The Church is the bridge

Dear Church Family,
Last night, we concluded the last session of our James study. I am so thankful to all of you who joined me for that online Bible study. Here are the main takeaways we gleaned from James.
  • As Christians, we rejoice in trials, not because trials are fun (they’re not) or we’re suckers for suffering (we’re not), but because God uses trials to reveal and strengthen faith. Additionally, God gives us wisdom to endure trials and learn from them.
  • We shouldn’t attribute temptation to God, because God doesn’t tempt us. Indeed, God’s only desire is to fill our lives with good things. Rather, temptations come from our own desires, which, if not properly handled, can lead us to sin.
  • Properly responding to God’s word includes both listening to God’s word and doing what it says.
  • Our faith in Christ should manifest itself in concrete action. Such action will include treating everybody equally and controlling our tongue (i.e., watching what we say, particularly about other people).
  • We should be led by God’s wisdom rather than the world’s wisdom. Further, when we’re led by God’s wisdom, we’ll be people who are pure, peace-loving, gentle, full of mercy. We’ll also be people who won’t insist on our own way.
  • We should include God in every area of our lives, including our plans for the future and how we manage our finances.
What remarkable, practical words we find in James! Again, thank you to all of you who were a part of this study. We’ll likely do another church-wide Bible study at some point in the near future. However, for now, we’ll take a break and enjoy other studies offered by our Live by Faith Banner (some of which you can read about below).
This weekend in worship we’ll of course be inspired by great music. Additionally, we’ll continue our journey through our message series titled “The Short of It: The Entire Story of the Bible from Creation to New Creation.” In this 6-part series, we’re looking at the “BIG PICTURE” of Scripture.
Having talked about Creation, the Fall, Israel, and Jesus, we now come to the fifth part of this series – the Church. Next week, we’ll conclude these messages by looking at New Creation. Of course, this means the bridge between Jesus (when God came among us) and New Creation (when God comes among us again to wrap this whole thing up) is the Church. Given the importance of the Church, I hope you will join us for online worship and listen to (what I pray by God’s grace will be) a meaningful message.
Take care, and we’ll “see” you this weekend!   
p.s. Please join me in keeping the people of Beirut in our prayers this week after the devastating explosion they experienced. We lift them up as they mourn their losses following such a tragedy.