Preparation for Worship: Sunday, January 14, 2018

Psalms 107:1–2 ESV, “Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever! Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom he has redeemed from trouble”

We have every reason we need to gather to give thanks and praise God together.  The Lord has redeemed us.  He has rescued us from the power of sin, death, and hell.  Come and worship!


Singing:

The voices of the church are the most important instruments in our music ministry. We help each other follow Jesus as we hear each other sing loud praise to God.  Get ready to sing together!


Preaching:

Our second sermon in our “Understanding our Church Vision” series will focus on our Vision Statement.  Be sure to read through our mission, vision, and values before Sunday. Read through some of the Bible passages listed below to begin preparing your heart for God’s vision for us (If you read this entry on our church blog, hover your cursor over the passages below to read them) .

  • Romans 1:16; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; 1 John 5:2; Romans 12:12; John 6:63; Ephesians 2:19; Ephesians 4:31-32; 2 Corinthians 5:20.
  • Based on God’s Word, what spiritual fruit do you hope to see grow in us over the next five years?

Pray:

Would you pray for this work of grace to be done in us through our love-soaked obedience to God?

1 Corinthians 15:10 ESV, “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me.”

What Do We Hope To Be?

In January the GBC church family is giving focused attention to our Core Statements which ask and answer the following questions:

  • Why do we exist? (Our Mission)
  • What do we hope to be? (Our Vision)
  • On What will we focus? (Our Values)

If you missed last week you may find the sermon online.  Everyone who attends GBC will want to listen so we are all on this journey together.

This coming Sunday (1/14) we will focus on our vision: what we hope to be.  I’ve included our vision statement below. Please read through it and think about the future God has prepared for us. You can find all of our core statements on our website.

OUR VISION

We aspire to be a church who spreads a passion for the glory of God by making disciples who treasure Jesus Christ and love all people. We become his disciples and grow as his disciples through the gospel, which is the good news about Jesus’ death and resurrection on behalf of those who trust and treasure him. Practically, we live as his disciples by obeying biblical instruction and depending on God in prayer, through the power of the Holy Spirit. The result is a spiritual family made up of diverse people who stand unified as a gracious, forgiving community. Therefore, as God’s church we become his agent of gospel-restoration and gospel- multiplication in our neighborhoods, cities, and world.

This vision statement clarifies if we are living in accordance with our shared identity as followers of Jesus. Will you pray for this vision to more and more become a reality in us all to the praise of God’s glorious grace?

– Shaun Walker

Preparation for Worship: Sunday, January 7, 2018

Isaiah 64:4 ESV, “From of old no one has heard or perceived by the ear, no eye has seen a God besides you, who acts for those who wait for him.”

We gather on Sunday to wait on God because he acts for those who wait for him.  What we need most on Sunday (and every day) is God.  Come and worship!


Singing:

The links below are provided to help us sing together. Familiarize yourself with these truth-filled songs so you can help your church family grow in love and adoration of our great God.


Preaching:

The sermon on Sunday will begin our series through our Core Statements.  This series will help us understand from God’s Word why we as a church exist, what we hope to become, and what we value.  Read through our Core Statements and ask God to convince our minds and grab our hearts with fresh realizations of his glory.


Pray!

Don’t neglect prayer.  Ask God to make us even more God-centered in all we do.

Romans 11:34–36 ESV, ““For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?” “Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?” For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.”

Top Sermon & Book from 2017

Dear Church Family,

As we anticipate beginning a new year I find myself reflecting on this past year.  Through all of the good, bad, hard, and enjoyable moments God never stopped showing us his faithfulness.  One of the results of my own year end reflection was a reminder of two resources I found particularly helpful to my own spiritual formation.  You might say these are Shaun’s “top two” resources – one an audio sermon the other a book – and they are both by John Piper.

Top Sermon from 2017:

The sermon “Brothers, We Must Not Mind a Little Suffering” – Meditations on the Life of Charles Simeon was preached by John Piper during the 1989 Bethlehem Conference for pastors.  It is a sermon preached to pastors so it includes some biographical information about Charles Simeon to frame up the topic. But the rich doctrine and Bible truths about suffering, escaping emotional fragility, and the roots of spiritual endurance are pure gold.  God has seen fit to use this sermon to advance my own spiritual formation each time I returned to it.  I heartily recommend you spend the ~90 minutes to listen to it.

Top Book from 2017:

Of all the books I read this year John Piper’s “Future Grace” – The Purifying Power of the Promises of God stands above the rest.  This was a difficult choice because I also read “Desiring God – Meditations of a Christian Hedonist” which nearly won the prize.  Perhaps reading both books in the same year allowed the Bible truth explained in the books to reverberate back and forth and work more deeply into my soul.  Regardless, if I have to choose just one top book it is “Future Grace.”  The book is divided into 31 not-too-long chapters designed to be read each day of a month.  In it you will hear Piper explain how God helps break the power of sins like anxiety, despondency, greed, lust, impatience, etc.  I assure you, if you choose to read this book in 2018 it will do you spiritual good and enable you to do others good.

What about you?

Do you have a top sermon or book from 2017? Go ahead and post it below in the comments.

– Shaun Walker

 

* The links on this page participate in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program.

Preparation for Worship: Sunday, December 31, 2017

Revelation 19:6–8 ESV, “Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out, “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready; it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure”— for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.”

The Lord’s Day offers us the blessing of rejoicing and exulting in God with others.  As we look ahead toward 2018 and no matter what happened in 2017 we can say, “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns.”  Come and worship!


Singing:

The links below are provided to help us sing together. Familiarize yourself with the tune so we can sing these rich Bible truths together.  Singing with other Christians is one way we teach and admonish one another (Col 3:16).


Preaching:

As we look ahead toward a new year the preaching this Sunday will be a topical sermon focusing on our relationship with the Bible.  You will not want to miss the simple truths and helpful applications God has for us. Read through the following passages and ask yourself, “What do these verses teach me about my relationship with the Bible?”

  • 1 Peter 1:23
  • Deuteronomy 8:3
  • Acts 20:32

Pray!

Our preparation for worship is woefully incomplete if we do not pray!  In 2 Corinthians the Apostle Paul writes the Christians in Corinth they must help his ministry team “by prayer so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many (2 Cor. 1:11).” Pray!

2 Corinthians 1:11 ESV, “You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many.”

Preparation for Worship: Sunday, December 24, 2017

Revelation 15:3–4 ESV, “And they sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, “Great and amazing are your deeds, O Lord God the Almighty! Just and true are your ways, O King of the nations! Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship you, for your righteous acts have been revealed.””

Christmas is a reminder of God’s righteous acts revealed to us through Jesus. God’s deeds for us are truly great and amazing. Come and worship!


Singing:

The voices of the church are the most important instruments in our music ministry. Singing together is one way we obey Scripture’s commands to encourage and exhort one another. Get ready to sing!

  • Joy To the World
  • O Little Town of Bethlehem
  • Joy Has Dawned
  • What Child Is This

Preaching:

The expository sermon will be focused on the rich truths of Advent found in 1 John 3:7-8.

1 John 3:7–8 ESV, “Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.”

  • According to the Apostle John what was the purpose for Jesus’s first coming?
  • What hope does this give you?

Pray:

What we need most is God’s transforming and renewing work in us through a fresh appreciation of Christ’s glory.  Pray for this!  Let John 1:14 shape your prayers for your church family. Pray!

John 1:14 ESV, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

Understanding Our Church Vision

 

Understanding Our Church Vision:

For the past few months your pastors have prayed, discussed, and given careful thought to the future of Grace Baptist Church.  We put the results of this Spirit dependent effort into a document that over time we began to call our “Core Statements.” These core statements ask and answer the questions:

  • Why do we exist?
  • What do we hope to be?
  • On what will we focus?

In other words, these Core Statements declare our mission, vision, and values. We believe these statements reflect the deep doctrines and rich truths of God’s Word about who we are and where we are going. There are links to the Core Statement document at the end of this post. The second link is to the document with biblical passages added as footnotes.  Everyone who attends GBC will want to read and know what the document says.

We plan to work our way through these Core Statements in a series of sermons during our Sunday morning service beginning Sunday, January 7. In addition to the preaching series,  we will engage and discuss these Core Statements in our weekly City Groups.  We believe these occasions of interaction will be vital  to unify our understanding and increase our joy as a church family.

What we ask of you right now is to read the document and pray.  We cannot over-emphasize the importance of prayer.  Here is some of what you might pray for:

  • Ask God to bless us with an eagerness to maintain the unity of his Spirit.
  • Pray for all of us to be clothed with humility and to possess teachable minds and hearts.
  • Ask for courage and confidence as well as wisdom so that the dreams found in these Core Statements become a reality through God’s gracious enablement.
  • Ask God to increase our joy and faith-filled anticipation of the bright future he has for us.

We are glad to journey with you into the future our Good Shepherd has prepared for us.

Your Pastors: Rob, John, and Shaun.


Read Our Core Statements

Preparation for Worship: Sunday, December 17, 2017

Revelation 1:5b–6 ESV, “To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.”

We gather together as a people loved by God who have been freed from sin by the blood of Jesus Christ.  God alone is worthy of all glory and dominion forever and ever.  Come and worship!


Singing:

The voices of the church are the most important instruments in our music ministry. Singing together is one way we obey Scripture’s commands to encourage and exhort one another. Get ready to sing!


Preaching:

We will finish our first section of the Psalms today with an expository sermon preached from Psalm 22. Prepare yourself by reading through the Psalm. Ask God to open our hearts to God’s Word and God’s Word to our hearts.

  • What emotion does the Psalm begin with?
  • What emotion does the Psalm end with?
  • Can you find where Psalm 22 is quoted in the New Testament?

Pray:

Pray that God would equip us to be faithful workers in the harvest of lost souls.

Matthew 9:37–38 ESV, “Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.””

Preparation for Worship: Sunday, December 10, 2017

Psalms 21:13 ESV, “Be exalted, O Lord, in your strength! We will sing and praise your power.”

The Lord is truly exalted in unmatched strength and power.  As God’s people we are given the delight of singing and praising God’s power together.  Come and worship!


Singing:

The voices of the church are the most important instruments in our music ministry. Singing together is one way we obey Scripture’s commands to encourage and exhort one another. Get ready to sing!


Preaching:

The expository sermon will be preached from Psalm 21. After you read through the Psalm ask yourself…

  • What kind of emotion(s) do you find in this Psalm? In other words, how does this Psalm expect you to “feel” as you read it?
  • What are the truths you find in the Psalm driving those emotions?

Pray:

Please pray! Ask God to make us glad with the joy of God’s presence as we are gathered together to receive from God what we need for a God-glorifying life.

Psalms 21:6 ESV, “For you make him most blessed forever; you make him glad with the joy of your presence.”


Christmas Fellowship:

We look forward to gathering together after the morning service at Rob & Angie’s home for our Christmas fellowship.  Plan to arrive by 11:30.  You may contact Caitlynn to sign-up to bring and ask your questions.

Preparation for Worship: Sunday, December 3, 2017

Psalms 93:4 ESV, “Mightier than the thunders of many waters, mightier than the waves of the sea, the Lord on high is mighty!”

We gather to worship and praise God because he is mighty, mightier than the thunder of many waters and the waves of the sea.  Come and worship the Lord on high who is mighty!


Singing:

We sing together to proclaim and remind each other of the great and precious promises of God found in his Word. Those promises nourish and feed faith. Get ready to sing!


Preaching:

We will continue our expository sermon series in Psalms with a sermon drawn from Psalm 20. Please Read through the Psalm at least once before Sunday.  Try memorizing Psalm 20:7.


Communion & Benevolence:

The church family will remember and renew our covenant together in Christ by observing the Lord’s Supper together.

Afterwards, during our final hymn we will collect a benevolence offering. The contributions from this monthly offering are managed by the deacons enabling this church family to help those in need.


Pray:

Pray for your church family to trust in the name of the Lord.  Ask him to make us depend on him so our time together will point everyone to our great and mighty God who is mighty to save.

Psalms 20:7 ESV, “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.”