Good morning, church. It’s a blessing to spend this time together each week.
It has been a trying week for our church family, friends, and community. As we contend with the gravity of Pastor Ralph’s illness and the uncertainty that lies ahead, two truths take on renewed beauty:
- Heaven rules. God is sovereign over all things and for those who trust in Him, He works every circumstance — pleasant and painful — for good (Rom. 8:28). This “good” is about more than ourselves and extends far beyond our experience of the moment. A Crossway commentary notes, “The ‘good’ in this context does not refer to earthly comfort but conformity to Christ (Rom. 8:29), closer fellowship with God, bearing good fruit for the kingdom, and final glorification (Rom. 8:30).”
- Death for someone who has put their trust in God is a promotion to Heaven, where there is no more suffering but the ultimate, unfathomable joy of intimate fellowship with God (Phil. 3).
Facing uncertainty is nothing new for believers. In our message this week, Pastor John Bodner looks at how Paul advised local churches to function amidst uncertainty and the pressures of change, focusing on 1 Thessalonians. One of the keys laid out for perservering through such times is the brotherhood of saints. In practical terms, this profound community relationship (or “brotherhood”) between believers (“saints”) is rooted in mutual prayer, grounded in loving fellowship, and nurtured in Biblical truth.
It’s our prayer that you’ll guard your heart with these truths and experience the peace they bring in the depths of uncertainty, for this week and all the weeks to come.
May God bless our meeting and encourage your heart today.
First Song: Christ Our Hope in Life and Death
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Second Song: Whate’er My God Ordains is Right
Message: The Brotherhood of Saints
Pastor John Bodner
Third Song: How Firm a Foundation
“If you ask, ‘Why is this happening?’ no light may come, but if you ask, ‘How am I to glorify God now?’ there will always be an answer.”— J. I. Packer