January 12, 2022

January 12, 2022

Dear Friends,
 
Have you ever heard that we only use about 10% of our brains?  Yeah, apparently that’s not true.  According to the good folks at Wonderopolis, human beings use virtually every part of their brains. Moreover, over the course of an average day, we use nearly 100% of our brains.
 
It’s a different story when it comes to our smart phones.  At least it is for me.  I know there is a whole ton of stuff my smart phone is capable of doing that I’m not tapping into.  There’s a ton of stuff my smart phone can do that I’m not even aware of.
 
There is a word – a concept – that is central to the Christian faith that I think the average Christian understands on only a cursory level.  It’s a word we use all the time.  But like me with my smart phone, I think most Christians have yet to discover all that is packed into this word.
 
The word I have in mind is salvation.   
 
Most of the time when we talk about salvation, we’re talking about the point in time when God brings us from spiritual death to new life.  It’s in that moment when a person is saved. 
 
But if that’s all we have in mind when we think about salvation, we’re missing a lot.  There is a past, a present and a future reality to salvation.  At the point we believe the gospel and surrender our lives to Jesus, our sins our forgiven and our relationship with God is restored.  That’s a once and for all time occurrence.  It’s a done deal.  Signed, sealed and delivered. 
 
But the work of salvation in our lives has just begun.  The present reality for all who have been adopted into the family of God is that we who have been saved are also being saved.  The good work God has begun when we put our trust in Jesus is a work He continues to do in our lives.  It’s the work of sanctification, conforming us more and more into the image of His Son.  If you think of salvation like an episode of Fixer Upper, once the deal is signed with Chip and Jo, the real work begins!  There is a lifetime of remodeling that begins when we believe and continues until we transition from this life to the next.
 
And that’s what the future promise of salvation is all about.  If our sins are forgiven and we are reconciled to God at the point we are first saved, and if the ongoing work of transformation God is doing in our lives is also part of what it means to be saved, we can look to the future and the promise God has given us that a day is coming when our salvation will be finished.  We who are in Christ have been saved, are being saved and one day, we will be saved.  Forgiveness and reconciliation have been accomplished.  Our transformation is underway.  And we have a blessed hope for what is ahead for us.   
 
Salvation is a big concept.  When we focus on the moment of our initial salvation and neglect the rest of what God is accomplishing and has promised as part of our salvation, we are selling the central theme of the Bible short.  So the next time you’re tempted to narrow your gaze to the miracle of the new birth when you think about salvation, remember that the new birth is the beginning of a whole new life – an eternal life – that we will one day see with clear, unclouded eyes. 
 
There is a yesterday, a today and a forever when it comes to our salvation. 

SMALL GROUPS 2022

Small groups are underway this week.  And you’re welcome to connect with a group at any point this spring.  Here’s the info:

Remember, small groups are where we care for and serve each other.  And this spring,  our small groups are working through Pray Big, a short book on prayer, written by Pastor Alistair Begg. 
 
My hope is that God will grow us as a church into a group of men and women who become more intent on the discipline of prayer in our lives and in our community. 
 
And my hope is that you will make participation in a small group a priority in 2022.

GOSPEL ZONE CLASS – 1ST-5TH GR – BEGINS JAN 17

Gospel Zone classes for elementary aged kids are back, starting this Sunday morning, January 17, and continuing every first and third Sunday morning this year.

As a reminder – elementary aged children will be in the first part of the Sunday morning worship service with their parents.  We’ll dismiss the children as the sermon begins.

SPRING WOMEN’S BIBLE STUDY | 10-WEEK STUDY

Ladies, mark your calendars for Monday, January 31.  That’s the kick-off night for the Spring Women’s Bible Study, a 10-week devotional study in the book of Psalms. 

More information will follow.  But for now, plan to be at church at 7:00 pm on the last Monday of this month.

I’ve made plans for you for Valentine’s Day

Let’s get together and talk about love!

Here again are your action points for our Valentine’s weekend Love Like You Mean It marriage conference:
1. Put the dates on your calendar and DECIDE NOW to attend.  This is for every married couple, regardless of how long you’ve been married!

2. Click here and register.  Get signed up.  Go ahead and commit!

This is a great event to invite another couple to attend with you.  You know those people you’ve been wanting to do something with or to maybe invite to church?  Here’s the perfect opportunity!  

MEN’S RETREAT | MARCH 4-5, 2022

 Finally, guys, make sure you have this weekend blocked out on your calendar.
 We’ll have a sign up link for you soon! Click here and register.

The transition for Jesus’ disciples from spending their lives following Jesus in the flesh to spending the rest of their lives following Jesus in the spirit was something that took the disciples a while to wrap their heads around.  Recognizing their anxiety and distress over the announcement that He would be leaving them, Jesus made some remarkable, powerful promises to them.  We’ll look at those promises as we return to John 14 this Sunday.

See you in church.

Soli Deo Gloria!
Pastor Bob

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