9 I am speaking the truth in Christ—I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit— 2 that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. 3 For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers,[a] my kinsmen according to the flesh. 4 They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises. 5 To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ, who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen.
6 But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel, 7 and not all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring, but "Through Isaac shall your offspring be named." 8 This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring. 9 For this is what the promise said: "About this time next year I will return, and Sarah shall have a son." 10 And not only so, but also when Rebekah had conceived children by one man, our forefather Isaac, 11 though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God's purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls—12 she was told, "The older will serve the younger." 13 As it is written, "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated."
Those who don't know the history of the Israelite people probably wouldn't understand most of this passage. You see the Israelites were the "chosen people". They were chosen by God in all of the ways that Paul lists here in this passage. You might say that they were privileged in many ways. They had everything going for them. Jesus even came from the nation. They were it.
The problem is that they began to act like it. Instead of trusting in God, who chose them and gave them all the privileges that come with being chosen, they began to trust in those privileges. They began to think that just because they were Israelites they were saved, that just because they had it all, everything was going to be ok.
So they began to neglect worship. They began to rely on their own abilities and knowledge to get them through life. They forgot all about God and his blessings toward them. Soon they were morally bankrupt and wandering around life like sheep without a shepherd. They didn't even recognize or acknowledge the Messiah when he came.
Paul was that same way. He was a hater of Christians. He was just like them, but then Jesus came to him directly on the road to Emmaus. He changed Paul into the Christian we still read about today.
After Paul became a Christian, he went back to all of his people, his friends and family, near and far, and tried and tried to get them to see what he saw. He longed for them to know Jesus like he did. He saw how they were lost and dead without Him. In our passage he says that he wishes he could take their place and that he could be condemned on their behalf so that they would believe and be saved. As a pastor, I know that feeling all too well as I have seen many a wonderful Christian neglect the Lord and fall away from the church and even from faith.
Where are you on your walk? Are you just struggling to make it? Are you trusting in who you are instead of who God is? Are you neglecting worship and the Word of God, or are you in worship regularly where you can hear his Word and receive His body and blood in the Sacrament? If you are one of the ones slipping away, please know that my heart, and even more, God's heart, yearns for you to be with Him and to stay close to Him. We are praying for you! Come and see and hear what the Lord has done and is dong for you!
Prayer: Lord, thank you for never giving up on us, and for yearning for us with your whole heart. Amen.
Wed- Painting the fence at Turning Point 4-7
Thurs- Alzheimer's Support Group 1pm; Red Cross Blood Drive 3-7; Karate 6:15-7:45
Sat- Painting the Fence at Turning Point 9-Noon; Worship 5pm
Sun Worship 8:30 and 11; Sunday school and Bible Class 9:45
________________________________________________________________WORSHIP WORKERS FOR THIS WEEK:
Acolyte- 8:30- Savannah Masters; 11- Lydia Miller
Ushers- Dave Callies, Marv Hendershot, Don Luebke, Don Nolte
Altar- Set up- Marilyn Foster; Clean Up- Terry McKenzie
Elders- Sat- Steve Robine; Sun 8:30- John Hachtel; 11- Charlie Figura
Greeters- 8:30- Rich and Peggy Talbert; 11- Mike and Naomi Johnson
Lay Reader- Sat- Judy Koprowski; Sun, 8:30- Jim Rahn 11- Dawn Sherman
Organist- Barb Dreyer
Pianists- Sat- Molly Hendershot Sun, 11- Molly Hendershot
Projectionist: Sat- Fischer 8:30- Schaumberg 11- Masters
TELLERS: Team #1 this coming Sunday. (This is a change from what is on the calendar.)
YESTERDAY'S QUIZ :
What was Topheth? It is in the valley of the sons of Hinnom where the people of Judah worshiped the idol Molech and burned their sons and daughters as sacrifices to him. 2 Kings 23:10.
TODAY'S QUIZ: What happened when Hilkiah found the law of the Lord (the Bible) and brought it to the king?
HEY EVERYONE~~~ PAINITNG THE FENCE AT TURNING POINT WEDNESDAY 4-7pm and SATURDAY, 9-NOON
I'll provide supper for everyone who shows up on Wednesday and lunch for everyone who shows up on Saturday. All you need to bring is yourself! Please reply to let me know if you are coming and when! If you have two hands and two arms, you can do this!
RED CROSS BLOOD DRIVE THIS THURSDAY, AUGUST 3, 4-7pm!!!
Volunteers are needed to set up and take down before and after and during the drive to sign people in when they come. Call Terry at 456-2888 to sign up! You can make an appointment to donate at redcross.org. Walk ins are always welcome too.
OUR NEXT FIFTH SUNDAY CELEBRATION WILL BE ON SUNDAY, OCTOBER 29… REFORMATION SUNDAY!! TO CELEBRATE THE 500TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE BEGINNING OF THE REFORMATION AND THE POSTING OF THE 95 THESES BY MARTIN LUTHER ON THE CASTLE CHURCH DOOR IN WITTENBERG, GERMANY!!
It is going to be a blowout celebration! Mark your calendars today to make sure you are there to enjoy the celebration!
TRAVELING FELLOWSHIP GROUP TRIP COMING UP!!! GET YOUR TICKETS TODAY!
For PAT KING'S NEPHEW, as he will be receiving a pacemaker today.
For GEORGE HOELSCHER as he found out that he has lymphoma last Monday. He will begin intensive therapy soon.
For LOIS FRICK as she has been moved to St. Joseph Hospital in Lake St. Louis for rehab.
For LIL WINTER as she recovers from diverticulitis and a liver infection.
For CAL TAMELER as he awaits much needed surgery on his legs. Surgery is scheduled for August 8.
PRAYERS FOR OUR MILITARY PERSONNEL:
For SAM HARGROVE deployed in Amman, Jordan and DAN DREYER deployed to Kandahar, Afghanistan, that the Lord would keep them safe from harm during their service and bring them home safely.
For DAVID TATE stationed in Japan, COLTON FIGURA stationed in California, and ALEX WALTERS, stationed in Tennessee. That God would bless their service to our country and keep them safe as they all await possible deployment.
For CALEB FIGURA AND VINCE MASTERS who are both serving our country in the National Guard and take time out of their lives, jobs, and families to go on duty several times a year.
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