Over the weekend there was a nasty storm, that left the main highway in the South Island and main railway line flooded and broken in South Canterbury. This meant that the internet fibre cables were broken. The plan for Sunday was that one of the main pastors was going to preach from Christchurch to all the congregations meeting from the South to the North.
Did not happen. The internet was down -- half way through the service the phone starting beeping like crazy because the work email server (same provider) was back up.
So the local pastor stood up and preached down a storm. That the mature Christian has joy in the Lord and is sincere about it. He looks not to the situation, but to the word of God. He's realistic, but does not dilute the word of God to allow for the sensitivities or circumstances they are in. To continue in the Lord, though little changed in your life and you are still struggling, is a victory.
I hope that it is taped. (Yes, I did take notes). Best sermon of the year, and unexpected.
1 Thessalonians 4:1-12
4 Finally, then, brothers, we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more. 2 For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus. 3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; 4 that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honour, 5 not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God; 6 that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you. 7 For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. 8 Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.
9 Now concerning brotherly love you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another, 10 for that indeed is what you are doing to all the brothers throughout Macedonia. But we urge you, brothers, to do this more and more, 11 and to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, 12 so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one.