It is popular to hear people say I have Jesus, I don’t need the church. There are many things driving that mentality. It might be that some have been hurt by imperfect people. Others don’t want the responsibilities associated with membership. A few think everyone in the church is hypocritical. What we need to understand is that you can't have Jesus without the church. Jesus is inseparably and intimately connected to it. It’s His body.
When life hits us hard, we are going to need more than ourself to rely upon. We need to realize that one of the ways God works to provide us comfort is through His church. If you are limiting your connection with the local church, you have essentially placed a roadblock between you and Jesus and one of the main ways He works to serve.
On Sunday, we’ll focus on Philippians 4.10-20. Here we learn about Paul’s contentment and the church’s role in supplying his needs. If we are to find comfort in this life, we’ll need to reorder our perspective - as an individual and as a church. In our lesson we will examine:
- Paul’s difficult circumstances.
- How to find comfort individually, 4.10-13.
- How to find comfort through God’s people, 4.14-20.
As you get ready for worship, be thinking about these things:
- Read Acts 28.11-31. In what type of situation did Paul find himself?
- How can trusting in God’s ordering of our circumstances to supply our needs fill us with comfort? See Romans 8.28-30.
- What are some things you can do to resist the culture’s influence of defining your needs?
- What does Philippians 4.13 & Isaiah 40.29 tell us what happens when we have no more human strength?
- What are some ways God has worked through your spiritual family to bring you comfort?
Sunday Scripture Reading: Tommy Ray
Sunday Song Leader: Jim Rutter
TEXT: Philippians 4.10-20
And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he a them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?” Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength’. Mark 12:28-30
The Pig and the Hen
To explain the difference between being committed and being involved, it is important to note the nuance that distinguishes them and that is very clear with the fable of the pig and the chicken:
A hen and a pig walked along the road one day, when the hen told the pig, “Hey pig, what do you think about joining and opening a restaurant?”
The pig considered the proposal and replied, “I think it's a good idea. What would we call it?”
The hen thought a little and answered: “Why don’t we call it 'Eggs with ham'?
The pig stopped, paused and replied, “I think I'm not going to open a restaurant with you. If so, I would be committed, but you would only be involved."
ARE YOU A PIG OR A HEN? Eggs or ham? When a chicken lays an egg, it gives something of itself ... it delivers something important but a pig is given, it is sacrificed ... it is given entirely.
It is said that on one occasion a woman who had a farm, asked her husband at night, my love, what do you think you want for breakfast tomorrow? To which he replied, I feel like having eggs with ham, to which she responded very well and they fell asleep.
The story tells us that the animals of the farm quickly spread the word (tomorrow they will have breakfast with ham). When this came to the ears of the pig, the only pig of the farm, he began to cry inconsolably, "no, it can’t be, eggs with ham, my God, please, eggs without ham." Listening the hen plead says, “It's not that bad". To which the pig replied, "for you it does not mean much since in that breakfast you are only involved, you are going to give an egg, but I am committed".
Do not settle for just being involved in the purposes of God commit to the dreams of God and then if you truly find fulfillment of joy in your daily life. Egg or Ham? It's up to you.
- Jaime Restrepo
Hear my prayer, O LORD; give ear to my pleas for mercy! In your faithfulness answer me, in your righteousness! – Psalm 143:1
What would happen if God…?
What would happen if God ... installed an automatic telephone answering machine in heaven?
Imagine praying and listening to the following message: Thank you for calling my Father's House. Please select one of these options:
* Press 1 for requests.
* Press 2 for thanksgiving.
* Press 3 for complaints.
* Press 4 for any other subject.
Imagine that God used this well-known excuse: At the moment all our angels are busy, attending to other clients. Please keep praying on the line, your call will be answered in the order that was received.
Can you imagine getting these types of answers when you call God in your prayer? ….
If you want to talk to Gabriel, press 5.
With Michael, press 6.
With any other angel, press 7.
If you want King David to sing a Psalm, press 8.
If you want to get answers to foolish questions about dinosaurs, the age of Earth, where Noah's Ark is, please wait to get to Heaven.
Can you imagine the following in your prayer?
Our computer indicates that you have already called today. Please clear the line for others who also want to pray ... Or:
Our offices are closed for Easter, holidays and weekends. Please call again on Monday.
Thank God this does not happen ...
Thank God you can call him in prayer as many times as you need ...
Thank God that at the first call, He always answers you ...
Thank God because the Jesus line is never busy ...
Thank God that He answers us and knows us by our name ...
Thank God that He knows our needs before we manifest them ...
Thank God because it is up to us to call him in prayer ...
Thank God for reading (listening to) this message …
For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer …. 1 Peter 3:12.
- Jaime Restrepo
It seems that more often than not, we find David surrounded by enemies who were doing everything they could to destroy him. As we read Psalm 62, we find David in danger. But despite all he faced he was not worrying about his enemies, he was trusting only in God. Psalm 62 is a testimony that God alone is worthy of our implicit trust.
No one can be compared to our God.
During March, we’ve focused on how the church is a place of refuge. Those who are part of it have individually fled to God for refuge. They see Him as their rock, fortress, hope, deliverer, and refuge. Just like you, they have been, are, or will be in the midst of the storms of life. They’ve walked through the valley. They’ve swam the dark waters. They might have wound up there by their own devices. Some dealt with these things by no fault of their own.
This is what the church is. It is not a group of people who have things all figured out, have perfect lives, children, and finances. It is a group of people who, most of all, stand forgiven and are who they are by the power of grace. It is full of those who have been remade, restored, and are living for Jesus. They each are part of a place that serves as a place of refuge and safety, where someone can start over and experience God’s love and forgiveness.
On Sunday, we’ll focus on Psalm 62. We’ll discuss:
- A declaration that God is our sure refuge, 62.1-4.
- An exhortation that God can be trusted by all, 62.5-8.
- An admonition to trust in God, not wealth and power, 62.9-12.
As you get ready for worship, be thinking about these things:
- Read Psalm 62.1-4. What is David confronting?
- What do you think it means to wait in silence?
- Read Psalm 62. What six terms are used to describe God?
- What is the danger of trusting in something or someone other than God?
- Do you have any personal idols that are hampering your ability to trust God as you should?
Sunday Scripture Reading: Dave Pennington
Sunday Song Leader: Jim Grushon
TEXT: Psalm 62
Things to be Excited About
Today is the eleventh Sunday of the new year. Since the beginning of 2018, many things have been going on with our local work. On January 10, brother Jaime Restrepo joined us and has been doing a great job. All of you have done such a wonderful job in encouraging him. We’re looking forward to a great year with him working with us.
Two weeks ago our children’s Bible classes began a new curriculum. It has been exciting to see our classroom teachers in and out of the building spending hours working hard in preparing for their class. If you haven’t taught one of our children’s classes in awhile, our new curriculum offers a chance for a fresh start and I’m sure Jeremy Price can fit you in the schedule in a teaching and/or helper role. See Jeremy for more details.
Two weeks from today, we are excited to announce our new WebCast. Your Pathway Home will appear on Facebook Live every Sunday morning at 8 am. Brother Jaime and I will serve as co-hosts. You’ll be able to access the program live through our Facebook page (facebook.com/ ketteringchurch) or on demand after it airs on our YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/user/ TheKetteringChurch). When you watch the live broadcast, you can type in your Bible questions or send an email to your hosts who will answer them on the air.
One week from tomorrow, our marriage class will begin. Jeremy Price and I will be teaching these classes every Monday evening at 7 pm. The class is open to all.
Finally, four weeks from Friday our Spring Bible Forum on Finding Comfort in a Troubled World begins. Aaron Kemple will be our keynote speaker. On Saturday, we’ll have a number of very practical and encouraging breakout sessions led by Jaime and me. Please be making plans to attend. Be sure to invite your friends and neighbors.
As you can see, there are many things going on and there is much to be excited about. We ask for your prayers and participation in these events. As always, thanks for what you do to make the Kettering church what it is. To God be the glory!
- Matthew Allen