Church News for Thursday, Aug. 22

Published 1:26 pm Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Mars Hill Baptist Church

Family: A small, six-letter word that packs a really big punch in our lives. We can’t choose our family members; they are stuck with us. I am blessed to have a very close, loving family. When one of us hurts, all of us hurt, and that’s the way it should be. Our church family should be the same way, a loving and caring part of our lives, every day. But know this: You can be a member of a church without being a member of its spiritual family. A spiritual family member is one who knows Jesus Christ, and has taken him to be Lord and Savior of his life. Do you have that kind of family?

The first family unit was created by God in the Garden of Eden, male and female, Adam and Eve. Jesus never undermined the family unit, but brought to our attention another kind of family, also commissioned by God: our spiritual family.

Our service started with a special altar call to pray for the many sick in our church, community and hospitals. There are so many who need a touch from the hand of God today, for healing of the body, mind and heart. Our prayer list grows longer with every service. Take your church bulletin and look over the long list of names, then stop and pray for each of them this week. Prayer changes things!

Bro. William Short took our message this Sunday from Mark 3:31-35: Jesus’ mother and brothers came looking for him, and standing outside the place where Jesus was, they called to him. The multitude sitting around Jesus brought this to his attention, telling Jesus that his mother and brothers were outside looking for him. Jesus replied to them, “Who is my mother or my brothers?” Then looking at them, said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of God is my brother, and my sister and mother.”

You have to be re-born into the family of God, standing inside the circle of saved sinners with him, his spiritual family. Your earthly family will die someday, but you will never be alone or without family if you are saved by the grace of God and belong to him. God’s family will never die; we will just exchange our earthly home for that heavenly home. We all have an appointment to keep one day, and it’s a far more important meeting than any you will have on earth. The appointment I am talking about is meeting Jesus face to face. Will he recognize you as part of his spiritual family? Or will you be turned away, with the voice of Jesus in your ear, saying, “Sorry, I never knew you.”

Knowing Jesus is not about being baptized in every creek or baptistery in the county, or being a member of every church of every denomination in the state; it is about having a relationship with the Son of God, Jesus Christ.

Jesus knows me, this I love. Does he know you, really know you? Is your name written in his Book of Life? Never mind the earthly church rolls, but is it written in the only book that matters, the Book of Life?

My earthly father loved my sisters and me very much. He was a good, kind-hearted man, and a hard worker who provided for his family and loved my mother until the day he went home to be with Jesus. If my earthly father loved me that much, how much more does my Heavenly Father love me? Love your Heavenly Father; talk to him daily, ask for his advice, then do what he says to do. As much as I loved my dad, he could not get me into heaven; only faith and trust in God, and giving my heart and life to him, has ensured my entry into heaven. Praise God for his gift of life!

Where do you find Jesus? He does not have a Facebook page, a website or an Internet connection, but he can be found in the book, the Word of God, the Bible. You can find him on your knees in prayer. If the Internet is down or your iphone is dead, you don’t have to wait for it to recharge; Jesus is available anytime, anywhere! Jesus does for us what we cannot do for ourselves; only he can save our souls. If you let him, God can control your life and make a new person out of you. Ask him in today; become a spiritual member of your home church, not just a visitor every Sunday. You can have a spiritual family that loves you just as much as your blood family does, maybe even more.

I sincerely do not know what people do in times of trouble when they have no spiritual family to reach out to, to help comfort in bad times or rejoice with in good times.

So many times, church members tear one another apart, talking and backbiting other members, and sometimes, they successfully tear the whole church apart. Spiritual church members will not do this. We should encourage one another and help one another, and always do the will of the Father. Your spiritual brothers and sisters will pick you up when you fall, not push you farther down the hill. We should all work together to build up Jesus, and thereby build up his church.

We are a family, and we should act like it at all times. Pray for one another every day, that Jesus will be the center of our church and home life. Its love that holds a church together, but doing the will of the Father will keep the church together and be a light in the community for all to see. Amen.

Events: We will have Revival every Sunday and Monday night in the month of September. We will have a different preacher and special singers each night. Sunday night’s service will start at 6 p.m., Monday service at 7 p.m. The first service will be on Sept. 8. Nursery service will be provided.

On Sept. 24, from 10 a.m. until noon, we will host a Back to School Bash; wear your swimsuits. We will have water games and fun for all school-aged children.

The Kempters will be in concert at Mars Hill on Sept. 28 at 6 p.m. They are a wonderful singing family and play many different kinds of instruments. They will bless your heart. Make plans to attend Revival with us and come hear The Kempters.

Pray for our church, for our upcoming revival, our pastor and family, the lost, the sick, the hurting, our children, our schools, our troops and our government. God is good, all the time! Amen.

Bethany Baptist Church

Sunday morning, a group sang “In the Sweet By and By,” and the choir special was “Jesus is Coming Soon.” Bro. Steve’s message was “Doers of the Word” taken from James 1:17-27. Verse 22 says that we are to be doers of the Word and not hearers only, or we deceive ourselves. If we hear the Word and know what we should do, but walk away and do nothing, we are “forgetful hearers.” We may even deceive ourselves into thinking the Word applies to someone else, not us.

We should be fruitful hearers. Verse 25 says that if we are a doer of the work, we shall be blessed (happy) for our deed. God wants us to be fruitful, faithful hearers, and to search the scriptures daily to let the Word speak to us. A fruitful hearer is a person who visits.

Verse 27 says that “Pure religion, undefiled before God and the Father is this: to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction.” Also, we are to keep ourselves unspotted from the world, to separate ourselves from the ways of the world.

Continuing the study of “Major Lessons from Minor Characters,” Bro. Steve introduced us to Ebedmelech (Jeremiah 38:1-13, 39:15-18). He was an Ethiopian eunuch, a servant of King Zedekiah. The prophet Jeremiah was called by God to give the Israelites a message of judgment; the people hated Jeremiah because of God’s message and cast him into a horrible pit of muck and mire, with no food or fresh water. But God provided a friend to Jeremiah in his time of need.

Ebedmelech was empathetic toward Jeremiah. He spoke to the King on his behalf and allowed him to be saved from that horrible situation. God protects those who trust in him. Not only did he spare Jeremiah from his misery, but he also saved Ebedmelech from being captured by the Babylonians.

Prayer list: Betty Biggs, Doris and Verdie Glenn, Stella Godfrey, Carl and Ellen Gray, Jeanette Jessop, Bro. Danny Jones and his family, Frances McKinnon, Billie Neeley, Grace and Elwyn Robinson and Lisa Rodriguez.

See you Sunday!