Tomorrow Morning at SGC

October 31, 2009

After an extra hour of sleep for everyone (unless you’re working the night shift!), we will gather yet again.  We are looking forward to being together as a church tomorrow.  Chris McCrea will be leading us in worship.  We’ll be learning a new song called Abba Father, by Daniel Doss.  It’s a wonderful song about God’s deep love for us.  We are also planning to share communion together during worship.  The first Sunday of the month is also made special by this opportunity to remember Christ’s sacrifice for us as we eat from the bread and drink from the cup.

Our series in Galatians WinCEGalatians continues tomorrow in chapter 2.  We will study 2:1-10 and will pick up on Paul’s history with the gospel he received from Christ.  As you well know, these aren’t just historical details.  We know that God wants to speak to us in the same way that He spoke to the original recipients of this letter almost 2000 years ago.

After the service, the pastors and others will be available to pray for anyone in need and will also have time to share a cup of coffee together in the lobby.  Please take some time today to pray for our service tomorrow and we’ll see you in the morning at the corner of Centerville and Elbow!



Daylight Savings

October 30, 2009

Don’t forget to set your clock back on Saturday night!


Dug Down Deep

October 29, 2009

I first met Josh Harris at a Sovereign Grace Small Group Leaders Conference in the mid ’90′s .  If I remember correctly, it was Josh’s first visit to a Sovereign Grace event.  Up to that point I had never heard of Joshua Harris.  His New Attitude magazine was popular, but unknown to me.  At that time, he was on the doorstep of making a decision about his life and ministry and future that would result in him relocating to Gaithersburg for discipleship, training and, ultimately, a place of ministry.  That day at that Screen shot 2009-10-29 at 12.11.32 PMconference both of us were invited to go to lunch with  Sandy and Martha Napier along with some others.  Sandy and Martha ended up talking to some other friends most of the time (they weren’t blowing us off – it just worked out that way!).  So Josh and I sat across the table from each other and spent the entire lunch getting to know each other and hearing each other’s story. We became friends that day and have been ever since.  I am grateful for the ways that God has allowed us to partner together in the gospel in various ways since that day.

Josh is now the Senior Pastor of Covenant Life Church, is on the leadership team of Sovereign Grace Ministries, hosts the NEXT conference and is a best selling author.  One of the things I love about Josh is his deep desire to serve God’s people with the gifts that God has given him.  His preaching, his books, and his conferences are all aimed at helping people know and love Christ more.  I tell you all of this because Josh has written a new book soon to be released.  It’s called Dug Down Deep – Unearthing What I Believe and Why it Matters.  Rather than telling you about the book, you can check it out yourself!  You can download the first chapter of Josh’s new book from his website HERE.  You can also find out more about the book and it’s title on his website HERE.

Please pray that this book will have an impact on many, that God will use Josh’s influence to get this book into many people’s hands, and that this book would stir a hunger in the hearts, especially of young people, for the deep truths about God and His word.

Grace to you today,


My Righteousness is in Heaven

October 27, 2009

John Bunyan, the author of Pilgrim’s Progress, loved the book of Galatians.  His favorite book, next to the Bible, was Martin Luther’s commentary on Galatians.  He loved Galatians because of the clear presentation of justification by faith alone apart from works.  Bunyan was a man of tormented conscience.  He never felt good enough for God.  He struggled with this until he had an experience with God, described here:

“One day as I was passing into the field, this sentence fell upon my soul: ‘Thy righteousness is in heaven.’ And with the eyes of my soul I saw Jesus at the Father’s right hand. ‘There,’ I said, ‘is my righteousness!’ So that wherever I was or whatever I was doing, God could not say to me, ‘Where is your righteousness?’ For it is always right before him.  I saw that it is not my good bunyanframe of heart that made my righteousness better, nor yet my bad frame that made my righteousness worse, for my righteousness IS Christ. Now my chains fell off indeed. My temptations fled away, and I lived sweetly at peace with God.  Now I could look from myself to him and could reckon that all my character was like the coins a rich man carries in his pocket when all his gold is safe in a trunk at home. Oh I saw that my gold was indeed in a trunk at home, in Christ my Lord. Now Christ was all: my righteousness, sanctification, redemption.”  from Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners

Isn’t that wonderful!?!  All the righteousness that God requires of you today is seated at His right hand in the person of His Son, Jesus Christ!  When you repented of your sin and placed your faith in Christ, you were justified.  And in that moment of your justification, God simultaneously forgave all of your sins – past, present and future – and He credited Christ’s perfect righteousness to your account.

Be encouraged!  Today, your righteousness is in heaven.


Apply: Galatians 1:11-24

October 25, 2009

Screen shot 2009-10-25 at 10.25.18 PMHow good it was to come together this morning and worship this morning!  In various way the Lord was reminding us of his grace poured out on because of the finished work of Christ on the cross.  If you missed the message this morning  you can listen to it here.  As we reviewed the text what emerged was this truth that  the gospel is from God alone for His glory alone.  Below are some questions and comments that I hope will serve you in deepening your understanding of Paul’s letter to the Galatians and encourage you in your relationship with Jesus Christ.

1.  Paul makes it clear that the one, true gospel was God’s idea not his, or any other man’s.  Why was it so important for him to show that the gospel he preached came directly from God, through a revelation of Christ?

2.  Paul testifies that despite his absolute hostility towards Christians and the Church Christ broke into his world, showed him mercy and changed him forever.  Furthermore he indicates that  this “intervention” was actually planned “before I was born”.  What effect does this have on your understanding of God’s sovereignty in your own life?

3.  As news of Paul’s conversion gets around many are amazed and glorify God because of it.  The outworking of the gospel is meant to direct our attention back to God, the author of the gospel.   In your time with the Lord this week consider your life before you were converted.  Then, tell someone else how you came to Christ.  Eric encouraged us to start with someone close to us such as our kids, our roommate or a close friend.  Still better, pray that God would give you an opportunity to share your story with someone who’s not a Christian.  Who do you plan to share your testimony with?

4.  When you think about your conversion testimony or when you’ve actually shared it with someone else who’s activity is featured most prominently  —- yours or God’s?

As you apply this message, I realize that for some a temptation exists to think that their testimony isn’t that interesting because their sins were not overtly dramatic, rebellious or wicked.  They were always “basically good”.  The Bible doesn’t support that view and in fact says our “righteousness is like filthy rags”.  There really aren’t two categories: the “good” and the “bad”.  There’s just one, “bad” — and we were all in it together.

Paul had first- hand experience with God’s grace.  That’s why it figures so prominently in his letters, especially in Galatians.  By grace we’ve been saved and in Christ alone we’ve been firmly grounded!

All of Grace,

Tomorrow Morning at SGC

October 24, 2009

Screen shot 2009-10-24 at 4.18.15 PM

We are looking forward to our meeting tomorrow and hope that everyone can make it!  Tomorrow morning will start at 8:30 am with our New Members class and the final Bible for Life class for this semester.  If you have not taken our New Members class, you can begin tomorrow!  Also, Sunday prayer will be in the 3 year olds class at 9:00 am.   Please join us if you can.

Jordan Smith will be leading the worship team tomorrow.  A couple of weeks ago he introduced the song At the Cross by Mark Altrogge.  We will be singing that song again along with others.

Tomorrow will also be the day that we collect a special offering for Sovereign Grace Ministries.  We will watch the final video of 3 and then participate in giving together.  We look forward to continuing our partnership with Sovereign Grace Ministries in a very practical and tangible way.

Finally, Brett Campbell will be preaching the word to us.  His text is Galatians 1:11-24 where Paul explains how he received the gospel.  If you read this section before tomorrow morning, you will benefit even more  since it will already be familiar!

We can’t wait to see you and to worship our Savior together!