Staff Corner – Greg Spires - Teaching Pastor
Proud Parents 
Modern parents have lots of ways they can let the people around them know they are proud of their children’s achievements.  Bumper stickers are a favorite.  Some cars have stickers touting the fact that their child was “Student of the Month” at their school.  Others have their child’s jersey number affixed to their rear window indicating their child is on the basketball, football, or volleyball team.
            You might spot these proud parents at school athletic events.  When their child is in action and scores for their team, these parents will be cheering the loudest.  When their child is called by the referees on some sort of infraction, these parents will, well – share their informed perspective on the accuracy of that call!
            It doesn’t surprise us that parents at a school event will be primarily concerned about what their children are doing.  So, it also shouldn’t surprise us that in the story of redemption in the Bible – the Gospel – God’s focus is on His Son, Jesus.
            In Romans 1:2-4, the Bible tells us about the Gospel of God, “… which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord.”
            It might surprise us to find out from the Scripture that the Gospel is not about us.  The Gospel is for us, but it is not about us because it is about Jesus.
            A young man will give a young woman a gift because he wants her to know how he feels about her.  The gift is intended to communicate how he values the relationship and something about what he is like.  His hope is not merely that she would value the gift; instead, he hopes that the gift would foster greater closeness in their relationship together.
            God has given us this gift, forgiveness, and life with Him forever through the work of Jesus on the cross and the open tomb.  But the gift is not the point, Jesus is.  The message of the gospel is not good news because of what we get; it is good news because of who we get: Jesus.
            The Bible reminds us repeatedly of the tremendous blessings God has bestowed on us through Jesus: We are forgiven.  We are heirs to the kingdom of God.  Our shame and guilt are taken away.  We have access to God’s presence.  We are made righteous.  We have purpose in God’s work.  We have joy and peace, knowing our eternity is bound up in God Himself.
            But we must remember that all of these blessings are there to remind us of how amazing our Lord Jesus is.  He gives us all these gifts, like that young man, so that we will know how He values relationship with us and what He is like.  The good news of the Gospel is intended to draw our hearts to yearn for Christ more.
            Let’s always revel in the joy of all the blessings God has given us in the Gospel.  But let’s not forget that the greatest blessing of all is actually the whole point of the Gospel: Jesus.
I look forward to being with you this Sunday as we celebrate the work of God in Jesus Christ together!  This Sunday, we will be seeking God through His Word in Romans 1:1-7.
Praying with you,

Mission Prayer Focus
Mercy's Gate Rogue Valley
Pray for Mercy's Gate Rogue Valley as they come alongside those who lost so much in the recent fires.  In addition to partnering with churches from Eagle Point to Ashland, they spent time with families waiting to return to their homesites by walking car to car, handing out gift cards, listening to their stories and
praying for them as appropriate.
Here are a few stories:
It’s hard to imagine 52 years of my life in a pile of rubble.
My home and my business went down. 
One couple, married 58 years, in addition to
losing their home, just lost their dog that day and he has a terminal illness.
They told me I had 3mintues to get out.  I only have $54 to my name.

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Hands & Feet Disaster Relief

We are partnering with Salvation Army and collecting hygiene items (such as wash cloths, small shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrushes, razors, soaps, lotions, etc…) You can bring them to the church lobby on Sundays or the church office during the week.  You can also stop by the table in the Lobby starting this Sunday to find ways you can serve with ministries in our valley as we seek to love and support families who have lost so much .  Look for the sign that says “Hands and Feet Disaster Relief” – or feel free to call Pastor Jeff at 541-779-8855 if you have further questions.
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