Church News for Thursday, Dec. 26

Published 10:55 am Friday, December 27, 2013

Bethany Baptist Church

We began morning services with the hymn “There’s a Song in the Air,” followed by a devotion titled “Christ’s Sacrifice Prophesied,” from Isaiah 53:3-12. Jesus sacrificial death was mentioned in the Old Testament. He was born to bear the sins of the world on the cross that we might be saved from our sins and live eternally in heaven with God.

After a prayer and Sunday school, we sang the following hymns celebrating the birth of Christ: “O Little Town of Bethlehem,” “The First Noel,” “Angels We Have Heard on High,” and “Silent Night.” Following announcements, prayer requests, prayer and offering, Bro. Aubry brought the morning message titled “Only One Christmas Ever in Life,” from Luke 2:25-40. How would we celebrate Christmas if we only had one more to celebrate? Many celebrate and never mention Christ, but without Christ, there would be no Christmas.

Today, we look at a man named Simeon, who was a devout and righteous (right with God) man who knew the scriptures. God promised him that he would not see death until he saw the Christ. Once he had seen Christ, he asked God to allow him to die because he had seen the Lord’s salvation. Although Simeon knew the scriptures, he probably did not have a degree of any kind. We do not need a degree to serve God; we only need to be willing to be used of God.

How should we celebrate? Read the entire second chapter of Luke to get the picture. Joseph and Mary went to the hometown of Joseph to pay taxes. All the inns in the town were full, but one innkeeper offered a stable. This is where Jesus was born, wrapped in swaddling clothes and placed in a manger.

The way to celebrate Christmas is to get right with God. If you are lost, it is by being saved; if you saved, it is by dedicating your life in service to God. We should walk by faith, not sight, as did the heroes of faith in Hebrews 11. Without faith, we cannot please God. We should be fully committed to Christ 365 days a year, waiting with joy for the Lord’s return to earth. As a saved person, we should watch for the Lord’s return. This could be our last Christmas. Make him your Savior today if you are lost.

Service ended with a prayer, a song titled “Will Jesus Find Us Watching” and a dismissal prayer.

The evening service was a combination of Wednesday night services and the regular Sunday night service. Following our BTC lesson, Bro. Aubry brought the message, beginning with this question: Do we want to be a better Christian next year than in the past year?

To be a better Christian, we should follow the heroes of faith found in Hebrews 11. We would all like to have a good report when we get to heaven and stand before Jesus, the righteous judge. To serve God, we must accept by faith that the word of God is true. We have to believe the Bible and believe that God will never lie to us. Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham and many more Old Testament saints lived by faith in God. They looked forward to the birth of Jesus. We look back to his birth, death and resurrection. May we be like the apostle Paul in 2 Timothy 4:6-8, ready as saved people to meet the Lord.

Our closing hymn was “Have Faith in God,” which was followed by a dismissal prayer. We hope and pray everyone will celebrate the birth of Christ and realize he is the only reason for the season.

Our prayer list includes: our church, Bro. Aubry, Shirley, Elwyn and Grace Robinson, Billie Neeley, Jackie, Mary Knight, John Rodriguez, Jeanette Jessop, J.C. Collins, Mrs. Betty Biggs, Mrs. Roberson, missionaries, troops serving to protect our country and our government.

Samaria Baptist Church

What a wonderful Lord we serve! Even on a day of bad weather, it was a blessing to gather in his house to worship. Our guest pianist today is Ms. Mary Burkes, and we were so appreciative of her for coming and doing a marvelous job.

Mr. and Mrs. Aubrey Brown are celebrating an anniversary this week and we congratulate them.

Prayers today are for Ms. Patty Brooks, Cherlyn Stoneback, John Jamison, and the Larry McCormick family in his passing.

Bro. Charles’ text came from John 3:1-3,16. We all enjoy church, but why do we actually go to church?  Because Jesus said that we are to assemble ourselves together in his name. But church is much more than an assembly. It is about loving and caring in Christ for those around us and those in our daily path. Jesus gave the ultimate love. He came through non-elaborate means in order to do an amazing thing. His unconventional birth astounded even Herod. Love is the sacrifice of ourselves to those to whom our love is directed. Jesus’ love constrains us. It draws us to him.

We can never be separated from the love of Christ. No trouble or trials can take us out of his tender care. He will deliver us through even the darkest of days. Our relationship with Christ can be an awesome time of love and service, knowing that we are secure in his arms makes our faith more grounded.

In our humanness, it is often easy to doubt, allowing Satan to make headway into tempting us to have more doubt. But knowing and believing in faith is the key. Christ has our soul, and Satan can tempt us, but he can never take us out of the hand of Almighty God. The gift of God is eternal life. We must live by faith, allowing his grace to sustain us through good and bad times.

May God bless you and yours with a wonderful Christmas and in the new year. God is in control; never doubt that he will never leave you.