Friday First

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How Will You Live Your Life?

Friday, November 30, 2018

How Will You Live Your Life?

Doing God’s will today, so you can have a better tomorrow and ultimately, a better eternity is the foundation of our 2019 Vision plan. I think sometimes we struggle with balancing the idea of planning, moving with vision, and trusting in God’s plan, with the Bible’s warnings about the uncertainty of life. If life is so uncertain, why plan? But, If I make plans, is that an indication that I’m not trusting in God like I should? Like everything in matters like these, the important thing is to respect the tension that is there and keep things in balance.

The Bible does go out of its way to remind us that life is uncertain, brief, and fragile. Time and chance happen to all. There is no avoiding it. The question is, how well will we cope with whatever tomorrow brings? This is where the other side of planning and forethought comes to play. Being prepared, making plans, good stewardship, must involve God every step of the way. How will we live our life?

On Sunday we’ll talk about:

  1. Don’t live as if God doesn’t exist.
  2. Don’t live as if you are invincible.
  3. How to include God in your plans 

As you get ready for worship, be thinking about these things:

  • What are some instances where time and chance have come upon you? 
  • What is the sin in James 4.13b?
  • What is so presumptuous about acting like we know what tomorrow will bring?
  • How does Scripture describe the brevity of life?
  • What has happened to you in times past when you didn’t include God in your plans?

Sunday Song Leader: Jim Rutter

Sunday Scripture Reading: Bob Hoopes

TEXT: James 4.13-16

God's Plan for You

Friday, November 23, 2018

God’s Plan for You

In 594 BC, God sent a message to the captives in Babylon through the prophet Jeremiah. The news was not what they wanted to hear. Instead of going back home, they were told to settle down, raise their families, and pray for the city where they were dwelling. This was devastating. Even more was the fact that they were going to remain in that foreign land for another 70 years. Jeremiah 29.11-13 is a message for God’s people of all time. During difficult times, we must move in faith, knowing that God’s plan involves us personally. 

Jeremiah 29.11 has been greatly misused in our world today. The plans of God do not focus on our economic prosperity, but the positive spiritual relationship we have with Him. God’s thoughts of us are always of peace. But while His plans are good, they are not always easy. So, we must move by faith. The Christian is someone who trusts God’s promises for a future and acts upon them in the present, Hebrews 11.1.

On Sunday we’ll talk about three things regarding the promises in Jeremiah 29.11-13;

  1. God was not finished with them.
  2. We must move by faith.
  3. God’s plans for us are personal.

As you get ready for worship, be thinking about these things:

  • What does it mean to be conformed to the image of Christ?
  • What is the popular application of Jeremiah 29.
  • How does understanding what God desires for you help you cope with life?
  • How do complaining and losing sight of God’s purposes go hand in hand?
  • How can God’s plans revolutionize your life?

Sunday Song Leader: Jim Grushon

Sunday Scripture Reading: Chris Fles

TEXT: Jeremiah 29.11-13

Why Christians Struggle with Confidence

Friday, November 16, 2018

Why Christians Struggle with Confidence

The New Testament writers were strongly devoted to helping Christians gain assurance. We can know the truth. 1 John 3.19 says that that knowledge will lead us to reassurance. In other words, we can be persuaded confidently that we belong to God. 

Assurance is a spiritual reality that we should enjoy. God wants us to love and enjoy our new life. We can be confident of our future (Philippians 1.6), our access (Hebrews 6.18b-20), and our ability to approach God during a time of need (Hebrews 2.18). God never wants you to go through life worrying or wondering if you belong to Him. 

But yet, there are still those who lack assurance. Why is that?

On Sunday we’ll discuss five reasons why people struggle with assurance:

  1. Strong preaching
  2. Difficulty accepting forgiveness
  3. Failure to grasp the doctrine of justification 
  4. The battle with the flesh
  5. Failure to see God in trials

As you get ready for worship, be thinking about these things:

  • Why are we often fearful of self-examination?
  • If someone asked you to explain the gospel, could you do it succinctly?
  • What happened in your justification?
  • Why are our heavenly and spiritual affections of such importance?
  • What are some things you can do in order to see God working during a trial?

Sunday Song Leader: Jim Rutter

Sunday Scripture Reading: Jason Schofield

TEXT: Colossians 2.1-3

Jesus: The Horn of Salvation

Friday, November 09, 2018

Jesus: The Horn of Salvation

In Jeremiah 29.11 God said he wanted to give Israel a future and a hope. This is not talking so much of earthly prosperity or success, but primarily of their spiritual relationship. God was looking forward to a time when the barrier of sin would be totally removed.

God is strongly committed to reuniting us with Him … for all eternity. God is completely devoted to your salvation. His work for that didn’t just stop at the cross. God partners with us for salvation. He is always at work. In our surrender to Him, there is complete submission and cooperation. It is a continual yielding. As we do that, He promises an eternal inheritance. How much do you trust God and the promises of assurances He makes? 

On Sunday I want to share with you something out of Luke 1 that will go even farther in helping you become more confident in the fact that God is continually working toward your salvation - long after you’ve gone forward from the baptismal. We’ll learn about salvation through the prophecy of Zechariah. What four things will we discover?

  1. The 9 month period Zechariah endured in silence and solitude.
  2. Zechariah’s prophecy.
  3. The way Zechariah describes Jesus as the horn of salvation.
  4. Conclude by asking what you will do with Jesus

As you get ready for worship, be thinking about these things:

  • Read Luke 1.62 - what clues do we have that Zechariah may have been deaf?
  • Read 1.68. How certain were the events in this verse to happen?
  • What kind of imagery do you think of when you hear horn of salvation?
  • Read 1.74-75. What is the twofold goal of redemption?
  • Why is it important to take God at His word?

Sunday Song Leader: Russ Robins

Sunday Scripture Reading: Josh Dickey

TEXT: Luke 1.67-79

God's Good Pleasure

Friday, November 02, 2018

God’s Good Pleasure

During November, we’ll be wrapping up our focus on God’s Plan for You. It’s been a great year. We’ve focused on God’s plans for a future and our welfare (Jeremiah 29.11). While some in the world associate these promises with earthly gain, we’ve discovered this year that God’s primary concern is our spending eternity with Him. He has done, is doing, and will do everything possible to bring us home. His promises are repeated through the New Testament: We can live with confidence and assurance that we will receive what He has promised.

But yet, many of us experience fear. It can be paralyzing. Our text in Luke 12 identifies four things men and women commonly fear. We fear death, public shame, and a lack of physical necessities. Verse 32 identifies that we may sometimes fear whether or not God will supply us with our reward. The message of the chapter is that God is the kind of God whose people need not fear. God wants to be generous and helpful. He never begrudges the benefits of His grace.

Our plan of study on Sunday will cover Luke 12.32. We’ll talk about:

  1. God’s good pleasure.
  2. He is our Father.
  3. We are part of His flock.
  4. He has given us the Kingdom.

As you get ready for worship, be thinking about these things:

  • What fears do you battle in life? Do you ever have fear over whether you are really saved?
  • What does good pleasure mean in Luke 12.32?
  • What does it mean to you that God identifies Himself as your Father?
  • Why is it important to understand we are given the kingdom?
  • How does little flock signify affection and care?

Sunday Song Leader: Roy Pyle

Sunday Scripture Reading: Matt Ringle

TEXT: Luke 12.31-34

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