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Worship & Sunday School 9:30 & 11:00 AM
   
Evening Education 6:00 PM

 

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December 21, Morning Worship
 
19
Dec
2014
"Grace and Peace to You..."

One cannot read through the New Testament without reading those words again and again. The exact wording in the NKJV is, “Grace to you and peace.” The phrase occurs at least twelve times by my count, almost always in the introductions of the epistles (letters) to the churches. Of course it is not grace and peace from Paul but from “God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”That is important, the NT authors wanted to make it clear that grace (God’s unmerited favor) and peace were connected and available from the Creator, Sustainer and Savior. This was part of the angelic celebration just outside of Bethlehem when Jesus Christ was born. The angels love what God loves and they had witnessed several thousand years of enmity and struggle since the fall of Adam. However, on that night, the One who made them entered the world that had largely forgotten Him and they were rejoicing in Hismission… ”peace on earth, good will toward men.” That line makes it onto a lot of Christmas cards but I wonder how many people take the time to think about what it means. The NIV translates it this way, “…peace to men on whom his favor rests." That really makes me want to know “on whom His favor rests!” It sounds like God has favorites. Could this be? We read in another place that God is “no respecter of persons.” How do these ideas harmonize? It is simpler than we might think. Some readers may go off here on the Arminian/Calvinist controversy, (have a nice time ). I believe God loves the world and that Jesus died for the whole world and that whosoever will may come to Him and receive pardon, forgiveness and FAVOR. Of course no one comes unassisted. The Holy Spirit is at work to woo and to win but we must exercise our spiritual capacity and say YES! That is not a “work”, that just makes sense. Grace is the unmerited favor that makes the offer and peace is the result of saying yes to the offer. The narrative of Jesus’ birth continues the theme that started in the Garden; God wants us and we can be His favorites if we want to receive His offer. It seems silly to me to reject the offer of grace and peace. Turning down the greatest gift ever offered is choosing to become something we were never designed to be. Most of you that read this have said “yes” to this wonderful provision of God. If not, why not now? If you have, why not thank Him with a glorious AMEN!!

 
Welcome!

We believe God has placed us here to glorify Him by “making disciples”of Jesus Christ.  In other words, we invite you to join us in becoming His apprentices. Our process is summarized in four descriptive words.

  • Worship:  A lifestyle of love and devotion to God.
  • Connect:  A lifestyle of love and commitment to others.
  • Grow:       A lifestyle that is producing the likeness of Jesus Christ.
  • Serve:      A lifestyle of service for Christ within the body and in our community.