Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Welcome to 2023! Last year may not have ended the way you wanted, but the Lord is still faithful and just. He is still at work in your life blessing you and providing opportunities for you to be a blessing. But more on that in another update.
Today, we consider how we are doing with the practice of prayer. We have every reason to expect our Father in Heaven to give us the best gift – Himself (cf. Luke 11:11-13). But in giving us the best gift, we also can expect to obtain all other things needful for life, joy, love, peace, etc. The question is, do you expect our Father in Heaven to give good gifts.
There are reasons you might have to suspect that our Father in Heaven will not provide what is right and good. Perhaps your circumstances have been difficult or traumatic. Our life experiences are fraught with problems due to sin, but they don’t change God’s character. Our Father is eager to hear and answer our prayers, so long as we are not harboring sin (cf. Prov. 15:8, 9, 29). Perhaps you don’t know God well. You think wrongly about God. Or you think of prayer as a chore to be suffered through rather than an opportunity to talk with your loving Father.
For all of these problems, we need the help of God himself, in the personal presence and power of God the Holy Spirit. Andrew Murray, in “With Christ in the School of Prayer”, explains that the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of:
1. Grace (Heb. 10:29), who reveals and imparts all of the grace there is in Jesus
2. Faith (2 Cor. 4:13), who teaches us to begin, go on, and increase in believing
3. Adoption (Rom. 8:15) and assurance (1 Thess. 1:5) who witness that we are God’s children and inspires our confiding in Him and our confident “Abba, Father”
4. Truth (John 14:17, 15:26, 16:13; 1 John 4:6) who leads us to accept each word of God in truth
5. Prayer (cf. Rom. 8:26, Eph. 2:2, 6:18) through whom we speak with the Father so that we may be heard.
6. Judgment (Is. 4:4, 28:6; John 16:8-11) who searches out hearts and convicts us of sin
7. Holiness (Rom. 1:4) who manifests and communicates the Father’s holy presence within us.
8. Power (Luke 24:49, Acts 1:8) who makes us testify boldly and work effectively in the Father’s service
9. Glory (1 Peter 4:14), who is the pledge of our inheritance and prepares us for the glory to come.
Which of the above (if not all of them!) do you need in 2023?
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.
Finally, I will be out of town this weekend attending a funeral for a family member. God Bless richly you as you encounter him this weekend!
This Week (Jan. 6 – Jan. 12, 2023):
1. Tonight, Jan. 6, 2022, the Living Stones Friday Night Bible Study is meeting from 7:30-9:30 to study about the Fear of God. You can read Psalm 33 in preparation for this time of fellowship and study. 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)
Also, the Empower Fellowship will be meeting in the Empower Room (A-201A)
beginning at 7:30 pm!
2. The Living Stones Sunday School, Grace Ambassadors, and Empower Sunday School classes are meeting on Jan. 8.
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 discuss the next chapter in Keller’s book “Prayer.” More info is found on the YAs Messenger Chat. For further info, contact Liu Jiang.
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)
c. Empower (Current College-aged) Students will have Sunday School at 9:45 am in Room ???. There will also be Game Night at church at 8 pm.
3. This Sunday, Jan. 8, 2022, at 11:25 am, Pastor Raymond Lee will be preaching. Pray for him! Join us for worship at CBCGL! You can also watch the live stream if you wish.
a. Text: Proverbs 30:24-28
b. Title: Never Let Your Weakness Hold You Back
c. Live stream via Youtube: https://www.cbcgl.org/live-stream/
4. Each Wednesday, such as this week (Jan. 11th) at 7:45 pm, you are invited, encouraged, and requested to join our weekly prayer meeting. We’ll spend time praying for our missionaries as well as praying for CrossPoint Community. The link is found below in the section on prayer.
Administration / Events
1. 2023 CrossPoint Community Soup and Bread Luncheon
a. Please join us on January 15th, from 12:30 – 2:00pm in Room A202 (Building A – 2nd Floor) and Room A201 (overflow). You can sign up below for food to bring and to help with setup and/or clean up. https://lowellchurch.sharepoint.com/:x:/s/english/EeqUaTcZ-q5DrDOXE0BmZxsBJKHDUTLE0j_6YDZ_IlkADw
2. 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.
3. Sunday Lunch Service is back at CBCGL on Jan. 8th with $5 lunchboxes! To place an order, please use the following link: https://tinyurl.com/252v4yvf 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.
4. We have a missions update! This week, we have an update from Chris and Emily Cheng who serve in Japan. They are still in the period of language and cultural acquisition. Pray for rest and renewal to overcome cultural change fatigue. They also have praises! Please check the missions tab in our bulletin to read through these reports and learn how you can support our missionaries.
5. All other announcements can be found here (in our CrossPoint Community bulletin).
1. 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)
2. Here is our list of prayer and service requests. The service request tab is for brothers and sisters to ask for assistance or announce any give-away items. It is an attempt from CPC to reach out and take care of those in need among us. You may also enter yours via the provided link:
You can also do so via the following link: https://www.cbcgl.org/pray/
In Christ, your servant, SDG,
Rev. Dr. Nathan Willems
Associate Pastor of CrossPoint Community – A Ministry of CBCGL