Sunday 04.16.17 (the resurrection)

This Sunday we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus and the hope that gives us. We hope to see you there!

Sunday Schedule
@945 Easter Breakfast (in gym)
@1045 Worship Gathering
**No Evening Activities

Sermon Notes
The Resurrection ~ John 20

  • Jesus’ resurrection…
    • Answers our doubts (20:1-29)
    • Assures us a place in God’s family (20:17)
    • Grants us peace with God (20:19-21)
    • Propels us on mission (20:21-23)
  • The question we must answer: Do you believe? (20:30-31)

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The “Good” in Good Friday

David Mathis at Desiring God shares on why there is the “good” in Good Friday–the day that Jesus died:

God was at work, doing his greatest good in our most horrible evil. Over and in and beneath the spiraling evil of Judas, the Jewish leaders, Pilate, the people, and all forgiven sinners, God’s hand is steady, never to blame for evil, ever working it for our final good. As Peter would soon preach, Jesus was “delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God” (Acts 2:23). And as the early Christians would pray, “Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, [did] whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place” (Acts 4:27–28).

Never has Joseph’s banner flown so truly as it did on that day: what man meant for evil, God meant for good (Genesis 50:20). And if this day, of all days, bears not only the fingerprints of sinners for evil, but also the sovereign hand of God for good, how can we not fly Joseph’s banner over the great tragedies and horrors of our lives? Since God himself “did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not with him graciously give us all things” for our everlasting good (Romans 8:32)?

We urge you to go read the full article at: desiringgod.org

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Easter Happenings

Here is what we have coming up for Easter / Resurrection weekend:

Good Friday Service (04.14)
At 7pm on Friday we will gather with the other churches of the Adrian Ministerial Alliance for our annual Good Friday service at Victory Assembly of God. Come and join us for a time of remembering Jesus’ sacrifice through song, prayer, and a message by Gabe Cantrell, Adrian campus pastor of Heart of Life.

Easter Morning (04.16)
We’ll start the day at 9:45 gathered in our gym for an Easter breakfast, cooked by the pastor, deacons, and other men in the church. Then we’ll transition over to the auditorium at 10:45 for our worship gathering and a time of celebrating Jesus’ resurrection from the grave.

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Christmas Eve / Christmas Day 2016

You have opportunities to join with us in worship of Jesus, our Savior, tonight at our Christmas Eve service and tomorrow at our Christmas day worship gathering. Check out the details below, and we hope to see you there!

Christmas Eve ~ 12/24 @6:30pm
We will remember the anticipation of the birth of Jesus and celebrate his birth at our annual candle lighting service. The service will be held in the auditorium with snacks and hot chocolate to follow in the gym.

Christmas Eve Music Selection
Special Music by Rick Thompson
O Come, O Come Emmanuel
O Holy Night
Joy Has Dawned (special by Raelynn Kershner)
How Great Our Joy
Go Tell It on the Mountain
Candle light closing: Silent Night

Christmas Eve Devotional
“The Coming King” ~ Luke 1:26-33

  • Jesus is the God-Man King (1:31-32)
  • Jesus is the Savior-King (1:31)
  • Jesus is the Forever King (1:32-33)
  • Therefore, this Christmas season:
    • Know Jesus–trust him and follow him
    • Rest in Jesus’ grace, power, and love
    • Celebrate Jesus tonight, tomorrow, through this year, and through your life

Christmas Morning Worship Gathering ~ 12/25 @1045am
We will remember the birth of Jesus and ponder what it means now that Jesus, our King, has arrived.

Christmas Morning Music Selection
It Came Upon a Midnight Clear (special by Jeremy Bridges)
Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
The First Noel
Emmanuel
Joy has Dawned
O Come All Ye Faithful

Christmas Morning Sermon Notes
“The King Has Arrived” ~ Luke 2:1-21

  • King Jesus is our end to fear (2:9-10)
  • King Jesus is our great joy (2:10)
  • King Jesus is our peace (2:13-14)
  • King Jesus is our Savior-King (2:11)
    • Our faith must be in him
    • Our righteousness comes from him
    • Our lives belong to him

Good Reads 12.21.16 (the Christmas edition)

Here is a collection of good reads on Christmas. Enjoy!

Why are Jesus’s Genealogies in Matthew and Luke Different? by Mark Strauss

The Old Testament predicted that the Messiah would come from the line of David. Both Matthew and Luke provide genealogies of Jesus that confirm he was a descendant of David—therefore, a legitimate Messiah. He was a legitimate claimant to the throne of Israel.

But they differ in an important way: Matthew follows the line of David’s son Solomon, while Luke follows the line of Nathan, another Son of David. The end result is two distinct genealogies. How do we account for this? (click here to read more)

Are You Bored with Christ at Christmas? by Stephen Witmer

If this is true of any of us, it’s a sure sign we don’t really know him. At least we don’t know him nearly enough. Knowing Jesus is like knowing Mount Everest. For those who know it, Everest increasingly thrills, confounds, delights, eludes, and exhilarates. If people are bored of Everest, it’s because they’re learning facts about it in their living room, not climbing it.

Familiarity need not breed contempt. Instead, it can breed faith. (click here to read more)

Don’t Spiritualize Christmas by Jared C. Wilson

Don’t “spiritualize” Christmas. It isn’t a theory. It’s not a vague virtue or warm fuzzy. It smells like sawdust and straw and manure, and like myrrh and newborn baby skin. Christmas is a real thing that really happened. And it’s really good news. Take it personally. (click here to read more)

Waiting for More than Christmas by Betsy Childs Howard

Advent is about more than waiting for Christmas. The word means “coming.” During Advent, we not only remember that Jesus came to earth as a man; we also prepare our hearts for his second coming. When we sing, “O come, O come, Emmanuel,” we are not role-playing what the ancient Israelites must have prayed before the coming of the Messiah. No, we are praying that Emmanuel would return and make right all that is wrong with the world. When we sing, “Let every heart prepare him room,” we are not retroactively chastising the innkeepers of Bethlehem; we are preaching to all souls within earshot to be ready to meet their Judge and Maker unafraid. (click here to read more)

Christmas for the Weary by Trish Hedger

Christmas is for you, weary Christian. It’s for the parts of us that still feel the chill of the shadow of death.

May Christmas be our sacred reminder of God’s tender mercy that sent his Son from on high to give light to all who sit in darkness. Christ has come and his mercies rise with the sun each day to guide our blistered feet into the way of peace. (click here to read more)

 

 

 

What Child Is This? (an advent meditation)

What Child is this
Who, laid to rest
On Mary’s lap, is sleeping?
Whom angels greet
With anthems sweet
While shepherds watch are keeping?
This, this is Christ, the King
Whom shepherds guard and angels sing
Haste, haste to bring Him laud
The Babe, the Son of Mary!

The Christmas song What Child Is This? asks as question that the world has pondered since the birth of Jesus. Who is this child-turn-man that claims to be Lord and Savior of the world?

Jesus once asked his first disciples what others said about him. They answered: “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” Then Jesus asked, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered, speaking for the group: “You are the Christ [Savior-King], the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:13-16).

In his book Mere Christianity, CS Lewis said that when a person looks at the claims of Jesus in Scripture, one must conclude he is either Lord, liar, or a lunatic. Some may go a step further and say that the Jesus of the Bible does not exist; but if we start with the historical existence of Jesus as detailed in Scripture, then only those three options remained.

Jesus claimed to forgive sins (Matthew 9:1-8); accepted Peter’s claim to be the Messiah/Christ, Son-of-God King (Matthew 16:13-19); claimed to preexist Abraham and at the same time took for himself the name of God (John 8:56-58).

With what he claimed, Jesus was no mere good teacher or religious prophet. He either lied about himself, had delusions about himself, or was the Lord he claimed to be. The Christian faith is built on the latter, as the song affirms: This, this is Christ the King!

So, this Christmas, who do you say that Jesus is? May you celebrate, worship, and follow him as your Savior-King!

Christmas Week 2016

A reminder for your week:

Children’s Christmas Program, Wednesday 12/21 @7pm (if you have children in the program, please have them to the auditorium by 6pm for costumes and a final dress rehearsal). This date is the rescheduled date due to weather conditions.

Christmas Eve Service, Saturday 12/24 @6:30pm. Join us for our annual candle-light service, with snacks and hot chocolate to follow.

Christmas Day Service, Sunday 12/25 @10:45am. We will gather at our normal time on Christmas morning to celebrate Jesus. Sunday School will also be at 9:45am for those able to make it. There will be no evening church activities on 12/25, 12/28, or 1/1.

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