In the wake of the recent terrorist attacks in Paris, the surge of refugees in Germany and the uncertainty of economic stability in the year ahead, many in our community are consumed by fear and anxiety. I love the fact that Christmas removes the need to worry, to be fearful, to dread the future. The Gospel message resounds throughout the Christmas narrative: FEAR NOT! Are you anxious? Are you fearful? Fear not! The good news of Christmas is this: Jesus Christ has come!
Some of the most important people in scriptures were refugees. Jesus and his parents fled into Egypt to escape Herod’s infanticide. Moses and the Israelites were delivered from Egyptian slavery. The early church poured out of Jerusalem tin the face of persecution and consequently the gospel reached new corners of the world. The Apostle John was an exile in Patmos and wrote the book of Revelation. All fled their homeland because they were singled out by leaders within their own country as targets for persecution. In other words, they were refugees! Time after time, God has taken the tragedy of forced migration and used it to work out His purposes.
27 September: Citizens of God’s Kingdom— Psalm 146
4 October: The Refugee in Israel— OT Survey
11 October: Israel In Exile— Malachi 3:1-5
18 October: When I was a Refugee — Mathew 25:31-46
“We all have that “forever empty space” deep down here.”
Louis C.K. (Comedian)
The basic definition of idolatry is filling that “forever empty space” with anything besides God. We all do it, all the time. As the 18th century pastor and hymn writer Robert Robertson writes, “Prone to wander, Lord I feel it, prone to leave the God I love, here’s my heart, O, take and seal it; seal it for thy courts above.” (“Come Thou Font”). At the core idolatry is about misplaced worship and misplaced affections. Where do we find our sense of self-worth, meaning and purpose? Where do we turn for comfort, joy, happiness? If we can answer any of these questions with anything besides our Lord, then we have erected a potential idol in our hearts. Join us for our February Sermon series as we seek to understand the Biblical concept of idolatry, identify our own idols, and learn how to root them out of our hearts.
The Words We Say
The ability to communicate with precision is a remarkably unique ability. Like all of humanity’s God-given abilities we can use this gift for good or for evil; to either build one other up or tear one other down. Our words have power. Our words can create, encourage, empower and inspire gospel proclamation. However, our words can also destroy, wound, cause sin and serve satan’s agenda. Jesus said, “The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” Our words have power. Join us over the next 7 weeks as we dive into some of scripture’s most difficult teaching to obey.