January 13, 2019

GOD WANTS US TO BE A HEALTHY, UNITED, ACTIVE GROUP OF HIS PEOPLE

                When you walk into the auditorium of the University City Church of Christ, you are with those who have given themselves to principles of God’s Word and are striving to be His unique and special people. Each Lord’s day we desire to seek His face and worship Him. David said, “It is good to give thanks to the Lord, and to sing praises to your name, O most high.” (Ps. 92:1) David continues to suggest how loving and kind God is and that He is faithful every single night. In this psalm, there is praise for the Lord due to His ongoing faithfulness. One of the greatest expressions of God’s long-term faithfulness is seeing His pre-existent plan for the Lord’s church and our salvation come to fruition. (Ephesians 1:3-4, Galatians 4:4-5)

People have lost touch with the need to show respect for and towards things of importance. Sadly, they fail to recognize the beauty of the Lord’s church. Certainly, terms like “church” and “respect” go hand in hand. The word “church” is significant. When its two Greek roots ek (“out”) and kaleo (“to call”), are placed together they form ekklesia, which is a special designation referring to those who have been called out. Contrary to popular expectation the Bible only talks about one church. (Matthew 16:16-18, Ephesians 4:1-6) Scriptures talk about the church Jesus established – His special possession. (Matthew 16:13-18, I Corinthians 12:27, Ephesians 5:23-30) It is the church which the Lord is coming to take home. (John 14:1-3, Mark 16:16, Acts 2:38-47) Anyone can become part of the church by obeying the gospel and following the teachings of Christ, recorded in the Bible. (Romans 1:16, 2 Timothy 3:16-4:3) This elementary knowledge is as sufficient for us as it was for the Ethiopian Eunuch who “went on his way rejoicing.” (Acts 8:33-39) In human history there has never been a more glorious institution than the Lord’s church. It is a positive thing to consider what an honor it is to be a member of the Lord’s Body each morning we wake to see a new sunrise. (I Corinthians 1:13-18)

In 1 Corinthians 1:13-18 Paul discusses the beauty of the united Body of Jesus when he says, “Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” Far from the divisive denominationalism that happens when people take the spiritual Body and distort her with personal, selfish ideas. Anytime the Word of God is ignored, rejected or despised or the truth is misunderstood, then the elegance and plan of God is corrupted.

When the church accepts the challenge of following the Word of God, we will be guaranteed to please Him. There is a movement to abandon scriptural authority. I have always thought we can move forward into the future while maintaining the Bible as the foundation for belief and practice. With all the decisions being made where people seek to change the worship and work of the church, we should remember passages reminding us that His Word should play into our decisions. (Deut. 12:32, Pr. 30:6, Rev. 22:18-19) When we are rooted in the Word of God, we will know what the will of God is. (2 Tim. 2:1, Jer. 6:16-17)  When the church moves forward it will happen because everyone is involved. Since we are the church, it will only move forward when we do. So, we should take that as a personal challenge. The church is made of people just like us. It will do great work when I do great work. It will be friendly when I am friendly. It will be generous when I am generous. It will bring others into fellowship when I do. The seats will be filled when I fill them. It will be loyal, faithful and loving when I am. So, I will dedicate myself to be all these things to the glory of God.

James W. Farris

 

SYMPATHY  is extended to Kim Everett and family at the death of her mother, Charlotte Blount who passed away on Friday, December 14, 2018. Please remember the family in prayer.

Sympathy is also extended to Crystal Pinkston and family at the death of her father, Henry Wilson of Old Town, FL, who passed away on Saturday, January 5, 2019. Please keep the family in prayer.

FINDING PEACE FROM ADDICTION  Jesus called everyone to experience His peace (John 14:27). For those dealing with addiction issues, peace seems far away. Come join our B-12 group every Monday night for sharing and learning to find not only the love of God, but His peace as well. B-12 meets Monday nights at 7pm in our Fellowship Hall.

READY TO SERVE MEAL PREP   Anyone interested in helping to prepare the Ready to Serve meals is welcome to come to the FLC kitchen on Saturday, January 26 at 9am. It typically takes just a bit over an hour to get them all done. Your help in this ministry is greatly appreciated.

University City Bible Institute is beginning a 12 week course on the book of Daniel, starting January 15. This course will prove to be very inspiring as you listen to instructor, Ted Stewart, bring his passionate insight to this intriguing study. Please find a copy of the brochure in the rack just inside the front door to the church foyer. We hope you will join the rest of us Tuesday evening for the beginning class at 6:45 PM, in room 104 of the Family Life Center.

CALENDAR OF EVENTS

Jan 13    (Sun) English Partners, 2-4pm

Jan 13    (Sun) GHCC Communion & Bible Study, 3pm

Jan 14    (Mon) Ladies Prayer & Fitness, 6pm

Jan 14    (Mon) B-12, 7pm, Fellowship Hall

Jan 15    (Tue) Ladies Bibles Class, 10am, and Crafty Ladies

Jan 15    (Tue) UCBI, 6:45-7:30pm

Jan 16    (Wed) Fellowship Meal, 6pm

Jan 16    (Wed) Bible Classes, 7pm

Jan 18    (Fri) Singing at The Village, 3-4pm

Jan 19    (Sat) Men’s Breakfast, 8-9:30am, FLC

THANK YOU  for all the visits, cards and food during my recovery from surgery at Palm Gardens and at home.                                                                                                                                          Faye Webster

 NEW MEDIA ROOM          We are in the process of planning a media room for the Evangelism Program. If you have a used laptop you’d like to donate, please contact James Farris 256-554-3449.

RIGHT NOW MEDIA  is available for any of our members who would like to have access to it.. Take advantage of our subscription to Right Now Media and enjoy the lessons offered there. Any opportunity we have to be in God’s Word is a blessing to us. If you do not have the link and would like to have access to it, please contact the church office or any of our ministers.

GATORS FOR CHRIST  Wednesday is our college & post grad class at 7pm on “Generations: How a Church Can Seek God” By Reed in the gym. Thursday at 7pm is our Men’s & Women’s Small Group Bible Studies kickoff! Friday at 4pm meet at UCCC for our carpool to our St. Pete Beach Statewide College & Post-Grad Beach Retreat! Directions at www.GatorsForChrist.org click on calendar.

YOUTH GROUP NEWS  Jan 13 – Dinner/Devo at 6pm at the Suggs’

Young Families/Children’s Ministry  This year we have a new set of family devotionals available for those who are interested in having a study guide for devotionals at home with their children. They are adaptable for a wide age of children and are a great way to engage children in Bible study at home. Please pick up a printed copy from the foyer table or contact Melissa Cere for an electronic PDF of the files. The Children’s Bulletins are also available every Sunday from the foyer table as well for your children to work on during our services.

L2L CORNER  Today is our first L2L workday. Here is our revised schedule for today Sunday, January 13 to accommodate the YG dinner and devo tonight. Bible Bowl 12:45 – 2:00, Song Leading  2:00 – 3:15, Puppets 3:30 – 5:15. All Parents are asked to attend a short meeting at 12:45 to discuss your convention plans and child activities.

Please remember our sick and shut-in of UCCC with cards, visits or a phone call and keep them in your prayers. The names of others (family and friends) are listed on the bulletin board.

Hospitals: (this past week)

Barbara Catterton, Douglas Guntor, Bob Stancliff

Special Care Facilities:

Annetta Beazlie, Gene Catterton, Mary Jo English, Bennilene Pennisi, Bettye Roberts, Edith Robinson, Phyllis Strain, Lanelle Waters, Edna Watson, June Wiles, Virginia Witt

Others:

Donald Allen, Fred Chelf, Mike & Peggy Childs, Douglas Guntor, Brooke Hinckley, Joan Jaudon, Carol Massey, Faye Webster, Rick Worley, Ruth Wyatt and Pat Wyder.

Prayers for the safety and strength of all those in harm’s way serving our country and community.