Sunday, 3/29/20

We will, this week, have been separated from one another by the coronavirus for two weeks. This forced separation is making me long to greet you, to hear you sing praise to our God, to present our offerings to
Him, and to open the Scriptures with you. This home study is no substitute for being together, but it does at least afford us an opportunity to think together.
Read the New Testament book of James. (Unless you have young children reading, it should take you only about 20 minutes.) Before you start, consider a handful of questions:
  • To whom did James write?
  • Why did he write this letter?
  • What blessings does James describe?
  • Are his readers in a tough spot?
  • How are they treating one another?
After reading James, consider a couple of application questions:
  • What similarities do you see between James’s readers and us?
  • What practical instruction does James give that you can apply to your life this week?
A Pastoral Note Regarding COVID-19
There is no longer any doubt that the novel coronavirus is a deadly and serious global pandemic. We must all take precautions to slow its spread. With that said, it may be encouraging to read what C. S. Lewis wrote in
1948 in response to the fear of the atomic bomb that was being expressed by Christians in Britain. As you read the following excerpt from “On Living in an Atomic Age,” substitute “COVID-19″ for “atomic bomb.”
“In one way we think a great deal too much of the atomic bomb. “How are we to live in an atomic age?” I am tempted to reply: “Why, as you would have lived in the sixteenth century when the plague visited London
almost every year, or as you would have lived in a Viking age when raiders from Scandinavia might land and cut your throat any night; or indeed, as you are already living in an age of cancer, an age of syphilis, an age of paralysis, an age of air raids, an age of railway accidents, an age of motor accidents.” In other words, do not let us begin by exaggerating the novelty of our situation. Believe me, dear sir or madam, you and all
whom you love were already sentenced to death before the atomic bomb was invented: and quite a high percentage of us were going to die in unpleasant ways. We had, indeed, one very great advantage over our
ancestors—anesthetics; but we have that still. It is perfectly ridiculous to go about whimpering and drawing long faces because the scientists have added one more chance of painful and premature death to a
world which already bristled with such chances and in which death itself was not a chance at all, but a certainty. This is the first point to be made: and the first action to be taken is to pull ourselves together. If
we are all going to be destroyed by an atomic bomb, let that bomb when it comes find us doing sensible and human things—praying, working, teaching, reading, listening to music, bathing the children, playing
tennis, chatting to our friends over a pint and a game of darts—not huddled together like frightened sheep and thinking about bombs. They may break our bodies (a microbe can do that) but they need not dominate our minds.”
May this crisis expose our weakness so that the strength of God may be evident in us!

Wednesday, 3/25/20

Here is the next study guide for you to use with your family this Wednesday evening (3/25). We trust that you are experiencing God’s comfort and provision during this challenging time. Once again, if you or someone you know is in need, please contact the church leadership so we can assist if possible.
Jesus describes the purpose of his coming in Mark 10:45, where he says that “even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Although he alone was able to provide redemption for his people, he nevertheless challenged his disciples to follow his example of loving self-sacrifice. In fact, that is one of the marks of a true disciple. Philippians 2 highlights this point and helps us think about what that would look like for us in practice. It will involve both our thinking and our actions.
Read Philippians 2:1-18.
How did Jesus exemplify humility and selfless service toward others?
What are some ways you find yourself falling short of his example?
What would it look like for a church to consistently follow this example?
What is the ultimate basis for our ability to live out God’s commands (v. 13)?
Read through or sing the lyrics of “May the Mind of Christ My Savior.”
Pick one verse from Philippians 2 to memorize and meditate on later.

Sunday, 3/22/20

As we have previously indicated, there will be no services at CCBC this Sunday (3/22). Although digital content is no substitute for actually gathering together with other believers, we trust you will still make a point of setting aside time for worship in the context of your home in the meantime. Here is a guide you can use to that end.
The Westminster Shorter Catechism (1647) famously states that “Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.” In keeping with biblical teaching, this statement moves the focus of the Christian life from our outward actions to our hearts. Unfortunately, God’s great purpose for mankind has been corrupted by the reality of sin. But the gospel makes possible, indeed it requires, a change in our desires. This change is made possible through the new birth. Desiring God and fostering that desire is in a sense the great object of the Christian life. Isaiah 55 points us to that reality, calling us away from our false substitutes for God.
Read Isaiah 55:1-13.
Why do people live for things that do not ultimately satisfy?
What does the LORD call people to live for instead?
What are the empty idols that draw you away from God?
How can you cultivate a deeper heart desire for God?
Read through or sing the lyrics of “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing.”
Pick one verse from Isaiah 55 to memorize and meditate on throughout the day.

WEDNESDAY, 3/18/20

Tonight will be our first Wednesday without a service, and we’re missing one another already. The fact that we can’t meet makes us want to be together even more. This should make our gathering all the sweeter when the restrictions are lifted.
In an effort to help us stay on the same page as a congregation, each Sunday and Wednesday we will be sending out a brief note with a Scripture passage and a couple of questions for your family to read and discuss. We may not be allowed to share a space right now, but we can still share spiritual words and thoughts.
For Wednesday, March 18: Read Job 40:1 – 42:6.
  • Describe Behemoth and Leviathan. How does God compare to them?
  • What, this week, is like Behemoth and Leviathan in your family’s life?
  • What can you learn from Job’s response about trusting God in the midst of this crisis?