Weekly Update 09/15/2021


I left the worship gathering on Sunday encouraged by the praises of God’s people and the exposition of God’s Word. We saw the beauty and power of the way the Lord works even among pagan people to open their eyes and show them the way to know Him. We sang about that. We read the Word about that. Then we heard the Word teaching about that. I hope that makes us pause long and thoughtfully to exult in praise to the Lord for His mercies, for we are those same people whom the Lord has shown mercy!

Every time we gather we have at least two aims. First, we want to glorify and worship the Lord God through the provisions in Jesus Christ by the gospel. That’s a handful! But our worship is through Christ, as Hebrews 13:15 tells us. Through Jesus, we offer the sacrifices of praise to God, our lips which provide the overflow the of heart resonating with the good news, giving thanks unto Him.

Second, we want to serve and encourage one another. When the writer of Hebrews pointed out the necessity of gathering together to worship whenever the body gathers, he did not do so for what we might personally, individually get out of the worship. He said that we’re to consider others that we might encourage one another and do those things in conversation, thoughtfulness, prayer, love, service to “stimulate one another to love and good deeds” (Hebrews 10:24–25). Every gathering we have responsibility to think of those gathering with us so that we might be intentional in the way that we encourage one another in the body.

I’m grateful for so many who worship the Lord God through Jesus Christ and look for ways to encourage and serve your brothers and sisters in Christ. Let’s all be about this two-fold necessity prescribed by God’s Word, as we worship together.

Tomorrow night the men are scheduled to discuss chapter 4 in Matt Merker’s Corporate Worship. We’ve had great discussion and lots of sharpening on this theme in previous weeks. We look forward to tomorrow at 6:30. The pre-K through 6th graders will be meeting in their classes for Wisdom Wednesdays. What a great time to help our children grow in understanding God’s Word!

The building project has made some progress while also having inevitable slow-downs. Most of the ceiling tiles and new LED lights (with automatic motion sensors to turn them on) are installed. I love the look! The walls have a coat of paint. The flooring is supposed to be delivered at the end of the week to get started next week. Plumbers will be working on laying their lines for the new addition. Footings have been poured, so we think, maybe by the week’s end, we’ll see a foundation poured! We had a slow-down via one of the inspectors who ordered an addition not planned for in the remodeling. So, right now, we’re hoping to be able to use this space for our birth through three-year olds in the worship service on October 10th (Lord willing). That’s a couple weeks later than we had hoped but we’re glad to see progress.

Thank you for your faithfulness in attending the services and in continuing to faithfully give as part of your stewardship and thanksgiving unto the Lord. I’ll remind you that you can give online through our website or church app and you can do so in the offering boxes at the entrance. Thanks for your involvement in the ministry at South Woods!

We get started with an expositional series through the Epistle to the Colossians this Sunday night, September 19th at 6:00. Join the body as we gather to worship and to consider this very Christ-centered letter to the church. You’ll find throughout the messages over the next months (we plan to meet once a month) truths that will help us live faithfully as Christians.

While Paul and Barnabas had brushes with those opposing the preaching of the gospel, things get worse in subsequent verses in Acts 14. And yet, as the Lord regularly does, He gave beauty for ashes, so that the church continued with devotedness to Christ. Pray for Pastor Matt as he works through Acts 14:19–23, which led to some amazing new developments for the churches planted in the Galatian region. They ended up establishing patterns for us today. You can check out Sunday's sermon here.

Phil N.
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