All Sunday Activities Canceled – Jan 19

cancellationZion services on Sunday morning of January 19, 2020, are canceled due to inclement weather. Sunday school, the worship service, and committee meetings, are canceled.

You can find the announcement at KIMT, KIOW, and on our social media channels. Please feel free to share this information with others.

Please trust the Lord and stay safe during this winter time!

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Sanctity of Life Sunday

sanctity-of-lifeThis Sunday is the Lord’s Day closest to the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the case that brought abortion to national practice in America. Because of this, we will join Christians throughout the land to remember this day as Sanctity of Life Sunday.

The first thing you can do for Sanctity of Life Sunday is join us in adult Sunday school, where we will have a speaker from Caring Pregnancy Center (Mason City). Her powerful testimony and amazing experience working with pregnant mothers helps to put this difficult issue in the right perspective, as well as remind us of God’s amazing grace.

You can find out more about Caring Pregnancy Center and all that they do, their resources, or how you can support them, at their website.

Second, find out so many important resources regarding abortion, the right to life, how to help mothers, and more at:

Life Matters WorldWide

ERLC Resources

How the Gospel Shapes the Sanctity of Life e-Book

Russell Moore: Why I Hate Sanctity of Life Sunday

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Sermon: Gospel of Self Control from Gal 5

“The Gospel of Self Control”
Galatians 5:13 – 26
Foundations 2020
January 12, 2020

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Better: Women’s Bible Study

Better_800Zion is pleased to announce the start of the new Bible study for women – Better: A Study of Hebrews. Using video teaching, workbooks, Bibles, fellowship, prayer, and lots of laughter, ladies will be delighted to understand God’s Word together, and to live it out by faith in Jesus, the Author of a better promise.

We will meet Sunday (Jan 12) at 7pm. Does that time not work for you? Don’t worry, we will be choosing a day and time that works best for our group. So come this Sunday night with your calendars and we will pick a meeting time and location to make sure this Bible study fills you with God’s grace!

So many of us have questions about the Bible. How do things like temple, sacrifices, and priests help me with raising kids, loving my husband, or getting the laundry done? Others of us have questions about our lives. Is this really the abundant life Jesus promised? Why do I struggle spiritually? The New Testament book of Hebrews answers all these questions and more – and it points us to Jesus Christ, who is better in every way!

SeekingHim_SmallConference
We will also get more information about the Women’s Conference on February 21st and 22nd. Ladies from the North Iowa area are invited to join us Friday night (Feb 21) at 6pm for our Seeking Him conference, featuring international speakers like Nancy Leigh DeMoss. We are praying the Lord would make this an unforgettable weekend for His glory, so be sure to mark your calendars and plan to join us!

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Sunday’s Leftovers

ChildrenSermonThe goodness of our covenant Savior was on full display once again this past Lord’s Day, and there are a few resources we want to make sure you take with you for the week ahead.

Christian Education

As we have walked through Biblical teachings on wealth and money, we have covered a lot of ground, and sometimes it is nice to have all the material in one place. You can download “Proverbs on Wealth & Money,” a topical grouping of verses from Proverbs that deals with the topic of our study. Download and share!

Sermon

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The sermon from I Peter 1:23 challenges us to make the “living and abiding” Word of God our priority. As has been mentioned, 2020 Bible reading plans are available for almost every preference you can imagine. Take up and read!

Also, one of the points Peter makes is that only the Word of God can bring new birth and conversion. In some church traditions, baptism, confirmation, or some other church rite might be supposed to regenerate the individual. Fortunately, the Heidelberg Catechism makes clear that I Peter is teaching only the Word can generate the new birth. Question #65 asks:

Q. It is through faith alone that we share in Christ and all his benefits: where then does that faith come from?
A. The Holy Spirit produces it in our hearts[1] by the preaching of the holy gospel,[2] and confirms it by the use of the holy sacraments.[3]

1 John 3:5; 1 Cor. 2:10-14; Eph. 2:8
2 Rom. 10:17; 1 Pet. 1:23-25
3 Matt. 28:19-20; 1 Cor. 10:16

The Spirit works through the Word of the Gospel to create faith, and He confirms it through the sacraments.

Sr High Youth Group

We used the following video to talk about Adam & Christ, the Gospel, and sharing our faith:

You can find more Gospel resources from their website Three-Two-One.

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Let’s Live By Faith In Christ This 2020!

happy-new-yearHappy New Year to our Zion family!

As we pray and trust that the Christmas and New Year holidays have brought joy and celebration to you and yours, we want spiritually prepare ourselves for what the Lord in His providence will bring us in the new year. Let us prayerfully commit ourselves to living only for the glory of God this year!

Saturated In God’s Word For the Year Ahead

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A lot of people will make resolutions this year – lose weight, drop a bad habit, improve yourself, etc. But the best thing you could do is draw deeply from God’s Word! With over a dozen different reading plans, there is something here for everyone! What are you going to let hold you back from diving in to more of God’s holy power in your life through His Word & Spirit?!
Continue reading “Reading Plans 2020” at Ligonier

See also:
Why Should Christians Study the Bible?

A Practical Help For Bible Study

Following Jesus: What’s Wrong and Right About Imitating Christ

[Scripture] calls us not simply to imitate Christ but to live out our union with him. But before [Paul] speaks an imperative, he announces the indicative of the gospel: Christ’s saving work has accomplished far more than we imagined. The Spirit’s work of uniting us to Christ makes us not mere imitators but living members of his body. We are incorporated-baptized-into Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection.

Jesus said the same thing in John 15. His disciples are not only forgiven; joined to him as the life-giving Vine they become living branches, bearing fruit that will remain. We have no life in ourselves, he tells them. There are no resources for following Jesus, imitating him, becoming his disciple. We are dead branches, cut off, without hope in this world. Only then does Jesus issue his imperatives to love and serve each other as he has loved and served us.

There is a world of difference between having a role model whose example we fall short of ever reproducing and having yourself “killed” and re-created as branches of the Tree of Life. Doing what Jesus did is different from bearing the fruit of Christ’s righteous life. In fact, the most important things that Jesus did cannot be duplicated. Because he fulfilled the law in our place, bore our curse, and was raised in glory to take his throne at the Father’s right hand, we can have a relationship with him-and with the Father-that is far more intimate than the relationship of a devotee to a guru, a student to a teacher, or a follower to a master.
Continue reading “Following Jesus” at Monergism

Prayers for the New Year in 2020

Earlier, we encouraged you to re-devote yourself to Scripture for 2020. But are you praying for what is to come? Let other Christians model prayer for you, as it evokes your own prayers in your spirit to the Lord. Read on for prayers from the Puritans, the Reformed, and Billy Graham.
Continue reading “New Year Prayers” at Pastor Brian’s website→

New Year’s Resolutions as An Expectation of Faith

Everything comes around just as it has before [on New Years]… I’ll be honest, I get the same feeling whenever I reflect on New Year’s resolutions. People concoct them every year but it seems that “there is no remembrance of former things.” We fail to recall last year’s resolutions, largely the same ones, that have been left by the wayside, usually long before the red shadow of Valentine’s Day ever hits. Ironically enough, even pessimism about New Year’s resolutions is not new.

Yes, the past happened. Its failures are real. Your failures are real. But so is the reality of a God Who reigns over history and Who gives us hope and anticipation for the future.
Continue reading “New Year’s Resolutions…” at Christ and Pop Culture

Edwards’ Resolutions

“Resolved, to do whatsoever I can think to do to God’s glory alone…” So begins the personal statements of resolve by one of America’s most brilliant minds, and highest pastors, Jonathan Edwards (1703 – 1758). Begun when he was just a teenager, these statements show a life determined not to settle, not to compromise, and not to give in. What resulted was one of the brightest lights that shone for God’s glory in our nation!

Read and digest these simple statements of faith, truth, and courage, and may they inspire you not to make your own resolutions, but to live life resolved. Resolved to follow Christ. Resolved to walk by faith. And resolved to live for His glory, even when no one else will!
Continue reading “Edwards’ Resolutions” at Pastor Brian’s website→

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Sermon: “God Sent His Son” from Gal 4


In our Advent 2019 series, God reveals three glorious byproducts He accomplished when He sent His Son. Need more patience, contentment, zeal, or assurance? Learn with us from Christ in Galatians!

“God Sent His Son”
Galatians 4:4
December 8, 2019
Advent 2019

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Sunday’s Left Overs

IMG_20191211_122201_939We were blessed with a full Lord’s Day yesterday, and there were several resources and tools we used. If you weren’t able to take advantage of these last Sunday, or wish to revisit them, please check out the resources below!

Men’s Breakfast

As we closed out 2019 with our last Men’s Ministry breakfast, we focused on passing on the faith through mentoring. Check out this encouraging teaching on wisely passing on faith from mature Christians to others.

Money & Wealth In Christian Hedonism

The whole world lives for pleasure, right? The only difference is theirs is fleeting — ours is forever. That’s not the only difference. Ours is Jesus. So, he checks out and weighs in the balance all that Egypt could offer him, all that serving with the people under the reproach of Christ could offer him, and he chooses the reproaches of Jesus. Why? Verse 26: “He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth.”

How are you doing? Is being made fun of part of your treasure, that you love? “He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt.” How? “For he was looking to the reward.” That’s where it came from. The thesis of this message is: if this reward — pleasures at your right hand; joy forevermore — goes down to the marrow of your bones so that you know, “Instead of being dead, I will be with Christ forever,” — joy forever — that will become the root of all your love of the people of God and the nations of the world, so that you can embrace reproaches for Christ and call them, “My wealth.” This is just utterly different from the world. Read more here.

Sermon: In the Fullness of Time

God was preparing the way centuries before the birth of His Son in Bethlehem.

How did God prepare the way? Since God rules over human history, He undoubtedly shaped the history of the nations, including the dominance of the Roman Empire that had an impact on Israel, on Jesus, and on the spread of the Gospel by the early Christian church. Certainly this was a part of God’s preparation, for God uses the history of the nations to achieve His purposes. Read more here.

Sr. High Youth Group

When It Isn’t All Merry And Bright
Because let’s be real – the holidays can be awful, making everything feel more intense. Our parents’ divorces, fights with friends, break-ups, deaths, all we don’t like about ourselves and our lives can sting a bit deeper with the ‘glad tidings of great joy’ swirling around us.

The pressure to keep it all together, to look ‘merry and bright’ can be overwhelming. But you don’t need to pretend that everything is okay. Every moment doesn’t have to be Instagram-worthy.

King David, the author of the above scripture, was no stranger to suffering. He was a man after God’s own heart, and he wrote a song that started with, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Psalm 22:1).

What we hear in Psalm 22 is raw lament to God. And we know from Scripture that God heard him. Read more here.

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December Update & Calendar

Zion_NewsletterOur December edition of the Update can be viewed and downloaded here. The Zion calendar for the month of December can be viewed here.

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Advent 2019

ZionAdvent2019_600Christ has come! Christ is coming again!

The Latin word adventus simply means “coming;” it refers to the appearance of God incarnate and bringing the Kingdom’s salvation to planet Earth. This Advent season, we want to focus on the Gift the Father has sent in the coming of Jesus, and that He is coming again! The Old Testament believers awaited their coming Messiah. We join in their spiritual longing when we sing Advent hymns like “O Come, O Come Emmanuel.” However, our lives have been transformed because Jesus has come; and in Him we live and move and have our being.

To help us focus on God sending His advent Gift, we will be focusing on the verses from Galatians 4:1 – 7:

I mean that the heir, as long as he is a child, is no different from a slave, though he is the owner of everything, but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by his father. In the same way we also, when we were children, were enslaved to the elementary principles of the world. But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.

God has sent His Son, He has sent His spirit, and we are His sonship!

Our worship service has a slightly different order and feel during Advent as well. Read about the liturgy here.

Events

Here are some of the events that our Advent season brings. Please be sure to get these on the calendar!

Date Event
December 1st Advent Party

Meet at the church at 3 PM for caroling, decorating, Christmas carols, and a light supper.  Fun for the whole family!

December 7th   Women’s Fellowship Christmas Brunch

Saturday morning at 9:30 a.m., for a hosted brunch and program.  Invite your friends and get your tickets!

December 15th Zion Christmas Cantata

Join us Sunday evening for a special Zion tradition, and stay after the beautiful music for refreshments and fellowship.  Begins at 7p.m.

December 24th Christmas Eve Service

The prelude begins at 6p.m., and you won’t want to miss hearing our youth recount the meaning of the Christmas story!

December 25th Christmas Day Service

Service begins at 9a.m. with Holy Communion.

Other events, like the College Parsonage Party, Youth Sledding, will be announced as weather permits.

Advent Resources Here

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