God Loves Calvary Community Church of North Olmsted

This week’s fighter verse is Romans 5:8. My hope is that you will think upon it today and tomorrow and the day after that and the day after that.

We will come together on Good Friday at 6:30 pm to proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes! It will also be live streamed. So for those not able to join in person be sure to watch via Facebook or YouTube or the church website. The church website is the most reliable for viewing.

And on Good Friday it’s always good to remind one another that Sunday is coming.

This coming Sunday we will be thinking through Job 19:23-27.

“Oh that my words were written!
    Oh that they were inscribed in a book!
24 Oh that with an iron pen and lead
    they were engraved in the rock forever!
25 For I know that my Redeemer lives,
    and at the last he will stand upon the earth.
26 And after my skin has been thus destroyed,
    yet in my flesh I shall see God,
27 whom I shall see for myself,
    and my eyes shall behold, and not another.
    My heart faints within me!”

Community Bible Reading March 28-April 3

Here’s our Bible Reading plan for March 28-April 3. 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 of His grace 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:
Romans 9 // Psalm 73
Romans 10 // Psalm 74
Romans 11 // Psalm 75
Romans 12 // Psalm 76-77
Romans 13 // Psalm 78

* This year we are also encouraging you to watch the corresponding overview videos from Bible Project. There is no corresponding video for this week’s readings.

March 28, 2021 Worship Service

This is our service order for March 28, 2021 at Calvary Community Church.

Livestream at our website or the YouTube Channel.

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

Download: Worship Guide for March 28

Online giving is available here.

_____

Welcome

Call to Worship & Prayer | Psalm 118:19-21, 24-26
Open to me the gates of righteousness,
    that I may enter through them and give thanks to the Lord.
This is the gate of the Lord;
    the righteous shall enter through it.
I thank you that you have answered me
    and have become my salvation.
This is the day that the Lord has made;
    let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Hosanna! Save us, we pray, O Lord!
    O Lord, we pray, give us success!
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!

Quiet Meditation  |  Psalm 71:3

Be to me a rock of refuge,
to which I may continually come;
you have given the command to save me,
    for you are my rock and my fortress.

Hearing From God’s Word

“But I Have Prayed For You” – Luke 22:21-38

Man of Sorrows

What Should We Do When Things Get Worse?

What should we do when things get worse?

Jesus told us that trouble will come and if they persecuted him they will persecute you and me (John 16:33; John 15:20). I did not stop to think of the significance of that previous sentence just now. Jesus said those things on a Thursday. It was the last moment of peace he enjoyed before going to the cross. I said “significance” because the reminder of that Thursday is coming for us next Thursday (April 1).

So, what should we do when things get worse?

I have been thinking upon Psalm 27 the last couple of days. Especially verse 6. Listen to it.

And now my head shall be lifted up
    above my enemies all around me,
and I will offer in his tent
    sacrifices with shouts of joy;
I will sing and make melody to the LORD.

Things were getting worse for David. His enemies were not going away; they were getting closer! And what did David choose to do? I love it. I will raise my head above my enemies and give shouts of joy to my God. I will choose to sing.

I will choose to sing.

I have been preaching that to myself the last 24 hours.

And it is because things could get worse.

Things could get worse for any one of us personally. Choose to sing. Lift your head and choose to sing.

And let’s face it. Things could get worse for us in the land of the free. Things could get worse for Christians in America. It should come as no surprise. Think again about what Jesus said to his disciples. Trouble will come. If they persecuted Me, they will persecute you. What then should we do? Choose to sing. Lift our heads and choose to sing.

There Is Room At The Table

Our fighter verse this week will serve more like a review of last Sunday – Luke 22:7-20. I want to keep before us that no matter what is happening in the culture and in the world we live in, our concern and mission does not change. People need Jesus.

This Sunday we will continue in Luke 22 and spend time in Luke 22:21-38.

This Sunday is also known as Palm Sunday and following Palm Sunday is Good Friday. We are looking forward to coming together on Good Friday for communion and for proclaiming the Lord’s death until he comes! We will meet together at 6:30 pm.

And then a most wonderful Sunday will come!

One more thing…

I give God thanks for you continually!

Community Bible Reading March 21-27

Here’s our Bible Reading plan for March 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 of His grace 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:
Romans 4 // Psalm 67
Romans 5 // Psalm 68 *
Romans 6 // Psalm 69-70
Romans 7 // Psalm 71
Romans 8 // Psalm 72

* This year we are also encouraging you to watch the corresponding overview videos from Bible Project. This week’s video is an overview of Romans 5-16

Here’s last week’s video in case you missed it.

March 21, 2021 Worship Service

This is our service order for March 21, 2021 at Calvary Community Church.

Livestream at our website or the YouTube Channel.

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

Download: Worship Guide for March 21

Online giving is available here.

_____

Welcome

Call to Worship & Prayer — Psalm 63:1-4

O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you;
my soul thirsts for you;
my flesh faints for you,
as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary,
beholding your power and glory.
Because your steadfast love is better than life,
my lips will praise you.
So I will bless you as long as I live;
in your name I will lift up my hands.

Quiet Meditation — Psalm 62:5-6

Yes, my soul, find rest in God;
my hope comes from him.
Truly he is my rock and my salvation;
he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.

Hearing From God’s Word

“Do This In Remembrance Of Me” – Luke 22:7-20

Behold The Lamb

Encouragement For Thursday

When I was very young there was a popular show on T.V. called “Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In.” It was a show famous at the time for addressing issues publicly that tended to be avoided on other programs. Social, political, and even religious issues were brought up for discussion. One of the recurring characters was a woman named Geraldine that was played by comedian Flip Wilson. She always faced some situation that caused her to make a bad decision or get in trouble in some way, and her emphatic response was always “The devil made me do it!” I am afraid many people tend to fall back on this excuse. The devil will do with you what you allow him to do. Don’t blame him for your lack of spiritual strength.

Our fighter verse this week is 1 Peter 5:8: “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” Pastor James reminded us about the example of Judas from last Sunday’s sermon, and how he allowed Satan to enter and take over. Peter calls out the need to fight against Satan in verse 9: “Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.”

Years ago British writer C.S. Lewis wrote “The Screwtape Letters.” It is a fiction work that is a collection of letters between an experienced trainer of demons, Screwtape, and his novice nephew demon, Wormwood. I have read it a few times over the years. It is one of the more profound works I have read regarding faith and the Christian life. Screwtape gives Wormwood advice on how to effectively work on Christians to tear down their faith. I have a feeling that many of the efforts and techniques described by Screwtape may be an accurate representation of how the devil attacks.

In one of the letters Screwtape gives this advice (in Screwtape’s mind “the Enemy” refes to God):

“Never forget that when we are dealing with any pleasure in its healthy and normal and satisfying form, we are, in a sense, on the Enemy’s ground…He made the pleasure: all our research so far has not enabled us to produce one. All we can do is to encourage the humans to take the pleasures which our Enemy has produced, at times, or in ways, or in degrees, which He has forbidden.”

I have read comments from many writers over the years that state that Satan doesn’t have the power to actually create anything (although he is called the father of lies, meaning he is credited with being the first liar). He merely takes what God has created and twists or perverts it in some way. As Screwtape states above, Satan works through encouragement within people to misuse or misunderstand what God has given in ways that lead us away from Him. When Satan tried to tempt Jesus he took Scriptures with which Jesus was familiar, and tried to misuse them to lead Jesus away from God. He attacked Jesus with what He was familiar, on the spiritual ground where He stood.

We must always be wary and watch for the familiar things that might be our own weaknesses. In another letter Screwtape said:
“Indeed the safest road to Hell is the gradual one–the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts,…”

I believe this is an uncanny description of the way that Satan attacks us. It is most important to remember that we are not left without defenses. After Satan’s temptations,

“Then Jesus said to him, ‘Be gone, Satan! For it is written,

‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve’” (Matthew 4:10).

And the result?

“Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to him” (Matthew 4:11).

James also reminds us we are not helpless against Satan:

“Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you” (James 4:7).

Most encouraging to me is remembering that the Holy Spirit lives within me, and that Jesus himself will help us conquer temptation. Hebrews 2:17-18 reminds us:

“Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.”

Sin and temptation are not easy to resist. But we have to give the devil room to work in our lives. Scripture teaches us that he will flee from us if we can resist his efforts. Thankfully we are not facing him alone. We have the strength of the Holy Spirit and Jesus himself supporting us.

Remember that Jesus has already won the war for eternity, and Satan has lost!

Take heart and be encouraged!

Say No To Sin

This week’s fighter verse picks up with something from Luke 22. The hope is that it further helps your fight this week.

This Sunday we will come together for the Lord’s Supper. And it just so happens that we will also be thinking through Luke 22:7-20 (maybe through verse 23).

There has been a great response to the community group for women which will begin next Monday (March 22) at 7 pm. It is being hosted by Kathy Kroft and will meet at the church. This will be a 6 week study of the letter to the Colossians. So, bring a pen, notebook and your Bible with you! And if you would like join this group, you can either sign up Sunday or respond to this post.

Mark on your calendar that we will join together on Good Friday at 6:30 pm. Our plan is to have a time of Bible reading, communion and reflection on the Lord’s death at the cross.

Community Bible Reading March 14-20

Here’s our Bible Reading plan for March 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 of His grace 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 27 // Psalm 61
Acts 38 // Psalm 62
Romans 1* // Psalm 63-64
Romans 2 // Psalm 65
Romans 3 // Psalm 66

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

As we finish the book of Acts this week, you may want to take some time to watch any of the Acts videos you have missed. You can find a complete playlist here.