Sermon Notes, July 26

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PRAYER POWER          Ephesians 3:14-21

We are CARED for (Called, Adopted, Redeemed, Enlightened, Destined), as we noted in our first lesson in Ephesians. Last week we talked about being OVERCOMERS in Christ, overcoming the past, rejection, and hostility – leading to Peace! Paul continues to infuse theology here so that when the realities of life cut at us, we have something eternal to  stand upon. He reminds us of the power of prayer. Is there anyone who doesn’t desire a greater prayer life?

The Laurel Hill Baptist Church in Charlottesville, WV had an idea to emphasize prayer -hosted a drive-thru prayer event from 6:30 to 8:30 a.m.  at the church. a. Coffee and donuts are served. People drove through requesting prayers about their jobs, families, health. “In one morning we prayed with a lady who had just been diagnosed with cancer. Soon after that another lady drove through with praise for the fact that she was now cancer-free.” (LINK)

You may not think you are very powerful in prayer – but be assured that the powerful prayer does not begin with you, but with what God is doing through you!

Prayer Power is promised to all of God’s Children – if we would just fuel our prayers with God’s promises and trust Him! God empowers our prayers with three qualities:

1.  Belonging 

Ephesians 3:14-15 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth takes its name. 

God is our Father.  God is connected to every family in heaven and on earth as Creator and potential Savior. Could also be a reference to the “one new man” – the church – which is to wear his name. “The whole family” (KJV, NIV). We are related to the God of heaven!

Ephesians 4:5-6 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all …

Bow Before Him- Signifying humility and submission.

Psalm 5:7 But I, through the abundance of your steadfast love, will enter your house, I will bow down toward your holy temple in awe of you.

God has been so good to us … we worship Him with our entire hearts. When we gather as a church and reverently bow before Him together all distinctions disappear in the presence of His glory. The Ephesians needed to know this. How would it bless us to lose our differences, problems, traditions, and divisions in the presence of His glory? Our prayers are powerful because we are praying to a glorious Father!

2. Strength

Ephesians 3:16-17a 16 I pray that, according to the riches of his glory, he may grant that you may be strengthened in your inner being with power through his Spirit, 17 and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith

Strong Through His Spirit. AMP: “indwelling your innermost being and personality.” He has no shortage of ability – riches of His glory. What is the Spirit Doing Within Us?

*Marks Us Eph 1:3 were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit

*Gives Access Eph 2:18 for through him both of us have access in one Spirit to the Father.

*Fills Us Eph 5:17-18 but be filled with the Spirit, as you sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, singing and making melody to the Lord in your hearts

*Defends Us  Eph 6:17 Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

*Prays With Us Eph 6:18 Pray in the Spirit at all times in every prayer and supplication.

Jesus is also at work in our hearts (17a).  “That Christ might finally settle down and feel completely at home in your hearts.” (Weust)  Do you think Christ Feels at home in your heart? What is He doing there? Jesus Is Cultivating love, which leads to the third quality that empowers our prayers….

3. Love

Ephesians 3:17b – 19 as you are being rooted and grounded in love. 18 I pray that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

*Love that is wide enough to embrace the world (John 3:16)

*A love that is long enough to last forever (1 Corinthians 13:8)

“It is so long that your old age cannot wear it out, so long your continual tribulation cannot exhaust it, your successive temptations cannot drain it dry; like eternity itself it knows no bounds.” ~Spurgeon

*Love high enough to take sinners to heaven (1 John 3:1,2)

*Love Deep enough to take Christ to the very depth to reach the lowest sinner (Philippians 2:8)

Never Limit What God Can Do When You Pray!

You can’t out-imagine God! Pray Big! Pray in His Strength! Acknowledge Him in your prayers: I Claim you Father, Your Strength, and Your Love!

Ephesians 3:20-21 Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

He is able. There is nothing that God cannot do.

He is  able to accomplish. God is not idle or asleep, but active in our lives.

He is able to do abundantly far more. His expectations are higher than our requests.

He is able to do abundantly far more than all we can ask. He listens to our prayers.

He is able to do abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine. God reads our thoughts.

He is able to do this according to His power that is at work within us. God does all this through the power that is already in us. (Brian Bill)

You may not think you are very powerful in prayer – but be assured that the powerful prayer does not begin with you, but with what God is doing through you!

Tonight at 6:00 we will have a devotional and communion as we consider further the love of God expressed in this text.

Resources include…
Ephesians: The Mystery of The Body of Christ by R. Kent Hughes
Sermon by Brian Bill

Ministry Month Continues Tonight!

Tonight @ Forsythe

Ministry Month continues tonight. We’ve had a great month of presentations from some of the great community works in our parish. We started off with Shawn Keyser talking about Family Promise. The next week we had Celeste Pogue to tell us about The Food Bank of NorthEast Louisiana. Tonight we have Cheryl Dunson to tell us all about what Habitat for Humanity is doing in our parish to provide affordable housing to families. Looking forward to that.

Next Wednesday Josh Hudnall will be at Forsythe to talk about Celebrate Recovery and the great work that is going on with that organization.

Everyone is welcome to attend!

Forsythe Family News July 21

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NUMBERS Sunday, July 12th we had 105 in attendance and 75 absent! We gave $4,712. (Budget is $6,000). Thanks to those who are making up after missing a Sunday. There is an online giving option here in the left hand column.

HIS AVENUE is studying the Raising of Lazarus in July. Hope you aren’t letting your kids miss out on these awesome times together in God’s Word!

MINISTRY MONTH on Wednesday Nights will continue this Wednesday when we will have Cheryl Dunson, Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity of Ouachita. Come hear about their excellent work that is directly blessing families in our parish.

HONOR:  OCS is honoring the vision of the original charter and founding members of Ouachita Christian School and the service of Mrs. Ramona Matthews, Saturday, August 22 at 6:00 pm in the OCS Cafeteria. RSVP to Mrs. Til Smelser at 318-325-6000 by August 5.

TUESDAY NIGHT TEENS schedule: July 28th here at Forsythe!

IN THE MAIL: Thank you so much for letting me come and share with your group on Wednesday, July 8th. I enjoyed speaking to you all as a group and individually. May God bless you all in every thing you do. Celeste Pogue, The Foodbank of Northeast Louisiana (www.fbnela.org). …. Dear Brethren, I wanted you to know how thankful I am for all the support, cards, and prayers for my family during the recent illness and death of my husband Kenny. Especially I want to thank John and Nick White. In Him, Peggy Jackson.

WEDDING: The Church has received an invitation to the wedding of Miranda Crawford and Keller Andrews, August 1st at 3:00 in the afternoon here at Forsythe.

ANNIVERSARY: The Church has received an invitation to celebrate the 50th Wedding Anniversary of Mike and Mignon Riley, August 8 from 2-4pm at the home of Carol and Wayne Smith, 2761 Point Drive, Monroe.

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HEARTFELT WOMENS MINISTRY will begin in September at  Forsythe. It is time now to register. Please see the pink insert and fill it in today and place it in one of the baskets in the foyers. The deadline for registration is August 2nd. This is for women aged 18 – 108 and all of the women of the church are encouraged to get involved. If you have any questions please see Linda Benjamin, Maggy Dobbs, Jerelyn Smith or Rhonda Crawford.

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED!

*Children’s Church each month August, November, December.

*Nursery Volunteers

*Sound Booth Volunteers (Training Available)

*GriefShare Facilitators (Training Available)

*Recover Hallway Bulletin Board

*LifeGroup Host for a potential new group

*LifeGroup Teacher for potential new group

To Volunteer for any of these needs either call the church office, email John, or write your interest on the back of the Connection Card today. Thank you!

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