Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Dear Linwoodites and Friends of Linwood,
Next Thursday (June 21) we begin our midweek Bible studies. This year we will be meeting on Thursdays at 9:30 a.m. We will be studying Isaiah 42:1 – 44:8. The study is entitled “Water for a Thirsty Land,” in keeping with our season long theme, “Come to the Waters.”
Since we are going to be tackling a study from the Old Testament, I thought it would be appropriate to give you a pop quiz to test your readiness for this study.
1). The Old Testament is boring. True or false?
2). The Old Testament is where God, on a whim, wipes out a whole bunch of people, and sometimes almost wipes out His own people, Israel. True or false?
3). The Old Testament is a book of judgment and the New Testament is a book of grace. True or false?
4) The Old Testament has been replaced by a “new, improved” Testament, the New Testament. True or false?
1). True. Some of the sections are boring – until you really get into them and discover again that all Scripture is inspired by God and is of value.
2). True again – except that God never does anything “on a whim.” God always has a purpose in how He deals with nations – as well as how He deals with Israel.
3). Not true; never true; never will be true! God is the same God in both Testaments and His judgment and grace are clearly seen in both.
4) Totally false! The Bible is one book – with two major divisions, the Old and the New Testaments. Both Testaments are necessary in telling the story of God and His wondrous work of salvation.
I am excited to be sharing with you in this study. Isaiah is special in a number of ways. It is the longest book in the Bible – 66 chapters! That’s why we are only going to be tackling a portion of it. Not only is it the longest, but it is also the most comprehensive in terms of the issues it addresses. It is a book of devastating judgment and incredible hope. It is a book that offers an amazing foretelling of Jesus and His sacrifice. It is a book that speaks dramatically to “the nations” of any age and time, including ours. If you are not familiar with Isaiah, I am sure that you are going to find yourself fascinated by the messages found in chapters 42-44, and then you will go back to your home church this fall and beg them to help you study the other 63 chapters!
This Sunday we are going to be moving to the Tabernacle for our Sunday morning services. We begin at 10:45 a.m. If you are not a Linwood Cottage owner or guest, you are still very welcome to join with us for worship on Sundays and for the midweek Bible Study. Just tell the person at the gate that you are coming for worship (or Bible study) and you will be admitted without paying a fee. This Sunday I will be talking about Jesus’ call to Simon and Andrew to abandon fish fishing to become people fishers. I would encourage you to join me in bringing your favorite fishing pole to the service!
Finally, this Sunday evening we are also having the first of our Vespers Services. This will be a hymn sing/Scripture sharing service held in the Chapel beginning at 7:00 p.m. Come and join with us in an inspiring evening of sharing in both Scriptures and songs that have powerfully spoken to God’s people through the centuries.
The Lord’s blessings on you.
Linwood Park Pastor
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