Preparing for Worship Oct 25

We will be using the following songs and passages from the Word of God in our corporate gathering this Lord’s Day. Please prayerfully use these resources to prepare your hearts to “come into His gates with thanksgiving and enter His courts with praise” (Psalm 100:4).

The Word of the Lord:
Psalm 96:1 – 3
Leviticus 19:9 – 17
Zechariah 3:5
I Timothy 1:12 – 15
Numbers 6:22 – 24

Psalms, Hymns & Spiritual Songs:
Psalm 96 A
Speak, O Lord
How Firm A Foundation
Doxology

Means of Grace:
Congregational Prayer
Sermon: Mission Fest by Rev. C. Schwichtenberg

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Are Bad Things Happening To Me Because Of What I Did?

Sometimes, Christians are flooded with doubts about what we do and how they connect to what we experience. Do you ever feel this? Do you wonder if your sin and your sufferings are connected? Read the following insights and meditate on what Jesus has done for you, and what He will do in you.

Most of the time, we are right to separate sufferings from sins. What you do is different from what happens to you. Your sins are bad things about you as a moral agent. Your sufferings are bad things that happen to you. Agent and victim are opposite in principle. As a new creation in Christ, you live in an essentially different relationship to your sufferings.

But it is worth noting that you, as a new creation in Christ, also live in an essentially different relationship to your own sinfulness. Your sin now afflicts you. The dross of your blind spots and besetting sins no longer defines or delights you. The sin that indwells becomes a form of significant suffering. What you once instinctively loved now torments you.

What sins do you still wrestle with? Forgetting God and proceeding as if life centers on you? Obsessive religious scrupulosity that starves your humanity? Defensive and self-assertive pride? Laziness or drivenness, or an oscillation between both? Irritability, judgmentalism, and complaining? Immoral impulses and fantasies? Obsessive concern with money, food, or entertainment? Fear of what others think about you? Envy of good things that someone else enjoys? Shading truth into half-truths to manufacture your image? Speaking empty or even destructive words, rather than nourishing, constructive, and graceful wisdom?

These sins are endemic to everyday life. Perhaps you recognize the “seven deadly sins” (and a few extras) within that list of the mundane madness of our hearts! I can identify with each one, and I suspect you can too. Our Father loves us with mercies new every morning and more numerous than the hairs on our heads. He is good and he does good. He has chosen to love us. And we really do love him—as street children he has rescued and adopted. But our love is far from perfected. C. S. Lewis vividly captured our ongoing, widening, deepening struggle with all that needs God’s redeeming mercies:

Man’s love for God, from the very nature of the case, must always be very largely, and must often be entirely, a Need-love. This is obvious when we implore forgiveness for our sins or support in our tribulations. But in the long run it is perhaps even more apparent in our growing—for it ought to be growing—awareness that our whole being by its very nature is one vast need; incomplete, preparatory, empty yet cluttered, crying out for Him who can untie things that are now knotted together and tie up things that are still dangling loose.[1]

Whether we find ourselves tied in knots or dangling at loose ends, God hears our cry. He says, “You are mine. So take heart. I will complete what I have begun.” Continue reading

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Do I Have to Turn the Cheek?!

We had a wonderful Lord’s Day! Check out some of the pictures, as well as some resources below. Don’t forget, Sunday school is this Sunday at 9:15!

The King Who Turned His Cheek
When we remember that Jesus is Lord of Lords, it shocks us that Christ willingly gave up His life in sacrifice to save us. Even more shocking – Jesus asks us to “turn the other cheek” also! To be sure, just because Jesus taught to go the extra mile and give up your tunic does not mean that Jesus taught pacifism, nor does it mean that there is no recourse for an abused wife. It can even help a Christian think about buying firearms or other forms of self-protection.

Instead, we should understand that “turning the other cheek” is part of Jesus’ teaching to “be perfect as Your heavenly Father is perfect.” When Christ tells us to lay down our lives – even for our enemies – that does not mean becoming a doormat that everyone walks all over. This is a part of the holiness Jesus calls for. As Dr. Joel Beeke reminds us, “Holiness, then, is not merely obeying a list of rules, but a lifestyle of being increasingly conformed to Jesus Christ in a life of obedience. Such holiness must impact all our thoughts, words, and actions.” That includes how we treat our enemies!

If you want to go to a real Black belt level on this discussion, we have two resources for you. First, consider Dr. David VanDrunen’s “Bearing Sword in the State, Turning Cheek in the Church: A Reformed Two-Kingdoms Interpretation of Matthew 5:38–42” in Themelios Vol 34 No 3. The second is a small booklet available in PDF, Geerhardus Vos’ The Teaching Of Jesus Concerning the Kingdom of God. Happy reading!

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October Update & Calendar Posted

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

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Preparing for Worship Oct 4

We will be using the following songs and passages from the Word of God in our corporate gathering this Lord’s Day. Please prayerfully use these resources to prepare your hearts to “come into His gates with thanksgiving and enter His courts with praise” (Psalm 100:4).

The Word of the Lord:
I Chronicles 29:10 – 13
Romans 10:9 – 10
Matthew 5:17 – 32
Hebrews 13:20 – 23

Psalms, Hymns & Spiritual Songs:
Crown Him With Many Crowns
Psalm 119 C
Be Thou My Vision
Doxology

Means of Grace:
Congregational Prayer
Profession of Faith
Holy Communion
Sermon: “Heart vs. Law”

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Preparing for Worship Sept 27

We will be using the following songs and passages from the Word of God in our corporate gathering this Lord’s Day. Please prayerfully use these resources to prepare your hearts to “come into His gates with thanksgiving and enter His courts with praise” (Psalm 100:4).

The Word of the Lord:
Philippians 4:4 – 7
Romans 10:9 – 10
Matthew 5:13 – 20
II Corinthians 13:14

Psalms, Hymns & Spiritual Songs:
Come, People of the Risen King
Amazing Grace
Great Is Thy Faithfulness
Doxology

Means of Grace:
Congregational Prayer
Profession of Faith
Sermon: “Christ Over All”

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A Harvest Prayer in 2020

A Harvest prayer from Zion for our farmers, their families, and all who work in and alongside Agriculture:

Almighty God and Everlasting Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, You are exalted as our faithful, unchanging Creator, changeless before the changing seasons; and we glorify You, the Father of Lights from Whom all good gifts at harvest time come. We worship You, the Lord of the Harvest, and seek first Your kingdom and Your glory in this season of gathering in.

Continue reading
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Funeral Service At Zion

Due to preventative conditions, many in our church family were unable to attend the funeral service for an important saint in our congregation, Hilda Greiman. Here is the service for those who wished to participate.

Cataldo Funeral Homes also recorded the service here, and you can view the livestream of the graveside service here.

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Live Stream: Do Over

From Monday night:

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Sunday School: Ancient Treasures, Future Faith

As we have been sharing online resources for worship and sermons, we want to try bringing some instruction and training in God’s Word. Psalm 119:12, 14 reminds us, “Blessed are You, O Lord; teach me Your statues… In the way of Your testimonies I delight as much as in all riches.” In this video, take a 3D tour of the Hezekiah Tunnel, zoom in on Assyrian relics, and learn how Christ challenges us to live for Him today!

Some of the resources mentioned in the video:
The Story of Hezekiah’s Tunnel

Catherine McDowell, “Why Biblical Archaeology Matters” The Gospel Coalition Accessed online May 12, 2020 <https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/why-biblical-archaeology-matters/>

Michael A. Grisanti “Recent Arcaheological Discoveries That Lend Credence To the Historicity of the Scriptures” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society Vol 56 No 3 (2013) pp. 475 – 97.

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