Vacation Bible School Begins Sunday by Steve Patton
A summer tradition at the University church is to conduct a special week of classes for our children. We have about 100 children below college age and they are of great importance to this church. We always want to remember them in our curriculum because Bible teaching is the foundation building block of this congregation. VBS is an important part of that plan.
Lots of planning and preparation have gone into this year’s VBS. Our theme this year is Walking Through the Parables. Great lessons will be taught from familiar parables including: The Sower; The Good Samaritan: The Lost Sheep; The Prodigal Son; The Revealed Light. An adult class will study the same parables your children are studying and will hopefully aid in your discussing the lessons with them. I will be teaching the adult class.
Make sure your children are here next week. We want them to benefit from this special effort to instill in them the teachings of Jesus our Lord. We have some great teachers and parents as well as many others who have helped in preparation. We are grateful to all of them and look forward to the fruits of their labors as we see the smiling faces of our children in class. Pray for a great week of Bible Study!
We begin Sunday evening (July 5) at 5:00pm, and continue Monday through Wednesday mornings (July 6-8) at 10:00 am.
We continue our reading program in the Psalms. This week's reading is Psalm 78. Read and take note of how God is with His people! You can download the entire Reading Schedule here.
America's Famine by Steve Patton
We have no concept of a real famine. There have been true famines in history that have devastated populations. Millions have died in famines in Europe in the Middle Ages, in India (22 major famines since 1700), China (30 million died from starvation in 1958). Some of the worst ever occurred in Egypt from the 10th to 12th centuries. I cannot think of a greater horror than dying of starvation with my family.
America has not faced such circumstances, not even during the Great Depression. Yet we do face a horrible famine even more devastating: “Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord God, “That I will send a famine on the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord. They shall wander from sea to sea, and from north to east; They shall run to and fro, seeking the word of the LORD, but shall not find it” (Amos 8:11-12).
I cannot help but think of our nation when I read those words. His description is of a nation so devoid of God’s Word that it cannot be found anywhere in the country. Even those who seek it cannot find it. Denzel Washington starred in a movie called The Book of Eli. It took place in a post apocalyptic world and he had the only copy of the Bible – in his head. He had memorized it. He was trying to reach a new depository of books set up on Alcatraz. There he would recite the book for printing. We have not reached that point but I do see an ignorant nation starving. Cities are crumbling, societies degenerating and violence is common-place and the saddest part is they do not know the solution – the Gospel of Jesus Christ! Starvation in the midst of plenty. That is where we are and we must do our best to make the Bread of Life available to all. Share God’s Word with all you can! Help them to see their need. We are entrusted with the means to save the world but we must share it. Teach someone the Gospel today and make a difference.
Exalt The Lord Our God by Steve Patton
Is Sunday worship just something God came up with to keep us busy? A way to test our faithfulness? An extra burden we do not need? Lots of people feel that way. But they fail to understand both the purpose and the significance of what we do every Lord’s Day.
God has always received worship from His people. It began as families worshipped Him and offered sacrifices. Then God chose a nation who would receive His Law and worship together at His temple. God’s chosen nation today is no longer a physical nation but a kingdom of disciples from every nation. He still requires they worship Him. New Testament churches assembled every Lord’s Day and honored God with their praise, prayers and remembrance of their Savior’s death. That is what God wants and expects. But if we miss the purpose and significance of such assemblies they will seem little more than busy work or a chore.
I hope you will take time this summer to attend every Wednesday night and hear our series on Exalt the Lord Our God: What Makes for Great Worship. We will examine the nature of the God we worship as well as the kind of worshipper God desires. We will also examine how God has asked us to worship Him. I believe we will value our worship more after this series is completed.
Make Wednesday night a special night this summer – a time when you and your family will learn more about honoring and worshipping our awesome God. Ten different preachers will speak. I know we will learn from all of them.