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January 17, 2019

January 17, 2019

This Week at RCC

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Dear Friends,
 
Have you ever stopped to think about the opening line to the best selling book of all time? 
 
“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”
 
We’re so familiar with the words that we can easily forget all that is wrapped up in that statement.  The first thing we read in the Bible about God is that He created everything that is.  Everything from rocks to raccoons.  From trees to tarantulas.  Hydrangeas, hippos and humans.  Everything that is. 
 
Everything.
 
God didn’t have a team involved (unless you think of the Trinity as a team).  He didn’t form a committee.  He didn’t need sub contractors or day laborers.  All He had to do was say the word, and the universe sprang into being. 
 
Built into His grand design was the ongoing work of pro creation.  Built into God’s design was the mechanism for life to reproduce itself, after its own kind.  The mechanics differ from one species to another, but God has built the ongoing cycle of reproduction into all life.
 
This past summer, Mary Ann and I had the chance to visit a number of magnificent European cathedrals in the Czech Republic, in Germany, Austria and Hungary.  Each time we stepped into a new cathedral, we marveled at these centuries old structures.  The design work, the architecture, the engineering, the intricacies – everything about each different building was breathtaking. 
 
It’s still hard for me to wrap my head around how builders and artisans and craftsmen in the 13th or 14th or 15th century knew how to design and construct these great cathedrals without power tools or computers or gas powered earth movers.  It’s mind boggling to look at the statuary inside the buildings.  Dozens of statues etched into the wood and stone, with each carving exquisitely crafted.
 
But something interesting happened to me as our trip progressed.  I started to become accustomed to the grandeur.  I found myself walking into our sixth or seventh cathedral with diminished awe.  Sure the building was stunning and awe inspiring.  But the one we saw yesterday was bigger.  Or even if it wasn’t, you could only muster so much wonderment before you started to feel like “if you’ve seen one…”
 
Throughout the hymnbook of the Bible, we are invited to pause and reconsider the handiwork of the God who created the heavens and the earth.
 
“The heavens declare the glory of God.”  All it takes is a cloudless night away from city lights for your awe at the splendor and majesty of universe to be reignited. 
 
“We are fearfully and wonderfully made.”  Crack open a high school anatomy text and it won’t take long for you to marvel again at God’s skill.  Pick just one part of the human body – the eye, the ear, the tips of your fingers with identifying marks that set you apart from everyone else – every organ and gland and strand of DNA stir fresh amazement. 
 
Look at how Job, in the midst of his distress, reflects on the awesome majesty of God:
 
“But ask the beasts, and they will teach you;
the birds of the heavens, and they will tell you;
or the bushes of the earth, and they will teach you;
and the fish of the sea will declare to you.
Who among all these does not know
that the hand of the Lord has done this?
In his hand is the life of every living thing
and the breath of all mankind.
Job 12:7-10
 
Our God designed and created everything, down to the last detail. 
 
Three things prompted me to pause and consider the glory of our Creator God this week.   
 
The first was a long walk along a Gulf of Mexico beach in south Florida.  I was reminded that “by the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and by the breath of his mouth all their host.  He gathers the waters of the sea as a heap; he puts the deeps in storehouses (Psalm 33:6-7)  And then later that night, as I looked up at a brightly starlit sky, I was struck again by the greatness of our Creator God.
 
The second thing that stirred my meditation on creation was a sermon I heard preached on Hebrews 11.  Most of us read how the author of Hebrews defines faith as “the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”  One of those “things not seen” that we are convinced of is found two verses later in Hebrews 11.  “By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible (Hebrews 11:3).
 
We have no eyewitnesses to testify to how the heavens and the earth came into being. No one was around to witness God’s work of creation.  But our faith that God created everything is not a blind leap into the darkness.  The forensic evidence makes such a compelling case that someone would have to actively suppress the truth to come to a different conclusion about how the heavens and earth came into being (Romans 1:18-20). 
 
The final reason I spent time this week meditating on God’s mighty work of creation was an article I read on line that I’ll tell you more about next week. 
 
In his Systematic Theology, Wayne Grudem says that the doctrine of creation enables us “to discover how incredibly wise, powerful, and skillful God was in his work of creation.“
 
“Great are the works of the Lord, studied by all who have pleasure in them” (Ps. 111:2).
 


You’ve seen it on Facebook.  Hopefully, you’ve shared the info with friends and maybe even invited some of them to join you. 
 
Well guess what.  It’s time!  A great night of music and fellowship with our friends at Covenant Presbyterian Church is this Friday night.
 
Plan to arrive with food at 5:45.  We’ll start eating at 6:00. 
 
Oh, and Matthew and the band could use a few additional strong arms and backs to help load in and set up their gear.  If you can help, send Matt Gurney at note and plan to be at Covenant Presbyterian at 3:00 on Friday.  MattGurney77@gail.com 

 
 

 


 
This week (Thursday night Jan. 17) is the return of Kids Small Group!  Kids ages 0-12 will gather for fun and food and games and Bible and more fun, starting Thursday at 5:45 pm.  The evening lasts until 8:15.  The kids will be learning about Jonah this spring.  And if your kids want to bring along a friend, everyone is welcome!
 
 


 
As we mentioned last Sunday in church, if you’re interested in investigating what membership at Redeemer is all about, plan to join us on Saturday morning, January 26 at 9:00 for our new members class.  There is some pre-work before you come.  Contact Matt Gurney (same email as above) for info.
 


 
Monday night at 7:00, we’ll be meeting for part 2 of the men’s series on pornography.  We’ll be watching a video that talks about the affect of porn on our relationships with others.  It’s great content that will be followed by a great discussion. 
 
Again, if you missed video #1, you can still benefit from the time together on Monday night.  Wives, please encourage your husbands to attend!  Let’s make this a priority for all of us as a church.
 
The third and final session will be a week from Monday, January 28, at 7:00 at church.
 
 


 
And looking ahead to February, the Monday night women’s Bible study starts back up on February 4.  Here’s the scoop

 

 


 
Finally, mark your calendar for this always exciting annual event!
 
 

 


 
 
What can we learn about godly living from the example of a dishonest manager?  In Luke 16, Jesus tells a parable to make a point, and we’ll explore the story and the meaning of the parable on Sunday.
 

See you in church.
 
 
Soli Deo Gloria!
Pastor Bob

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