This Week In Ministry
- Lycoming County Prison, Pastor James Bond, Revival Tabernacle, Watsontown,Pa
- Roseview Nursing Home, None scheduled.
- Leighton Place, None Scheduled
- Valley View Nursing Home,None scheduled.
- We Care of Loyalsock,None scheduled.
- Williamsport North, Tracey Mulcahey, St. Paul Calvary Church, Williamsport, Pa.
- Williamsport South,None scheduled.
- Williamsport Home, 3 p.m., None scheduled.
- Pre-Release Center Women, 3:30 p.m., Gail Slocum,Yokefellow Prison Ministry, Williamsport, Pa.
- Pre-Release Center Men, 3:30 p.m., Don Slocum, Yokefellow Prison Ministry, Williamsport, Pa.
Services during the week include:
- Heritage Springs, None Scheduled
- Leighton Place, 2 p.m. Tuesday, None Scheduled
- Hillside Senior Living, 2 p.m. Wednesday, Mrs. Carol Hetler, United Churches of Lycoming County
- Presbyterian Home, 11 a.m. Thursday, None scheduled.
- 8:30 a.m. (Saturday) Jersey Shore Assembly of God, WJSA 96.3 FM.
- 9:30 a.m. (Sunday) Community Baptist Church, Montoursville, WJSA 96.3 FM.
- 9 a.m. (Sunday) Pine Street United Methodist Church, Williamsport, WWPA 1340 AM/101.7 FM., WILQ HD3
By: Rebeca Logan, Retired UPMC Chaplain, Member at Lycoming Valley Baptist Church
Since the beginning of time, God has been seeking people for fellowship, relationship, and salvation. Jesus manifested the Father’s mission in His own earthly life. Luke 19:1-10 shows how this works out practically.
In this passage, we see the reciprocity of both Jesus and Zacchaeus seeking one another. Luke 19:3 states,” And he was seeking to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd, he could not because he was small.” Meanwhile, this section ends with Christ stating, in verse 10, “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save the lost” (ESV).
The word “seek” in Hebrew, according to Strong’s Concordance, means “to search out by any method.” In Greek, it means to “seek to find.” Although Strong’s gives more meanings and elaboration, the core meaning of the word “seek” supports God’s desire to be found. To seek something is to crave after it. Present tense means that serious efforts are required.
“Zach” sought Christ diligently. Rich, tax collector, but short, Zach willingly climbed a tree to catch a glimpse of Christ. It took effort; he may even have been missing work, but he knew he must see Christ. As C.S. Lewis quoted in the Chronicles of Narnia: “‘You would not have called to me unless I had been calling to you,’ said the Lion.” Unbeknown to Zach, Jesus was seeking him as much as he was seeking Jesus!
Zach must have almost fallen out of that tree when Christ looked up, called him by name, and then commanded him to come down because “I must stay at your house today!” (v. 5). Zach responded by hurriedly climbing down, and without hesitation, Zach surrendered all to the Lord. Jesus used the word “today” twice, showing the urgency of needing to make a decision about His calling to salvation.
Zach did not let any stumbling blocks stop him, including the detractors or distractors: “And when they all saw it, they grumbled, ‘He has gone in to be the guest of a…sinner!’” (v. 7). They questioned Jesus’ authority, motives, and even His ability to forgive a sinner. Zach ignored them and kept his focus on Christ alone and “received him joyfully” (v. 6).
There was no doubt; Zach had a genuine conversion. He willingly repented of his sins and then promised restitution. “The half of my goods I give to the poor. And if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold” (v. 8). Christ then makes the bold pronouncement that salvation had indeed come to this man, as he had shown faith.
From that day, Zach was a new man. “If anyone is in Christ, they are a new creation. The old has gone; the new has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17). He had a brand new life in Christ, which included new goals, new perspectives, and a new peace he had never before known.
What about us? Do we seek Christ, ignoring the stumbling blocks that distractors may put in our way? If we profess salvation in Christ alone, how have our lives changed? Did we truly repent and make restitution? Have we surrendered to Christ completely? Read Luke 19:1-10, and put your own name in the place of Zach’s and realize that Christ still comes to seek and to save each person today!
By:Pastor Kathy Behrens, serving Picture Rocks and Tivoli United Methodist Churches
People are sometimes fascinated by mysteries they don’t understand. Mysteries that recently made it to Congress are unidentified flying objects (UFOs) and unidentified aerial phenomena (UAPs). Unidentified flying objects are not new, and “unidentified aerial phenomena” is just a new term, but stories have been around our world for centuries.
Many attribute the pyramids in Egypt and the ones in Central and South America to extraterrestrials. I remember hearing stories as a youth about people who had disappeared and were believed to have been kidnapped by aliens.
Scientific inquiry into these mysteries can be positive. However, that fascination can turn into something we end up worshiping. My dad said the topic came up about the time of the Korean War, and a general who spoke on the radio said that if UFOs existed, they were not something from another planet.
Television shows and movies are creative and feed our imaginations. However, it would be wrong to depict extraterrestrials or demons as gods to worship. Satan tries to take our focus off God with a variety of methods including things we watch. He tries to steal us away from God by deception and misdirection. I know that some people do not believe in Satan, yet the Bible talks about his existence.
The Apostle Paul in Ephesians 6:12, says “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, powers, and the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (KJV). Principalities are fallen angels, powers are fallen warrior angels, and rulers of darkness reflect evil and wickedness.
Jesus Christ cast demons out of people. Many times, we want to believe that people did not understand things then as we do today. The church then and now has driven evil out of the world, and through Jesus Christ is able to limit its power. As we turn away from God and the church and open doors for evil to return—it will.
One incident in Acts 19:13-20 records an account about the “Sons of Sceva.” His sons decided to exorcize demons from a person, but they did not know what they were doing. They knew that the Apostle Paul had cast them out. So, the sons tried to cast demons out in the name of Paul’s God. But, they would not go.
The demons said to the sons that they knew Paul and Jesus, but they did not know them. The demons turned on the sons. After the incident became known, believers who had been fascinated by demons brought any scrolls not reflecting God to the church and destroyed them. That way, the story ended with a positive, God-centered message.
Reflecting on one of the scripture readings Sunday, I spoke about how God is supreme, and there is no other God. I am a Christian pastor who believes there is only one God and His son, our Lord and Savior, who conquered evil.
I further believe “that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:10-11 KJV).
I believe that God created all things and can control everything ever created. We, as God’s people, need to move away from some of our fascination and get back to focusing on our Lord and Savior. Only Jesus is all powerful and able to deliver us from all our fears and save us from our sins.