We had another wonderful day in the Lord, Sunday! How fun to have 4 visitors with us! While I’m sure some of our own folks were traveling, and visiting other churches, it was fun to have some travel our way, too! Isn’t it wonderful to be part of the large family of God? While they say our culture is growing more and more ‘post Christian,’ I can see in your lives and the lives of many throughout Grand Rapids, that, as Mark Twain put it, ‘…reports of [Christianity’s] demise are greatly exaggerated! God is still on the move and we’re part of His Kingdom! Praise God!
God’s message to us this week came from John 17:1-19 and was titled, “Holy Protection.” Last week we were reminded Jesus dropped a bombshell. “My Children, I will be with you only a little longer…” (John 13:33a). His disciples quickly grew fearful and started asking questions. Jesus told them (and us) he would comfort their fearful hearts by sending another counselor: the Holy Spirit. On the day of Pentecost, Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection, gave birth to a new breed of humanity! No longer would followers of God rely on their own strength; they could be filled with the gifts, power, and presence of the Holy Spirit as sanctified Christians! Hallelujah!
In our text this week Jesus continues His teaching and begins to answer how Christians are to live the sanctified life and reminds those who follow Him of another means of being sanctified (or set apart and protected) by the culture. Jesus prays, “My prayer is not that you take them out of the world, but that you protect them from the evil one” (John 17:15).
First, we discover Jesus isn’t advocating our physical separation from the world like God did with the Israelites. We are to live as ‘salt and light’ by living in the world, BUT not of the world! We aren’t to hide away safely from our sinful world while those around us die without Jesus!
Second, but it is apparent we live in a dangerous world! The sad truth is there are too many Christians living the same immoral lifestyle pagans, do! The danger of living in the world, is that Christians might just live like the world instead of Jesus! So, how can God keep us safe? Simple, Jesus declares! By turning on God’s Holy Protection System: Sanctification! While Jesus taught us we need to be filled with the power and presence of the Holy Spirit, we also are sanctified (that is set apart and protected from the world) through His Living Word! Jesus prayed: “Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth” John 17:17. What word is Jesus talking about? None other than the Living Word of God! That’s right! The power to defend you from the Evil One is contained in the instruction manual laying on your coffee table and bedstand: the Bible! But, like the sanctifying presence of the Holy Spirit, you must turn the Holy Protection System for it to work! How? Pick up your Bible and read it, memorize it, and live it out! David wrote: “How can a young man [or woman and child] keep his way pure? By living according to your word… I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you” (Ps. 119:9, 11).
So will you? Will you hide God’s Word in your heart? Will you yield your life to the Spirit? We are to live in the world, but not of the world! Jesus can protect us, but we need to turn His Holy Protection System on! Do it and live safely in a world that needs Jesus!
Blessings, Pastor Dan
NEWS AND EVENTS
ANNUAL DIAPER DRIVE- KEEP THEM COVERED!
You have one more week to get diapers and wipes which will be donated to Northeast Community Center. Let’s see if we can beat last year’s donation! Diapers collected so far – 1400 GOAL = 1800
Join us at the church for a day of cleaning up things and making things look a bit better around the church. This will be from 9 AM to noon.
NEXT WOMEN’S RENDEZVOUS is June 17th @ 10:30 AM
We will be meeting at the church for this time of fellowship and fun. Call or text Cherry for any questions @ 616-916-7595.
INTERESTED IN CHURCH MEMBERSHIP?
A series of membership classes will be starting in June. If you are interested in learning more about the Church of the Nazarene, or becoming a member of our church, please let Pastor Dan know by contacting him at: 616-204-1153 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
A NEW BIBLE STUDY IS COMING SOON!
Beginning in September, Mary W. will begin a study titled, “Remembering the Forgotten God”. This will be held Tuesdays at 10 AM for 7 weeks, beginning Sept. 5th. Sign up on the sheet in the church annex so she knows how many books to order.
WEDNESDAY NIGHT BIBLE STUDY is at the church – 6:30 PM
We are now meeting at the church for Bible Study and fellowship. We hope to see you there!
SOUND BOOTH PERSON NEEDED:
The church is looking for someone who is interested in being a sound booth technician. You will need to be able to attend music practices Sunday morning at 9 AM. Let Janie know if you are interested at 616-204-2499 or email@example.com.
TIME TO THINK ABOUT SUMMER CAMP @ INDIAN LAKE
Indian Lake Nazarene Camp has a wonderful summer camp for students of all ages. At
camp kids learn to feel good about themselves, gain self-confidence, self-esteem, learn leadership skills, make friends, and learn about God’s love for them! You can learn more by going to this link: http://www.nazcamp.org/summer-camp
Discovery Camp Completed K – 2nd grade Jul. 05-07
Adventure Camp Completed 2nd – 4th grade Jul. 24-28
Voyager Camp Completed 4th – 6th grade Jul. 31-Aug. 04
Mid. School Camp Completed 6th – 8th grade Jul. 10-14
High School Camp Completed 9th – 12th grade Jun. 26-30
Note: All camps are $ 285 (except for Discovery Camp which is $ 135)
GENERAL ASSEMBLY 2017 WORK & WITNESS PROJECT:
I'm writing to invite you and any members of your church to be a part of the largest Nazarene Work & Witness project called, One Heart - Many Hands Indianapolis 2017! This week-long service project will take place June 18-23. In a recent conversation with Dr. David Downs, the District Superintendent of the West Texas District, it came to my attention that many pastors are under the impression that One Heart - Many Hands (OHMH) projects are just for youth groups. In actuality, OHMH is a Work & Witness project geared for the entire church to participate in. Many churches bring multi generational groups who work on the project and learn from each other. In past General assembly years we have averaged 2000 Nazarenes serving together with OHMH to leave the fingerprints of God all over the General Assembly host city. I'm sure you receive hundreds of emails each year encouraging you and your church to be a part of something… OHMH is a unique Work & Witness project that not only affords your group the opportunity to be involved in missions together but also to experience the Global Church of the Nazarene in a very visible and tangible way as team members participate in the General Assembly services. Would you prayerfully consider encouraging your church to take advantage of this opportunity to serve alongside thousands of Nazarenes this summer in Indianapolis? For more information about this service project please contact our office at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website at www.oneheartmanyhands.com. Thank you, George Sisler
GATHER BOX TOPS FOR NAZARENE INDIAN MISSIONS!
Thank you to everyone who is collecting Campbell Soup labels and General Mills box tops! While it seems small, the cash they generate really adds up! This program has provided PA equipment, computers, and even a 15-passenger van for Nazarene Sun Valley Indian School. Questions, labels and box tops should go to Fran S. or Sherry J.
CHURCH POSTCARDS ARE AVAILABLE!
Is there someone missing or would like to invite to church? Why not grab a few church postcards and send them out? A simple hand written note blesses everyone! You will find them on the table under the missionary bulletin board in the Annex.
DAILY DEVOTIONS – “REFLECTING GOD” IS AVAILABLE! FREE!!
“Reflecting God” is a daily devotional guide our church makes available free to anyone interested. The devotions provide a brief truth from the Bible every day. Reflecting God also has a section for reading the Bible in a year and praying for our missionaries! Feel free to take one! You’ll find them located on the table outside the sanctuary!
GUIDELINES FOR PRAYER REQUESTS:
Remember, to keep our prayer lists current, we only place requests in the newsletter and bulletin for 3 weeks without an update. If you want to keep your prayer request in the bulletin or newsletter, just keep filling out the tear off tabs and keep us informed!
May Annual Diaper Drive – Keep them Covered!
June 1 Wednesday Service @ 6:30 PMat the church
June 18-23 General Assembly 2017 Work & Witness Project
June 26 Indian Lake Camps begin