Start Your Week Strong – Pray -3-12-17

Read: Matthew 17.24-27

Jesus and the disciples arrive in Capernaum, Peter’s hometown. He is approached by those responsible for collecting the annual temple tax from each adult male for the upkeep of the temple in Jerusalem. The tax was two drachmas or two days wages per adult male. Some teachers and rabbis were exempt from the payment of it. Jesus asks Peter a revealing and teaching question, “do the kings of the earth collect taxes from their own sons or from others”? And Peter rightly observes, “from others”. Even though Jesus is certainly greater than the temple and therefore is above the necessity of paying this tax the unbelieving Jews do not recognize that truth. So, Jesus pays the tax so as to not create any further enmity and conflict.

Jesus tells Peter to take a fishing line and throw it into the lake. There you will catch a fish and in it will be a coin of enough value to cover the tax for both of us. Some of the fish in the lake in that day were “bottom feeders”. So, when someone would carelessly drop something into the water, even a coin it would be a “find” for the persons catching and cleaning those fish. In fact, from time to time people did find a coin or a gem inside of a fish. So, the point here is that the grace of God immediately supplies the need. Just as God always supplies our needs. And the temple tax is paid.

God has a passionate and undeniable heart for all people. God is upon His throne forever. He will not be deposed. He blesses His people! He always desires to draw His people’s hearts again to Himself and assure them that He will love with a love that never falters nor fails. It is true that God deserves our gratitude and praise as none other does.

This week continues the Season of Lent (color is purple) during which we reflect upon our sin and our need of the atoning grace of God freely given in Jesus Christ upon the cross.

We give our prayers for persons involved in these events.

Our 2017 Missions Festival-March 17, 18, 19(Fri-Sun), 2017

We pray that hearts will be open to receive God’s blessings and that they will choose to bless others.

Give thanks for each person across this congregation who is praying today so that we are encouraged by God’s Spirit moving among us. And let us pray for: Mitch Robinson + Tricia Testerman Walters + Marsha Easley(cancer) + Garrett Frierson + David Silvers + Ashley Foster + Joy Carpenter + Lindsay Smith + Charlie Seay + Greg Harrell + Charlotte Sierocinski (5yrs old, brain cancer, from White Pine) + Susan Taylor + more workers for the Jail Ministry Team + the events of violence across our nation + we pray for eyes of faith to see God at work in people’s lives. We give thanks for God’s abundant goodness!

Pray for the 6th Grade SS Class (Confirmation Class) whom we love in Christ, to enjoy God’s Presence:

Oliver Adams Ryan Emery Stephen Emery Brandon Latchford

Harland Muller Owen Robinson Walker Williams Hallie Clary

Finley Surber

The teachers and leaders of this Class:

Pastor Chuck, Pastor Scott, and Sydney Maxfield

Let’s Pray for this First UMC staff member:

Sydney Maxfield – Director of Ministries with Youth and Young Adults

Sydney works with a diverse age group from 6th graders thru those who are 30 years of age. These persons are moving thru many chapters and changes in their lives. We are glad to pray for Sydney.

We also Pray for:

  • Our brothers and sisters in a variety of countries who are being persecuted for honoring the name of Christ. We pray they will choose to continue to be bold in making Christ known (Phil. 1.14).
  • Father Tom, the Roman Catholic Priest kidnapped from his chapel in Yemen by an ISIS branch after they had murdered 15 within the Roman Catholic home for the mentally challenged and aged
  • A permanent resolution of the hostilities within and between Ukraine and Russia and within Syria.
  • A permanent defeat of ISIS in all its global forms and groups
  • The conversion of all members of the documented 892 active hate groups in the USA
  • The peace of Jerusalem
  • Our leaders in these areas:

+ In our City of Morristown, especially Mayor Gary Chesney and the City Council members

+ Hamblen County, especially Mayor Bill Britton and our County Commissioners

+ State of Tennessee, especially Gov. Bill Haslam + Our state legislators and justices

+ Our nation, these United States of America, including our President Donald Trump

+ Both houses of the United States Congress, especially Del. Phil Roe and Senators Lamar

Alexander and Bob Corker + Our Supreme Court Justices

+ All who are entrusted with elected or appointed leadership, that they will be moved to humble

themselves before You, Almighty God, and seek Your wisdom

  • We pray for the wisdom, strength and safety of our First Responders (Law Enforcement + Fire + EMS) and the several branches of our military who are serving on our behalf at home and abroad
  • We pray for the prosperity of Morristown and Hamblen County for good quality and good paying jobs so that workers will be able to provide well for their families and build the kind of community we are all glad to call home.
  • We pray for leaders of government and business around the world to be responsive to God’s will. We pray they will conduct their responsibilities in government, business and commerce with the ideals of truth, justice and fairness.
  • Aseri UMC, Estonia – Our sister Connecting Congregation and Pastor Demitri
  • Varna UMC, Bulgaria, Our In Mission Together Partnering Congregation and their District Superintendent and Pastor, Daniel Topalski, our Keynote Speaker for 2017 Missions Festival
  • We pray for teachers, students, administrators and staffs of all our schools and for the cultivation of healthy relationships.
  • Our ministries with youth and young adults
  • We pray for people to open their hearts, minds and souls so that Holy Spirit can turn them toward the love of God. We pray for people to be sick of their sin. We pray for people to willingly receive all their healing and hope found only in the grace-filled atoning love of God.
  • We give thanks that the General Conference of the United Methodist Church meeting in May 2016 decided to retain our current denominational stance on human sexuality.
  • We pray for Revival in the best sense of the word. We pray that our desire will be to receive the same joy of Jesus that He found in being rightly related with the Father.
  • We give thanks for the persons who joined the church yesterday: Bob & Helen Fitts, Jackie Murray, Regina Lee, and Hugh Hammill. God bless them to be a blessing in His name to others.

God Bless you and Thank you for Praying!