The Local Church Is the HOPE of the World

 My parents saw that the CHURCH was the predominate entity in my life…..all I’ve known throughout my life is go to church – go to church – go to church camp – block out evening activities if they come up against a church activity…..

Annie and I have invested our time, money, and energy into this thing called the church, and we love it. We believe in it, and we plan to serve it until we die.  But not everyone feels this way. 

Many have been psychologically and spiritually damaged by words said at church – they say “I’m never going to church again.”   I hear you. I feel what you feel. I’ve lived some of the stories you’ve lived. But I will never leave the church. And neither should you. As kindly as possible, I have one thing to say:  Stop bashing the church.  What do I believe about the church —

Jesus Christ loved the church and gave himself for it (Eph. 5:25He didn’t love online communities, parachurch organizations, or social clubs. He loved the church—so much that He died for it. In my opinion, that’s reason enough to stop bashing it.

Churches are made up of imperfect people like you and me. Immature, selfish, inconsiderate, and sometimes rude. Loving, caring, sacrificial, and sometimes beautiful. We are flawed and frail, but little by little, God is changing us and making us more like Jesus. 

You wouldn’t leave a hospital because there were sick people in it, and you shouldn’t leave the church because there are sinners in it. Sick people go to a hospital because they’re sick, and sinners go to a church because they’re sinful. The transforming power of Jesus is the only hope we have for change, and Jesus does his best work through the church.

You cannot separate Jesus from the church. When Jesus left the earth, he told his disciples to remain in Jerusalem until he sent the Holy Spirit. Then he instructed his apostles to evangelize and plant churches in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the uttermost parts of the earth.

Untold numbers have died for the privilege of meeting together to worship God.  Every Apostle except John died so you and I could have a church…..How can I live with myself, if I ignore the Sacrifice and Love for the Church exhibited by Peter, James, Andrew, and others had because I either got my feelings hurt – or refuse to repent.

We need the church  Now more than ever, in a culture increasingly hostile to people of faith, we need each other. Persecution is coming, and like the unsuspecting lamb is vulnerable to a wolf’s attack when it wanders from the flock, so are we dangerously unprotected from Satan’s schemes when we forsake our flock and go it alone. 

The church is vital to help us grow in our faith, hold us accountable, pray for us, and help us in our time of need. If you’ve ever experienced the love of a local church during a time of tragedy, sickness, or loss, you know there is no greater expression of God’s care on earth than that of a body of believers rallying around its own.

The Local Church is the Hope of the World

Church Giving at Discovery – 4 – 16 – 17

 General Fund                   $1708.00

Missions – PET                $      5.54

Church Giving at Discovery – 4/9/17

 General Fund                                   $2234.00

Missions PET                       $    11.65

I’m sure you noticed the little box beside our Mailbox as you drive upon our Campus.  Jerry Noble brought this idea to us and Solomon and Vern ran with it.  Vern spent 3 hours putting it together and Solomon – Caleb – and Vern secured it beside our parking lot.

            The purpose of the blessing box is this…..you and me will bring non-perishable food items to stock the box……our neighborhood community will be free to come – and open the box and take the food items their family needs — as the supply diminishes – we will fill it up…this way – we can tangible touch our neighborhood with God’s love as well as meet a need.

            If you want to start bringing food items this weekend- GREAT.  You could also think about toiletries along with food items. 

Thanks a ton – Discovery….

            A week ago tonight (Thurs) – we gathered at Discovery Center to celebrate the Passover Meal…..WOW!!!! We so appreciate the beautiful setting which welcomed us as we entered the auditorium – all thanks to Shirley’s D-Group…..We set down to a strange items on our table……but thanks to Bro Ross- each item was explained as it had its roots in the Old Testament but fulfillment in Jesus Christ…our faith was deepened as we understood the “in’s- & out’s” of Passover.  Thanks Ross…

             Good Friday evening we returned – and sand and studied the events of the cross as Jesus died after 6 hours of agony — we looked at a Doctors analysis as he described the events of dying by crucifixion – it was definitely a downer but understanding Jesus experienced all of this because of His undying love for us – our hearts were touched – our spirits encouraged and our faith uplifted. We closed this service with these words It’s Friday – but Sunday’s coming.

             Saturday/Sunday we walked along beside two disciples who were at an all-time spiritual low because they had believed Jesus was the Messiah –  but now he is dead and nothing could brighten their day or change their mind……

            Jesus joined them on their 7 mile trek back to Emmaus – and talked to them continually – using the 5 major prophets and 12 minor prophets of the Old Testament…..still they were not convinced…..after a few hours of journey they arrived at their home in Emmaus and the disciples invited Jesus in – as the day was far spent  Jesus accepted the invitation – and at the meal – Jesus broke the bread – and at that moment He was revealed to them – and they knew what the ladies had said – and understood what the Scripture prophesied – that Christ would be resurrected from the Dead……At that point Jesus disappeared from their sight –and they saddidn’t our hearts burn within us when He spoke to us on the way? We were challenged to let the Holy Spirit blow over the embers of our heart – and create a Holy Heartburn in us – as we see Christ revealed in the Word…..

 Thank you JESUS for allowing us to have 4 wonderful days to see you in the final week of your life – and knowing you did everything on our behalf because of your love for us….may we now in turn – express our love for you by our service to others – to the church – and our community.

·      Discouraged Christians

·      Students to finish strong this school year & share their faith with at least one person

·      America – God’s protection over us as we pray the 2 Chronicles 7:14 prayer

·      Carla Johnson – hasn’t been herself lately – seeks the Dr. the first week of may

·      What God did during our wonderful 4 days of celebrating Easter –  He will continue to build His church in the Northeast

1 Cor 12:12-26  12 The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ. 13 Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles,[a] some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit.[b]

14 Yes, the body has many different parts, not just one part. 15 If the foot says, “I am not a part of the body because I am not a hand,” that does not make it any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear says, “I am not part of the body because I am not an eye,” would that make it any less a part of the body? 17 If the whole body were an eye, how would you hear? Or if your whole body were an ear, how would you smell anything?

18 But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it. 19 How strange a body would be if it had only one part! 20 Yes, there are many parts, but only one body. 21 The eye can never say to the hand, “I don’t need you.” The head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you.”

22 In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary. 23 And the parts we regard as less honorable are those we clothe with the greatest care. So we carefully protect those parts that should not be seen, 24 while the more honorable parts do not require this special care. So God has put the body together such that extra honor and care are given to those parts that have less dignity. 25 This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other. 26 If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad.