Tuesday, November 30, 2010

This Week's Schedule 11/28/10

Tuesday November 30th-- Women's Group 6:30pm

Sunday December 5th-
Sunday School 9:30am
Fellowship time 10:30am
Meeting for Worship 10:45am
Iglesia Evangelica de Amigos 3:00pm

Northeast Area Friends Church
Christmas Dinner
5pm at Hesper Friends Church

Coming Up-

December 26th Christmas Celebration!
No Sunday School, 10am Worship & Brunch following

This week's meditation: God's Love Reaching

Advent Sunday 1: God's people -The Candle of hope

God choosing to reach out to Noah and save him and his family as a remnant, making a covenant with all flesh.
Genesis 9:11-17
"I establish My covenant with you; and all flesh shall never again be cut off by the water of the flood, neither shall there again be a flood to destroy the earth." God said, "This is the sign of the covenant which I am making between Me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all successive generations; I set My bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a sign of a covenant between Me and the earth. It shall come about, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow will be seen in the cloud, and I will remember My covenant, which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and never again shall the water become a flood to destroy all flesh. When the bow is in the cloud, then I will look upon it, to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth." And God said to Noah, "This is the sign of the covenant which I have established between Me and all flesh that is on the earth."

God choosing to reach out to Abram and make a covenant with him, to bless him and all nations.
Genesis 12:1-4 "Now the LORD said to Abram, 'Go forth from your country, And from your relatives And from your father's house, To the land which I will show you; And I will make you a great nation, And I will bless you, And make your name great; And so you shall be a blessing; And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.' So Abram went forth as the LORD had spoken to him."

God choosing to reach out to Moses and deliver his people from Pharaoh and Egyptian slavery.
Exodus 3:6-9 "He said also, 'I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.' Then Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God. The LORD said, 'I have surely seen the affliction of My people who are in Egypt, and have given heed to their cry because of their taskmasters, for I am aware of their sufferings. So I have come down to deliver them from the power of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and spacious land, to a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanite and the Hittite and the Amorite and the Perizzite and the Hivite and the Jebusite. Now, behold, the cry of the sons of Israel has come to Me; furthermore, I have seen the oppression with which the Egyptians are oppressing them.'"

God reaching out to man in spite of the gulf created by man’s sin. Jesus came so that anyone who believes will become part of God’s people.
John 3:14-17 "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him."

Seeing what God has done in the past, reaching out again and again to mankind, and seeing that he offered himself to us in the person of Christ, we have hope. We have hope for eternal life beginning now and stretching to eternity. We have hope for a restored relationship with God. We have hope for healing in our lives and relationships. Christ came to bring hope and healing in a covenant relationship not just for one family or one nation, but for all who believe.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Weekly Schedule 11/21/2010

Tuesday November 23rd-- No Women's Group

Sunday November 28th-
Sunday School 9:30am
Fellowship time 10:30am
Meeting for Worship 10:45am
Soup and Sandwich lunch & Hanging of the Greens following worship

Coming Up-

December 26th Christmas Celebration!
No Sunday School, 10am Worship & Brunch following

Worship: Thanksgiving & Supplication

Today we will discuss Thanksgiving and Supplication, and wrapping up our look at worship. Thanksgiving is pretty simple and self-explanatory. It is simply giving God thanks for what he has done for us. Supplication is asking God’s favor and provision for ourselves and others.

This week we celebrate a festival of Thanksgiving. Ideally this feast is meant to give glory and honor and thanks to God for all he has done for us. For many, though, Thanksgiving is a hectic day filled with cooking, eating, football, eating, family tension, eating, and if we are lucky a prayer to bless all that food involved in the eating. I want us to practice being thankful so that by Thursday we will be in a habit and it will come naturally.

Supplication is something we do all the time. We all ask God for what we need and what we want and what we think others need and want as well. We do it when we can’t find our keys. We do it when we are looking for a parking place. We do it when we face tragedy and illness and loss. We are good at asking God for his blessing and provision. But we can walk away from prayers limited to Supplication feeling just as harried and frantic as before!

We talked about Peace when we covered the Fruit of the Spirit earlier this Fall. How many of you would like more Peace? Looking ahead to the holiday season, I for one will take all the peace God has to give! In our scripture, we are looking at what Paul says is the key to peace.

Philippians 4:4-8 NAS “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.”

If we want peace, Thanksgiving and Supplication must walk hand in hand. Separate they are good, together they are great. Thanksgiving puts us in a place to remember what God has done, which reminds us of who he is and his Truth. This is good, but until we take that step to not only thank him for the past but to trust him with our present and future circumstances we will still fall victim to worry.

Supplication represents our faith that God will care for our needs. This is good, but unless we take time to remember how he has provided in the past with thanksgiving, we can be unsure of God’s character and worry can again creep in. By yoking together Thanksgiving and Supplication, we can have complete peace; in fact Paul says we will have peace that goes beyond human comprehension.

This peace comes as a result of our appropriate response to God’s revelation of himself to us; it comes from worship. Thanksgiving is responding to God’s provision. Supplication is taking a step of faith in light of God’s character, Truth and previous action on our behalf.

When we know who God is, when we learn and believe his Truth, when we Thank him for what he has done and Trust him with our needs, we are worshipping. Responding to God’s revelation of himself to us with adoration, confession, thanksgiving, and supplication brings glory and honor to God and fills our lives with peace

Worship: Confession

Today we are taking a look at Confession. Confession is rarely our favorite aspect of worship. When we think of confession, we think primarily about sin and often confuse confession with repentance. Our scriptures today highlight two separate aspects of confession, one that seems to confirm our preconceived ideas and one which is completely outside the box of our confession definition, even though it is a very familiar scripture. Let’s start with that one first.

Romans 10:8b-13 "THE WORD IS NEAR YOU, in your mouth and in your heart "-that is, the word of faith which we are preaching, 9 that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved ; 10 for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, "WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED." 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek ; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; 13 for "WHOEVER WILL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED."

Here we see that confession is a part of the process of salvation. But what is being confessed is Jesus is Lord. This is not dealing with sin. This is about proclaiming God’s truth in our lives. Confession from Old Testament and New is more about speaking out, proclaiming, declaring and standing on God’s truth than it is about sin.

In the NT the words for confession mean to speak out or the speak the same thing—to agree. When we confess the truth of Jesus' lordship we are saved. When we confess our sin we are in the truest sense of the word agreeing with God about our sin. He has set out what is sin—what is destructive and brings death in our lives. He knows all about our sin. When we confess our sin, we are not telling God anything that he did not already know. Rather we are agreeing with him openly and honestly declaring that we have allowed that destruction into our lives.

1 John 1:8-10 8 If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.

We see that God has already said we have sin. By denying that we have sin, we call him a liar. By confessing our sin, we are simply agreeing with God, speaking and declaring his truth over our lives. By being honest about our condition, by agreeing with God about our sin, we open the door for his redemptive work in us. If we deny our sin and disagree with God, we shut the door on forgiveness and healing and redemption, because we are saying we don’t need it. God is certainly not going to force us to receive what we believe we don’t need.

How do we live out our worship everyday including the concept of confession? Last week we talked about taking time to stop in awe and wonder when God reveals himself and sharing that experience with others. Similarly we can speak God’s truth, declaring it in our everyday lives. When we feel alone, we can confess to ourselves the truth that God is with us. When we face trouble we can confess to ourselves that God is caring for us. When we fall short, we can confess the truth that we have sinned and open the door for his healing.

By saying out loud what we believe we reaffirm that truth in our own lives and we testify to the truth in the lives of those around us. When we say to people, times are tough but my God will provide we testify to his faithfulness. When we say to people I feel so alone, but God is with me holding me up, we testify to his goodness. When we fall short and confess our sins before others, seeking their forgiveness as well, we testify to God’s available redemption and healing—both for us and for them. Go this week and live out your worship by Confessing his Truth in your life and the lives of those around you.

Worship: Adoration

Psalm 96.
1 Sing to the LORD a new song ; Sing to the LORD, all the earth. 2 Sing to the LORD, bless His name ; Proclaim good tidings of His salvation from day to day. 3 Tell of His glory among the nations, His wonderful deeds among all the peoples. 4 For great is the LORD and greatly to be praised ; He is to be feared above all gods. 5 For all the gods of the peoples are idols, But the LORD made the heavens. 6 Splendor and majesty are before Him, Strength and beauty are in His sanctuary. 7 Ascribe to the LORD, O families of the peoples, Ascribe to the LORD glory and strength. 8 Ascribe to the LORD the glory of His name ; Bring an offering and come into His courts. 9 Worship the LORD in holy attire ; Tremble before Him, all the earth. 10 Say among the nations, "The LORD reigns ; Indeed, the world is firmly established, it will not be moved ; He will judge the peoples with equity." 11 Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice ; Let the sea roar, and all it contains ; 12 Let the field exult, and all that is in it. Then all the trees of the forest will sing for joy 13 Before the LORD, for He is coming, For He is coming to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness And the peoples in His faithfulness.

Worship is our appropriate response to God's revelation of himself to us. Worship begins with God. For the purpose of our study of worship over the next three messages, we are dividing worship into four traditional aspects of Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication.

Adoration is our response to seeing who God is. In Psalm 96 we see that often we learn about who God is by observing what he has done. Adoration is different from thanksgiving which is remembering what God has done and thanking him. Adoration is standing in awe of who God is.

The Psalmist tells us to ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name. That word ascribe means to assign authorship, or to give credit for a work. When we ascribe to Lord the glory due his name, we are giving him credit for his mighty works. We are recognizing his authorship.

A good friend told me that she stood under a tree recently with its leaves a collage of beautiful colors. She stood under the tree and looked up seeing the leaves with pieces of brilliant blue sky peeking through. She stood there gazing at the beauty and giving God glory for his creativity. This was an act of worship; an act of adoration.

We are worshiping in adoration when we have those moments of recognizing who God is in his creation, in his acts on our behalf, in the things he has done in history, and we stand in awe of what an awesome, powerful, majestic God we serve. Our worship is not limited to a set time on a certain day of the week. We can do this while taking a walk, driving down the highway, talking with someone at work or sharing a meal with a friend.

Adore God. Stand in awe of who he is whenever you get the chance. Share what you have learned and seen with others. In this way we bring glory and honor to his name. In this way we give him credit for what he has done. In this way we worship.