'Tis The Season...To Love
Love. Typically, when we think of love we think of the strong emotions we experience being in love; or the warmth of being loved; or, maybe, the joy we experience in the act of hugging the object of our affection. We may even think of pouring ourselves into doing things for, or into giving to, that certain person that we love. The common denominator in these expressions is what we ‘get’ out of it. This is human love.
The Bible talks about a ‘super-human’ love. That is, a love that surpasses human knowledge. It is not so much about getting as it is about giving. And it is not about giving because of how that giving makes us feel or because that giving is lavished on someone that we care about. Ephesians 3:17-19 talks about this love which dwells in the heart of believers. It is a love that cannot be measured either by height, width or depth, or even by our imagination. The only way this passage can describe this type of love is to liken it to the ‘fullness of God.’
Many of you expressed this type of love to a friend, neighbor, or maybe even a stranger, this past week. You opened your homes, possibly prepared a meal, then showed The Cross, the Billy Graham video that addresses the ultimate love that God lavished on those who now call him ‘Father.’ That is, that He took us, who were by nature children of wrath (Eph. 2:3), and gave his only begotten Son to take the punishment we deserved…upon Himself, on a cross – separated from the Father. This is love, that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Rom. 5:8).
As we enter the Thanksgiving season, let us not forget that Thanksgiving was a celebration by the Pilgrims to God for deliverance. Deliverance through the first very difficult year in a new land; deliverance from an oppressive government that prohibited them from practicing their faith; and deliverance from eternal separation from God in a place called hell because of their faith in Jesus Christ. And in the days following Thanksgiving, let us not lose sight of the baby Jesus…the reason we celebrate the Christmas season; that God gave us, unconditionally, the greatest gift…love (1 Cor. 13:13)
In the coming month you have multiple opportunities to express the hope, faith and love in you. Whether you were part of the My Hope America movement, or maybe you just wished you had participated, there is no better time than the Christmas season to share the hope of Christ. We have produced generic invitations you can give others to invite them to a Christmas party at your home. You can use this gathering to take 30 minutes to show the Billy Graham video, give a three-minute testimony, and offer an invitation to accept Christ to those who don’t yet know Him as Lord. These invitations are throughout the church building and at the front desk.
Throughout this newsletter you will see mention of our other activities, including the Christmas musical, Parris Island Marine Corps Band concert, Christmas Eve candlelight service and the Durocher musical family. These are all excellent pre-evangelistic opportunities to show love to a world that desperately needs Christ.
Finally, once again this year, CBC families are participating in Franklin Graham’s Operation Christmas Child. This is another way to express love to children across the world. Information on packing a shoebox with toys and other dry goods can be found in the atrium. Our volunteers will add information about the Gospel before shipping these boxes to the recipients.
In the coming days, as we consider God’s great love toward us, I urge you to share that love. Host a My Hope Christmas party. We will do everything we can to help you. Pick up a DVD with guidelines to help you prepare and invitations to make this a Christmas to remember!
Coming in December
1. Parris Island Marine Band
Always a Christmas season favorite, the Parris Island Marine Band will once again perform a selection of holiday favorites in the main auditorium, Sunday, Dec. 8 at 7 p.m.
2. Come See The Lamb
This is a dramatic musical of the life of Jesus as seen through the eyes of a common shepherd. Witness the journey of Samuel and his son Jonathan as they discover the truth of Jesus from birth to resurrection. Performances are on Friday, Dec. 13 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 15 at 9:15 & 11 a.m.
3. Candlelight Service
The Christmas Eve candlelight service has officially become a tradition. Join your CBC family at 5 p.m. for an hour of traditional Christmas classics and carols. The Beaufort and the Bluffton churches will each have their own service.
All children through 6th grade are invited to join in a Christmas celebration, Sunday, December 22nd at 9:15 or 11:00 a.m. Planned activities include: cookie decorating, making tree ornaments, singing, enjoying “Christmas goodies” and, of course, the opportunity for all to hear about the greatest Christmas gift of all.
Plan now to invite your friends and come prepared to have a great time! If your children do not attend our Sunday School program on a regular basis, please call the church office (525-0089) or sign up in the atrium at church to reserve your child’s place at the party.
Christmas should be a time of hope and joy, particularly for children. Unfortunately, while many of us will be giving and receiving gifts this 25th of December, to millions of kids around the world, Christmas will be ‘just another day.’
Even within our own congregation we have families who are having a difficult time making ends meet.
Locally and globally we have two opportunities to make this a memorable Christmas.
Franklin Graham’s Operation Christmas Child is the world’s largest project of it’s kind. O.C.C. uses gift-filled shoeboxes to demonstrate God’s love in a tangible way to needy children around the world.
Locally, volunteers with The Greatest Gift, inc., collect boxes. They can even pack shoeboxes for people too busy to get their own. For information call (843) 812-5383. Collection week is November 18-25.
The Two Aspects of Missions
by Ashley Grace Gamboa
When it comes to missions support, Community Bible is a church that is most ‘willing-to-serve.’ I have never known a church with a heart for missions like that of CBC.
Attending last year’s missions conference opened my eyes to how much this church diligently supports missions. In my eight years at CBC, I had only seen the supporting side of mission work. I watched missionaries being sent off into the vast unknown. And I watched the body of Christ pray earnestly for these individuals and the hearts that they would encounter during their great journey. I have come to discover that there are two sides to missions, and both are critical to the work of Christ.
My desire is to become a full-time missionary. I started attending Moody Bible Institute in Chicago this fall. Moody is dedicated to training and equipping believers who have a heart for full-time missions. In my new environment I have become aware of “both sides” of missions. There is the body of Christ diligently supporting missions, and there are the missionaries themselves, working hard toward the goal of going into the mission field one day. As one who feels compelled to go into the world and share the Gospel, this has been both encouraging and motivating.
Having seen both aspects of equipping for “the commission,” I am convinced of the missionary’s ever-present need for support from the church. All around me are people with hearts for ministry, striving toward the goal of teaching English overseas; toward working to fight human trafficking; or simply sharing the Gospel in an unknown jungle in some foreign country. These men and women are discovering the importance of reliance on constant prayer and service from the body of Christ.
At MBI, students benefit from constant exposure to missions. This has, in particular, helped me understand why Community Bible Church makes missionary support a priority. It is not because of the diligence of the missionary, rather, it is because of the urgent need for the whole world to bow the knee before Christ. Whether the lost find their Way through care extended them while others simply pass-by, or through hearing the Gospel, missionaries desperately need equipping. They need to be backed up by the prayer and support of their Christian family back home.
Missions is not just getting on a plane and sharing the Gospel overseas. It is also staying and sending those who have been called to go. I am so thankful for you, my church family in Beaufort County for the love and support you regularly extend to over 200 missionaries worldwide. The equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ is super-important to missions. I rejoice in seeing two different groups with the same life goal; to live for and to serve Jesus Christ.
Ashley Gamboa is a Community Bible Church Christian Academy graduate in her Freshman year at Moody Bible Institute.
The CBC Toy Tree is a way to help CBC member families who are unable to buy presents for their children this Christmas. Those in need may register their family. Families may also be nominated by others by December 1st using the form found around the church. CBC members wanting to help can pick up a toy tag in the atrium and purchase a toy to be returned by December 15th. The toys will then be given to the families in need. For more information contact Drew Kuehl at CBC.
MEN - COMING IN JANUARY