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:
(That all peoples of the earth may know Him)
What is Lottie Moon? It’s not a phase of the lunar calendar or a new drink at Starbucks. The question should be: who is Lottie Moon? Lottie Moon is the namesake of the international missions’ offering taken annually at Christmas time in Southern Baptist Churches (SBC) around the world to fund the work of Southern Baptist missionaries.
Lottie Moon was a hard-working, deep-loving, young lady who left America in 1873 to do missionary work in China so that all the people might know her Savior, Jesus Christ. Why was the offering named for this early missionary to China? Throughout her career, Lottie Moon wrote numerous letters home urging Southern Baptists to make great their mission’s involvement and support. One of those letters triggered Southern Baptist Churches to take an offering in 1888 for international missions at Christmas time – thus the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering (LMCO) was born. That first offering of $3313 was enough to send three new missionaries to China. From that point on Southern Baptists have been collecting the LMCO for the past 130 years. Today there are about 5000 SBC missionaries serving overseas whose salaries are funded primarily through this offering.
And that is the reason I am writing to you today. We are privileged at North Wake to have commissioned and sent over 45 missionaries in the past 20 years through the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. Currently, the LMCO is providing funding for 20 of our Far-Flung Friends who are working diligently in some hard places around the world sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ. Every penny of your gift to LMCO goes to support them.
Once again, during the Entermissions weekend, you will have two opportunities to contribute to the LMCO. During our Saturday, Auction for the Nations, all the proceeds from the silent auction and 6 items from the live auction will go directly to Lottie Moon. On Sunday morning, separate from our regular offering, we will be collecting an offering at the end of each service that will go directly to Lottie Moon. So come to the auction on Saturday night, bid wildly during the silent auction, and then on Sunday, if you are able, plan to give to the LMCO at the end of the services. You won’t find a better eternal return on your money!
To the Glory of our Savior, Jesus Christ,
This past Sunday (1/21/18) I quoted David Howard’s article on Rahab’s lie. It’s a helpful short overview of Christian perspectives on whether or not it is ever acceptable for a Christian to lie. Here’s the whole article:
I also shared the testimony of Nabeel Qureshi, a former Muslim who came to faith in Christ. You can read his entire testimony here:
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:
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.
- 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!
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!
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!
I watched this little 3 minute video by David Platt on the importance of prayer. Hope it encourages you in your vital role in praying for God’s kind work amongst all peoples!