MUSIC & SCRIPTURE
Sing, Sing, Sing (Psalm 47:6-8) – Hello Love by Chris Tomlin
Glorious (Psalm 111:2-3) – Glorious by Paul Baloche
Be Thou My Vision (2 Corinthians 3:17-18) - Public Domain
Give Me Faith (Psalm 73:25-26) – Kingdom Come by Elevation Worship
TEACHING: Do Something, Part 2
Having a hard heart can keep us from listening to and applying God’s truth to our lives.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS FOR SHEPHERD GROUPS
- What was one thing you found particularly interesting, insightful, helpful or difficult to understand from this sermon?
- Are many people willing to admit to being stubborn? Why or why not? How did you respond to the statement, “We all struggle with hard or stubborn areas of our hearts”?
- How does being stubborn or having a hard heart make it hard for us to really listen and apply God’s truth?
- Where are some areas where you think our society has a hard heart or a severed conscious against God’s Truth? Where do you see yourself following society’s lead?
- On Sunday, Aaron said, “The more we say no to God, the quieter his voice becomes.” Where have you see this truth in your own life?
- Are there any areas where you think you are currently struggling with a hard heart or severed conscious rejecting God’s truth? Some of the diagnostic questions from Sunday are: what are areas we get defensive about? Where do I have to justify myself a lot? Where am I making lots of excuses? What am I claiming as my rights?
- Read Malachi 4:6. What is God’s desire for our relationship with our family? How is this different than just all getting along and our kids behaving well. How have we been deceived into choosing something good over God’s best for our family.
- Read Matthew 23:37 (start earlier for some context). What is God’s heart towards the Pharisees and those who had hard hearts towards him? Why is this important to realize as we deal with our own hard hearts?
- Pray through Psalm 139:23-24, asking God to reveal the hardness in your own heart.
Greetings & blessings from the Staff and Elders of Reston Bible Church! Here’s a look at what’s coming up over the next few busy weeks, including great ways to get involved in church life here at RBC.
CLOTHES FOR HAITI ORPHANAGE
A small team will be traveling to Haiti this fall to spend time at an orphanage that RBC partners with. We’d love to bless the children there with some new clothes. If you’d like to sign up to bring an outfit (or underwear or shoes!) click here. The clothes need to be delivered to the lobby ON Aug 31. Please label them “HAITI”.
OPPORTUNITY TO SERVE: Women’s Ministry Childcare Workers Needed
Women’s Ministry needs both paid and volunteer childcare workers during morning Bible studies and/or once a month on Friday mornings for Mom’s Connection. Being able to provide childcare makes it possible for us to minister to all women in our body who desire to attend Thursday morning studies. If you have a heart for children, this is a wonderful way to minister to our young moms. Application and Background heck are required. Please contact Leigh Ann Kiendl if you’re interested.
OPPORTUNITY TO SERVE: Communion Servers
Each month at RBC, we have the privilege of celebrating the Lord’s Supper together as a church body. We are in need of more servers to join the communion team. Contact Kemper DeGroot to volunteer.
OPPORTUNITY TO SERVE: School Supplies for Guilford Elementary
We have partnered with Kids R First, a local nonprofit organization of community volunteers that provides school supplies for children receiving free and reduced priced school meals. With their buying power, every dollar donated will purchase $4 worth of school supplies. If you would like to help, just write “Community Outreach” in your check’s memo line, or designate your online gift to “Community Outreach.” Additionally, Guilford has a need for kleenex, clorox wipes, and glue sticks for classroom use. If you would like to purchase any of these items, we will have donation bins in the lobby for one more week.
OPPORTUNITY TO SERVE: Get connected to a Great Team
Team Members are needed for the fall to help with QUEST, BabyQUEST & AWANA. We are looking for small group leaders, nursery helpers, and greeters. QUEST is our Sunday morning worship and teaching ministry for children. Flexible serving options available and no experience necessary. Questions? Sign up at www.restonbible.org/kids or see a team member at the QUEST desk.
WOMEN’S BIBLE STUDIES: Registration Now Open
Bible studies are a wonderful way for women to deepen their walk with Lord and connect with other others so we hope you’ll prayerfully consider joining one of our fall studies. Registration is now open and many classes have size limits so register early. To register or for more information, please click here.
STARTING POINT ORIENTATION: Sunday, August 24 (10:30 am, Room 234)
Are you starting a journey with God? Do you have questions? Are you returning to God after being away? Come to this Starting Point Orientation to find out more about joining a group.
NICARAGUA BIKE PROJECT: Sunday, September 21
RBC will once again be accepting bike donations for the Casa Bernabe orphanage in Nicaragua. Through our SACS Thrift Store partnership, we are working with Verbo Ministries, which has partnered with the orphanage to develop a thriving bicycle shop where orphans are discipled as they learn bike repair, sales and customer service. Please bring your bike donations to the sanctuary side of the main RBC building between 8:00 am – 1:00 pm that day. If you have 3 or more bikes and would like them picked up at your home, contact Megan Clark or Betsy Madden to schedule a pick up day. Get more info here.
FINANCIAL PEACE UNIVERSITY: Starts Sunday, September 21 (4:30-6:60 pm)
Well over 500 folks here have eliminated nearly $500,000 in personal debt while saving over $175,000 as the result of this life-changing study. The cost of a lifetime family membership is $85. Scholarships are available (contact me) and childcare (through 6th grade) is provided free of charge. For more information, including a short video from Dave, click here. To register, click here. To watch a an inspirational video from an RBC family on how FPU helped them eliminate over $45,000 in debt in one year, click here.
RBC MEN’S RETREAT: October 3-5
Registration is now open!!! Dr. Richard Blackaby will be speaking this year at the Meadowkirk Retreat Center in Middleburg on Living on God’s Agenda. Want to learn how to hear from God and live it out? Space is limited to just 160 total men with accommodations for 110, so sign up immediately. Register here and to get more info about our speaker and location.
AWANA REGISTRATION NOW OPEN
Approved workmen are not ashamed. Fall 2014 AWANA registration is now open! Here are some thoughts from volunteer T&T director, Marci Kinter.
ARTICLE: Gospel Service & Raking Leaves
Since several of you made requests for it, here is the article I referenced in last Sunday’s sermon, Do Something, Part 1. Raking leaves with my kids seems, on one hand, like such a simple example. Yet I remember it being a moment of profound & helpful clarity in my walk as I considered the topic of laboring with God. Read more from Jason VanDorsten on the RBC Blog.
FROM THE FIELD: Special Project Update from Brazil
When Eduardo first came to Open Arms Brazil as a volunteer, he had just served a prison sentence for assault, theft, and drug offenses. Today, by God’s grace, he has planted four outreach programs and shared his testimony at youth camps and churches across Brazil. Here’s how your generosity is impacting his ministry – From the Field.
FOOD PANTRY: Monetary and Diaper Donations Needed
The Pantry helps provide basic food and necessities to over 150 families each week. We are able to provide this service for just under $7 per family, with the additional donations we receive from area restaurants, markets and farms. If you would like to contribute, you can give by check by putting “Food Pantry” on the memo line or give on the Online Giving page. Also, diapers are the most needed item at the Food Pantry and we are currently in need of sizes 1-4. Donations can be dropped off in the carts located in front entrance labeled Food Pantry.
NEW SHEPHERD’S GUIDES ARE AVAILABLE AT THE BOOKSTORE
The 2014-2015 edition of the Northern Virginia directory of Christian service providers is now available. Drop by the Bookstore to pick up your free copy.
We hope you’ll consider some of these great opportunities as we seek to know Christ and make Him known. As always, keep an eye on the Upcoming Events section of the RBC website. It is a blessing to serve and grown in our mighty Lord with you.
Since several of you made requests for it, here is the article I referenced in last Sunday’s sermon, Do Something, Part 1. It was originally published in November 2010 on my friend Matthew Wireman’s blog. Raking leaves with my kids seems, on one hand, like such a simple example. Yet I remember it being a moment of profound & helpful clarity in my walk as I considered the topic of laboring with a God who is not served by human hands, as though He needed anything (Acts 17:25). Yet serving matters, not because God needs us to do it, but the God who came to serve (Matthew 20:25-28) is pleased to include us in what He is already doing.
- – -
My church just finished a week-long missions conference. As one might expect from such a conference, there was a repeated appeal for the serious consideration of Jesus’ command regarding sending laborers out into the field (Matthew 9).
With this in mind, on Sunday afternoon I sent my two kids out into the field the yard to labor for their father – and by “labor” I mean “rake leaves.” I was struck by several similarities to missions & service throughout the process. It was like watching a living parable of Gospel-centric labor unfolding before my eyes. Clearly, the analogy is limited, but here are some quick reflections from raking leaves with a 3- and 5-year old.
They went out joyfully. All good laborers should. They were happy to work with their daddy. It is a joy to labor for our Heavenly Father and to be with Him. (Colossians 3:23-24, 1 Peter 1:8)
The work was messy. There were times when it seemed my little laborers were making more mess than was there to begin with. Neatly-raked piles of leaves often became “un-raked.” Arguments broke out from time to time about who was going to do what. Filling bags with leaves one handful at a time was, shall we say …inefficient. Progress was not always evident. Regress often was. (Ecclesiastes 1, Romans 8:28)
They got tired. And distracted. And discouraged. And impatient. Even the best laborers will. For them, raking leaves was new and exciting …at first. About halfway through the process of cleaning up the lawn, those kiddos started to poop out, get whiny and wanted to go do something easier and more fun. But their father loved them still and encouraged them to keep at it. Likewise, our Heavenly Father lovingly encourages us toward perseverance while assuring us of His unfailing love. (Psalm 136, James 1:12, Romans 2:6, Philippians 1:6, Galatians 6:9)
The work was completed. Their partnership with me in raking the lawn was real and legitimate, but the completion of the task did not ultimately rest with them. Even if it was all up to them, they could not have finished. There was simply too much to do for a 3- and 5-year old, and they didn’t have the strength, patience or endurance to do it all. After a couple hours, all they managed to do was rake two piles of leaves and fill one bag about two-thirds of the way full. I do not say that to diminish the legitimacy of their work, but to put it in proper perspective. In the end, it was their father who made sure the job got done. Likewise, our Heavenly Father assures us that He will accomplish the work He has set out to do. (Matthew 16:18, 2 Timothy 1:9, Psalm 23:22-24, Ephesians 2:8-9)
Their father was pleased. As their daddy, it warmed my heart to see my two little ones out there raking their hearts out, even after they got crabby about it, argued, and wasted time, energy, and effort. Let me be honest – the quality of their work was not great. But the fact that they wanted to be out there with me more than made up for that. It was a relational labor where the value – at least, in my eyes as dad – was less in their performance, more in their posture. (Psalm 86:5, Zephaniah 3:17, James 4:8)
Their reward was great. Cheeseburgers and Slurpees. Well done, little laborers.
Do you labor for the joy of simply being near your Heavenly Father? Your reward, too, will be great. (Luke 6:23, 1 Corinthians 3:12-15, Hebrews 6:10-12, James 1:25)
- – -
Eduardo is a Brazilian national supported by Reston Bible Church through the organization Open Arms Worldwide. He and his wife Claudia work with at-risk children and youth in some very tough neighborhoods as well as in one of Brazil’s infamous youth detention facilities sharing the gospel and helping lead young people to the narrow path that leads to life.
Eduardo wasn’t always a missionary though. When he first came to Open Arms as a volunteer at the age of 17, he had just finished serving a year-and-a-half prison sentence for assault, theft, and drug offenses. Today, by God’s grace, he has planted four outreach programs for Open Arms and shared his testimony at youth camps and churches across Brazil.
Just like in the U.S., children in Brazil learn and build relationships through activities like sports, arts, and games. Recently in response to a special request from Eduardo, Reston Bible Church allocated some extra funds for him to purchase new supplies for the ministry that include new educational/strategy games, art supplies, soccer balls (always in short supply), and other sporting equipment. These items are great for getting a child to sit down and just talk with our missionaries or volunteers.
Below is a letter with prayer requests we recently received from Eduardo. Below that is a thank-you video from Open Arms to all who responded and gave to this request!
“I want to share with you some testimonies and also ask for more prayer for our work. Before that though I want to tell you how much of a difference it has made to have the new material that Reston Bible Church blessed us with. Please let them know how grateful we are and how blessed the children have been.
As you know, I have worked with the same group of girls in our soccer ministry in the same neighborhood now for the past 5 years. I have seen girls who lost their way in lesbianism, others that have stopped playing because they have gotten pregnant, but thanks to God who strengthened me and the counsel that you gave me to never give up, today I am seeing many seeds that we have planted years ago begin to grow. It is with a heart full of emotion that I am writing that four of our girls that have been with me from the beginning are going to be baptized. We have been using the community center to do baptism classes with them and on June 29th at a special Sunday service for Open Arms they will be baptized. At the same service there will be an exposition of art that our kids have produced. In fact some of the funds that RBC provided were used to purchase canvasses. Their projects came out beautifully and they will be taking the exposition to other churches as well. Many of the children from our soccer program are now attending church with us on Sundays as well. I was so blessed a few weeks back when I couldn’t pick them up for church they showed up on their own. That’s a good sign. Please keep up the prayers.”
- Pray that God would protect the girls who are being baptized. They have all been under attack spiritually since they made that decision.
- Pray that God would strengthen and encourage the kids who are going to worship services on foot now.
- Pray that our new outreach to the boys via soccer will be bear fruit as it has with the girls.
- Pray for me and Claudia, as you know we have only been married a short time and we are having a rough first year at home. Pastor Tiago has been counseling us and it has been helping a lot.
- Pray for my college. As you know I have an easy time understanding scripture but not so much with other books and I am having a tough time at school. I remember that you told me not to memorize but to learn. I am trying but since I skipped a lot of school as a child it is hard for me.
- Pray for our health, me and Claudia, because we are working hard and have little time for rest.
- Please pray for Emanoel. I asked for prayer for him some time ago. He was getting beat up inside. Well he was released and we went to visit him at home. He has a drug addiction. He’s only 17. We were able to get him a spot at CREMOS (a Christian drug rehab home) and we are able continue ministering to him there.
MUSIC & SCRIPTURE
In Your Presence (Deuteronomy 31:6) – Nothing Is Wasted by Elevation Worship
Rock of Ages (Deuteronomy 32:3-4) – The Death of Death by Charlie Hall
Christ Is Enough (2 Corinthians 12:9) – Glorious Ruins by Hillsong
TEACHING: Do Something, Part 1
In a relationship with God, as in any good relationship, both knowledge and application are vital. We must hear and do. In the context of the local church, this will result in gospel-motivated service to the body.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS FOR SHEPHERD GROUPS
- What was one thing you found particularly interesting, insightful, helpful or difficult to understand from this sermon?
- Read and discuss James 1:19-25, 1 John 2:4-6 and Matthew 7:24-29. What do these verses tell us about the nature of man? What do these verses tell us about God and His Word?
- Do you find it easier to be a hearer of the Word, or a doer of the Word? How do the Scriptures push us toward both?
- What is the result of knowledge without application (hearing without doing)? What is the result of application without knowledge (doing without hearing)?
- Compare and contrast the two builders in Matthew 7. What are similarities? What are the differences? Which foundation would you say you are building on in this season of your life?
- Why is knowledge “half the battle” when it comes to relationships?
- What is the difference between hearing and listening?
- How does gospel-motivated service in the context of the church help us “walk in the same way in which He walked” (1 John 2:6)?
- Do you currently serve in some way at RBC? Why or why not?
- Spend some time in prayer thanking God for His Word and asking Him for the grace to become more than mere hearers. Thank Him for the provision we have in Christ, who is both our example and motivation for serving His bride, the church.