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Opening The Door to Heaven

Worship Service: Family (may include music) - April 30, 2017

This morning we are having a family service, which means that the children are invited to stay for the entire service. The talk will be directed mainly to the children, but will include a message that we can all benefit from. In the book of Revelation the Lord gives messages to seven churches. Today we will read the message He gives to the church in Philadelphia. In this message the Lord speaks of an open door that no one is able to shut. According to the Heavenly Doctrines, we always have the choice to either open a door that leads to hell, or a door that leads to heaven. How doe we open the door that leads to heaven? How do we keep the door that leads to hell shut? In the message to the church in Philadelphia the Lord explains why He is able to place before them an open door to heaven: 1. Because you have little power: You know you can do nothing from yourself. 2. Because you have kept My Word: You live according to the Lord's commandments. 3. Because you have not denied My Name: You are in the worship of the Lord. Everyday you have the choice to either open a doorway that leads to hell, or a doorway that leads to heaven. Which will you choose? Recitation: "Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice, and opens the door, I will come in to him and will sup with him, and he with Me." (Revelation 3:20) Readings: The Book of Revelation: 3:7-11 Heaven and Hell: #430 | By Matthew L. Genzlinger | West Concord, MA
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Acknowledging The Lord

Worship Service: Childrens Talk & Adult Sermon - April 09, 2017

The Lord always wants people to approach and acknowledge Him. At times we see joyful images in the Scriptures of people doing this. On Palm Sunday a great multitude gathered around the Lord and cried out saying, "Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is He who comes in the name of Jehovah!" (Matthew 21:9) At other times we see images in Scriptures of the Lord mourning because the people of His church are not acknowledging Him. He wept over Jerusalem ( Luke 19:41), and on the cross He said, "I thirst!" (John 19:28) This Palm Sunday we are going to talk about three ways the Lord wants us to acknowledge Him: 1. We acknowlege the Lord by acknowledging that He is the One God of heaven and earth. 2. We acknowledge the Lord by acknowledging that everything good and true comes form him alone. 3. We acknowledge the Lord by living a life according to His commandments. This Palm Sunday reflect on what it means to acknowledge the Lord. Are you genuinely doing this? Are you allowing the Lord to lead you to a state of eternal happiness and peace? Remember that the only reason the Lord wants us to acknowledge Him is because He loves us and wants to save us! ---This week's Recitation---: "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?" (John 11:25-26) | By Matthew L. Genzlinger | West Concord, MA
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7 Adages From The Cross

Worship Service: Childrens Talk & Adult Sermon - April 02, 2017

Throughout the year we offer services of worship that are designed to give people the opportunity to engage more fully with the week's message. People can ask questions, hear other people's thoughts and share their own ideas. These worship services are called Seekers Sundays. The format is as follows: 1. We start as we always do with a song, the opening of the Word and a talk for the children. 2. Next the children go downstairs for Sunday School and the adults enjoy a set of readings and a brief introduction to the week's lesson/topic. 3. Following this the formal service of worship is brought to a close. People are invited to gather downstairs to continue with a conversation: What questions do you have? What are your insights? How does this apply to our own lives in more practical ways? ---7 Adages From The Cross--- The Lord did not say much when He was being crucified. However, what He did say provides us with many insights into the meaning and use of His crucifixion and resurrection. This Sunday we will explore together the seven things that the Lord said on the cross. What do these words teach us about our own relationship with the Lord and what His crucifixion and resurrection accomplished for us? 1. "My God, My God, why have You fotrsaken Me?" (Matthew 27:46) 2. "I thirst!" (John 19:28) 3. "Women, behold your son!....Behold your mother!" (John 19:26, 27) 4. "Father forgive them for they do not know what they do." (Luke 23:34) 5. "Father, into Thy hands I commit My spirit." (Luke 23:46) 6. "It is finished!" (John 19:30) 7. "Assuredly I say to you today you will be with Me in Paradise." (Luke 23:43) | By Matthew L. Genzlinger | West Concord, MA
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Abram & Lot (Part 2) -Lot is Separated

Worship Service: Childrens Talk & Adult Sermon - March 19, 2017

Today is part two of a two part series on Abram and Lot. In Genesis chapter twelve, Jehovah tells Abram to get out of his country and to leave his father's house. As Abram begins his journey to a new land Lot (his nephew) comes with him. Last week we learned that Lot represents the more sensual/external part of us - The part of us that learns various facts and experiences various affections based on the input we receive through our physical senses. Lot lived with Abram and began this journey with him, showing us that this sensual/external part of us is useful and important! The Lord wants us to use our physical senses to gather in much information and good experiences. These external ideas and affections we receive early in life act as vessels for the more spiritual truths and affections the Lord is leading us towards. In today's story both Abram and Lot have enlarged their possessions. The land can no longer support them both, and strife is arising between their herdsmen. Abram asks Lot to separate from him. This separation between Abram and Lot wonderfully represents a time in our own regeneration when we must separate ourselves from two kinds of external things: 1. Empty memory knowledges we learned in childhood. 2. Pleasures from the selfish and worldly loves we favor. While it is important to separate ourselves form certain unhelpful things in our sensual/external self, we will also see that our sensual/external self (Lot) can grow into something beautiful! This happens only if we allow our sensual/external self to serve and come into harmony with our more spiritual/internal self; ridding ourselves of this things that prevent this from happening. This week reflect on things in your more external self that the Lord may be asking you to separate from. Separating from Lot can be difficult, but it allows us to experience the true blessings the Lord created us for! | By Matthew L. Genzlinger | West Concord, MA
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Betrothal - Being Made Ready For Marriage

Worship Service: Childrens Talk & Adult Sermon - February 26, 2017

During the month of February, we are having a series of worship services on the topic of marriage. We began this series by talking about the perfect marriage between Divine Love and Wisdom that exists within the Lord Himself. An image of this marriage can be seen in everything the Lord creates, including in each one of us as individuals. Next we talked about how an image of this perfect union between the Lord's Divine Love and Wisdom is seen on a more general level between a husband and wife. In a marriage, the husband in an image of truth, and the wife is an image of good: "Thus the two together form a single image, which imitates the conjugial model of good and truth" (Conjugial Love 100) Today we will look at the state of betrothal (engagement). The Heavenly Doctrines have a lot to say about a couple's state leading up to marriage. We will focus on three teachings. 1. Consent is the essential of marriage. When a person is looking for someone to marry, what does the Lord suggest they keep in mind for their search to be successful? 2. Consent should be followed by the giving of gifts and a formal betrothal. Why are these external confirmations of consent so important? Note that a "formal betrothal" is different from the wedding ceremony. 3. By betrothal a couple is make ready for conjugial love. How is a couple made ready for marriage by betrothal? Why are sexual relations unlawful during this time? This week reflect on the beautiful (and very important) state that leads up to marriage. Even if you are already married, reflecting on betrothal can remind you what makes a marriage strong and successful. Betrothal is all about recognizing and fostering the internal or spiritual union between a bride and bridegroom. Readings: Genesis 24:1-28, Conjugial Love 100, & Conjugial Love 305 | By Matthew L. Genzlinger | West Concord, MA
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