Weekly Update: January 11, 2016

Dear Family,

Challenging. That seemed to be the most frequently used one word assessment of yesterday's sermon. Being challenged is good as long as it is within the bounds of Scripture. Perhaps it is the series on the Holy Spirit that is conjuring up in us all a Gospel conviction to see the Spirit's work throughout our lives, both individually and as a church body. Here are some of the verses from the sermon:

You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. - Romans 8:9-10

There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse,
    and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit.
 And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him,
    the Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
    the Spirit of counsel and might,
    the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.
 And his delight shall be in the fear of the Lord.
- Isaiah 11:1-3a

As for the word that he sent to Israel, preaching good news of peace through Jesus Christ (he is Lord of all), you yourselves know what happened throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee after the baptism that John proclaimed: how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. - Acts 10:36-38

For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer, sanctify for the purification of the flesh, 14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God. - Hebrews 9:13-14

These are indeed challenging verses that call us to see the Spirit's work throughout Jesus' life and ministry. Remember that the Spirit has not changed. The Spirit that rested upon our Savior throughout his ministry is the same Spirit who gives us rest, and frees us to worship and serve Him with sincerity of heart.

Would you please lift up our Mothers of Preschoolers, men's and women's bible studies, First Hour classes, youth and children's ministry, and senior's ministry in your prayers? Prayer is the fuel for ministry and one way you can become immediately involved is by actively praying for Cross Creek.

Please continue to pray for Bert Bowden as he nurses a bad back. In fact, we have many folks who are dealing with illnesses and upcoming medical tests. Please pray on their behalf.

Did you notice that Matt and Kayce Clark were back in service yesterday? It was so sweet to see them and Carter. You may recall that Carter arrived a little early, but he is doing great. I loved having the Clarks back.

Also, pray for Tim Bartholomew as he flies back to Australia on Wednesday. He returned to finished up some work but is now ready to rejoin his family. Please pray for Tim's safe travels and for Marnie and the kids. We miss them desperately.

Please don't forget that this Sunday is Sanctity of Human Life. We will be taking a love offering in support of First Coast Women's Services.

See you Sunday!

Paul