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Vll:  the Last Words of Jesus

This is the title to our new series on Sunday mornings at NW. During the season of Lent (which began this past Wednesday), we will be reflecting together on the last sayings of Jesus while on the cross.  They are, as you would imagine, words that reveal to us the very heart of Jesus for us that we are then to share with others.

I’ve linked a short devotional on the seven last words of Jesus written by the folks at Breakpoint.org.  I hope it will help you ready yourself for worship each Sunday as we consider together…”that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” (Eph. 3.117-19)

In addition, we have a boatload of resources available to you and your family to use during lent.  You can access them here.

If you are looking for a daily Lenten devotional to use personally, here is one I am using:

 

Priority for 2018

The fall of each year our elders go away for a retreat to discern what we believe should be our top priority in terms of focussed spiritual growth for the coming year.

This past Sunday (1/7/18) I presented that priority in the morning’s sermon.  You can give it a listen here:


Here it is in writing:

2018 NW Annual Priority

Key Word:  Bought

  • Bumper Sticker: Bought: We Belong to Christ!
  • Full statement of priority: to be captivated by the truth that we belong to Christ and that we are His people…
      • such that, (these are the markers we are looking for increase in this year)
        • …we would be in awe of this privilege (delight)
        • …we would respond in willing obedience
        • …we would invite others to join us! (evangelism)
  • Key verse:
    • 1 Corinthians 6:19b-20 You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
  • Prayer:
    • pray for apprehension of the privilege of being in God’s family and for increased delight in that!
    • pray for increased obedience in response to the privilege of belonging to Christ!
    • pray for an increased desire and opportunity to invite others into this relationship with Christ

Here’s another good resource on this theme that was brought to my attention:

This idea of being “bought” by God and being slaves of God will be coming up a lot this year!  Pray for an open heart for you and for our whole church family to this challenging teaching.   Pray that we we gladly submit to the lordship of our good Master, King Jesus!

Larry

Conversation Starters ….

As the holidays approach, join me in praying with the apostle Paul …

At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison —Colossians 4:3

And when He opens those doors, what will you say? Here are some helpful resources to equip you with clear words (Col. 4.4) when God grants you the opportunity:

1. This is a series of little 3 minute videos designed to help you begin spiritual conversations with friends and family at Christmas.

~ Speaking the Story Series

2. Here are 10 helpful ways to think about sharing the gospel with family over the holidays.

~ Ten Ways to Bring the Gospel Home This Christmas

Have a bold and loving Christmas!

Loving Your Neighbors at Christmas

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. The message of the incarnation is in many of our Christmas traditions.  It is in the inflated nativity in many yards around town. It is in the Christmas carols we hear, sing and stream. The grand story of God and sinners reconciled is mixed in with Rudolph and Frosty.  Signs of the true meaning of Christmas is still there, we just have to look harder to find them.
Christmas time is also a great time to reach out to our neighbors.  Amy Lively has written a short but helpful article with some ideas about how to use this wonderful time of the year to love on our neighbors.  Enjoy!

The 3-Circle Life Conservation Training Video

At Sunday’s night’s prayer meeting I demonstrated how to use the 3-Circle Life Conservation to make a Gospel presentation.  Here’s a link to a more in-depth training video that will help you more effectively share the Gospel.

https://vimeo.com/97258323

There will also be a 3-Circle Conversation training this weekend (Saturday, Nov 11th) at Southeastern Seminary here in Wake Forest for anyone interested in learning more about how to effectively witness and disciple using the 3-Circles Conversation tool.  Follow this link to learn more details about the training:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/gospel-conversations-training-tickets-39249647753

I’m praying for the opportunities the Lord is going to provide us all to share our faith in the coming weeks.

Blessings,

Rob Craig

The 500th Anniversary of the Reformation

The month of October marks the 500th anniversary of a key event that effectively launched the Protestant Reformation.  Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door of the Catholic church in Wittenburg, Germany on October, 31, 1517.  If you’d like to meet some of the leaders of that movement and hear their stories (you can actually listen to these articles read aloud!), Desiring God ministries has put together 31 very brief biographies of key reformers who have shaped our faith and our world.
You can read (or listen) to them here:
Enjoy!