How do you know God loves you?
There are many different evidences we could point to as believers.
One simple proof we might not always appreciate is the Bible itself. If God didn’t reveal Himself, we couldn’t know Him. He doesn’t have to reveal Himself. And we don’t deserve Him to. But He has.
Matt Smethurst puts it like this,
Any authentic knowledge of God hinges on his generous self-disclosure to us. Only through his words can we discover who he is, what he’s like, what he’s after, and how we can know him. This ought to humble us deeply. The Bible you possess is evidence that God loves you and wants a relationship with you. No matter who you are or how many times you’ve spurned his love, he is still moving toward you, still talking to you—still befriending you—through a book.
What a privilege!
Since God has shown His love to us by revealing Himself to us in Scripture, we want to work hard at listening and understanding what He says. One way we are seeking to do that is through a short series on Sundays introducing us to the Old Testament.
If you remember, we have looked at two key concepts for understanding the Old Testament so far. This week we will look at a third. Basically we are going to be talking about what is going on with all this talk about Israel and all these laws God gave them. And obviously the goal is not just to be able to answer questions about Israel, but to better appreciate God’s great plan of salvation and especially to see and feel just how much we need Jesus.
Come ready! Come expectant! Come praying!
What do you think is the most important thing you do every week?
You could make an argument that it’s worshiping Jesus with other believers. God uses our gatherings in so many different ways. Because it is so important George Swinnock once wrote we should,
Esteem the public ordinances the chief work of the day, and let our secret and private duties be so managed that the soul may be prepared for them, and profited by them.
One way we can help our children is by showing them we value corporate worship and teaching them how to benefit and enjoy our times together.
How can we do that?
First, here’s a great article: “Children in Worship - Mom Tested Tips”
To give you a taste, here’s a quote:
Stop Worrying: Many parents are concerned about what other parents or members of the congregation think of their parenting skills or how annoyed someone else is with their child’s fidgeting during the service. DON’T! Commit as a congregation to welcome children into your services. This means that not only do our children have to adjust, but so do the adults. In reality, it is adults who have to adjust the most! Let’s just learn to have a little more tolerance on this front. If a baby is a little fussy, papers are rustling, or a few things are dropping on the floor it is o.k. As congregations, we need to willingly and joyfully join in this great privilege of welcoming our children into corporate worship. And that takes some minor adjusting on our part.”
How’s that for helpful?
And then, here are a couple suggestions from me:
Do you prepare for Sunday worship?
Are you eagerly anticipating delighting in God with other believers and hearing from God’s Word?
What would it look like for you to “esteem the public ordinances the chief work of the day?”
It will be easier for your children to sit and listen to God’s Word on Sundays if you are having times where they sit and listen to God’s Word throughout the week. Family worship not only fuels desire for corporate worship, it also provides you an opportunity as a parent to train them for corporate worship.
Plan on getting to bed earlier on Saturday evenings so they are well rested. It’s amazing how much a good night sleep can help make a Sunday sermon more interesting and beneficial.
Between this letter and the announcements are the songs we are singing on Sunday during our worship service; you might have those songs playing on Sunday morning during breakfast or on the way to church.
Pray together for the service.
Share with them what you are going to be asking them after our time together.
During the Service
This will probably be a little more difficult sermon. I have included the powerpoint slides and perhaps they might help your children follow. I know, one mom has used those to make a worksheet for her children in the past. I’ve also included that as an example.
They can listen for the words Old Testament and Israel. I should be saying those a lot. And of course they can find Marda afterwards for a prize.
But even more important, you might ask them afterwards something as simple as, what did you learn about the way the Bible works? Or ask them to tell you the story the Old Testament tells. They might struggle a bit here, but that’s another reason for you to be listening really carefully, so you can help them!
After the Service
Sunday Morning Worship Services at 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.
Sunday’s Order of Service
Link to Live Stream for Sunday, May 16, 2021 (8:30am Service)
The next CBC Prayer Meeting will be on Sunday, May 16th at 6pm. (The elders understand that Children’s Ministry (K-6th) Zoom overlaps. You can bring your children to the Prayer Meeting if you’d like.) Here is the Prayer Guide Joshua sent out earlier this week.
Children’s Ministry will be on Zoom Sunday, May 16th, at 6:30 p.m.
Mark your calendars for the next Women of the Word gathering! Saturday, June 5, 9am. Please RSVP to help the WOW team plan.
You may be aware that the CDC this week released new guidelines for mask wearing in fully vaccinated people: "Fully vaccinated people can resume activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance."
California Department of Public Health and Cal-OSHA are scheduled to meet on May 20 to revise their guidelines for mask wearing in our state.
CBC's elders and pastors are monitoring the events and hope to provide an update next week with respect to our plans for church services.
For this Sunday, May 16, we plan to continue what we have been doing: wearing masks, having worship Services at 8:30 and 10:30am with indoor and outdoor seating and livestream. But we are also praying that we can return to a more normal ministry schedule as soon as the Lord allows.
Part of this is expanding the number of servants and volunteers for Sunday mornings. As we look to resume and restart various ministries at CBC, we know that we can't do so without faithful servants using their gifts and time to further the kingdom and advance the gospel.