To God's Beloved At Cloverdale Baptist Church:
It is a joy to serve Jesus and other churches on your behalf. After spending a wonderful week in Calgary with my aging parents, I had the privilege of teaching at Millar, a course on James last week.
What a privilege first, to be able to do this on your behalf! I am thankful that we see God's people around the world as worth serving and that you are willing to use me, and my gifts to bless others. I am also so thankful for the opportunity to impact others for God's glory. Focusing on a book like James for a week with eager students, longing to know God better, and obey Him more fully was a privilege and gave me great hope! I was also a little disturbed in hearing how many of the churches that were represented were struggling with division during these COVID days.
Made me thankful for you, but also a reminder for all of us to stay vigilant in our walk with God and pursuit of humble unity during these times and beyond!
Please stay focused on the things that matter! So many are slipping into anxiety, anger and angst, and losing sight of the greatness of God and comfort of His presence and the church of Jesus in Canada is under attack from the demonic realm, the flesh and the world.
How do we continue to fight in victory?
Humble yourself: Realize that you don't have all the answers, and so you are wise, open to reason.
Submit to God: Obey what is clear, and be known for your love and holiness.
We then actively resist the attacks, and we will find victory, unity, and impact on our world.
We live in a very privileged time, where those who know God well, and those who don't will be divided, and I am thankful for your faithfulness, encouragement of me to stay biblical and loyal to God and His people, and in these ENCOURAGE you to stay strong in our fight!
I am thankful for the privilege of serving you, and serving others in the greater family of God on your behalf.
This week we spend a day remembering those who fought for our freedom! November 11 is a special day for Canadians, as our sacrifice as a nation (and individuals) has been great. Take a moment to thank someone who has served our country, and pray that we would have peace and freedom in our great country! I am thankful for those who have gone before us, and thankful to be Canadian, with our rich heritage of sacrifice.
Sunday night we spent time praying for the persecuted church around the world, may I strongly encourage us to continue to do this. It is a privilege to be able to join them in their struggle by praying for them. We want to be a prayer filled church, individually and corporately, as prayer is one of the key ways that God has chosen to change the world for eternity! The modern church is struggling with this, and we want to be biblical in our prayer gatherings and the passion in which to have them, so if you have ideas to help us with this, let me know.
It has been three weeks since we have had active cases of COVID at CBC Sunday gatherings (as far as we know). Thank you for your willingness to love one another, and prefer one another. We would like you to continue to wear masks in public space, and social distance, once you are in your seat for the service, you are welcome to take off your mask to sing and worship (or keep it on, if that makes you more comfortable). Some of you have expressed that it is painful for you to wear masks (emotionally and physically), others that it is painful to be in a place that is not loving enough to have everyone wear masks all of the time (your perspective, a minor inconvenience to show love and care for the tender), and again, our pleading with you is that you would put God first, others second, and that we would be known at such a time as this, for our love for one another. Your part in that is key, so please respect those with different views, and show them the love of Jesus as you interact with them. We are doing this extremely well, so let us continue in this pathway that will yield unity and display the character of Jesus to one another and those watching in the world that see such chaos.
Sunday Is Coming:
What a joy to hear that Jesus is REAL, and RELEVANT to the churches as He walks among them.
May we be a place of FIRST LOVE devotion, and a people who persevere and practice His presence, when we are in PAIN.
Text: Revelation 2:12-15
Title: Real Truth, Real Life
- As you review the text and prepare your hearts to hear God's Word, notice who Jesus displays Himself to be to this precious church.
- Why do you think the truth of God's Word is so important, and should be a priority for the church, who is to be a PILLAR OF TRUTH?
- Why do you think that the demonic realm attacks this so strongly, by adding things to the Word, taking away from the Word, or distracting God's people from His truth?
- Reflect on the sufficiency of the Bible, and the hope this gives us, that everything we need for life and godliness has been revealed to us, and that the eternal God has given us what we need to know Him, and live for Him, even today.
- How can you make sure that our thinking is biblical and we are not letting the world sneak in, and change our worldview and make it worldly?
Excited and privileged to be a part of this family,
Honoured to serve you at this time in this way,
Encourage you to seek to not only know God's Word, but also apply it...as such, encourage you to talk through what God is teaching you with others...if you are in your growth group, with them, if not, with others.
Growth Group Notes: November 7, 2021
Take the time to tell stories, if you know them, about what is happening in the persecuted church around the world.
Why do you think that Jesus allows His church to be persecuted?
How does this church in Smyrna help us to see the value of persecution to followers of Jesus being faithful to Him?
As you begin your study this week, begin in prayer for those persecuted church:
- That they would stay faithful and follow Him
- That they would trust God
- That they would find some relief, as they experience His presence
Read Revelation 2:8-11
Review: How are you doing on making sure that Jesus is your First Love?
- Are you seeking to be driven and defined by your relationship with Him? Is it showing in your life?
Why do you think Jesus has no rebuke for Smyrna?
What did Jesus reveal about Himself to them as He walked in their midst?
- What does it mean to those suffering that He is the first and the last?
- Why is His death and resurrection such and encouragement to those who are suffering?
Why is having a correct view of Jesus key to being a faithful church, and being faithful in our relationships (growth group)?
How does James 1:1-4 help us to understand how Jesus wants us to respond to trials?
How can we learn to see life from an eternal perspective?
- 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
What are some ways you can remember that Jesus walks among us?
- What practical difference will this make in your life?
Walk through Pastor Rob’s implications and seek to apply them to your life in a practical way: How do you actually DO THESE?
- See Life Biblically: Romans 12:1-2
- Set Jesus: Psalm 16:8
- Serve With Joy: James 1:2-4
As you close your time together, fix your eyes on Jesus together (Hebrews 12:1-3); and pray for the persecuted church, as our brothers and sisters around the world are suffering.