Have you ever been through a trial? Are you going through one right now? What does the Bible say about our trials? Our scripture text today says “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds…” James 1:2 As we journey through a series this quarter on having a closer relationship with God, we can’t miss this opportunity to talk about one of the spiritual disciples that none of us actually choose, but can be one of the best teachers, trials. Today we will explore our responses to trials and how we can learn more about God through them. We’re glad you came and we look forward to experiencing God’s blessings as we worship Him and study our topic together. Also today, some of our Pathfinders are in Oshawa with their families and our fearless director Ian Beckford, competing in the Pathfinder Bible Experience. This is a competition where, this time, they will be tested on their Bible knowledge of the Book of Luke. Please keep them in your prayers as they have now reached the conference level of the competition and are representing our local Bronte church.
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We have a powerful men’s ministry department here at Bronte that empowers, trains, and inspires the men of this church to be God-centered, good examples to their families, and mentors to the young men of this church. Today they have invited Pastor Orlando Pule to be the guest speaker for the Divine Service. One of the several roles Pastor Pule has at the Ontario Conference is the Men’s Ministry Director and he has graciously accepted to join us, along with his wife, Pastor Elizabeth Pule, and his 3 sons Gabriel, Isaiah, and Samuel. We pray that the service today will be inspiring for everyone, old and young, male and female, as we grow in our spirituality and relationship with Jesus Christ. This week please pray for the men of our church!
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During the Ontario provincial election in 2007, Dalton McGuinty of the Liberal Party promised that, if re-elected premier, he would establish a provincial holiday in February. On October 12, 2007, the provincial government established Family Day on the third Monday in February. As we celebrate our relationships with our families this weekend, let’s ask ourselves: what can I do to make my family/loved ones feel a little extra special? It can be as simple as spending some quality time together, but the point is to be intentional in your plans for the people you care most about. Knowing their love language would help but if you don’t know what that is, ask yourself, what would that person appreciate the most right now and how can I help them feel loved. While every family and relationship is different, I encourage each of you to take advantage of this holiday! The Bible says in Romans 5:8, “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us”. This family day, let’s follow Jesus’ example and not wait for someone to do something for us but do something for someone we love.
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This quarter we are looking at who God is and how we can develop a closer relationship with Him. In anticipation of this week’s message let me ask you a question: have you ever felt overwhelmed? Have you ever felt anxious about finishing a project on time or paying a bill before the deadline, catching your flight when you’re stuck in traffic or waiting for lab results to the point where the pressure is unbearable? God knows that we all face the temptation to worry about things in our lives, but the good news is, He hasn’t left us alone. Recently Amazon released a list of the most popular passages in some of its bestselling books, such as The Hunger Games, the Harry Potter series, and Pride and Prejudice. Also released, the most highlighted passage in the Holy Bible. Can you guess what it is? Most people, including me, expect it to be something like John 3:16, Psalm 23, or the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6:9-13. But, no, it was a less prominent text, but one that’s striking a deep cord in today’s worried world. If you want to find out what it is, have your Bible’s ready during today’s message when I share it. May God bless you as we learn more about Him together and how he helps us when we feel overwhelmed.”
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Have you ever seen a diamond? They are one of the most beautiful gems in the world. What’s interesting to me is how they’re made. As most of you know, a diamond is created when carbon is subjected to tremendous pressure deep inside the earth. Today, history was made back in 1905 when the largest diamond was found and dug up from the earth in South Africa. The diamond found weighed 3106.75 carats or 621.35g and the value is estimated at 2.6 billion dollars CAD. That’s a lot of money for one diamond. Today I want to take a moment to remind you that to God, you are valued more than anything in this world, so much so that in Romans 5:8 and John 3:16 it says that God gave his life for us. Why would He do such a thing? One word, love. Today, this week, never forget how much you’re worth and that God loves you.