Dear Church Family,
If you read through the New Testament, you may often find yourself wanting to skip all the lists. The Apostle Paul was notorious for thanking 12 people in the same letter and then telling so-and-so to say “hello” for him to a different “so-and-so.”
At first glance, these lists seem unimportant to Holy Scripture. But on second reading, I’ve come to understand a few things: (1) The Bible is about real people. (2) Real people experienced the power of Jesus Christ and friendship with one another (or sadly did not). (3) If we are to live similarly to the New Testament church, our concerns should be about people. And (4) these concerns just might show up on lists.
So as 2014 begins to roll out, I encourage you to have at least 3 lists (either in print or maybe on your phone) that you are looking at daily. Use these lists to…
(1) Spend time daily praying for those you interact with most. This will be your family, coworkers, and closest friends. Thank God for them. Ask God to minister to them. If they are Christians, pray they grow closer to Christ. If they are not followers of Jesus, pray that they would take steps closer to faith in Jesus.
(2) Spend time praying for your church family. Start by praying for those you know best. Pray for your small group members. Pray for those you minister with, minister to, and who minister to you. Pray for your elders and pastor. Pray also for other local churches and Christian ministries.
(3) Spend time praying for those far from God. Back in early Fall we gave each person a small card that encouraged you to be praying for 5-10 people each day that you desire to come into a life-saving relationship with Jesus Christ. You don’t need our small card to get back into this practice. Just make your own list and get back to praying.
Remember, Christ is for real people. We have the great privilege of praying for people each day of our lives, and there are very few better gifts we can offer to those we love than to bring them before the Heavenly Father in prayer.
And if you think about it, my guess is one of the reasons you know Jesus and are walking with Him is because someone had and still has you on their list.
One Family’s Story on Homosexuality: Tonight is the first night of a weekend of opportunities for you and your family to better understand how to love those with same-sex attraction. Click here for more info: http://www.servethecity.org/pdf/STCChristopherYuanThreeDaySummaryD.pdf And here is the line up one more time:
Friday Jan. 24th – 7:30-9PM – For High School & College Age at Stonebridge Church.
Saturday Jan. 25th – 8:30 AM to 12 Noon — 4 seminars are open to the public at the River of Life Ministries Site
Sunday night, January 26th from 6:30 to 8:00 PM — For Families & Friends of loved ones with same-sex attraction over at Oakhill Jackson Community Church.
Baby Bottle Boomerang: Our church is raising money to support the ministry of Bridgehaven Pregnancy Support Center. If you’d like to help, grab a Baby Bottle from the info center on Sunday. Spend a few weeks filling the bottle with checks, coins, and cash, and then return the bottles in February. You can hear more about Bridghaven and how the monies are used through this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dEvjmgHSo9Y
Resources Available: Please peruse the various books and studies at the information center this coming Sunday. Let us fill our minds with the things of God in 2014.
Small Groups: Winter/spring small groups have begun again for 2014. If you are not currently in a small group and are interested in joining one, please contact Pastor Matt.
I’m excited for our journey together in 2014.