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Dear Members and Friends of IBCZ,

I want to say a very special “thank you” to Olan and Alec who have done all the technical work to enable us to live stream and record our worship services, so you can either watch and participate at our usual 10:30 worship time, or watch them later if that works best for you.  Thanks also to Cassie who has helped with the technical matters and also is leading us as we worship the Lord through music during these Sundays of online worship.

We will be worshiping this way for at least several more Sundays I’m sure.  This will include Palm Sunday (this Sunday) and Easter Sunday (April 12). We will also live stream and record our Good Friday Service (April 10), also at 10:30.

Besides using the internet to broadcast our worship services, conduct our prayer meetings and meet as Home Groups, the Elders propose another idea to help us maintain our unity as a church even while we cannot meet together.  We thought it would be good to if we would all read and reflect on the same portion of Scripture during these weeks. I thought a good book for us to read is the Book of Philippians.

Philippians is written from the context of challenge and difficulty.  The church at Philippi was facing opposition, and Paul himself was as well, for he wrote this letter while he was under arrest.  So, it offers us practical insight as we deal with our own challenging situation right now.

The Book is only four chapters long, so I suggest we focus on one chapter each week for the next four weeks.  I know that many of you have your own Bible reading routine, but it would be great to do this in addition. Perhaps you could read the chapter for that week each day of that week, letting the truth sink in.  I will offer a few questions to reflect on. If you want, you can also discuss this in your Home Group, or simply reach out to others in the church via email, phone calls, or messaging to share thoughts and insights.

A few questions for chapter 1:

  1. (Vs. 9) What has helped your own love for Christ and for others abound more and more?
  2. (Vs. 12) Paul saw his experience of being a prisoner actually being for the good, for it was helping to advance the gospel.  Have you had an experience that on the surface looked bad or unfortunate, but in the end, God used it for good?
  3. (Vs. 21) Paul said that for him, to live is Christ and to die is gain.  What can help you grow in your faith so that you would have both that conviction and assurance?
  4. (Vs. 27) What would it look like for you to “conduct yourself in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ?”

Though we cannot see each other, I keep you in my prayers.

Grace and peace,

Pastor Bob

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