He Died

For even the Son of Man came not to be served but serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.”  Mark 10:45

Ransom is a common theme in film and tv shows these days.  Often a crisis occurs when a child is taken from their home.  Parents receive a phone call from the kidnapper stating they can have their kid back if they pay a large some of money.  Today there are even computer viruses called ransomware.  A computer hacker freezes a person’s digital files, and demands a ransom be paid to release them.  Without the ransom payment, the person loses all files.


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He Lived

Because God’s children are human beings—made of flesh and blood—the Son also became flesh and blood. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the devil, who had the power of death.  Hebrews 2:14

 

Have you ever tried to do a pull up?  This proves to be the most difficult exercise for my body to do.  I lift my hands, grab the bar, hang for a second, and then pull with all my might until my chin is above the bar.  I started trying these about a year ago (though I’m not consistent).  I’m able to complete 3 full pull ups, but after that my body gives out.  I don’t have any more strength to pull any higher.  Even after a year, my muscles haven’t made much progress.  I’m sure there are several lessons I can learn from this, but today the one I’m reminded of over and over is that my flesh is weak.  My physical body wears down, wearies, and deteriorates.


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Preparing for Online Worship Sunday, April 5

We are starting our Easter Series this week!  While this Easter will be different, we will still worship and share the Good News of Jesus with others!  Invite friends and neighbors to join with us online at 10am as we worship together.  You won’t want to miss it! 

  1. Make sure your screen is ready. Check your internet connection, and make sure your device is ready for streaming about 9:30.  Go ahead and have it set up in an area where everyone participating can see. 

  2. Have your breakfast and coffee ready before 10am. Once the live stream starts, it’s important to be before the screen ready to hear and engage. Don’t let the ding of the microwave, or the gurgle of the coffee pot draw you away. 

  3. Pray together before 10am. Take time with your family and pray together.  Praise God for who He is and has promised to do.  Ask God to move in your time of worship today.  Ask Him to speak to you and give you faith to respond in obedience.  Pray for those who are affected by the virus, and those who are battling it.  Pray for your neighbors.  Trust God is at work for our good and His glory. 

  4. Listen to the sermon starting at 10am with a notebook. Don’t be surprised if the sermon sounds a little different than when you’re gathered in the sanctuary.  Not only will the quality of sound be different, but the presentation may sound more like teaching than preaching.  I encourage you to take notes on what God impresses on your heart and mind.  Taking notes will also help you stay focused. 

  5. Spend time answering the Family Discussion Questions when the sermon ends. These questions are to help you reflect on the ideas in the sermon and personalize these ideas to your situation.  You can share this discussion as a family, or individually.  Parents and children alike will benefit from reflecting on how God will use His word in your life.  Click here for the Family Guide, April 5


  6. Give your tithes and offerings. Though the church isn’t gathering together during these times, the ministries of the church have not ceased.  Ministry teams are continuing to minister to one another, and facility operations are still running.  I encourage you to continue giving your tithe to the Lord faithfully.  You may give online or through the mail.  Visit us at lovingbethel.com

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Gracious Ministry of Giving

We give because God gave.  John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son…”  God demonstrated His generosity by graciously giving His Son, Jesus, to endure the cross for us that we might we receive eternal life.  This gracious gift was not a result of our works, skills, or prestige.  Instead, this gift was completely based in His eternal grace.  If God gives so abundantly to us who don’t deserve it, how much more should we give to others?  

Jesus taught the disciples that giving was a mark of being His true disciple.  Those who gave Him food when He was hungry, a drink when He was thirsty, clothes when He was naked, or companionship when He was in prison would inherit the kingdom.  They wondered when Jesus was ever in these circumstances, and He told them, “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ (Matthew 25:40).  Generosity is a clear discipline of Jesus’ disciples. 

In Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, we find 10 aspects of Christian Generosity.  I encourage you to read 2 Corinthians 8-9 yourself and pray that God would lead you to give like He has given.


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A Word of Encouragement

Philippians 4:8-9

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me or seen in me – put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

 

Hello, Bethel Family. I miss being with you so very much. Please be safe and be kind to yourselves while we are apart and know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. I have a confession to make, it has been a struggle for me to adjust to working from home. The stress and anxiety kept building in me and caused terrible headaches. I don’t know if any of you can relate but I wanted to share with you what GOD has been teaching me in these days of COVID-19 and social distancing.


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