MISSION WOODS CHURCH
Worship. Sunday January 2, 2022
- Bible Trivia
- Bible Trivia
- Bible Trivia
- Arise Shine
- O Come All Ye Faithful (Adeste Fideles)
- Good Christian Men Rejoice (In Dulci Jubilo)
- Joyful Joyful We Adore Thee (Ode To Joy)
- Drew ReadsHe was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.’ ”) For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.Rayona ReadsBlessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.Rayona Prays.Raising the B.A.R.Launching into 2022, there is a lot of optimism that it will be better than last year, and if you think about it that’s always the hope. New Year’s Day, the turning of the page on a calendar, or the throwing out of an old calendar and replacing it with a new one, is a time of hope, a hope for what could be, a hope for the unknown.Thomas Merton, an American Trappist monk, wrote these words that can help orient us as we enter the New Year:My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following Your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please You does in fact please You. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that, if I do this, You will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it. Therefore I will trust You always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for You are ever with me, and You will never leave me to face my perils alone.Amen.I have often heard people wish they knew what was going to happen in the future, they wish they knew where their life would be in a year, a few months from now, or sometimes even just a few days.I have, perhaps a cynical view of such wishes in that I think if we knew those answers we (in our own self puffed up wisdom) would want something else. The fact that we don’t know is what reminds us that there is One who does.Our passages this morning I’ve preached on multiple times. And so, today, I’d like to focus on two sentences that speak directly to us as a church family:But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.And then Ephesians 1:4-6Ephesians 1:4–6 (ESV)In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.Both of these sentences speak to adoption and Family.FamilyThink of what a family brings us. It’s a place of security, a place where we feel like we fit in. A place where we Belong:Family = A place to BELONGI have several friends who have adopted children over the years. One friend’s daughter approached her mom one day and said, “I’m adop-a-ded.”Her mother laughed, and quickly took her in her arms and explained to her that, “Yes, she was adopted.” But, she went on to explain that was the process by which she had become part of their family. She was just as much a part of the family as any other member.This is true in the family of God as well. And, it is true in our church family.Family also gives us a place where we can try new things, set new goals, find accountability, be encouraged, and make significant achievements!Family = A place to BELONGFamily = A place to ACHIEVEIf you’ve ever attended a support group, perhaps like AA, you may have heard someone stand at the front and say something like, “Hello, my name is _________, and I’m ____________, and they share a weakness. We all have them. And the wonderful thing about support groups like AA is that everyone knows they have them, and they all can relate. The response to such an introduction is always, “Hi __________” and they enthusiastically welcome the person and their vulnerability, while at the same time recognizing their own.I’ve thought that it would be good for the church to begin that way. Think if each person who got up front began with something like, “Hello, I’m Pastor John, and I’m a sinner.”More than that, such support groups and the church seek to give you tools to grow, and achieve. Bible Study’s, Fellowship groups, Worship, are all places where we hope that you can grow.Finally, family gives us a place to grow in our relationships:Family = A place to BELONGFamily = A place to ACHIEVEFamily = A place for RELATIONSHIPSOne thing I know about everyone of you is that you’re in a family. And within that family are all kinds of dynamics. From the outside sometimes families look great, and yet when we get inside, they’re not so great. Family’s all have good healthy areas, and other areas that maybe are not so healthy and we’re working on.And so, I want to end here with one sentence regarding the One who raises the BAR for all of us:In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in ChristNo one of us here knows all of your past. You may think that it is unforgiveable. It’s not.Through Christ we have been redeemed, our debt has been paid through His blood. Our sins are forgiven not because of anything we’ve done, but according to the riches of God’s grace, which he LAVISHED upon us. And he did this not unknowingly, but in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will - which is?That we might know Him and His love and grace and set forth to be united in Him.Paul wrote to the Corinthian Church,So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!Welcome to a new year in Christ!What is past, is past. It’s gone.Everything is new.As the family of God let us raise the BARBELONGINGACHIEVINGRELATINGAmen.
2 Corinthians 5:17ESV
- Let Us Break Bread Together
- Count Your Blessings
- Another Year Is Dawning
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