January 8, 2012
We are a group of believers who simply try to follow the Bible as a guide for all we do. Everything done in our worship service is something for which we have a Bible basis. You are welcome to participate as much or as little as you wish. We will sing hymns together and we will observe the Lord's Supper or Communion together. We will also have an opportunity to give to the work of God in this area. This collection is for the members here, and if you are visiting you should not feel any pressure to give. Our lesson time will be divided into two groups. The young children will go to our classroom area in the basement where they will be taught the Bible at a level they can understand. The adults will stay in the auditorium for a lesson at an adult level. We do try to serve the community, and if you have some needs that we can help you with, mention it to one of the members. Thank you for worshipping with us.
POTLUCK TODAY. It is not the first Sunday of the month, but since we did not eat together last Sunday because of New Year's Day, we plan to do so today. Our tradition here is to have a potluck dinner after services at least once a month. We always have plenty of food, so please honor us by staying and eating with us. We have lots to talk about and plans to make connected with the work here, so please stay.
THE SPEAKER SYSTEM. Karl Marcussen and the workers from the company that we bought our PA system from are in the process of installing the sound system as I write this. We will have this operational very soon. We will not only have public speakers installed, but individual hearing assist sets will also be available. I know that some of you have not felt you could come to classes on Sunday morning and Wednesday night because you could not hear the speaker, but those days should be gone forever from now on. Please join us for classes and studies of God's word knowing that you will be able to hear the teacher very clearly. Tonight Dick Hoyt continues his great class on James. Be sure to be here.
WHAT MUST I DO? THE MINIMUM CHRISTIAN
2 Corinthians 13:5
What is the least I can do and have a happy marriage?THE TALENT TEST
What is the least I can do and be a good parent?
What must I do to be saved?
Matthew 25:15THE TIME TEST
Distribution is not equal- God decides our talent
What we do, not result is the standard Vs 21,23
Sabbath Principle--1/7 of your time.THE TREASURE TEST
You have 168 hours a week--fill in the table below for the hours per day you do these activities.
First fruits test--first of everything belongs to God.HOW WE TREAT OTHERS TEST
Tithe test--10% of earnings are given to God.
This is a heart issue, not a giving issue--2 Corinthians 9:7; Acts 20:37.
James 2:10--Old Law required 100%.THE SALVATION TEST
Matthew 7:12--"The Golden Rule"
Matthew 5-7; 1 Peter 1:16; Romans 7:15-8:1; Romans 3:23
A. Belief--John 1:11-12; Acts 16:30-31WHO GRADES THIS TEST?
B. Repent test--2 Corinthians 8-11 and 6:14-18
C. Obedience test--Acts 2:38; Romans 6:1-18
D. The result test
1. 2 Corinthians 5:17
2. 1 John 2:15 and 3:14 and 4:7 and 5:2
Not the church here
MAKING US USER FRIENDLY
As I write this column, our sound system is being installed in our auditorium. One of the things we have tried to do is to make our visitors comfortable and make it easy for members to invite others to our services. There are many things that have been addressed to do this. One of them has been to make sure that our preaching and teaching is totally biblical and not a presentation of someone's likes or dislikes. The work of the church has been crippled in some locations by a preacher or teacher being one dimensional, harping on things that are not of eternal significance and irrelevant to the gospel of Jesus. Paul told Timothy in 1 Timothy 1:3-6 to ". . . command certain men not to . . . devote themselves to endless genealogies . . . which promote controversies rather than God's work." He went on to say "Some have wandered away . . . and turned to meaningless talk." Our studies of a fractured congregation in 1 Corinthians has allowed us to see how the church can be paralyzed when people focus on humans and not on the gospel of Christ. Chapters 1 and 3 in 1 Corinthians focus on this problem with Paul saying "No one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ" (1 Corinthians 3:11).
The first century church of Christ enjoyed "the favor of all the people" (Acts 2:47). One of the qualifications for elders is to have a good reputation with outsiders (1 Timothy 3:7). As we work in the community and surrounding area, we want to project a positive caring attitude. Our facilities need to be such that people can study and listen in comfort. With that in mind we have paved our parking lot, redone our heating and cooling system, and recently put in a sound system so that everyone can hear both in our classes and in our worship service. We have put the congregation here on the Web, and have reached out to people in the area with our food bank and winter coat program.
All of this is to provide the kind of image and reputation that Jesus wants His church to have. We need to be known for what we are, not for just what we are against. We need to talk in our fellowship times today during the potluck and when we get together after services tonight about what we need to do in the future. How we can attract people by using our love and compassion for them and their loved ones? What should we do during the next year and who will take the lead in doing it? We cannot just keep house, we need to make the Lord user friendly in the problems our friends and neighbors face.