We have a busy and exciting week ahead of us. Before we get to upcoming events, though, let us share a few things God has been doing amongst us over the past few weeks.
Our group is growing! God has brought several new people to us over the past few weeks. Our Thursday Bible study this week was a good time of prayer, study, and meeting a few of these new friends. Likewise, Sunday was very good this week as several more new people visited us.
More than just a few new faces, God has been working in our group through the work that I have been doing over at the Idaho Falls Rescue Mission. One of my co-workers there brought several of the shelter residents to our Sunday morning service. It was great that these brothers were able to join us for worship.
On our first Sunday morning gathering, we began a 4 week introduction to the book of Deuteronomy. We covered the major theme and several important aspects of the book of Genesis. Next week, we’ll be looking at the book of Exodus, and then subsequently the following Sundays will be dedicated to the books of Leviticus and Numbers. Then, our plan is to work through the text of Deuteronomy to see the many ways that God is calling us to follow Him through the preaching of Moses. I’m excited for the study as we really get into the text of Deuteronomy in a few weeks.
This last Sunday, though, we celebrated the Lord’s table as a church. It was our first time of taking communion together as a church. It was such a wonderful time of reflecting on the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus on our behalf, for our sin. In the weeks ahead, we are praying for the Lord to bless us with musically talented brothers and sisters. Will you pray with us that God would provide in this way?
This week, we are going to celebrate our city’s first responders, and their dedicated service to us and to our community. As a simple act of saying “thank you for your service,” we will visit our first responders and give them a sweet treat of a cookie from Great Harvest bakery. At a time when first responders (especially law enforcement officers) seem to be particularly targeted by criminals because of the uniform, our desire as a church is to recognize these civil servants and extend our gratitude to them that they stand ready on our behalf to address some of the most pressing needs in our city.
In order to accomplish our goal for this event, we will be wrapping cookies at our home on Wednesday night at 7pm. Then, on Thursday morning, September 10th, we will visit our first responders and deliver the cookies. Would any of you who live in Idaho Falls be interested in helping us with this event? If so, please let me know, and we’ll connect with you and give you further details. Otherwise, if you would like to help on Thursday, feel free to meet us downtown at the City of Refuge at 9am, and we’ll go from there.
As we prepare to bless our first responders, I’m reminded of the Scripture passage we studied last Thursday. In Acts chapter 10, Peter is called by God to minister the gospel to the Gentile centurion Cornelius. A roman citizen and soldier, Cornelius was somewhat unreachable because he was an “unclean” or “common” person and not an Israelite (although the text describes him as a God-fearer). Cornelius, his household, and several of his friends were so anxious to receive the gospel that they were all gathered together prior to Peter’s arrival, they received Peter’s testimony readily, and they were baptized when the Spirit descended on them.
Are there people in our lives today that we consider to be far from the reach of the gospel message? Perhaps, they are closer than we think, and all they need is to hear the good news of salvation in Jesus’ name. Let us remember, friends, God is always at work around us, and sometimespeople are just begging for the truth of the gospel. All we need to do is obey God’s call to share our story, our testimony of what Jesus has done in our lives. I certainly have my share of “people groups” that I do not think are open to the gospel. God’s word and my experiences over the past few weeks have proven me wrong. Thanks be to God that he takes the time to save us, when all of us in our sin were far from Him.