The Christian Women's Fellowship, (CWF), is open to all and not limited to women. It is a scheduled luncheon the second Wednesday of every month. It begins at 12:00 noon, in the Dining Room/Fellowship Hall of the church. Those attending are asked to bring their own place settings and a dish or two to share with everyone, unless something special has been arranged which will usually be announced beforehand.
"One day as he saw the crowds gathering, Jesus went up on the mountainside and sat down. His disciples gathered around him, and he began to teach them.
'God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.
God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
God blesses those who are humble, for they will inherit the whole earth.
God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they will be satisfied.
God blesses those who are merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
God blesses those whose hearts are pure, for they will see God.
God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God.
God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.
God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers.
Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way.'"
It is the people that the world's standards doen't see as fit for the job that God uses to represent His kingdom. Those who mourn, are hungry, are peacemakers, and those being persecuted for following Jesus... If you face any of these challenges take heart- for God himself has promised that ultimately your reward will be great, and come directly from Him!
Matthew 3:7-8, 11, 13-17
"...After his baptism, as Jesus came up out of the water, the heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and settling on hom. And a voice from heaven said, 'This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.'"
Jesus went to be baptised by John in the Jordan River. When he came out of the water, the Holy Spirit descended on Him, and a voice from heaven confirmed that He is God's one and only Son. This proclamation first reveals how central Jesus is to the Father's heart and plan; no one can reject Jesus and please the Father. It also reveals that Jesus is also the ultimate ruler who will usher in justice and peace, and that Jesus is obedient to the point of death, who willingly gives up his proper honor by connecting with us in baptism and death.
"...The Lord of Heaven's Armies says, 'The day of judgment is coming, burning like a furnace. On that day the arrogant and the wicked will be burned up like straw. They will be consumed - roots, branches, and all. But for you who fear my name, the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in his wings. And you will go free, leaping with joy like calves let out to pasture...
Look, I am sending you the prophet Elijah before the great and dreadful day of the Lord arrives. His preaching will turn the hearts of fathers to their children, and the hearts of children to their fathers. Otherwise I will come and strike the land with a curse.'"
The Judgment Day of God cannot be avoided. It is coming. Yet, there will be justice and healing for those who honor and respect the Lord God. Be thankful to almighty God that he has provided us a way to be saved from the punishment all deserve for their sins- Jesus has already paid that price for us so that we can put our thoughts and efforts into being His followers. In doing so we honor and respect God.
"I am the Lord, and I do not change. That is why you descendants of Jacob are not already destroyed. Ever since the days of your ancestors, you have scorned my decrees and failed to obey them. Now return to me, and I will return to you.' says the Lord of Heaven's Armies. 'But you ask, 'How can we ever return when we have never gone away?''
'Should people cheat God? Yet you have cheated Me! But you ask, 'What do you mean? When did we ever cheat you?' You have cheated me of the tithes and offerings due to me.
You are under a curse, for your whole nation has been cheating me. Bring all the tithes and offerings into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do,' says the Lord of Heaven's Armies, 'I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won't have enough room to take it in! Put me to the test!
Your crops will be abundant, for I will guard them from insects and disease. Your grapes will not fall from the vine before they are ripe,' says the Lord of Heaven's Armies. 'Then all nations will call you blessed, for your land will be such a delight,' says the Lord of Heaven's Armies."
God commanded His people to bring their tithes to the temple so that there would be enough food in His house. If they obeyed Him, they would prosper. This promise holds true for us, His people, even today. When we give God His due, we receive His blessing. In so doing, many other things that have to do with His will and His work come about, for it is through submission and worship of our Lord God, and responding to His call in our lives, that we share His goodness and mercy with the world around us. He blesses that which we do, and lives are saved from darkness and death as a result.
Haggai 1:13-15; 2:1-7, 19
"Then Haggai, the Lord's messenger, gave the people this message from the Lord: 'I am with you, says the Lord!' So the Lord sparked the enthusiasm of the whole remnant of God's people. They began to work on the house of their God, the Lord of Heaven's Armies, on September 21 of the second year of King Darius's reign...
For this is what the Lord of Heaven's Armies says: 'In just a little while I will again shake the heavens and the earth, the oceans and the dry land. I will shake all the nations, and the treasures of all the nations will be brought to this Temple. I will fill this place with glory.
I am giving you a promise now while the seed is still in the barn. You have not yet harvested your grain, and your grapevines, fig trees, pomegranates, and olive tres have not yet produced their crops. But from this day onward I will bless you.'"
God was with His people, and Haggai assured them that they could rebuild the temple without fear. God's Spirit was present and ready to give them peace, hope, joy and love. We, too, can do whatever work is necessary with the assurance that God is with us. As long as we keep our purposes and actions fixed on our Lord, He will help us to carry through!
Zephaniah 3:8, 11-13, 15-17, 19
"'Therefore, be patient,' says the Lord. 'Soon I will stand and accuse these evil nations. For I have decided to gather the kingdoms of the earth and pour out my fiercest anger and fury on them. All the earth will be devoured by the fire of my jealousy...
On that day you will no longer need to be ashamed, for you will no longer be rebels against me. I will remove all proud and arrogant people from among you. There will be no more haughtiness on my holy mountain. Those who are left will be the lowly and humble, for it is they who trust in the name of the Lord. The remnant of Israel will do no wrong; they will never tell lies or deceive one another. They will eat and sleep in safety , and no one will make them afraid...
And I will deal severely with all who have oppressed you. I will save the weak and helpless ones; I will bring together those who were chased away. I will give glory and fame to my former exiles, wherever they have been mocked and shamed.'"
The punishment of God doesn't last forever to those who recognize their sin, repent of it, and accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. God has promised to lift up His remaining, righteous prople. We don;t have to be afraid if we humbly approach our God- for He saves all who do. He loves us, and will give us hope, peace, joy and love as we do our best to walk with him during the course of our lives.
Micah 7:8-11, 14-15, 18-20
"Do not gloat over me, my enemies! For though I fall, I will rise again. Though I sit in darkness, the Lord will be my light. I will be patient as the Lord punishes me, for I have sinned against him. But after that, he will take up my case and give me justice for all I have suffered from my enemies. The Lord will bring me into the light, and I will see his righteousness...
Where is another God like you, who pardons the guilt of the remnant, overlooking the sins of his special people? You will not stay angry with your people forever, because you delight in showing unfailing love. Once again you will have compassion on us. You will trample our sins under your feet and throw them into the depths of the ocean! You will show us your faithfulness and unfailing love as you promised to our ancestors Abraham and Jacob long ago."
The other nations of the world were perplexed by God's repeated forgiveness of His people. His willingness to continually restore His relationship with them through the forgiveness of their sins was surprising, and way out of the ordinary. Thanks be to our Almighty God that he is the same merciful God that he was to his people so long ago: forgiving our sins, today, through Jesus Christ!