DUE to the COVID-19 pandemic
SPECIAL DAY on MAY 26: We need 20 workers to be here on the 26th for a community food give away. Everyone can help with this, but we need the workers to greet and hand out the food. Save the date. We need you!
AREA-WIDE WORSHIP: “The East Main church in Benton Harbor is having an area-wide get-together for singing, fellowship, and a message from God's Word on Sunday, March 29, at 2:00 P.M. We encourage everyone to go and support this effort at unity. Light food will be served.” The address of the building is 1451 E. Main St., Benton Harbor.
The two events mentioned above may be changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
HIGHWAY CLEAN UP: The first highway clean up for 2020 is April 18. The rain date for the clean up will be April 25. Last time we were outnumbered by members of sister congregations. Please mark the date and plan to be with us. If you cannot pick up trash you can still be a big help manning the phones and providing materials to walkers.
DEVOTIONAL AT CLAYTONS' TUESDAY: We are resuming our usual devotional which always happens on the third Tuesday of the month (This month's meeting has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.) We will meet at 7:00P.M. at the Clayton home at 1555 Echo Valley Dr., Niles. Bring your Bible and join us for fellowship, singing, and a brief study.
INTRODUCTION (The song we just sang: “O for a Faith That Will Not Shrink.”)
A. 40% of Americans say “None.”I. DO YOU HAVE AN INHERITED FAITH?
B. Lots of causes — churches being one of them.
1. Have not been taught how we know.
2. Have seen a lack of commitment in adults.
3. Priorities do not include God.
4. Do not see the importance of faith.
A. “A small price to pay for peace at home” — Matthew 10:35-38.II. DO YOU HAVE BLIND FAITH?
B. Do you have faith or acceptance?
A. Based on feelings.III. GOD CALLS US TO EVIDENTIAL FAITH.
B. Stampeded into a purely emotional response.
C. Reality destroys emotionally based faith.
1. Listen to David — Psalm 10
2. Psalm 13
A. Romans 1:20; Psalm 19:1; Psalm 139:14IV. GOD HAS NEVER CALLED US TO BLIND FAITH.
B. God calls us to answer faith challenges.
1. 1 Peter 3:15 — Every one is to do this.C. Doubt is not bad. Unresolved doubt is.
2. Acts 17:16-31 — Academic challenges.
3. Mark 9:22-24
D. Thomas — the tower of faith
1. John 11:16
2. John 20:24-29 — Notice Jesus' response.
A. Proverbs 8:1-11; 22-31V. SALVATION REQUIRES A THINKING RESPONSE
B. Matthew 6:26-30
C. Romans 1:18, 25
A. Acts 2:40 — “Save yourselves from this perverse generation.” Acts 2:41 — “Gladly received …”(The song for our invitation: “I Know Not Why God's Wondrous Grace.”)
B. Acts 26:28
C. Joshua 24:15
THE BACK PAGE
THE CORONAVIRUS AND US
“Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places” (Matthew 24:7).
When Jesus spoke these words, his listeners faced a world of disease and corruption. Because the world of his day had not followed God's laws for many years, a variety of diseases were running wild. History tells us that in 430 B.C. a virus in Athens killed 67% of the city's population. In the 14th century 75 million people died from the “Black Death” and the Spanish Flu in 1918 killed 100 million people. In modern times we have seen HIV, MERS, SARS, EBOLA, H5N1, Nipah, and ZIKA kill huge numbers of people.
This is NOT God punishing man, nor is it a failure of God's design in the creation. All of these viruses have come to us from animals. HIV originated in chimpanzees, MERS came from camels, SARS from bats and civet cats, and COVID-19 apparently from bats and soldier fish. In most cases the entry of the disease has been when the animals were used for immoral purposes or improperly for food.
So how do we cope with the fact that we are living in a pandemic in which the media is telling us to avoid crowds, avoid contact with each other, and engage in repeated washing and sanitizing? We do not plan to curtail any of our normal activities at this time, but we would urge everyone to use some common sense approaches to this crisis.
We have a number of seniors who are particularly vulnerable to this virus. We want to make sure they are properly cared for and are able to be with us without fear of becoming ill due to our carelessness. Timbers is shut down, by the way, and most of the nursing homes and hospitals in our area are under strict controls to avoid the virus spreading. If you visit, check out what the rules are.
— John Clayton
Our sign by the street!
Sign saying is from a church sign we saw on one of our trips.
Since we have not had church meetings for a while,
This one is for the week of March 29, 2020.
This one is for the week of April 5, 2020.
Sign saying from www.sayingsforchurchsigns.com, slightly modified.
Scripture links/references are from BibleGateway.com. Unhighlighted scriptures can be looked up at their website.