Church News for Thursday, Dec. 12By Staff Reports Published 10:39am Friday, December 27, 2013
Mars Hill Baptist Church
’Tis the season to be jolly, but not everyone feels joyous. Some have lost loved ones, their health, a job, a home or their hope. Be kind to everyone you come into contact with. You may not know their story, but God does. God knows each and every teardrop we shed, but most importantly, he knows the story behind the tears. It is not always important for us to know the reason why people feel and behave as they do, so just pray for them and lift them up to a Holy God. He can dry their tears, mend their broken hearts and give them back hope. There is hope in Jesus. There is life everlasting in just the mere name of Jesus. Jesus: the story of his birth, his life and ministry, and his death and resurrection will give hope to the downtrodden and joy to the sorrowful. This Christmas season, give the gift of Jesus Christ to a family member, a friend, neighbor or co-worker. The Christmas story is not just a story; it is a true account of the birth of our Savior and those who participated in it.
Bro. William Short’s message this week was taken from Matthew 1:18-21. Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After his mother, Mary, was betrothed to Joseph, and before they came together, she was found with child from the Holy Spirit. Then Joseph, her husband, being a just man and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”
Many of our churches will have plays and skits this Christmas about the birth of Christ. Our children will act out the parts of Mary, Joseph, the shepherds and the wise men. It is important to teach our children about the birth of our Savior; it is more important to make sure they understand that it really happened and that it is not “make believe.” He was born to save them from their sins, not just to have a reason to celebrate and give and receive gifts. Jesus is Christmas; without him, there would be no reason to celebrate.
Let’s look at Mary’s role in this story. She is a very important part of Christmas. She was a virgin, chosen by God to bear our Savior. Mary could have said no to God or told him to find another woman, but she didn’t; she chose to do God’s will and give birth to Jesus. Some religions worship Mary, the mother of Jesus. This is wrong. Mary allowed God to use her in a mighty way, but as great as Mary was, she cannot save us from hell. Just as we should not worship Mary, we should not worship man. Worship God and be thankful for Mary, the precious mother of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
Joseph is also an important part of this Christmas story. He was a good man and called a “just man” by God. Joseph was willing to live on faith alone and do the right thing by Mary. Although he did not understand the circumstances with which he was faced, he was still willing to act on faith. An angel came to Joseph in a dream, telling him to not be afraid to take Mary as his wife and that her son was of the Holy Spirit. Joseph was willing to do the right thing, he took the first step in faith and then the angel confirmed his belief.
Yes, Mary and Joseph had faith, but Jesus is faith. We are saved by grace through faith. Can we be as obedient to God as Mary and Joseph were? Can we accept the consequences of a life of faith, or are we still holding on to the world with one hand? How can we serve Jesus today? I am not worthy to even call upon his name, but because of his saving grace, I am a child of God.
Mary and Joseph are very important to the Christmas story, but Jesus—conceived of the Holy Ghost—is the story. Jesus is the centerpiece of the Christmas season. He is the lead act of this script, which was written, directed and orchestrated by God, exactly according to his plan. His plan was to bring salvation to a lost and dying world. It doesn’t matter what’s going on in Washington, the world or in your own back yard; there is still hope in Jesus. He was born to save people from their sins.
We are adopted into the family of God when we accept Jesus as our personal Savior. No Jesus, mean no joy and no peace; know Jesus and know joy, know peace!
Jesus, his name is Wonderful, Counselor, Prince of Peace, Son of God, Savior, Emmanuel. Jesus is the sweetest name on earth. He is no longer a baby in a manger; he sits at the right hand of God, ever interceding for us. Jesus is love, Jesus is life! Worship him in spirit and truth this Christmas season. Ask him into your heart and life if you do not already know him, and friend, your Christmas and your life will never be the same.
The world would have you say “Happy Holidays,” “Seasons Greetings,” or even, God forbid, “Happy Xmas.” Friend, the “X” belongs in Texas, but Christ belongs in Christmas. He is Christmas!
Congratulations to Jason and Jessica Duren on the birth of their daughter, Lillian. Special prayer is needed for our sister in Christ, Mandy Mims, and her family. Remember them in your prayers.
Please make plans to be with us on Christmas Day at 7 p.m. for a special worship service. Continue to pray for our church, our pastor, the lost, the sick, the hurting souls, our troops, our country and our government. God is good, all the time! Amen.
Cedar Grove Church
There is power in the name Jesus!
Pastor Bro. Jeff Carroll’s text comes from Luke 1 and Mathew 1:1-17 titled “The Whole Story of Christmas.”
The coming of Christ involved a lot of people. The archangel Gabriel came to John the Baptist’s father, telling him of a son his wife was to bear. That child would be the forerunner for Christ, the child born of a virgin named Mary. There was a man sent from God whose name was John. This man came to bear witness to the light, that all through him might believe. He was not that light, but was sent to bear witness of that light. That was the true light which gives light to every man coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, and the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own did not receive him. But as many as received him, to them he gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in his name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand. You can put him off and you can delay, but Christ is the Messiah. You can miss the opportunity of salvation. Do you understand what God has done for you—I mean really understand what God has done for you? What does Jesus mean to you? Our prayer is that each and every one knows Christ as the Messiah, their Savior, Lord of lord’s and King of kings.
Love to all. Have a great week and God bless.
Announcements: Friday night prayer meeting starts at 7p.m.
Dec. 14: Annual Christmas dinner
Dec. 22: We will hold our Christmas drama/musical during the evening service. Details or changes will be updated.
Prayer concerns: Our church family, Dollie Price and family, Bobbie Giles and family, Mary McGuire and family, Jean Varden, Janet Wyatt, Phil Genry, Jim Lowery, Kip Cleckley, Kim Crowe, Pracilla, Sandra Gothard, Shane, Amanda, Blair, Roger and Amy Adams, spoken and unspoken requests.