RELIGION COLUMN: Trust God through challengesBy Staff Reports Published 4:20pm Thursday, December 26, 2013
By Emily Agee
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls. Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into. Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 1:3-13
Thought for the week: ‘Lord, Let Us Stand’
“Lord, let us stand in the thick of the fight. Let us bear what we must without whining. Grant us the vision to do what is right, though a thousand false beacons are shining. Let us be true, as the steel of a blade. Make us bigger than skilled and clever. Teach us to cling to our best unafraid, and harken to false gospels never. Let us be brave when the burden is great, and faithful when wounded by sorrow. Teach us, when troubled, with patience to wait the better and bright tomorrow. Spare us from hatred and envy and shame. Open our hearts to life’s beauty. Let not the glitter of fortune or fame blind us to what is our duty. Let us be true to the right to the end. Let us stand to our task without whining. Let us be right, as a man, as a friend, though a thousand false beacons are shining.”
Worship services at the Holly Grove Baptist Church in Jemison began with praise service led by the senior choir in prayer, scripture and songs. Charles Arrington read the scripture, with prayer by Pastor Dukes and Freddie Arrington. Songs sung were “Come and Go To That Land,” “I Need You, Lord Jesus” and “The Lord On Your Side.”
Pastor Dukes gave the message. His theme: “Challenges: We always have them, even when you do your best.” What do you do then? The answer is to trust God. How do I make sound decisions in the midst of a challenge? You are held accountable for how handle the devil. Keep your eyes on Jesus; he is right there.
Luke 13:10-17: I have fallen and I can’t get up: a message of hope for those down spiritually or physically. Jesus makes the difference. Stay faithful to God, not matter what you are going through. What is bounding you? The lady was in church and had 18 years of infirmity, but attended faithfully. God can loose you from your infirmities. She was a woman of faith, with challenges in her life as we have today. If we fall, we get up. Christians fall, and they get up by repentance; sinners fall and stay down. The Lord saw her, called her and loosed her. God does great things for those who are counted out. He took the spiritual handcuffs off her. Jesus spoke life to her. Do you know how to speak encouragement to others? Ask Jesus to speak through you. Go the extra mile and lay hands on the situation.
Pastor Dukes led the benediction.
We ask you to remember these in your prayers: James Singleterry, Dorothy Sims, Sam and Vivian Hicks, Harold Frazier, Mildred Archie, Ethel Smith, Dora Archie, Lesia Wright, Robertha Lee, Martha Binion, Ruby Dukes, Georgia Swindle, Versa Davis and Lee Anna Worthy. May God heal, strengthen and keep them in his care is our prayer.
Our sympathy goes out to the family of Ms. Terri Nix Bailey in their time of bereavement. Ms. Bailey will be funeralized on Saturday, Nov. 23 at 11 a.m. at Pleasant Hill Baptist Church in Maplesville. Agee Brothers Funeral Home will be directing.
—Emily Agee is a religion columnist for The Clanton Advertiser. Her column appears each Thursday.