Weekly Update from Pastor Phil

Greetings during this holy week of celebrating the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ!

Sunday’s gathering to worship gave us lots of encouragement. Our children sang to begin our time of worship and did a beautiful job in singing, “To the King Sing Hosanna.” We welcomed four new members signing the church covenant. And we celebrated the Lord’s Supper together after considering the forgiveness and acceptance that we have with God through Christ. My heart was full! Then our Shepherding Groups met during the afternoon, adding to the joy of fellowship and encouragement in Christ. I’m thankful!

Mark Morris with Refugee Memphis led our first STINT session last Wednesday as we began considering the major world religions. Mark and his wife Cindy spent many years living in the Muslim world, so his teaching came with special clarity and lots of good examples. He addressed what Muslims believe last week. Tomorrow night, Lord willing, he will look at how Muslims think or the Muslim mind. It should come as no surprise that we have very different world views than that of our Muslim friends. But what is their world view? How does their belief system and cultural mores affect the way that they see us as Christians and the way that they perceive the gospel? Mark will look at these matters and more at 6:30 tomorrow night.

Our Good Friday Service this week at 7:00 p.m. gives us a wonderful opportunity to gather to worship and consider together the death of Christ for us. Pastor Matt Sliger will be preaching from Psalm 22 where the very opening words cry out with one of Jesus Christ’s utterances from the cross. Pray for Matt as he meditates and prepares for opening God’s Word to us. Pray that we might have hearts to receive the Word. And pray that the Lord might grant those without Christ to join us and hear the gospel and believe.

We will look on Easter Sunday at a portion of Paul’s amazing teaching on the bodily resurrection of Christ in 1 Corinthians 15, and how that powerfully divine act sets the pattern for all who are in Christ. Please join us as we worship the Risen Christ! Pray for those without Christ in attendance to believe the gospel proclaimed.

Here is a link to a blogpost on The Gospel Coalition website that I recently posted concerning breaking from a sermon series for occasions like Easter. I hope that you find it of interest. Also, here is a link to a blogpost I recently wrote on the importance of a right doctrine of sanctification.

I found this week’s study in 1 John to be of particular help to us in thinking through on spiritual growth. Sometimes people look for quick steps to growth or hidden secrets for growth. But John will have none of that! He shows us the foundation for spiritual maturity, its struggle, and its joy. Be encouraged in Christ as you read this message.

Phil N.