Church News for Thursday, Aug. 29By Staff Reports Published 1:33pm Wednesday, September 4, 2013
Bethany Baptist Church
The choir special on Sunday morning was “The Wonder of It All,” and Jean DeLoach, accompanied by the choir, sang “Blessed Assurance.”
Bro. Steve’s message was on praying, taken from 1 Timothy 2:1-7. God’s burden is for all of us. We are to pray for ourselves and to also intercede for others; we are to pray with thanksgiving, and we are to pray for all in authority over us that we may lead quiet and peaceable lives. God has a will for everyone, that all may be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth. Because of this, we Christians have a great responsibility to spread the Word and bring as many as we can to know the Lord. God provided a ransom for all. There is only one ransom: Jesus Christ. Only one stands between us and God, and that is our Lord Jesus Christ.
Sunday night, Bro. Steve continued “Major Lessons from Minor Characters” with a study of Micaiah, the 401st prophet, from 1 Kings 22. Micaiah was a fearless prophet. In verse 14 he said, “What the Lord saith unto me, that will I speak.” He was fearless, and chose character and conviction over conformity and compromise. As a result, he suffered grievous consequences. It would have been easier for Micaiah to say what the other 400 prophets said and just go along. We should pray that we will be faithful in standing by our convictions and what the Bible says without compromise.
Annual Homecoming at Bethany on Sept. 29 at 10 a.m. Paul Gray will be the speaker. Everyone is invited to attend.
Prayer list: Betty Biggs, Doris and Verdie Glenn, Carl and Ellen Gray, Jeanette Jessop, Bro. Danny Jones and his family, Frances McKinnon, Billie Neeley, Grace and Elwyn Robinson, Lisa Rodriguez and Elzie Sanders.
See you Sunday!
Mars Hill Baptist Church
Love: One of the most over-used words in the English language. We always say “I just love this” or “Don’t you just love the way that looks?” And on and on we go. We love everything. But do we really know the true meaning of love, the Biblical love that Jesus referred to, the “love thy neighbor as thyself” kind of love? Not physical love between husband and wife, but Godly love? So many times we say we love someone, but then our actions don’t prove it. I love my husband, my kids, grandkids and my family. But my love for Jesus is a different love; it’s a deeper, spiritual love. I love him because he first loved me. Jesus didn’t need me, but oh, how I need him!
Bro William Short’s message this week was taken from 1 John 3:11-18. “For this is the message that you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another, not as Cain who was of the wicked one and murdered his brother.” Verse 18: “My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.”
It’s easy to talk the talk, but not so easy to “walk the walk.” Everyone can say, “I love Jesus,” but not everyone proves that love in his or her deeds. So, if love is not proven, is it real? Better check up on the status of your heart, friend. We know Jesus loves us because he laid down his life for us, he who was without sin became sin on the cross of Calvary so that we might live. If that isn’t love, friend, then it just doesn’t exist.
How do we show love in our actions? By our deeds toward others: helping those in need, our neighbors, the widows and orphans. Find out what the needs are in your community, and then find ways to help. It could be a simple visit to the elderly, to sit with them and talk to them. Maybe by taking a meal to someone who is sick, giving that neighbor with car problems a ride to the grocery store or taking a child to the doctor so that the mother doesn’t have to miss work. The ways of showing love to others are endless, you just have to open your eyes and look for the opportunities. Believe me, they are there. If Jesus is inside you, he won’t have to be “picked out,” but he will come out of you effortlessly, in your speech, your facial expressions and your deeds. The love of Jesus will cause you to glow from the inside out, and others will see and want what you have. I know everybody gets down and needs a helping hand; Christians can say they are burned out, but what we really need is encouragement to keep on keeping on, to keep on walking with Jesus.
Love is not optional. We are commanded to love one another. If you say you love Jesus, but hate your brother, then you really don’t have a personal relationship with Jesus at all; you could be just “playing church.” This sounds harsh, but friend, it’s the truth, and it’s what you should love to hear. Love is demonstrative. Our love for God is shown to the degree we show love to others. Love is active, an act of the will. We are commanded to do the acts of love, but if we shut our eyes to the needs of others, our love for God is called into question. Love is responsive. We are able to love because we have been and are loved by God. God’s love inside us causes us to respond lovingly to others.
Are you a talker or a walker? Get some walking shoes and go around the track a few times, the more you show your love, the easier it gets. I have heard people say that they can’t talk to others about Jesus, but that should be easy. Just share what Jesus has done for you. He has brought me through the fire and the storms of life many times, and I know he will be there for the next one. I have the assurance in my heart and soul that Jesus will never leave me, nor forsake me. I am not perfect; I have many flaws and many things that I did in my past that I am ashamed of, but my Jesus took the sin and shame away. He knows that we cannot live in the past and love others, or ourselves, the way he meant for us to. Our first job as Christians is to tell others of his love—to draw them to him—and he does the saving. Jesus is the only way to the Father. There is no other way. We can’t change the way, for he is the way.
So, who should we love? Jesus says to love everyone, and that means the saint and the sinner alike. What? Love the sinner? Yes, love the unlovable. Love those who have harmed you, talked about you, done you wrong and lied about you. How else will we be able to lead the world to Christ? If we only love our brothers and sisters in Christ, what will we accomplish? Yes, we will go to heaven, but would it not be infinitely better to be able to take more souls with us? We will be held accountable for our actions on Judgment Day. All people, saints and sinners alike, will be judged according to their deeds. Jesus dined with sinners, so why should we think we should be above associating with the unlovable? We are all sinners, just saved by the grace of God.
Be sincere of heart when talking to others about Jesus. Pray for those God lays on your heart, no matter where you are or what you are doing. Prayer is the most important thing we can do and it costs us nothing.
Believe on Jesus’ name. No man is an island; everyone needs help at one time or another. Be born again, not of the flesh, but of the Spirit.
Love is more than a good feeling; it is a learned emotion. The more you show love, the more love will be shown to you in return.
Don’t forget about our upcoming Revival every Sunday and Monday night in September, starting Sept 8. Our first g’s service starts at 6 p.m. and Monday night’s service is at 7 p.m.
Please pray for this revival, our church, the sick, the lost, the hurting, our schools, our troops, our government, and our pastor and Mrs. Cindy. God is good, all the time! Amen.