Bethlehem Star Newsletter Excerpts

April 2021

Receiving God’s Unconditional Love

STEWARD BUILDERS

Almost daily we use the word “love.” If you have a spouse or children, you tell them that you love them. When you enjoy a meal, you may say, “I loved my dinner.” We often say that we loved a movie. The word love has different meanings, among them are affection and desire. We often go beyond just telling our loved ones of our love. We express that love by spending billions of dollars each year on birthdays, anniversaries, or Valentine’s Days buying cards, flowers, and chocolates.

God’s love is evident throughout the Old and New Testaments. The 13th chapter of First Corinthians is referred to as the Bible’s love chapter. This passage is not talking about loving a meal or a TV program; it is talking about Christian love. The Apostle Paul, who wrote the letter to the Corinthians, exalts love as the supreme gift. In the beginning verses, he tells the Corinthians (and us) that love is more important than prophesying, knowledge, faith, and generosity. In verses four through eight, he presents Christian love in a personal way: “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.”

As mentioned above, the word love is used to mean different things. For us as Christians the inspirational meaning of love is found in what is perhaps the most widely known Scripture verse, John 3:16. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” Love in this sense is sacrificial. It expresses a commitment of love so profound that God was willing to let His Son suffer and die on the cross because of His unconditional love for us.

God’s love for us is special and unique because we are undeserving of His love. Paul tells us, “For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly ... God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:6-8). When the time was right, God rescued us from our sins and death.

You are a steward of the life that God has given you. He asks you to live it according to His purpose for His glory and for the edification of His Body, the Church. How important it is to be strengthened in faith through Word and Sacrament in order that we might take up the work God has left for us to do until His Son’s return! May each of us avail ourselves of the gifts He so graciously gives that we might be equipped for His service.

God, Who created us, calls us to be faithful stewards of our lives and the gifts He entrusts to us. Through faith, we understand that who we are and what we have belong to Him. We are managers, not owners. As God’s stewards, we live our lives in ways that express our gratitude for who He is and what He has done for us.

We say a thank-you to God when we faithfully manage our time, our abilities, and our money. Our faithful stewardship is seen in our deeds and actions. Through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, we become faithful stewards who respond willingly and joyfully to God’s love for us, actually living out the definition of stewardship: the free and joyous activity of managing all that we have for the Lord. Our thankfulness and devotion to Him are illustrated by the lifestyles that we lead as we practice faithful stewardship through our faithful service to Him.

Prayer: Dear Jesus, You are our true example of obedience, for You were “obedient unto death – even death on a cross!” You know we fall far short of Your example. Thank You for Your perfect obedience in our place. Give us the desire to hear and do Your Word. Let Your love flow through us that we might love and serve others as You have loved and served us. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

 

"FROM THE HAPPY NEEDLERS”

Welcome Spring! In this first quarter of the year, we delivered 14 twin size quilts to Wellsprings. Another baby quilt was donated to Lydia’s Gate when Bethlehem held to its campaign of support. Our group is very pleased at what we’ve accomplished already.

Speaking of Spring cleaning, please consider us if you have any old sheets, tablecloths, pillowcases, spreads or the like. We recently received some of these items to put to use for our World Relief quilts. Thank you to the ladies for sending those in.

Finally, as always, we welcome anyone who has some spare time to join us here on Tuesday or we have pre-cut patches to take home and work on. We sure can use the extra help and it is much appreciated. Several snowbird ladies will be returning soon and that is great to have them back as well. Looking forward to our next quarter. Come see us for a visit on Tuesdays 10 am to 3 pm.

 

 

 

 

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