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Worship Ministry - June 2024

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Night of Worship
A few weeks ago we had a wonderful Spring Night of Worship led by our children’s choir, youth band, adult choir, and band. I am so thankful for everyone who participated and helped make this night an incredible time of praise to our God! It was a great picture of the body of Christ, all generations singing to the Holy One!

I hope for those in the congregation that you were blessed and encouraged through the truths that were sung that night. May we cling to these as we head into the hectic summertime. As we travel, and as our routines are a little different for the next few months, let us continue to sing and praise the King. May we be reminded that we are “blessed” and that we serve “such an awesome God.”

Psalm 105:1
As many of us begin to travel for the summer, I want to remind us of a few things from Psalm 105:1, to remind us that we continue to praise the Lord no matter where the summer may take us.

Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples!

Oh Give Thanks to the Lord
In Mark 12, Jesus tells of a widower who gives two small coins in the temple collection box. These two coins weren’t even worth a penny, nearly worthless; but to this widow, it was a sacrifice. Jesus declares “This poor widow put in only two small coins. But the truth is, she gave more than all those rich people.”

As believers, it is easy for us to praise God in the good times; to thank Him for the raise or the healthy new baby being born. We find it much harder to praise Him in the bad times; in the death of a loved one or job loss. Yet, in all things and all situations we are called to praise Him. Psalm 105:1 didn’t qualify when or in what situation we should “give thanks to the Lord,” only that we DO give Him thanks! Just like the widow who “sacrificially” praised God through her offering, we need to be willing to give all we are in praise to Him.

Call Upon His Name
I am reminded of Luke 23:46 - “Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” And having said this He breathed his last.” Christ, in His most vulnerable state, hanging on the cross cried out to God entrusting His life to the Father. Even at His very last breath, in the most pain, Christ knew where to turn and to whom He should trust.

We too, should be praying out God in trust. “Call(ing) upon His name.” The name that is above every name and the name that can save. These are truths that we know, but it is so easy for us to turn to our strength or the encouragement of friends before we call upon God for help. So, the next time you are having a bad day, maybe your worst day, let us first turn to God and call on His name.

Make Known His Deeds Among the Peoples
Matthew 28:19 - Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit

As we go throughout our lives, may we be looking for all opportunities to point people to Christ. In how we live, in what we say, and in our willingness to share the truth of His Word. The world does not lack a need for Christ, so let us not lack a willingness to show them the Savior.

Let us go and live our Psalm 105:1 - giving God praise, calling on His powerful name, and telling the world of His mighty deeds.

Love you and mean it!

Posted by Evan Gray with

Grow & Go - June 2024

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Two of the Sweetest Words in Scripture . . . “But God”.                                    

"But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ — by grace you have been saved. (Ephesians 2:4–5)”.

As a follower of Christ, is there anything more pleasing to the ear than the richness of these words . . . “But God”? Our God gazed upon us, His sinful and rebellious Creation, and not because of anything good in us (Rom 7:18), but completely by His own sovereign and divine power, “made us alive together with Christ” (Eph 2:5). We were literally “dead in our trespasses” (Eph 2:4) when God intervened bringing those in Christ from death to life.

In my own life, there have been many “But God” moments that have occurred. When God in His infinite wisdom recognized that I needed a wife and gave me “an excellent wife” (Prov 31:10). “But God” also knew that a hobby would become an idol that consumed my life, and then use that idol to bring me to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ alone. “But God” gave my wife and I both a season to experience being foster parents and removed any fears we might have had of caring for children. In each of these “But God” moments of my life, our Creator had a plan to reveal my utter dependence on His providence, provision, and care. Countless Christians I have heard say – I have experienced this hardship, this great loss, or suffered greatly, “But God”.

In approximately 45 instances the phrase “But God” shows itself in the infallible Word of God. In Matthew 19:26, “Jesus looked at them and said, with man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” In the passage leading up to this text, Jesus instructed the rich man about the difficulties and problems for Him to enter the kingdom of God and then to say, ‘But God can’. In many of these “But God” passages, you see a pattern. A pattern or moment where those “created in the image of God” (Gen 1:26-28) were in deep despair or turmoil, “But God” entered time and space to alter the situation. These two loving and kind words exhorted from the living Word explain to us how immeasurable the gift that Christ has paid a ransom for those who were once children of wrath.

The apostle Paul declared our lost state before Christ and then how much God loves us exclaiming “But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rm 5:8). This does not mean that since we have been “born again” (Jn 3:3), our performance now must be perfect to see Heaven. This means that with all my imperfections, and our mess of sin, Christ demonstrates how much He loves us by paying the penalty we deserve on the cross. I hope that we can find rest in the finished work of Christ and recognize those “But God” moments that are conforming us, transforming us, more and more, day by day, into the image of Jesus Christ our Lord. This song below from The Worship Initiative (Shane and Shane) titled Oh But God  helps us see how God changed and is writing our story of redemption and I hope it encourages you to be reminded of your own “But God” testimony and praise Him.

“I was buried beneath my rebellion
Lost without hope of redemption
Blind in my need for a Savior
Oh but God
Crushed by the weight of my failure
Living the lie I created
Digging my grave without knowing
Oh but God
Rich in mercy how You loved me
Too much to let me stay lost
My salvation sent from heaven
Nailing my sin to a cross
Oh but God”.

Posted by Paul Willett with

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