From Jim Broffitt
Barb does a good job keeping our home neat and tidy. She does the dusting, and, with the help of Roomba, I do the vacuuming. When we go to bed in the evening it is dark and everything looks clean. Our living room windows face east. On clear days the morning sunbeams stream in revealing dust lazily floating in the air. The darkness hides the dust, but it is revealed by the sun’s rays.
This reminds me of the contrast between God’s holiness and our sin. The more we walk in the light of God’s holiness, the more our sins become apparent to us. When we are not walking close to God, when His light is not illuminating our way, our sins tend to be hidden and less noticeable. That’s a danger signal. That’s when we need to draw closer to God and step back into His light. How do we do this? By spending time in prayer and Bible reading, and this should be a daily activity.
What was Isaiah’s response when he found himself in God’s presence?
Isaiah 6:5 (NLT)
5 Then I said, “It’s all over! I am doomed, for I am a sinful man. I have filthy lips, and I live among a people with filthy lips. Yet I have seen the King, the LORD of Heaven’s Armies.”
Isaiah saw his sin in contrast to God’s holiness. After remorsefully confessing his sin, he was cleansed:
Isaiah 6:6-7 (NLT)
6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a burning coal he had taken from the altar with a pair of tongs.
7 He touched my lips with it and said, “See, this coal has touched your lips. Now your guilt is removed, and your sins are forgiven.”
Thanks be to God that Jesus paid the penalty for our sins so that we can be forgiven.
1 John 1:7-9 (HCSB)
7 But if we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.
8 If we say, “We have no sin,” we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Easter Sunday Brunch and Worship
Good Friday Coffee
Join us for service Easter Sunday to celebrate Jesus' resurrection and victory over sin and death! Also come before the service to enjoy brunch together. We can't do it alone though and need some help from our family. If you would like to be a part of preparations Saturday or Sunday, please talk to Claude or Carol Williams soon. We will also be meeting Good Friday, April 3rd at noon for coffee and prayer remembering Christs' death for us on the cross. Feel free to bring your lunch and join us.
Saturday, March 28, 5pm, Women’s Pizza, Meals & Sewing Night
Join in the fun! We’re making freezer meals for those in need and working on Days for Girls kit items PMS(Provisions for My Sister). Sign up at the Welcome center to bring ingredients for the freezer meals and a couple of dollars for pizza. Some items been signed up for, but there are lots of other items still on the list.
Family Matters Meeting
Sunday, April 26
Mark your calendars for our Family Matters meeting at the end of April. We'll meet after the service. Plan on coming, we have lots to discuss!
March Mission Focus: The Persecuted Church
Hebrews 13:3 Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.
The church is persecuted all over the world as we have seen recently on the news but has been happening since the church began. The River supports several global missionaries, some that are in hard places to serve. To find out who they are and how to pray or contact them to encourage them, please pick up their recent newsletters and info in the Resource Room.
Ways to pray for the persecuted church (Thanks to the ladies Sunday morning group for the info!):
1. Please pray persecuted believers would know the hope God gives (Ephesians 1:8, 12). 2. Pray the Holy Spirit would strengthen them (Ephesians 3:16). 3. Please pray persecuted believers would know how much God loves them (Ephesians 3:17) 4. Pray they would know how to share the gospel (Ephesians 6:19). 5. Please pray persecuted believers would fearlessly tell others about Jesus (Ephesians 6:20).
Practical needs for prayer:
1. Please pray persecuted believers would have access to a Bible. 2. Pray they have the courage to remain in their homeland. 3. Please pray for believers who have been rejected by family and friends. Pray that God would surround them with a new Christian "family" who loves them and supports them emotionally and physically. 4. Pray for God to be an advocate for women who are socially vulnerable or have lost the custody of their children because of their faith. 5. Please pray that God would provide persecuted believers with jobs and safe places to live.
Places of persecution:
1. Extreme persecution: North Korea, Somalia, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Sudan, Iran, Pakistan, Eritrea, Nigeria, Maldives
2. Severe persecution: Saudi Arabia, Libya, Yemen, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Central Africa Republic, Qatar, Kenya, Turkmenistan, India, Ethiopia, Egypt, Djibouti, Myanmar
3. Moderate persecution: Palestinian Territories, Brunei, Laos, China, Jordan, Bhutan, Comoros, Tanzania, Algeria, Colombia, Tunisia, Malaysia, Mexico, Oman
Why not pray around a meal from several of these areas over a period of weeks or months with your family or friends? Let us know how that brings you greater awareness of these areas.
One resource among others for information is Voice of the Martyrs at www.persecution.com and is a resource to pray forthepercecuted church all over the world.
1 Corinthians 15:57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.