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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What are we waiting for? 12.11.2016
Seven hundred years before the first Advent of Jesus the Prophet Isaiah looked into the future and used metaphorical language to point to the mission and ministry of the Messiah, Jesus the Christ. He spoke of how the eyes of the blind would be opened, the ears of the deaf would be opened, the lame man will leap like a deer, the tongue of the mute will sing for joy and in the wilderness waters will break forth in the desert and in the desert streams will flow.

It was with these metaphorical words that Jesus answered John the Baptizer's question concerning who Jesus was. What? John the Baptizer questioning who Jesus was and why He came? The John that baptized Jesus in the Jordan River, the John that looked upon Jesus and said "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world!" The John that stood for righteousness and who was not afraid to confront those who were living in sin? Yes, John the Baptizer, the last prophet and the one who introduced the Light of the world, needed to be reminded of who Jesus was and why He came to this world.

John was well schooled in the scriptures, but had a difficult time making the transition from the Old Testament to the New Testament. He needed to be reminded that Jesus came to bring forgiveness of sins to a fallen humanity. Apostle Paul understood this mission very well as he wrote....

KJV Acts 26:18 (my calling is to) To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.

Do we not often need to be reminded in the times of difficult circumstances that the mission of God never changes and that when we have questions, we need to ask them of the Lord. He will remind us through the Scriptures that He came to open the eyes, unblock the ears, enable us to walk, and so on. He came to bring us from death to life through the Gospel.

May we understand that the power of the Gospel is through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Why would we ever be offended in Him?

Depression, Disappointment, Partial Knowledge of Christ

KJV Matthew 11:1 And it came to pass, when Jesus had made an end of commanding his twelve disciples, he departed thence to teach and to preach in their cities.
2 Now when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples,
3 And said unto him, Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?

The Response of our Lord to our seeking to know Him.

Jesus answered and said unto them, Go and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see:
5 The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.

The blessing of having the knowledge of Christ

6 And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.

Jesus addresses the crowd concerning John the Baptizer.

7 And as they departed, Jesus began to say unto the multitudes concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken with the wind?
8 But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? behold, they that wear soft clothing are in kings' houses.
Jesus points out to the crowd of John‚€™s significance.
9 But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet.
10 For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.
11 Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
12 And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.
13 For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.
14 And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come.
15 He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

Advent: A time of celebrating the first Advent of God to this world and a time in which we await His final return which will last for all eternity. In the meantime in the here and now, we wait for many things in life to come to pass, and depending upon one‚€™s particular circumstance, the questions of ‚€œwhat are you waiting/longing for‚€Ě will vary greatly. For we are all waiting for something, but what is it that we are waiting for. Allow me to illustrate one young man‚€™s journey.

On his birthday, November 26, 2016 I asked a young man what he would like for his birthday, which was a ‚€œwhat are you waiting for‚€Ě question. He replied, ‚€œTo be able to run and jump again like any young man.‚€Ě It was understood without any more words needed that only through healing by God by divine intervention or through a doctor‚€™s help would this become a reality for him again. This young man had excelled in three sports in high school, had worked in the physically demanding logging occupation for many years but had in the last two years suffered mentally and physically crippling injuries which left him unable to work in the forest as well as to continue his budding music career.. What a blessing it would be for him to have this desire granted‚€¦..But in his waiting, he recently received a much greater blessing than his physical healing: God came to him in the Stillness of his waiting. He was visited by the Friend of all mankind, the God of creation and salvation.

In our conversation on Dec 3, he shared of how the words to the first song that he has written in at least two years, entitled Thunder in the Stillness, had been coming to him in the last month or so. He shared of how the words kept coming to him in the car, at the doctor‚€™s office and at home. It was at the deepest and richest part of this revelation of the presence of God that he was so overcome that he found himself weeping on the floor, so filled with the glory and love of God that as he described it ‚€œif his worst enemy would have come into that room at that point, he would have embraced him in love.‚€Ě God had come to him in the Stillness of the storm. This young man was able to see past his sufferings and in his longings/waitings an answer was given to him.

The revelation of God comes to us in different ways and in different degrees, but when it does the fruit that it brings is praise and glory to God, love into the heart for God and love for and toward all others, even our enemies.

There is the story of the caterpillar that was struggling to get out of its cocoon, and of how the young girl helped it out but was grief stricken when it died in a few days. When she asked her mom why, her mom told her God had ordained that caterpillars had to break themselves out of the shell as a part of their normal development into a butterfly. So instead of helping the caterpillar become a butterfly, the girl unknowingly had caused its death.

It is very difficult to watch your flesh and blood struggle when life brings its sorrow and losses to them, and so we have a tendency to act as the little girl did, thinking we are helping the situation. We wonder if we should be helping more, could be helping more, but through it all we have one eye up to heaven pleading on our loved one‚€™s behalf and the other eye on their life in the here and now for its practical needs and necessities.

It is with great thankfulness to God and in great praise to our God that I leave the following words of my son Carl‚€™s latest song for you to meditate upon as you ponder the questions of life. These words are far more than words of a song, for they are the heart cries of one who has come to know his God and Saviour through the valleys of life that he has passed through, may yet be passing through and who wishes to give this Hope to others. A God and a Saviour who knows our sinfulness, our brokenness and our weakness, but One who leads us to deeper and more profound knowledge of Himself through meeting us in our sinfulness, in our brokenness and in our weakness. He comes to us in the Stillness of the storm.

‚€œWhere will you go when the moon is turned to blood
When the highways turn to mud and leave you scrambling
What will you do when there's nothing left to hold
And it's only fool's gold that you're gambling

What will you say when the shadows turn to ice
And no ones playing nice in the potter's field

Where will you turn when the sky is opened wide, when there's no place left to hide and your fate is sealed

I'll be on the other side won't you come with me
Don't you want to see the Promised Land
There's either thunder in The Stillness or Stillness in the storm
Take a little time to understand

Who will you believe when the voices come around and confusion is the sound that's overtaking

Who will hear your prayer when your bread has turned to stone
When there's dust inside your bones and you're forsaken‚€Ě

What are you and I waiting/longing for? To where are we looking?

Pastor Orval Wirkkala

Posted on 11 Dec 2016 by Pastor Orval Wirkkala
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The Temptation of Jesus
- 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.