What is God Doing? More than you Know! (Sunday Worship info from Pastor Sean) – 4/4/2020

Upcoming Events via Livestream ( www.nlicc.org/watchlive  )

This Sunday (4/5/20)

  • 9:00 am Adult Sunday School Class – Billy and Yashmin Clark (Link: www.nlicc.org/watchlive)
  • 10:00 am Worship Service – Pastor Sean preaching (Link: www.nlicc.org/watchlive)
  • 1:00 pm – Senegal Team Meeting
  • 4:30 pm – Youth Leaders Meeting
  • 6:00 pm Evening Service – Israel Team Report part 2 (Link: https://zoom.us/j/434779132  or phone: 312-626-6799 Meeting ID: 434 779 132)
  • 7:00 pm Youth Group (via Zoom – look for email from Jay Storms with the invite)

Inviting Others to Church

Would you invite two other people to join our streaming service tomorrow? All you need to do is to send them a link to our Watch Live page. Would you think about inviting two people directly? So many people could use the encouragement. It doesn’t even matter where they live as they could be halfway around the world and still join in. Just tell them we start at 10 AM (Eastern)!

What is God Doing? More than you Know!

Dear New Life in Christ Church Family,

“Most of the crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” And when he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up, saying, “Who is this?” And the crowds said, “This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee.””
Matthew 21:8–11

What is God doing during this coronavirus crisis? Why is this happening? John Piper once said that God is probably doing 10,000 things, and we are only aware of about 3 of them.  Well, I bet God is doing more than 10,000 and we may not even see three of them, but we must remember that God is working. Amidst the many tragic stories there are stories of redemption, hope, and grace.

This Sunday is Palm Sunday, the day we remember that Jesus Christ is King. He entered Jerusalem on a donkey to the praises of the people of Jerusalem. He still reigns as King, and as a King who cares. He is our King and as his people, He deploys us to serve His people. Yet, if we read that story, we realize that God was doing many things that the crowds had no knowledge of. 

When Jesus entered Israel as King, he did not yet have a people for His kingdom. That did not last long. On the following Friday, he died to redeem His people and build His kingdom, for you and me if we trust in Him for our salvation. As we enter into Holy Week and prepare for Easter, we rejoice in our King who has brought us into His kingdom, forgiven us of our sin, claimed us from the kingdom of darkness, conquered our hearts to Himself, and promises us part of His everlasting kingdom.

Remember, he is at work in ways we don’t even know.

One thing I pray God is doing is to increase our sense of need for Him. We have come face to face with the untamable God who has the power to shut the entire planet down with the snap of His finger. Job 38-42 is a reminder of the awesome power of God that controls the leviathan, the seas, the heavens, and yes even the tiny germ. We cannot live our lives as if He does not exist. We need Him. At at time like this, we also need each other.

We all have needs during this time. This is a very difficult time physically, emotionally, financially, and spiritually. We need community. The isolation at home and our inability to go to the market, to work or church is extremely hard on our emotional well being. Many of us struggle with emotional peaks and valleys during normal times and we may be inclined to greater swings. Many of us are strained financially having lost work hours or our jobs. Business owners have had to shut their doors and let go of key employees.

During this time, let me encourage you in setting good habits. Too many will turn to alcohol, drugs, pornography, spending inordinate time in news or social media, binge gaming or television. There is a practical aspect to starting your day with Bible reading and prayer, setting time for outdoor exercise, quietly reading, gardening, calling family members or friends, doing some home improvement, playing games or watching a movie with your family, and generally keeping yourself active.

It is at times like these that we can be the hands of Jesus to each other. Reach out with an encouraging note, make a phone call, go for a walk and greet other people. 

Beloved, please let us know what needs you have. Our pastors, elders, and deacons are here to help with whatever you need. 

Did you know that every member of New Life in Christ Church has a Shepherd elder? The Shepherd Elder is there to pray with you and be a first contact if you have any needs. Oftentimes your Care Group leader will also be your Shepherd Elder, and if you don’t know your shepherd elder, feel free to ask any of us. Please reach out to them, or a pastor, or a deacon if you need anything, even just someone to listen. We are here to help.

Faithfully Yours,
Pastor Sean

Preparing for Sunday Worship

You will find that preparing for streaming worship may be helpful for getting the most out of the service. Here are some suggestions to making the most of the service.

Remember, you are joining a service of worship. The way we prepare for worship prepares our heart to hear God’s Word. There is no one who will check up on you in these things, so these are suggestions just for you avoid casualness that will miss God’s best for you:

  • Go to bed at a good time on Saturday and wake up on time. 
  • Commit to ready your hearts for worship. Commit to not getting distracted with other things before we begin, but focus only on things that get your ready to worship. Save those things until later. Consider starting with prayer or Bible Study.
  • Finish breakfast before attending. 
  • Get dressed for church. Get out of your pajamas and put on the kind of clothes that make you think you are doing something important. Remember, God is *your* audience and we don’t dress up on Sundays as a fashion show, but in respect and love for God. Don’t discount the way that getting dressed also prepares your mind and heart for worship.
  • Arrange your seating around the livestream to promote a posture of purpose in worship. 
  • Download and print the bulletin. We have an updated bulletin that is easier to print. Just print the pages you want.
  • Sign the guest book. If you are willing, we ask that everyone sign in, both members and visitors. Put in any comments or prayer requests. There is a link just below the live stream, or you can click here: https://forms.gle/EyUV24ucWU1EYJ3U9 
  • Vigorously engage in worship with your whole heart, soul, mind, and strength (including your voice) along with those around you as we all do the best we can given our circumstances. 
  • If you are willing, take a picture or video of those gathered in your home to share later on social media with the #nlicalive hashtag so we can enjoy at least that much fellowship with one another. 
  • Giving is part of worship to God, so take time before, after, or during the service to give. Giving is available online, through the web page, or through the tithe.ly phone app. Or, you can mail or drop off tithes and offerings to the church office.
  • Practice the hymns ahead of time. Hymns for the Week: All Glory, Laud, and Honor (#235); What a Friend We Have in Jesus (#629). This is something you can do every day through the week, maybe as part of dinner devotions or a morning quiet time.

Praying for a wonderful worship experience!

Pastor Sean

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