GRACE FELLOWSHIP
 
 Welcome to
Grace Fellowship at South Park.
We are a Bible-believing
non-denominational church that exists
to bring people into a closer
relationship with God. Our mission,
vision and aim is to proclaim the
true and only Hope that is found in
Christ Jesus. We believe and teach
that there is only one God, one
faith and one Savior. 
 
 

 

Watch this week’s Message right here!

 

Did You Get Your Spiritual Gift – Romans 12

Posted by Grace Fellowship at South Park on Sunday, June 28, 2020

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Pastor’s Update 3/31/2020

     Well, here we are in the disappointment of two further weeks of sheltering.  What can we say but, “Yuck-a-mundo!”  Yuck-a-mundo is in the agonized cry of couples when one of their mothers with Alzheimer’s has to move in with them. It’s what every gregarious teenager barks aloud in his bedroom when the ramifications of social distancing slap him in the face. It’s even possible that’s what Paul exclaimed when they threw him in the Roman jail chained to a new guard every changing shift. Yuck-a-mundo is the universal cry of the soul that translates to, “I hate being stuck in these circumstances for who knows how long!“ Nevertheless, after facing the raw emotions that accompany our rude awakenings, Paul gives us some sage advice that he learned:

     Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content:  I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound.      Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Phil. 4:11-13)  

There is a wealth of Spiritual treasures to be gleaned from these verses, but, I will only focus on one—contentment.

    This word in the Greek (autarkes)  is actually two words: self (auto) and strong or sufficient. Together, these words mean “to be sufficient for oneself, strong enough or possessing enough to need no aid or support from outside yourself; independent of external circumstances.” In using this word, Paul was actually contrasting Christianity to one of the great moral philosophies of his day—Stoicism. In the moral philosophy of Stoicism the ability to be content became the essence of the virtues. Contentment to a Stoic meant that he accepted his lot in life as determined to him by the gods and that, becoming independent of things and other people, he relied solely upon himself. Therefore, the goal of Stoicism, was to have no needs—to become SuperMan. Centuries later, forms of Stoicism  are still being practiced widely all over the world (Humanism, Hinduism and Buddhism are its kin).

    At first glance it seems Paul has become a Stoic himself, claiming that he can be content in every situation—even opposite situations:  being brought low in life or being elevated; reveling in wealth or aching in poverty; enjoying a feast each day or going to bed with an empty stomach. Yet, Paul acknowledges the truth Stoicism denies:  there is a God, to Whom we are accountable, Who has given us THE TRUE principles and virtues by which to live which we can never achieve on our own strength. Yes, we are responsible to learn them, disciplining our minds and bodies to do so, all the while acknowledging our flawed and fallen self which cannot achieve this. We need the Gospel that fills Paul’s writings. We need Jesus Christ’s sacrificial love and forgiveness and then restoration before we can ever hope to become strong men and women of contentment.

    I’ll be exploring contentment in my next few emails to you, but, in the meantime, I want you to meditate on what it means.

          Are you satisfied in Christ without any other external circumstances or things or sensations or people?          

          What have you learned about peace and contentment in regard to money or the lack of it? Job or no job? Fun with friends or being alone in your house?

          Would you even be ready to do some self evaluation in regard to contentment, or have you brushed that thought aside as you pace back and forth during this season?

      Paul’s wisdom as evidenced in his responses to life’s circumstances sure is a treasure that has me thinking. I know I admire him and would like to experience the same outlook; how can I “learn” that in the days ahead? Join me on this quest.  
 

Please continue to send in your prayer requests and updates on requests, and we will disseminate them as quickly as possible.

          Thurston’s sister, Dorothy Pearson, continues to hold her own in the Nursing Home as she battles pneumonia after a broken hip. Thurston shares his concern that she has stopped eating. Uplift Thurston because he cannot visit her at this crucial time due to the virus.