Dear Church Family and Community,
In his writings, the Apostle Paul time and time again, talks about being the Body of Christ. In so doing he reminds us that we are all united in Christ, members of one another, and hold a distinct function and place in partnering with God to do His work in our world. In Ephesians 4, specifically verses 11-13, Paul informs us that Christ has gifted us to equip others to serve, so that all of us can grow in faith, knowledge, and fullness of Christ Jesus.
The core essence of being a disciple of Christ is following Him. Following Christ means following Him into all of life. Jesus is Lord, and to follow Him and be His disciple, we must fully and consistently surrender to Him – in every aspect of our lives. As surrendered disciples to Christ, we promise God all of ourselves, including our skills, gifts, and abilities. And with the power of the Holy Spirit within us, and the Body of Christ around us, our gifts can be used to equip others to live for and serve God.
Last week we began our Rooted Series with our Week One: Get Connected class, where we learned about the heart, history, vision, and ministries of HBIC. This week we will continue our Week Two: Discover Your Design & Develop Your Leadership class. In this class Pastor Woody will be teaching what it means to be a disciple, how we fit into the Body of Christ and into HBIC, and how God has gifted us to equip others to serve God.
I wanted to give a special thanks to John Hawbaker and our wonderful Missions Ministry Team for such a successful Missions Sunday (and weekend, really). We were able to learn more about God’s work through his HBIC missionaries around the world. We were able to worship a God who so loved the world that He invites us to serve, pray, and support kingdom work locally and globally. We were able to hear about the plight of Christians around the world and challenged to wake up to our blessings, to our call to bless others, to prayer, and to revival that begins in our hearts and flows from God into our world.
This week, we will return to the final leg of our Miracle: Making God Known series, beginning with God the Provider. In one of the most famous but challenging passages in all of scripture, we will ascend Mount Moriah with Abraham, Isaac, and God our Father. In reading, praying through, and studying Genesis 22:1-19, we are confronted with questions: Who is the God we serve? What does God ask of us? What is the character of God? What does it look like to follow God?
In preparation for this week’s sermon, please read and pray through Genesis 22:1-19. As you meditate on this passage, write out what you know about the character of God, the person of God, and the heart of God. As you look over that list, consider how it impacts your understanding of the Binding of Isaac. Lastly, ask yourself: What is most important to me that must be sacrificed for my heart and my life to fully belong to God, and God alone?
I pray the Lord our God continues to shine His light on you and through you all. We are His, we belong to Him and one another, and we work with Him and each other to do His kingdom work. How blessed are we!
Love in Christ,
Pastor Hank (Matthew 5:14-16)
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