2014 Bulletin - 9 March %2714

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Central Church of Christ, Bulletin 09 March 2014
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  Can it be that I have lost my First Love? Text: Rev. 2:2-4  Is it possible for a Christian to lose/forsake their “First Love?” The very thought of it is repulsive, isn‖t it? However, we do find brethren that no longer worship God as they ought, and forsake the assembly with increasing regularity, for whatever reason. We may cite rea-sons like Personal Problems or Painful Relationships, be they with other members, or even in the marriage/family relationships. It may even be Persistent Prodding by our common foe, and enemy of our souls, Satan. [Let‖s look at an example from Scripture]  The Church in Ephesus was established by the Apostle Paul and be-came one of the most prominent churches in the early days of Chris-tianity. Paul ministered in Ephesus for three years (Acts 19:1-20), and a few years later wrote the church a special letter of encourage- ment and instruction (the book of Ephesians); “Ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers” ( Ephesians 1:15). The Ephesians were doing most things “right”.  They had effective programs, an acute awareness of sin, and a strong work ethic which should characterize any thriving church: “I {Jesus} know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you can-not tolerate wicked men, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. You have perse-vered and have endured hardships for My name, and have not  grown weary” ( Revelation 2:2-3).  Jesus acknowledged the hard work of the Ephesian church; and yet, they had forgotten that “only one thing is needed” ( Luke 10:42). Though they maintained an outward appearance of devotion, and may have actually accomplished many worthwhile goals, Jesus saw that the once burning love in their heart had begun to fade. Rev. 2:4, “Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love .”  When we first understand the ugliness of our sin, the death our sin deserves, and how Jesus died to make us clean and righteous, we cannot help but be filled with thankfulness...and love. But sadly, in our attempt to “mature,” we often shift our focus to the “doing” of outward activities and forget the love which once consumed our heart. We may study more, attend more, and serve more (all of which are good), but we have forgotten how to simply be still and worship at His feet. As we mature in Christ, we must never outgrow our ability to love; “Repent and do the things you did at first” ( Revelation 2:5). Dear Lord, forgive us for setting up barriers which keep us from truly loving others. Forgive us for being so busy that we forsake our intimate love for You. And forgive us for trying to work for what You so freely give. Help us to always remember what is MOST important! Let's return to the place of simple devotion - the place of true worship and all-consuming love. There will always be opportunities to express our faith in good works and service to God. These should not be ne- glected! But as we work hard, resist sin, and possibly endure great hardship, let's remember that what Jesus truly desires is that we love the Lord our God with ALL of our heart, mind, and soul. Our love is what compels or drives us to work in the Kingdom. It is interesting that God always tells the penitent person who has taken a problematic path, to GO BACK! God told Elijah, who had fled from the murderous queen Jezebel, “GO Back!”   [Let‖s look at 3 quick keys, a simple formula, for getting back the first love] REPENT . This involves a change of mind and heart, emanating from sincere introspection by shining the Light of God‖s Word in our hearts and minds and identifying the spiritual obstacles that have caused us to drift away (Heb.2) RETURN . That‖s what the Prodigal did. He made up his mind [repentance] and got up and returned to his father‖s house because all the provisions were there (Luke 15). RE-DO . It is simple isn‖t it? But so hard to put into practice, because very often complacency has set in and become a “comfort - zone” that holds us snugly in its warm fuzzy grip, much like a warm down-duvet does on a cold winter‖s morning when the alarm goes off heralding the break- ing of a new day  –    but very often we hit the “snooze - button” because it is just so warm and snug in bed - snug as a bug in a rug. God bless you as you consider the question: “Can it be that I have lost my First Love?” Love, Ben Benevolence NEXT WEEK, PLEASE BRING: SUGAR, COFFEE, TEA Daily Bible Reading Plan — 2 0 1 4 Sunday 10/03 Gen 32-35 Monday 11/03 Jud 17-21 Tuesday 12/03 Psa 24-26 Wednesday 13/03 Job 17-18 Thursday 14/03 Isa 45-50 Friday 15/03 Matt 23-25 Saturday 16/03 1 Cor 1-2 Upcoming Events —Mar ‘ 4   09 Mar - Ladies Class at 15h00 (Jade Macedo) 12 Mar - Dorian Flynn preaching (19h00) 16 Mar - Good Ideas and Pizza Workshop  Every Sat - Bible Classes presented by Mark Swartz at Central Church of Christ  —  13h00  _______________________________________________   23 Mar - Sing-a-long at Atlantis Church of Christ 08 Feb - Cape Bible School to 12 Apr  2 Corinthians by Rohan Jones Courses being offered at Somerset West Church of Christ every 2nd sat of the month  —  First being 9 Feb ―14 10h00 to 12h00)   Commercial Art — Poster Brush Techniques (10 Students) Basic Computer Skills on Apple Laptops (10 Students). Various other courses. If int, contact Paul Gerber  —  pg13@mweb.co.za Funds raised for South African Bible College SABC) 2Tim3:16-17   –“All scriptureis God -breathedandis useful for teaching, rebuking, correctingand traininginrighteousness, sothat theservant of Godmaybethoroughlyequippedfor everygoodwork.”    Birthdays —Mar ‘ 4   No birthdays noted for this week Where People are Loved, Christ is Preached and the Bible is taught 09 March 2014 162 De Villiers Street, Goodwood Website: www.centralcoc.co.za Server’s Roster —   6 Mar ‘ 4   Song Leader Lord‖s Supper Servers Scripture and Prayer Kolade Ian Colin, Mario M, Ron, Michael, Eric D, Mario I, Howard, Neil Stephen Closing Prayer Usher Evening Song Leader Sunday PM Preaching Mario I Eric Ben Theo Communion Shupi Mugwagwa Prayer Group 10/03/2014) Kevin Pat Brown special welcome to our visitors Thank you for being with us. Please complete a visitor‖s card and place it in the collection plate  .   Worship Times: SUNDAY Bible Study/Sunday School  —  09h00 Morning Service  —  10h00 Evening Service  —  17h30 MONDAY Prayer Group at 19h00 WEDNESDAY Bible Study  —  19h00 FRIDAY Senior Youth  —  19h00 to 22h00   Please send any prayer requests or upcoming events that should appear in the bulletin to Alison on alisonsmt@gmail.com Volume 6, Issue 388 Central Church of Christ Family News    Joey Anderson  —  hip op; Zoe Coetzee travelling overseas; Lucian; Deidre Bell and baby Skylar; born with heart defect having an op this week; Dale Gilowey; Mario Idas  —  employment; Baby Zoe born prematurely; Hazaleen; Family of Louise Slabbert who passed away; Carol; Hazel P; Logan; Katie; Courtney; Stacia  —  employment; Tyrese Safodien  —  brain tumour; Anderson family; Ben; Nonie & Family; Paine & Drummer families after loss of Wesley; Jerry Hogg  —  prostrate cancer; Virginia & daughter; Daniel & Julia Rossouw; Ian & Janelle  –  financial/employment; Cindy & Maziska; Lorraine S; Caroline Maputle; Zelda and Carlo; Mrs Bowers; Judica; Debbie; Andre Bothma; Louis-brain cancer; Esmé - breast cancer; Abe Schroeder; Kannemeyer Family; Andre Goodison; Raymond & Jean  —  health; Hiresh  —  prostrate cancer; Jimmy; Michael, baby with leukaemia; Neville McLaren; Yvette Sloan & Jackie Sheasby   —  pregnant; CJ; Etienne Smit  —  employment; Amanda; Paul Hartle; John O‖Connor—  cancer; Ernst-Gunther Brunke  —  cancer; Jade Wagner; Margie Steenberg; Lenacia; Norman  —renal failure; Jacque‖s wife ill; Willie Flynn; Allan Weston  —  colon cancer; Rango  —  permit; Gertie  —  back; Sandra Tejada  —  breast cancer; Winnie Smith; Doug Harebottle  —  retrenched; Tamara; Lizzie Martin; Patrick Joseph; Arn; Ken Burnett  —  cancer; Lorraine J; Catherine Benjamin  —  cancer; Ivor Cogill; Marion Stevens  —  depression; Willem; Johanna  —  chemo; Clive Tappan; Cathy Wagner; Charlie Middlebrook   —  cancer remission & rehab after stroke; Vivian Valentine; Marvin Phillips; Mrs S Cloete; Ron Keytel  —lung cancer; Amanda (Nonie‖s colleague); Mishqa; Pippie Kruger; Brett Johnson General Prayer Requests: Those away/travelling; Our widows; The Elderly; The Grieving; The unemployed; Our little ones; Those struggling financially; Single parents; Change for Change; Youth Attendance; Conflict worldwide; Young Married couples; Distressed families; South African Bible College (SABC); Work at Malmesbury, Fisantekraal, Stellenbosch, Du Noon and in India Prayer Requests Anniversaries —Mar‘ 4   12 Mar - Angelo & Lindsay Beck    Building the team in 2 14
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