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Upcoming Events
JUL

24

MON
Boy Scouts
7:00 PM
Meet at LVUMC
JUL

25

TUE
Cub Scouts Meet
7:00 AM
at LeValley UMC
Choir Practice
7:00 PM
Adult Choir group meets at LVUMC to practice
JUL

26

WED
Zion Food Pantry!
2pm-4:30pm at Zion UMC
http://www.zionionia.org/
Must be a resident of Ionia County and have valid Picture ID May receive food one time per month.
JUL

27

THU
SOUP KITCHEN @ ZION UMC
6:00 PM
http://www.zionionia.org/food-services.html
Free meal to all who would like to join us!
Drum Exercise Class
6:30 PM
at LeValley Church
JUL

30

SUN
Worship Service
9am - Berlin Center UMC
11am - LeValley UMC
JUL

31

MON
Boy Scouts
7:00 PM
Meet at LVUMC
Bible Search
Prophetic Predictions of Jesus

Dear Berlin Center and LeValley UMC Church Family,

I write this letter on a day filled with sunshine awaiting the predictions of what could turn out to be a large snowstorm on Wednesday and Thursday.  Weather predictions can be wrong because the wind can change directions or other weather factors can come into play. I can’t image that predicting a coming storm is an easy process, but an accurate prediction can make the difference between life and death for some people depending on the type of storm.  If a blizzard is predicted I might decide to do office work instead of being out on the road.  If tornado conditions are predicted I might want to be sure I am someplace that I can take cover if need be.

If weather reports can and do add value to our lives and even save them at times how much greater is the prophetic predictions of Jesus about his coming death and his resurrection from the dead?   Matthew 17:22-23 says, Jesus Again Predicts His Death and Resurrection  (Mark 9:30-32; Luke 9:43-45)

Now while they were staying in Galilee, Jesus said to them, "The Son of Man is about to be betrayed into the hands of men, and they will kill Him, and the third day He will be raised up." And they were exceedingly sorrowful.   NKJV

Early on in the second chapter of John after Jesus cleansed the temple, Jesus also predicted his resurrection from the dead on the third day.   John 2:13-22

Matt 21:12-17; Mark 11:15-19; Luke 19:45-48)

Now the Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. And He found in the temple those who sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the money changers doing business. When He had made a whip of cords, He drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen, and poured out the changers' money and overturned the tables.

And He said to those who sold doves, "Take these things away! Do not make My Father's house a house of merchandise!"  Then His disciples remembered that it was written, "Zeal for Your house has eaten Me up." So the Jews answered and said to Him, "What sign do You show to us, since You do these things?" Jesus answered and said to them, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up." Then the Jews said, "It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?" But He was speaking of the temple of His body. Therefore, when He had risen from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this to them; and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had said.   NKJV

One thing to build our faith during Lent is that we can look at Scripture and see that the spiritual climate around Jesus never changes.  Hebrews 13:8 says, Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever.  KJV

Jesus was on top of the spiritual climate of his day and is also on top of our spiritual climate in 2016.  He knew what was going to happen to him and when.  Jesus also knew that his death would be a huge part in setting you and I and all that follow him free from our sins.  The death and resurrection of Jesus is intended to be more than a historical fact.  The atoning death of Jesus on the cross and his bodily resurrection from the dead is intended to lift the storm clouds of God’s judgment against us for our sins and give us personal victory over our sins.   Please read the passage and take the action needed if you are still trapped in some type of sin pattern big or small so that you can walk in newness of life.

Romans 6:1-14  Dead to Sin, Alive to God

What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the   Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God.           Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.  NKJV

We can all improve the spiritual climate of Lent and of our entire lives when we decide to live for Christ instead of for the sin that may control us.  We can live resurrected lives by doing what we know is right in the eyes of the Lord.  God’s climate of being under His grace and giving us so many spiritual blessings including eternal life should drive the clouds of sin, darkness and doubt away from us. 

God Bless Your Spiritual Journey of Lent,

Pastor Ray and Jen