Dear Watermark Church family,

 

“If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing. If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.” 1 Corinthians 13:1-3, The Message Bible

 

“What has happened in our society?”, asks Ed Stetzer — respected columnist and popular Bible teacher. He believes we are living in a new “age of outrage.” 

 

For example, it seems one short outrageous video or controversial post can trigger an avalanche of comments on social media. And Christians can join right in the social media fray, where we can often be seen at our worst.

 

There are too many examples of those claiming to follow Christ being caustic, divisive, and irrational, leading onlookers to conclude that followers of the Christian faith are hypocritical, self-interested, or simply politically focused. 

 

But what would it look like if Christians were at their best? How might our world and our communities be different, if they saw something different in us?

The starting point to Christian influence, credibility and being a “light” to a lost and dying world is to LOVE one another as Christ loves us. As the verses posted above state, without love, my words of witness sound merely like a noisy gong or a clanging symbol. But with love, especially for one another, we distinguish ourselves uniquely and undeniably as followers of Jesus.

 

Jesus said, “Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples—when they see the love you have for each other.” John 13:34,35 The Message Bible

 

Below is a wonderful Bible translation of the love chapter, 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, from The Message Bible translation, by Eugene Peterson. 

 

“Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have. Love doesn’t strut, Doesn’t have a swelled head, Doesn’t force itself on others, Isn’t always “me first,” Doesn’t fly off the handle, Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others, Doesn’t revel when others grovel, Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, Puts up with anything, Trusts God always, Always looks for the best, Never looks back,

But keeps going to the end.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, The Message Bible

 

Let’s love each other with the description of love given above, with the help of the Holy Spirit’s power and guidance. We will be at our absolute best to those looking to find authentic, real-life examples of God’s love, and we will offer them validation of Christ’s power to transform lives, as they observe it within the churches in their community.

 

How can you love your fellow believers more deeply this week?

 

Watermark Church New Members Class to be offered Sunday, February 17th from 11:45AM – 1:00 PM. Join us on Sunday, February 17, for our New Members Class and Lunch immediately following the morning worship service. You will learn about the vision, beliefs, ministries and responsibilities of membership at Watermark Church. Pizza lunch will be served. Sign up using the connection card in the bulletin this Sunday morning.

 

Youth Group – February schedule

 - Sunday, February 10th @ 5:30PM HS/ 6:30PM JH - Bible Study

 - Saturday, February 16th – Winter JAM

 - Sunday, February 24th @ 5:30PM HS/ 6:30PM JH - Bible Study

 

Monroe Hornet Girls’ Softball fundraiser – Comedy for a Cause. Three local Christian comedians will be entertaining on Saturday, March 2 from 7:30-9:00pm at Watermark Church, to raise funds for the Monroe HS girls’ softball team, coached by Tim Kellis. The cost is $10 for an individual and $20 for a family of 4. Tickets available at the door for an additional charge of $5.00. See Tim or Patti Kellis for tickets.

 

Prayer Requests

- Pray for Chris Morgan, who is having discomfort after back surgery earlier this week.

- Pray for Ron and Peggy German, and for Ron’s father, who has been diagnosed with cancer.

- Pray for Diane Crowder, who has not been feeling well for several weeks.

- Prayer update - Jaylean Bean, a basketball player at Miami Middletown, had successful ACL knee surgery. We are thankful for the faithfulness of God.

                

Congratulations to the Miami University Middletown Women’s Basketball Team on capturing their 5th straight league title and 7th in 9 years.  The team has won 41 straight League games. Tim Kellis is one of the coaches.

 

Jesus has given His church – has given us – a compelling mission, to go, tell others of the love of Jesus and make disciples! 

 

Here are five next steps to help us engage the mission of our church to go and make disciples of Jesus:

 

1. Become a Christian and grow up spiritually. This is the ultimate starting point to experience a life engaged in the purpose and will of God for our lives and our church.

 

2. Serve in the mission. People who serve in the mission are people who are engaged in the mission.

 

3. Bring a Friend. Taking responsibility to invite our friends, relatives, associates and neighbors to consider the claims of Christ and to discover Christ through the ministry of our church will keep us engaged in the mission.

 

4. Choose Community. Connecting with other Christ followers in a small fellowship group, serving in ministry, doing outreach with others and caring for others are all examples of how community will keep us engaged in the mission. 

 

5. Give Generously. To generously invest our time, our gifts and abilities, and our finances will keep us engaged in the mission.

 

Watermark Church desires to develop engaged, mission-minded followers of Christ. With the weather looking good again for this weekend, join us this Sunday, 2/3 at 10:30am as we look at how to become mission minded in 2019 and take next steps for growth as followers of Christ during this next year!

 

Do you have a plan for reading through the New Testament this year? Here is one Ava and I are beginning to use —reading five chapters each week. In 52 weeks, you will complete the entire New Testament —and if you miss a day, you can catch up on the weekend. 

 

The 20-somethings/College and Career small group is looking to continue in February. See Isaiah and Kristen Hruby for more details.

 

The Men’s Fellowship Breakfast is held every Friday at 7:00 AM, and the location is at the Waffle House at the Monroe Outlets / SR 63 & I-75. Join with the men of Watermark Church for an encouraging time of fellowship!

 

A Women’s Bible Study is being taught by Claudia Shrive on Sunday mornings at 9:30AM at the church.

 

A Prophecy and World Events class is being offered at 9:30 AM Sundays, taught by Pastor Ron.

 

Life Group: The Gibson’s and Settimos’ Life Group bible study is meeting this Friday, 2/1 at 7:00 PM at the Settimo’s home. They will be looking at what the Bible has to say about current events. Contact Paul or Nathan for more info. 

 

Together loving one another as Jesus loved us,

Larry