Weekly Update | December 29, 2022
Weekly Newsletter 12/29/2022
One more time, Merry Christmas! Those who understand the true meaning of the coming of the Son of God onto this Earth rejoice during this holiday!
Happy New Year! This holiday makes us notice the passing of time, more specifically how we use our time and how we are nearing eternity. For believers, this holiday is a great reminder about the temporary nature of life on this Earth.
But now for some encouragement, I want to share some observations from the book, America’s Great Revivals, that I’m currently reading in preparation for a pastor’s conference in March.
When Jonathan Edwards was a young man, he stumbled upon a Scripture passage that radically influenced him and brought him to dedicate himself to God and ministry: “To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.” This became the starting point, for him personally and through him, one of the most significant revivals in the history of Christianity.
In December of 1734, he was preaching about justification only through faith and the Holy Spirit transformed a few people so that they were born again. Why was Edwards preaching specifically about this? At this time, the spiritual condition of the church and society had declined significantly and there was a great fall. The first generation of pilgrims that had immigrated to America burned with love toward God, but the next generation had lost its reverence. The fall was hastened by compromising churches who wanted to maintain their membership numbers. Pastors themselves proposed a “halfway covenant.” Those who did not show signs that they were born again still had all the privileges available to them as those who were fully committed members of the church, except participation in Communion. With time, even those boundaries were removed, and such people began to participate in Communion and even hold certain positions in the church.
For those few true believers, such a situation would not give them peace. One of those was Edwards. His sermons utterly destroyed any kind of false hope that those who were halfway had. The revival happened in such a society. It also became widespread because of another individual, George Whitefield. His ability to simply and clearly communicate the truth contributed to the spread of the Gospel in New England.
The Great Revival that happened in the 18th century greatly influenced where the United States is today. But unfortunately, modern Christianity is not far from where it was 300 years ago. But the solution is the same, a deep commitment from those who are truly spiritually alive and clear and convicting preaching of the Word of God, from the pulpit and in the personal lives of every believer.
This week we are beginning a new Bible reading plan. For two years now, together we have been reading the entire Bible in a year. If up to this point you have not yet decided to become part of this group, we invite you to do so this year. In addition to the fact that in this plan you can choose the translation of the Bible that suits you, you always have it with you, you see the progress of others, and most importantly, you can leave your observations or read observations and notes from other readers in our group. Through this, we encourage and inspire each other, and enjoy the Scriptures together. The plan itself is divided into 12 months, which makes the reading itself more measurable. To download this app on your phone, search for “Bible” in the app store (it will have the brown icon with “Holy Bible” on it). You can then join the plan using the link we will send you every month.
Here is the link to the Reading Plan in January: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/819-lets-read-the-bible-together-part-one/together/55662113/invitation?token=S1_SC5ykM2_DQuots3v2GA
Continue supporting the churches working among the people who have suffered from the war in Ukraine: https://gfchurch.com/ukraine/
This week we will review the memory text – Isaiah 66:2All these things my hand has made, and so all these things came to be, declares the Lord. But this is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word.
- – December 31st (6:00 PM) – New Year’s Eve Service
- – January 2-6th (7:00–8:00 PM) – Prayer week
- – January 21st (9:00 AM–12:30 PM) – All church staff prayer meeting
- – January 22nd (6:00 PM) – Membership meeting
Below are the services and meetings for this weekend:
Thursday, 7:00 PM – Bible study and prayer
Saturday, 6:00 PM – New Year’s Even Service
Sunday, 5:00 PM – Combined Service with Communion
On behalf of the elders of GFC