Jan 2022 Prayer & Fasting
I want to invite anyone who may want to join us in our month long JAN2022 PRAY/FAST. Our goal is to have at least one person for each day of the month.
“God changes things, and his invitation to prayer is his invitation for us to take part in what he is going to do.”
There are several reasons for fasting:
First, fasting shows SORROW, especially over sin, we fast to repent, to mourn, and to humble ourselves before God. God must change us on the inside.
Second, we fast to SEEK God’s blessing. When we fast, we deny ourselves our ordinary means of strength and ask God for strength. God must be our strength.
Finally, we can fast to SYMPATHIZE with the needy. God must guide our compassion. Isaiah says the fasting that God sees is this: 
to loose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free …
… to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter. (Isa. 58:6–7)

I believe that new ministries, wisdom, and transformation by the power of the Holy Spirit will come from our obedience to this self-discipline time of prayer and fasting.
If you want to join in please check for days that may still be open at https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10C0C4EA4AE2FA3FEC34-january
Thank you for participating! It is a joy to see so many praying and fasting for God's mighty will! May the Lord bless his church as we pray for His will to be done!
Sunday Worship Service
at 9:00 a.m. JAN 9, 2022
Sermon: "The Stolen Blessing"
All sorts of questions come to mind when we read this story of Jacob stealing his brother Esau's blessing. We think, "How can this lying cheater be blessed of God?" With the help of his mother Rebekah, Jacob dressed in his brother's clothes and wearing a fur he deceives his father Isaac into giving the blessing of the firstborn to him. You can't imagine the first readers of this story saying, "I want to be just like our father Jacob!" To the contrary, Jacob's lies and deception are shock worthy! It is a mystery why some biblical names are still used for children. Jacob's name means supplant, cheat, deceive, attack from the rear, and he takes by the heel. None of these meanings are really positive. The name Jacob should be as popular for children today as Judas, Pilate, and Jezebel. However, Jacob is a patriarch. And God did bless him for the sake of the chosen seed that would be traced through him from Abraham to Christ. And even more so the seed is traced all the way from the fall in the Garden (Gen 3:15) to Christ. God uses imperfect people to accomplish his purpose. Jacob and Rebekah's manipulation of Isaac did actually fulfill the word of the Lord in Gen 25:23 "...the older shall serve the younger." The blessing was given to Jacob and not Esau.
There is a second question that comes to mind. Why couldn't Isaac retract the blessing when he found out that Jacob had stolen it? The short answer is that Isaac knew the word of the Lord before the twins were born. He knew it was God's will to bless Jacob and not Esau...the older would serve the younger. But Isaac favored Esau. He loved to eat of the game Esau would bring home. It satisfied his fleshly desires. It may be why Esau was willing to sell his birthright for a bowl of soup. Isaac and Esau were both driven by their appetites. It tells us something about Isaac's walk with God. Rebekah was not better. She overhears Isaac talking with Esau (eavesdropping?) and plans a counter move with Jacob. Mistrust, lack of spiritual maturity, and many other reasons make this a story about broken people just like you and me. It is a reminder of why Paul the apostle wrote,
"Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!"
(Ro 7:24–25).
Who are we to think we can avoid such depravity. But we are blessed beyond belief that God does not wait until we get it right. "...but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Rom 5:8)
Isn't it good to know that God uses sinners like Jacob, Isaac, Rebekah, you and me. He uses sinful people to accomplish his holy purpose. We need this God who's plans are never foiled by sinful people. We need this grace found only in Christ.
Weekly Events
ADULT Men's study of the Westminster Larger Catechism
ADULT Women's study of "HOLINESS OF GOD"
YOUTH Teen's study the topic of WHATEVER.

As we fill the prayer room...God will fill our church!
Please join some of the other regular folk for 15 minutes of prayer. Located in the library.

  • Pray for THAT ONE FRIEND to trust Christ this new year!
  • Pray for Mike, Sarah, Mark, Bill, Amanda, Jack, Terri, Richard, Josh, Amanda, Evan, Brett, Bobby, Johnny, Jane, Tim, Lori, Mike, Amy, Anthony, Sam, Taylor, Mikani, Rick, Mike, Sarah, and others who need Jesus and a church like ours.
  • Pray for all the NEW faces that arrive in worship.
  • Pray for the people floating around without a Christ-centered family! MAYBE YOUR NEIGHBOR IS ONE!
  • The Lord's blessing! Pray for God's mercy in SALVATIONS!
Risen Life Groups
Check out these offerings:
TUESDAY 7PM - "Dust to Glory" w/Sproul @ Avato's (St. Pete Beach) 727 432-3132.
WEDNESDAY 7PM -"The Letter to the Hebrews" w/J.D. Greer @ Perron's (Tyrone) 727 240-8094.
THURSDAY 7PM -"A Time for Confidence" by Stephen Nichols (women's book study) @ Anne Altstadt's (St. Pete) 216 280-5967.
FRIDAY 7:30PM -"The Mission of God" by Joseph Boot book discussion w/Ben Boyan @ church library 727 400-9964.
SUNDAY 6:30PM -"Fear and Trembling" w/Sproul @ Osorio's (2 blocks away from church, St. Pete) 617 935-4048.
To sign up go to risencity.org/ministries/risen-life-groups or see sign up at church on Sunday or call office 727 599-4555.
Thank you for giving!
Read the Bible this Year!
Weekly Bible Reading Schedule
Click on "Read the Bible" this will take you to "Today's Reading" where you will see D. A. Carson's commentary, then four selections from the Bible. Really solid stuff for you to feed upon!