We just finished our second full year at Charity Bible Church! We have been blessed.
On Jan. 7, 2013 - we started a bible reading plan - read the Bible in one year - as a church. We are all following the same plan. We have Sunday School now before service on Sunday morning - where we discuss this weeks' readings. We are learning so much. Personally, God's Word is speaking to me differently through this because it is intentional. He has so much he wants to say to each and every one of us. His Word is alive! Every time I read it - He shows me something new.
In Genesis - His majesty, Noah's obedience, Abraham's faith, God's judgement and mercy to Lot and his family, His protection for Haagar and Ishmael, Genesis 24:21 - patience after we pray, v. 26 we are to worship after answered prayer, v. 27 we acknowledge His divine guidance. In Ezra and Nehemiah we see prayer should be first - we see people putting God first - we see fasting - we see His protection, we see people who listen to God, follow His Word, and then disobey again and again, and when they cry out they see His mercy again and again.....we see songs of praise and thanksgiving. In Esther - we see a woman who realizes God placed her in a special position at a special time - she willingly took risks to save her people. In Matthew, we learn so much about Jesus, how He loves, heals, beckons us to follow Him. He teaches us about love, compassion, faith, prayer, reaching out and losing our life for His sake, the greatest commandment, His deity. In Acts, we see the church being built, the Word of God increases and multiplies, the Holy Spirit is real, salvation through the grace of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Paul's suffering, obedience, protection of God, importance of testimonies, to worship, to believe, God has a plan. In Romans, God's kindness is meant to lead you to repentance, we have hard hearts, the redeemed are saved, have eternal life and we are to seek to give glory and honor to God. We are to seek praise not from man, but from God. We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. We can have peace with God through faith; Suffering leads to endurance, endurance to character, and character to hope - and we have the free gift of God which is eternal life in Jesus Christ.
This past year we said good-bye to dear friends - who are no longer called to our body. Each time we said goodbye with heavy hearts. Yet, it is clear that God has a plan in all of this. We also welcomed new people and have been blessed by each and every one. We are learning that people aren't ours - they are all God's. He has control and knowledge that we could never know or begin to understand. We let go and pray for those who come and go, we embrace visitors with love and acceptance.
We stand strong in God's Word - our Pastor preaches from it and encourages us to read it and grow. We love this community - we hope to leave His fingerprints of Love all over it - in January we opened our Food Pantry - we hope to meet the needs of whomever God sends our way. We give thanks to Him for his ongoing provisions. We start year 3 - with a plan - to continue reaching out to the community - we pray we can give the town small glimpses of God's great love for us and an understanding of the Hope we have in Him.