Isaiah proclaims the greatness and goodness of God: “He tends his flock like a shepherd; He gathers his lambs in his arms and carried them close to his heart” (40:11). Close to the heart of God—this is where our worship together can bring us. Consider all of the ways God blesses us and pour that into your praise this morning. Thank you for joining us to honor the Sovereign Lord!
Jesus always enjoyed being around little children (see Mark 9:33-36; 10:13-18). He stated that we must become like them in their innocence and trustfulness in order to enter the kingdom of heaven and encouraged us to always welcome them in his name. This morning we have the opportunity to welcome several newborns in his name in our Celebration of Life. What a joy and honor it is to have among us these young families—dedicated to rearing up their children in the grace of God. It is also an awesome responsibility for us as a church family to support them and offer them a healthy and nurturing atmosphere within our church in order to help these children flourish in Christ. Please continue to pray beyond today for our 2017 newborns and their families.
Our youth group will be busy over the next two weekends participating in two major teen events. First up is Winterfest, which is next weekend, February 15-18, in Gatlinburg, TN. This rally brings together over 10,000 Christians from all over the nation. Then on the following weekend, February 23-25, others, God willing of course, will go to a closer destination—Russelville—for ChristTeens. The West Side congregation in that city hosts this gathering. Over 1000 teens typically attend this event. It is positive and healthy for our teens to participate in such rallies—not only to benefit from the teaching and the fellowship with one another, but also to see and interact with so many other Christian teens. Thanks to our youth ministers, Jesse Stacy and Rachel Griffith, and to numerous parents who are leading these trips. You have our prayers!
Our GAP kids will be leading the Sunday night service tonight. These young men do a fine job as they develop their God-given gifts to publically serve him. Come out and support them! They are the future church!
Speaking of gifts—use your gift of encouragement this week. Hug an elder. Express thanks to your Bible class teacher. Contact someone this week that has been absent from our assemblies. Pray for the sick. Write an encouraging note to someone who especially needs it. These small things bring a huge harvest!
I love you church!