THE WHOLE BIBLE FOR THE WHOLE WORLD (Following GOD’s Word, not man’s will.)
The theme for this New Year (2019) is a general statement...covering all of GOD’s Word and including the whole world. We can’t get more general or all-inclusive than that! That’s the purpose of the statement – in 2019, we are not to leave out any part of GOD’s Word, nor are we excluding or exempting anyone from hearing and obeying His Word. This year, we are seeing all the Bible for all the people. However, we can’t stop there. What is the Bible actually saying to all of us? It will take the rest of the year to answer that question as we break this proclamation down into its different parts – scripture passage by scripture passage, group by group, individual by individual. That sounds like a big project, an extensive task, a tall order. It is! We have twelve months. In the upcoming year we will explore, discover, and experience the truths of GOD’s Word as they apply to our world, our culture, the Church, and our individual lives. We will hear GOD’s Word speaking to a world of skeptics, secular humanists, critics, those of other religions and cultures, and even non–believers. Will the secular culture in which we live hear and obey GOD’s will…explained to us from His Word? Will our journey this year make a difference in the lives of others who doubt, question, and ignore the Bible? Our prayer is that we all will join together with one common desire – to search for the Truth of GOD’s Word, then obey that Truth. How wonderful it would be if a new love and hunger for GOD’s Word would sweep across our nation. Amos 8:11 reads “The days are coming,” declares the Sovereign Lord, “when I will send a famine through the land—not a famine of food or a thirst for water, but a famine of hearing the words of the Lord.” Some might say that we are living in those times, but we are not to give up. There’s still hope for this sinful world, and that hope is found in Jesus Christ and the Word of GOD! It would be world-changing to see everyone, everywhere turn their hearts toward GOD. Our prayer is that all people from every nation and neighborhood will “turn from their wicked ways, and seek GOD’s face (Word)” (II Chronicles 7:14) We are actually hoping and praying for a great spiritual awakening, as in the days of the past. But didn’t those revivals take place when people came to know Jesus? Yes. Then why not just emphasize Jesus? “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12). Revival does come when people come to Jesus in love, repentance, and full commitment. So, why all the emphasis on the Bible? To answer that question, we must understand that revival has two phases. First, there is the Saving Grace of GOD – crucial in repentance of our sin and recommitment of our lives to the Lordship of Christ. Following the Saving Grace of GOD is His Sanctifying Grace, which enables and empowers us to live Holy lives of purity and purpose for GOD. How do we come to know GOD’s will and purpose for our lives? Through prayer, and by reading and obeying His Holy Word. Once we are forgiven of our sins, we are called to “go and sin no more”, or live a life freed from the power of sin. We learn how to live this life by knowing and obeying GOD’s Holy Word. In other words, Jesus saves us from our sins, but the Bible instructs us on how to live apart from sin, and even gives us power to resist it. Jesus, Himself, while in the desert for forty days, rebutted Satan’s temptations by quoting from GOD’s “written” Word. The writer of Hebrews describes GOD’s Word as “Alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” (4:12). Paul instructs us in Ephesians 6:17 to put on the full armor of GOD, including “The sword of Spirit, which is the Word of GOD.” The Bible is Vital! We are in a time when everyone wants to selfishly live any way they may chose. They simply want to follow their own will. To justify their choices, apart from and in violation of GOD’s Word, they ignore what the Bible says or claim that it is outdated and no longer relevant. Others, even some in the Church, are trying to omit what the Bible says from their particular doctrines and beliefs. We believe just the opposite! We believe that all the Bible, must be obeyed, by all the people. The Bible stands strong and true – proven again and again over the test of time; and has persevered against attacks from critics and the enemy down through the centuries. No part of it can be ignored, and no person can be exempt from what it says. So, we will to strive to follow GOD’s Word, and not our own will. GOD said it. That settles it. - Love-Love, PJ
Love (for God) - Love (for others), Pastor John
Out of My Mind . . .
My bulletin board this month says "Each of us is an Innkeeper who decides if there is room for Jesus.” This is a quote by Neal A. Maxwell that really caught my attention. In the hustle and bustle of the season it is so easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of buying and spending and giving and gathering and buying some more, that we sometimes forget the true meaning of Christmas.
Christmas represents the birth of our Savior, the Son of God whose sole purpose was to come to earth as a lowly baby and to die a horrible death for each one of us to save us from our sins.
If you find you’ve shut Jesus out of your busy life, you can start to reach for Him again by reaching out to others. Making time to become like Him will make room in your heart to feel Him.
In Mark 12 we are taught to love God and to love our neighbors as ourselves. We can’t fully love God unless we love each other. Jesus Christ is the greatest example of reaching out to others with love and kindness. His example should guide our words and actions wherever we are—at work, school, church, and home. Serve others, forgive others, and be kind to others. Even if we don’t agree with them, we should always be kind despite our differences and always look for the good in everyone!
On Christmas day over 2000 years ago as Mary gave birth to Jesus, Luke 2:7 says “And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.” This Christmas, as you run around trying to get everything done, take time to search yourself . . . Is there room for Him in your heart?
From my heart . . . Sharon
From the Children's Department
Gospel Truths : from the Happy Jesus Room
The Bible is not just a story that helps us learn about JESUS; it is a story that helps us know HIM and have a relationship with GOD through HIM. The Old Testament helps us understand who GOD is, who we are, our need for forgiveness and salvation from GOD, and what GOD has done to save us through JESUS.
What does a parent need to know?
• Every story connects to JESUS.
• All of the gospel truths are fulfilled in the life , death, and resurrection of JESUS.
What does a preschooler need to know?
• The Bible teaches us about sin and GOD'S forgiveness.
• JESUS is GOD'S answer for our sin.
What does an elementary kid need to know?
• The Bible teaches us about sin and GOD'S grace and forgiveness.
• The gospel exits so that we can have a relationship with GOD.
Three important words we must learn definitions for;
GRACE- the unmerited love and favor of GOD
FORGIVENESS- to cancel a punishment, pardon
RELATIONSHIP- being related to, a connection to another by origin or marriage.
God our Father, Jesus our brother, Holy Spirit our helper.
“I am so glad I am a part of the Family of God!”
In His Service,
The youth have worked on getting out of self some in December, Four youth helped the Grabowski’s and myself unload and separate a trailer full of toys for the Foster Children's Christmas. I was also able to take 4 youth to Muncie to join with 4 other youth groups to go Christmas caroling at 2 different nursing homes in Muncie. We finished off the evening with pizza (of course) and a crazy Christmas sock exchange. We will help serve the homeless at the 1st United Methodist Church on Dec. 30th.
We have a couple of fun outings planned for next year already, including the Winter Jam in March. We will also be starting our fund raising efforts for church camp. Thank you for all of your prayers for the youth and myself as a leader. If you have and ideas, please let me know.
Please keep the youth and their leader in your prayers.
Thank you for your continued support!
Diana Ockomon, Youth Director
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