Making Sunday Special – Stewardship / Thanksgiving Sunday Nov. 24th.

Take some time over the next couple of days and prepare your heart to receive what the Lord would have for you as we gather together on “The Lord’s Day” – Sunday!  

(2 Corinthians 9:6-15, ESV)

The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 7 Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. 9 As it is written,

“He has distributed freely, he has given to the poor;

his righteousness endures forever.”

10 He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God. 12 For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God. 13 By their approval of this service, they will glorify God because of your submission that comes from your confession of the gospel of Christ, and the generosity of your contribution for them and for all others, 14 while they long for you and pray for you, because of the surpassing grace of God upon you. 15 Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift! 

Reflection Monday! November 18th, 2013

How can we apply this series in our lives on generous giving? Take some time to review the text from yesterday’s sermon on 2 Corinthians 8:1 – 9, and then answer the following questions.
1. Let’s get personal for a moment. Looking back over the last year or so, would you say your financial situation has been more like that of the Macedonians, or the Corinthians.
2. Now think of your giving pattern. Does it resemble the Macedonians, or the Corinthians?
3. Like the Macedonians? List the things that motivate your generosity.
4. Like the Corinthians? List the barriers of generosity.
5. If you have trouble parting with your treasure, you may be having a hard time trusting God with your needs. Or you might fully intend to give faithfully, but undisciplined spending cause you to wind up with empty pockets. Examine your heart right now and ask God to show you the areas of your finances where you need to let go and trust Him. List them here:

Seek God’s wisdom concerning the investment of your treasure. Remember what Jesus said in Matthew 6:21 “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

Making Sunday Special! Sunday Nov. 17, 2013

Take some time today and read the text for tomorrow as we begin our brief 2 part series on Stewardship – “The Grace of Giving”

2 Corinthians 8:1 – 15    “The Prelude to Giving” 

1 We want you to know, brothers, about the grace of God that has been given among the churches of Macedonia, 2 for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. 3 For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own accord, 4 begging us earnestly for the favor of taking part in the relief of the saints—5 and this, not as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then by the will of God to us. 6 Accordingly, we urged Titus that as he had started, so he should complete among you this act of grace.7 But as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all earnestness, and in our love for you—see that you excel in this act of grace also.

8 I say this not as a command, but to prove by the earnestness of others that your love also is genuine. 9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich. 10 And in this matter I give my judgment: this benefits you, who a year ago started not only to do this work but also to desire to do it. 11 So now finish doing it as well, so that your readiness in desiring it may be matched by your completing it out of what you have. 12 For if the readiness is there, it is acceptable according to what a person has, not according to what he does not have. 13 For I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened, but that as a matter of fairness 14 your abundance at the present time should supplytheir need, so that their abundance may supply your need, that there may be fairness. 15 As it is written, “Whoever gathered much had nothing left over, and whoever gathered little had no lack.”

Making Sunday Special – Sunday Nov. 17th

Take some time each day over the next three days and read the text for this Sunday to prepare your heart for what God has in store for you in His Word as we gather on Sunday as the Christ Church Community.

The Grace of Giving:  The Prelude to Giving

2 Cor.  8:1 – 15

We want you to know, brothers, about the grace of God that has been given among the churches of Macedonia, 2 for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. 3 For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own accord, 4 begging us earnestly for the favor of taking part in the relief of the saints—5 and this, not as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then by the will of God to us. 6 Accordingly, we urged Titus that as he had started, so he should complete among you this act of grace.7 But as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all earnestness, and in our love for you—see that you excel in this act of grace also.

8 I say this not as a command, but to prove by the earnestness of others that your love also is genuine. 9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich. 10 And in this matter I give my judgment: this benefits you, who a year ago started not only to do this work but also to desire to do it. 11 So now finish doing it as well, so that your readiness in desiring it may be matched by your completing it out of what you have. 12 For if the readiness is there, it is acceptable according to what a person has, not according to what he does not have. 13 For I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened, but that as a matter of fairness 14 your abundance at the present time should supplytheir need, so that their abundance may supply your need, that there may be fairness. 15 As it is written, “Whoever gathered much had nothing left over, and whoever gathered little had no lack.”

Making Sunday Special – Weekend in the Word ’13 Sunday Nov. 10th.

Take some time this evening to read the following passage for our sermon tomorrow in John’s Gospel!  Rev. Kyle McClellan of Grace Presbyterian Church of Fremont Nebraska!  Join us for a discussion of this text in between the 8, and 10:30  am services at 9:15 am in the Library at Bay Middle School.  

John 4:1 – 20    Now when Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus was making and baptizing more disciples than John 2 (although Jesus himself did not baptize, but only his disciples), 3 he left Judea and departed again for Galilee. 4 And he had to pass through Samaria. 5 So he came to a town of Samaria called Sychar, near the field that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. 6 Jacob’s well was there; so Jesus, wearied as he was from his journey, was sitting beside the well. It was about the sixth hour.

7 A woman from Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” 8 (For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.)9 The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) 10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” 11 The woman said to him, “Sir, you have nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob? He gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and his livestock.” 13 Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” 15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water.”

16 Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.” 17 The woman answered him, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband’; 18 for you have had five husbands, and the one you now have is not your husband. What you have said is true.” 19 The woman said to him, “Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet.20 Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship.

Christ Church Westshore Question of the Week!

Q10: What does God require in the fourth and fifth commandments?

Fourth, that on the Sabbath day we spend time in public and privateworship of God, rest from routine employment, serve the Lord and others, and so anticipate the eternal Sabbath. Fifth, that we love and honor our father and our mother, submitting to their godly discipline and direction.

Reflection Monday! November 4th 2013

Questions to consider as we ponder Monday – Weds.  how the Lord spoke to us all through the words of Moses in Deuteronomy 29!

1)  What is the Uniqueness of the Covenant

2)  What is the Truth of the Covenant

3)  How is the Covenant applied in our lives?  i.e.  How do we live into the Covenant with God?

As an All Saints Sunday extra – Here is a video tribute to one of the heroes in my life – Joe Kitts, the associate Rector at Truro Church where I was well discipled and nurtured!  Joe was an amazing evangelist, pastor, preacher, and friend to many.  If I can live my life with half of his energy and zeal for the Lord, I will count my life as one well lived!  Here’s to you Joe!  I miss you and look forward to seeing you again!