Finishing and Beginning
This coming Sunday, Lord willing, I will be wrapping up my sermon series in 1 John. I have so enjoyed preaching through this letter. It is such a blessing to meditate and reflect on the assurance of salvation we have in Jesus. We have been pressing through John’s letter since the beginning of September, apart from December for our Christmas series. I have been asked why we primarily work through books of the Bible in our Sunday morning worship services. When we work through books of the Bible or sections of a book, it is easier to establish context and the meaning of the message for the original hearers. 1 John is a later New Testament letter, and the subjects John addresses are all intertwined in the life of the church or churches John is addressing. It would not be wrong to dip into 1 John and preach a message on loving your fellow Christian, but the love for the brethren is just one of the five tests John asserts to help the readers or hearers examine themselves and assure them of their security in Christ. As we work through books of the Bible, I hope we are preaching with the intent Paul asserted in Acts 20:27, “I did not avoid declaring to you the whole plan of God.”
During February and into week of March, we will take a break from our regular expository teaching through the Bible for a topical series on marriage and family. There is little doubt the institutions of marriage and the family are being degraded in our culture. Marriage and family are God’s blessing for all His creation. We are going to be working through passages in the Old Testament which demonstrate God’s goodness in the creation of marriage, sins effects, and God’s commands for HIS people regarding their marriages and families. We will also be looking into the Word of God for guidance in responding to the deceptions and distortions being condoned and celebrated in our culture.
Please be in prayer for an opportunity we have coming up this summer to come alongside a church in Canada. Many of you have been praying for Nathan and Emily Taylor as they were preparing to move to Calgary to become church planters. They moved back in November and are becoming acclimated to the area. Over the course of the past year, the Lord has allowed me to reconnect with a pastor in that area. Brett Thornton is the pastor of Big Rock Baptist Church in Okotoks, Alberta. This town is within 30 miles of Calgary and near the Taylors. Isn’t God amazing? There is not enough space in this letter to explain all the connections Brett and I have had over the past 20 years. I am amazed at the providence of God. We are planning a trip for the end of July to go and assist Big Rock Baptist Church as they conduct a Vacation Bible School. We will also be able to connect with the Taylors to encourage, assist, and pray with them. This trip will be open to youth ages 15 and up, and others the Lord leads. We will have an informational meeting Sunday, February 4 immediately after the morning service for those who want more information. Please make this effort a matter of prayer.