At a pastor’s conference at Moody Bible Institute there was a large sign that hung above the platform for all pastors to see. Each time the pastors gathered together in this room, they would see this sign. In big bold letters it said, “Relax pastors for once you are not in charge!”
The truth is, we really are not in charge. And that isn’t a message just for pastors. We are not in charge. God is.
I have been talking with a friend from Portland lately about the man Job. No matter how many times I consider the book of Job, it causes me to seriously think about the bigger picture. In the case of Job, there is a drama being played out without Job’s knowledge. God didn’t ask Job for his input on things. Throughout the 42 chapters, have you noticed, Job isn’t even filled in on what was going on? God gave Satan permission to ransack Job’s life if you will. And there was nothing Job could do about it. What was the one thing in Job’s control? His response. Satan doesn’t win unless Job curses God.
Isn’t that true for us as well? When it comes to what is being played out around us, either on a personal level or the bigger picture, we aren’t always filled in on what is going on. What is the one thing that matters the most? Our personal character. Our integrity. Our response.
Church, our battle is not against flesh and blood but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. I have been reminded of Ephesians 6:10-17. We do not fight with worldly weapons but are called to be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. As we choose our clothes to wear for the day, don’t forget to put on your spiritual clothes- spiritual armor.
Be encouraged for as Job had to learn in a greater way, God is Sovereign. He is in charge. Satan is not God’s counterpart. They are not equal in power. Satan is limited. God’s power is unlimited. And no power on earth can stop us from what God calls us to do.
At Saul’s conversion on the road to Damascus it was clear what Saul’s mission was to be from that moment forward. Jesus said to Saul, “I am sending you to them to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins” (see Acts 9 & 26:17-18). That continues to be our focus as followers of Christ and as a church.
In closing, I remind you of 2/7. Not the Superbowl, but that there are two studies to choose from on Sunday mornings at 9:00. They are both 4-week studies and check out the description of these excellent studies in the announcements. Also, on 2/7 we will be bringing our 9:00 worship service back. But with this significant change. Like the second service where masks are required to and from your seats, the first service will further require masks even while you are seated. We are doing this on a temporary basis to be considerate and loving of those who would like to attend but prefer stricter guidelines around masks.
We do not want to be ignorant of the devil’s schemes to disrupt our unity but seek to guard our unity here at EBC.
Blessings to you, Pastor Brian
More Certainties to Live By
1 John 5:13-21
Link to This Sunday Worship Service
New Sermon Series
A Bright Spot in a Dark World
A study in the Book of Daniel
Begins February 7th
Beginning Sunday February 7th , we will be offering 2 services.
The 9 am service, masks will be required to be worn for the entire worship service.
The 10:45 am service will continue as is and you may choose to remove masks once you are seated. Masks must be worn while entering and leaving the building as well as during fellowship time. We will continue to livestream at 10:45 am.
We are doing this on a temporary basis to be considerate and loving of those who would like to attend but prefer stricter guidelines around masks.
Just a reminder to bring back the Valentines Cards you picked up for the residents at 2 local nursing homes. These cards will be used to show each one of the 370 residents God’s love. Thank you to all who participated in this local missions project.
All cards are due back no later than Sunday February 7th
EBC Sunday Study
We’re excited to offer two four-week adult studies this February. Each study will meet at EBC, Sunday morning from 9-10:15 AM. See below for a detailed description of each study.
Take The World, But Give Me Jesus
With Adam Hayes
Overexposure is one of the greatest threats to peace in the modern church. With access to every corner of the world and into the living rooms of so many individuals, church members often willingly put themselves in the way of fear and envy. While this feels like a modern problem, the heart of the matter is ancient. This class will be an opportunity to turn your attention away from all that’s robbing you and others of peace and reconnect you with your God who promises to protect and provide.
Objectives for this study:
· Address the temptations of fear and envy that stir when we dwell on the world’s prosperity and progress apart from God.
· Replace rumination with God’s eternal promises, so that we can live our calling confidently; trusting that He is our strength and portion forever.
With Susan Lyle
The Living Grace Class is a discipleship growth experience intended for people who struggle with mental and emotional challenges (e.g., anxiety, panic, depression, and/or other diagnoses). As a group, we will explore biblical truths, scientific research, and practical tools to cultivate healthy hearts and minds. Topics include identity in Christ, renewing your mind, managing stress, and relaxation and joy.
Objectives for this study:
· To better know and understand who we are in Christ specifically as it relates to our mental and emotional struggles.
· To help build individual resilience in navigating mental and emotional challenges.
· To cultivate a safe and supportive network of individuals with mental and emotional challenges.