Tune into the message prepared for us for this morning by watching the video below. But before you do take some time to list three characteristics of the word love.
Study Guide & Followup Questions
Use these questions after the message.
1. Compare the characteristics you listed with the explanation of love in today’s message. Identify similarities and differences.
2.Identify two or three people that you know God would like you to love but that you find very difficult to love in the way described in the message.
3. Pray for your attitude toward, and treatment of, those people during the prayer time later after the worship singing.
2)SONGS OF RESPONSE
Spend some time in song and worship, responding to the teaching. Lyrics will be on all the YouTube videos below. Watch inline below, or click the playlist to open in another window.
Sing We the song of Emmanuel (Gloria)
Magnificent, Marvelous, Matchless love
The Love of God
How Deep the Father's Love
Grace That is Greater Than All Our Sins
(prepared by (Ron Rourke)
Last week, we were encouraged to lift up the needs of others in prayer, as we continue to do this during this Season of Advent. May we also include the challenges of Gal. 6:10.
“Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.”
All things are possible with God (Luke 1:37). Only God knows what He is going to do, but He encourages us to not get weary in doing good for others, praying for everyone, and everything, and to love one another.
Ask yourself daily, “Who can I encourage today?”
From the Elders: Hello Church Family, We hope you are well and wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. We would like to give you an update with regards to our plan moving forward with respect to in-person worship services. Our hearts desire as an Elder board is to meet together in-person whenever we can as a part of God’s Family and Church (Hebrews 10:25). We have heard from people on both sides of the fence – some who think we should not be meeting in person due to the risk of Covid infection, and others that feel we should continue to meet. We have considered the approach taken by other church leaders and have spent much time in prayer on this topic. This has been a weekly discussion we have had as a board. There have been no restrictions placed on us by Cow Creek Community Church, so this is not a limiting factor in our decision on whether or not to meet in person. Our decision on whether or not to meet in person continues to be a week by week decision. We decided a few weeks ago to switch back to the online church format due to the spike in Covid cases in our community. It seemed to be the prudent thing to do at that time as we watched to see if this would spread to our church body. Thankfully, it has not. We recently discussed the importance of meeting the needs of everybody in our church body, and not neglecting the needs and desires of some for the sake of the needs and desires of others. It is our goal to have an in person meeting for those who would like to meet in person (with appropriate safety precautions) while also providing an online church service for those who are not comfortable meeting in person at this time. While the government guidelines are one factor in our decision on whether or not to meet in person each week, they are not the deciding factor. We believe the Bible teaches the following: Christ is Lord of all. He is the one true head of the church (Ephesians 1:22; 5:23; Colossians 1:18). He is also King of kings—sovereign over every earthly authority (1 Timothy 6:15; Revelation 17:14; 19:16). As His people, we are subject to His will and commands as revealed in Scripture. Therefore we cannot and will not acquiesce to government-imposed moratoriums or restrictions on our weekly congregational worship or other regular corporate gatherings. Compliance would be disobedience to our Lord’s clear commands. Some will think such a firm statement is in conflict with the command to be subject to governing authorities laid out in Romans 13 and 1 Peter 2. These passages do mandate careful, conscientious obedience to all governing authority, including kings, governors, employers, and their agents (in Peter’s words, “not only to those who are good and gentle, but also to those who are unreasonable” (1 Peter 2:18). Insofar as government authorities do not attempt to assert ecclesiastical authority or issue orders that forbid our obedience to God’s law, their authority is to be obeyed whether we agree with their rulings or not. In other words, Romans 13 and 1 Peter 2 still bind the consciences of individual Christians. We are to obey our civil authorities as powers that God Himself has ordained.
However, while civil government is invested with divine authority to rule the state, neither of those texts (nor any other) grants civic rulers jurisdiction over the church.
God has established three institutions within human society: the family, the state, and the church. Each institution has a sphere of authority with jurisdictional limits that must be respected. A father’s authority is limited to his own family. Church leaders’ authority (which is delegated to them by Christ) is limited to church matters. And government is specifically tasked with the oversight and protection of civic peace and well-being within the boundaries of a nation or community.
God has not granted civic rulers authority over the doctrine, practice, or polity of the church. The biblical framework limits the authority of each institution to its specific jurisdiction. The church does not have the right to meddle in the affairs of individual families and ignore parental authority. Parents do not have authority to manage civil matters while circumventing government officials. And similarly, government officials have no right to interfere in ecclesiastical matters in a way that undermines or disregards the God-given authority of pastors and elders.
Said another way, it has never been the prerogative of civil government to order, modify, forbid, or mandate worship. When, how, and how often the church worships is not subject to Caesar. Caesar himself is subject to God. Jesus affirmed that principle when He told Pilate, “You would have no authority over me unless it had been given to you from above” (John 19:11). And because Christ is head of the church, ecclesiastical matters pertain to His Kingdom, not Caesar’s. Jesus drew a stark distinction between those two kingdoms when He said, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's” (Mark 12:17). Our Lord Himself always rendered to Caesar what was Caesar's, but He never offered to Caesar what belongs solely to God.
With regards to people’s safety when meeting in person, here are some of the flu reduction precautions we are taking and guidelines for all:
Chairs have been removed from the sanctuary to allow more space for physical distancing.
We will be running the air handlers continuously while we occupy the building.
We will prop open doors to allow for the introduction of more fresh air and we will continue to stagger our singing segments.
We have designated a room as a mask-required room (either the large classroom or the upstairs room in the gymnasium building) for those who would be more comfortable there or are at risk.
We ask that people wash their hands and use the hand sanitizers strategically placed around the building as appropriate.
We ask that, while the weather holds, people move outside immediately after the service to talk in the open air.
We ask that people keep a reasonable physical distance from one another.
Are you healthy? If you have ANY symptoms (runny nose, fever, cough, cold, headache, or just don’t feel good) please do not attend, but please watch online.
Taking all of the above into account, we are pleased to announce that we will be resuming in person worship services this Sunday, November 29th, while also providing an online church service and guide for those who are not comfortable meeting in person at this time.
Do not hesitate to reach out to us if you would like to discuss. "May our Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace". (Numbers 6:24-26)