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Green Pastures and Still Waters

Sometimes we get our words mixed up after having a really good time and we say, “What a riot!”  We are trying to say that we had a really “wild” time with a bunch of people but by definition, a riot is not a good time.  According to Webster’s Dictionary, a riot is “wild or violent disorder, confusion, disturbance, tumult or uproar.”  There have been many riots this year and while protest is legitimate, riots are not.  Wanton destruction of property, looting and harming other people is not justice, it’s injustice.  The Constitution of the USA guarantees our right to peaceful assembly. It does not call for violence and destruction.  Would you believe that good news could cause a riot?  It has, more than once. We’ll study one of those occasions this week in Acts 21.  Paul’s presence in the Temple in Jerusalem caused such an uproar that several hundred soldiers were needed just to save Paul’s life.  The reason for the riot was good news.  Some people hate good news so vehemently they would even kill others.  I hope our look at the good news will cause you to worship God with thanksgiving as we assemble for Songs, Word, Prayer, Bread, Cup and Worship on Sunday.


I went to a public school; recess was always an adventure.  Bullying was normal, fights were common and trash-talking was daily.  When someone would refer to me in derogatory terms, I, along with my pals would say, “It takes one to know one!”  According to Word Histories, that phrase made it into public use sometime around 1926 but I suspect it is much older than that.  Insults and retorts were probably happening between Cain and Abel.  I’m planning to twist the phrase around a little bit for the sermon on Sunday.  We are going to be addressing the subject of discipleship and in making disciples, “It takes one to train one.”  No one else in our culture is going to make disciples of Jesus Christ if we fail to embrace the Great Commission and do what we have been given authority to do.  Jesus Christ is either not taken seriously enough or, His standards are too high to promote.  Either way, the church is the only organization that has the authority and the power to make disciples of our Lord.  Of course, the church is, in some ways, only supplemental to the home.  The home is the first “institution” and churches cannot make up for in an hour or two a week, what families fail to do the other 167 hours.  We are all disciples of someone and we all have influence over someone.  You may not even know it, but one way or another you are leading someone to someone.  You are passing along your “way.”  Your way of thinking, acting and responding is being watched and emulated by someone.  If we are going to make disciples of Jesus Christ, we better make sure we are following Him; because it takes one to train one.