Greetings in the grace of Christ.  The author of the book of Hebrews says, “And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.”  Often, when we go through difficult times in our lives, we are tempted to look at our struggles and try our best to figure them out on our own. This can lead us to frustration, despair and sometimes fear.  However, in the verse above, the writer is reminding us that a heart pleasing to God is one who first believes that God exists!  God is alive, and more than able to work in each one of us.  He is not some far off distant God who is unconcerned about us, rather He is near to the brokenhearted, and cares for those who are struggling.  He is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. 

 Second, a heart that is pleasing to God is one that will be rewarded for confidence in the God who can, and is able to provide for our needs.  Solomon says in Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”

 As the Apostle Paul says to a young pastor named Timothy, God has not given us the spirit of fear but of love and a sound mind.  As we press forward as a church, let me implore you to join me in a couple of special prayer needs:

 First, please pray for our worship leader and youth pastor search teams.  These guys are off and going strong seeking God’s leadership to find the next person to fill these two ministry positions at NTBC. 

 Second, join me in praying for God to continue to strengthen and raise up those to help stand in the gap while we wait on the Lord to bring us these next two ministry leaders.  A special “thank you” goes out to all of those who have already stepped up and are serving as the hands and feet of Jesus in the areas of students and music.  May God continue to bless and use you for His glory.

 Last but certainly not least, as a way of reminder, God is still working in our midst at NTBC.  We are seeing people come to Christ, growing in Christ, and also new families continue to visit our church weekly.  New Temple is a very special church family and it is one of my greatest joys to serve alongside you as we seek to advance the kingdom of God in our community for His glory. 

 In Christ,
Bro. J.J.