Making reproducing disciples of Jesus Christ

The Iron Furnace 11/30

Dear River Reach Family,

And say to them, ‘Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, “Cursed is the man who does not heed the words of this covenant 4 which I commanded your forefathers in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, from the iron furnace, saying, ‘Listen to My voice, and do according to all which I command you; so you shall be My people, and I will be your God,’ 5 in order to confirm the oath which I swore to your forefathers, to give them a land flowing with milk and honey, as it is this day.”’” Then I said, “Amen, O LORD.” Jeremiah 11:3-5

Most often when we face trials we consider them to be unnecessary inconveniences or even an unfair injustice.  In God’s sovereign plan His chosen people Israel would spend 400 years as slaves in Egypt (Genesis 15:13; Acts 7:6).  Did God love His people?  Why would He allow them to be slaves for 400 years?  We would assume that such inhumane and brutal treatment would be detrimental to the Israelites!

As I read in Jeremiah this past week, I came across a metaphor describing God’s view of their 400 years in Egypt.  He viewed Egypt as an “iron furnace” or a metal forge (Jeremiah 11:4).  Iron ore is heated to extreme temperatures and pounded with hammers to shape and strengthen the metal.  The more the iron is heated and pounded, the stronger the metal will be.

The trial of slavery in Egypt was not a detriment, but in God’s wisdom it became the trial that strengthened and preserved God’s chosen people.  Jacob and his 11 sons journeyed to Egypt to join Joseph.  430 years later they would emerge by the grace of God as a mighty and powerful nation, stronger even than the Egyptians! (Exodus 1:9)  God’s grace is able to take the weak and make them strong (Exodus 1:20), but his primary method of growth is trials.

We have a choice when we face trials.  We could get angry and bitter, or we could view them as the heat and hammer in the hand of God to strengthen and mold us for His glory.

Men’s Meeting / Workday / Christmas decoration tomorrow morning (12/1)!

The Men’s meeting will start at 8:30am.  Ladies are invited to join us at 10:00 to decorate for Christmas.

Missionary Children’s Gifts

This Sunday will be the last Sunday that we will collect money for the Christmas children’s missionary box. We are trying to collect about $300 in all for our 13 missionary children.  If you would like to give please mark your gift in the offering.

Christmas Cantata Sunday 12/16

The RRBC choir and drama team have been working hard to prepare a musical and dramatic production to help us meditate on the blessing of our Lord’s incarnation.  This event would be a great time invite friends and family members to join with us.  The Gospel will be presented in word and song.

Prayer Requests:

  • The King’s traveling during furlough
  • Two men in our church at sea serving our nation and their families
  • Someone that the Lord can use you to lead to Christ
  • Someone that the Lord can use you to lead to follow Christ
  • Peace in our nation and around the world
  • Our missionaries as they serve the Lord around the world

Upcoming Events:

  • Saturday 12/1 – 8:30am Men’s Meeting / Workday
  • Sunday 12/2- 9:25am – Sunday Classes (Adult and Children’s classes)
    • 10:30am – Morning Worship:
    • 12:00pm – Lunch Fellowship / Q&A time
  • Wednesday 12/5 – 6:30pm – Wednesday Evening Bible Study
  • Sunday 12/16 – 10:00am – “Tell the Story” Christmas Cantata

Blessed to be your Pastor!
Matthew Rowley


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