Built to Serve (6/15/14)

Posted by on Jun 19, 2014 in Sermons | 0 comments

PastorLarry-Easter2014_6D9A8740Pastor Larry gave his final sermon at PUMC on June 15.  The title was “Built to Serve” and the scripture was Galatians 5:1-13…


Galatians 5:1-13

Gal 5:1-15…

So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law.

2 Listen! I, Paul, tell you this: If you are counting on circumcision to make you right with God, then Christ will be of no benefit to you.

3 I’ll say it again. If you are trying to find favor with God by being circumcised, you must obey every regulation in the whole law of Moses.

4 For if you are trying to make yourselves right with God by keeping the law, you have been cut off from Christ! You have fallen away from God’s grace.

5 But we who live by the Spirit eagerly wait to receive by faith the righteousness God has promised to us.

6 For when we place our faith in Christ Jesus, there is no benefit in being circumcised or being uncircumcised. What is important is faith expressing itself in love.

7 You were running the race so well. Who has held you back from following the truth?

8 It certainly isn’t God, for he is the one who called you to freedom.

9 This false teaching is like a little yeast that spreads through the whole batch of dough!

10 I am trusting the Lord to keep you from believing false teachings. God will judge that person, whoever he is, who has been confusing you.

11 Dear brothers and sisters, if I were still preaching that you must be circumcised—as some say I do—why am I still being persecuted? If I were no longer preaching salvation through the cross of Christ, no one would be offended.

12 I just wish that those troublemakers who want to mutilate you by circumcision would mutilate themselves.

13 For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love.

14 For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

15 But if you are always biting and devouring one another, watch out! Beware of destroying one another.

Holy Bible, New Living Translation ®, copyright © 1996, 2004 by Tyndale Charitable Trust. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers. All rights reserved.


” Faith Working Through Love”…

The key verse in this passage was verse 6.  This verse is saying that it doesn’t matter how good we look or what we say or how well we “talk the talk”… what matters is how we use our faith to reach out into the uncomfortable and unknown, trusting that God will be there. What counts is how our faith enables us to be guided by love for God and for others.

Pastor Larry used this opportunity to look back at his 6 years with us and to remind us of ways in which our “faith working through love” produced results; results given through the Holy Spirit by the grace of God.  We have many examples of how God used our faith to work through us.

  • Mortgage principle reduced by 2/3
  • Our Father’s House opened in 2009. Has grown from 37 students that first year to over 90 in the year just completed.
  • When the building opened in 2007 it was designed to be a “community center.”  We have used that resource to provide a home for groups such as Narcotics Anonymous, NAMI, and Scouts.  We also provide a location for county/boro functions such as voting and flu shots.  Through our church, people are experiencing God’s welcoming love.

Faith Working Through Love is also evident in the commitment of our members.   In the past 6 years…

  • Over 100 baptisms
  • We have received 177 into membership
  • 169 “Going Home” celebrations (funerals)
  • Several members went into the ministry and are now serving churches as local pastors
  • Many examples of youth who have grown into the faith and engaged in their own ministry


Beyond Statistics…

These facts are not here to pat ourselves on the back.  Instead, they bear witness to the work of the Holy Spirit in our midst as our church participates in the building of God’s Kingdom.  They also serve as witnesses of hope as we take our faith and act in love to serve our God.




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