In the last sermon I presented, we covered the topic of “Who We Are and Our Purpose”, because we must know why we do what we do. This is an important subject to focus on from time to time and this will be a subject we will look a bit closer at during the upcoming weeks. Why? Satan hates what we have, he hates that we know it’s value, which triggers his desire to actively seek to destroy this connection we possess, (1 Pet 5:8-9). One tactic he utilizes has been around sense the Garden of Eden and was even attempted on Jesus, influences that appeal to our senses, (Gen 3:1-6, Matt 4:1-11).
How prepared are we to face these influences when they are presented to us? How much time have we spent considering this chaotic culture that surrounds us and why it can never supersede what God has instructed us to uphold? Although we are in a world that we are not a part of, it’s evident that culture impacts our live more often than we care to admit. That ease of influence is because Satan strategically highlights what captivates our senses. He knows that if he can get us to look long enough at what is being presented, he can get us through his slick manipulations. How does this work?
Once we let our guard down, our perception can be challenged and swayed. If we don’t properly deal with that challenge, our senses can become enticed, and we can easily fall for the temptation, leading to compromise. It’s interesting how compromise works. Our human nature will justify this behavior while enjoying the blessings of Godly morals, yet never consider the destructive path we now walk. It may seem to work for a season because we’re getting what we want. However, having it both ways produces instability and a Laodicean mentality, separating us from God, (James 1:8, Rev 3:14-22).
History presents the evidence that civilizations fall once they forsake the core values they were originally established upon, leading to their success. We’re now witnessing history repeating itself in the United States and Europe. Before our very eyes, a steady erosion of those values and principles is taking place. The culture around has changed for the worse. Where family, morality, and life were once valued, we see the devaluing of life (abortion, murder, terror attacks). Brotherly love has fallen and a mindset of living for me, overindulging in sensual pleasures, and instant gratification has taken root. These corrupted mindsets blind us to the reality of what’s going on around us and our own self destruction. It’s a cancer that spreads because it’s being constantly feed while the symptoms are never considered, they are honestly ignored.
Christ tells us that when God’s Laws are forsaken, something fills the void and what occupies that void is pure evil, it’s wicked, (Matt 12:43-45). We’ve been filled with God’s Spirit, eyes opened to His word, so that we are not empty. We have been given the tools to discern these times, what’s being presented, and guard against anything evil trying to take up residence in our lives. Our senses should be on high alert.
You and I have been called out of this world (2 Cor 6:17, Is 52:11, Rev 18:4). This can be challenging since we are so immersed in such a godless culture. The challenge has always been for those whom God calls to turn and walk contrary to what’s popular and accepted. It’s a high calling, it’s a lifelong commitment, but one that God is willing to help us with. He doesn’t want us to repeat history and be destroyed. But we must be willing to hear His call, face reality, and make those decisions to flee sin and draw closer to Him. We must invest in the things that build and strengthen our faith, helping us fight against those attacks targeting our senses.
We know that this physical life is temporary, our daily needs will always require replenishing, and that can be a concern. However, we must be assured that God promises to take care of our true needs if we seek Him and His righteous before everything else in this life! (Matt 6:21-34) It’s that level of focus that we can be filled and supplied with everything we need to face the trials of this life, while staying connected to who we are and engaged in our purpose.
Praying you all have a wonderful and spiritually enriching Sabbath,
For the Youth - Bible Trivia:
1. Where in the city of Jericho did Rahab hide the Israelite spies?
*Hint: Joshua 2:1-6
2. Which disciple questioned Mary's use of an expensive perfumed oil to anoint Jesus' feet?
*Hint: John 12:1-8
3.How many baskets were filled with the leftovers after Jesus feed over 5000 people with five loaves and two fish?
* Hint: Matthew 14:15-21
North Canton Announcements:
- Sabbath Service Time: (Nov 4th): 2:00 PM
- Next Sabbath: (Nov 11th): 11:00 AM
- Monthly Bible Study: Thursday, November 16, 2023 at 7:30 PM - Join via Computer:
Meeting ID: 827 3485 3047 - Passcode: 165117
Join via Phone: 1-312-626- 6799 / Meeting ID: 82734853047# Passcode: *165117#
- Winter Family Weekend: It is time to plan for Winter Family Weekend. Everything will be conveniently held at one location, under one roof! Please register at wfw.ucg.org.
Although the rooms at the main Hotel have all been reserved, UCG has secured a significantly discounted block of rooms at the nearby Courtyard by Marriott Hamilton. The hotel offers a full-service restaurant as well as a Starbucks coffee shop. It is conveniently located just one mile from the Champion Mill facility. The room types of Double Queen beds or a King bed with a twin sleeper pull-out will both be available at the discounted rate of $104/night.
You can reserve your room at the Courtyard by Marriott by either: Calling 1-800-Marriott directly and speak with an agent, using the code UNITED CHURCH OF GOD - WINTER FAMILY WEEKEND 2023. Or using the direct booking link found at wfw.ucg.org.
Please take note: (1) If you have reserved rooms at Champion Mill for anyone NOT in your immediate "family group" or if you are not certain you will attend Winter Family Weekend, please call the hotel and release those additional rooms so that others who are committed to attend may have an opportunity to secure a room.
(2) Online registration is a must! It is critical for our planning purposes. So be sure to wfw.ucg.org and fully complete the registration page for EVERY individual who will attend and include their participation choices. As you know it takes the help of many individuals for a program such as Winter Family Weekend. Regardless of what congregation you are from, if you are willing to volunteer in a certain area or simply in general, please be sure to complete the volunteer section of the registration page. We will find a spot for you and appreciate your service to God and the brethren! Watch for further updates at wfw.ucg.org.
- UCG-Portsmouth’s Dinner Dance: An Evening Night Under the Sea. Plan to join us for UCG Portsmouth’s annual formal dinner dance this year on Saturday, November 11th.
We’re excited to be able to once again host this event and see everyone come together for a fun evening! This year’s schedule will follow the format: Church services @ 2:30-4:30 - Dinner @ 6:00-7:00 - Dance @ 7:30-10:30.
Church service location: Clark Memorial Library - Shawnee State University 940 2nd Street
Portsmouth, Ohio 45662.
Dance location: Shawnee State University Ballroom 940 2nd Street Portsmouth, Ohio 45662 (Ballroom is located on the second floor of the university’s Student Success Center.)
Prices for the dinner are: $15 for ages 12 and up, $9 for ages 6-11 and Free for 5 and under.
For Payment and or Questions? See our Facebook events page: https://www.facebook.com/events/773839194492476 or Reach out to Monica at 740-821-6441 ; email@example.com or Ashleigh at 740-876-3053 with any questions. Please note: We have an attendance cap at 240 so please register ASAP.
- Lewistown Lock-In Weekend: The Lewistown, PA congregation invites you to their annual lock-in weekend on December 2-3, 2023. Sabbath services will be held at the Beaver Fair Building (785 Snyder Ave, Beaver Springs, PA 17812). There will be a brunch from 11:00 AM to 12:30 AM followed by Sabbath services at 1:00 PM. After Sabbath Services (and a brief break) there will either be a Bible study or game for the youth, followed by a hot buffet-style meal.
The Lock-in activities will be at Middlecreek Area Community Center (MACC - 67 Elm St, Beaver Springs, PA 17812) starting at approximately 6:00 PM. The MACC has a snack room, basketball court, volleyball court, racquetball, fitness center, rock climbing wall, and a game room (ping pong, billiards) available. There will be organized volleyball and basketball games as well as tables for board games and cards (bring your own games).
Snacks will be available all night, and a hot breakfast will be served early Sunday morning before 8AM when the lock-in ends.
There are several areas available for sleeping at the MACC and at the fair building so bring a sleeping bag (especially drivers). We want everyone to enjoy the activity, but we also want everyone to return home safely. Anyone driving home Sunday needs to sleep Saturday night or stay at one of the local families houses Sunday afternoon to get sleep before driving.
Cost for the lock-in weekend is $20.00 per person or $40.00 per family. If you plan on attending, please contact Renita Brummett (Phone: 1-570-837-0134 – Email: firstname.lastname@example.org). Payments can be made after the sabbath at the gym.
Brethren in the area are making their homes available for anyone desiring to come into the area Friday evening, Saturday evening or Sunday afternoon/evening. If you would like to stay in a home vs sleep at the buildings please contact Renita.
If I’ve overlooked anything, Please let me know ASAP.