Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Starting this week, service at ICCS will start at 10:00 AM and not 10:30 AM.

Please also note that our Grow Zone or Sunday School will restart in Sept on the third Sunday of the month (September 21). If you can, please attend one of our classes. There would be class for each of you--no matter what your age!

Enjoy the summer but remember, God never takes a vacation from us--let's not stop meeting with Him this summer.

Come and spend some time
with the Creator in Community.

Monday, June 16, 2008

父の日 Father's Day Weekly Prayer Guide





優しい心:神様、お父さんが親切で愛に満ち、怒るのに遅く、人を許すことができるようにしてください。そして、お父さんにあなたの心を与えてくださり、子供たちや他人に対してあなたの愛を持って接することができるようにしてください。 (詩篇103:8~13)




Sunday, June 15, 2008

For Your Sake

Before we look at our passage today, please call to mind the passage Jesus teaches us from in Luke 15:11-32.  This is usually called the Parable of the Lost Son but I believe it really shows the Heart of God.  The son wishes his own father dead to get his share of the estate.  Once he has it, he leaves home-really wishing death to his family as well as his father.  He looses the money through wild living and comes to his senses.  He remembers that the slaves of his father had things much better than he was experiencing so he makes up his mind to return.  Return to be a slave in his father's house--not a son.  Meanwhile, the man's father is looking for the return of the lost son.  When he sees the son a long way off, he runs to him and welcomes the once dead son back into the family. A feast, new things to wear, a ring...all as it was before the boy left.  All is forgiven and the son was once dead but now has come back.  

Some say the story is about the son, but I feel it is about the father.  This SAME Father's Heart is found in Daniel's understanding of Father God.  Read the passage and hear that same Father's love for a once dead son.  That once dead son is US!

Daniel 9:15-19
15 "Now, O Lord our God, who brought Your people out of Egypt with a mighty hand and who made for Yourself a name that endures to this day, we have sinned, we have done wrong. 16 O Lord, in keeping with all Your righteous acts, turn away Your anger and Your wrath from Jerusalem, Your city, Your holy hill. Our sins and the iniquities of our fathers have made Jerusalem and Your people an object of scorn to all those around us.
17 "Now, our God, hear the prayers and petitions of Your servant. For Your sake, O Lord, look with favor on Your desolate sanctuary. 18 Give ear, O God, and hear; open Your eyes and see the desolation of the city that bears Your Name. We do not make requests of You because we are righteous, but because of Your great mercy. 19 O Lord, listen! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, hear and act! For Your sake, O my God, do not delay, because Your city and Your people bear Your Name."

As we heard last week, Daniel identified himself with his society. He repented seeing himself as no better than his country. He prayed, confessed, fasted and pleaded for God’s mercy. Looks like he got it! 

How was your week? Have you pleaded with your God? Why not? How long or how deep did you go? Are you in talking terms with Him? Would it take some time to develop an introduction to Him--as it has been so long since you last communicated with Him?

Let’s listen to Daniel’s approach as he comes near to God. Please remember that IF we resist the evil one, he will flee from us and when we humble ourselves before God, He will come closer to us. He is Father God.

Some may feel uncomfortable with the concept of a Father who is gentle and caring. Uncomfortable with the Loving Father God concept. Some have had--bad experiences with your earthly father. It may be hard for you to understand or even care to know of a Heavenly Father when your our Father was so cruel or distant. Or maybe he was not strong for you. Not present when you felt you needed him.

I can understand that. But please know that the Father of the Lord Jesus outshines the best father because He is the Heavenly Father who both made you and cares for you. He is there for you--as you turn your live over to Him, you will see a huge difference. And as this section teaches us, we now can see and know such a God who hears and acts on our needs as He does this for His Name Sake.

1 John 3:1 states: “See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called the children of God; and so we are" 

He has called us Children of God. We are held there for His Name Sake.

Daniel prays: NOW--HEAR the Prayers and Petitions FOR YOUR SAKE

We see from the start that Daniel remembers the past. If you understand the ways of the past and learn from them, you will not repeat the faults of the past. Daniel looks back to the wild experience Israel had in Egypt. Of how Father God took them from the state of slavery and set them free. Of how His mighty Hand delivered them at that time and he was sure He would again.

And now that God is called on again to do something “Fatherly”: Answer their prayers.

(Now) LOOK with favor ~ Ps 84:10-12 10 Better is one day in Your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked. 11 For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor; no good thing does He withhold from those whose walk is blameless. 12 O LORD Almighty, blessed is the man who trusts in You.

(Now) GIVE ear and HEAR ~ Ps 17:1 Hear, O LORD, my righteous plea; listen to my cry. Give ear to my prayer— it does not rise from deceitful lips.

As a father/dad/person-does that ring true with your request? Do you have deceitful lips? Do you tell lies? Do you practice falsehood?--and it takes practice to be this way. It comes via our fallen nature but we all are fallen creatures in need of healing and forgiveness. That only comes thru the relationship found in Jesus. 

Without it, we are lost!

How lost could we be or those of our household who do not believe in the Name of Jesus? Those who are separated from the Father’s Love. Made for destruction in the Lake of Fire. Not well. That is why the term lost is used. Lost with no hope, no salvation, no forgiveness, no way to find it. Separated from God’s Love and Grace. Not the place we would want for our loved ones is it? Have you told them? Have you told them of God’s gift of Salvation? Don’t wait!   Some have said, “Use words if necessary.” I say, USE WORDS AND ACTION! The time is short and eternity is very long!

(Now) OPEN Your EYES and see ~ this is not for us to see but for Him to see our needs. You can well believe He does see Israel’s but Daniel was asking Him to take special notice. To humbly and honestly reveal their heart to Father God. We would do well to do the same.  

This is not a game here! It is not like I am trying to get away with the last cookie from the jar! We can’t hide from Him. We can’t push Him off as unimportant. Daniel AND us have a job to do: make and maintain a working relationship with Father God--for His Name sake.

We do not make request of YOU because we are good

Here is a deep realization and a humble one. We can’t score any points with God because of what we have done or who we are or how many times we go to church. It is not by works or tasks we do. It is what He has already done on our behalf. Our Father God has provided for us, His Children: a way to be made right with Him. He did more that pay the price for my sin. He payed it with His Own blood.  

We do not make request of YOU // but because YOU have great MERCY!

Eph 2:4-5  But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in Mercy made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions--it is by Grace you have been saved!

How, as Fathers are we to do the same?

Listen to the family. Take time to sit down with them and listen to their stories. Listen without seeking ways to fix it. Just listen. Very hard to do because we are so filled with such deep and profound wisdom, but we need to listen to them.

Forgive to the family. How, as Fathers are we to do the same? Take time to forgive--not hold grudges over the years. If we can not forgive//if we do not forgive--then the Forgiveness of the Father is not ours in Christ Jesus. Men: Act.

Really hear the family. How, as Fathers are we to do the same?

Then, we can really act out of the strength of the situation.

For YOUR SAKE! For the sake of the Kingdom of God and for His Glory!

To all the Fathers out there!  Happy Father's Day