Preparing for Worship - September 26, 2021
We’re coming up to the last Sunday of the month and that means Family Fellowship Sunday! This is when we gather intentionally, kids and adults, in one service to worship together both as families and also as the larger church family. We’ll begin this week being called into praise of the Lord with the words of Psalm 48 and responding with All Praise and How Great Thou Art. Following a special Kids’ Time, the song Living Hope points us to gospel truth and leads us to share in the taking of Communion together. We are also excited to celebrate the Baptisms of Jesse and Jasper Lyons, after which we will declare together in song that It Was Finished Upon That Cross. The song As For Me will point us to time of Prayer together as we pray through the fruit of the Spirit found in Ephesians 5. We’ll conclude our service with a prayer for our Giving, some brief Announcements and a Benediction. Tell us how we can be praying for you. Send your prayer requests to: email@example.com or drop a prayer card in the giving box in the atrium.
Please reflect on the Scripture and songs above, and pray for our gathered worship this Sunday. Also plan to join us for our Fellowship Lunch following the service. (This will simply be a lunch and fellowship time, not a Q&A meeting!) You can find this week’s song playlist on Spotify and YouTube. And as always, everything you need to know about Sunday worship at MCF can be found on our website at meadowsfamily.org/sundays.
See you on Sunday!
- Meadows Christian Fellowship published a newsletterReadMCF NewsletterPlease read to stay informed of what all is going on at MCF.
Attention All Women!
If you have not registered for the Fall Women's Retreat, there's still time! The deadline for registration is this Saturday, September 18. You can click here to register. If you have any questions, feel free to contact Eryn Bee (630-220-6534; firstname.lastname@example.org).
Also, the Tuesday Night Women's Bible Study starts this Tuesday, September 21 at 7pm in the Loft. This semester we will be studying prayer. All women are invited to join in studying God's Word and growing deeper in relationship with God and each other. If you have any questions feel free to contact Cindy Goding (630-437-1864; email@example.com) or Eryn Bee (630-220-6534; firstname.lastname@example.org).
Discovering Your Spiritual Gifts
When, by the grace of God, a person puts their faith and trust in Jesus Christ alone, they are made a part of His body (the CHURCH) and filled with the Holy Spirit. Through the Holy Spirit, God works through a believer by giving divine unction (motivation), strength, and power (manifestations) to accomplish His will in and through the Church so that Christ's life and His kingdom may continue to be made manifest in the world. Those motivations and manifestations of the Spirit are referred to as Spiritual Gifts or Gifts of God's grace.
Our big idea from Sunday was that "when the body of Christ is
functioning well, God is glorified. It is crucial that each part of the body understand
and engage its function well. It also stands to reason that is God's desire as
well. We can believe that God wants us to know our spiritual gift and how to
The most effective way I have found to pursue an understanding of
spiritual gifts is through the lens of motivational gifts. Discovering your
Motivational Spiritual Gift is a perspective of the gift passages in the
New Testament. From this perspective, Romans 12 is a list of motivational gifts or what God does
"to us", 1 Corinthians 12 is a list of manifestation gifts or what God does "through us", and Ephesians 4 lists vocations or God's grace
given to and through people to equip the saints.
As I mentioned on Sunday, 1 Peter 4:7-11 offers two broad categories
of giftedness, speaking and serving (or doing). It is a good
place to start in your discovery of spiritual giftedness. Ask this question; do
you use words or actions more? The question isn't about being more comfortable
speaking in front of people or serving behind the scenes. Instead, it is a question
about whether you find yourself using words or actions more frequently in your
interactions with others, especially believers.
From 1 Peter, I would encourage you to head over to Romans 12. The
whole chapter offers insight into how to function well as the body of Christ.
In verses 6-8, we get a nice tight list of 7 gifts. The importance of the
number 7 is one reason why I believe this is a complete list of motivational
gifts. Another reason is that Romans is
Paul's most comprehensive and well-organized book of doctrine.
Here is what I would recommend then. Read Romans 12. Identify the 7 gifts mentioned in the chapter. Begin praying about them. I believe that God wants you to know and use your spiritual gift. Ask him to reveal it to you. After reading the chapter and prayerfully reflecting on it, read through the document Discovering Your Motivational Spiritual Gift on our website.
My prayer is for you to understand and apply your identity, gifting, and calling in Christ so that you grow in spiritual maturity. Our expression of Christ's body here at MCF will function even better to the glory of God.
You Surround Me With Shouts of Deliverance
"You are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble; you surround me with shouts of deliverance." ESV
This verse has been a special verse to me for most of my life. But my focus within the verse has changed over the last several years. As a child, I loved the verse, because I loved the picture that God is my place of protection. He is the best hiding place. He is a place of quiet and rest.
As I became more aware of the bad things in the world and more anxious about things, I focused on the part about preserving me from trouble. I, like most of us, wanted to believe that this meant that we would be untouched by anything hard, painful or traumatic. Of course this is naive and unrealistic in a world broken by sin. Preserving me from trouble does not been I won't be touched by trouble. I believe it means that I will be preserved for God's glory in the midst of it. God has said that He will never leave us (Hebrews 13:5b-6), even when we are walking through trouble He will be with us and bring us through it.
In the last few years, I have focused on the last part of that verse, that He surrounds me with shouts of deliverance. I was listening to a friend give her testimony a few years ago, and as she shared her story of how God delivered her from some things in her life that she was held captive by, I was struck by the hope that is given when we hear others' stories of freedom and deliverance. As I read this verse, I imagined people who had just found a place of refuge, who had been delivered from their Enemy and they were shouting, "We are free! We are delivered! We have been saved!"
This picture has been so powerful to me, A reminder of the importance of sharing what God has done and is doing in our lives. I need to hear your stories of deliverance, and you need to hear mine. We need to be reminded daily that God is working! This is one way that He brings deliverance and glory to Himself, through our sharing of stories.
I pray that not only would be watching for and experiencing God's deliverance in big and small ways, but that we would be sharing that with each other. In this time of change, we can be comforted and encouraged by sharing what God is doing in us and around us- and He is most certainly working! Let's be watching for, praying for, and shouting about His deliverance!
Preparing for Worship - September 19, 2021
Our gathered worship can be thought of as a conversation between God and his people. We come together every week to hear from God through his Word and the illumination of his Spirit, and we respond in prayers and praises both sung and spoken. In our gathered worship this week, God’s Word from the first chapter of Colossians will guide us in our worship together. First, we’ll open with Paul’s prayer (Colossians 1:9-12) for understanding, fruitfulness, and power as we give thanks to the Father. This leads to a proclamation of Christ’s person and work (Colossians 1:13-20) and prompts our response in song with Behold Him and Come Behold the Wondrous Mystery. Then, Colossians 1:21-23 reminds us again of the hope we have in the gospel and leads us to sing Grace Greater Than Our Sin.
After a brief welcome, we’ll pray for and dismiss all kids aged 3 yrs to 5th grade to Children’s Church and say a prayer together for today’s message. Pastor Andrew will continue his ON TARGET sermon series with a focus this week on Maturity and Calling. In response, we will sing Hymn Of The Holy Spirit. To close our time of worship we will pray for our Giving, and be sent out with some brief Announcements and a Benediction. Please tell us how we can be praying for you. Send your prayer requests to: email@example.com.
Find a couple of quiet moments to prayerfully reflect on the Scripture and songs above as you prepare for gathered worship this week. You can also find this week’s song playlist on Spotify and YouTube. Everything you need to know about our Sunday worship services can be found on our website at meadowsfamily.org/sundays.
See you on Sunday!