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Church News for Thursday, Nov. 7

Bethany Baptist Church

Services opened with a hymn, “Tell Me the Story of Jesus” and a devotion from Bro. Aubry, “The Good Shepherd,” from John 10:9-15. In the devotion, he stated that a hireling will flee from caring for the sheep when danger is lurking, unlike the good shepherd (usually the owner of the sheep), who will give his life for the sheep. Jesus is the Good Shepherd of the saved.

After a prayer and Sunday school, worship services began with praising God in these songs: “Glory to His Name,” “My Jesus, I Love Thee,” “He Cared That Much For Me” and “When I See the Blood.” Announcements were made and are as follows:

On Nov. 9, we will have a birthday party at 2:30 p.m., then the marriage of John Vickers and Amanda Meredith at Shiloh Baptist Church at 4 p.m.

Prayer requests were taken, followed by an offering and prayer.

Bro. Aubry’s message, “A Terrifying Moment” from John 8:1-11, was about a woman brought to Jesus by the scribes and Pharisees. She had been caught in the act of adultery and Jesus was asked if she should be stoned, as was in the law of Moses (Leviticus 20:10). They were only trying to accuse Jesus of breaking the law of Moses by pardoning the woman. What looked like a hopeless situation for the woman turned into a joyous occasion. She was standing in front of the ultimate judge: Jesus. He was the only one who could offer her a full pardon from sin. Jesus wrote on the ground as if he had not heard the accusers. What did he write? We do not know, but as he spoke to the accusers, they left one by one. He said that the one without sin should cast the first stone. They, like us, were all guilty of sin. Jesus Christ was her only chance of life at the moment, and he is our only hope of eternal life.

Jesus knows how to speak to our hearts today. We need to confess our sins before him and accept his free gift of salvation. God’s grace becomes our pardon from sin only when it is received.

Evening services began with “Near the Cross,” followed by prayer and the message, “I’m Just a Pillar of Salt,” from Matthew 5:13. The message states that as saved people, we are the salt of the earth. We have the responsibility to be examples and witnesses to the world around us.

In verses 3-12, the beatitudes are characteristics that should be present in the heart and life of every saved person. There are three things in verse 13 about salt: 1) Salt is the sustainer of life. Too much or too little salt in our bodies could lead to death. As a condiment, it adds flavor to food; as a preservative, it stops rot and decay. The righteousness of God’s children sustains America today. 2) Salt has a purifying ability. Every meat offering in the Ole testament was offered with salt. Romans 1:1-2 tells us that we should present our bodies a living sacrifice before God. When we as saved people mix with the world, we lose our savor. We cannot live like the world and be valuable to God. 3) A destiny to avoid. Like salt that is contaminated, we as saved people can lose our usefulness to God. Our goal in life should be to see others saved and working for the Lord.

After a hymn, “When We All Get to Heaven,” we dismissed in prayer.

Prayer list: John Rodriguez (father of Michelle Vines), Glenda Wallace, Henry and Myra Moore, Elwyn and Grace Robinson, Bro. Aubry and Shirley, Billie Neeley, Bro. Paul and Linda Gray (accident) and many others.

We hope to see you this Sunday at Bethany Baptist Church, located on County Road 49 in Verbena.

Rocky Mount UMC

Whether recuperating from viruses or the crud, or we selected the day to get out and enjoy the fall colors and rejoice in our beautiful world, some church pews were empty and missing you. Hope you can make it back next week!

It is nothing unusual to hear a story from the Bible and remember either the first time you heard it or a telling of the story that particularly stands out in our minds. It was that way with me Sunday as Bro. Phil began his sermon after reading from Luke 19:1-10. This is the story of the tax collector, the chief of all tax collectors, Zacchaeus.

My mind flew back about 30 years to when Mr. Ken Shafer was my Sunday school teacher at Rocky Mount, and he was telling, not reading, the story of short little Zacchaeus climbing up into that sycamore tree. Ken helped us so much with his detailed verbal description of little Zacchaeus, much like another little man we all knew and still remember fondly as we hear the story. We could just picture Zacchaeus and his desire to get above the crowd so that he could get a glimpse of the Savior as he passed along the road. Never would he have imagined that Jesus would be coming to his house to dine on that very evening! Zacchaeus was a man with a mission, and nothing would stop him as he risked everything to see the Savior.

Jesus knows us and he knows what›s in our hearts, but he still loves us. Jesus wants to be a guest in our imperfect hearts. Are you willing to take risks to see Jesus? It was no mistake that Luke would have included this story right after relating the story of the Pharisee and the publican, because Jesus practiced what he preached. He was friends with the most unusual, and sometimes disliked, people.

Check us out on WKLF-FM 95.5 and 106.3 FM on Thursday mornings at 7:30 a.m. You can hear this inspiring sermon on Thursday, Nov. 7, and hear about Phil›s daughter›s experience as she was sitting high up to see a former president and was invited by the President to come down to him.