Category Archives: bible study

24 Hours of Prayer — IBCB Prayer Chain

Dear Brothers and Sisters in the Lord:

chain

Thank you very much for volunteering to take part in our 24 hours of prayer which will start this Saturday at 12 noon and will finish at Church from 11 am to 12 noon.   [Join the Prayer Ministry Team for this All-Church meeting for prayer!]

Please find here Specific Prayer Requests for 24 Hours of Prayer and  How to Spend One Hour in Prayer.     For those of you who are part of the “prayer chain,” the idea is that once you finish your hour you should call the next person who is to take over from you.  Don’t forget to call the next person in line once you have finished.

On behalf of our leaders and deacons of our church I want to thank you most sincerely for sacrificing your time to pray on behalf of our church and for the world.  May the Lord bless you richly.

Faith Kazembe, Deacon

Prayer Ministry Leader

 

Marriage After the Resurrection?

“When the dead rise, they will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven.” Mark 12:25 (NIV)

The Sadducees — who didn’t believe in the resurrection — had befuddled the Pharisees — who believed in the resurrection — with a ridiculously absurd argument they believed undermined the truth of resurrection based on the levirate marriage law.  The law was designed to protect a childless widow from a life of poverty by allowing her family line to continue (see the Book of Ruth).

The Sadducees thought they could embarrass Jesus in the same way.  Instead, they got a lesson about the truth of the resurrection and one brief insight into the nature of marriage in the afterlife.  Jesus answer taught them…and us…a lesson about God’s power:  God does raise the dead (vss. 24-27), and God makes a new life for his people through the resurrection (vs. 25).

The most we can say from Jesus statement is:  in the resurrection, life as we know it now will be different including marriage.  There will be no marriage — as we understand it today — in the resurrected life.  Jesus qualifies his statement by saying that those raised from the dead will be like the angels in heaven regarding marriage.  Lots of people have their own ideas about what this means regarding relationships, marriage, sexuality, and sex but most of these ideas are mere speculation.  Here are some of the things we know for sure:

  • We will have glorified bodies after the resurrection, like Jesus’ resurrected body (1 John 3:2; 1 Corinthians 15:43).
  • There will be similarities to our earthly bodies but we will not be the same (1 Corinthians 15:51-52).
  • In our resurrected bodies the spirit and not the physical predominates (1 Corinthians 15:44, 49).
  • We will recognize each other including our marriage partners (1 Corinthians 13:32).

With his statement, Jesus was not undermining marriage nor dissolving the eternal aspect of marriage.  He wasn’t doing away with sexual differences in the resurrection, or teaching that we will be asexual beings after death.  What Jesus was saying is:  God is powerful to raise the dead and to make all things new according to God’s eternal plan.

For the time being, we hold on to God’s power through faith recognizing that God has begun to make all things new.  He has brought us to spiritual life through salvation and is transforming us to be more like Jesus Christ in the present.  We live our lives — including…or perhaps especially…our marriages — as expressions of “on-earth-as-it-is-in-heaven” relationships of love, service, respect, and honor.  We look forward with hope to the day when God makes all things new — even our bodies — and ushers in his kingdom in all of his God-intended glory.

A Note from the Pastor: Budget 2013

Dear IBCB Family:

Proverbs 29:18 says, “Without a vision the people perish, but the one who keeps the law is blessed.”  Mission determines ministry…ministry is expressed in money.  Our budget being submitted for your review has been prayerfully prepared to reflect something of what we believe is God’s vision for IBCB during 2013. (Click here t0 download our  2013 IBCB Budget (proposed).)

In the budget you will see numbers, but those numbers represent much more than just money.  They stand for an investment in God’s Kingdom by God’s people for God’s glory!  If we choose to invest our time, talents, and treasurers in the purpose and plan represented in this document, we will be blessed!

The most significant changes in the budget for 2013 are:

  • Music Ministry Special Capital Expense – Equipment for Music Ministry subject to prior FiCo approval.
  • Children Ministry – Plans for an older children retreat and a Summer Vacation Bible school are included.
  • Youth Ministry – Youth Mission Project Berlin to encourage and plan for young teenager ministry and do outreach to teenagers in Berlin.
  • Indigenous Missionary Partnership – An additional church planter working with the Mongol people in Budapest.
  • Building Contribution – A 200€ per month increase in our building contribution to our host church.
  • Publicity – A new web design, church logo, and camcorder for promoting our vision and mission.
  • Pastor Salary – An almost 7% raise in the pastor’s base salary.
  • Church Administrator Salary – We are asking Ruth to serve full-time in a new position with greater responsibility.

This budget is a 12% increase over last year’s budget and will require not only commitment but also faith.  Last year, our tithes and offerings were 7% below last year’s budget.  So, the near 20% increase in giving we’re asking will require a deeper commitment to giving and an increased commitment to reaching new people by reproducing.  Though it will stretch our faith, I’m confident that with God’s help and our dedication we can accomplish this God-sized plan as we put into place two strategic initiatives:

1.  Stewardship – I’m teaching tithing in the “Grow in Maturity” workshop and cooperating with the FiCo and with Frank Nikel to put together a preaching and teaching plan that will focus on “Honoring God w/ My Finances.” (sermon series, small group curriculum, workshop, etc.)

2.  Second Worship Service – I believe it’s time for us to do whatever it takes to start a second worship service in our current location.  We’ve prayed about it, discussed it, and considered it, but we haven’t made a commitment to it.  I’m convinced that now is the time; so, I will be working with the leaders and deacons to move forward as soon as possible on this new initiative.

Only God-sized faith can lead to God-sized accomplishments.  May God strengthen our faith and establish his Kingdom.

To God be the glory,

Scott Corwin, Pastor

The Disciple-Habit of a Daily Quiet Time

You will never be a growing Christian until you develop the disciple-habit of a daily time alone with the Lord through Scripture and prayer.”  Scott Corwin

All of us have habits.  Some good, and others not so good.

I’m trying to break myself of a bad habit that I developed over a long period of time — drinking LOTS of coffee.  It began with a “first pot” I made when I got up each morning for my daily time alone with the Lord.  Though my wife would have “a cup” I would usually finish off the pot before she left for work.  I would then make another pot of coffee and would finish it off during the work day.  Way too much coffee that started affecting my sleep and health.

I had to try to break the bad habit.  So, I decided that I would do two things:  1)  I would change the way that I drink coffee; I started drinking coffee that wasn’t quite as strong and I would drink it without sugar, and 2)  During the day I would drink healthy teas.  I admit it was really hard at first, but after a few weeks I established a habit which is the new norm.  I broke the old, bad habit, by replacing it with a new, healthier habit.

In a similar way, you can develop the disciple-habit of starting your day with a daily quiet time in Scripture and prayer.  First, analyze the way that you normally spend your mornings.  Do you wait until the last minute to wake up then throw it into high-gear to get ready to get out of the house to start your work day?  Do you stay up too late the night before so that you don’t get the kind of rest you need in order to wake up refreshed?  Do you turn on your computer first thing to check email or Facebook?  Do you turn on the morning news and/or the radio first thing?  Determine your current habits and identify ways that you might rearrange your mornings in order to establish the habit of a quiet time.

Second, make preparations for establishing your new habit.  I suggest picking a time and scheduling your quiet time like you would any other important item in your agenda — provided you consider spending time alone with God important!  Pick a special place where you will be away from distractions.  It might be a special chair in a special room where you can be alone.  Make all the necessary arrangements not to be interrupted:  turn off your phone, tell your spouse, get away from the computer screen, etc.  Gather all of the resources you will need like your Bible, your spiritual notebook, and a pen.

Third, have a specific plan for your quiet time.  If you have one of the “Spiritual Journals,” there is a suggested plan on page 6 for a 15 minute time alone with the Lord.  If you have attended the “Grow in Maturity” workshop, there is a similar plan on page 22-23.  The key is to read a portion from the Bible asking and answering three questions:

1. What are you saying to me, Jesus? (Scripture insight)

2. What do you want to change in me, Jesus? (Attitude? Thought? Action? Character?)

3.  What do you want me to do, Jesus? (Application)

Start practicing your new habit and keep after it no mater what.  After 3 weeks you will be familiar with the routine, but stay with it.  It will take another 3 weeks for that routine to become ingrained in your life as a new habit.

Developing a new habit begins with a choice…a commitment.  Remember, Jesus said:  “If you remain in my Word, you are really my disciples.”  (John 8:31)  So, if you are a disciple, make a commitment…right now…to establishing the habit of a daily time alone with God.

Need some help?  Attend the next “Grow in Maturity” class.  Connect with one of our disciple mentors who can help encourage you and keep you accountable to your daily quiet time.  Talk with your friends and small group members about your quiet time.  You will help them and they will help you!

Scripture Memory #4 — 2 Timothy 3:16

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NIV)

Finish the full sentence for an added bonus!  Meditate on the verse and submit your Scripture insight as a comment.