Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Worship Songs, November 26

We post these worship songs leading up to the worship service so that parents may listen to them in the house or in the car within the days leading up to the worship service. Our hope is that children will hear the songs prior to and it will prepare them to participate in worship on Sunday mornings.

A Christian Home
To God Be The Glory
Thank You Lord
Jesus What A Beautiful Name
Glory In The Highest
Jesus All For Jesus
Light Of The World

Sermon Text: John 12:20-28

That the next generation will set their hope in God and not forget the works of God (Psalm 78:7).

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Sermon Questions - November 19, 2017

Behold, Your King is Coming
John 12:12-19
November 19, 2017

Questions for Study and Meditation

  1. Read John 12:12-15. What drew the crowd to Jesus? Why did they take up branches of palm trees? Why did they quote from Psalm 118:25-26? Why did Jesus find, mount, and ride a donkey’s colt into the city (see Zechariah 9:9)? What does this tell us about Jesus’ attitude toward the crowd?
  2. Read John 12:16-19. How did the disciples understand these things at the time? After he was glorified? After Jesus mounted the donkey, what did the crowd do and to what effect? How did the Pharisees respond to these things? Besides exasperation, what did their words imply?
  3. What’s the most important thing you learned from today’s sermon? From John 12:12-19?
  4. How has this sermon helped you to grow in love for God and others?
  5. What’s the most important thing Jesus would have you do in light of this sermon?
  6. Take some time to worship Jesus. Thank him, praise him, and ask for his help as you seek to strive with other believers for the faith of the gospel.   

Announcements - November 19, 2017

Advent Devotional: This year for Advent, we will be offering a four-part, eight-page devotional on the traditional themes of Advent: hope, peace, joy, and love. Each part of the devotional can be used in your families or community groups, and each theme will be emphasized on Sunday mornings beginning on December 3. We have several hard-copies available on the information table today, or we can send you a copy of the PDF if you’d prefer.

Operation Christmas Child - Samaritan’s Purse: We will be collecting Shoeboxes for children each Sunday through December 10. Would you like to bless a child in great need? There will be a table with supplies for the boxes, including the red and green Shoeboxes. See Samaritan’s Purse suggested gifts for each age group on their website. They ask that the following items not be included in the box: candy, toothpaste, gum, used or damaged items, war-related items, food, liquids, medications or vitamins, breakable items, aerosol cans. If you have any questions please contact Brett or Julie Springfield, julie.springfield@comcast.net

All-Church Prayer Meeting Wednesday November 29: Join us from 6:30-8:00 p.m. at the Handke Center on Wednesday, November 29 for a concerted time of prayer for the ministries of GCF, our cities, and the spread of the gospel among the nations. If you have any prayer requests you’d like us to lift up before the Lord during this time, contact Carmen Gunderson at admin@gcfmn.org. Child care will be available.

Community Group Leaders’ Meeting Saturday December 2: If you’re a community group leader, please join us at the church office from 8:00-10:00 a.m. on Saturday, December 2 for our bi-monthly time of training, prayer, and fellowship. If you have any questions or suggestions for the meeting, please contact Pastor Kevin (kevin@gcfmn.org).

GOLD Meeting Saturday December 16: If you’re a team leader or deacon, please join the pastors at the church office for the quarterly “Glory of Christ On-going Leadership Development” meeting from 8:00-10:00 a.m. This is the most important GOLD team meeting of the year as we’ll be preparing for the annual meeting on January 14, 2018. If you have any questions or suggestions for the meeting, please contact Pastor Charlie (charlie@gcfmn.org). 

Saturday, November 18, 2017

The Vision for Missions at Glory of Christ Fellowship, by Pastor Charlie Handren

     Glory of Christ Fellowship (GCF) exists to make disciples for the glory of Christ. Accordingly, while our primary value is the glory of God made visible in and through Jesus Christ, we express our love for and value of God through worship, community, and mission.
     In order to accomplish our mission, we are committed to sharing the love of Christ locally and globally, baptizing new believers in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything Jesus has commanded (Matthew 28:18-20). With regard to supporting global missions, we give preference to missionaries or nationals who are directly engaged in making disciples by establishing and strengthening churches. Further, our desire is to stand with those who are working among unreached or under-reached people groups. For the majority of current missions investments around the world support ministries where the church is already established and the gospel is already being preached. Finally, we are committed to giving as much support as possible to a few global partners rather than giving a little support to lots of global partners.
     With these things in mind, we partner with global gospel-workers in at least three ways. First, with some global partners we covenant to regularly hold them up in prayer over a long period of time. For example, we have been prayer partners with Catherine Rivard for about seven years and we have stood with her before the throne in good times and bad.
     Second, with some global partners we covenant to pray for and financially support them for a prescribed period of time as one church among others. For example, we have supported the church planting efforts of Amos and Meredith Anderson for a number of years as they labor to establish churches in Albania.
    Third, with others we covenant to pray for and financially support them for a prescribed period of time as their sending church. For example, we currently serve as the home church for David and Carmen Gunderson who serve with Arrive Ministries, and Ethan and Elysia Larson who serve with Training Leaders International.
     Finally, we partner with some global partners by sending small, short-term teams to encourage them, pray with them, and serve alongside them in a variety of ways. I’ll say more about this in the next devotional, but for now, let me simply call you to earnest prayer for the missionary vision and partnerships of GCF. 

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

A Prayer For Teens - Wisdom

Proverbs 2:1-8

My son, if you receive my words
and treasure up my commandments with you,
making your ear attentive to wisdom
and inclining your heart to understanding;
yes, if you call out for insight
and raise your voice for understanding,
if you seek it like silver
and search for it as for hidden treasures,
then you will understand the fear of the Lord
and find the knowledge of God.
For the Lord gives wisdom;
from his mouth come knowledge and understanding;
he stores up sound wisdom for the upright;
he is a shield to those who walk in integrity,
guarding the paths of justice
and watching over the way of his saints.

Father in heaven, we come to you and acknowledge that you are the source of wisdom and the giver of wisdom. We love you, our Father, for you give. You so loved the world that you gave your only Son and whoever believes in him will not perish but have everlasting life. You also gave the right to be called children of the living God to those who put their faith in Jesus Christ. 

What an incredible privilege! And for those who are your children, you give wisdom. O Lord, you are the creator of this world and you sustain it by the word of your power. Whom shall we look to for wisdom? Who else is there who possess the words of life? You are God and you bestow the best gifts that could possibly be given. 

Help us to believe this. Please keep us from the allure of worldly pleasures and worldly treasures. Cause us, by your spirit, to desire your wisdom more than we desire anything else. If we could be in the position of Solomon with any wish we could want, may it be that we would request wisdom that you are so eager to give. Oh that we would seek for it more than silver and desire it more than hidden treasures. Bring us, we pray, to fear the Lord so that we may find the knowledge of God. 

Forgive us for pursuing this so lightheartedly. Forgive us for the other priorities that rank higher than coming to the knowledge of God. In every way we have assumed the knowledge of God, please forgive us for our contentment with superficiality. By your grace, please grant us a deeper hunger to know you and be known by you as a father would know his children. 

We thank you for patience and kindness to us. We thank you for being a God who longs to crown us with your love. We pray this in the name of Jesus, Amen.   

Worship Songs - November 19, 2017

We post these worship songs leading up to the worship service so that parents may listen to them in the house or in the car within the days leading up to the worship service. Our hope is that children will hear the songs prior to and it will prepare them to participate in worship on Sunday mornings.

How Great Is Our God
Behold Our God
Lamb Of God
You Are My King (Amazing Love)
Show Us Christ
Crown Him With Many Crowns

Sermon Text: John 12:12-19

That the next generation will set their hope in God and not forget the works of God (Psalm 78:7).

Becoming A "Salesman" For Wisdom, By Pastor Kevin Feder

I would like to interact a little bit with Paul Tripp's book, The Age of Opportunity which is chalk full of parenting insight, particularly as it relates to parenting teens. Parenting is not for wimps, as James Dobson says. If you are a parent of a teen you have at least 12 years of experience under your belt, yet, you are still a beginner. Every parent is, in a sense, a beginner at every stage of their parenting. Unfortunately our children are not frozen in time like the Simpsons...they actually move out of the fifth grade and onto other challenges. Thus, parents are faced with new challenges because their kids are as well. Much grace is needed, including God's Spirit working through his Word. 

Front Row Seats
Teens need wisdom too. In fact, the Bible addresses youthful tendencies, particularly in the book of Proverbs. Study the first nine chapters of Proverbs for a front row seat to parenting teens. You will see a lot. Interestingly, the father beckons his son to wisdom over 20 times. This seems to imply something about what a teens greatest need is and what a parents top priority ought to be: to give and to get wisdom. 

Getting The Roles Right - You And Your Child
Thus, parents play the role of giving wisdom and teens play the role of getting wisdom. Perhaps this is upside down...after all, if you are a parent reading this it is probably because you sense your need to get wisdom for yourself. Truth. This doesn't change the structure of your relationship with your son or daughter. Like it or not, you are in their life, by God's will, to act as the most significant fountain of wisdom they will draw from. And judging from the title, the most effective way to transmit wisdom to your teen is to sell it rather than force it. 

Consider James 1:19-20 Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.

Getting The Roles Right - You And Your God
The concept here lends itself well to our discussion. Ultimately God grants wisdom and it comes from his righteousness. It is a relief and an insight to come to grips with the fact that you simply don't have the power to produce wisdom in your children. Only God does. This allows you the freedom to be much more winsome and patient, much more thoughtful and gently in your parenting approach.

Here is a quote from Paul Tripp: "Win your children for wisdom. Be a salesman for it. You don't do this with nasty, inflammatory confrontations and ugly verbal power struggles. No wisdom is imparted in these moments. If you hit your kids with a barrage of verbal bullets, they will either run for the bunker or come out firing themselves. Here is a good rule: Deal with yourself before you deal with your teenager (Matt. 7:3-5)."

Deal With Yourself First
This is really a great reminder to parents and speaks to how life-altering a few moments of prayer and reflection can really be in your home. The cumulative effects over years of time can become incalculable. Tripp goes on to say this:

"I need to take time and prepare myself by considering the issues at hand biblically, discussing them with my wife, and praying for my child and for myself. By the time I have done all of this, I am in a completely different frame of mind and therefore more prepared to function as God's instrument of change...after preparing yourself, talk with your teen in the right place at the right time. Get away into a quit room in the house, preferably the teen's room where he/she is comfortable. Don't squeeze these important wisdom or corrective times into busy moments; don't do this on the fly. Don't conduct them in from of other people, or introduce them as you are running out to the car on the way to school or church."

Examine Yourself
Interestingly, the effect of "squeezing" these important parenting episodes into inopportune times cheapens, not beautifies the content of our message. Tripp reminds us that "giving wisdom is not hitting your teenager over the head with words. It is putting a lovely garland around his neck. It's giving him the world's most valuable jewels. It is gold from God's pocket to his hands." 

This will go a long way to beautify wisdom as it really is, rather than robbing it of it's glory and value when it is presented in your sin. 

It is good that parents examine the ways biblical wisdom and God's truth is being communicated in their home. Ask your spouse and ask others who observe you for honest feedback. Wisdom belongs to God, but he has entrusted you to pass it onto your kids. Sell it for its beauty and worth.

With hope in Christ,
Pastor Kevin