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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Pastor's Blog

Called, Equipped, Sent
Dear friend,
On the Day of Pentecost the Lord poured out His gathering Spirit in order to declare the "wonderful works of God," that Comforter whom Jesus had promised would come when He "went away." (John 16:7). We have been called through the Gospel by this Spirit into His kingdom, we have been endowed with our own unique gifts by Christ, (Ephesians 4:7) and therefore we have the privilege to collectively use those gifts for the gathering of other souls into His kingdom.

Today we are going to experience a presentation of Destiny E.W.O. (Elderly, Widows, Orphans) by one of its board members as well as by one of our confirmation students, Elise Seifert. The foundation of their organization is grounded in the following two Bible verses:

James 1:27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress.....

1 Corinthians 12:12 For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.

Destiny E.W.O. is committed to demonstrating the love of Jesus through being His vessels of blessing to the needy both here in the United States as well in Uganda. They recognize the truth that as Christians we have many opportunities to demonstrate that the love of God dwells in us through our laying down of lives for those whom we serve.

1 John 3:16 Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.
17 But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?
18 My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.

In our two scripture readings today we heard of the testimonies of a fellow believer from the OT and from the NT. Isaiah saw and experienced the holiness of the Lord and as a result saw himself as sinful and unworthy until he was assured that his sin had been purged/forgiven. As a result of knowing and experiencing that His Lord had cleansed him from his sin, when the question went out as to who would go to tell others, he responded:
"Here am I; send me."

Apostle Paul wrote of his sinful past, the Lord's grace and mercy and of that mission that the Lord gave to him.

1 Timothy 1:12 And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;
13 Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.
14 And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.
15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.
16 Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.
17 Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.
The Apostle recognized Jesus Christ had shown him mercy for an example for others. In other words, others could receive encouragement that if Paul had been granted mercy, surely they would receive mercy also.

Jesus, full of and moved with compassion pointed to the multitudes who were as sheep without a shepherd.

Matthew 9:35 And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.
36 But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.
37 Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few;
38 Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.

After He has said this to them, He appointed them to be his disciples. I wonder if they were thinking about the "other guy" when he called them to be his disciples........

KJV Matthew 10:1 And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.

1. The harvest is great.
2. The laborers are few.
3. All are to pray to the Lord of the harvest.
4. He is the one who calls, equips and sends laborers.

1. He has called us
2. He has equipped us. (He equips the called, rather than calls the equipped)
3. He wants to first of all pray to Him that He will send forth laborers into the harvest.

Lord, truly the harvest is great, but the laborers are few. So in accordance with your Word, we lifting up our hearts and voices to You, the Lord of the harvest, asking that you will send forth laborers into your harvest.

So Lord, you spoke this 2000 years ago, and things are the same today. The numbers that have not been gathered in are great and the harvesters are few. We pray that you will send forth more gatherers into your kingdom. Lord, it is easy to pray that you would send other laborers into your harvest, but what about ourselves? Shouldn't we be open to being sent?

Are all sent into some kind of service for you, Lord? "Yes, you are, and the substance is the same regardless of your age, your position of your relationship to others."

Mark 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

All need to hear the gospel of Christ, "Your sins are forgiven through the name and blood of Jesus Christ!" We sometimes lose sight of that which God has done through Jesus for the entire world, in that He has redeemed them from their sin, but they either have not heard about it or have not received it when told about it. We also sometimes lose sight of how God sees them, wrongfully thinking that He has already rejected them.......He longs for them to come to him.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Some years ago I was listening to a young woman giving her testimony of working in an office in which her coworkers had quite a different view of God than she did. She related of how the Lord had been telling her through His Spirit that her actions were important as a Christian since those watching her would recognize that she had different values and loyalties than they did. But she went on to say that He was telling her that she needs to tell them of what He has done for them on the cross, in other words, share the Gospel with them.

She went on to say that as she thought through of how to approach the gospel with them, that she had a revelation of what happened at the cross that she had never understood before. She said that all her life she had looked at those who were living in their flesh as judged of God and in whom God was displeased/angry with. But as she read the scriptures, and the Gospel begin to open up to her she realized that she had been wrong in her approach, not understanding that when God had reconnected the world to Himself through Jesus, that is what it meant. He had atoned for the sin of the world by placing them on His Son, His wrath against sin had been appeased and He now looked at all humanity through the redemptive work of Christ.

Well, some would say, then all people are going to heaven because of what Jesus did on the cross. No, because as John writes in the 17th verse of the third chapter "He that believes is not condemned, but he that believes not is condemned already." Now this young lady had a whole new understanding of how she viewed those she longed to bring to the knowledge of what God had done for them. So she posed a question for them and it went something like this:

"Do you know where you are in relation to God?" She did not share of their responses to her question, but as you can see it gave her a whole different outlook on her coworkers as she now saw them through the eyes of God in His redemptive work in His Son. She was able to tell them that through the cross they have been redeemed and her prayer for them was that they would receive this gift of forgiveness by believing that which God had done for them.

Through the years many have told me that it is too good to be true that God would be so gracious, for they had sin in their past that in their mind was too great for anyone to ever forgive, even God in Christ. Even though I have done my best to encourage them to believe what God has done for them, nevertheless they have struggled to do so. I have prayed with them and for them, knowing that only the Holy Spirit is able to open their eyes to see that which has been done for them.

So as we close this writing, may we be mindful of the words that Jesus spoke to all, "Pray to the Lord of the harvest that He would send forth laborers into His harvest." As said earlier, it is the substance of the message that is of utmost importance, that through Christ you are forgiven: Believe it! Our stations will vary and different responsibilities will be ours, but the message is always the same: Believe your sins forgiven through the name and blood of Jesus Christ!

May we pray to the Lord of the harvest that he would send laborers into his harvest, who would preach the message of the gospel. May we be open to being a vessel of His grace and mercy!

May we continue to believe the gospel message today and always!

Pastor Orval Wirkkala

Posted on 22 May 2016 by Pastor Orval Wirkkala
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The Cross of Christ 2.25.2018
- Posted by Pastor Orval Wirkkala

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3/21 7:00 pm:Lent service
3/23 11:30 a.m.:Senior Luncheon
3/29 7:00 pm:Maundy Thursday ...
3/30 7:00 pm:Good Friday Wors...
4/1 10:20 am:Resurrection Sun...
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*Wendy and Dan Salo: Strength & courage to trust Him w/her health concerns