As we read this verse we find ourselves asking the famous Lutheran question: "What does this mean?" What does it mean that we shouldn't use our freedom as an opportunity for the flesh?
We can relate to this as free citizens in the United States. We can use our citizenship in one of two ways. We can get and keep everything for ourselves, be miserly, hate those around us, and keep our faith and love to ourselves. That would be the first way. The second way would be to love our neighbors and serve them, love our family and care for them, forgive everyone who sins against us, and be as generous with what we have as God is generous toward us.
Paul, of course, prefers us to be the latter. He knows that the main purpose of a Christian is to share the love and forgiveness of Christ. He knows that when a person is loved they are so much more likely to be open to the good news of Jesus death and resurrection. He knows that it is a great and wonderful privilege to do the will of God on the earth. To be God's hands and feet and to be his messengers is quite an honor. And we should treat it as such.
There are also those, even among the members of St. John's, who use their freedom to say things like, "I don't have to go to church (worship) for God to love me." Or, "I don't have to give an offering to be a Christian." Are you one of those people? If you are, then I refer you back to Paul's words above. To go to worship is an act of love toward God, but even more at worship you truly receive God's love toward you. Likewise, when you give an offering it should be out of love for those who are lost, those who are in need, and for the church in general. It is so that the body of believers might be cared for and so that the number of the lost who are saved may grow!
I urge you in the same way Paul urged the believers in Galatia. Don't use your freedom in Christ to become a lazy and selfish Christian. Use your freedom to love and serve others. It is in that use of freedom that true joy and satisfaction is found.
Prayer: Lord help me to use my freedom the way you want me to use it. Amen.
LAST TIME'S QUIZ: Where is Tyre on a map? Tyre is about 50 miles south of Beirut in Lebanon. Today it is the fourth largest city in Lebanon. (Great job as always Dianne!)
TODAY'S QUIZ: In whose house was Jeremiah imprisoned?
Fri- Assemble Newsletter; Youth Flashlight Tag 6pm
Sat- Worship 5
Sun- Worship 8:30 and 11; Sunday school 9:45
Acolyte- 8:30- Gus Klaustermeier; 11- Isabella Linstruth
Ushers- Dave Winter, Gary Scott, Larry Schulze, Scott Schulze
Altar- Set up- Linda Callies; Clean Up- Don and Ann Panhorst
Communion Assistants- Sat- Randy Fischer; 8:30- Randy Sweet; 11- Charlie Figura
Greeters- 8:30- Randy and Patty Sweet; 11- Charlie and Lynn Figura
Lay readers- Sat- Kathy Fischer 8:30- Randy Sweet 11- Christy Winn
Sat. Pianist- Molly Hendershot
Organist- Rachel Fisher
Projectionists: Sat- Perricone; Sun- 8:30- Panhorst
NEWS!!!! PLEASE READ IT ALL!!!!
OPERATION BACKPACK TO BEGIN IN SEPTEMBER AT ST. JOHN'S!!
Many children in our community are very poor. They are able to get some of their meals at school during the week, but often go hungry on weekends. Operation backpack is a way that our community has decided to help these kids.
Every month throughout the school year, each church participating will take one food item and collect just that food item. At the end of the month the food will be delivered to school. The school officials along with volunteers will distribute the food to kids backpacks to take home.
Throughout the month of September we will be collecting canned fruit . All size cans and even individual portions will be accepted. The fruit will be delivered to the schools October 1. We will have a box in the narthex for deposits.
Family Night August, 31 6pm Turkey Dinner with all the fixings.
The turkey, the stuffing, mashed potatoes, and sweet potatoes are all spoken for.
If you are coming please bring a dish to share. We would love to have a huge crowd!
Kelsey Overbeck will have a group activity after we eat.
YOUTH EVENT FOR THIS FRIDAY NIGHT HAS BEEN CANCELLED!!
Due to the BHMS social being held at 7pm, flashlight tag has been cancelled. We are planning another activity for sometime soon.
SHOP WITH SCRIP!! A NEW AND EASY FUNDRAISING OPPORTUNITY!!!
A new fundraiser was unveiled at our last voter's meeting!! You may purchase gift cards from church to be used as you would any other gift card. The only difference is that you purchase it from church and St. John's gets a percentage of the sale. Order forms are on the counter in the narthex. The first order will be place next Sunday, August 30. Place your order for, along with your check, made payable to St. Johns, in the "Bob the Builder" box. For additional information or to get your questions answered, call the church office. 456-2888.
WE NEED YOUR HELP WITH THE CARNIVAL ON SEPTEMBER 12 from 11am-7pm
The carnival committee is in need of the following items for our carnival on Sept. 12!!
1. POP UP CANOPIES-- for stations and coolers. Make sure yours is marked clearly with your name so you get it back.
2. EMAIL ADDRESSES-- If we have your email address you will get an invitation to share with others and a coupon to use for free food. This email list will not be used for any other purpose.
3. VOLUNTEERS!!! It will take a small army to make this the huge success we want it to be!! Please sign up on the counter in the narthex or call the church office!
Do you enjoy the outdoors? Do you like to float down lazy rivers with friends? Do you enjoy rafts and coolers filled with all sorts of beverages and snacks? Then sign up and join us for the fourth annual Labor Day float trip!
1. We will once again go through Ozark Outdoors.
A. Canoe rental is $20 per person. A child can ride for free as the THIRD person in the canoe.
B. Single person kayaks are available at $28 per person.
C. Rafts are available at $29 per person. Children 7-12 yrs old can ride for $15 and children under 7 are free if raft minimums are met.
D. Tubes are $25 per person
E. Rides on the bus are $30 a person if you have your own equipment.
2. ALWAYS REMEMBER THAT IS IT IS A FLOAT AND NOT A RACE! Float a little, stop, have a snakcc and a drink, wait for the rest of the group and then move on.
3. What will you need? Sunglasses, sunscreen, hat, cooler, drinks, lunch, and a positive attitude.
4. Contact Teresa Scott to sign up firstname.lastname@example.org , 359-5041, or Schraer Heating and Cooling at 456-5041. When signing up please provide your email address and BEST contact number.
5. If you choose to spend the weekend down there, please make camping, hotel, or cabin arrangements through Ozark Outdoors, www.ozarkoutdoors.net or with Onondaga State Park. Currently there are reservable basic sites available for the weekend at Onandaga.
UNMARKED BLUE ENVELOPE CONTRIBUTIONS ARE GOING TO THE BUILDING EXPANSION PROGRAM
If you'd like it to go to the DCE fund you need to mark it for that! Please make sure you mark the ENVELOPE clearly for the DCE PROGRAM!
DO YOU HAVE A KROGER CARD? ENROLL IT IN THE COMMUNITY REWARDS PROGRAM!!!
Register it online www.krogercommunityrewards.com and have it swiped each time you shop to earn money for Little Lambs.
For the family of JOYCE SCHIEN as she passed from death to life last evening.
For JOYCE PIETZSCHKE as she is recovering from illness and weakness at Parklane Rehab in Wentzville.
For NINA BRENDEL, Barb Dreyer's mom, as she is recovering from hip replacement surgery.
For SANDY ROBINE who is recovering well from knee replacement surgery
For CORA CLUVER'S DAD, who is recovering from a severe motorcycle accident that paralyzed him from the neck down.
For DAVE AND CAROL KOHRS, who are BOTH on hospice care.
For WILMA WEIGLE as she continues to deal with the after effects of a severe stroke almost two years ago.