College and Singles Weekly Update – April 22-29th

Sunday Night with Gentle and Lowly

Join us for our last Sunday night study at 7 pm in room 202. We are finishing up our quick run-through of Gentle and Lowly.  

Sunday night reading schedule: April 25 (Ch. 18-23).

 

 

Where are you serving?

Ninth and O is a church that believes that all of its members have a gift that can and should be used in the body to do the work that God has given us to do.  

One of Pastor Philip’s passions is for all college and singles to lead the way in this way of service. Covid has made it difficult up until now for this to have worked out (for both long-term members and new members) looking for ways to serve. However-as we start working to get back to normal, pastor Philip and the leaders will be looking for your help-so beat them to the punch by asking where you can help! Share with them where you believe you are gifted and they will be happy to help you find the right area for you to serve in. One of the best ways to get started is with our class called Next Step. Click here to register for the next class. 

 

Not many announcements this week due to preparations for what is to come this summer. Keep pressing on this week and enjoy the weekly word.

 

Weekly Word-Psalm 16:11

Brought to us by Dr. Howell, one of our college BFG leaders. He provides us with a timely encouragement from one of the Psalms.

Psalm 16:11

“You make known to me the path of life;

in your presence there is fullness of joy;

at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”

 

During this lengthy season of difficulty, it has been challenging for many of us to find and experience joy. Most of the time, we likely reply with, “I’m good” or “I’m ok” when asked how things are going, but we can’t seem to conjure up any genuine joy even when we put on a happy face. Psalm 16:11 is one of my favorite verses in the Psalms because it gives us expectation for joy in the present as well as hope for everlasting joy.

In the present, Psalm 16:11 tells us that, “in your presence there is fullness of joy.” Since the presence of God is always with us in Christ, we genuinely are in the presence of God at all times. Therefore, if David is right, that fullness of joy is found in the presence of God, then we have access to the fullness of joy at all times…including the dark days of this past year. That doesn’t mean that joy is always easy to find, but it does mean that it is there.

Notice also that this joy is in the presence of God and it is “full.” We can’t find or conjure up this joy by looking to anything other than the glory of God in the face of Christ. As we behold the beauty of Christ, we move our gaze away from our difficulties and onto the one who gives us everlasting joy. Also, this joy is “full.” The joy that God offers us in his presence is not flimsy or diminished; it is full. We shouldn’t just expect enough joy in God’s presence to get us by. Rather, we should expect to be overwhelmed by an inexplicable joy in the midst of suffering and difficulty. We should expect, by faith, that God will increase our joy for the sake of his glory as we find our joy-filled refuge in him alone. The joy that God offers us in Christ is present and full. By faith, we look expectantly to the beauty of Christ and we can genuinely experience fullness of joy.

For the future, David tells us that at God’s right hand are “pleasures forevermore.” The fullness of joy that we have now is only a glimpse of the infinite joy and pleasure that will be ours in heaven. Jonathan Edwards wrote a sermon called “Heaven: A World of Love.” In that sermon, he argues that in heaven, our joy will be always full and always increasing. So, for all eternity, our joy will be as full as it can be as we experience infinite pleasures at God’s right hand. Surely, with eyes of faith, we can be encouraged in the present by the hopeful prospect of this kind of joy for all eternity.

So, during what has been a very difficult season for most of us, let us gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and plead with him to restore our joy. Let us press on in obedience each day as we wait expectantly on the Lord to restore our gladness in Christ. Let us lean on one another and point one another to the hope of pleasures forevermore. In so doing, we will find the joy of the Lord even in the darkness and will discover the “path of life” that God offers. “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:4–5).  

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