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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Left Behind 11/06/10
God's Peace to you!

Recently on a trip out to the West Coast a person shared with me that often times when one is called by the Lord to serve Him, that often times not much is said about those who are left behind. This comment came in relation to the call of James and John, the sons of Zebedee who also are referred to as the Sons of Thunder. Those two sons, like us, had to gain a better understanding of who Jesus was and why He came, and coming to that understanding, they came to understand the true nature of the kingdom of God. It was not a kingdom that is intended to separate and divide people, but one into which people would be gathered into the family of God.

KJV Matthew 4:21 And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them.
KJV Matthew 4:22 And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him.

Very little detail is given of those who are 'left behind", but from other places in the Scripture and through experience we know that even though they may be less visible as far as the Body of Christ is concerned, nevertheless they remain an important and equal part of the Body of Christ. The father of James and John had raised his sons and now as they left their earthly father to serve their greater Father, the discipling was going to continue, but directly from being in the presence of Jesus. Our work as parents never ceases, but it does change in respect to our releasing them as our children so that they may cleave to their Lord and Saviour Jesus in order to become one with Him through grace and truth. We have our families on this earth, but what a blessing it is in our hearts and lives when we come to the place in which we are able to see and experience the oneness in the greater family of God. In that family there is no hierarchy or levels of importance, for we all are at the same level of the need of His grace and we live and serve in the thankfulness of that same grace through our Lord Jesus Christ. "But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ" (Eph 4:7)

What I have written could be illustrated by a recent happening that occurred while I was visiting an elderly woman of our congregation, one in whom the Lord has placed a heart of prayer for others. She had previously told me that she prays for Jay on a regular basis. As we were talking, she asked me about Jay and how it was going in China. I shared with her of some of the recent things that Jay had shared and then she asked me if Jay had told me about the cross she had given him. I said, no, he had not said anything. She went on to tell me that she had given him a cross to carry in his pocket so that everytime he put his hand in his pocket and felt the cross that he would remember that Jesus is always with him.

Wow! That is the Body of Christ in action, unseen, but active in places that we are not even aware of. He is the Head of the Body, He is the Vine and we are the branches. It all works together even though it may not always be so apparent, but we can be assured that the Body will always work for its benefit and not against itself.

So those who are "left behind" are just as important and needed as any of those who are in the forefront of the mission. May we appreciate even more those who are quietly, persistently and joyfully raising/influencing their children/grandchildren in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, as Zebedee did with his two sons, James and John. His direct influnce on his two sons' future would not be as great as it had been in the childhood years, but he for sure continued to pray for them as He expectantly watched them grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ through being in His Presence. May we who are "left behind" continue to pray for our children/grandchildren, both those in our natural family as well those as in our spiritual family, so that together and corporately we would grow into the holy temple as unto the Lord:

Ephesians 2:21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:
22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

Bound Together in His Love,

Pastor Orval Wirkkala
Posted on 06 Nov 2010 by Pastor Orval Wirkkala
The Battle is the Lord's 10/06/10

Many of the encouragements given in the Holy Bible are timeless, meaning that the examples recorded are for people of all eras to learn from. And many of these happenings show us the blessing that comes from recognizing and acknowledging our weakness and helplessness, so that we may be made strong in the Lord through the experience of his deliverance. Let us consider the following historical account of His children who lived many years ago in the land of Judah. King Jehoshaphat, when he heard that his people were going to be attacked by enemies; he feared, and set himself to seek the LORD, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah and his congregation also gathered themselves together, to ask help of the LORD: even out of all the cities of Judah they came to seek the LORD. (2 Chronicles 20:3,4)

At a prayer meeting led by their leader in which he gave glory to God for his sovereign rule in the affairs of men, (i.e.for His past deliverances, His current Presence and for promise of future deliverance) they stood before the Lord in helplessness and therefore, in total dependence as Jehoshaphat continued in prayer:

O our God, wilt thou not judge them? for we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon thee.

And all Judah stood before the LORD, with their little ones, their wives, and their children.

And he said, Hearken ye, all Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and thou king Jehoshaphat, Thus saith the LORD unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God's. (2 Chronicles 20:12,13,15)

May we learn from the examples of those who have come before us noting especially of how the king, upon initially experiencing fear, set himself to seek the Lord and of how the people did likewise. They recognized and acknowledged their inability to deal with the great threat even to the point that they admitted that they did not know what to do. How good it is that we admit to the Lord that we do not know what to do, but that our eyes are upon Him who is able to work everything to the good for us who love Him and have been called according to his purpose. After all, the battle is not ours, but it is God’s battle. Therefore, we need not be afraid or dismayed by reason of the magnitude of the problem or challenge before us, for in committing all to the Lord we are casting all our cares upon Him, trusting that He will provide the comfort for today and the confidence that He will provide deliverance that is needed. This deliverance may not be a change of circumstances, but it will always bring us to a greater realization and experience of His Presence with us. This means that we are given to know and experience that He is with us and is working everything out according to His will and our spiritual benefit.

Please read and meditate over the 20th chapter of 2nd Chronicles in order to receive more encouragement from our Mighty God through the testimony of our brothers and sisters in the Lord, including the little believers who are mentioned. Make this portion a personal prayer when you are in a difficult situation: Lord, I do not know what to do, but my eyes are upon you!!

Jesus reminds us that He has overcome the world and that we are partakers in this victory through faith as we see in the verses below..

These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. (John 16:33)

For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.
Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? (1 John 5:4-5)

Let us keep our eyes on Him this day and always.

In His grace,

Pastor Orval Wirkkala

Posted on 06 Oct 2010 by Pastor Orval Wirkkala

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Left Behind 11/06/10
- Posted by Pastor Orval Wirkkala

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2/28 7:00 pm:Lent Service
3/7 7:00 pm:Lent Service
3/14 7:00 pm:Lent Service
3/21 7:00 pm:Lent service
3/23 11:30 a.m.:Senior Luncheon
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The Lawry Kilpela family as they grieve but yet rejoice in Lawry's being called home.