How do you respond to suffering and trials in your life? One wonderful example of a response to suffering is Stephen, one of the seven men chosen to serve tables in Acts 6. We read in Acts 7:55, “But [Stephen], full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.”
When Stephen was observing the members of the Sanhedrin grinding their teeth at him and becoming enraged, he simultaneously had a vision of Jesus standing at the right hand of God. Jesus was powerfully present to Stephen in the midst of his ordeal. When the text says that he “gazed into heaven” it means he fixed his eyes intently on heaven. When people threaten our reputations or lives, our hope of safety lies in heaven; and it behooves us to fix our eyes on the Lord.
This story of Stephen reminds me of Daniel’s friends, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who did not pay attention to King Nebuchadnezzar’s edict to fall down and worship the golden image. They were therefore cast into the fiery furnace, which had been heated to seven times more than it was usually heated. But when Nebuchadnezzar looks into to the furnace, he sees four men unbound and walking in the midst of the fire. Many scholars believe that this was the preincarnate Jesus walking with these men in their hour of trial.
The fact of the matter is that when we go through trials, suffering, and persecution, Jesus walks with us. While Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego lived and were spared of death, Stephen was welcomed home by Jesus with open arms. So, whether we live or die, Jesus promises to be with us, especially in those seasons of suffering in our lives! Therefore, may we fix our eyes on Jesus!
Pastor Glen is continuing his new sermon series this Sunday focusing on the Seven Churches of Revelation. This Sunday’s message is “The Church That Suffers,” based upon Revelation 2:8-11 and the Church in Smyrna. Please read this text in preparation for worship!
We are pleased to offer a nursery for children through pre-school. The nursery is in the Sunday school area, and there is a check-in area at the door of the nursery. We are very grateful for the ministry of Ailene Wright, our nursery attendant!!
OUR VISION: To see Jesus Christ become the hub of every home in our community and beyond. It is a big vision, but we serve a BIG God. We believe that God will greatly use our efforts for His glory. And it all starts with prayer.
We don’t want to even attempt to see Jesus Christ become the hub of every home without the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. And that’s why we begin with prayer.
Pray & Go is an opportunity for members of our church to walk and pray for the people in the homes (at first) in the Pelham neighborhood, as that is the neighborhood where our church is located.
As we pray for the people in the homes, we will leave a door hanger with information about our church, including an opportunity for people to respond by an email if they would like for us to pray specifically about an issue in their life.
We will NOT knock on doors or ring doorbells. We will simply walk in pairs, PRAY and share the door hangers. The most important thing we can do to reach our community for Jesus Christ is to pray for the people in our community. Join us in participating in this exciting ministry!! More will be shared on Sunday about how you may join in this ministry! Let’s attempt GREAT things for God!
The Session has launched a capital campaign to provide for both additional costs of renting our facility and saving to purchase our facility. We covet your prayers as we continue to provide needed ministry to our members, those in the Waynesboro community, and beyond.
Join us in praying that God will guide us as we take next steps into the future with anticipation of the many ways He will use us to be an ongoing blessing in our community and beyond. A Session member will contact you in the near future to participate in this campaign. At least TEN visits have already happened with encouraging responses! God will pour out His blessings as we respond to His grace and goodness!
A Word of Thanks from the Justines
Jonathan and Jennifer Justine shared how they were humbled by the generous financial gift they received from our congregation to help cover the extra costs for their quarantine period when they return to Thailand. They shared their “extreme gratitude” for those of you who contributed to this generous gift!!
Beth Keyes (8/14); AnnaBelle Severs (8/18); Josh Lucas & Glen Holman (8/20); Tim Stewart (8/21); Noah King (8/23); Dianne Stewart (8/31)