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May 31, 2020 | Doug Sauder
Watch our most recent mid-week message here.
This past weekend, we had an amazing online experience with you! We shared a wonderful time of worship, enjoyed a powerful and timely teaching, and experienced a refreshing time of community while having conversations, praying together, building one another up, and sharing in the Word of God through online groups.
Concluding our “Miracles” series with a special Foster Care Weekend message, Pastor Doug shared about the miracle of family and adoption, God’s heart for kids in crisis, and how God wants to use us to solve the crisis and bring families together!
Dive deeper into this teaching on your own, with your family, or in your online group! Watch the video below to see a recap of this weekend’s teaching. You can also scroll down to check out expanded notes and summaries from the teaching and get informed on some of the great resources available to you.
To watch the message in its entirety, click here.
FOR THE NOTE TAKERS
Let’s recap some of the key talking points from Pastor Doug’s message:
We Take Some Miracles for Granted: How has your family shaped you? It’s easy to miss how formative our families are in shaping our lives and destinies. Some of the ways our families shape us is great, life-giving, and instructive for living a productive, good, God-honoring life. But the truth is that some of the ways our families have shaped us is painful, hurtful, stress-inducing, and even traumatic. And yet, even the hardest moments and the most painful memories can be redeemed by God and used to draw you to Him, build you up, and bring about salvation and restoration for others. That is miraculous!
Our families help us answer three questions . . .
Belonging: Whose am I?
It’s the look of a mom that communicates acceptance even through our failures. It’s the realization that, even though our parents may have demanded perfection and made us feel like failures, God sent His perfect Son to succeed where we couldn’t and bridge the gap between us and Him; that because of His Son, He accepts us fully into His family and is well pleased with us. It’s the comfort we experienced in knowing that even if our parents have abandoned us, our God will never leave or forsake us, and that nothing can separate us from His love, which is in Christ Jesus!
Identity: Who am I?
The dinner table is a place for conversation, where parents can speak identity into their kids—identity that they are children of God, dearly loved, and fearfully and wonderfully made. Parents, your time with your children should help shape their identity around who God is and who He says they are, not around the things this world tries to label them as, not around the things we may have been labeled when we were younger, and not around the things we may be tempted to label them as.
Their identities, and ours, must be in Christ and Christ alone if we want to see joy, peace, and fulfillment in their lives, and ours. You see, if our identities are rooted in things other than God, our kids are going to see that!
For all of us who have been labelled and had our identities defined by others, even by our family members (whether intentionally or unintentionally), we can remember that the only One who has the right to label and define us, the only One who has the right to give us identity is the One who made us and the One who saved us . . . God!
Purpose: Why am I here?
Families help paint a picture of the future God has for us. We see this in Abraham’s life. God picked Abraham’s family as the family through which He would bless all the families of the earth. In Genesis 18:19, God speaks belonging, identity, purpose. When Jesus came on the scene, He explained how God adopts us. In John 1:10-13, we’re told that He gave all who believe in His Son the right to become the children of God. In Matthew 28:19–20, we’re told our great purpose as children of God is to make disciples! And then, in Romans 8:28–39, we discover the individual purpose God intends for each and every believer . . . to be conformed to the image of His Son!
God’s Miracle for a Vulnerable Child Is a Family: We get to participate in the miracle of family for the vulnerable, a miracle that can lead to many more miracles! We get to experience the adoptive love of God working through us when we care for the vulnerable. Think about it . . . What God has done for us, we can do for others! And as we do, we can point them to Him so they can experience a redemption and restoration, a love and acceptance, and become part of a family unlike anything they ever imagined could be possible! We get to reenact the gospel by caring for orphans. Over time, we get to see life come back into a child’s eyes.
If God Is Your Father, Then the Church Is Your Family: And thus, we should treat one another like family, like brothers and sisters, like dearly loved members of God’s family! And like Eli did with Samuel, we can adopt someone else into our family. Eli essentially became a foster father in his 90s. This could be you. Or maybe what God has for you is more like Paul and Timothy, where you become a spiritual parent—a trusted, godly mentor for someone. Maybe your role in the family will be as an advocate for foster and adoptive families.
Friends, there is a foster crisis wave coming . . . When it hits, the Church can be there. We, as the adopted and accepted children of God, can be there with a family—with love and acceptance, with the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Quote to Remember: Healing a wounded soul takes time and love.—Pastor Doug Sauder
We have several exciting Bible plans available for you to subscribe to! From a reading plan to follow along with our “Miracles” series to a plan on experiencing peace, to a few great plans that explore the basics of Christianity, we have a variety of awesome resources for you to grow in your faith and study the Word of God.
To view our reading plans, click here.
A LOOK AHEAD
As we continue to track the news and information about COVID-19 and its effects both worldwide and right here in our surrounding cities, this week we will continue to hold services ONLINE ONLY.
Join us online this Wednesday as we conclude our class series “The Power of Community in Crisis.” Then on the weekend, we’ll hear a very special topical message from Pastor Doug Sauder about this current crisis, anxiety and fear, and the grace, love, and purpose of God in the midst of it all.
We look forward to spending another awesome week with you!
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