Dear Brothers and Sisters in our Lord.
A funny thing happened on the way to the temple!
As 2019 was winding down, I had all but decided to begin preaching from 1 Kings 7 on the building of Solomon’s temple. This is, after all, the next step in our journey through the ‘ Great Events in the History of Redemption,’ our on-going sermon series.
But as I reflected upon this over the week of Christmas, I began sensing that we should go in a different direction here at the beginning of a new decade. Over and again, my heart was drawn to the Epistle to the Hebrews.
Oddly enough, I have never once in all of my years of ministry preached completely through this letter. There have been the occasional sermons from Hebrews here and there, and some lectures on the epistle in the seminary, but never a series of messages from beginning to end, covering every verse in this inspired New Testament book.
Perhaps the main reason I am drawn to Hebrews at this time is what it says about remaining faithful to our Lord and His Word.
The message of the book of Hebrews is focused upon the persistent threat the Church faces to “fall away” from Christ (Hebrews 3:12, 6:6). I mean by that the ever-present possibility that the pressures of the world–both in its hatred for the Truth, and in its seductive strategies designed to shape us in its image–will prevail, and that some will abandon Christ.
In 2019 we were rocked too many times by the news that once prominent Evangelical leaders had done precisely this; they turned their backs on the Savior and the Gospel they once proclaimed. And we’ve also learned of local churches, and even entire denominations, doing the same.
Sadly, and as we have mentioned many times before, our own PCA has also witnessed this very sin of apostasy creeping into her ranks.
Currently, we are embroiled in yet another fight for the Bible, for the Gospel, and for our unity as those who are under the full authority of Christ and His Word. Long-time members of the PCA tell us that we are repeating the very sins of the past generation, those sins that first led theological conservatives to depart from the PCUS and form the PCA back in the early 1970’s.
My heart is broken by this, but we should not be surprised at all. The fact is, the Church and the Truth are always under assault, and always have been. And this will be the case until our Savior returns in glory and victory.
Well, all of this has been bouncing around in my mind as we have entered another year. And if there is one book of the New Testament that addresses where we are right now, it is Hebrews.
On Sunday, we will begin our trek through this majestic letter. And in our initial sermon from this epistle, we will pay close attention to its purpose, major themes, dire warnings, and amazing promises for all who remain true to our King.
If you’ve not read Hebrews in a while, let me suggest that you add it to your daily reading. It will also be very beneficial if you are able to read it in at least two different translations. I might recommend the ESV, and then also the NASB. And for a wonderful contemporary rendering of this epistle, check out the Phillips Translation.
And please join me in prayer as we ask our Lord to make us strong, and to preserve us in fidelity to Him until He comes!
I love you all, much more than my words can express!
These are upcoming events and activities over the next ten days at Christ Presbyterian Church.
Order of Worship:
You can access this week’s Order of Worship by clicking here
If you’d like to sing the songs with your family beforehand, the songs for this week are:
In The Shadow Of The Glorious Cross
I Need Thee Every Hour – Hymn 674 v.1-3, 5
My Help, My God (based on Psalm 42)
Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing – Hymn 457 v.1-3
Reminder, there will be no Sunday School the morning of January 5. We will have fellowship at 10 AM, with the service of worship beginning at 10:30. Our regular schedule for all activities will resume January 6.
Baby Nursery Staff Member Need
Our precious Ms. Merlene, who has been with us more than 8 years, is leaving us in February. This leaves a big hole as she has faithfully served the babies and watched so many of our children grow up. If you know of a sweet woman who would like to work for us, please have them call or email me or Jack Cooper. The pay is very good, and there is opportunity to work more than just Sunday morning. Current need is Sunday morning from 8:45 to 12:15.
Baby Nursery Volunteer Sign-up
At the beginning of each semester, I send out this sign-up form for you to volunteer in our baby nursery each week. This class varies so much that it is vital that our members volunteer to rock babies or play with the little ones (up to age 2). Girls ages 12 and up are also welcome to volunteer. Please consider taking 1-2 dates.
Click HERE to volunteer.
Children’s Ministry Meeting
If you are interested in helping me map out our 2020 events, plan to join me on Sunday, 1/26, at 5 pm (church) for an hour long planning session. I would love input into our ministry (nursery to 5th grade) from various aged parents. Email me to let me know you’ll be there! I already have some awesome things set for our children this year!
The men are meeting at Panera at Bridge Street on Tuesdays at 6 AM to study Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion. If interested, email firstname.lastname@example.org
There is an ongoing weekly bible study and fellowship at 5:30 PM Sunday evenings at the home of Jim and Sharon Daughtry. Email them to get involved.
Transportation for Jean Terry to Worship
Steve Terry’s treatment, which will take place in Arkansas, will be a long process – 42 weeks. So, we as a church body have the opportunity to serve this sweet family during the difficult road ahead. One way we can serve and bless them is to provide transportation for Jean Terry, Steve’s mom, to and from worship service. A link is provided to sign up if you are able to help in this manner. Please contact Kim Fohrell if you have questions about serving. Click HERE to volunteer to drive Ms. Jean to and from worship service.
Second Sunday Lunches:
Many of you remarked to me that you’ve only been able to come to one or two lunches because of forgetting or making other plans – well let me encourage you to mark your calendars! 😉
We plan to continue each 2nd Sunday of the month from January through May. The May lunch will most likely move to the 3rd Sunday because of Mother’s Day.
January 12 is the next one coming up. Please make plans to join us in the Fellowship Hall after worship. And please welcome visitors to stay and join us to eat!
***A word of thanks to all the MANY helpers who prep, set out tables, serve the meals, bring food or dessert or tea, and those who linger to clean up – THANK YOU for making these lunches a great success. It is a pleasure to work alongside you and serve the church body this way.
Sincerely in Christ,
Healing: Please pray for the health of the following individuals: Jacky Haynes, Steve Terry, John Baxter, Bill Cowley, Larrabee Kirkland, Elizabeth Holton, Janet Chou, and Nolan Osmer.
Expecting: Please pray for the Brackins, expecting in March, and the Elliotts, expecting in May.
Ministries: Please pray for the following missionaries and ministries: Seth and Jessica Lewis (Ireland); Steve and Rita Williams (New Zealand); Vinnie and Molly Athey (RUF at UAH); RUF at Alabama A&M; Ken and Angie Burnett (FCA); Franky and Alaina Garcia (church plant in Canada). .
general inquiries: email@example.com
benevolence needs: firstname.lastname@example.org
counsel and ministry needs: email@example.com
men’s ministry: firstname.lastname@example.org
women’s ministry: email@example.com
children’s ministry: firstname.lastname@example.org
youth ministry: email@example.com
senior fellows: firstname.lastname@example.org
288 Old Highway 431
Owens Cross Roads, AL 35763