Church news for Thursday, Jan. 10

Published 10:03 pm Friday, January 11, 2013

Bethany Baptist Church

Jonah was the subject of Bro. Steve’s message on Sunday. God was concerned about the extremely wicked people in Nineveh, and he called his prophet, Jonah, to preach to the Ninevites concerning God’s coming judgment if they did not repent. Jonah had the wrong attitude about this mission, as well as his call as a prophet, so he decided not to obey God. As a result, he was not praying, and God withheld his word from Jonah until Jonah was brought back into the right relationship with God.

In the belly of the whale, Jonah realized his helpless, hopeless situation, and perhaps, recognized the hopeless condition of the Ninevites as well, and he decided to obey God’s command. We should realize that innocent people are affected by our disobedience. God’s will was to give the people of Nineveh a chance to escape eternal punishment by having Jonah preach to them. We should give the people in our city and state the same opportunity by giving them the message of God’s word.

On Sunday night, Bro. Steve’s message was about unity in the body of Christ, taken from Ephesians 4. Unity is a oneness, but it is not based on compromise or conformity. Unity is not a lowering of our standards to accommodate everyone; it is a process based on the doctrines of the word of God as outlined in verses 4-6: one body, one spirit, one hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism and one God and father. The result of unity in the body of Christ is that we join together, working, supplying and edifying each other in the spirit of love, resulting in increase.

Prayer list: Betty Biggs, James Bixler, Ada Church, Doris and Verdie Glenn, Hubert Griffin, Mildred Griffin, Laverne and Dick Hayes, Journey Mission in Calera, Billie Neeley and Lilianna Thompson.

See you Sunday!

Mars Hill Baptist Church

It was good to see some of the members of our church who had been sick back in church today. You were missed and you are loved. We appreciate our visitors and hope that you will come again.

It’s always easy to say what we will do next week… until next week gets here, so be careful what you promise, and be careful of any resolutions you make for the new year. It’s easy to slide back into old habits and stay out of church, but if we truly belong to God, it’s just as easy to get up on Sunday morning and give our time to him, then do it again on both Sunday and Wednesday night. It is easy to invite others to church and to witness to them about Jesus. It is easy to live for Jesus on weekdays, too. So, if it is easy, why do we make it so hard? Several reasons: disobedience, being hypocritical and having a form of godliness, but denying the power of God.

Bro. William Short’s message this week was taken from Matthew 19:23-26. In the verses prior to these, Jesus had just told the rich young ruler to sell everything he had, give to the poor and follow him. The young man went away sorrowful because he had many possessions. The scripture doesn’t tell us what happened to this man: if he later changed his mind, or if he died in his sins. It would have been so easy for him to obey Jesus and follow him, for then he would have treasure in heaven, more than he ever could have imagined here on earth. Jesus then tells his disciples that it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven; that it would be easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle. That’s a pretty hard thing to imagine because a camel is such a large animal. I can’t see to thread the eye of a needle, much less try to push a camel through one. The disciples then asked Jesus who could be saved, and Jesus answered, “With men this is impossible, but with God, all things are possible.”

Praise God that this is something we can all get behind, that anything is possible with God. Just believe in him; ask him into your heart and to forgive your sins. It doesn’t matter who you are, how much or how little you have or if you live in a mansion or a tent. It doesn’t matter how good you think you are, or how bad you think you have been. The ground is level at the foot of the cross, and all men will one day bow before God and confess that Jesus is King of Kings and Lord of Lords. We can change the outward appearance of ourselves, but only God can change the inner man. Ask him in to change you today, and see how easy it can be to follow God, to be his disciple, to witness to the lost and to ask others to join you at church.

This world is troublesome, and times are hard. There is no easy way out, except through the blood of Jesus Christ. With God, all things are possible. Praise his holy name.

Please continue to pray for our church, the sick, the lost, the hurting, our country, our troops and our government. Washington does not have the answer to our problems, but God does. God is great, all the time. Amen.