Weekly Newsletter 6-3-18

10 Commandments Graphics-05.jpg

Hey Oak Hill,

 

Last week, we looked at the 1st Commandment—"You shall have no other gods before me." At first glance, the 2nd Commandment is quite similar—"You shall not make for yourself a carved image…you shall not bow down to them or serve them.” Is this command saying the same thing? Some Christian traditions do emphasize the similarity in these two lines, and consider this all to be the 1st Commandment.

While these two lines are certainly related to one another, there is good reason to separate them as two commands. Where the first command calls us not to worship false gods, this second command calls us not to worship the true god in a false way. You see, God knew that his people would be tempted to look to other sources for help, comfort, and satisfaction, but he also knew that they would be tempted to redefine him, to attempt to make him into something he’s not. In fact, just a few chapters later in Exodus 32, Israel would do just that by making and bowing down to a golden calf, calling it the god who brought them out of Egypt.

We may not be tempted to worship a statue of a bull. But haven’t we all felt more comfortable with some of God’s attributes and downplayed or even denied some of the rest? Brothers and sisters, God is real, and he has revealed himself to us as he really is. It will not do for us to change him and try to fit him into a package better suited to our own preferences and desires. He’s too big, he’s too good, and he’s too glorious. So let’s love, obey, and rest in him. 

I’ll see you this Sunday,

Pastor Josh

 

Exodus 20:1-2, 4-6

20 And God spoke all these words, saying,

2 “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.

4 “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 5 You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing steadfast love to thousandsof those who love me and keep my commandments.

 


 

This week we are singing about the worthiness of God and all the reasons we have to worship Him and Him only.

10,000 Reasons

God With Us

Remembrance

 


 

FREE BOOKS! We are doing some Spring cleaning and encourage you to check out the books in the old library! Lots of books for all ages, please take a book, or ten, home with you! Books not re-homed will be donated.

 

WEDNESDAY Night Ministry This Fall. This Fall, we’re launching a new Wednesday night ministry to children pre K-4th Grade called Seeds. Each week kids will sing songs and hear how every story points to Jesus. They’ll have time in small groups to talk more about that story, memorize scripture, and participate in crafts and activities. If you’re interested in working with a small group of children or helping in another role, please fill out a form at the Welcome Center or talk to Pastor Josh.

 

SUMMER FELLOWSHIP REFRESHMENT VOLUNTEERS. Starting Sunday, June 3rd light refreshments will be served in the fellowship hall after worship. If you are interested in volunteering to provide and serve refreshments for one or more weeks, please visit the Welcome Center or contact the church office.

 

SUMMER CAMP INFORMATION. Summer camp is a great opportunity for kids to grow deeper in their relationship with Christ. Oak Hill is offering a 50% scholarship to Pine Lake and Twin Lakes Bible camps for members and regular attenders. If interested, contact the church office for more information.

 

MEN’S DEEPER BIBLE STUDY. How should we as Christians respond to our current culture? Join us Wednesdays at 6:30 am as we explore various aspects of our culture and what the Bible has to say about them. We will be covering topics such as politics, media, racism and more. Come join the conversation. Led by the elders.

 

FELLOWSHIP SUNDAY POTLUCK! Join us after the 10:00 am morning service. Everyone is welcome. Meat and drinks will be provided. Please bring a side dish, salad or desert to share. Please sign up at the Welcome Center so we will have a nice variety of delicious food to share!

 

4TH OF JULY PARADE! Put on your Oak Hill shirt and a comfortable pair of walking shoes and represent Oak Hill Church in this large community event! If you would like to participate, please sign up at the Welcome Center.

Pray for Easter Sunday

Oak Hill Family,

            We are excited to celebrate our risen Lord this coming Sunday. Easter is always well attended at Oak Hill, with many unbelievers in the congregation. We want to see many people saved this week, with the understanding that the Holy Spirit is the one who saves, not us. Because of this, we want you, our church family to pray for everything going on here this Easter Sunday.

 

            You can do this two ways:

            1. Pray at church. The sanctuary will be open from 8am-4pm Wednesday-Friday this week and you are welcome to come and pray here. We will have copies of the Easter Prayer Guide available at the main doors to the sanctuary.

            2. Pray at home. Use the prayer guide below as a guide as you pray for various aspects of Easter Sunday.

 

            We are thankful for you, our church family, and can’t wait to see you this Sunday!

 

 

Easter Prayer Guide

1.     Pray that many people would be aware of the Easter service and that the Holy Spirit would move people to be interested in coming.

2.     Pray that the ushers, greeters, musicians, and other volunteers who will be helping with the service would be used by the Lord to bless those in attendance. Pray also that the sound/lighting/videos etc. would work according to plan and not be a distraction.

3.     Pray for Pastor Doug’s message to be used powerfully by the Spirit to point people to Christ.

4.     Pray for believers who attend the service that their hearts would be satisfied in their Savior.

5.     Pray for unbelievers who attend the service that their eyes would be opened for the first time to see and embrace Jesus as their Savior.

6.     Pray that guests who attend the service would consider Oak Hill as their church home.

7.     Pray that parents would feel comfortable bringing their children to the service, and that the children would understand and enjoy the service.

8.     Pray that Oak Hill people would be bold to invite others to the service and would be warm and welcoming to guests during the service.

9.     Pray that the breakfast would go smoothly, that it would be a time of joyful fellowship, and that it would help guests to feel comfortable and welcome.

10.  Pray that Jesus would be honored in all that is done before, during, and after the service.

Labyrinth by David Baloche

When we are suffering, where do we go to be reminded of God’s faithfulness and steadfast love for us? The first place we should go is to God himself and His word, the Bible. Scripture is full of reminders of the fact that God loves us and listens to us and is not afraid of our questions or complaints.

One way that we can help ourselves to remember these scriptures is through music. There is an album that was released recently by David Baloche that has been exceedingly helpful to me in this regard. He has taken ten scriptures centered around the theme of God’s faithfulness in our lives and set them to music. The melodies are simple and the arrangements lush and mellow, including everything from clarinet and marimba to electronic drums and synthesizers. By simply quoting scripture and not adding any words of his own, David preserves the integrity of the Biblical text. Simply having these songs on while you are working or hanging out with your family will help embed scripture in your mind and then into your heart.

I have included a link to one of the songs below and would encourage you to take a few minutes and listen to it without distraction. Let the words sink in and remind you over and over that God hears your voice when you cry out to him.

But I call to God,
    and the Lord will save me.
Evening and morning and at noon
    I utter my complaint and moan,
    and he hears my voice.

Psalm 55:16-17

Continue to Pray for Pastor Saeed and Family

A couple months ago I had the privilege of interviewing Naghmeh Abedini, wife of Pastor Saeed Abedini, who has spent the last year in two different prisons in Iran where he has been tortured, abused, and told to deny his Christian faith. He has led many people to Christ in prison. Naghmeh has spoken multiple times on Fox News and CNN, even in front of Congress asking for her husband's release.

Please watch this powerful interview and continue to pray for Naghmeh and her family. They would love to see Saeed home for Christmas!

Offering H.E.L.P. in Suffering

This past weekend two high school graduates were killed in a car accident here in Humboldt, Iowa, where I pastor.  In light of this tragedy I shared these words on my church Facebook page as a way to encourage our community to give real H.E.L.P. to the hurting families and friends in our area. H – Hope not answers. When people are in the midst of suffering, they need hope more than answers. Hope is not found in solving the problem, but running to a person. Jesus. We may not know why everything happens, but we can hope in the person who understands suffering more than anyone and sympathizes with us in it.

E – Enter into their pain. Empathize with them. Did you know that grieving with someone can be the single most helpful expression of love and care? Weep with them. Just be there for them and be with them.

L – Listen to them & Love them in tangible ways. Seek to understand their situation. James 1:19 says, “Be quick to listen and slow to speak.” If you must speak, tell them, “I am standing with you. I am grieving with you.” And love them in tangible ways. Make a meal. Offer a small gift. Spend time with them.

P – Pray for them and Patiently walk w/them through the long journey of suffering. In the deepest of suffering, some may find it hard to even pray. We can intercede for them and carry this burden. And oftentimes, after the initial help has arrived, we forget the one who is suffering over time. But this is when the church is even more needed. To patiently walk with them and be with them through the long road of suffering.

Why did Jesus say, "Don't tell others?"

Yesterday I preached on 4 incredible stories from Mark 4:35-5:43 where Jesus calms the storm, heals the demoniac and the hemorrhaging woman, and raises Jairus' daughter from the dead.  Afterwards, a member of my church asked me a great question: Why did Jesus tell the demon possessed man to go and tell others but told the ones who saw Jairus' daughter being raised to strictly tell no one?  What a great question!  Here's my response: The demon-possessed man was in a Gentile region where not many knew about Jesus or cared about the coming Messiah. In Mark 5:17, after Jesus had healed the man, they begged him to leave the area.  Jesus left, but told the demoniac to go and tell what had happened to him since he would now be the only real witness in this region (Mark 5:19).

Now Jairus and his daughter lived in Galilee. This region would've been Jewish and therefore anticipating a coming Messiah and so Jesus wanted to keep this a secret because he didn't want to stir up a big crowd.  The concern on Jesus' part was that people's attention would be distracted from what he really came to do, namely, the ministry of the word (Mark 1:38).  His essential aim was to preach repentance and faith (the message of the kingdom) and then die on a cross. After he died and rose again, that's when he told his disciples to go and tell everyone who he was because that was the real message he came to bring as the Messiah.

 

Let the Word Get into You this New Year

With the New Year upon us, many of us have a desire to "get into the Word."  I'm with you.  There are many good reading plans to help guide you in this pursuit.  But this year I'm coming at it from a little different angle.  This year, I'm leading my church through the Gospel of Mark.  My goal is for us to meet Jesus and to know him personally and deeply.  To be "apprenticed by Jesus" as Zach Eswine says.  For that to happen, I'm seeking to slow down and soak up the book of Mark.  Instead of getting into the Word, I'm wanting to let the Word get into me. If you'd like to join me (especially if you're a member of Oak Hill), try this approach to reading the Bible this year.  Try reading through the Book of Mark on your own.  Go at your own pace.  When you're finished, do it again.  And keep a journal.  Meditate on what you read.  Talk about what you read with others.  In addition, if you are a member of Oak Hill, take the sermon note sheet with outline and discussion questions each week and walk through it with your spouse or a couple of good friends.  Get into the Word ... and let the Word get into you this year.

Wanna make a difference this year?

My friend and fellow pastor, Stephen Cavness: For those who follow Christ & really want to make a difference this week/year:

Don't wait until sunday morning to "get ready for church" why not start NOW by:

* praying for your pastor as he prays, finishes up preparation,etc. pray that he have wisdom, understanding, clarity, & passion, as well as that he would be faithful to God's Word in his study, life, & proclamation.

*pray for sunday school teachers, nursery workers, ushers, & other church servants

*study your small group/ sunday school lesson!!! you'll be amazed at how much more enjoyable& beneficial your time together is, if what is being discussed is something you have been thinking/ praying through before you got there!

*pray for your own heart & mind to be impacted by God's word, worshiping with the church, & by encouraging & being encouraged by your brothers & sisters in Christ

*pray for visitors who may be there & think of ways to make them feel welcomed (more than just a quick hello & handshake). pray that any who have not trusted Christ will have their hearts pierced by the proclamation of the gospel!

*get on the phone or in the car & bring people with you!!!

Now, imagine if most everyone in our churches "prepared" this way each week- think we might notice a difference?

"Expect great things from God, attempt great things for God!" - William Carey

Christmas is War

This past Sunday, in light of the CT tragedy, I preached from Matthew 2 and Revelation 12 on, "Christmas is War." I'm indebted to one of my favorite seminary professors, Dr. Russell Moore, for his influence on my life on the issue of Christ as conqueror over Satan. I was also greatly helped by D.A. Carson's insights on Revelation 12 from his book, Scandalous: The Cross and Resurrection of Jesus. I hope this message emboldens your faith in our victorious King who has come to destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8).

Why Christmas? New Devotional for Families

Are you looking for a simple devotional to do with your family in the weeks leading up to Christmas?  Barbara Reaoch's Why Christmas? is a helpful devotional to point your kids to Jesus with colorful illustrations and good discussion questions. I just started reading it with my 3 kids (ages 10, 8, and 4) and all of them really like it.  The devotional also comes with Christmas carols that correspond with each of the stories.  It's a fun way to end the night before tucking them into bed!

I also recommend Why Easter? by the same author.

Stepping Into the Story of Your Life in Christ

This past Sunday I preached from Ephesians 2:1-10. I looked at our identity as God's workmanship and asked us to step into the story God has written for our lives. Even though we may feel like we've messed up the masterpiece and scribbled over the story, we don't have to feel stuck in our guilt and shame. God has made us new in Christ and has prepared good works for us to step into. You can listen to the message here.

Offering Real H.E.L.P. in Suffering

This past Sunday I preached on our paradoxical life as Christians. Ours is a life of rejoicing with those who rejoice and weeping with those who weep (Rom. 12:15). I used an acronym to remember how we give real help to those who are suffering. H – Hope not answers.  When people are in the midst of suffering, they need hope more than answers. Hope is not found in solving the problem, but running to a person. Jesus. We may not know why everything happens, but we can hope in the person who understands suffering more than anyone and sympathizes with us in it.

E – Enter into their pain.  Empathize with them. Did you know that grieving with someone can be the single most helpful expression of love and care? Weep with them. Just be there for them and be with them.

L – Listen to them & Love them in tangible ways. Seek to understand their situation. James 1:19 says, “Be quick to listen and slow to speak.” If you must speak, tell them, “I am standing with you. I am grieving with you.” And love them in tangible ways. Make a meal. Offer a small gift. Spend time with them.

P – Pray for them and Patiently walk w/them through the long journey of suffering. In the deepest of suffering, some may find it hard to even pray. We can intercede for them and carry this burden. And oftentimes, after the initial help has arrived, we forget the one who is suffering over time. But this is when the church is even more needed. To patiently walk with them and be with them through the long road of suffering.

Anything you would add?

Raising Kids in a Prosperous Culture

Jonathan Dodson with a good post on how we can teach our kids to be devoted to the one true God in a culture that beckons them to be devoted to other things. You may also like: