Dear RBC Family,
We want to let you know that our Missions Director, Bill Hurley, unexpectedly disappeared on July 19. We know very little about the circumstances of his disappearance. Below is a recent statement from his son, Billy Hurley III:
Last Sunday, nine days ago, my dad took some clothes, he took some cash, he got in his truck and drove away and no one has heard from him since. So he’s been gone about nine days, I guess. No one really knows why. It’s complete speculation as to why he left.
He’s been married to my mom for 30-plus years. You know, they still live in the house that I grew up in in Leesburg and I’m just hoping that there’s a story – that maybe he goes to pgatour.com to check my tee time or check my score and sees this and understands that dad, we love you and we want you to come home.
We would ask you to please be in prayer for Bill’s safe return and for his family as they await news of his whereabouts. We will post any updates here as they become available.
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7/28 – Here is a missing persons bulletin from the Leesburg Police Department asking for public assistance in locating Bill.
7/31 – According to the LCPD and other reports, Bill was located safe and sound this afternoon in Texas after someone recognized him and contacted local authorities, who confirmed his identity. We are thankful to God that Bill is safe, but we do not have any further details at this time. We would ask that you avoid speculation and please continue to be in prayer for him and his family.
The “Trail Guide” devotional is used by our adult leaders of grade school groups in Quest as a way to prepare their hearts and minds for the topics we will be covering with the children on the weekend. We have made them available here to help our parents of grade-schoolers engage with their children around the topics we are discussing and also for anyone else that might be blessed by following along.
EXTREME MAKEOVER, Unit 3, Section 4, Lesson 3: Are You a Reproducing Disciple?
Jesus had the twelve disciples. Paul had Timothy and Silas and Luke. Barnabas had Mark. The master had grasshopper, and Yoda had Luke Skywalker. Seriously though. Who are you pouring your life into? Are you passing along all that He commanded you?
When Jesus said, “teach them,” He did not, I think, have in mind a classroom setting, or a man standing in a pulpit. That was not His primary method after all. Jesus made disciples by walk- ing with them, where they lived, teaching them lessons about the Kingdom based on their earthly life experiences. He set an example for them, ate with them, healed them, comforted them, laughed with them, mourned with them, prayed with them and for them, cried in front of them, gave them sound doctrine about this life and the next, called them friend, challenged them, and then laid down His life for them. A close examination of Paul’s disciple making and church planting ministry looked much the same. Barnabas as well.
This is not a New Testament command either. Deuteronomy 4:9 tells us to teach the things of God to our children and their children after them. In Genesis, God tells Abraham, “In you all families of the earth will be blessed,” and He called Israel a light to the nations that they might bring His salvation to the earth.Nor was this a command for a select few disciples. Most scholars agree, there were as many as 500 disciples gathered in Galilee for this commissioning. If you are a disciple then this is a command for you. Don’t pass up the blessing of disciple making. Don’t lose sight of your mission.
Bring glory to the Father by making disciples.
“We’re not to wait for the world to come to us. Rather, we’re to go to the world. “Go ye” could be better translated “having gone.” It isn’t a command; it’s an assumption.” – John MacArthur
THE HOLY SPIRIT OF GOD IS OUR TEACHER. “He will teach you all things and bring all things to your memory.” – John 14:26
MEDITATING ON THE WORD:
John 17:28 | Acts 20:27
Duet 4:9 | 1 Tim 1:18; 4:6-16
2 Tim 1:1-14 | John 17:6-26
MUSIC & SCRIPTURE
Closer (Psalm 89:14-15) – Glorious Ruins by Hillsong Worship
Our God Is Love (1 John 4:9-10) – A Beautiful Exchange by Hillsong
10,000 Reasons (Psalm 103:1) – Unrelenting Love by Nick Thurmond
Your Great Name (Philippians 2:10-11) – Love Revolution by Natalie Grant
I Will Look Up (Deuteronomy 7:9) –Only King Forever by Elevation Worship
Endless Light (Psalm 113:3-4) – Cornerstone by Hillsong
TEACHING: Seeing is Believing
We take for granted that we see the world around us accurately, but that is not always true. What we see – or don’t see – can make all the difference in the world. Is seeing really believing?
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS FOR SHEPHERD GROUPS
- What was one thing you found particularly interesting, insightful, helpful or difficult to understand from this sermon?
- How do we see themes of light and dark reflected in the stories of our culture?
- Read and discuss John 1:1-18, Genesis 1:1-5, John 3:16-21, Genesis 3:1-7 and John 8:12. What do these verses tell us about man? What do you see about Christ? What do these verses tell us about darkness & light, seeing & not seeing?
- How do these verses speak to the theme of redemption?
- How does the exodus and the Festival of Tabernacles provide context to Jesus’ claim about being the light of the world (John 8:12)?
- Discuss the following statement: “The essence of sin is not doing bad things. The essence of sin is believing a lie about God, that He can’t be trusted, that He isn’t good…” How does believing lies about God keep us from seeing the world as it really is? What are the practical implications of this as we live out our lives?
- How does the gospel of Jesus Christ show us God’s gift of light in the midst of darkness? What lies about God does the gospel dispel?
- Give thanks in prayer to God that Jesus was cast into darkness on our behalf, to demonstrate His great love for us. Pray for those people you know who are still hidden in darkness, that they would come to know the marvelous light of Jesus.
We recently received this update from New Tribes Mission regarding one of our supported missionaries working as a Bible translator in Zimbabwe.
Sherife was more than just a Mwinika tribesman to Bible translator & RBC-supported missionary, P. He was a fellow believer, one of the first Mwinika Bible teachers, and a Bible translation helper. He was also a friend. And now P. sat by Sherife as he lay on his deathbed. P. remembered another time when Sherife lay critically ill in bed – before he was saved, before Bible teaching even began in the Mwinika village. But this time it was different. Sherife was a believer in Jesus. Still, it was hard to watch as tears filled Sherife’s eyes, spilling down his cheeks.
“Let me translate my tears,” Sherife said to P. “I am crying because of my unsaved family members… I know where I am going, but I am worried about them. I didn’t know God until you came and told me about Him. Now I know Him. Now I am going to be with Him. Thank you for coming. Thank you beyond thanking. Thank you.” About a week later, Sherife was ushered into the presence of his Savior.
Of greater importance to Sherife than “translating his tears” was translating God’s Word into the Mwinika language. He was one of several Bible translation helpers that worked tirelessly alongside P. to see this translation come to fruition. But as of his death, the project was not yet done.
Please pray for our missionary P. and the other Mwinika men as they continue translating, looking to the day when the Mwinika Bible translation is complete.
The process of recording this new live project was a great testimony of the Lord continuing to lead us in the leading of His people. God has done great things in our midst over this past year. He has used these eleven songs, in particular, to remind us of the unfailing grace and love He extends to us daily and the glory He is due with every word that escapes our lips.
In compiling the songs that ultimately were recorded for Now & Always, God was clearly weaving them together to unveil some amazing themes that would allow us to go into production with great confidence and joy. These songs have been such a blessing to sing together as a church – with most of them being introduced over the past twelve months. It’s such a privilege to look back and see how God has used His powerful Word paired with these powerful melodies and beautiful lyrics to provide a voice for our church to sing with such passionate faith.
The title, Now & Always, comes directly from one of my favorite lines from the fifth track, the hymn Be Thou My Vision – “Riches I heed not nor man’s empty praise / Thou mine inheritance, now and always.” It’s such a great reminder of the nature of our relationship with our Creator – that nothing we gain in this life can even begin to compare to the glorious inheritance of a life spent knowing Him and an eternity spent in His presence.
So many lyrics from this collection of songs point to the truth of this perfectly sustaining existence alongside Christ – both here on this earth (Now) and the promise of Heaven (Always):
Nothing shall be impossible / Your kingdom reigns unstoppable / We’ll shout your praise forevermore / Jesus, our God, unstoppable (I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted. Job 42:2)
O my God, He will not delay / My refuge and strength always / I will not fear, His promise is true / My God will come through always, always (The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. Psalm 18:2)
There’s no end to Your love, there’s no end to Your love / You’re with us, You’re with us / There’s nothing in this world that could take You away / You’re with us, You’re with us (He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” The Lord Almighty is with us. Psalm 46:10-11)
Our hope through the process of recording this album has always been to simply extend the time we have together on Sundays into the other 167 hours of your week. We hope that these familiar songs with these familiar voices and arrangements will be a blessing to you and provide more opportunities to praise God – either on your own or together with your families.
We are truly thankful for the opportunity to use God’s incredible gift of music to reach the hearts of His people. May our worship be full of passion. May it flow freely. And by all means, may it be louder than anything else in our lives. We hope you enjoy it.
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AUDIO CDS: CDs of NOw & always are now available in the rbc bookstore! IF YOU preordered a cd, you can pick them up there.
DIGITAL album: the digital version of Now & Always is now available on iTunes or Amazon Mp3 (click the icons below) as well as a variety of other digital music & streaming services including spotify, Google play, Rhapsody, and iheartradio.