into the eyes of each other.................

"At last!", she said. "At last!" he said. "

What a beautiful moment, a moment which is a foreshadowing of that which is to come, the moment that will come for all who love Him and wait for His appearing.

ESV Romans 8:18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.

May our eyes be heavenward today and always until we can say €œat last€

Pastor Orval Wirkkala

Posted on 13 Aug 2017 by Pastor Orval Wirkkala
No Fear! 8.6.2017
Dear friend, May grace, mercy and peace be unto you from God our Father and from His Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ now and forever, amen!

I would like to preface our time together today with a question: What does it mean to be a Christian? We could say that it contains mainly two parts: Being rescued from slavery and brought into sonship, or into the family of God whereby He is our Father.

For the Jewish believer in the Old Testament, their knowledge of God was not as their father, but through many names which identified aspects of his character.

God was referred to as "our Father" 13 times in the Old Testament, Jesus' frequent use of this title brought a whole new understanding of our relationship with God. Jesus referred to God as His father over 150 times, and He spoke of God as being our father 30 times.

For the Jewish worshipper of God to refer to His as Father was entirely foreign to them. They lived in fear and awe of Him, and so over time their worship was primarily involved in making sure that God was pleased with them and that they did not offend His holiness.

Today we sang a number of songs that had to do with what our God who is holy and Who cannot look upon sin, did to rescue us back to Himself. And we sang of the joy in our hearts at being rescued through the love of God demonstrated through God and Jesus jointly rescuing us from sin¿½¬¢s penalty which is death. We have been hearing of how we are no longer subject to the power of sin in our lives, for the Holy Spirit¿½¬¢s indwelling presence has freed us from the power of sin to put us to death. So as we look at our continuing progression through the letter of Apostle Paul to the Romans, let us see what else the Holy Spirit ministers to us.

Romans 8:12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.
13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.
14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

The power of sin over us is broken, says Paul in Romans 6-8, by the Spirit of God. And one of the things the Spirit does in liberating us is to convince us that we are the beloved children of God. The cross of Christ demonstrates that God loves us as our Father, and the Spirit of Christ completes the circle of love by assuring us that we are now the adopted children of God.
Possessing all this, why would we ever think about paying any kind of allegiance to the flesh? For what the Spirit has brought to us through faith, how would it make any sense to live after the flesh? When all it can to is bring us to death?

We are now indwelt by the Holy Spirit, by whom Christ our Lord lives within us. This life which throbs in our heart beats also in the pulse, so the very life which is in Christ in glory is also in our hearts. We are to resist every effort of our body of sin which would attempt to restrict the experience and expression of life in the Spirit. This is what the Apostle means by doing to death the practices, stratagems, and lawless promptings of the body, which are ever calling for ease and self-indulgence. There is no stage of our earthly journey at which we can dispense with the power of the Spirit of God for deliverance from the deeds of the body.

But there is another most blessed function of the divine Spirit, Romans 8:14. He is willing to lead us, to prompt our actions, to inspire our purposes, and to mold our characters.

The Spirit we received does not make us slaves, so that we live in fear again; rather, the Spirit we received brought about our adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father." ¿½¬€ Romans 8:15

The more we yield to Him, the deeper becomes our awareness of that filial relationship with God which breathes in the cry, Abba, Father. But note the wonderful climax, Romans 8:17. When we yield to the Holy Spirit, He will conduct us into the divine treasure-house and bid us avail ourselves of the infinite resources which are there stored for our use, not in the next life, but in this.

Hebrews 2:14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;
15 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

As is seen in the case of the slave-made-son adoption, this process occurred in a change of social status for the person being adopted. Obviously, for the Romans this movement of status was a serious matter. The purpose of adoption in Roman culture was to secure the benefits of having a son in a family who has either no son or an estranged son. The primary motivation for adopting was to continue the family line and practices. It was not necessarily for the protection or maintenance of the one being adopted; the focus was on the benefits the family as a whole gained through the process.

What is the Father/ Son relationship between God and Jesus?
1. Authority and Mission
John 6: 38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.

2. Affection: John 5:20 For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth:

3. Fellowship: John 8: 29 And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.

4. Honor: John 5: 22 For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son, 23 That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him.

Romans 8:17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
God only has one Son, Jesus, and we have been brought into Jesus so that we are in Him and He in us. God has given us sonship, we have an inheritance that is incorruptible, does not fade away and is reserved in heaven for us. Since God has only one Son and we are the brothers of Jesus, we are also sons, but by adoption. Yes we were adopted as an object of His love and also for Him to carry on His Name in order that it He might be glorified by gathering many into His family through us.

What a joy to be a child of God!!! May the Lord open our understanding so that we could experience a greater appreciation of his gracious forgiveness, but perhaps more than that, that He would open up our understanding of what it means to be in His family. We have the blessing of being loved as well as the joy of sonship which when properly understood and experienced, moves us to desire to care for and to increase His family.

A couple of questions: Do we know the forgiveness of sins in Christ? And, do we understand that we are now in His great family of believers, who are loved and cared for by our Father? Are we being led by His Spirit? Is our spirit giving witness to His Spirit that we are His family members?

May the grace of God in Christ Jesus be with us always!
Pastor Orval Wirkkala
Posted on 06 Aug 2017 by Pastor Orval Wirkkala

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No Comparison 8.13.2017
- Posted by Pastor Orval Wirkkala

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The Lawry Kilpela family as they grieve but yet rejoice in Lawry's being called home.