April 22, 2012
The family of God here at the Dowagiac Church of Christ wishes to extend to you a warm welcome. If you have questions about our worship services and why we do what we do, we will be glad to give you a biblical answer. The uniqueness of the churches of Christ is that we are trying to restore to the best of our ability those things that we see the first century church doing. We are also working hard at building the spirit, unity, and love that Jesus taught and prayed for. We have no clergy, but are working together as equal co-workers trying to serve one another and the area in which we live. Come study with us, grow with us, and serve with us as we strive to do God's will in all things.
MATERIALS IN LOBBY. We have a number of free periodicals in the lobby that are there for you to take home and read and make available to family and visitors. The Gospel Herald and Christian Chronicle are newspapers that have news and good Christian articles in them. Gospel Minutes and Does God Exist? are ministry magazines that answer difficult questions and have biblical material on specific topics of interest to many people. Please help yourself to these free magazines and have good Christian literature available in your home.
PRAYER SHEETS are available from the Marcussens. Be sure to get a copy and send notes, pray for those listed, and where possible call or visit them. Be a part of our loving and caring for others.
WEDNESDAY NIGHT. After our Bible study Wednesday everyone is invited to stay for a short birthday celebration with Tim Clayton, John's foster son who will be visiting along with John's daughter Wendy. Tim will be 50 Wednesday--not bad for a disabled adult who was not supposed to live past the age of 12. Come and sing happy birthday to Tim and enjoy some cake and ice cream and make Tim's birthday special for him.
POTLUCK MAY 6. We also need to have a congregational meeting to plan our children's classes for the summer. Bring a dish and plan to stay and enjoy time together.
NO ROOTS--NO FRUITS
A. Natural things teach us about spiritual things.PLANTS AND PEOPLE NEED ROOTS
B. Romans 1:20
C. Jesus used plants and farming over and over.
A. Matthew 13:3-8--Parable of the SowerFRUIT REQUIRES TIME
1. Verses 18-23--explanation of parableB. You can kill a tree by cutting its roots.
2. Difference with us is we choose our roots.
3. What have you done to establish your roots?
4. Importance of knowing and using God's word
1. Matthew 3:10--cutting from the rootsC. Depth of root is an issue
2. Mark 11:20--"Dried up from its roots"
3. Do not get separated from your real roots.
1. Matthew 13:5-6D. Location of a root is vital--plants like certain places
a. Shallow rooted trees blow over2. How deep are your roots?
1. John 15:45--Where are your roots located?
2. Colossians 2:7-8--It is easy to get spoiled
A. You have to be patient to be a farmer.
B. You either bear fruit or have worldly works.
1. Galatians 5:22-23C. Numbers 17:8--What happened to Aaron's rod?
2. Galatians 5:19-21
3. What describes your life? Which is growing?
1. There is always a cycle going on in nature.D. Instant gratification only happens in sin.
2. Your life also moves in cycles.
1. The satisfaction never lasts--true of sex, alcohol, etc.E. Your fruit as a Christian will come with time,
1. True of individuals and of congregations
2. Keep working the soil.
"WHY THE PIE CRUST?"
One thing parents have to learn is how to seize the moment. Most of us who have had kids that have been to a worship service. They have had questions asked about why things are done the way they are. Those questions may go by unused if we do not take advantage of what is being asked to make it a teaching situation. Recently I heard a child ask her mother why we do not use Oreo cookies and Kool-Aid for communion instead of pie crust and grape juice. The child had been paying attention to what was going on and thought that "crackers and juice" would taste better if Oreo cookies and Kool-Aid were used instead of communion wafers.
When Jesus established the Lord's Supper in Matthew 26:17-30 he was celebrating the Passover meal with his disciples. The Passover is described in Exodus 12. The Jews were to eat a special meal in preparation for leaving Egypt and in verses 17-20 they are told to eat nothing made with yeast. Yeast is a contaminant in bread. It spreads throughout the dough and causes the bread to rise. God uses yeast as a symbol of what happens in life when man adds contaminants to God's plan for man. In Exodus 13:1-10 God tells the Israelites that this was to be an ongoing celebration and was to be used to teach future generations what God has done. In Exodus 13:8 God says "On that day tell your son 'I did this because of what the Lord did for me when I came out of Egypt.'"
In 1 Corinthians 11 :23-30 the words of Jesus are repeated as the church is instructed to repeat what Jesus did and celebrated. We use unleavened bread to remind ourselves that we need to avoid the contaminations of the world. Jesus was pure and without sin. The pureness of the communion bread celebrates that pureness and reminds us that God's son sacrificed himself for you and me--impure people. The fruit of the vine was also pure and symbolizes the blood that was shed for us, washing away our sins. We do not use Kool-Aid because it is not pure--it is a mixture of things man puts together.