Advent Began Early

“People like to go to church where people like to go to church.” Which means that you help Bethlehem grow when you enjoy the Lord on Sunday. Isn’t God good to set things up so that the most effective way to do your duty is to be happy! The spirit of Advent began early—last Sunday night.

One visitor said to me last Sunday night, “People seem to enjoy themselves here…I think we’ll be back.” Judy and Terry Nelson were greeting people at the fellowship hall, and heard the same kind of comment from several others. Clearly the spirit of our people made a great impact.

It was indeed a beautiful evening. God loves to show himself powerful in our weakness. Dean had the flu and barely made it through the first part of the service. Jerry Sundberg has mono and sang in Someone else’s strength. My voice just about died. But we have a faithful eleventh hour God. The ordination was a powerful time of worship and consecration and rejoicing in spite of all our weakness. The Spirit of hope was upon the people and our visitors were deeply moved by the holy and loving atmosphere they sensed among you.

I believe the Lord will sustain this spirit all through the advent season which (technically) begins next Sunday. Which means that this is a great time of year to invite friends to church and to reach out to all the new faces you see on Sunday. For your prayer and strategy here is our plan for the season:

December 2
AM: "Satan Takes the Word Away", Mark 4:1-20.
PM: Ministering to Homosexuals: Outposts.

December 9
AM: "Satan Uses Sexual Desire," 1 Corinthians 7:1-7
PM: Christmas Children’s Sunday School Program

December 16
AM: "Satan Seeks a Gap Called Grudge," Ephesians 4:22-27
PM: Festival of Christmas

December 23
AM: "The Son of God Appeared to Destroy the Works of the Devil," 1 John 3:1-10
PM: World Hunger in Biblical Perspective

December 24
11:00 PM: Candlelight Ceremony of Carols

December 30
AM: "The Good End of Godly Regret," 2 Corinthians 7:5-13
PM: A New Vision for Multiple Ministries

December 31
11:00 PM: New Year’s Eve Communion Service

Much encouraged by your joy,

Pastor John

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Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By John Piper. ©2014 Desiring God Foundation. Website: desiringGod.org