Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
With war, racism, and social inequities abounding, what are we, as Christians, to do? We are tempted to give up hope that things will ever be made right. But there are things we can do, there are ways we can respond. For example, when David was facing war, lying leaders, and persecution, he regularly turned to God (cf. Ps. 61-62). He asked God to lead him back to God himself (61:2); He recalled God’s character – that God is a refuge and strong tower (61:3); He asked for God’s favor and for God to keep his promises (61:6-7). But he also mediated, talking to himself about who God is (Ps. 62:1-2, 5-7). He recognized that the strength of the wicked is as nothing before the Almighty God (62:9-10). He reminded himself of what he knew to be true (62:11-12).
Another way that we can respond to the difficulties of life, the hurts we experience, the pains we feel, is to forgive. As those who have been forgiven by God, through the sacrifice of Christ, we have the freedom to forgive and not be locked in bitterness or not be demanding retribution. We can forgiven because we have been forgiven. If we find it hard to forgive others, perhaps we have lost sight of how much we have been forgiven, or how much we need to be forgiven. But forgiveness works wonders for us because it humbles us (showing us how much we need to be forgiven) and because it frees us (by not being locked in bitterness and hatred). Forgiveness is not easy or cheap; but it is necessary for us who call ourselves Christian. Without forgiveness (first of ourselves and then of others), we can’t approach God in prayer. But more on that in the sermon this Sunday (March 5, 2023).
Also, please continue to pray for the nation of Ukraine. Here is a suggested list of prayers if you are at a loss for words in how to pray: https://send.org/story/hh_pray_for_ukraine. Thank you for kneeling on behalf of the people of Ukraine and Russia, and taking a stand (or a knee in prayer) against the forces of darkness in this present age.
This Week (March 3-March 9, 2023):
1. Tonight, March 3, 2022, the Living Stones Friday Night Bible Study is meeting from 7:30-9:30 to begin our study about How to Discern the Voice of God. You can read Hebrews 11 in preparation for this time of fellowship and studying “Does it cause us to trust God?”. Join in person in Room A-216 or online via the following link:
Meeting ID: 685 376 249
Join by phone: +1 929 436 2866 US (New York)
2. The Living Stones Sunday School and Grace Ambassadors Sunday School classes are meeting on March 5.
a. The Grace Ambassadors (Young Adults) will be meeting at 9:45 am (in-person in Room A-202)! We will be taking time to pray together – led by the Ha Family. More info is found on the YAs Messenger Chat. For further info, contact Jillian Yuan.
b. “Understanding the Old Testament” Sunday School is this Sunday at 9:45 in-person (Room A-216) and online via the following link:
Meeting ID: 491 248 585
Join by phone: +1 929 205 6099 US (New York)
3. This Sunday, March 5, 2023, at 11:25 am, Pastor Nathan Willems will be preaching. Pray for him! Join us for worship at CBCGL!
a. Text: Mark 11:25
b. Title: Forgiveness and Prayer
c. Live stream via Youtube: https://www.cbcgl.org/live-stream/
4. Each Wednesday, such as this week (March 8th) at 7:45 pm, you are invited, encouraged, and requested to join our weekly prayer meeting. We will not grow in Christ without growing in our dependence on God through prayer. In February, we’ll spend time praying for other churches as well as praying for CrossPoint Community. The link is found below in the section on prayer.
Administration / Events
1. We have a missions update (so check out the missions tab from the bulletin)! This week, we have an update from Gordon and Maggie who are serving in France. They praise God for opportunities to share with seekers. But they also ask for prayer for discipleship groups and health. Please check the missions tab in our bulletin to read through this report and learn how you can support our missionaries.
2. If you are interested in helping refugees locally, you have the opportunity to join a local Neighborhood Support Team for an Afghan family. Resettlement is a lengthy process. A neighborhood support group ensures that the tasks are spread among a group of people.
The Neighborhood Support Team (NST) will get support from the resettlement agency and NST leaders who have done this before and have a family they are currently supporting in Lowell. This is a rewarding and life changing experience.
For more information email: Rhea Gordon, rhea (at) elevatenewengland.org
3. We will have our next baptism service on Easter (April 9). To be baptized, you must attend baptism class. If you are interested in being baptized, please contact Pastor Nathan Willems. Come to baptism class to learn why we baptize people, what is necessary for baptism, and what rights and responsibilities you have as someone who is baptized.
We also will have child dedication. If you’re interested in dedicating your child(ren), talk with Pastor Nathan!
4. Sunday Lunch Service began again at CBCGL on Jan. 8th with $5 lunchboxes! To place an order, please use the following link: https://forms.office.com/r/nCwQnMruKv Orders need to be placed by Friday at 11 pm so that the kitchen can prepare the correct amount of food. Note: The selection which states “Number of Meals” refers to the cooked food/lunch box/Chinese food option.
5. CBCGL’s COVID-19 guidance has been updated. We still are following CDC guidance for travel and participation in activities following travel or exposure to a positive case. We are also tracking community spread. If we are in a high risk of community spread, we recommend mask wearing to church activities.
a. Please note, you are recommended, but not required to wear facemasks to church.
6. All other announcements can be found here (in our CrossPoint Community bulletin).
1. If we ever become done with prayer, we will find ourselves either fit for heaven or for hell. Truly, our time in prayer shows what we think about God! Do you see your need of Him? Or are you trying to live this life without / apart from Him? Please join our Wednesday night prayer meeting (7:45 – 9:15 pm) even if you can’t participate the whole time.
Meeting ID: 758 587 937
Join by phone: +1 929 436 2866 US (New York)
In Christ, your servant, SDG,
Rev. Dr. Nathan Willems
Associate Pastor of CrossPoint Community – A Ministry of CBCGL