Birthdays and Anniversaries:
2-8 David Mendoza
2-10 Sam & Alice Pirozzo, Dan & Carolyn Anthony
Kennedi Reames, thyroid surgery Feb 9.
Marilyn Jones maintenance chemo, scans last week, doing well with physical rehab.
Darlyne Stewart, Karl’s sister, small cancer spots on liver, therapy ongoing.
Shirley Weeks, Steve’s mom, is not well.
Sharon Best, Steven’s mom, still recovering from surgery.
Sarah, Chris Girvin’s sister, on hospice care
Eleuterio Oviedo knee replacement surgery coming up
Steve Weeks, negative for covid! Thanks for the prayers!
Paul Tyler has had a rough time with covid this week.
Sharon Gerstman, regular member of our radio group, hip surgery in Feb 2.
Gary Nelson, dental surgery postponed due to Covid.
Robert and Sue Waller, health issues.
David Shaffer, being treated for leukemia, bone marrow transplant.
Darla Nitti, Wendi’s mom, stage 4 kidney disease, stroke. Wendi back home now.
Sean Brooks, friend of Paul’s, has covid.
Leta, has a recurring cancer, prayer request from her granddaughter via our website.
If you have more prayer requests, just message or text Steve and we will update!
“Woe to you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others” (Matthew 23:23 NASB).
For more than two years the world has been battling the Covid 19 pandemic. Hospitals have been over-filled, non-emergency surgeries have been postponed or cancelled, and a great percentage of medical time, talent and resource has been devoted to this single virus. Yet people continue to contract other diseases which require attention.
For example (though not involving Covid), a young child in India was admitted to a hospital to be treated for leukemia, but before those treatments could begin, he contracted Dengue fever. He could not be treated for the life-threatening disease until the less severe (but dangerous) fever was cured.
A spiritual application of this same principle is obvious. Jesus once pointed out to religious leaders in Israel that their efforts to apply even relatively minute features of the law of Moses was blinding them to the importance of major principles (Matthew 23:23). Sometimes it is the trees which prevent us from appreciating the forest; at other times it is the “big picture” which blinds us to smaller important details.
This leads to the neglect of important duties of Christian living and to the participation in socially acceptable sins. We “go to Church,” give generously, and avoid “major” sins (adultery, theft, etc.), yet spend little time in private devotional activities, instructing and influencing our children, or showing mercy to others. We also often indulge ourselves in anger, resentments, greed, and gossip (Ephesians 4:25-32).
One’s fear of Covid may cause him or her to avoid doctor’s offices even when symptoms of other ailments suggest the need. Our over-emphasis on certain religious activities or doctrines may also cause us to neglect commands of equal importance, whether of duties we must perform or sins we must avoid.
This also applies to the Church’s teaching and preaching. Paul was able to state to the elders of the Church in Ephesus, “I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable and teaching you publicly and from house to house” (Acts 20:20). And, again, “For I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole purpose of God” (Acts 20:27).
A perceived overemphasis on doctrine in earlier generations has caused a more recent focus on “spiritual values” such as God’s love and mercy, and lessons which lead to a good self-image and greater harmony with others. Many older Christians long for more teaching on sin, judgment, and “sound doctrine.” “Millennials” are happy with what they perceive to be a more tolerant and less demanding approach.
The late Ira North wrote an important book on “Balance.” He emphasized the need for wholistic preaching and teaching, as well as attention to all parts of a congregation (all ages, social strata, etc.), and to every part of individual life – body, spirit and soul. We neglect groups with dire consequences. We neglect human needs at the same risks.
In the text used at the beginning of this article, Jesus’ last phrase is critical: “. . . but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others.” His response to Satan’s first temptation in the wilderness is also to the same point: “It is written, “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). At the end of his time on earth he instructed the apostles to make disciples by, after baptizing them, “teaching them to observe all that I commanded you” (Matthew 28:20a).
No sin is minor. No command of God is unimportant. Let us not be blindsided by overemphasis on a few things while neglecting others.
–Michael Brooks, link to original article