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Following Jesus Together - April 21

Dear Friends,

“For you are my rock and my fortress; and for your name’s sake you lead me and guide me; you take me out of the net they have hidden for me, for you are my refuge. Into your hand I commit my spirit; you have redeemed me, O LORD, faithful God. (Psalm 31:4-5)

For this week’s gospel meditation, spend some time thinking about Jesus, on the cross, crying out this Psalm. He trusts God’s leading, guiding, protection and help while nailed to a tree. Amazing faith – by grace accounted to us! 

We get to live every moment this week, with our times in our loving Father’s hand. 

Sunday 9:00am in the Lounge – “Fathered and Responsible” – Followers of Jesus in every generation have wrestled with how God can be in control of every detail great and small in every moment, working all things according to His pre-ordained plan. We have questions: What about our role in God’s world? Are we truly responsible if God’s in control of all things? 

The Westminster Confession of Faith is extremely helpful in deepening our trust in our Heavenly Father’s preordained plan (“Into your hand I commit my spirit…my times are in Your hand” – Psalm 31) and in motivating faithful obedience as Jesus’ ambassadors here on earth. 

The gospel teaches us that when God wants to accomplish His unchangeable will on earth, He doesn’t need us! Yet, due to His good pleasure, mercy and grace, He ordinarily chooses to work through human decisions. 

I hope you can join us!

10:00am – Worship – We are looking at 1 Peter 1:13-21 – I’m calling this sermon “Grace, therefore Holy” – because after laying out the truth and beauty of the good news of Jesus and all that we have received through faith, Peter tells us how that grace changes our behavior. 

              Here’s an interesting picture of what changes when you are born again and become a Christian:

                           1:12 - the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look.  

                           1:14 - As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance,

              Peter uses the same word for longing in vs. 12  and for passions in vs. 14. You remember the word from Sunday? It’s epithumia – it’s a word that describes intense longing, like the craving of a thirsty man in a desert.

Before we knew about the good news of Jesus – we all had different things we loved too much, passions of our former ignorance: sports, relationships, what other people think, fun, work, money, retirement, travel, our own freedom. We devoted our time, talent, money and affections to these things. 

But now – we are to be holy – part of holiness is to have our passions changed – as we grow in holiness. The goal of being in the fiery furnace, those testing fires, is to form us into obedient children – those who look like their Father in Heaven.

Come and hear how God’s holiness is good news for us!

See you Sunday!
Nate Thompson

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