Stand Up for Jesus!

Christians all around the world are being threatened or persecuted for their faith.  We are beginning to see Christians being marginalized for their faith even in our own country – some are being called intolerant, while others are being labeled as hate-mongers!

At the end of Acts 7, we read that Stephen had enraged the religious leaders and they stoned him!  What can we learn from Stephen about what it means to live radical lives for Christ and to suffer for Jesus?  Those who suffer for Jesus will experience God’s presence amid their persecution.  As we read in Acts 7:55, “But he, 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 him in 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.

Stephen went on in v. 56, “Behold, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.”  This is the only time in the Bible that this title (Son of Man) is used other than by Jesus, except two times in Revelation.  This was significant, as the Sanhedrin must have surely remembered what Jesus had said before Pilate in his trial.  The same high priest, Caiaphas, had asked Jesus, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?”  And, Jesus replied, “I am, and you shall see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of power, and coming with the clouds of heaven” (Mark 14:61-62).  By these words, Jesus claimed to combine in His person the prophetic words of Daniel 7:13-14 and Psalm 110:1.  Notice that Jesus said, “sitting at the right hand of God,” while Stephen sees Jesus standing at the right hand of God.  Most commentators believe that the fact that Stephen sees Jesus (the Son of Man) standing at the right hand of God was to welcome home this faithful witness.  I wonder if Jesus will be standing when we enter heaven!

This story reminds me of Daniel’s friends Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who did not pay attention to King Nebuchadnezzar’s edict.  They were to fall down and worship the golden image.   When they did not, they were cast into the fiery furnace, which had been heated to seven times more than it was usually heated.  But when Nebuchadnezzar looked into the furnace, he saw four men unbound and walking in the fire.  Many scholars believe that this was the pre-incarnate Jesus walking with these men in their hour of trial.

The fact of the matter is that when we go through trials and persecution (and we will), Jesus walks with us.  While Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego lived and were spared death, Stephen was welcomed home by Jesus with open arms.  So, whether we live or die, Jesus promises to be with us!  May we stand up for Jesus amid our trials, acknowledging Jesus’ promise to be with us!!

Worship

In Pastor Glen’s absence this Sunday, we are excited to welcome Sam Hix to our pulpit.  Sam’s message “A Change of Plans,” is based on Acts 7:54 – 8:4.  Please read this text in preparation for worship!

Adult Sunday School

Our Adult Sunday school class will meet this Sunday at 9:30 a.m. in the large Sunday school room.  Please join Lowell Gross and others for a wonderful time around God’s Word!!  We will continue our study of the Acts of the Apostles.  This Sunday we will focus on Acts 26: Boldness to Talk about Jesus!!  Please bring your Bible.

Men’s Bible Study

Our Men’s Bible Study meets every Tuesday from 7:00 to 8:00 a.m. in the Community Room at Panera Bread.  Over the next several weeks we will explore some of the Psalms.  Next Tuesday we will explore Psalm 2.  All men are invited and encouraged to join us.

Church Grounds Cleanup Day

Please mark your calendars for our church cleanup day on May 4th, beginning at 8:00 a.m.  Please bring rakes, shovels, and wheelbarrows to help mulch and spruce up our church grounds!!

Spring Fling

HCC needs help with Spring Fling

May 11th from 7:00 a.m. to Noon

Ways to get involved.

Sign up at the Welcome Center Table

  1. Sign up for a table. (Sell your own goods, we ask that a portion of your proceeds be donated to church missions or designated to any church fund of your choice.)
  2. Sign up to bring Yard Sale items to donate to HCC.

(We ask that you do not donate appliances)>

  1. Sign up to bring simple breakfast items.

Donuts, muffins, cinnamon buns, etc.  (Free to anyone that comes to the yard sale).

  1. Sign up for Childrens Craft and Balloons.

(Crafts for children to do and balloons to be given away).

  1. Sign up to help put together Mother’s Day Gift Bags.

(Gift bags to be given away to all the moms that come to the event).

Tithes and Offerings

An offering box is available when you enter or exit the sanctuary.  Additionally, Online Giving

Welcome to the Waynesboro Choral Society and Faithful Men

The Session has invited the Waynesboro Choral Society and the Faithful Men to use our facility for their rehearsals during the week and on Sunday afternoons.  We are excited to welcome these outstanding community choral groups to our facility.  We especially look forward to having both groups assist in worship in the near future!!

Golden Oldies

The next gatherings of the Golden Oldies will be . . .
May 8 at 10:30, meet at Panera Community Room with our speaker, Richard Ammons.
June 12 at 10:30, meet at Panera Community Room to play Bingo!  We request for everyone to bring a wrapped gift so all can be winners!  $10 max amount of gift.

Prayer Concerns and Praise Reports

IMPORTANT NOTICE — PLEASE READ:  
  • Until someone in the congregation volunteers to be the Coordinator of the Prayer Requests and Praise Report, HCC requests that all individual prayer requests, praises, and updates be emailed to our church administration email address at admin@hopechurchwaynesboro.org  to be included on the weekly report.
  • We will make every effort to share all requests for prayers with the understanding that the requests need to be current and active as well. 
  • Each prayer request will be listed for four weeks unless we receive a request or update to keep a specific prayer request on the report.  
  • At the end of four weeks, prayer requests that have not been updated will be moved to “Request For Continuing Prayers” which will show a listing of names only.  Thank you to everyone for the many ways in which your prayers uphold those on the prayer list.

Driver Assistance

If you or someone in our congregation needs a ride to a doctor’s appointment or other appointments, please call Tom Reider (540.649.5162).  He has agreed to coordinate rides.  He has a list of those who have volunteered to give those rides.  We are grateful for this important ministry!!

Mission Corner

Love INC Support: From April through June we will be collecting various paper products (paper towels, toilet paper, boxed tissues, napkins) AND household cleaning items (toilet bowl cleaner, all-purpose cleaners, dish soap, laundry soap, etc.).  May we be a blessing to those desiring to improve their lives.

If you are interested in supporting the ministry of Young Life, they will be selling and delivering mulch.  You may order mulch until April 10th.  They are also sponsoring a talent show on April 23rd at Tabernacle Presbyterian Church to support Capernaum students (those with special needs).  \

Our next mission team meeting will be Wednesday, May 1, 6:00-7:00 p.m. for those interested in participating.

The Missions Team is active keeping in touch with our missionaries and other ministries.  Please keep updated!  You can visit our website and go to the  Outreach page

May Birthdays

Tom Reider & Marcella Walters (5/2); Bill Flournoy (5/5); Deborah Kleinschuster (5/7); Loretta Watkins (5/12); Sherry Holder (5/20); Paul Childers (5/22); Larry Roberts (5/25) 

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