17 Now from Miletus he sent to Ephesus and called the elders of the church to come to him. 18 And when they came to him, he said to them:
"You yourselves know how I lived among you the whole time from the first day that I set foot in Asia, 19 serving the Lord with all humility and with tears and with trials that happened to me through the plots of the Jews; 20 how I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable, and teaching you in public and from house to house, 21 testifying both to Jews and to Greeks of repentance toward God and of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. 22 And now, behold, I am going to Jerusalem, constrained by[a] the Spirit, not knowing what will happen to me there, 23 except that the Holy Spirit testifies to me in every city that imprisonment and afflictions await me. 24 But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God. 25 And now, behold, I know that none of you among whom I have gone about proclaiming the kingdom will see my face again. 26 Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all, 27 for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God. 28 Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God,[b] which he obtained with his own blood.[c] 29 I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; 30 and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them. 31 Therefore be alert, remembering that for three years I did not cease night or day to admonish every one with tears. 32 And now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified. 33 I coveted no one's silver or gold or apparel. 34 You yourselves know that these hands ministered to my necessities and to those who were with me. 35 In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'"
You can hear the pain in Paul's voice as he is talking to the Ephesians. Evidently the Holy Spirit had revealed to Paul in some way that this was going to be the last time he would see the Ephesians. After these verses we will see that the Ephesians were very sad too.
I've been in many hospital rooms at the end of many lives and seen loved ones weep, because they won't see their loved ones alive again. I've been there with my own family. If you've lived long enough on this earth you've gone through it too. It's a very sad thing. It hurts like nothing else. It is the end of an earthly relationship. It leaves a big hole. It is no good.
At the same time it is NOT the end but only the beginning of life for a believer. We are sad for ourselves, but we need not be sad for the person who is dying or who is gone. Paul was sad that he wouldn't see the Ephesians again. He was also sad that he was going to go through imprisonment and death at the hands of those who would want him dead. But he wasn't sad that he was going to die! He was happy about that! In fact he says in one of his letters. "I desire to be with the Lord, which is better by far." He also says, "whether I live or I die I belong to the Lord."
The cold hard and yet wonderful truth is that none of us knows when our last day is going to be. We often talk about an "untimely" death, but there is no such thing as an "untimely" death when it comes to the Lord. Death is the gate to life immortal! It isn't convenient. It isn't lovely. Death is harsh. Death is the result of sin. Yet, God uses this gruesome and awful thing called death to release us from these sinful bodies and give us real rest forever. Praise the Lord!
Prayer: As Paul was sad because he wouldn't see his beloved Ephesian brothers and sisters again, we are sad at the loss of loved ones as well. Help us to rejoice that we will see our loved ones again in paradise forever. Amen.
Tues- Quilting 9-2; Bible Study 11:30-12:15; (No trustees meeting since they had their work day on Saturday)
Wed- Choir 7pm
Thurs- Medicare Workshop 6:30; Lutheranism 101 7pm
Fri- Newsletter deadline; Parent's night out babysitting 5-10pm; Bible study at Hendershot's 7pm
Sat- Men's breakfast 8am; Worship 5pm
Sun- worship 8:30; Bible Study 9:45; Worship 11
Acolyte- 8:30- Zack Hoelscher 11- Alaina Heitgerd or Hannah Johnson????
Ushers- Dave Winter, Gary Scott, Larry Schulze, Scott Schulze
Altar- Set up- Terry McKenzie; Clean Up- Terry McKenzie
Elders- Sat-- Randy Sweet?; 8:30- Don Turnure; 11- Randy Fischer
Greeters- 8:30- Paul and Cindy Klover ; 11- Marv and Molly Hendershot
Lay Readers- Sat- Randy Sweet? 8:30- Derek Ebert ; 10- Steve Robine
Organist- Rachel Fisher
Sat Piano- Barb Dreyer
Projectionists: Sat- Kathy Fischer; 8:30- Dawn Sherman 11- Masters family
YESTERDAY'S BIBLE QUIZ: Who was Hadadezer? He was son of Rehob and King of Zobah whom David defeated completely. 2 Samuel 8:3-8 and 1 Chronicles 18:3-8
You deserve a kid free night out! Friday, April 15th from 5pm - 10pm. Miss Kelsey and Mrs. K along with some great babysitters from our youth will be hosting our 2nd Parents' Night Out. This is a fundraiser for our church youth group. $20 for the first child $10 for the 2nd and $5 for each additional kid. Little Lambs and church kids get first dibsCall Kelsey @ 573-803-7826 or Karin @314-691-7283 to reserve your spot today!_________________________________________________________________________________INSIDE SPACES ARE SOLD OUT!!
Join us as a vendor inside, have a tag sale on the parking lot, or craft items for sale. Outside spaces are available for $10 for a double parking spot.There will be a sale under the pavilion if you would like to donate items. The youth will be raising money for their National Youth Gathering trip under the pavilion and at the concession stand.St. John's Lutheran Church, 950 S Hwy 47 in Warrenton. Please call the church office for more info. 636-456-2888.
Vendor spots are being held for: Tupperware, Origami Owl, Pampered Chef, Scentsy, 18" doll clothes by PJ'S Patterns, Perfectly Posh, Paparazzi, Damsel in Distress, It Works Global, Mary Kay, Norwex, Tastefully Simple, Pink Zebra, Lilla Rose, Usborne Books & More, Cindy Rust handmade Jewelry, Avon, Park Lane, scroll saw art, Young Living Essential oils, Amy Flores Handmade Jewelry and custom / personalized key chains. More to come...THE QUILTERS WILL ALSO BE RAFFLING OFF THE QUILT THAT IS HANGING DOWNSTAIRS!!____________________________________________________________________________________________________LITTLE LAMBS PRESCHOOL IS CURRENTLY ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR THE 2016-2017 SCHOOL YEAR FOR CURRENT STUDENTS AND ST. JOHN'S MEMBERS!!! OPEN REGISTRATION FOR EVERYONE STARTS APRIL 1.Registration forms are available from Little Lambs or the church office. All registration forms must accompany the $45 nonrefundable registration fee. Children should be 3 or 4 by August 1. For more info talk to Lisa Rausch or Karin Klaustermeier._____________________________________________________________________________________DO YOU KNOW OF ANYONE WHO WOULD BENEFIT FROM RECEIVING THIS DAILY EMAIL?If you know of someone who isn't currently receiving my daily emails but would like to, please reply to this email with their email address and I will add them to the list. THANK YOU!_____________________________________________________________________________OPERATION BACKPACK FOR APRIL IS CANNED SOUP AND RAMEN NOODLES(Remember this is for the poor and needy children of our community and county that often receive two breakfast and lunch at school, and have very little or no food at home.)___________________________________________________________________________________GENERAL PRAYERS:For LYNN FIGURA who is recovering from knee replacement surgery at Delmar Gardens in Florissant. .For EVELYN TOEDEBUSCH, Lois Boeger's mom, who is dealing with severe back pain and has been moved to a rehab nursing home. .For PASTOR'S SISTER'S FATHER IN LAW, CLARENCE SICKMANN, who is having seizures and tremors after an aneurysm and surgery to fix it.For PASTOR'S DAD, ROGER KLAUSTERMEIER, who is awaiting word from the surgeon as to what to do about his gall bladder.For PASTOR'S MOM, who is having hip replacement surgery on April 25.For DON BRAZEE as he has been moved to Breeze Park in Weldon Spring for rehab and to receive his cancer treatment.For PASTOR PIPER, from St. Paul, New Melle, as he recovers from a heart attack he had while running a 5K in Florida.For DENISE SCHLESSELMANN as she is in need of more funding to continue her mission work in the Czech Republic.