Because of cold temperatures worship service will be in the chapel at First Christian Church of Decatur 601 West Ponce de Leon Decatur, Georgia 30030
Gentle Spirit Christian Church
The Chapel, at First Christian Church of Decatur 601 West Ponce de Leon Decatur, Georgia 30030
Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany
As you prepare to worship pray for those taking part in leadership roles and for a blessing to be upon those who sit next to you. Ask God, as well, to help you to worship in “spirit and in truth” and to speak a special word to you or touch you in some way. What we ask for and expect in faith almost always will be what happens!
Call to Worship (based on Psalm 1)
L The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
P And also with you.
L Blessed are the people who do not walk in the counsel of the wicked, but whose delight is in the wisdom of God.
P Blessed are those who meditate on God’s law by day and by night.
L Those who do so are like trees planted by streams of water -they yield their fruit in season and their leaves do not wither.
P Whatever they do prospers, because God watches over them.
ALL Come then, delight yourself in the counsels of our God, meditate on the word of the Lord and offer to him your praise and your holy service.
WELCOME AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
FIRST SCRIPTURE LESSON: Psalm 112:1-10 (The MSG)
Blessed man, blessed woman, who fear God,
Who cherish and relish the commandments,
Their children robust on the earth,
And the homes of the upright—how blessed!
Their houses brim with wealth
And a generosity that never runs dry.
Sunrise breaks through the darkness for good people—
God’s grace and mercy and justice!
The good person is generous and lends lavishly;
No shuffling or stumbling around for this one,
But a sterling and solid and lasting reputation.
Unfazed by rumor and gossip,
Heart ready, trusting in God,
Spirit firm, unperturbed,
Ever blessed, relaxed among enemies,
They lavish gifts on the poor—
A generosity that goes on, and on, and on.
An honored life! A beautiful life!
Someone wicked takes one look and rages,
Blusters away but ends up speechless.
There’s nothing to the dreams of the wicked. Nothing.
SECOND SCRIPTURE LESSON: 1 Corinthians 2:1-16(MSG)
You’ll remember, friends, that when I first came to you to let you in on God’s sheer genius, I didn’t try to impress you with polished speeches and the latest philosophy. I deliberately kept it plain and simple: first Jesus and who he is; then Jesus and what he did—Jesus crucified.
I was unsure of how to go about this, and felt totally inadequate—I was scared to death, if you want the truth of it—and so nothing I said could have impressed you or anyone else. But the Message came through anyway. God’s Spirit and God’s power did it, which made it clear that your life of faith is a response to God’s power, not to some fancy mental or emotional footwork by me or anyone else.
We, of course, have plenty of wisdom to pass on to you once you get your feet on firm spiritual ground, but it’s not popular wisdom, the fashionable wisdom of high-priced experts that will be out-of-date in a year or so. God’s wisdom is something mysterious that goes deep into the interior of his purposes. You don’t find it lying around on the surface. It’s not the latest message, but more like the oldest—what God determined as the way to bring out his best in us, long before we ever arrived on the scene. The experts of our day haven’t a clue about what this eternal plan is. If they had, they wouldn’t have killed the Master of the God-designed life on a cross. That’s why we have this Scripture text:
No one’s ever seen or heard anything like this,
Never so much as imagined anything quite like it—
What God has arranged for those who love him.
But you’ve seen and heard it because God by the Spirit has brought it all out into the open before you.
The Spirit, not content to flit around on the surface, dives into the depths of God, and brings out what God planned all along. Who ever knows what you’re thinking and planning except you yourself? The same with God—except that God not only knows what God is thinking, but lets us in on it. God offers a full report on the gifts of life and salvation that he is giving us. We don’t have to rely on the world’s guesses and opinions. We didn’t learn this by reading books or going to school; we learned it from God, who taught us person-to-person through Jesus, and we’re passing it on to you in the same firsthand, personal way.
The unspiritual self, just as it is by nature, can’t receive the gifts of God’s Spirit. There’s no capacity for them. They seem like so much silliness. Spirit can be known only by spirit—God’s Spirit and our spirits in open communion. Spiritually alive, we have access to everything God’s Spirit is doing, and can’t be judged by unspiritual critics. Isaiah’s question, “Is there anyone around who knows God’s Spirit, anyone who knows what he is doing?” has been answered: Christ knows, and we have Christ’s Spirit.
Prayer, Praise and Offering:
TODAY’S MESSAGE: “Thermometers and Thermostats” –Pastor Paul Matthew 5:13-16(MSG)
Sermon Verse VS 13 “Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You’ve lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage.”
“Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You’ve lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage.
“Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.
OWN YOUR FAITH, DON’T RENT IT
- Church office is open. In-person appointments available. Call the church. Dana will set up an in-person meetings or you have the option of Zoom or Facebook Messenger.
- Worship in Candler Park will continue to be live streamed via Facebook messenger each Sunday morning at 10:30 AM.
- Bible Study is covering the Gospel of Mark Chapter 5 will be February 6, 2023 at 7:30 PM on Zoom. https://us02web.zoom.us/j/3833663154?pwd=K2hsWHdjRi80ZkF4L3daTEtRcTVUdz09
- Pastor Paul’s office time Monday-Wednesday 10:00 AM till 3:00 PMThe Pastor will be off on Thursday’s. Friday’s will be a study day and Saturdays the Pastor will be available as needed or by appointment. For now, Dana’s office time or church time is Tuesday through Thursday 10 AM till 3 PM. She is available via e-mail or text on Monday’s and Friday’s.
- We thank you for going to the church website to take care of your tithe, gifts, donations and offering. Just go to gentlespirit.org and click on the donate button and follow the instructions. Or if you are more comfortable with the US mail then send your tithe, gifts, donations and offerings via a check or money order to GSCC 601 West Ponce de Leon Decatur, GA 30030
- March 15, 2023, Gentle Spirit Christian Church will be 25 years old! Stay tunes for celebration announcements.
- Gentle Spirit Christian Church is in search of a musician for Sunday morning services in the park. If you are interested or know someone who might be please contact the Church office at 404-604-8124