MESSAGE OF ENCOURAGEMENT
Did you get the gifts you wanted for Christmas? I worry that the people to whom I gave gifts didn’t get what they wanted. You see, I’m a very practical gift giver; I tend to give people things they need, even if the items aren’t on the top of their “must have” lists. Similarly, people get frustrated with me when I tell them I want things like household appliances and clothes for Christmas. These things, they feel, are boring gifts.
I wonder what people must have felt on the first Christmas when they found out their Savior was a baby in a stable. They were looking for relief from the oppression they’d suffered for hundreds of year. And God sent them a baby. Seriously? But God knew what they needed: For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves (Ephesians 1:4-6).
The Israelites wanted immediate freedom from the Romans. And we look for a person who will give us what we want in our lives. And yet, God gave them and gives us what we need: His Son, fully human and fully God, to live a perfect life, die for our sins, and reconcile us and all things to Him. Because of this, you can have hope for the future.
As we wrap up our Hope series this weekend, I hope to see you in person or online this weekend at 9:00 or 10:30am.
Sharing Christ’s victory,
CURRENT SERIES – HOPE
ICYMI – Last Sunday, Pastor Ben led into Christmas with a message explaining that hope is real. As we engage in hopefulness, our lives take on a new meaning, new concept, and quite a new purpose. Click here to read or watch last Sunday’s message. You can also catch Pastor Bill’s Christmas Eve message by clicking here.
Coming Up This Sunday – This weekend, guest preacher Pastor Matt wraps up the Hope series with a message about the hope you can have for the future because of Jesus. Join us on Sunday at 9:00 or 10:30am at church or online. You can also check out the Spotify playlist for the series here.
Offering Envelopes – If you regularly give via offering envelopes, your 2020 offering envelopes are waiting for you at church! Stop by the Welcome Area on any Sunday through January 5 to pick up your envelopes. (NOTE: Envelopes will not be available for pick-up on Christmas Eve.) If you don’t find your envelopes and would like some assigned to you, please email Kari, the office manager.
Year-End Giving – We’re constantly amazed at the blessings God showers on Victory through your generosity. If you plan to give a year-end gift to Victory, please remember to give your gift by 11:59am on December 31 in order to claim your gift on year-end taxes. You can always give online, safely and conveniently. Thank you for your financial gifts to allow Victory to reach today’s people with Christ’s victory.
How to Read the Bible Class – Save the date! Pastor Ben will help you kick off your New Year on the right foot with this one-hour opportunity on Wednesday, January 8 from 6:30-7:30pm. You’ll learn the basic structure of the Bible, discover some tools you can use to read God’s word, and understand how to use the readings to build your relationship with God. No RSVP needed!
Small Group Leader Training – To continue to offer small groups at Victory, we’re providing an opportunity for new people to become leaders. If you are passionate about encouraging others in their faith and building a community of believers, prayerfully consider leading a group. Pastor Ben will lead Small Group Leader Training on Wednesday, January 15 from 6:30-8:00pm. Click here to register by Tuesday, January 14. This training is open to new small group leaders, and currently leaders are also encouraged to attend.