September 16, 2014

The central problem of our age is....

“The central problem of our age is not liberalism or modernism, nor the old Roman Catholicism or the new Roman Catholicism, nor the threat of communism, nor even the threat of rationalism and the monolithic consensus which surrounds us [nor, I would add today, postmodernism or materialistic consumerism or visceral sensualism or whatever].  All these are dangerous but not the primary threat.  The real problem is this: the church of the Lord Jesus Christ, individually or corporately, tending to do the Lord’s work in the power of the flesh rather than of the Spirit.  The central problem is always in the midst of the people of God, not in the circumstances surrounding them.”
Francis A. Schaeffer, No Little People (Wheaton, 2003), page 66.

September 13, 2014

PREPARE for LORD's Day ~ Sept 14

Tip # 51. ~ Saturday Evening/NightPrepare yourself & your family for the worthy receiving of the Lord's table.  Read & talk through the church covenant together.  

SCRIPTURE READING
Isaiah 59:21 ESV | “And as for me, this is my covenant with them,” says the LORD: “My Spirit that is upon you, and my words that I have put in your mouth, shall not depart out of your mouth, or out of the mouth of your offspring, or out of the mouth of your children’s offspring,” says the LORD, “from this time forth and forevermore.”

HYMNS/SONGS 
  • How Great Thou Art
  • The Power of the Cross
  • I Will Glory in My Redeemer
  • Doxology
  • Depth of Mercy

CONFESSIONAL READING
The Lord's Supper is for those who are:
Regenerate ~ Publicly professed faith in Christ through baptism.
Repentant ~ Not living in any habitual, treasured sin.
Responsible ~ Seeking to faithfully live out our covenant with one another.
Reconciled ~ Maintaining unity & fellowship by reconciling any broken relationships within Christ's body.


* SGBC Confession of Faith
XIV. Of Baptism And The Lord's Supper 
We believe that Christian Baptism is the immersion in water of a believer, into the name of the Father, and Son, and Holy Ghost; to show forth in a solemn and beautiful emblem, our faith in the crucified, buried, and risen Savior, with its effect, in our death to sin and resurrection to a new life; that it is pre-requisite to the privileges of a church relation; and to the Lord's Supper, in which the members of the church by the sacred use of bread and fruit of the vine, are to commemorate together the dying love of Christ; preceded always by solemn self-examination.


* Baptist Catechism 

Q. 107. What is the Lord's Supper?
A. The Lord's Supper is a holy ordinance, wherein, by giving and receiving bread and wine, according to Christ's appointment, His death is showed forth, and the worthy receivers are, not after a corporeal and carnal manner, but by faith, made partakers of His body and blood, with all His benefits, to their spiritual nourishment, and growth in grace.  (1 Cor. 11:23-26; 10:16)

Q. 108. What is required to the worthy receiving of the Lord's Supper?
A. It is required of them that would worthily (that is, suitably) partake of the Lord's Supper, that they examine themselves, of their knowledge to discern the Lord's body; of their faith to feed upon Him; of their repentance, love, and new obedience: lest, coming unworthily, they eat and drink judgment to themselves.  (1 Cor. 11:27-31; 1 Cor. 5:8; 2 Cor. 13:5)


PLEASE PRAY FOR SERVICE
* Pray for SCOTT ~ as he leads us in worship this Lord's Day
* Pray for SHANE ~ To be filled with the Holy Spirit to preach with boldness & clarity (Acts 4:31). 
* Pray for the Sunday School TEACHERS (Ashlie, Nancy, Dale, Ken, Jason) 
* Pray for any VISITORS who may join us for worship to hear & understand the gospel.  
* Pray for our CONGREGATION to carefully receive God's Word with faith & repentance.

July 8, 2014

WEDDING PLANNING THAT LEADS TO WORSHIP

Revelation 19 pictures the great culmination of God’s rescue plan—his work of redeeming for himself a people, a bride for his Son. Today we anticipate this future reality as we work and wait, rejoicing in every opportunity to look on the beauty of our Bridegroom and meditate on God’s love for us in Christ.
The more we grow in grace and love, the more we want to be with him. At some point I think every engaged couple says, “We just want to be married.” Similarly, that is the ache in the heart of the Christian growing in love for the Savior—we just want to be with him at last! In a way, planning a wedding is this unique opportunity to do practically what we are all doing figuratively as we await Christ’s return. You look forward with eagerness to the wedding day, but in the meantime there are tasks you must complete and mundane decisions that must be made.
Picture by Ryan McGuire
In light of eternity you might think, What does it matter which chairs we choose? Or, Who cares what the centerpieces look like? These are mundane decisions—the banal details that can send an otherwise sane bride over the edge. But while planning a wedding is an unusual experience, having to carry out seemingly pointless tasks is not.
I have two small children, and at this stage in my life many days are a series of seemingly pointless tasks. I change diapers. I wipe noses. I do laundry. I build block towers just to have them knocked down. There are many moments when these things seem insignificant. And yet I know they are not, and here are just two of many reasons why: First, they are the tasks given to me for this season of life by a sovereign God who loves me dearly. Second, these little moments are the means by which God uses me to accomplish a bigger task—loving my children and teaching them the truth of the gospel.

July 3, 2014

The Second-Most Important Book for Every Christian.

For Christians, the Bible is our most important book.
After the Bible there are a few books every believer should probably read, re-read, and apply. On this short list I'd include Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, Bunyan's Pilgrim’s Progress, Augustine’sConfessions, Lewis's Mere Christianity, Packer's Knowing God, and Operation World. But even these great works fall behind what I consider the second-most important book for every Christian.
What book? Your local church’s membership directory.
Before you roll your eyes and run off to read something else, please give me a moment more of your time.
Christians are not isolated pilgrims on a journey to heaven. Rather, we are all members of his body (1 Cor. 12:27), children in his family (1 John 3:1-2), and sheep of his flock (John 16:10). These descriptions show that God intends Christians to be part of a tight-knit community.
One day that entire universal community will be together in heaven with Jesus (Rev. 5:9-147:9-17), but for now we gather together in local churches. These churches are assemblies of believers who regularly gather to worship Jesus and foster relationships in which we help each other toward heaven. Consider these verses:
Exhort one another every day, as long as it is called "today," that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. (Heb. 3:13)
Let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. (Heb. 10:24–25)
These verses highlight the kind of relationships formed in a local church. We aren’t a social club that gets together for sweet tea and chitchat. We are in a spiritual battle awaiting our Savior’s return.
So what does this have to do with a church membership directory?
I believe it is the second-most important book you own because it keeps before your eyes the brothers and sisters you're responsible to help to heaven. God has called you to help specific brothers and sisters fight against sin. He's called you to stir up particular people to love and good works. He's called you to encourage certain people every day until it is no longer called today.
Here’s how a directory can help you fulfill this calling.