Selling Out
 
There was a song several years ago that had
this line in it: “When you come close to selling
out, consider.” The Christian life is not always
one of happiness. We face many difficulties in
our effort to be faithful to God.
 
One can look at the life of Joseph to see
that a godly life will at times put us in trying
circumstances. But through all of Joseph’s trials
(family members against him, slavery, false
charges by Potiphar’s wife, being imprisoned) he
always seemed to stay focused on what was the
most important thing in life—obedience to God.
 
As Christians facing the evil and temptations
of this world, we can be presumed to look for an
easy way out. It is during these times we need to
reconsider and remember God’s help is always
present; we are not alone (Revelation 2:10), and a
reward awaits the faithful that nothing on this
earth can match (Psalm 16:11).
 
- Lance Cordle

"O Lord, be gracious to us; we wait for you. Be our arm every morning, our salvation in the time of trouble. At the tumultuous noise peoples flee; when you lift yourself up, nations are scattered, and your spoil is gathered as the caterpillar gathers; as locusts leap, it is leapt upon. The Lord is exalted, for He dwells on high; He will fill Zion with justice and righteousness, and He will be the stability of your times, abundance of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge; the fear of the Lord is Zion's treasure." - Isaiah 33:2-6

My challenge for your today is to examine how you see God's strength and sheer presence. In this particular passage (which is just one of many), Isaiah indicates that things will happen just at the very movement of God and that if He so desires, He could make one noise and scatter the nations. The reason this is such an encouragement to me is because this the being that has determined that I am worthy to be called His child. He has adopted me and sanctified me through the blood of His Son and now when I feel that the world, or people, or circumstances are closing in around me, I can know beyond a shadow of a doubt that there is a loving God who refuses to let me be overtaken. This is encouragement personified, it is intended to make you aware of who you serve, and ultimately give you the abundant life and hope promised by Jesus Himself.

I hope this is helpful to you today and I am praying for you this week.

- Scott

VINEs
 
I am so happy to share with you the new arrangements
for our Teams. You know that ONE Teams from last
time will not be exactly the same in purpose, or in
members. We have intentionally swapped things up to
encourage more exchange between folks that normally
do not associate with one another. With the new
construction list being found in today’s bulletin, you
should be able to find your family name. If you do not
find your family name, then you are either a child under
20 years old assigned with your family, or you have not
communicated to us your intentions to be part of our
VINEs.
 
We want everybody that is worshipping here with us to
be a part of these VINEs. If your name appears on the
list, then we are assuming that you will participate in
the functions and works of the VINEs. If your name
appears, and it should not be there, then please let us
know. We want everybody in the VINEs to be a
working, fruitful part of these works that will glorify
our Father and the kingdom of his Son.
 
We have been praying about this transition from ONE
Teams to VINEs and we are certain that God is going
to supply us with strength to carry out the works for
which we are supposed to be zealous!
We simply do not want to miss anyone that wants to
participate in these VINEs.
 
We are asking you to being praying for these men that
will lead. And may God bless our hands!
- Alex

"Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near." - Hebrews 10:19-25

I simply want you to look at this paragraph and see how God distinctly and purposefully gave you the family that you have in Christ to encourage and uplift you. In many places today, there are people working to try and "keep everyone humble" by breaking them down and keeping them held back. It ought not be so in the Lord's church! I hope as you read these words today, you are reminded of times when the church family has stood next to you and held you up. In the same breath, I also hope that if there are moments that come to mind where you felt the church family was not there for you, that you will find it in your heart to forgive us and allow us to be there for you moving forward. If we are not considering ways to stir one another up to love and good works, then we are failing as the children of God. Let's begin this new year with an eye towards encouragement and a desire to be present in the good works being done through love by this wonderful family.

May God continue to bless you!

- Scott 

For with you is the fountain of life; in your light
we see light (Ps 36.9).
 
If you knew the gift of God and who it is that
asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and
he would have given you living water (Jn 4.10).
 
Two passages are one idea. From the only true
source of light we are able to see light. If we are
not seeking that light, then we are in the
darkness, but it is also true that when we seek
the light, we are able to then experience the light
in a way that we never understood, while living in
darkness. From the only true source of living
water we are able to enjoy it. If we are not
seeking the living water, then we are unaware of
how thirsty we are, spiritually, but when we seek
the living water, from the true source, "the water
I give him will become in him a spring of water
welling up to eternal life” (Jn 4.14).
 
You can see light when you are in the darkness,
but you should be able to see the light ALL the
more now that you are in the light. You can see
the offer to your thirst when you are not thirsty,
but it is when you admit that you are thirsty that
waters well up to eternal life.
 
- Alex