The hands & feet of the Body of Christ at South Church. The horizontal mission of the Church must be rooted in vertical love & knowledge of the Lord. As Jesus said, "Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks." Restore families seek to live out what is learned through Proclaim & Sustain.
Followers of Jesus, linked in arms, facing outward: growing in Truth, living on mission, sharing life together.
After a break for the month of December, the Tuesday night Restore family is happy to be "Back in the saddle again!"
Our emphasis in the new year has been "Sing!" We are exploring all the blessed aspects of music in worship and in our private devotions. Ways God the Father has made us to sing and gifted us with His creative Spirit to write and construct songs for our enhanced learning and adoration to be expressed. We sing His divine attributes and His great mercy, we sing for our assurance and hope. We sing for joy for His great salvation in Christ. We sing the Scriptures, the Truth, like holy water, cleansing and restoring our lives. We rejoice in singing His praises and infinite worth even as He in Zephaniah 3:17, "exults over us with loud singing!" "Oh, how He loves you and me!" "Oh, for a thousand tongues to sing our great Redeemer's praise!"
We sing prayers for heavenly comfort for our suffering brothers, and sight for the blind, and the bringing of many sons to glory. We sing the deep magic of redemption in "Oh Sacred Head Now Wounded." We even sing our answer to the accuser of the brethren in "Now I belong to Jesus!" There is no need in man that music was not ordained to salve us, convict us, encourage and change us into the image of His dear Son. We join the angel chorus in singing "Holy, Holy, Holy, worthy is the Lamb who was slain" and "He shall reign forever and ever. Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah!"
Some updates on the Wednesday Restore Family:
At last week's Restore family meeting, we had an opportunity to live our faith: a friend was invited. Amen & thank You, Jesus!
Anyhow, first rattle out of the box our newly invited friend came out swinging, stating effectively that Jesus wasn't God. What would you do? How would you handle it? What would you say?
We meet Wednesdays at 6:30pm. Join us... and bring a friend.
Yes! Joy to the world, and this be the Joy of our hearts and souls!
With Christmas close at hand, the Advent season upon us, and right on the heels of our closing of yet another 9 Marks study, Conversion, the significance of His coming carries a new weight for some in our Monday night Restore family. One that is worthy of reverent meditation in awe of just how blessed we are to receive the Son of God and the gift of His Holy Spirit who gives us peace with the Father: friendship--or better yet, sonship--versus enmity; a reconciliation rooted in sorrow replaces our pride; God's mercy in place of His all-consuming wrath; His grace in place of deserved neglect; indescribable joy versus sadness; a well of hope rather than despair.
The reason we can celebrate this gift of conversion is the same reason we celebrate Christmas.
We have learned that true conversion manifests itself through the fruit of our lives, and we also know that two main components of the Fruit of the Spirit are love and faithfulness: the foundation of the Christian life. It is because He first loved us that we are able to love; it is because of His faithfulness that we are able to be faithful; through His goodness and lovingkindness that we have been chosen. Adopted... Redeemed... Converted... Saved.
Dear Church family, may we be so full of care, thanksgiving, and praise as we consider such Truth this Christmas. What a gift Christ is to us! And what a gift it is also to have God's Word, the Truth, to study together in freedom (physically and spiritually) in our Restore families.
What a privilege to know the Savior, Immanuel, Messiah, Yahweh--the One we have been saved to.
Rejoice! He hasn't only ransomed Israel!
The Lord has written such a beautiful and encouraging word in Hebrews 11 by citing the ancient heroes of faithfulness, the "great cloud of witnesses" surrounding believers, whose examples give testimony of faith, God's converting work, His transforming power, and the grace of Jesus Christ which keeps us all.
Therefore, since we have been given the gift of the Christ child, the Great High Priest,
We recently put our youngest as well as our old(er) Restore brothers and sisters to work filling envelopes in an efort to aid The Good Samaritan Clinic during their annual fundraiser. Everyone worked diligently, enjoyed the warm fellowship, and cookies, hot chocolate, and prayer afterwards.
We look forward to Taryn Hastings return home from College Station for the Christmas break, and are gearing up for our annual Christmas Eve Service with the First Responders. We plan to provide gifts, dinner, desserts, worship in song, a short message, and prayer. It is our petition that this ministry is as much a blessing to those receiving as it is to those giving. We cherish these times of service together!
Please keep Theresa Jones and her upcoming mission trip to Thailand in your prayers. We are grateful for your financial & prayerful support as she prepares to become a laborer in our Father's harvest field.
Thank you for your unity in mind and spirit through Christ. Merry Christmas!