By Love's Hand

By Love's Hand

Fierce  Female Network And The We’73 Project

Vol 7 June 2024

Do Not Linger by Lloyd Mohrlock

“And while he lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand

and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hands of his

two daughters…and they brought him forth, and set him

before the city.”

To linger means to stay in a place longer than necessary because of reluctance to leave. Today’s text reveals the nonchalance of Lot and his family in the face of impending danger to the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. Danger was looming, yet they lingered. Angels came to rescue them, and yet they lingered. It took extra effort to pull them away from the calamity that would have befallen them.

Friends, are you lingering in sin and disobedience in spite of God’s persistent warnings to you to repent?

Backslider, do you take God’s grace for granted and linger still in sin? Why linger in the company of bad friends and associations when you know that evil communication corrupts manners?

Delay is dangerous. The wife of Lot still perished because her heart remained unrepentant.

RESTORED

For this my son was dead, and alive again; he was lost,and is found. And they began to be merry

Commenting on the prodigal son, Matthew Henry’s commentary states, “The prodigal son in the far country was dead to his father, and his family, cut off from them, as a member from the body or a branch from the tree and

therefore dead and it is his own doing.”

Like the prodigal son, most people today, including youths,are cut off from God through sin. They need repentance for restoration. The prodigal son in our texts realized his sinful state, repented, returned to his father,

and was restored to his family. Our Father in heaven is willing to restore a backslider who may be reading this message today.

Beloved, are you far away from God, living in sin and cut off from God’s family? God is waiting to welcome you back to Himself. No sin is too great for him to forgive. Jesus died for the sins of all mankind. Like the prodigal son, come back to God by confessing your sin.

Deacon Rick Benkovic’s June Homily

On summer vacation trips to Cape Cod, we would always make a stop in New Bedford, visit the whaling museum, and go inside the Seamans’s Bethel. Bethel is a Hebrew word meaning, “House of God.” In the classic novel and movie, “Moby Dick,” one scene takes place in the Seamans’s Bethel. The minister is preaching to crew members and their wives and children before they set sail on their annual whale hunt. He is standing in the pulpit, which is shaped like the bow of a ship, and he is preaching a powerful sermon. But there is a problem with his sermon. In the midst of it he says, “Shipmates, God had laid but one hand upon you. Both his hands press upon me.” What he said was un-Christian like and untrue. If you are an apostle of Jesus, if you have given yourself to Him, then both of His hands press on you as surely as they do on Father Gibbons, Father Kozak, and myself. Jesus’ words, “I have sent them into the world,” applies not only to the clergy but to you as well, as they did to the first apostles. The noun “apostle” derives from the Greek, which means “to send.” Everyone who is sent by someone is an apostle of the one who sent them. In the New Testament, the purpose for the sending is to carry on the mission of Jesus.

If we come to Church merely to get what we can out of the liturgy, we have not come prepared to be apostles of Jesus. If you have come here just to save your soul, you will fail. Some of us have been coming to Church all our lives hearing the great paradox Jesus tells us, that “Whoever would save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for My sake will save it,” yet without a real understanding of those words.

In the Gospel according to John the word apostle never appears. Likewise, the Twelve apostles do not play the same role that they do in the three other Gospels. The people who best represent apostleship in the Gospel of John are the Samaritan woman at the well and Mary Magdalene–the common people, like you and I.

The question before us today is, do we show the same kindness and respect  to our loved ones as we do to everyone else we encounter in the world? If the answer to that question is “yes,” then you are an apostle of Jesus and you have been touched  by God with both of His hands.

YOU CAN DO IT by  Holaryemey Iyanu

If you ever think that nothing is impossible, think of Phillipe Croiizon and his inspiring story. Phillipe was born in 1968. As a youth, he lost his arms and legs through electrocution. In August 2012, Phillipe accomplished the impossible as he became the first physically-challenged person to swim across The English Channel without limbs. He also swam the Bering Strait, the waterways connecting five continents: Oceania, Asia, Europe, Africa and America. What a challenge to the youths of this generation!

My friend, our text says that you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you. What an assurance! You may presently be experiencing seemingly impossible challenges in your life, with no hope of a solution in sight. Refuse to accept the limitations of what your sight and other senses  convey to you, and firmly hold onto the promises of God. Like Phillipe,

you will weather your storms victoriously if you persevere. You can gain that difficult college admission, excel in those difficult courses, and overcome any sinful habits. God will grant you an all-around victory if you consecrate

your life to Him.

A  LIFT  BEFORE  LEAPS by Holaryemey  Iyanu

A lift before leaps can be explained as help before successes. A Christian youth invited a drug addict to a city-wide crusade. The pastor preached on “Christ’s power to deliver us from sin and Satan.” At the end of the message, he made an altar call, encouraging participants to surrender their lives to Christ and believe in God’s power to heal. The addict surrendered his life to Christ.

     As the preacher prayed, he was miraculously delivered from his addiction and all withdrawal symptoms. He later rushed to the altar and excitedly offered his challenging testimony. Hallelujah!

     The world-acclaimed authorities were helped before their success came. Alfred Nobel, Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, and, more recently, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook fame, were all helped to learn at the elementary school level in their journey toward success. Eventually, they achieved success beyond their wildest dreams. God also expects us to lift up the downcast so that they, too, can experience success and to leap for joy.

     Like Peter and John, God has given believers the power to preach, to heal the sick and to deliver the oppressed. And Christ expects us to do greater works than He Himself did. (John 14:12)