Sunday, August 24, 2014

Sun. Aug. 24, 2014 (Gerald Neufeld)

Gerald Neufeld, pastor of the Mennonite Japanese Christian Fellowship (MJCF) in Surrey, who last spoke to us in April 2009, returned to speak on "Self-Improvement or God-Improved" based on Jeremiah 9:23-24 and 1 Corinthians 1:18-31. He challenged us to think about how we invest our God-given time and energy. If we focus on perfection, what else could we be doing with the extra time, beyond what's required? There may be virtue in pursuing excellence in what one believes is God's calling, but if we're always busy with worries and nit-picking, how can we build relationships and care for each other? To deny oneself and take up your cross daily means a life of sacrifice and service, even if it's thankless. To the early Anabaptists, the Baptism of Blood represented the daily struggle against temptation. God gave us our talents to be spent blessing others, like grapes squeezed to make wine. No one can boast about their own wisdom (intelligence, education), might (physical strength, power) or wealth. Rather, God calls us to demonstrate steadfast love, justice and righteousness -- love in action. Do we worry too much about how we look or how things will go? John the Baptist didn't get caught up competing with Jesus' ministry. As we focus on following Jesus, we'll be improved by God. Let us live lives of joyful service, using our gifts according to God's leading. Gerald closed with the prayer, Make Me an Instrument of Your Peace.

Listen to the sermon audio MP3 recording from Sunday, August 24th, 2014 using your browser's preferred media player.



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