Using Your Spiritual Gifts

Hi friends,

This past Lord's Day was an emphatic reminder of the Father's great love for us in sending Jesus and the suffering Jesus endured so that we might be forgiven and reconciled to God. What Jesus faced on the cross is incomprehensible, but worth meditating upon! After the service we discussed the upcoming building move and also opportunities to serve at CBC. I've attached the financial picture for 2019 - email me or call me if you weren't there and have questions.

Using Your Gifts

Many ways that we serve the body don't show up on a formal list. These are vital needs in the church and are carried out behind-the-scenes without an official title, and often secretly without recognition (e.g., prayerfully showing up early on the Lord's Day so you can find someone to encourage before the service, bearing one another's burdens in prayer, writing a note of encouragement or offering a word of admonishment, sharing a resource, meeting a practical need, helping, etc.). These many ways of serving are simply too numerous to list out comprehensively, but each is an opportunity by which God himself works through you by his Spirit for the good of others. It's incredible that God designed the church to function in this way. Namely, that his Spirit ministers to people through people. I see this ministry taking place all the time at CBC. It's a joy to my heart. I'm the blessed recipient of it as well.

If you are a Christian, unless you are infirmed or unable, God calls you to serve one another (1 Peter 4:10-11). This means (quite frankly) that if you aren't serving the body then you are sinning against the one who called you and gifted you for this purpose (1 Corinthians 12:7). A lack of service is typically rooted in self-focus and spiritual immaturity, although there can be other issues as well. Serving always requires sacrifice (i.e., you can't do it without a cost to your own time and comfort) and in our flesh we naturally care more about serving ourselves than others. But this is part of why God asks us to do it, because it's worship! How incredible is that? 

To the degree that you neglect serving you withhold something beneficial to others, which weakens the church. Friends, God placed you in a local assembly so that you could contribute uniquely to the work he is doing (Ephesians 4:16). I write this to encourage you if you are already serving, and to exhort you to love and good deeds if you are not (Hebrews 10:24). Serving is a privilege and it will bless your soul to invest in others. It will contribute to your growth in Christ and protect you from self-centeredness (Proverbs 18:1).

Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you; reprove a wise man, and he will love you. Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight (Proverbs 9:8-10).

Along with informal ways of serving, there are also other ways of serving the body which are more formalized. These needs require a degree of structure for us to properly meet them. I've listed out many of those areas in the attached document. The purpose of putting this in front of you is so that you can know some of the spiritual and practical ways to serve at CBC. If you see an area of interest on the list, then talk to the person whose name is by that item, or you can contact me. Some of the items could use someone to share the load, some are adequately being filled right now, and some are ready to be handed to someone else (several of the items that I am doing administratively would be wonderful to give to someone).

With each opportunity there is a degree of gifting and ability required. The items at the bottom of the last page are not yet established and require leadership. For example, you might have a heart for children's ministry (if so, I'd like to know), but in order to begin a children's ministry we need a couple of qualified people to take on the responsibly of putting that ministry in place. Part of my job and my joy is equipping you for doing the work of ministry (Ephesians 4:12). Prayerfully consider how you are contributing to your brothers and sisters and the advance of the kingdom. If you need help, let me know. This is an exciting time to see God starting to expand the work at CBC according to his perfect timing.

Chairs

We have 200 new chairs arriving by the last Sunday in June. In the meantime we have purchased 50 used chairs to provide temporary seating for May and June. If you have extra chairs that you can loan out for those 8 Sundays (or bring with you each week) please email Grant Smith and let him know what you can provide so we can make sure to have adequate seating for our Lord's Day worship services. 50 leaves us a bit short.

Ministry Calendar

Here are a few highlights:

  • Approved Workman 4/12 - the Attributes of God.

  • Womens Bible Study Fellowship 4/17 - Biblical vision for women's ministry (Jake teaching)

  • Good Friday 4/19 - meeting at 6:30 pm at Santiam Place (communion service). We will sing "Precious Blood" that night, if it's not familiar you can learn it here.

  • Last Sunday at Santiam Place 4/28

May the Lord bless you this week as you seek Him.

Your pastor,

 

Jake

Meditating Upon the Glories of Christ

Hi CBCers,

I am late getting out the updates this week! Here are some thoughts for the week and announcements.

Spiritual Mindedness

I mentioned during Sunday's sermon that I was deeply challenged by John Owen on the topic of meditating on the glories of Christ. His words are so helpful... there are things that we find easy and natural to spend time meditating upon and meditating upon Christ requires mortifying those other thoughts when they occupy too great of a place in our hearts. 

Here is the full excerpt:

It is to be feared that there are some who profess religion with an appearance of strictness, who never separate themselves from all other occasions, to meditate on Christ and his glory; and yet, with strange inconsistency of apprehensions, they will profess that they desire nothing more than to behold his glory in heaven for ever. But it is evident, even the light of reason, that these things are irreconcilable. It is impossible that he who never meditates with delight on the glory of Christ here in this world, who labors not to behold it by faith as it is revealed in the Scripture, would ever have any real gracious desire to behold it in heaven... 


It is, therefore, to be lamented that men can find time for, and have inclinations to think and meditate on, other things, it may be earthly and vain; but have neither heart, nor inclination, nor leisure to meditate on this glorious object.
 

They hear of these things, they assent to their truth, at least they do not gainsay them; but they never solemnly meditate upon them... because they will not be at the trouble and charge of that mortification of earthly affections, that extirpation of sensual inclinations, that retirement from the occasions of life, which are required.


I hope you have been filled with adoration as we have been seeing the majesty of Jesus in Mark the past several weeks. It's been awesome for me to read passages in Revelation that connect to what we are studying right now in Mark about Jesus.
And as you contemplate the majesty of Jesus, here is a song filled with Scriptural truths about him. It is an anthem of praise which is becoming a favorite song around our home. I wanted to share it with you if you haven't heard it yet. Take some time to read these passages and learn this song - it will bless your soul. He alone is worthy of all blessing and honor and glory!

Revelation 1:4–8 - John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace, from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loves us and released us from our sins by His blood—and He has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father—to Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen. Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. So it is to be. Amen. “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

Revelation 5:1–10 - I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a book written inside and on the back, sealed up with seven seals. And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the book and to break its seals?” And no one in heaven or on the earth or under the earth was able to open the book or to look into it. Then I began to weep greatly because no one was found worthy to open the book or to look into it; and one of the elders said to me, “Stop weeping; behold, the Lion that is from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has overcome so as to open the book and its seven seals.” And I saw between the throne (with the four living creatures) and the elders a Lamb standing, as if slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God, sent out into all the earth. And He came and took the book out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne. When He had taken the book, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each one holding a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song, saying,“Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. “You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth.”

This Sunday

It is a communion Sunday. We will partake of the Lord's table together as we remember the death of Jesus in Mark 15:33-39. After the service we will have a Q&A focusing especially on discussing the building and our upcoming move (only four more Sundays at Santiam Place)!

Easter Weekend

We will reflect again on the cross Good Friday evening 4/21 at Santiam Place. We will have a one hour service with singing, partaking of communion together, Scripture reading, prayer and a devotional. We will land in Mark 16:1-8 which is on the resurrection on Easter Sunday. If you have friends, co-workers or relatives who don't have a church home, this is a great Sunday to invite them to church with you.

Alaina & the Delerys

Simon and Mindy now have legal guardianship of Alaina! This is something that we have been taking before the Lord in prayer over the past year. I have been encouraged personally watching them trust in God's providence and desire to see him use this circumstance for his glory. Praise the Lord.

Malachi Tobe Roth

He arrived on 3/28 at 8:40pm. 7lbs., 18 1/4" long. The family is loving their new little guy - Ryan said he doesn't get hold Malachi very much with all the girls around :) and it's been a great adjustment with Myles. So much to rejoice in with them. 

Bible Reading Plans

I get asked about ways of reading the Bible and in fact there are many ways to engage with Scripture (reading it, studying it, meditating upon it, listening to it, and memorizing it). But on the topic of reading, here's a link to some different reading plans if you are looking for changing the approach you have been taking to reading the Bible. There are benefits to various approaches and it can be good to read in different ways.

Gratefully,

 

Pastor Jake

Being Rejected for Christ

My brothers and sisters,

Here are some thoughts and updates for the week:

Sunday's Sermon

This past week we saw the humiliation of Jesus from Mark 15:16-20. I want to see our church embrace Jesus Christ in his entirety - his glory and his humiliation. Here is an excerpt from a sermon preached by Charles Spurgeon after he was censured by the Baptist Union, at the beginning of the Downgrade Controversy. It ties in so well to he scene of Jesus being mocked:

Doth that man love his Lord who would be willing to see Jesus wearing a crown of thorns, while for himself he craves a chaplet of laurel? Shall Jesus ascend to his throne by the cross, and do we expect to be carried there on the shoulders of applauding crowds? Be not so vain in your imagination. Count you the cost, and if you are not willing to bear Christ's cross, go away to your farm and to your merchandise, and make the most of them; only let me whisper this in your hear, "What shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul?" 

Take some time this week to reflect on these truths. Ask God to show you where your heart doesn't want to embrace the humiliation of Christ. Confess it to God. And not only to God, but confess it to a brother or sister who can pray for you and encourage you in these things. Remember that it is a the blessing to fellowship with Jesus in rejection  (Philippians 1:29). 

God uses mightily believers who love his gospel and are unashamed of it (Romans 1:16).

Joseph White

Joseph will be filling the pulpit this Sunday 3/24. His preaching is always a blessing as he labors in God's word to understand it and then believe and practice what it says. Enjoy the time together - our family will be in Washington this weekend, visiting another ministry in Spokane.

Zoe Grace

It's fun to type that name for the first time! Welcome to world little Miss Yoder. Zoe was born just after 6 am on 3/16 at 7lbs. 6 ozs. and 20.5" long. We are rejoicing with the Yoder family at this latest addition. If you would like to give a baby gift to the family you can do that on an individual basis (as the church has grown we aren't organizing group gifts any longer). You can also serve them by providing a meal.

Biblical Missions

Biblical missions is very simple in Scripture: church-planting and church-strengthening. One day we will (Lord willing) send out missionaries from CBC. And before that as our church becomes established, we will begin to support missions financially from our congregation. 

I want to give you an idea of the types of ministries that we will be considering. They will be focused on these biblical priorities I just mentioned. Here is one such example: my dear brother, Dave Temple. Dave and I spent many nights throughout seminary after dinner translating Hebrew while our wives and children fellowshipped. He is one of the most humble men I’ve met and one with deep convictions. 

Dave is now training pastors in Africa who are coming from a prosperity-Gospel background. It is challenging because many pastors are reluctant to part with their long-held views. For themleaving that false gospel comes at great personal price. To begin to preach the purity of repentance and justification by faith alone (which includes suffering and the cost of discipleship) can cost a man his job and most certainly his influence.

You can read more about the Central African Preaching Academy (CAPA) here. The impact of a ministry like this is immeasurable as pastors attend from all of the region and then go back to teach entire congregations the truth. As I caught up with Dave at Shepherds Conference he was sharing that his greatest ministerial joy is still preaching and shepherding in the local church (not the classroom - I love it)!

Bible Studies

Women's study is at Cindy Ehlert's tomorrow night. Teri will be teaching Ephesians 1:11-14. Make it if you can. Men, we are meeting at 6:00 at Allan Bros on Friday to finish up our section on Fathers in our series "Shepherding in the Home." Even if you aren't a father, you will still be challenged and encouraged by the truth and the discussion around it.

Eicher Road

6. That's the number of remaining Sundays at Santiam Place! After months of waiting it's almost there. Just so you know, we placed an order for some very comfortable pew chairs today. They won't be here for our first service, but they are going to be a real treat when they do arrive. We have invested in some quality chairs that will last for a long time. It's been incredible to watch how God is connecting people and resources in this process. He gets all the glory.

Depending on him day by day,,

 

Pastor Jake