Community Bible Reading Feb. 21-27

Here’s our Bible Reading plan for February 21-27! It is our prayer that this time in God’s Word is helping you continue to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. How is God revealing the truth about Jesus Christ to you through your reading?

If you haven’t yet, you can download and print the Reading Guide here. If you haven’t been reading along with us, it’s not too late! You can catch up or just jump in where we are.

This week’s readings are:
Acts 12 // Psalm 43-44
Acts 13 // Psalm 45 *
Acts 14 // Psalm 46
Acts 15 // Psalm 47
Acts 16 // Psalm 48

* This year we are also encouraging you to watch the corresponding overview videos from Bible Project. Here’s this week’s video:

February 21, 2021 Worship Service

This is a service preview for February 21, 2021 at Calvary Community Church.

You can join us by tuning into the Livestream at our website or the YouTube Channel.

Before Attending in person: Please review Calvary’s COVID-19 Precautions.

Download the Worship Guide: Worship Guide for February 21

Online giving is available here.

WELCOME

 CALL TO WORSHIP & OPENING PRAYER — Psalm 40:1-3

I waited patiently for the Lord;
he inclined to me and heard my cry.
He drew me up from the pit of destruction,
out of the miry bog,
and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure.
He put a new song in my mouth,
    a song of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear,
and put their trust in the Lord.

QUIET PREPARATION — Romans 5:8
God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Hearing From God’s Word

“Beware of the Scribes (Even Today)” – Luke 20:41-47

GRACE & ASSURANCE

His Mercy Is More

Why Wait So Long?

Psalm 40:1-3 is our fighter verse this week. I hope you enjoy thinking thru it. Spoiler alert: the ending is kind of exciting!

This Sunday we will be in Luke 20:41-47. After three difficult questions, Jesus then asks a question.

Mark on your calendar Friday evening, March 5. We will be streaming a virtual event by Voice of the Martyrs about the persecuted church beginning at 6:30. If you are able to be in attendance at the church, let me know by Sunday, February 28. If you would rather watch from home you will be able to do so with the link provided by Voice of the Martyrs. It will actually conclude at 10. But we have decided to view it at the church until 8:15. This will be a good evening together. The Bible tells us to remember those imprisoned because of the gospel (Hebrews 13:3).

And keep remembering that God is always doing more than we know!

-James

Community Bible Reading Feb. 14-20

Here’s our Bible Reading plan for February 14-20! It is our prayer that this time in God’s Word is helping you continue to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. How is God revealing the truth about Jesus Christ to you through your reading?

If you haven’t yet, you can download and print the Reading Guide here. If you haven’t been reading along with us, it’s not too late! You can catch up or just jump in where we are.

This week’s readings are:
Acts 7 // Psalm 37
Acts 8 // Psalm 38
Acts 9 // Psalm 39-40
Acts 10 // Psalm 41
Acts 11 // Psalm 42

* This year we are also encouraging you to watch the corresponding overview videos from Bible Project.

There is no corresponding overview video this week but you may enjoy this video on the Apostle Paul.

February 14, 2021 Worship Service

This is a service preview for February 14, 2021 at Calvary Community Church.

You can join us by tuning into the Livestream at our website or the YouTube Channel.

Before Attending in person: Please review Calvary’s COVID-19 Precautions.

Download the Worship Guide: Worship Guide for February 14

Online giving is available here.

WELCOME

 CALL TO WORSHIP & OPENING PRAYER —

Psalm 34:1-3

I will bless the Lord at all times;
his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul makes its boast in the Lord;
let the humble hear and be glad.
Oh, magnify the Lord with me,
and let us exalt his name together!

QUIET PREPARATION — Psalm 34:8

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!
Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!

Hearing From God’s Word

“He is God of the Living!” – Luke 20:27-40

GRACE & ASSURANCE

Let the Earth Resound

Encouragement For Thursday

I am often thankful for Pastor James’ short Tuesday messages about our weekly fighter verse because they key thoughts in my mind about other Scriptures. For me, connecting thoughts and looking into themes in the Bible is a very effective way to learn and grow. This week’s choice of Psalm 31:24 had that effect. As I considered that verse and read through the entire Psalm, verse 22 also caught my attention:

“In my alarm I said,
‘I am cut off from your sight!’
Yet you heard my cry for mercy
when I called to you for help.”

These verses reminded me of one of my favorite chapters in all of Scripture, Isaiah 40. This grand chapter focuses on the greatness of God. It contains messianic prophecy (verses 3-5), and a familiar reminder about the permanence of God’s word (verses 6-8). Verse 9 and following remind us of His power in creation, dominion over the earth and its inhabitants, and worthiness as the One to be worshipped.

The verse that Psalm 31:22 brings to mind is Isaiah 40:27:

“Why do you say, O Jacob,
and speak, O Israel,
‘My way is hidden from the Lord,
and my right is disregarded by my God’”?

I am sure that God has heard or known the feeling from men and women that they feel isolated from Him throughout history—from Job to David, from the Israelites in Isaiah’s time, to the present. Whether spoken in prayer as David (or many others) did or proclaimed openly in public word or action, I am sure He has heard it time and time again. When things are difficult or challenging, people often wonder where God went and why he isn’t immediately answering their need. As Pastor James noted, the correct explanation is that you have to wait for His answer.

About ten years ago a young couple that I know began to try in earnest to have a child. They prayed that God would provide one. Eventually the woman became pregnant. In about a month she miscarried. They were dejected but didn’t give up. About a year later, she was pregnant again. After a couple months she miscarried again. At this point they started to wonder if maybe it just wasn’t meant to be. Still they prayed. A number of months later she became pregnant again. This time she was found to have twins. She had a pregnancy with several difficulties but did not miscarry this time. Her twins, a boy and a girl, were born after 28 weeks. They were very small and frail and spent the first month of their life in a NICU. With the proper care and prayer they developed well, and eventually caught up in size and health to other children their age. The twins are now 7 years old and have been a constant source of both joy and wonderment to their parents (and often a source of hilarity). They are a perfect example of God providing an answer to prayer in His time.

Isaiah’s message in chapter 40 continues with the promises of God’s care and attention, and addresses the value of waiting
as Psalm 31:24 does:

“Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
his understanding is unsearchable.
He gives power to the faint,
and to him who has no might he increases strength.
Even youths shall faint and be weary,
and young men shall fall exhausted;
but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint” (Isaiah 40:28-31).

Why wait? We have a very limited view of things. God sees and understands all. Even though we grow weary and exhausted, He does not. I don’t know about you, but sometimes my strength and judgment just isn’t the best. It might not carry me too far. As hard as it might seem at times, waiting on God is the best and only thing to do.

Eagles are known for being great, regal birds. They are strong and fly well. However, while eagles fly well, they are experts in soaring. It takes a great deal of effort for them to flap their wings to move their large, heavy bodies through the air. From a young age they learn to pick and ride air currents and wind, moving them more quickly and efficiently without wasting their own strength. When we mount up with wings like eagles we soar on the currents of God’s strength, rather than growing weary or weak by depending on ourselves.

Take heart and be encouraged!

I Will Wait

When we gather together each Sunday it is good to read God’s Word together, to sing together, to think thru God’s Word together, but it has become so very good to be quiet together. Our quiet always means reading God’s Word and thinking out loud, for just a moment, about what we have just read, then meditating upon it and responding to God. This last Sunday our quiet preparation was from Psalm 27:13-14. What became so good for me to hear was the last few words: wait for the Lord!

Wait. It is helpful to see and study the value of waiting throughout God’s Word; from Noah all the way to the very end of Revelation. Our fighter verse for this week has something to do with the value of waiting.

As we keep moving forward through this year, and waiting, two things will continue to be really important for us: our quiet together and praying together at 9:30. I hope in listening to the fighter verse this week you will see why I am valuing our praying together each Sunday morning at 9:30, and why I am encouraging you to be a part of this time together.

This Sunday we will be in Luke 20:27-40. This is the final attempt for a certain group to catch Jesus in something he said. So far, my favorite part of this passage is verse 40.

Rejoice.

Be patient.

Be constant in prayer.

Community Bible Reading Feb. 7-13

Here’s our Bible Reading plan for February 7-13! It is our prayer that this time in God’s Word is helping you continue to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. How is God revealing the truth about Jesus Christ to you through your reading?

If you haven’t yet, you can download and print the Reading Guide here. If you haven’t been reading along with us, it’s not too late! You can catch up or just jump in where we are.

This week’s readings are:
Acts 2 // Psalm 31
Acts 3 // Psalm 32-33
Acts 4 // Psalm 34
Acts 5 // Psalm 35
Acts 6 // Psalm 36

* This year we are also encouraging you to watch the corresponding videos from Bible Project.

There is no corresponding video this week so if you’ve missed any of the videos, this would be a good week to catch up.

February 7, 2021 Worship Service

If for any reason you do not attend in person this week, you can join us by tuning into the Livestream at our website or the YouTube Channel.

Before Attending: Please review Calvary’s COVID-19 Precautions.

Download the Worship Guide: Worship Guide for February 7

WELCOME

 CALL TO WORSHIP & OPENING PRAYER — Psalm 25:1-5

To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
O my God, in you I trust;
    let me not be put to shame;
    let not my enemies exult over me.
Indeed, none who wait for you shall be put to shame;
Make me to know your ways, O Lord;
    teach me your paths.
Lead me in your truth and teach me,
    for you are the God of my salvation;
    for you I wait all the day long.

QUIET PREPARATION — Psalm 27:13-14
I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord
    in the land of the living!
Wait for the Lord;
    be strong, and let your heart take courage;
    wait for the Lord!

Hearing From God’s Word

“Give to Caesar and Give to God” – Luke 20:20-26

GRACE & ASSURANCE

Christ the Sure and Steady Anchor

Encouragement For Thursday

Yesterday I read a news article that accomplished three things that news articles seldom do anymore: caught my attention, made me think, and left me feeling good. Please click on the following link and read it. There is a short video near the end of the article. After you read it and watch the video, please return to my thoughts after the link.

This article speaks volumes to the reasons that dogs are such an important part of peoples’ lives. They provide non judgmental companionship for people that can be hard to find in other humans. They don’t care if you’re rich or poor, good looking or not, well educated or not, or full of talent or not. They do appreciate that you take care of them, love them, and make them part of your life. They respond with their love and loyalty. It seems to me that God intended for us to learn from them as well as enjoy them.

Seeing how Boncuk the dog faithfully waited for her master Cemal to come out of the hospital made me consider how faithful humans are. While he was hospitalized she was cared for by other family members and had her needs for food, shelter, and security fulfilled. Yet she escaped from the house and made her way back to the hospital every day because he was more important than anything else to her. That is faithful expectance.

“Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, like servants waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him. It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. Truly I tell you, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them” (Luke 12:35-37).

I know that Christ will return one day at an unpredictable time. I am prepared to spend eternity with Him through accepting Him as my Savior. I know that He cares for me and sees that my needs are fulfilled. But, do I expectantly watch for His return daily as do the servants waiting for their master? Do I show faithful expectance? Maybe at times, but I believe I fall short. I definitely need to improve. I get too sidetracked by shorter term cares and responsibilities that come my way, and sometimes miss the big picture.

Sometimes dogs are looked down upon in different societies and in different places in the world. They are often seen as lowly animals to be kept outside. I think those who have dogs appreciate them for many reasons– above all, their love and loyalty. I think we can all learn from a little white dog named Boncuk about how to wait expectantly for our master. She waited faithfully even though she had no idea when he might return. His return was all important to her. I pray we will all learn to wait for our master Jesus in the same way. He will greet us with much greater love and celebration than Boncuk received. Waiting is hard, but the reward is sweet.

Take heart and be encouraged!