I pray that your time with us in today's worship encourages your faith and helps you move closer to Jesus as you discover more of his plan for your life.
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This week's announcements:
Some of the Small Groups this fall
Today's Order of Worship
Songs for Worship
Great Is The Lord 2022
O Worship The King 73
Choral Anthem: Great Is Thy Faithfulness
Grace Greater Than Our Sin 365
Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)
No Longer Slaves Living Hope
Ephesians: Who do you think you are?
You are: SAVED
Ephesians 2:1–10 (ESV)
1 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
What has God done?
Why did God do it?
You are: SAVED
Take it Home:
Spiritual Development: Christian Meditation
Set aside some time this week to meditate on this week's passage, Ephesians 2:1-10, asking God to reveal himself to you through His word as you consider the path God has brought you down from death to life in Christ.
What Biblical Meditation Is
Mediation, very simply, is ruminating on, thinking over, and pondering God (Ps 63:6), his works (Ps 72:12; 119:27, 148; 145:3, 5), and His Word (Psalm 1:1-6; 119:15, 23, 48, 78). In Hebrew, the word for meditation literally means to mumble to oneself; speaking to oneself audibly or in one’s heart.
Why is Biblical Mediation So Important? The central reason why meditation is vital in the life of the believer is that meditation is the bridge between knowledge and obedience (Joshua 1:8; Psalm 119:98-100). How many of us have our minds filled with a broad knowledge of biblical truth, but have remained, for the most part, superficial and spiritually immature because we don’t allow the truth to go deep into our hearts through meditation?
Mediation is how the word of Christ dwells in us richly (Col 3:16a) which leads to a life of joy and gratitude (Col 3:16b), of universal obedience (Col 3:17) and of being filled with the Spirit (Eph 5:15-17; cf. Col 3:16). Meditation, according to John Owen, is one of only two disciplines (prayer being the other) that have “a special tendency towards the ruin of the law of sin” (Temptation and Sin, 224).
Meditation plants the truth of God’s Word deep into our souls so that we are genuinely changed and enabled to walk in faith and obedience. I am willing to risk exaggeration at this point by saying that the primary reason most Christians plateau in their spiritual growth is for lack of true meditation. Install meditation firmly into your arsenal of spiritual disciplines, and you will do much to promote intimacy with Christ, spiritual maturity, and wisdom in your life.
How Can I Meditate on God’s Word? If meditation is so important, how do I make it happen? Here are a few practical suggestions to help you establish this important discipline.
Read less (if necessary) to meditate more. Donald Whitney offers this advice: “If you could not possibly add more time to your devotional schedule for meditating on your Scripture reading, read less in order to have some unhurried time for meditation” (Spiritual Disciplines, 55).
Make observations and ask questions about the text. One of the best and simplest ways to meditate on Scripture is to observe what’s there and ask questions about the text as you seek to understand the author’s meaning. Observe and ask questions about the words used, connections between sentences, and specific points of application. This last point is crucial because we want to be doers of the word, not mere hearers (James 1:22).
“Meditate on a single verse for the good of your soul.” I’ve written about this practice before. Suffice it to say here that you might find it spiritually nourishing to choose one verse (e.g., John 14:6; Rom 4:5), write it down on a sheet of paper, and think about that verse over the course of weeks, writing down observations, questions, and points of application on that same sheet of paper. During the course of the week, you might take a couple of one-hour sessions to simply sit with that verse and think over it. It is simply amazing how much we grow from spending much time–like several hours—over one verse.
Keep a journal. Does the Bible command us to keep a journal? No. But for many of us, a journal is a useful tool in the practice of meditation. Why? Because writing in a journal helps you exercise sustained thought over the Scripture, which allows you to ask and answer questions, synthesize this particular text with other biblical texts, all of which enables you to better apply the truth, solidify your convictions, and deepen your affections.
Taken from: https://fromthestudy.com/2017/09/12/spiritual-disciplines-part-4-what-is-biblical-meditation/
This week's prayer focus:
Sunday - Our Mission: God, let Your church be a light in our community and world. Matthew 5:16
Monday - Our Church: God, bring unity to the Body of Christ. John 17:20-23
Tuesday - Our Leadership: God, help our worship leaders and musicians lead us before Your throne in a spirit of worship. Psalm 33:3
Wednesday - Families: God, help our families faithfully follow Your commands. John 14:15
Thursday - Our Community: God, soften the hearts of the lost in our community, show them your light. John 3:16-18
Friday - Children/Youth: God, change the world through our young people rather than letting the world change them. Romans 12:2
Saturday - Adults: God, enable our adults to live lives of faithfulness to You and perseverance to the end. Hebrews 12:1-3
Merger Prayer Focus: Working through Difficulties
Whenever people come together for a shared purpose, they should acknowledge potential difficulties. Each person has ways of communicating, expectations, or baggage from the past. These might be traditions, or unspoken ways of handling problems. They might be differing communication methods, or past hurts that people have buried. What are the difficulties that might be facing the new church?
Pray for an awareness of the potential difficulties that may hinder the church. John 13:35
Pray for an openness to new traditions. Gal 1:14
Pray for conflict and hard feelings to be forgiven. Matt 6:14
Pray for ineffective systems to be set aside. Mark 2:22
Pray for clear communication of expectations. Jer 29:11
Pray that turf issues will be minimal. 1 Cor 1:10
Pray for a healthy grief process. Matt 5:4
Bible Reading Plan:
Join us for our 5x5x5 New Testament Reading Plan. 5 minutes a day, 5 days a week, & 5 questions to go deeper.