Happy 4th of July! I hope you have a great time celebrating, relaxing, eating good food, blowing up things – whatever gets you in the mood to celebrate all things American. As someone who has lived outside the US for a considerable period of my adult life and served alongside people brand new to the country attempting to obtain citizenship, I understand that our citizenship and liberty is a gift. Many have gone before us, including my own father, to maintain our freedom. Happy Independence Day!
My family will be out July 5-7 as we take a mini-siesta. We will be back Thursday evening. If there is something urgent going on in your life, Jesus is always there. (lol) He is and you definitely should call on him. The Pastoral Care Team (Robersons, Pentons, and Sculleys) will also be happy to serve in any way they can.
Yesterday at church, we looked at Hebrews 11:36-38 and went through each book of the New Testament, learning that it has been an expectation for those who follow Christ to endure suffering and persecution for the cause of Christ. There was a strong presence of the Lord as we came together and we were all undone as we counted the cost of following Jesus afresh. Guys, I want you to know that I too am a wreck from the study. I keep asking myself, “John, are you for real? Do you take enough risks in Christ name?” I am not sure guys. .. There is much more surrender for me on this. Much, much more. . . I have attached the verses we went through.
Here is one way to go about responding to yesterday’s message:
- What relationships or networks of relationships is the Lord challenging me to be bolder in my witness?
- What am I so afraid of? Why don’t I attempt crazier things for God if I know He is so faithful and true?
- Take some time to pray for the Persecuted Church around the world and thank the Lord for the freedom and peace the American church has been able to have throughout our lifetimes.
I linked this song yesterday in the LVC group chat but I will put it here too. What an anthem and prayer! Weep No More, Faithful Unto Death.
Guys, Jesus is King. No one else is. We take our marching orders from him. We celebrate America today but our ultimate loyalty is to Jesus and His kingdom. Let’s get it done, even if the cost is great.
Hands in the pile,
John D. Trotter
Senior Pastor, Liberty Vineyard Church
Sunday’s sermon: By Faith, Suffering (Pastor John Trotter)