Sabbath Thoughts and Announcements for January 28, 2023
Sabbath Thoughts and Announcements for January 28, 2023
This week’s Sabbath Thought reflects something that I’ve been thinking about a lot this week based upon some things and rumors that we’ve recently faced. It’s no strange event to experience such things after a change has taken place. Although, change can and should be a wonderful thing to experience, especially when it’s of God and being led by God, we have to be careful not to fall victim to our adversary who’s waiting to spoil the vision of what we’re to be experiencing.
We must be fully aware that Satan will always take advantage of times of change by injecting false whispers into the air in hopes to capture the ears of anyone who will listen. We must be on guard against what he is up to, because if we allow those whispers to grab our attention, he will influence us. He will then insert unnecessary doubts into our minds for the sole purpose of unsettling the flock of God. If we are not careful, we can also become a destructive tool in his hand.
How is this possible? Gossip and the spreading of the whispers ourselves - (Psalms 55:21 Psalms 55:21The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but war was in his heart: his words were softer than oil, yet were they drawn swords.
American King James Version×, Proverbs 16:28 Proverbs 16:28A fraudulent man sows strife: and a whisperer separates chief friends.
American King James Version×, 17:9, 18:6-8, 20:19, 2 Corinthians 11:3 2 Corinthians 11:3But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.
American King James Version×).
We can’t underestimate the tactics of Satan. He’s a master manipulator and strategic influencer. Satan has a way of presenting his whispers smoothly and accepted as truthful, while he steadily injects false perceptions into the mind. Because we then give those whispers credit, we actually allow him into our fellowship. With little effort he can put into motion his plan of destruction, sit back, and let us be the ones who give it the momentum and longevity.
If we don’t see him as he is and flee from what he is offering, we can become enveloped into his web of lies. We then can allow ourselves to be an object of separation instead one of reconciliation. That’s exactly the end goal of what Satan’s intends to see among the body of Christ, division and discord.
Recently those whispers have stirred the notion of a possible Split brewing within UCG. To be clear there is NO split coming or even being considered within the ministry. It’s a whisper that has been placed into the ears of the people by Satan and we are the ones giving it momentum. We must close our ears to such talk and not pass this evil gossip around.
This word split is a word filled with the nature and characteristics of Satan that only leads to suffering. Just thinking about that word “SPLIT”, this came to my mind. It’s S = Sinister in nature, no pure intentions at all; It’s P = Prideful – At the heart of it all, lies a self-centered mindset; It’s L = Lawlessness – Acting upon our own desires, our own truths, our own rules, not of God’s Law; It’s I = Irreverent – God is not being glorified, in fact it shows Him great disrespect; It’s T = Treachery – not only toward God, but the body, our fellow brethren.
Remember, we are a people of reconciliation, Satan hates this fact. He is attacking what we have and if we are not careful, we open ourselves up to his attacks. I read this on Facebook this week, “You don't have to attend every augment you’re invited to.” It’s time to refuse these types of invitations and embrace what we have been called to with our God and Christ.
To conclude I wanted to share an excerpt from an article from Dan Dowd: It is worth noting that mankind’s great accomplishments and unfortunately even sins, were managed through unity of purpose. Wars that are won, businesses that dominate the economy, territory that is subdued, are all possible only because of unity of purpose. Marriages are successful when a husband and a wife are unified as they move forward in life. A church congregation is healthy only to the extent that the members are unified.
Do we see the unity of God – that God is One through and through? One verse that helps to see Their unity is Deuteronomy 6:4 Deuteronomy 6:4Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:
American King James Version×, “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one!”
What does it mean that God is “one”? The Hebrew word is “echad” which has a primary meaning of “united.” There is unity of mind, of purpose, of love and of the desire to have mankind in their family.
There is no contention or struggle for superiority in the Godhead – none. I don’t think we appreciate this reality as we should. None of God’s plan of salvation would work – or even be possible – if there was any disagreement between the Father and the Son. On the night before Christ’s crucifixion, He prayed a very moving prayer to the Father.
The primary thing on Christ’s mind was maintaining the unity He had with the Father – and that those the Father would call would experience that same unity between themselves and with the Godhead (John 17:5-26 John 17:5-26  And now, O Father, glorify you me with your own self with the glory which I had with you before the world was.
 I have manifested your name to the men which you gave me out of the world: your they were, and you gave them me; and they have kept your word.
 Now they have known that all things whatever you have given me are of you.
 For I have given to them the words which you gave me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from you, and they have believed that you did send me.
 I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which you have given me; for they are yours.
 And all my are yours, and your are mine; and I am glorified in them.
 And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to you. Holy Father, keep through your own name those whom you have given me, that they may be one, as we are.
 While I was with them in the world, I kept them in your name: those that you gave me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.
 And now come I to you; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves.
 I have given them your word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
 I pray not that you should take them out of the world, but that you should keep them from the evil.
 They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
 Sanctify them through your truth: your word is truth.
 As you have sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.
 And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.
 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;
 That they all may be one; as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that you have sent me.
 And the glory which you gave me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:
 I in them, and you in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that you have sent me, and have loved them, as you have loved me.
 Father, I will that they also, whom you have given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which you have given me: for you loved me before the foundation of the world.
 O righteous Father, the world has not known you: but I have known you, and these have known that you have sent me.
 And I have declared to them your name, and will declare it: that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.
American King James Version×). Unity between any of us must begin with unity with God (John 14:15 John 14:15If you love me, keep my commandments.
American King James Version×). We must be one with the Father as Christ was (John 14:19-21 John 14:19-21  Yet a little while, and the world sees me no more; but you see me: because I live, you shall live also.  At that day you shall know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you.  He that has my commandments, and keeps them, he it is that loves me: and he that loves me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
American King James Version×).
How do we achieve Godly unity? We show the love of God in us by acting on God’s instruction (1 John 3:16-19 1 John 3:16-19  Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.
 But whoever has this world's good, and sees his brother have need, and shuts up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwells the love of God in him?
 My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.
 And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him.
American King James Version×). We show unity as well by loving one another (1 John 4:7-11 1 John 4:7-11  Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loves is born of God, and knows God.  He that loves not knows not God; for God is love.  In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.  Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.  Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.
American King James Version×) and submitting to one another in humility (1 Peter 5:5 1 Peter 5:5Likewise, you younger, submit yourselves to the elder. Yes, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resists the proud, and gives grace to the humble.
American King James Version×). We show unity by serving one another (Galatians 5:13 Galatians 5:13For, brothers, you have been called to liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.
American King James Version×) and being there for each other in time of need or trials (Galatians 6:2 Galatians 6:2Bear you one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
American King James Version×). We create dis-unity when we gossip about others, when we hold onto hurts for years or decades, and when we murmur and complain without trying to be part of the solution.
The time has come for us to love one another as the Father and Christ love us. The time has come for us to be unified in deed and truth. Will we be one, as God is One?
Have a wonderful and spiritual fulfilling Sabbath,
For the Youth - Bible Trivia:
1. What is the biblical definition of sin?
*Hint: 1 John 3:4 1 John 3:4Whoever commits sin transgresses also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.
American King James Version×
2. Who went to Pilate to requests Jesus’s body after his crucifixion for burial?
*Hint: Luke 23:50-52 Luke 23:50-52  And, behold, there was a man named Joseph, a counselor; and he was a good man, and a just:  (The same had not consented to the counsel and deed of them;) he was of Arimathaea, a city of the Jews: who also himself waited for the kingdom of God.  This man went to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus.
American King James Version×, John 19:38 John 19:38And after this Joseph of Arimathaea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, sought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus: and Pilate gave him leave. He came therefore, and took the body of Jesus.
American King James Version×
3. What Empire did the head of Gold of the image in Nebuchadnezzar dream represent?
* Hint: Daniel 2:26-28 Daniel 2:26-28  The king answered and said to Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, Are you able to make known to me the dream which I have seen, and the interpretation thereof?  Daniel answered in the presence of the king, and said, The secret which the king has demanded cannot the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, the soothsayers, show to the king;  But there is a God in heaven that reveals secrets, and makes known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days. Your dream, and the visions of your head on your bed, are these;
American King James Version×, 31-33, 36-43
North Canton Announcements:
- Sabbath Service Time (January 28th): 2:00 PM
- Next Sabbath – (February 4th): 2:00 PM
- Zoom Bible Study: The next scheduled Bible study will take place February 23, 2023 at 7:30 PM
- Sabbath School: Next Sabbath school will be on February 11, 2023.
- COE Meetings: The next Council of Elders Meeting will take place February 13th – 16th. Your prayers for God’s guidance are greatly appreciated.
- Need input for Spring Holy Days: We are considering a combined service with Youngstown and Cleveland for the Last Day of Unleavened Bread with a catered meal. Location: Shady Hollow Country Club, 4865 Wales Av NW, Massillon, Oh 44646. The cost will be 25.00 per person. (If you need help financially – please let us know).
We would need to know asap those who would be interested. Please contact Freeman & Debbie Kuhns asap with your decision.
- Spring/Summer Picnic: Mark your calendars, Our annual Spring/Summer Picnic is scheduled for after Sabbath Services on June 10, 2023 at Price Park.
- Richard & Janice Walters: Richard & Janice were released from the hospital last night and are now home resting. Although they are improving, they are very tired and still have a bit to go until they are fully recovered. Please keep the entire family as they all are still dealing with the after effects from the Covid virus. 3325 Hemphill Rd Barberton, OH 44203-5033
- Young Adult Winter/Ski Retreat: We are excited to announce a Young Adult winter/ski retreat, President's Day Weekend February 17th-20th, 2023! We are hoping to forge new and deeper relationships with people of like mind. We will be eating and staying together for the whole weekend. We welcome all young adults ages 18–29, single or married.
We will be staying in cabins at Pipestem State Park in Pipestem, West Virginia. Activities will include skiing/snowboarding, sledding, hiking, swimming, bonfire, sports, and lots and lots of hanging out. More information about the activities can be found on the website. We will also have several interactive discussions and Bible studies. The theme of this weekend will be focused on "how can young adults contribute to the future of the Church of God?"
Registration is open, so go ahead and register on the registration tab at ucgyawinterretreat.org, and we will see you there!
- Seasons of a Women’s Life: The women of the Indianapolis and Fort Wayne congregations invite you to a Women’s Enrichment Weekend April 21-23, 2023. We will discuss and learn about the “Seasons of a Woman’s Life”. Rooms have been reserved at a local hotel and we will host a welcome reception there on Friday evening. On Saturday and Sunday, ladies will meet at the Indianapolis church building for a fun weekend of learning, fellowship, and music. Prices and registration information will be coming out in January. You may contact Lizzy Creech at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions. See attached Flyer for more info.
If I’ve overlooked anything, Please let me know ASAP.