This Week at Covenant Family Church

Hello brothers and sisters,

Below is the weekly update. You will see that this Lord’s Day I will be preaching on Psalm 78. After this, I will begin a sermon series on the book of Daniel. In Daniel we will encounter the themes of faithfulness in an ungodly culture, hope and steadfastness that rests in God’s sovereignty over all human powers, and the coming of Christ and the growth of His kingdom – themes that may be particularly relevant in our day. I plan to include more about this upcoming series in next week’s email.

Blog
Most recently on the blog (forchristskingdom.com):

Viewing the World As God’s Creation
The doctrine of creation has many implication for how we view the world. It shapes how we view things like food and marriage, it shapes how we view evil and suffering, and it shapes how we view salvation and the future.

Contentment and Generosity
Here I expand upon a note I made in my last sermon on Philippians, which was that it was important that Paul extolled both contentment and generosity. Unintended inferences could have been drawn if he had only emphasized one of them.
        “When God’s people exercise both contentment and generosity, they steer clear of the temptations of envy, greed, and selfishness and learn to live in unity and love. Both of these traits depend upon a trust in God found in the gospel.”

Daylight Saving Time
This Lord’s Day, we “spring forward.” Make sure to update your clocks or you will show up to church an hour late.

Sermon Follow Up
Here are the main points of the most recent sermon, “We Will Serve the Lord” with a few suggested review questions (you can find the recording of the sermon here):

I. Why? God’s Works of Grace (24:1-13)
        What is emphasized in the way Israel’s history is recounted?
        How is God’s grace manifest in His covenant with us?
II. What? The Call for Commitment (24:14-18)
        What does it mean to serve the Lord?
        How does a household serve the Lord?
        Have you committed to serve the Lord?
III. Are You Sure? Taking It Seriously (24:19-33)
        What two purposes does Joshua have with his surprising words in verses 19-20?
        What are some of the blessings of this covenant?

Elder Visits
At our annual congregational meeting, I mentioned that Elder Stahl and I would begin making pastoral visits to each of the households of our church. This is for the general pastoral care of the church, engaging in a more personal, focused manner with each family. If you haven’t signed up for a time yet, here are some that are available. If these times don’t work for you, let me know and we can figure out another time.

Thur., Mar. 21 at 7pm ______
Sat., Mar. 30 at 4:30pm _______
Thur., April 4 at 7pm ______
Sat., April 6 at 2pm _______
Other ______________, suggested dates: ___________________
Other ______________, suggested dates: ___________________

Upcoming Church Events
Mar. 15-16 – Spring Presbytery Meeting in Sheboygan, WI
Mar. 16 – Outreach opportunity at the St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Mar. 20 – Midweek Bible Study at Bringe home, 7pm
Mar. 23 – Monthly Pro-Life Witness at Planned Parenthood
Mar. 27 – Midweek Bible Study at Bringe home, 7pm
Mar. 28 – Session Meeting at Stahl home, 7pm
May 4 – Men’s Advance with Kevin Swanson and Scott Brown

Midweek Study
I sent out an earlier email on Tuesday about our midweek and Sunday studies. On Wednesdays, Elder Stahl will finish up the series on Old Testament history in March. Next up, there will be a women’s study for 8 weeks on Wednesday afternoons on Rachel Jankovic’s new book, You Who? Why You Matter and How to Deal With It. This women’s study (for young and old) will probably begin April 3rd, but that is a tentative date. You can contact Melody for more details on the women’s study.

St. Patrick’s Day Outreach – Volunteers Needed
St. Charles County has a very large St. Patrick’s Day parade in Cottleville at 12pm on Saturday the 16th (see more information about it at this link), and it would make for an excellent outreach opportunity, even though Bruce and I will be out of town at presbytery. I have tracts that we can distribute that use some of Patrick’s own words, as well as Scripture, to explain the gospel. You can either purposefully use the tracts to spark conversations, or you can simply pass them out as people walk by, being ready to give an answer if someone has a follow up question. So far Barbara and the Hamanns have volunteered for this. Contact Jeff if you would like to join them.

The 2019 Men’s Advance: Building Community
Registration is open for the Men’s Advance! Check your calendars, register, and share with your friends! You can view its page on our website here and its Facebook event page here.

Worship Reflection
The following is from William Shishko’s Helps for Worship (OPC, 2008). As Rev. Shishko suggests doing in this booklet, I am including one of these short reflections on worship in each weekly email to help you prepare for the Lord’s Day.

Christian Baptism

        “Then those who gladly received his word were baptized…And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.” —Acts 2:41–42
        Baptism and the Lord’s Supper are the two sacraments of the Christian church. They are part of “the ordinary religious worship of God” (Westminster Confession, 21.5) and should occur regularly in church.
        In our culture, we do not appreciate baptism nearly as we should. People in our nation often view baptism simply as a festive religious custom. In other cultures, however, baptism is viewed with a seriousness that is far more in line with the teaching of Holy Scripture. When individuals or fami- lies are converted from a background of Islam or Hinduism, for example, those around them understand their baptism as a death with respect to their former life. Those baptized are part of a new community, with a totally new allegiance. In some countries, this can bring serious negative consequences to those who are baptized.
        The Scriptures do, in fact, teach that baptism marks the death of one’s old nature and entrance to a new life in Christ (Rom. 6:3–4). Baptism also marks the one baptized as a member of the visible church and officially brings the person into fellowship with God’s people (Acts 2:41–42). The person baptized is marked out as a disciple of Jesus Christ the Lord (Matt. 28:18–20). Indeed, baptism represents being united with Christ as surely as a bride’s wedding garments represent her being married to a husband (Gal. 3:27).
        For all of these reasons, baptisms are rightly regarded as part of our worship. In a visible way (because sacraments are “visible signs of invisible grace”), Christ shows the work of his kingdom in claiming individuals and families to be his. This should fill us with praise and fresh confidence in his saving work in human history. Likewise, the baptism of others is designed to remind us of our own baptism. It is a time to remind ourselves of Christ’s goodness and mercy toward us. It is also a time to repent of our own sins against the meaning of our baptism, and to renew our commitments to Christ, our husband and our Lord.

For Reflection
1. Have I really died to my old life? Does my baptism constantly challenge me to walk in the new life that Christ gives (see Rom. 6:4)?
2. How does observing a baptism prepare me to glorify God more joyfully and confidently when I worship?

Worship Details

Hymns & Psalms 
Psalm #29A “O Give to Jehovah, You Sons of the Mighty”
Hymn #308 “O Lord, How Shall I Meet You?”
Psalm #43 “Defend Me, God, and Plead My Case”
Hymn #364 “Let Children Hear the Mighty Deeds”
Hymn #598 “Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah”

Bible Texts, Sermon:
New Testament Reading: Hebrews 3:7-4:3a 
Old Testament Reading: Psalm 78
Sermon – “Multi-Generational Faithfulness” – Psalm 78


Pastor Peter Bringe
303-656-5577