“Our need for the Book”.
In this short series, we are looking at what we as Christians need to be faithful followers of Jesus. This week we highlight the need for reading God’s Word, the Bible.
As 2 Tim 3: 16-17 tells us…. “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
To be equipped to live like Jesus and follow God’s teaching, we need to know what Scripture says. The word Scripture means Holy writings, and the verse here clearly defines ALL Scripture—meaning Old and New Testament. So it is clear that the Bible is God’s words to us. He breathed the words, so the ultimate source is divine, not human, even though God used people to record. Scripture is from God, formed out of His Spirit, and in Psalm 19 and 119 we see that it is perfect.
Reading Scripture is useful—in other words, reading it is for our benefit and to our advantage. Scripture is wise, helpful, educational, empowering, and also convicting. It helps us get right with God. So how do we, as Psalm 119 tells us, hide God’s word in our heart, and meditate on it? The best way is to read, study and devour it and do this every day. Remembering key verses is a great way to put into action what we learn. As circumstances come up and decisions need to be made, we don’t always have time to wait, we need to speak, act, do, on the spot. Memorising Scripture is beneficial for us; this is us doing our part so that Holy Spirit can help us recall what Scripture says and guide our words and actions.
So how to memorise Scripture? Basically the answer is repetition, repetition, repetition! Here are a few tips:
· Work at one verse at a time, rather than multiple verses. Read the verse aloud 20 times—read aloud, then speak the verse from memory—do this 10 times. Next, try to quote the verse without mistakes 5 times in a row. Once you can do this, move to the next verse.
· Perhaps use pictures or props to help.
· Maybe writing it out, or if you are more musically orientated, say it to a beat.
Find what works for you, and ask God to help you. You will be surprised at the results if your heart is really in it.
Our challenge for this week: to be thoroughly equipped for every good work!
In the current climate of making everything about ‘me’ and looking after number one, setting boundaries can quite easily have selfish overtones.
Setting spiritually healthy boundaries however are quite the opposite. When we look at Jesus’ example of interacting with others, we can learn that boundaries can be caring and helpful if done lovingly.
Healthy boundaries define expectations and show respect for others. When we read our Bible we learn that boundaries are related to self control. As Christ followers, we need to take responsibility for our own actions. Boundaries come as a result of submitting to God’s will. When we do this the Lord enables us to make the right choices.
Remember Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. They had freedom to wander all over, except one place. However they chose to overstep the boundary and they did what they were specifically told not to do. They each blamed the other, not taking responsibility and suffered the consequences.
In Galatians 5, we are urged to not use our freedom we have in Christ to be indulgent, but rather serve one another humbly in love.
Jesus shows us that there is a time and place for our words and actions. When Jesus was being accused, He was silent. Matt 27:12. When there were angry crowds wanting to push Jesus over a cliff, He walked right through the crowd and went on His way. Luke 4:30. In Matthew 23 Jesus rebukes the scribes and pharisees.
How do we know when and how to act within Christlike boundaries?
Psalm 119:10-11 helps…
I seek you with all my heart;
do not let me stray from your commands.
I have hidden your word in my heart
that I might not sin against you.
This time of year is a great time to assess our boundaries. Ask ourselves the hard questions and seek God to reveal to us what changes we need to be making. But honestly, it is a daily challenge isn’t it? Let’s strive to learn from yesterday’s mistakes, and by God’s grace and wisdom, seek to be more and more like Jesus.
2021 was marked as our Year of Restoration. Our preaching series focused on Restoration and the ways in which this happens. We started by looking at what our souls need...refocusing, revelry, relationships, reflection, resilience and of course restoration. We enjoyed the Psalms and explored the various principles to apply for restoration for our soul. In July we launched our ‘Be Series’ with wonderful reminders of how God helps us to be the people of faith He has called us to be.
It is our hope and prayer that these have been helpful for you to rest in our Lord. As our key verse for the year reminds us: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
The Worship services on Sunday always highlight God’s own invitation to come to Him. If you have been prompted during the year to make the step of faith, then we would encourage you to leap! If you would like someone to talk this through with, we are only to keen to assist. Don’t wait any longer, make 2022 the year you give your life to Christ and accept His amazing love, grace, forgiveness and so much more.
Our messages each Sunday can only cover so much, and so we are always encouraged to open and absorb God’s Word each day. We know the Bible is still so very relevant to our daily lives, and we express our appreciation for all the Life Group leaders and hosts who facilitate regular Bible studies. We also thank Ashley Nankivell who has provided Bible Study notes in line with the sermons each week to aid us to delve deeper and apply to our lives.
As you reflect over the year and look to the New Year ahead, we pray that the Lord will minister to your needs. We simply need to ask. If you would like prayer or have a prayer request that you would like the prayer team to intercede for you, then you are invited to contact the church office or speak with any of the pastors. We would love to have the privilege of lifting you up before our loving Heavenly Father and Lord.
Prayer: Loving God, we ask for you to continue to renew and restore our minds daily. Direct our minds to Your Word for hope and encouragement, direction and guidance. We ask for mental clarity, and help to think on what is true, honest, just and pure, so that we can be beacons of hope and love. We pray for broken relationships that need restoration and seek Your intervention. We ask Holy Spirit to be our helper to show Your qualities. Help us Lord to seek Your Word and way for direction, restore our hope in who You are. Reaffirm our strength and remind us of Your faithfulness. We ask all this Lord, to bring blessing and glory to You alone, in Jesus name we pray, Amen.
Last week Leighton raised some interesting questions for us to ponder and reflect on. Here is someone’s thoughts on why they go to church….
“In a culture that minimizes commitment and maximizes self-indulgence, I have learned the precious gift of church attendance or, more specifically, the church gathered. I do not see church attendance as a burden or legalistic commitment. I view it as a joy—a place where I can give and serve, a place where I can focus more on others than myself. I could name many but here are ten reasons I attend church:
¨ I attend church to serve others
¨ I attend church to encourage others
¨ I attend church to encourage my pastor
¨ I attend church to state my priorities
¨ I attend church to participate in worship
¨ I attend church even if it doesn’t meet all my needs
¨ I attend church with frequency, not on occasion.
¨ I attend church to set an example for my family.
¨ I attend church because the Bible tells me to do so.
¨ I attend church because I love my church
I love to attend church. I attend church for these reasons and many more. I thank God for my church.”
Do you attend church regularly? What are your reasons? Let us pause and thank God for His church here at Marion Church of Christ.
At our Sunday 10am service, we were delighted to be able to witness Noah go through the waters of Baptism.
Water Baptism is an act of obedience to the commands of Christ. “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28-19.20
Baptism declares that you are a follower of Jesus Christ. It is a public confession of your faith in, and commitment to, Jesus Christ. It is the next step after salvation through repentance and faith and is an important foundation for the Christian life.
Baptism is a symbol of Christ’s burial and resurrection. Our entrance into the water during baptism identifies us with Christ’s death on the cross, His burial in the tomb, and His resurrection from the dead. It shows that you love, trust and have put your hope in Christ.
“Going under the water was a burial of your old life; coming up out of it was a resurrection, God raising you from the dead as he did Christ. When you were stuck in your old sin-dead life, you were incapable of responding to God. God brought you alive—right along with Christ! Think of it! All sins forgiven, the slate wiped clean, that old arrest warrant canceled and nailed to Christ’s cross.” Colossians 2:12-14 MSG
If you have any questions or are interested in exploring your faith or baptism further, please either put a note on your Care Card or contact the Church Office during the week, so we can arrange for you to meet with a Pastor.