Weekly Update: June 29, 2016

Jonah and the Whale by Italian Baroque painter, Carlo Antonio Tavella (1668-1738)

Jonah and the Whale by Italian Baroque painter, Carlo Antonio Tavella (1668-1738)

Dear Family,

We started a new summer sermon series on Jonah last Sunday. We looked at Jonah 1:1-6, Living In Flight. There were three main takeaways: first, Jonah was attempting to run from a call that will never go away; second, the Lord's commands cannot be lightly rejected or evaded; third, that fear constrains us, however unwilling, to come to God.

I also shared the following quote by Richard Phillips,

"One last thing that would have greatly helped Jonah was prayer. Not once in his flight is he seen talking to God. Not once does he present his complaint directly to God, the way that Jeremiah did and was helped (Jer. 12:1-17).

Do we realize the importance of tending our hearts? Then let Jonah warn us. If this prophet could flee from God's sovereign and righteous command, of what sins might we be capable? Let us make every use of the resources God has given us: his mighty Word, the blessing of Christian fellowship and counsel, regular attendance with God's people in worship, and the wonderful resource that is ours in prayer. Many a shipwrecked life would have been spared by such a course of action. Will this happen to you? It can. The book of Jonah was not written to condemn Jonah but to warn us. His folly need not be ours if we recognize the ease with which our hearts can fall into sin, and humbly attend God's precious means of grace."

Needless to say, the first six verses gave us more than enough to ponder. In spite of its brevity, Jonah is a compelling book. My plan this Sunday is to revisit these six verses, and add a few more, as we learn by Jonah's experience how living in flight from the Lord is never in our best interest.

Thanks to so many of you who gathered around Brain Granger as we prayed for him in worship. Quick update: Brian met with his neurosurgeons and is scheduled to have surgery next Wednesday. Please continue to keep Brian and his entire family in your prayers.

You likely received an email from the church office requesting assistance for our Fine Arts Camp. Please help as you are able. This is a tremendous opportunity to reach out to our community. Kayce Clark has put in much time and effort and we want to join her in making this a success!

Family, please remember to continue supporting the church with your tithes and offerings. We have been lagging in comparison to this time last year and we need you to increase support. Also, the summer season tends to bring lesser support as people travel and vacation. Please continue to support the work of the church. Cross Creek ministry is a year-round effort which never ceases.

In Christ,

Paul