Dear Members and Friends of IBCZ,
I want to begin by giving a BIG THANK YOU to all our children and young people for the terrific job they did last Sunday in portraying the Christmas Story for us during worship. Thanks also to Lisa Wyssbrod and the other adults who helped in organizing the program and working with the children during these past weeks. We are truly blessed to have so many gifted people – adults, youth, and children – serving faithfully. In addition, I want to thank the youth, along with Adrian, Dana, and Don, for decorating the sanctuary for Christmas.
During these four weeks of Advent, it is good for us to remember that the One whose birth we are preparing for is the One who came to redeem us, to save us and deliver us from sin and all that hinders us from becoming all God created us to be. You may find it helpful to take a piece of paper and write at the top “Powers that hold me in their grip,” and then list the things from which you would like to be set free. Such things might include specific sins that have held us captive, bad habits, unhealthy relationships, or character faults such as a quick temper, envy, jealousy, impatience, greed, etc.
When you have finished, pray over this list, and do so daily. Pray not simply as a kind of duty, but pray sincerely from the heart, asking our Lord to set you free from the things that have held you captive. In our own strength, we lack the ability to be victorious over such things. But in Luke 4:18, Jesus declared that part of His ministry encompassed proclaiming freedom to the prisoners. Jesus came to both grant us eternal life and also the fullness of life now, which includes being free from the things that block our growth and joy in the Lord. So, let us turn those things over to God, from a sincere heart, that we might experience and become all God desires for us.
Grace and peace,