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Hello IBC,

This is our 10th Sunday not meeting together as a church. We pray that you still are setting aside the Lord’s Day as special in your home, utilizing the guide that we provide, and longing for the assembly of the saints again.

Recently, Nathan recorded a talk on Philippians 1:18b-30 for another church here in the city entitled, “Death, Life, and Life Together.” We thought it would be applicable and an encouragement for IBC too.

The Spotify Playlist has been updated with new worship music.

And our prayer for this week comes again from The Valley of Vision:

NEED OF JESUS

LORD JESUS,

I am blind, be thou my light,

ignorant, be thou my wisdom,

self-willed, be thou my mind.

Open my ear to grasp quickly thy Spirit’s voice,

and delightfully run after his beckoning hand;

Melt my conscience that no hardness remain,

make it alive to evil’s slightest touch;

When Satan approaches may I flee to thy wounds,

and there cease to tremble at all alarms.

Be my good shepherd to lead me into

the green pastures of thy Word,

and cause me to lie down beside the rivers of its comforts.

Fill me with peace, that no disquieting worldly gales

may ruffle the calm surface of my soul.

Thy cross was upraised to be my refuge,

Thy blood streamed forth to wash me clean,

Thy death occurred to give me a surety,

Thy name is my property to save me,

By thee all heaven is poured into my heart,

but it is too narrow to comprehend thy love.

I was a stranger, an outcast, a slave, a rebel,

but thy cross has brought me near,

has softened my heart,

has made me thy Father’s child,

has admitted me to thy family,

has made me joint-heir with thyself.

O that I may love thee as thou lovest me,

that I may walk worthy of thee, my Lord,

that I may reflect the image of heaven’s first-born.

May I always see thy beauty with the clear eye of faith,

and feel the power of thy Spirit in my heart,

for unless he move mightily in me

no inward fire will be kindled.

The church Memory Verse is Psalm 1:6 – “…for the LORD knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.”

The Kids’ Corner Story is “The Lord is My Shepherd” p. 190 (Lesson 11). And the Songs from our YouTube Playlist are “Peace Like a River” and “How Good Is the Lord.” Corresponding coloring sheets/games are attached.

As always please let us know if you are in need of anything throughout the week. Nathan and/or I are available to take a socially distant walk with you or buy you lunch during your lunch hour and eat safely at The Meeting Place. Just email elders at immanuel dash baptist dot net to schedule something!

Praying for you,

Pastor Theo

Hello IBC Fam!

Here is our guide for Sunday morning home worship tomorrow.

Due to the news of his terminal illness, we are listening to a sermon by the apologist Ravi Zacharias this week entitled “Is Truth Dead?

The Spotify Playlist has been updated with new music for this week. Pick at least a couple, print out the words, and sing with your family or roommates before/after the sermon.

We also have a reading for this week from Isaiah 55:

Come, everyone who thirsts,

come to the waters;

and he who has no money,

come, buy and eat!

Come, buy wine and milk

without money and without price.

Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,

and your labor for that which does not satisfy?

Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good,

and delight yourselves in rich food.

Incline your ear, and come to me;

hear, that your soul may live;

and I will make with you an everlasting covenant,

my steadfast, sure love for David.

Behold, I made him a witness to the peoples,

a leader and commander for the peoples.

Behold, you shall call a nation that you do not know,

and a nation that did not know you shall run to you,

because of the Lord your God, and of the Holy One of Israel,

for he has glorified you.

Seek the Lord while he may be found;

call upon him while he is near;

let the wicked forsake his way,

and the unrighteous man his thoughts;

let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him,

and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts,

neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.

For as the heavens are higher than the earth,

so are my ways higher than your ways

and my thoughts than your thoughts.

For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven

and do not return there but water the earth,

making it bring forth and sprout,

giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,

so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;

it shall not return to me empty,

but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,

and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.

For you shall go out in joy

and be led forth in peace;

the mountains and the hills before you

shall break forth into singing,

and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.

Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress;

instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle;

and it shall make a name for the Lord,

an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.

Memory verse: This week see if you can recite Psalm 1:1-5.

And here’s what would have been happening in Kids’ Corner, but you can still do it with your kids:

Story: “David and Goliath” p. 173

(Lesson 11)


Songs:

1. “What a Mighty God We Serve”

2. “My God Is So Big”

Praying for you this week,

Pastor Theo

Hello IBC Family,

Pastor Theo here. This Sunday, I hope you all can rest in the everlasting mercy and love of our Savior, Christ Jesus.

This week we have a talk from Michael Horton entitled, “What Is the Gospel?

The Spotify Playlist has been updated with new worship music for this week.

The prayer for this week comes again from The Valley of Vision:

THE GOSPEL WAY

BLESSED LORD JESUS,

No human mind could conceive or invent the gospel.

Acting in eternal grace, thou art both its messenger and its message,

lived out on earth through infinite compassion,

applying thy life to insult, injury, death,

that I might be redeemed, ransomed, freed.

Blessed be thou, O Father, for contriving this way,

Eternal thanks to thee, O Lamb of God,

for opening this way,

Praise everlasting to thee, O Holy Spirit,

for applying this way to my heart.

Glorious Trinity, impress the gospel on my soul,

until its virtue diffuses every faculty;

Let it be heard, acknowledged, professed, felt.

Teach me to secure this mighty blessing;

Help me to give up every darling lust,

to submit heart and life to its command,

to have it in my will,

controlling my affections,

moulding my understanding;

to adhere strictly to the rules of true religion,

not departing from them in any instance,

nor for any advantage in order to escape evil,

inconvenience or danger.

Take me to the cross to seek glory from its infamy;

Strip me of every pleasing pretence of righteousness by my own doings.
O gracious Redeemer,

I have neglected thee too long,

often crucified thee,

crucified thee afresh by my impenitence,

put thee to open shame.

Thank thee for the patience that has borne with me so long,

and for the grace that now makes me willing to be thine.

O unite me to thyself with inseparable bonds,

that nothing may ever draw me back from thee,

my Lord, my Saviour.

May we find rest in the finished work of Christ this week.

Dear IBC Fam,

Here’s the guide for this week’s Lord’s Day at home.

The Spotify Playlist has been updated with a new set of worship music.

And the ‘Sermon of the Week’ is from H.B. Charles – “God Will Give You Strength.”

Finally, we have another prayer from The Valley of Vision entitled “True Religion.”

LORD GOD ALMIGHTY,

I ask not to be enrolled amongst the earthly
great and rich,
but to be numbered with the spiritually blessed.
Make it my present, supreme, persevering concern
to obtain those blessings which are
spiritual in their nature,
eternal in their continuance,
satisfying in their possession.
Preserve me from a false estimate of the whole
or a part of my character;
May I pay regard to
my principles as well as my conduct,
my motives as well as my actions.
Help me
never to mistake the excitement of my passions
for the renewing of the Holy Spirit,
never to judge my religion by occasional
impressions and impulses, but by my
constant and prevailing disposition.
May my heart be right with thee,
and my life as becometh the gospel.
May I maintain a supreme regard to another
and better world,
and feel and confess myself a stranger
and a pilgrim here.
Afford me all the direction, defence, support,
and consolation my journey hence requires,
and grant me a mind stayed upon thee.
Give me large abundance of the supply of
the Spirit of Jesus,
that I may be prepared for every duty,
love thee in all my mercies,
submit to thee in every trial,
trust thee when walking in darkness,
have peace in thee amidst life’s changes.
Lord, I believe, help thou my unbelief
and uncertainties.

Praying that the Lord will continue to build our faith this Sunday.

THE MEMORY VERSE FOR NEXT WEEK REMAINS PSALM 1:5 – “Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.”

Sincerely,

Pastor Theo

Hello IBC Family,

We are once again prepping for another Sunday quarantined away. I’m sure we are all feeling the drain of social distancing at this point. As tiring and discouraging as these days can be, it is important for us to persevere in well-doing, knowing that the Lord is still pleased by the daily faithfulness of his children (Rom. 15:5-6).

As we patiently wait upon the Lord, we still need to set aside time to remember him and his good mercies towards us.

Our ‘Sermon of the Week’ is entitled, “Worry and Anxiety.” It comes from a British preacher that God used mightily in the 20th Century – Dr. David Martin Lloyd-Jones. Lloyd-Jones preached at Westminster Chapel even during WWII when many people had evacuated London. On one Sunday a bomb fell only a few yards from the building while Lloyd-Jones was praying. Plaster fell from the roof on the heads of the congregation. He paused for a moment… and then continued to pray and went on to preach the sermon. We need to hear from experienced voices like this.

The Spotify Playlist has been updated with familiar songs for us to listen to this week.

Finally, here is a prayer from Calvin’s Catechism, which he used to pray over the day.

Prayer Before the Day

My God—my Father and Preserver—who of your goodness has watched over me during the past night, and brought me to this day, grant also that I may spend it wholly in the worship and service of your most holy deity.

Let me not think, or say, or do a single thing which tends not to your service and submission to your will, that thus all my actions may aim at your glory and the salvation of my brethren, while they are taught by my example to serve you.

And as you are giving light to this world for the purposes of external life by the rays of the sun, so enlighten my mind by the effulgence of your Spirit, that he may guide me in the way of your righteousness.

To whatever purpose I apply my mind, may the end which I ever propose to myself be your honor and service.

May I expect all happiness from your grace and goodness only.

Let me not attempt anything whatever that is not pleasing to you.

Grant also, that while I labor for the maintenance of this life, and care for the things which pertain to food and raiment, I may raise my mind above them to the blessed and heavenly life which you have promised to your children.

Be pleased also, in manifesting yourself to me as the protector of my soul as well as my body, to strengthen and fortify me against all the assaults of the devil, and deliver me from all the dangers which continually beset us in this life.

But seeing it is a small thing to have begun, unless I also persevere, I therefore entreat of you, O Lord, not only to be my guide and director for this day, but to keep me under your protection to the very end of life, that thus my whole course may be performed under your superintendence.

As I ought to make progress, do you add daily more and more to the gifts of your grace until I wholly adhere to your Son Jesus Christ, whom we justly regard as the true Sun, shining constantly in our minds.

In order to my obtaining of you these great and manifold blessings, forget, and out of your infinite mercy, forgive my offenses, as you have promised that you will do to those who call upon you in sincerity.

Grant that I may hear your voice in the morning since I have hoped in you.

Show me the way in which I should walk, since I have lifted up my soul unto you.

Deliver me from my enemies, O Lord, I have fled unto you.

Teach me to do your will, for you are my God.

Let your good Spirit conduct me to the land of uprightness.

Sincerely,

Theodore Siu

Tomorrow is Easter! A reminder that our Lord is indeed Risen!

There’s a parade at 8:45 AM tomorrow for those who can make it.

We’re also continuing with our Sunday home worship guides. To celebrate the greatest moment of our faith, we have a list of Easter-themed resources for you to take advantage of with your household.*

Here is a Scripture Reading about the very first Resurrection Sunday:

But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb.

And she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain,

one at the head and one at the feet.

They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?”

She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord,

and I do not know where they have laid him.”

Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing,

but she did not know that it was Jesus.

Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?”

Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him,

“Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him,

and I will take him away.”

Jesus said to her, “Mary.”

She turned and said to him in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher).

Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father;

but go to my brothers and say to them,

‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”

Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples,

“I have seen the Lord”—and that he had said these things to her.

John 20:11-18

The Spotify Playlist is updated with songs to commemorate the Resurrection of our Lord Christ Jesus.

We have a ‘Sermon of the Week’ by Tim Keller entitled, “Encountering the Risen King.

Finally, another prayer from the Valley of Vision for us to meditate upon and pray through together:

Resurrection

O GOD OF MY EXODUS,

Great was the joy of Israel’s sons,
when Egypt died upon the shore,
Far greater the joy
when the Redeemer’s foe lay crushed
in the dust.
Jesus strides forth as the victor,
conqueror of death, hell, and all opposing
might;
He bursts the bands of death,
tramples the powers of darkness down,
and lives for ever.
He, my gracious surety,
apprehended for payment of my debt,
comes forth from the prison house of the grave
free, and triumphant over sin, Satan, and death.
Show me herein the proof that his vicarious offering
is accepted,
that the claims of justice are satisfied,
that the devil’s sceptre is shivered,
that his wrongful throne is levelled.
Give me the assurance that in Christ I died,
in him I rose,
in his life I live, in his victory I triumph,
in his ascension I shall be glorified.
Adorable Redeemer,
thou who wast lifted up upon a cross
art ascended to highest heaven.
Thou, who as Man of sorrows
wast crowned with thorns,
art now as Lord of life wreathed with glory.
Once, no shame more deep than thine,
no agony more bitter,
no death more cruel.
Now, no exaltation more high,
no life more glorious,
no advocate more effective.
Thou art in the triumph car leading captive
thine enemies behind thee.
What more could be done than thou hast done!
Thy death is my life,
thy resurrection my peace,
thy ascension my hope,
thy prayers my comfort.

Happy Easter! Praying that Christ will reign supreme in our hearts and minds this day.

~ Pastor Theo

* Our latest Immanuel Pastors Podcast is on the topic of worshipping at home and may be an encouragement to you especially during this time of absence from corporate worship.

And he is before all things,

and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church.

He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead,

that in everything he might be preeminent.

Colossians 1:17-18

Dear IBC Fam,

Tomorrow (4/5) is Palm Sunday, the first day of Holy Week which culminates in Resurrection Sunday.

While in quarantined isolation, we can still make the most of this time by corporately commemorating the Good News of Jesus Christ’s life, death, and resurrection.

For this week’s highlighted sermon, we have an older one from the archive on our website of roughly 700 sermons entitled, “What Are Your Expectations?” It was given on Palm Sunday in 2008 by Pastor Nathan. You can listen to it here.

The Spotify Playlist is updated with songs which will help us remember the Crucified Lord during this season of commemoration.

As a church, we always have suggested some sort of fast during this week. It was already our plan, but now especially since we are prone to spend so much time on our screens during this pandemic, this week we are encouraging a media fast from recreational movies/television and social media. We hope that this freed up time will aid in shaking off some of our addiction to visual stimuli and provide space for us to pursue other activities such as prayer, Bible study, reading, and additional spiritual disciplines which focus our minds and hearts on the precious blood of Christ during this Holy Week.

We have also provided another Puritan prayer from The Valley of Vision:

The Precious Blood

Before thy cross I kneel and see

the heinousness of my sin,

my iniquity that caused thee to be

‘made a curse’,

the evil that excites the severity

of divine wrath.

Show me the enormity of my guilt by

the crown of thorns,

the pierced hands and feet,

the bruised body,

the dying cries.

Thy blood is the blood of incarnate God,

its worth infinite, its value beyond all thought.

Infinite must be the evil and guilt

that demands such a price.

Sin is my malady, my monster, my foe, my viper,

born in my birth,

alive in my life,

strong in my character,

dominating my faculties,

following me as a shadow,

intermingling with my every thought,

my chain that holds me captive in the

empire of my soul.

Sinner that I am, why should the sun give me light,

the air supply breath,

the earth bear my tread,

its fruits nourish me,

its creatures subserve my ends?

Yet thy compassions yearn over me,

thy heart hastens to my rescue,

thy love endured my curse,

thy mercy bore my deserved stripes.

Let me walk humbly in the lowest depths

of humiliation,

bathed in thy blood,

tender of conscience,

triumphing gloriously as an heir of salvation.

More resources will come out this week. We love you, and are praying for your physical and spiritual heath during this season of trial. Please let us know if there are any other ways we can serve you this week.

Sincerely,

Pastor Theo

Dear IBC Family,

We will not be gathering as a church again tomorrow in light of the stay at home order, but here is the home resource guide for your devotional time.

The Spotify playlist has been loaded with a new set of songs for this week. You can also listen to the Immanuel Pastors Podcast on Spotify at your convenience. The most recent episode helps you understand some of our thinking about Sunday services.

The highlighted “Sermon of the Week” for this Sunday is John Piper’s “Doing Missions When Dying Is Gain.” Listen to it online with your household and discuss what application it might have to our situation today. Pastor Nathan was a senior in high school on a visit to Wheaton College and in the packed audience on the night when this message was delivered. It had a massive impact on the course of his life.

Finally, here is another Puritan prayer from The Valley of Vision entitled “The Gospel Way.”

The Gospel Way

BLESSED LORD JESUS,

No human mind could conceive or invent the gospel.

Acting in eternal grace, thou art both its messenger and its message,

Lived out on earth through infinite compassion,

Applying thy life to insult, injury, death,

That I might be redeemed, ransomed, freed.

Blessed be thou, O Father, for contriving this way,

Eternal thanks to thee, O Holy Spirit,

For applying this way to my heart.

Glorious Trinity, impress the gospel on my soul,

Until its virtue diffuses every faculty;

Let it be heard, acknowledged, professed, felt.

Teach me to secure this mighty blessing;

Help me to give up every darling lust,

To submit heart and life to its command,

To have it in my will,

Controlling my affections,

Moulding my understanding;

To adhere strictly to the rules of true religion,

Not departing from them in any instance,

Nor for any advantage in order to escape evil,

Inconvenience, or danger.

Take me to the cross to seek glory from its infamy;

Strip me of every pleasing pretence of righteousness by my doings.

O gracious Redeemer,

I have neglected thee too long,

Often crucified thee,

Crucified thee afresh by my impenitence,

Put thee to shame.

I thank thee for the patience that has borne with me so long,

And for the grace that now makes me willing to be thine.

O unite me to thyself with inseparable bonds,

That nothing may ever draw me back from thee, my Lord, my Saviour.

Praying for you,

Pastor Theo

Dear IBC Church Family,

It is with sincere sadness that we have decided to cancel services for this week. As stated in a previous email you should have received, we will continue to monitor the situation on a week-by-week basis, so that we can restore our weekly Lord’s Day fellowship together as soon as it is safe to do so. I’m hoping and praying that as these troubled times continue to pressure us away from one another, our common love for the Lord and his people will draw us closer together, holding all things in common (Acts 2:43-47).

In the meantime, the unstructured state of our world will continue to encourage us to neglect the things of God for entertainment and what we think are the more expedient needs of everyday life. For this reason, the Elders of IBC strongly encourage you to still do your upmost to set aside time to remember the Lord, to pray for Christ’s mercy over the sins of the week and his grace to endure the next, and to feast on his Word. I’ve listed some prayers and resources for this week’s reflection which you can use with your family or roommates. This is not a healthy substitute for the biblical command to assemble together (see Heb. 10:24-25), but our hope is that these resources will allow us to honor the Lord as best we can and be filled with his Spirit on the Lord’s Day, even in exile (see Rev. 1:10).

Here is a link to the church’s weekly Spotify playlist. Every week we will change out the songs with regular IBC worship music.

We are also highlighting a ‘Sermon of the Week’ for you to reflect on. For this week, we have a sermon by an older pastor named Francis Grimke. Here is a short biography of his life. And here is the sermon. It was given on the first Sunday back after a quarantine related to the deadly Spanish Flu in 1918. Please read it tomorrow.

Finally, I have attached a prayer from The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions for your reflection:

Weaknesses

O Spirit of God, help my infirmities;

When I am pressed down with a load of sorrow, perplexed and knowing not what to do, slandered and persecuted, made to feel the weight of the cross – help me, I pray Thee.

If Thou seest in me any wrong thing encouraged, any evil desire cherished, any delight that is not Thy delight, any habit that grieves Thee, any nest of sin in my heart – then grant me the kiss of Thy forgiveness, and teach my feet to walk the way of Thy commandments.

Deliver me from carking care, and make me a happy, holy person;

Help me to walk the separated life with firm and brave step, and to wrestle successfully against weakness;

Teach me to laud, adore, and magnify Thee, with the music of heaven, and make me a perfume of praiseful gratitude to Thee.

I do not crouch at Thy feet as a slave before a tyrant, but exult before Thee as a son with a father.

Give me power to live as Thy child in all my actions, and to exercise sonship by conquering self.

Preserve me from the intoxication that comes of prosperity;

Sober me when I am glad with a joy that comes not from Thee.

Lead me safely on to the eternal kingdom, not asking whether the road be rough or smooth.

I request only to see the face of Him I love, to be content with bread to eat, with raiment to put on, if I can be brought to Thy house in peace.

Praying for you through the week,

Pastor Theo

From @immanuelchicago on Twitter

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