All Members, Winter Residents, Family and Friends,

          Greetings on this Monday afternoon!  I trust that everyone is doing well.  This coming Sunday is Father’s Day and I pray that all the Father’s our there have a blessed day.  My sermon is not about fathers but based upon the Gospel Lesson from Luke 8:26-30.  We will be looking at “The Messiah’s Law”, “no good deed, goes unpunished.”  Take time to review the sermon before coming to church.

          This Wednesday President Bardon and myself along with our spouses (going along for moral support) will be attending the Florida Georgia District Convention.  At the convention we will be electing a new district president as President Walton will be term limiting out of office this year after three consecutive terms.  I too will be transitioning out of the role of Circuit Visitor after 12 years in this role.  Rev. Scott McLean will become the new Circuit Visitor.  Steve Bradshaw hopefully will be remaining on the Board of Directors but there will be some new faces including a new district president.  So please remember the convention delegates and staff in your prayers this week, it would be appreciated. 

We will all be back for worship Sunday morning!

This below is a morning devotional throught I worked through from Sparkling Gems a few weeks ago.  You might learn something from it. 

Darkness Cannot Overcome the Light!

And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.  - John 1:5

I know of no great Christian leader who hasn't faced some kind of opposition as he sought to do God's will. But the truth is that darkness does not have the power to over­come light! Every believer can overcome any attack if he or she won't quit first!

John 1:5 says, "And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not." The word "comprehended" is the Greek word meaning to seize, to pull down, to tackle, to conquer, or to hold under one's power. Therefore, this verse could be translated, "Darkness does not have the ability to suppress or to hold the light under its domain."

This doesn't mean that darkness won't attempt to overcome the light. However, its efforts will be frustrated and unsuccessful because the light of God always prevails, even in what seems to be the darkest hour or the bleakest situation. Darkness simply doesn't have the power or ability to put out God's light. Since you are a child of the light (Ephesians 5:8), this means darkness doesn't have the ability to put out your light either!g

First John 5:4 says, "For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith." The Greek word for overcometh means to con­quer. It was used to portray athletes who had gained the mastery of the competition and ultimately reigned supreme as champions over the games.

The Holy Spirit was careful in His selection of this word as it communicates vivid images that pertain to our walk of faith and victory. First, it tells us that when we begin the walk of faith, we enter into a real-life competition. The decision to walk by faith puts us right smack dab in the center of the ring where the contest immediately begins.

This is so important to understand, because too often we wrongly presume that if we walk by faith, we will be removed from all problems. But our faith pits us directly opposite the devil's pow­ers. He hates our faith because he knows what it can do! For this reason, Satan may try to go for a knock-out punch. But even if he knocks us flat, he can't keep us down on the ground!

The apostle Paul testified to this when he said that he was "…cast down, but not destroyed" (2 Corinthians 4:9). One translation says, "We occasionally get knocked down, but never get knocked out!" Those who are born of God have the supernatural ability to keep getting up again, no matter how many times they fall! Remember, John wrote, "For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world.…"

Because the word "overcometh" tells us that we are the ultimate cham­pions and describes our superior position as children of God over the world. We are fully armed with everything we need to be super-conquerors in this life!  

As the "god of this world" (2 Corinthians 4:4), the devil may try to use the world around us to do battle with us. But regardless of what weapon Satan uses or how he attempts to combat you and me, First John 5:4 declares that we have a faith that overcomes the world! This means we have a faith that overrides and supersedes any organization, any event, any circumstance, or any difficult dilemma Satan would try to employ against us. He may be the "god of this world," but we have a weapon so powerful that we can shoot him down every time he shows up uninvited.

John 1:5 makes it absolutely clear that darkness does not have the ability to suppress or to hold the light under its domain. Darkness may try to prevent the light from shining, but it never holds back the light permanently. Eventually it always comes shining through.

This is true of you and your dream, vision, or calling as well. You may feel hindered from time to time in your attempts to fulfill the call God has given you, but don't despair. Those hindrances won't last long. The only way the devil can steal your dream, vision, or calling is if you surrender to him first! If you hold on and refuse to give up, your faith will overcome every encumbrance the devil tries to set in your path!

Have a fantastic week and make it fantastic for someone else as well!  Build each other up in the Spirit, do not tear each other down!  Try not to gossip this week, it can destroy!

Rev. Richard A. Norris

Trinity Lutheran Church

25 Lakeview Street

Lake Placid, Florida 33852

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