Pastor Cosand: October 2016
Our Attitude in Prayer
a lesson in prayer from Isaiah 1
In addition to our weekly prayer meeting and Saturday morning prayer time for men, we have two annual emphases on prayer at Bethel. In the spring, just prior to our beginning a new fiscal year with new officers and board members, we have a Day of Prayer. On that day we ask folks from our fellowship to spend one hour in prayer for our church, as well as for other things. In the fall, as we begin our normal ministry schedule, we have a Week of Prayer. We meet for one hour at the church every evening to pour our hearts out to God, seeking His grace and forgiveness and fullness. This year our Week of Prayer will be October 3-7. In light of that coming week, let us consider the state of our hearts whenever we pray.
Prayer is not an 'add-on' to our lives or to our church. It is part of the lifeblood of everything we are engaged in, in every area of life. If someone does not pray, his life, in physical, earthly terms, will probably go on. The question is not "can we live without prayer?" but "what kind of life can we live without prayer?" If we want joy at its deepest level, we can only experience it in fullness through communion with our Creator through talking to Him. If we want to know strength in adversity and hope for the future, we can only know those things through prayer (coupled with hearing the Word of God). If we want to know God at a deep level, it is not possible for people who do not commit themselves to prayer.
Missions Update: October 2016
Why We Have Missions
Missions are Commanded
The following two Bible passages are a summary of the biblical basis for missions:
Genesis 12:1-3: Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” (ESV)
Romans 10:14-15: How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” (ESV)
Joe Teisan: October 2016
What must I know about God's plan for Christian Marriage?
An outline of scriptural principles for teaching the young.
Odds & Ends: October 2016
Pride leads to every other vice: it is the complete anti-God state of mind. … As long as you are proud, you cannot know God. A proud [person] is always looking down on things and people. And, of course, as long as you are looking down, you cannot see something that is above you.
In October, we celebrate the work of reformers who brought about much-needed change in the Christian church. At the center of their contributions were four teachings:
• Scripture alone: The supremacy of the Bible as the surest guide for faith and life.
• Grace alone: The supremacy of God’s undeserved love. God counts us “right” with him when we accept his free gifts of forgiveness and salvation.
• Faith alone: The supremacy of faith. Only by believing and trusting in God’s promises, and through no works or achievement of our own, do we receive eternal life.
• The priesthood of all believers: Christians are “members of one another” (Ephesians 4:25, NRSV). In God’s eyes, Christians are all on the same level. We each have a ministry to fulfill to one another and to people outside the faith. Martin Luther said we’re “reciprocally and mutually one.”
Pastor Cosand: September 2016
The Great Race - meditation on Hebrews 12:1
We only have so many days on the earth and how we live them has everlasting implications. If you live to be 100, then you get 36,500 days. If you live to be 90, then you get 32,850 days. If you live to be 80, then you get 29,200 days. If you only live to 70, then you get 25,550 days. Calculate how many days you have lived and how many you are likely to have remaining and it will have a sober effect on your thinking. At any rate, because we only get so many days on the earth, a wise person lives in light of the inescapable, finite nature of earthly life.
Hebrews 12:1 says, "Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings to us so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us." We see in this verse that we live in a certain way because of what we believe. This is the Biblical wedding of theology and life that we find everywhere on the pages of Scripture. Let us hear the wonderful command of Hebrews 12:1 about running our race. This passage is a trumpet call to every believer.