Weekly message from the Elders – April 8, 2020

Dear Church family,

The Eldership continues to pray for you all and we are looking forward to the day when we can meet again soon as a congregation!

During this separation we don’t always know of every need or prayer request. Please make those request known to us so we can help directly or direct help to those in need. The elders email address is elders@woodstockchurchofchrist.org. The Church office phone 770-926-8838 is monitored so please make any needs known. If you are in a position to help those in need please also let the office know. We are so thankful for the caring Christian attitude displayed during this difficult time.

Thankfully we still haven’t heard of anyone in our congregation that has contracted the virus and we’re optimistic that the steps we are taking as a church have been helpful and will ultimately allow us to meet again as a congregation soon.

The building will remain closed and services suspended until the end of April. We’re continuing to monitor the situation and will update you as plans change.

It is a great encouragement to hear that the Church is continuing to meet as individual families every first day of the week to pray, sing songs of praise to the Lord, partake of the Lord’s supper, study God’s word and joyfully give of our means as faithful members of the Lord’s body always have. It’s encouraging to hear of the joyful worship being offered to the Lord from our church family!

We would like to call your attention to a few items of interest;

• Beginning tonight Matt will be providing a midweek bible study that will be available on our YouTube channel each Wednesday night at 5:00pm or anytime thereafter. We will be Studying                the book of Philippians. www.youtube.com/c/woodstockchurchofchrist

• Matt will continue to provide lessons at 10:00 am each Sunday morning, these lessons will be delivered on our YouTube page at; www.youtube.com/c/woodstockchurchofchrist

• We now have a few ways to give your offering;

o The offering can be mailed to the church building. The building address is Woodstock Church of Christ, 219 Rope Mill Rd., Woodstock, GA 30188.

o We also have an online offering option for the congregation called “Givelify”. This can be used as an app on your phone or from the online site. Many were able to use this app this                                past Sunday to make their offering. The link below will take you to the page. If you have questions regarding this payment method, we will be happy to answer your questions or                                    help you set up the application. The following is a link to our page https://giv.li/6lyqwe

o If you have online bill pay with your bank you can use that tool to make your weekly offering as well.

We are thankful for the lessons that Matt has brought us during the time of separation. His lessons have been a great encouragement to us all and we look forward to tonight’s bible study and Sunday’s lesson. Many of us have more time on our hands during this time of “shelter in Place”. With the technologies available to us we now have the time and the ability to hear additional sermons or lessons. Please take the opportunity to fill yourself with the word. Please share those good lessons from sound brotherhood preachers with others of our congregation. In fact the following lesson was inspired by last Sunday nights bible study by Phillip Williams at the Martinez Church of Christ. https://martinezchurchofchrist.com/

We would encourage you to reach out by phone, email, text, and social media to check on your brothers and sisters. Please continue to pray for each other, and our country in your daily prayers.

In Christian Love,
The Eldership

Do My Plans equal God’s Plans?

Many of us are planners, we want to have each part of our lives planned out and scheduled. This can be good and an effective way to make sure we are using our time wisely. It is a biblical principal to redeem the time we’ve been given.

Ephesians 5:15-17
15 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.

During this time of uncertainty many of us are frustrated and out of sorts because “our” plans have been turned upside down. And to make matters worse we don’t have any clear idea of when the situation will change or improve. We can learn some valuable lessons about our plans during this uncertain time. Let’s look at another time in the scriptures when plans were uncertain. In the book of Numbers, we find the Israelite people on a journey to the promised land. They are free from captivity, but the captivity was a known quantity with a schedule, quotas, you could even say a plan that could be counted on each day.

See if this sounds familiar to our current time. During the Israelites journey they began to murmur and complain against Moses and God. Why? Because they were short sighted, they could not see the big picture. God promised to take them to the promised land but they could only see the present difficulties that faced them each day.

The following scripture from Numbers outlines the daily expectations for the Israelites on their journey;

Numbers 9:15-23
15 On the day that the tabernacle was set up, the cloud covered the tabernacle, the tent of the testimony. And at evening it was over the tabernacle like the appearance of fire until morning. 16 So it was always: the cloud covered it by day and the appearance of fire by night. 17 And whenever the cloud lifted from over the tent, after that the people of Israel set out, and in the place where the cloud settled down, there the people of Israel camped. 18 At the command of the LORD the people of Israel set out, and at the command of the LORD they camped. As long as the cloud rested over the tabernacle, they remained in camp. 19 Even when the cloud continued over the tabernacle many days, the people of Israel kept the charge of the LORD and did not set out. 20 Sometimes the cloud was a few days over the tabernacle, and according to the command of the LORD they remained in camp; then according to the command of the LORD they set out. 21 And sometimes the cloud remained from evening until morning. And when the cloud lifted in the morning, they set out, or if it continued for a day and a night, when the cloud lifted they set out. 22 Whether it was two days, or a month, or a longer time, that the cloud continued over the tabernacle, abiding there, the people of Israel remained in camp and did not set out, but when it lifted they set out. 23 At the command of the LORD they camped, and at the command of the LORD they set out. They kept the charge of the LORD, at the command of the LORD by Moses.

Can you see the similarity of this to our current struggles? We don’t know how long this Covid-19 Virus will last and where we will go next. You could imagine the Israelite people were experiencing many of the same emotions and struggles we have today. They never knew how long they would be in one place it could be a day, a month, or longer. One of the lessons we can learn from this Scripture is found in verse twenty-three “They kept the charge of the Lord, at the command of the Lord by Moses”

We like the Israelites are on a journey to a promised place. Like the Israelites our journey will often be difficult and frustrating which may cause us to lose faith, to murmur and complain. We need to try and keep our eye on the big picture, what happens on this journey here on earth is so very temporary and insignificant compared to the reward waiting for us at the end of the journey. Like the Israelites we need to keep the charge of the Lord. We need to be prepared to move when it’s time to move and stay when it is time to stay. Jesus’ return is where our certainty must be anchored.

Plans are good but our plans may not be God’s plans. It is likely that the path to the promised land could have been shorter or easier, but that was not God’s plan. In this current situation our plans may be frustrated but our plans may not be aligned with Gods plans.

Proverbs 19:21
Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand.

We need to do our best to align our plans with the will of the lord. Now more than ever we see the need to take the wise counsel from the book of James to live based on “The Lord’s will”.

James 4:13-15
13 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— 14 yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. 15 Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.”

Let us work hard at living in the moment for today and doing so in a way that is aligned with the Lords will. There will likely be more difficulties and challenges for tomorrow but if we trust in the Lord and keep the charge of the Lord, we will be able to meet those challenges with God’s help.

Jeremiah 29:10
11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. 13 You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.

Seek the Lord with all your heart….He has a plan for you!

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