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God's Commitment to Himself

Saturday, September 22, 2018

God’s Commitment to Himself

Those in the world often enjoy pointing out Christian hypocrisy. They argue, how can Christianity be true when there are just as many sinners within the church as without? Using human logic, they have a point. But, God doesn’t operate from our perspective. Passages like Isaiah 48 teach us that God saves us despite our imperfections and lapses in faith. 

During September, we’re talking about the promises of God and our need to believe them. We’re reminding ourselves of who God is. You can trust Him. When He makes a promise, He keeps it. When He makes a plan, the plan works out according to purpose. When He determines something to be, He speaks it into existence. The more you believe God, the more it gives you reason to pursue Him with all your heart, trusting in His great and precious promises. 

Our plan of study on Sunday will cover Isaiah 48. We’ll talk about:

  1. Isaiah 48.1-11 - Why does God put up with us?
  2. Isaiah 48.12-22 - How does God work with us?

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

  • How effective is your listening to God? How does He speak to us today?
  • What impresses you about God’s continued blessing upon His people despite what is written about them in 48.8?
  • Why does God pour His grace upon us so lavishly? See 48.9-11.
  • How often do you look beyond the surface and see God’s presence in your life?
  • What happens to those who refuse the grace of God? (49.22)

Sunday Song Leader: Russ Robins

Sunday Scripture Reading: George Long

TEXT: Isaiah 48.16-19

"A Lesson of Crosses”

Monday, September 17, 2018

The following article was it Sunday Morning's Bulletin:

A widow, almost in despair with all her troubles, was constantly complaining that “no other house in town is so constantly beset with misery as mine”.

It pleased God to teach her a lesson through a dream.  One night, she dreamed that the whole town stood before her, and every house in it had a cross against its door.  On one was a very large one, on the next was a less size, and on the others, it was a very small one.

Among all the crosses, none appeared to her so small, and light to carry, as the one on her own door.

She awoke with a new attitude.  She prayed God to forgive her for her mur-muring spirit and to release her from it so that her life would not be lived in vain.

In like figure, those that would not look upon the cross of Moses and murmured against it in the wilderness were destroyed in one day—23.000.

Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents.

(1 Corinthians 10:8-9).

- Jaime Restrepo

WHAT TIME IS IT?

Monday, September 17, 2018

For this people's heart has grown dull, and with their ears they can barely hear, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them.

Matthew 13:15

I was going down the street and someone stopped me to ask me the time. “What time is it, please?” I must have the face of a good person because I am often stopped for people to ask me the time or address of a street.

I looked at my watch and told him the exact time. Then I instructed him to look to his right. There, very close and with great numbers was a huge public clock that marked exactly the time. The man replied “Seriously, I had not seen it”. He thanked me and went on.

Doing computer practices the girl next to me asked me the time. I pointed to the lower right edge of her computer's screen. There was the hour clearly in front of her. She laughed and gave me a kiss.

Another day another friend was talking on his mobile phone, ended the conversation and asked me the time with his phone still in his hand. I pointed to his phone's screen. There was, once again, the time.

Many times, the things we overlook are those we have been looking for. It is the art of not seeing. Keeping things in front of your nose and not seeing them.

Do not miss the blessings of the Almighty simply because they do not appear as you want.

Psalm 19:1

The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.

Isaiah 35:5

Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped.

Ezekiel 12:2

Son of man, you dwell in the midst of a rebellious house, who have eyes to see, but see not, who have ears to hear, but hear not, for they are a rebellious house.

- Jaime Restrepo

Fear Not

Friday, September 14, 2018

 

Fear Not

The local news last Wednesday was filled with headlines about a corrupt police officer who violated four women while on duty. He received a 43 year prison sentence. Stories like this make it easy for us to paint with a broad brush: all police officers must be corrupt. We live in cynical and disillusioned times. It is pervasive. It seems collectively that we as people have lost sense of our purpose. How do we turn this around?

The passage we’ll be studying today not only identifies our purpose for living, but it also tells us about the God we serve. It’s an amazing part of God’s word and I think you’ll be strengthened and encouraged when you leave. The message is that God wants to reform those who have lost their purpose. That’s His message to the Jews in Isaiah 42-43. Its something those living today can also take heart from. 

Our plan of study will cover Isaiah 42.18-43.21. We’ll talk about:

  1. Isaiah 42.18-25 - The Problem: Insensibility
  2. Isaiah 43.1-7 - The Solution: Intervention
  3. Isaiah 43.8-13 - The Reason: Exclusivity
  4. Isaiah 43.14-21 - The Outcome: Newness 

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

  • What are some ways we can fight back against the cynicism that has permeated our society today?
  • What are some areas of your life where you may be seeing but not observing? Hearing, but not hear?
  • How does Isaiah 43.2 fill your heart with hope and courage?
  • What is the ultimate fulfillment of Isaiah 43.4b?
  • According to Isaiah 43.10, why have you been redeemed by God?

Sunday Song Leader: Russ Robins

Sunday Scripture Reading: Jim Grushon Jr.

TEXT: Isaiah 43.1-7

How To Bear Crosses

Monday, September 10, 2018

The following article was in the Sunday Morning Bulletin:

A little girl had received a present of a small brown cross.  Before very long, the crosspiece became loose, and she begged her father to repair the cross.  Her father said he would be glad to do it but in doing so, he would teach here a lesson how to live so that no trouble, affliction or duty would prove a cross to her. As he took it apart he said, “without this crosspiece, the longer piece is not a cross.  Only when the crosspiece is added is a cross formed.  So it is in this life with every trial or disappointment, we call it a cross.  The longer piece represents God’s will.  Our will, which always desires to cross God’s will, is represented by the crosspiece.  Each cross you are called to bear, take from it the crosspiece (your will) and it will no longer be a cross to you to bare.”

Jesus said, “… because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me” (John 5:30).  If, then, we do the will of the Father, Christ says, “For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:30).

- Jaime Restrepo

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