Todd’s sermon yesterday was “Legal Ethics”.  How, as followers of Jesus, are we to deal with legal issues?
We live in a litigious society, people sue at the drop of a hat.
As believers we must ask ourselves, what would Jesus do?  Matthew 5:38-40 and 1 Corinthians 6:1-11
So why should we not take fellow Christians to court?
    1.  It is bad for our witness  The church’s mission is to reach the world for Christ…to share the Gospel.  And Jesus told us the best tool for this purpose:  “By this         everyone will know you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:35

    2. By taking each other to court we are sending a message to the world that we don’t trust the church…we don’t trust God…we don’t trust what the bible tell us to do.

Through Jesus, we have been forgiven of all our sins.  We have experienced God’s grace and mercy!  And because we know God’s grace and mercy first-hand…we understand the need for grace and mercy.  So when we judge, we must judge with grace and mercy…we encourage forgiveness…and Christlikeness.
We hold each other to a different standard than the world.  We have a different kind of “fairness” from the world.
By contrast if you take your case before a worldly judge…someone who does not know Jesus…who does not know grace or mercy….you may not get a fair hearing.  Matthew 5:25-26 and 18:15-17.  Scripture is our guide to dealing with conflict, so we can avoid the courts and be witnesses to the world.
Now we must address the situation in which our adversary is NOT a Christian.
We must remember that our priority is to represent Jesus. Jesus showed us mercy and so we are called to show mercy to others.  Romans 12:17-21. We don’t have to demand mercy.  God showed us grace and gives us what we don’t deserve.
If we consider that all we have belongs to God, then when someone steals from us, it is God they are actually stealing from.  So is it right that we demand justice or retribution?
It is very important to keep in mind that we are to stand up for others….we are to defend others.  Isaiah 1:17.  We can use the courts to protect and defend someone who is being mistreated by wicked people.  Lawsuits are appropriate for dealing with wickedness in this world. 
But courts should not be used in a way that detracts from our witness to Christ.  God’s way is to try to resolve problems peacefully and without anger.

Todd suggested ways to deal with problems before they become so severe that a lawsuit ensues:
        Marital problems:      seek counseling…seek advice…make changes
        Business conflicts:    try mediation…try working it out.
        When injured:           try to get help with expenses before pursuing legal action.
        Property damage:     seek restitution or repair…appeal to brothers and sisters in Christ …..or just take the loss.

We are all sinners and we have been given grace and mercy by the shedding of Jesus’ blood on the Cross.  As we live in this world our actions should reflect the thankfulness we felt (and continue to feel) when we accepted Jesus and became His.

Prayer Requests:Please continue to lift up the prayer requests listed in your bulletinRemember to pray for the children whose names you drew.Martha Jackson’s niece, Belinda is now home and recovering.  Thanks for all the prayers.Diane Heindel’s brother, Robert Firchau is in his final days.  Prayers for comfort for the family.Ron Bryant is having surgery tomorrow  (date was wrong in yesterday’s bulletin).  Prayers for a successful surgery and recovery.Mary Lou Jackson’s sister, Barbara Bradshaw has pneumonia and is in intensive care in Bradenton, FL.  Prayers for healing.Melissa Hughes is having an echo-cardiogram this Wednesday.  Prayers for good results.

Please lift up our brothers and sisters as the anniversaries of loved ones approaches. 
            Carolyn & Tom Black  (daughter Alex)            Carol Boyers (husband David)            Connie Walsh (husband Roger)            Joyce & Mike Blaisdell (Joyce’s mom, Alberta Spitter)            Cheryl and Steve Kershaw (Cheryl’s mom, Joan Grider)            Vic Tucker (wife Barbara)            Sue Fawbush (mom, Ella Newland, passed away Jan 3rd)

Upcoming Events:
Tuesday        1:30 pm Ladies Bible Study at church
Wednesday   6:00 pm  Dinner;  6:45 pm Bible Study
Thursday       10:00 am Bible Study at church