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Student Ministry - November 2022

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Dear Church Family,

How can we know God’s plan for our lives? The short answer is that we cannot know it for certain, not in advance. We can only live it day by day, step by step. The key to walking according to God’s plan and following God’s direction is faithfully obeying His word. This means that as we have good and natural desires in life, and as circumstances of life come our way, we must act upon them as God has directed us to act in His word. We trust that what He says is right and brings about the desired outcome; His good plan for our lives. And it is as we, by the grace of Christ, trust God and are faithful to do what He says that we find Him to be glorious and amazing. We find that God is our greatest good in life, and it is only beside Him and through Him that we live out His good plan for our lives.

But what this means is that there are many times we will have to obey the word of God, trusting in His promises, without fully knowing exactly how things will all end up. Sometimes as circumstances or desires arise, obedience to God’s word will require drastic change. Sometimes it will cost us comfort. Sometimes it will push us beyond our limits and abilities. Sometimes we won’t like it. But in those moments we have to ask ourselves who we truly trust.

Psalm 119:105-112 has always been such an important passage of scripture to me. Read it carefully and see if you can tell just how much the author loves God and trusts what He says.

 

105 Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.
106 I have sworn and I will confirm it, That I will keep Your righteous ordinances.
107 I am exceedingly afflicted; b Revive me, O LORD, according to Your word.
108 O accept the freewill offerings of my mouth, O LORD, And teach me Your ordinances.
109 My a life is continually in my hand, Yet I do not forget Your law.
110 The wicked have laid a snare for me, Yet I have not gone astray from Your precepts.
111 I have inherited Your testimonies forever, For they are the joy of my heart.
112 I have inclined my heart to perform Your statutes Forever, even to the end. 

Notice how the human author recognizes that God’s word is what gives him direction without showing him the entire road ahead. Notice that he is in dire straits, but he will not stray from following God’s path and obeying His word. He knows God is his greatest good, so he has prioritized obeying God above everything else in life. It is in doing this that he will end up where God wants Him, when God wants him there. Many times we worry so much about where God wants us to be many years in the future that we fail to do what God wants right now. We need to reverse that mindset and be more like the author of this Psalm.

So what are ways you need to be faithful to God right now? What are some changes you might need to make to be more in line with His word? If you purpose within yourself to pursue obedience to (which is really just a whole hearted trust in) His word, then you will live out His plan for you. So don’t worry too much about being faithful tomorrow, just focus on being obedient today. God will take care of the details of life for you if you simply trust and obey.

Posted by Brian Van Doren with

Worship Ministry - November 2022

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Evidence
At the beginning of this year, I got the dreaded (at least for most people) letter saying that I was summoned to jury duty. I was rather excited because I had never done it before, and it was a chance for me to put my law knowledge to use from all the true crime podcasts I have listened to. On the day of selection, I got there early, picked up my badge, and waited patiently for my name to be called, and it was. I was the last juror selected for the DUI case that was going to start in 20 minutes. As the evidence was laid out in front of us, as witnesses were called and questioned, and testimony was heard, I wrote as many notes as possible not wanting to miss anything that may be important. Unfortunately, my fellow jurors took notice of my note-taking and later voted me the foreman of our group.

At the end of it all, I stood in the jury box and read out our verdict for the man on trial. We found him guilty, forever changing his life. Forever blotting his record in the eyes of
society.

I was struck by the seriousness of the moment. The burden that was placed on my shoulders to lead a group of strangers, peers, to decide whether or not a man was guilty or innocent, hit me. I was flooded with the realization that this is all of our stories when it comes to the judgment of our sin against God. We are all guilty of crimes, sins, against a holy God that makes it impossible for us to be in His presence, impossible for us to spend eternity worshiping Him; and yet when we surrender our lives to Jesus Christ, we are found not guilty. Not because we deserve it, not because we are perfect, found sinless, but rather God the father looks at His blameless Son for evidence of our righteousness. Jesus is our witness, and His record becomes our testimony, His blood our payment. May we never forget the goodness we have in Jesus Christ and never lose our thankfulness to Him for bringing salvation to us on the cross.

“See the cross, the empty grave the evidence is endless. All my sin rolled away because of You, oh, Jesus.” (Evidence by Josh Baldwin)

 

Lyric of the Month
My name is graven on His hands
My name is written on His heart
I know that while in heaven He stands
No tongue can bid me thence depart

Posted by Evan Gray with

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