Five Points Blog

Missions Team Update

I'm often asked about the life of missions here, especially mission conferences.  "Do we have them any more?" "When is our opportunity to meet our missionaries?"  I'm happy to report that the answer is yes and no!  Under the guidance of the elders, we have have endeavored to bring missions before our congregation throughout the year, not just at a week long conference. Last year alone we were able to have 10 missionaries visiting us at different times!  It is our prayer that our congregation would have ample opportunities to interact with our missionaries, yet realizing it is also beneficial to have  concentrated times of missions awareness for what God is accomplishing in our world.  We are looking to provide those opportunities as well different areas of possible outreach to our community.  We appreciate your prayers as we strive to move forward,  ever advancing his name where it is not known.  
Coming in November, we will have a special time of mission emphasis with the McKenney and R families. Look for details on the website and in our worship folder. 
For the sake of His name,
    Debby Schmitt on behalf of the Missions Team

The Spirit Gives Power

The Apostle Paul prayed for the Ephesians (which reveals how Christ prays for us), “that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being” (Ephesians 3:16).

What power comes to our inner being through the Spirit of God himself? You can’t miss this grand theme in Scripture.

The prophet Micah spoke in the Spirit’s power, “But as for me, I am filled with power, with the Spirit of the LORD, and with justice and might, to declare to Jacob his transgression and to Israel his sin” (Micah 3:8).

Jesus ministered in the power the Spirit gives, “And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and a report about him went out through all the surrounding country” (Luke 4:14).

And he told us that we would have the same spiritual power, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8).

We all have been given a Spirit of power, love, and self-control, and not a spirit of fear (2 Timothy 1:7).

What does this power look like in your life? The Spirit’s power supplies strength to resist temptation, to gain victory over habitual sin, to give thanks in the most unpleasant of circumstances, to love the unlovely, to deny one’s self for greater joy, to risk much for the sake of gospel advance, and to grow in real strides toward Christ-like maturity. 

These achievements, and much more, come by the Spirit’s strength alone. So, “whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen” (1 Peter 4:11).

Being Strong By Faith

Have you ever realized just how strong the Lord means for you to be in the strength he supplies? Scripture is replete with texts that both command God’s strength and supply it at the same time.

Colossians 1:11, “May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy.”

1 Corinthians 16:13, “Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.”

Ephesians 6:10, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.”

Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”

This is plain from today’s passage in Ephesians 3:16, “that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being.”

Where does such strength come from? It comes from the riches of God’s glory. How does God’s glory give us strength? It works like this: when we treasure and rely upon God and his promises in Scripture, God enables our spirit to be strengthened at the sight of his glory. As we draw strength from him, he is seen to be glorious.

Paul gives us Abraham as an example, “No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God” (Romans 4:20). Abraham admitted his weakness, but in unwavering faith he held fast to God’s promises. At this moment strength surges into his soul, and he presses on giving glory to God.  

Together with Abraham and believers everywhere, you and I will grow strong in faith as we give glory to God. This is exactly what God intends for his people always. 

Join us this Sunday for Bible Study Hour at 9:30am and for our morning worship service at 10:45am.


Gaining Access to God

God wants you to come to him. He wants you near. He made you to enjoy his glory not from a distance, but close up. But like flies that meander too close to the surface of the sun would be incinerated, so we cannot hope to come close to the fire of his holiness without being consumed (Hebrews 12:29). 

We need access to the unapproachable light and power of God’s glory, which emanates from his person. That access is found in one person alone: Jesus Christ and his atoning death. So Paul writes, “in [Christ] we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him” (Ephesians 3:12). Already in this powerful letter we have heard of this access: “For through Christ we both have access in one Spirit to the Father” (Ephesians 2:18). 

What does this mean? It means by faith in Christ we are clothed in his righteousness. Therefore we can come near to God and we will neither be consumed nor rejected. God loves his Son, infinitely. And he loves those in his Son with the same love. Breath-taking.

What does your access to God’s grace look like in any given moment? Here’s a break down of how mine often looks: 

A – acknowledge my need in the moment.
C – call out to God in prayer.
C – cling to the cross, it is my warrant.
E – engage in the act before me.
S – stand upon a promise (there are thousands).
S – sing my thanks after God acts to help.

You might have a far better way to live in the costly grace that is ours in the Savior. Use it to the full. Know that God means for you to regularly and consistently and ever more deeply draw near to him by faith in his beloved Son, Jesus Christ. 

Join us this Sunday for Bible Study Hour at 9:30am and for our morning worship service at 10:45am.

We Are Not the Center, God Is

While Paul was in prison God gave revelation to him explaining his divine purpose in the world. We have the perfect record of that revelation in Paul’s biblical letter to the Ephesians. We discover the plan to send Jesus Christ, God’s Son, into the world to endure death upon the cross and to rise again all the way to heaven, in order to save God’s people throughout history. God finally put all things under Christ’s feet “and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all” (Ephesians 1:22-23 ESV). 

Christ is the center of God’s plans. He is God’s apex of history, his zenith of time. God means for the supremacy of Christ over all to be seen, known and adored throughout the earth. And beyond the earth, Christ will be the main issue throughout the physical and spiritual universe! We know this because of the purpose clause we find in Ephesians 3:10. God has lavished grace upon the church to exalt Christ “ that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.” What is the manifold wisdom of God? It is Christ himself (1  Corinthians 1:24).

What does all this mean? It means we are not the center of the universe, Christ is! Human beings, even beloved sons and daughters of faith, are not the center of God’s affectionate plan, Jesus Christ is! In the church and the home, in the workplace and school, Christ means to be all in all, dethroning every rebel idea, person or place.

What now threatens a coup against Christ, the rightful Lord of your life?

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