We are back in-person starting December 6th!
(for a time we are requiring you to wear a mask the whole time you're in the building)
Andrew Bee • January 21, 2021
Last week I began a blog series for men. I asked you to consider the first phrase of 1 Corinthians 16:13-14, “be watchful.” This week we move to the second phrase in that passage - “stand firm in the faith.” Here is the whole passage again.
“Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.
Let all that you do, be done in love.”
Consider memorizing these verses by the time the blogs on these verses are published. That gives you another three weeks, not counting this one. That’s plenty of time to memorize this passage.
Recently, Robbie (my oldest son) and I had a chance to visit the Grand Canyon. It was his first time there, and It blew his mind. As many young men have done, Robbie ventured out to the edge of the canyon. As I watched and took pictures, I silently prayed and verbally admonished him to watch his footing. I wanted him to stand firm at the TOP of the Canyon.
My hope for all men at Meadows is that we stand firm in our faith.
In a world that is always shifting like sand, it isn’t easy to Stand Firm in our Faith. Here are four ideas to help you stand firm.
ONE - stand on the ROCK of the Faith! The rock of our faith, Jesus Christ, and His good news for us. That rock is the foundation for our identity, our activity, and our future. Every other place is shaking ground. Are you standing firmly on that rock? Do a self-check by seeing how easily you can answer these questions.
TWO - stand on the TRUTH of the Faith. In chapter 7 of The Ways of the Alongsider, we are encouraged to study the Word. In that chapter, there is a suggested Bible study method that is super easy to remember A.E.I.O.U. The more challenging part is remembering what the letters stand for.
A = Ask Questions. Think who, what, when, why, where, and how. Asking questions takes some work, but it is worth it.
E = Emphasize Key Words. Look for repeated words or words that stand out to you. Then make sure you understand what those words mean.
I = In other words, or I like to say, “In your own words.” Rephrase the passage in your own words, or look at another translation. Try to understand what the passage was saying to the original audience and what it says today. If you don’t, seek out help. Ask a friend, ask me, or look in a commentary.
O = Other Verses. What other verses in the bible do you know that say the same thing or something similar? Use the cross-references in your bible (the small type letters or numbers or notes), a topical bible, or the Logos Bible App from Faithlife to discover other passages that connect to what you’re reading.
U = How are “YOU” going to apply the truth to your life today?
You may notice similarities in various study methods I’ve recommended over the last several months. Using the “H.E.A.R.” method or “Seven Arrows,” or the “A.E.I.O.U.,” they all come back to how are you going to respond, apply, and obey the word of God. Standing firm requires that the word of God impacts how we think and feel and what we do and say. Do you find yourself reading your Bible and then just moving on to the next thing in your day? Slow down a bit and examine what you are reading—using one of these study methods will help. You can find them all outlined on our website - https://meadowsfamily.org/bible-tools.
THREE -stand on the PROMISES of the Faith. I am intrigued by the times when God instructs His people to stand firm yet do nothing. Like in Exodus 14:13-14
But Moses told the people, “Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch the Lord rescue you today. The Egyptians you see today will never be seen again.
The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.”
Or in 2 Chronicles 20:17
But you will not even need to fight. Take your positions, then stand still and watch the Lord’s victory. He is with you, O people of Judah and Jerusalem.
Do not be afraid or discouraged.
Go out against them tomorrow, for the Lord is with you!
We stand firm by remembering the promises of God, especially that He is with us. He has promised to work in and through everything for our ultimate good and His ultimate glory. We can trust God’s promises and stand firm.
FOUR - stand with your BROTHERS of the Faith. We need one another to help us stand firm. Side by side, we can make it. Encouraging each other, supporting one another, and protecting each other. Let’s start fresh this year to help one another stand firm!
Mark Hoffman • January 20, 2021
John Calvin said of the Psalms, “there is no other book in which we are more perfectly taught the right manner of praising God.” I believe that Calvin was right! The Psalms have been the prayer and worship book of God’s people for literally thousands of years, so they are always a great place for us to begin a dialogue of worship with our great God. This week we’ll begin with the simple jubilance of Psalm 118:24 which says,
This is the day that the Lord has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it!
Matching the message and the exuberance of that verse, we’ll lift our voices in song with Today Is The Day.
Next, Scripture reminds us that this “day” that the Lord has made is not simply a 24 hour measure of time, but it is in a truly spiritual sense the day of salvation that He has mercifully provided to us through Jesus Christ. Titus 3:3-7 will point our hearts and minds to the truth of the gospel of Christ, and we will respond together proclaiming God You’re So Good.
This week, Pastor Andrew begins a new sermon series as we take a deep dive into our MCF Shared Values. These are the biblically-based pillars of our fellowship outlined in our church constitution and affirmed by every member of Meadows Christian Fellowship. Pastor Andrew will begin with message of Unity from Philippians 2. Responding to the message of God’s Word together, we will sing Who You Say I Am.
Lastly, we’ll close our time of worship by praying for our Giving, and be sent out after a couple of brief Announcements with a Benediction. As always, tell us how we can be praying for you. Send your prayer requests to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reflect on the Scripture and songs above as you prepare for worship this week. You can find this week’s song playlist on Spotify and YouTube. Remember that attendance is still limited at our in-person services right now, so you must register if you’d like to attend in-person. (Also, just a reminder that Sunday children’s ministry is on pause until February.) Everything you need to know about our Sunday worship services, including RSVP and live-stream information, can be found on our website at meadowsfamily.org/sundays
I look forward to worshiping with you!
Andrew Bee • January 12, 2021
As we start fresh this year, I am starting with a fresh focus on Men. You men are invaluable to our church. You have the potential to shape our church and our families in ways no one or no other thing can. I see that in each one of you. I hope that we can start fresh together by the Holy Spirit and help each other reach our great potential.
As men, we need God, we need each other, and together we can make a huge difference. As we start fresh this new year, one of the ways I want to focus on you is in prayer. I commit to praying for every man in our church each week. If there is something specific I can pray for, let me know. Another way is through this blog. These won’t be the only ways, but it’s where I will start.
I’ve been thinking about 1 Corinthians 16:13-14, verses which have encouraged and challenged my heart as a man. These verses will be my blog focus for the next five weeks. You may be able to guess the break down as you read the passage.
“Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.
Let all that you do be done in love.”
The phrase “be watchful” encourages us to be attentive, pay attention to what’s going on around us, and be aware. Yet, it is more than that. It does little good to be watchful in a battle if you’re staring in the wrong direction. “Being watchful” implies that we are attentive to the right things. Here’s my question.
What has your focus right now?
I know how easy it is to get caught up in the various activities and demands of my life. Yet, I want us all to realize and enjoy the benefits of God’s presence, by the Holy Spirit, for His glory. Easier said than done! To that end, scripture encourages us to keep our eyes on Jesus. So, where’s your focus?
Here’s a challenge that may help you answer the question. I dare you to sit down for 20 minutes with a piece of paper (or maybe a couple). Pray and ask God to help you honestly evaluate your focus. Draw a line down the middle of the page and set a timer for 10 minutes (really, set a timer). On the left side of the page, take 10 minutes and write out all the things you’re focused on right now. Things like projects at work, finances, concerns for your wife and kids, house repairs, the news headlines, your hobbies, your friends, and whatever else comes to mind. Then, set the timer again for ten minutes. In those ten minutes, on the right side of the page, write out how you see Jesus entering into or influencing each item on the right side.
Is Jesus in your sights?
To what degree does your view of Jesus affect the things in your life? To what degree does your view of Jesus impact your view of yourself. When we are watchful for who Jesus is and what He is doing in our lives AND in and through all the demands of our lives, we run the race of life so much better.
Men of Meadows, let’s BE WATCHFULl and encourage each other to focus on Jesus.
I love you, men!
-- Pastor Andrew
Wednesday (7 pm) – Corporate Prayer Meeting by ZOOM
Wednesday (7 pm) – Corporate Prayer Meeting by PHONE
Call: +1 312 626 6799
Meeting ID: 473 495 1266
(These links will NOT change. They are set up as a recurring weekly meeting.)