"Finally, be strengthened by the Lord and by his vast strength. 11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this darkness, against evil, spiritual forces in the heavens."(Ephesians 6:10-12)
This coming Sunday we will be wrapping up our Ephesians sermon series with The Gospel’s Warning Label. One of my favorite truisms is that spiritual activity breeds spiritual activity. Where God is at work, when the gospel is unleashed, we can count on the enemy to attack. One of the greatest reminders in Scripture is that our battle is not against flesh and blood, but that doesn’t mean the enemy is any less real.
In 2 Kings 6, the kingdom of Aram was at war with Israel. Elisha the prophet had warned Israel of a trap Aram had set, so the king of Aram sends an army to capture and presumably kill Elisha. In the morning, the army of Aram surrounds the place where Elisha and his servant stayed and the servant trembled in fear. The prophet tells the servant not to be afraid, for God was at work, battling on their behalf, even when he could not see. Elisha prays and God opens the servant's eyes to see the spiritual battle taking place all around them.
Paul tells the early church that the battle is real, and the enemy is not one that we can see. We must have spiritual eyes and put on God’s spiritual armor if we desire to fully experience the gospel unleashed in our lives, our church, our community, and our world. Join us this Sunday as we unpack this powerful passage and wrap up the book of Ephesians.
Below are some celebrations of what Jesus is doing in our church, as well as our weekly financial update.
Important Coronavirus Update:
Some of you may have heard that we had a COVID-19 exposure in our food pantry ministry last Wednesday. This exposure was completely separate and unrelated to the potential exposure that led to us canceling our mid-week discipleship ministries last Wednesday. We want you to know that we have contacted every person potentially exposed so they can take the proper precautions. We have also been in detailed communication with the Virginia Department of Health so that we can follow all of their recommendations. Given our appropriate and careful response of this food pantry exposure, the Virginia Department of Health has cleared us to completely open our facility for ministry tonight (Wednesday, November 11th) and going forward. This is a huge praise and I want to thank all those who have so diligently worked to make sure our family and friends can continue to grow in Christ in the safest environment possible. We ask our church family to continue to pray for God’s wisdom and protection throughout the rest of the Fall and into the holiday season.
Last Sunday, we had the tremendous opportunity to see 11 families dedicate children to the Lord during our 11:00am worship service. As one of those families I want to say thank you to our church family for praying over us and for committing to help us raise our children in such a way that points them to Christ. Mandy and I are humbled and blessed by your love and support for us, and I know that our other young families are as well.
This coming Sunday is another great opportunity to celebrate life transformation as we witness several more baptisms. Seeing Jesus changing lives never gets old! If you or someone you know has questions about baptism at HHBC, check out hhbc.net/nextsteps and click on the baptism link for more information.
Growing in the Word:
God is doing a great work in our men’s and women’s ministries! Come join a group tonight as we kick off a new study in Jonah. Experience the book of Jonah like never before, as we are each challenged to live on mission in our community and world. If you can’t participate on Wednesday nights, sign up for a RightNow Media account by emailing Alisa at firstname.lastname@example.org (free to HHBC members) and participate in the study on your own. If you already have an account, check out the study at https://www.rightnowmedia.org/Content/Series/225914.
Always on Mission:
We love missions at Hyland Heights, whether it’s around the world or in our own backyard. This year, we received a tremendous amount of Thanksgiving bags for our food pantry. Especially during the pandemic, these bags along with turkeys provided by our food pantry have served to bless many families in our community to ensure that they are able to celebrate Thanksgiving together with those around them. Because the need is so high this year, we could still use some more Thanksgiving bags to ensure every family who comes through our food pantry in the next few weeks is able to receive one. If you haven’t returned your Thanksgiving bag yet, there is still time. You can drop it off at the Food Pantry on Wednesday night or at entrance 6 on Sunday morning. If you would like to pick up another bag to fill we will still have some available at the Children’s welcome center.
Happy Veterans Day:
Today and every day we want to say thank you to those who served in our United States military. We are grateful for your service to our country and the selfless sacrifices you have made to defend our freedom. We are grateful for you and are praying for you on this Veterans Day.
HHBC Weekly Financials:
November 8th Weekly Offering: $49,392.11
Weekly Budget: $33,228.00
As of November 8th, we have received 104% of our year-to-date budget.
Please remember that giving in worship will continue to look different as long as Covid-19 persists. We will not pass the plates for your safety, but will have offering boxes at each entrance to the worship center where you can give as you enter or exit. For many, we know that you have started to give online, and this continues to be an excellent choice to make giving easier/safer for you and to make sure that the ministry and mission of HHBC continues to impact more lives in the weeks to come. If you would like to give to Hyland Heights online, simply go to hhbc.net/give.
Sunday Reminders:HHBC continues to strive to keep our church family safe during the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. We continue to encourage everyone to take the precautions you would take when entering into any other building. If doing things like social distancing, washing hands well, and wearing masks can help us love our neighbors better and avoid potential spread in our church family so we can continue worshiping together in person, we should strive to do these things as much as we are able. We also want to remind everyone that the 9:30 service still has plenty of room for you and your family to join us while best maintaining social distancing. Thank you for your help and understanding as we strive to keep the people we love as safe as possible. For additional information on HHBC’s response to Covid-19 go to hhbc.net/coronavirus.
Thankful to celebrate with you,
Dr. Josh Carter