I missed you this past Sunday. As you saw and heard, Pastor Brandon and I were away at a five-day church leadership conference in Washington D.C. While we prefer to worship with you every Sunday, I want to enthusiastically report that our time at Capitol Hill Baptist Church with 9 Marks Ministries was extremely productive and encouraging and it will benefit our entire church family in many ways for years to come. It is in no way a hyperbole to tell you that this was the most helpful pastor’s conference I have ever participated in. As you may expect, the teaching was rich and robust, but the most beneficial part of our extended weekend was the chance to spend hours upon hours personally interacting with seasoned pastors, authors, and leaders who have built a vibrant, Biblical church on the Gospel that is reaching people through evangelism and mercy for the glory of God. Both Brandon and I feel as though we were affirmed in many ways and challenged in others. The best part of these challenges for us, as a church family, is that we feel like we have some clear building blocks, direction, and action steps that the Lord has given us for His glory in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago and we can’t wait to share them with you in the coming months and years.
As for this Sunday, we will be back in Luke’s Gospel. Specifically, we’ll be in Luke 4:1-13. This is Luke’s account of Jesus being tempted by Satan. For many of you, this is probably a familiar story. I bet a lot of us could recount the events of this story and possibly even some of the exact words without looking it up. On one hand that is good. Being familiar with and memorizing Scripture is almost always a great thing. However, on the other hand, if we are not careful, it can be dangerous. It is possible to feel as though we know something so well that we do not have anything to learn from it. That temptation and that attitude is one of my biggest fears in our study through Luke. If we are not careful, we will miss important truths from God’s Word.
Together, we will take a fresh look at this familiar text this coming Sunday morning – Lord willing. I want to encourage you to read it in your quiet time or as a family over the next couple of days in preparation for our work on Sunday. Pay particular attention to what the enemy is trying to steer Jesus away from. What are the things that Satan promises to keep Jesus from and why are they important for Jesus to experience and accomplish? Like Christ, may our God strengthen us to live for His glory and trust in His grace and provision.
For the sake of His name,