"Out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks." -Jesus Christ (Matthew 12:34)
Apr 16 2012

The Seven Last Words of Jesus on the Cross

(The actual order of service is listed at the end)
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The Seven Last Words of Jesus on the Cross

The First Word: “Father, forgive them…”

“And when they came to the place that is called The Skull, there they crucified him, and the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” And they cast lots to divide his garments.” (Luke 23:33-34)

The Second Word: “…today you will be with me in Paradise.”

“One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!” But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” (Luke 23:39-43)

The Third Word: “…here is your Son.”

“…but standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.” (John 19:25-27)

The Fourth Word: “…why have You forsaken me?”

“And when the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Mark 15:33-34)

The Fifth Word: “…I thirst.”

“After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), “I thirst.” A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth.” (John 19:28-29)

The Sixth Word: “…It is finished!”

“When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.” (John 19:30)

The Seventh Word: “Father, into Your hands I commit my spirit.”

“It was now about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour, while the sun’s light failed. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” And having said this he breathed his last.” (Luke 23:44-46)

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Several has asked me about the Good Friday service we planned at Cofer’s Chapel. Here’s the order of service we used this year.

Order of Service
- Old Testament Reading: Isaiah 53 – Prayer
O Sacred Head Now Wounded (Special Music)
Welcome/A Word Concerning Communion/Intro to 7 Last Words
The  Seven Last Words of Jesus on the Cross (Scripture/Readings)

  • The First Word: Luke 23:33-34
  • You Made Us Your Own
  • The Second Word: Luke 23:39-43
  • I Will Glory in My Redeemer
  • The Third Word: John 19:25-27
  • The Fourth Word: Mark 15:33-34
  • Alas and Did My Savior Bleed (Special Music)
  • The Fifth Word: John 19:28
  • The Sixth Word: John 19:29-30
  • How Deep the Father’s Love for Us
  • The Seventh Word: Luke 23:44-46
  • The Power of the Cross

New Testament Reading: John 19 

  • Jesus, Thank You 

Communion Reading : I Corinthians 11:23-29

  • Receiving of the elements
  • SONG: Behold the Lamb (Communion Hymn) (Special Music)

The Wonderful Cross
Revelation Song
Benediction 


Apr 12 2012

From Chandler’s “The Explicit Gospel”

I am currently read a book entitled “The Explicit Gospel” written by Matt Chandler (TX pastor). I read this passage below and it sadly struck a chord with me…

“We all at some point said the right words to people who simply are not hearing them. The phrase, “It’s like talking to a brick wall” is common for a reason. One of my frustrations living in the Bible Belt is that the gospel and its ancillary truths have been so divorced from actual living that a lot of beautiful theology has become cliche. There is sentimentalization of the faith that occurs when you sanitize the gospel of Christ crucified or sift it from the substance of the Christian religion. The result is a malleable Jesus, a tame Jesus. The result is, as Michael Spencer says, “a spirituality that has Jesus on the cover but not in the book.” When we dilute or ditch the gospel, we end up with an evangelicalism featuring special appearances by Jesus but the denial of His power (2 Tim. 3:5).” -Matt Chandler
The Explicit Gospel

Let’s live the abundant life given to us in and through the power of the gospel of Christ!

Blessings,
PastorPusch


Mar 22 2012

Out of the Mouth of Babes (Ms. Clara’s Homegoing)

Tuesday my wife shared with me an email that went out from the Picirilli family regarding Ms. Clara’s Pic’s health. It was sad to hear there was nothing much that could be done medically. My heart sank. Ms. Pic was an encourager in my life. It’s true that she would shoot straight with you, but that’s what made her great. Without fail, Ms. Pic would always encourage me after I preached at Cofer’s Chapel. (As a side note, there was nothing like “side-hug” and smile from Ms. Pic.)  She will be missed. Not only will she be missed as a pillar in our local church, but as a true representative of her Lord Jesus.

Out of the Mouth of Babes
Moments after Rena shared the emil with me, she told me that on the to dropping the girls off at school, she began to cry and that it really concerned our 3 year old daughter. Jovie asked, “Mommy, why are you crying?” Rena said, ”Mommy is just really sad.” She went on to tell Jovie that a dear friend of ours was very sick and that the doctors really couldn’t help her and that soon be would be with Jesus. (We never thought it would be this soon.) Jovie’s response was priceless. ”Mommy”, she said. “If she is going to be with Jesus, then why are you sad?” Her words were full of grace and full of truth (a truth that I, as a her father, want her to cling to all here life). Friends, there is life in Jesus.

Jovie’s reponse reminded me this morning of Jesus words to Martha at the passing of her brother Lazarus…

“Jesus said to her, I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die” (John 11:25-26). 

While our dear friend, Ms. Clara, is no longer with us here on earth, do not fear, she is now more alive than ever because there IS life in Jesus.

Ms. Clara’s final days were difficult. I last saw her this past Sunday during morning worship. Her heart condition left her weak and frail. I watched as her husband lovingly took her by the arm to help her stand and walk out at the end of service. It was a beautiful scene. As I recall those moments I was again reminded of scripture where the Apostle Paul encourages us with these words,

 “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary trials are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (II Corinthians 4:16-18).

Today, I ask you to pray for the Picirilli family. Pray for Dr. Pic and his five daughters Jean, Jane, June, Joy, and Jill (and their families). Pray for her church family at Cofer’s Chapel and all those who were privileged to know Ms. Clara. I would also encourage you to pray and give thanks to our Heavenly Father who gives us life through His Son, Jesus. He is the resurrection and life!

Ms. Clara was a precious woman of God who had a great impact on my life. I am thankful to God for His grace in Ms. Clara’s life and for allowing our paths to cross.

Dr. Pic – I love you, my Brother. I am praying for you. 

Blessings,
Pastor Pusch
unedited


Mar 8 2012

Why We Don’t Do Evangelism

Below are notes from Dr. Mike McKinley session on Evangelism at the FORUM12 Conference at FWBBC….

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6 Reasons We Don’t Do Evangelism

1. We don’t know any unbelievers.
- Sadly, some consider it s “christian” virtue to stay away  from unbelievers (so set a part from the world)
- Be intentional. Have a genuine love for them.
- How do we encourage our congregation to build relationships with unbelievers?

2. We don’t realize our role.
- We leave it to the “professional believers” (i.e. pastors, missionaries).
- Who spread the gospel in Acts 8:14 or Romans 8:15?
- Paul wasn’t the “sole spreader” of the gospel. He left behind churches and believers that spread.

3. We have an inability to articulate the Gospel.
- What is the gospel in 60 seconds?
- God – Man – Christ – Response
- We must include evangelism training. What was the identity and mission of Jesus?
- “…but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect…, (1 Peter 3:15)

4. We are Indifferent (Sin/Wrong Priorities).
- We don’t care.
- The answer isn’t a guilt trip enticing those to do evangelism, but simply giving them more of Jesus – He will prompt.

5. We have a fear of man.
- The gospel is “crazy”.
- There is no what to do evangelism without experiencing the shame.
- Read the the book of Acts – Note every time someone shares the gospel and something bad happens to them
- Following Jesus, one must count the cost.
- Fear can’t keep us from….
- “I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes.

6. We have a lack of confidence in the Gospel.
- Do not confuse evangelism with the “fruits” of evangelism.
- Evangelism alone glorifies God.
- Our confidence is in God to give the increase.

4 Suggestions
1. Repent of our sinful attitude/Rejoice in the gospel that frees us to share it.
2. Pray for opportunities
3. Die – “When Christ bids us come, he bids us come and die.” -Bonhoeffer
4. GO – Evangelism doesn’t just happen. (Look, pray, plan).