Friday Followings: The Spirit Creates Faith

Hey Gloria Dei!

I hope this email finds you well and excited for the weekend ahead. Happy Father’s Day to all of you who are fathers or love and care for someone in a fatherly way! May God bless your calling each and every day! (I’ll let you in on a little secret: some of the fathers on staff and on our worship team have a little Father’s Day surprise for you in worship. Don’t miss it!)

If you’re around this weekend, we’d love to see you in worship with us. God loves us and desires for us to be in relationship with Him through the gathering of His church. God is always glad when you can be in worship!

God’s Third Commandment is to “Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy.” It is a day to rest in the Word, just as God rested after speaking Creation into existence. God’s command to observe a Sabbath day is not only about rest, but also resistance. When we observe God’s Sabbath commandment we resist our natural human impulses to be busy, to accomplish everything, and to get everything done for ourselves. When we make the time to be in worship and gladly hear God’s Word, we resist the temptation to believe that we are in charge of our own destiny by what we do. In fact, God is in control. God’s creative Spirit is alive and active in the world and we can resist our human need to make everything happen by our own will and effort.

This weekend, God’s Word comes to us from the book of Acts 8:26-40. Take some time to read this strange and powerful story. This is the story of the Holy Spirit’s work in the apostle Philip. The Spirit opens up the Word of God to a powerful Ethiopian man, in charge of his queen’s fortunes. As the Spirit moves through Philip, the Spirit creates faith in the Ethiopian man and sends him on his way rejoicing. The Spirit’s primary work is to create faith! This weekend, I’d like you to focus on the questions in the story. Notice the Spirit’s work as the questions are exchanged between the Ethiopian man and his teacher and preacher, Philip. We’ll dig a little deeper in worship on Sunday.

Please pray this weekend as our youth continue their mission trip to Philadelphia. God’s Spirit is no doubt alive and active in them and in all of the people they meet along the way. Also in your prayers, please give thanks for a wonderful week of confirmation camp for our 6th graders. As all of our youth return and adjust to life back home may their faith, strengthened by the Holy Spirit, have a profound impact on us. I hope and pray that they will return rejoicing just as much as the Ethiopian man in our story!

See you in worship!

Pastor Chris Zuraff