Our Theme Verse for 2014

Many of you know that I selected Psalm 37:4 as our theme verse for 2014. The text reads, “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart”. This wonder- ful verse of challenge and blessing is also my life verse.

I included this verse in my message on January 12th.

Let’s consider Psalm 37:4 carefully. David wrote this psalm and he begins vs.4 by issu- ing a challenge to the reader: “Delight yourself in the Lord”. The word for “Delight” in the original text means “to be soft, delicate, dainty, exquisite delight”. We are to find exquisite delight in the Lord! Imagine the finest chocolate you’ve ever eaten. In my message I recalled a hot fudge sundae I enjoyed on one occasion at Ghirardelli Square in San Francisco. Did I enjoy that sundae and savor its amazing flavors!! I can still taste it! I discovered true delight in eating that hot fudge sundae!

David challenges us to find this same kind of exquisite delight in the Lord. We should find our delight in the Lord not in material goods, our children, our work, or anything or anyone else. Strive to find your delight in the Lord! Jesus said, ‘Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and anyone who does not take up his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.” (Matthew 10:37-38)

When we find our delight in the Lord, “He will give you the desires of your heart”. This part of the verse describes God’s blessings. God has the power to give us what we truly crave! When we place our delight in the Lord, He will give us the desires of our heart.

I’ve discovered in my experience that my desires shift when I place my delight in the Lord. When I was a teenager I longed to make a name for myself in the world of compet- itive swimming. I worked very hard to accomplish my goals. But during my first year of college I encountered some unexpected and difficult situations. These difficulties prompted me to seek help from the Lord. As I sought his help through prayer, reading scripture, fellowshipping with other Christians, God changed my desires. No longer did I want to make a big name for myself. Rather, I found myself having godly desires such as wanting to serve Christ, to tell others about Him, to live like Him.

God did this for me and He can do it for you, too! As you seek to find your delight in Him, He will give you new, wholesome, godly desires. It will be a great adventure!

Pastor Larry Jung

Let’s Share the Good News!

Isaiah 40:1-11 “Let’s Share the Good News!”

I love these verses from Isaiah! Handel, the great composer also loved this text. He included a wonderful solo piece from vs 1 in his famous oratorio, Messiah.
Isaiah wrote this text to a people who were desperate for good news! They had lost their land, their jobs, their Temple and had been carried off into exile in Babylon. Israel paid a HUGE price for her sin, idolatry and rebel- lion against God. The Jews languished in a far off land living among a people they despised.

Isaiah prophesied of a coming Messiah who would deliver the people from their sin. He told the people they needed to share the good news that this Messiah would come. Isaiah wrote: “You who bring good tid- ings to Zion, go up on a high mountain. You who bring good tidings to Jerusalem, lift up your voice with a shout, lift it up, do not be afraid; say to the towns of Judah, here is your God!” (vs. 9) They should share this good news clearly and boldly! Like the Jews of Isaiah’s day, we too share the good news of Jesus clearly and boldly with our friends and family.

Further, we should share that Jesus has come to be the Lord of our lives. Look in verse 10, “See, the Sov- ereign Lord comes with power and His arm rules of Him. See, His reward is with Him and His recom- pense accompanies Him.” Note how Isaiah refers to Him as ‘Sovereign Lord.’ Jesus came to be both Savior and Lord!

Many of us struggle with control. We need to control events, choices, and the people we love. But we soon discover that we really can’t control events and people! We must surrender our lives and our loved ones to the Lord. That’s what it means to have Jesus as Lord of our lives. He is in charge, not us! We must tell people the good news about Jesus being Lord!

Finally, Isaiah mentions the tender, compassionate side of Jesus: “He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gather the lambs in His arms and carries them close to His heart; He gently leads those that have young.” (vs.11) In sharing the good news of Jesus, tell friends and family the gentle side of Jesus! Unfortunately, many people grow up in families that lack love and care. We need to hear that Jesus cares, He heals, and He wants to help us with the challenges we face in life.

Here’s a challenge for you this Christmas season, share your faith in Christ with a family member, friend or someone at work.

From Pastor Jung

Happy New Year! I hope you had a great Christmas and were able to enjoy some time away from your normal routine. I also hope you had an opportunity to visit with family and friends.

This year Pastor Richard, Dustin and I will be preaching from the Psalms. Our theme verse for 2014 is my life verse, taken from Psalm 37:4 “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart”. I will be preaching from this wonderful verse on January 12th.

Since there are 150 Psalms and only fifty-two Sundays during the year, we will pick and choose the Psalms we will be preaching. We will be selective with our texts since some of the Psalms are rather long.

I’m excited about our sermon study because the Psalms speak powerfully to our hearts, minds and wills! They inspire our worship of God, teach us about God, and encourage us to deepen our faith. As we read through a psalm, we often discover that the psalmist ex- presses much of what we feel and believe. The Psalms identify with our doubts, strug- gles and joys. The psalmists were real people expressing their own real emotions!

As we begin yet another new year, please make a new year’s resolution to attend worship regularly so you can hear truth from the Psalms and be inspired in your faith! Attending worship regularly requires developing a habit. It’s a good habit worth developing!! Your children also need to worship and learn from their class in Sunday School. I look for- ward to seeing all of you more regularly in worship!

I want to express my thanks for your financial gifts to the church this past year. It looks like we finished 2013 “in the black”. I am grateful to God that we no longer have any outstanding debt on our church facility. All praise to God!

Thanks to all of you who submitted pledges for 2014! Your pledges help our church elders exercise good stewardship of the funds given to the church. I am pleased that we will be able to give the church staff well-deserved raises, build a much needed drainage ditch to steer run-off water away from our parking lot and hire a part-time Director of Operations. Our church budget is a bit shy of $750,000 for 2014.

I look forward with great anticipation for what the Lord will do among us in this New Year!

Pastor Larry Jung