Thursday, February 26, 2009

Wednesday in the Word

We had a wonderful Wednesday in the Word!! Both of our Bible classes were well attended and Teacher's Meeting was a tremendous success! God be praised!

Our Sunday School lesson came from Ezekiel 11:14-21. The lesson was entitled "A New Heart" Ezekiel was told by God to let the people know that wherever they were scattered God would be a sanctuary for them there! It is great for us to know that God is not confined to a geographical location? He can meet us and we can be in His presence right where we are! This news brought great joy to the Israelite captives because they were displaced and disconnected from the Temple.

He also promised to do something else for them. He said that He would give them a new heart, so that they could keep God's commands. I got real excited when we explored this part of the story. God knows that on our own power, we cannot keep His Word, so He gives us the enabling power of the Holy Spirit to assist us in doing His Will. What a Gracious God we serve. There were several other points in this lesson, but those were a few of the highlights we touched on.

Bible Study was off the chain! I will say this early. I have seminary training and know the difference between preaching and teaching, but today I admit that I raised up just a bit! We are continuing our series in Romans. Today we looked at Romans 4:18-25. This chapter deals with justification by faith. We see that through the life of Abraham that God justifies by faith, not our works, not our religious rites, nor by the law.

This is an awesome passage filled with promise! It has already been stated that Abraham believed God and it was counted to him for righteousness. Having said this the text goes on to explain in verses 18-21, "Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be. And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara's womb: He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.

This about knocked me over! I wonder today can we believe God in spite of what it looks like? All Abraham had was God's promise, but that's all Abraham needed! He was so confident that God was going to do what He said that Abraham forgot that he was almost 100 and Sarah was almost 90! Someone once said that we don't realize that God is all we need until God is all we have left!

He was not divided between God's Word and his wisdom, but rather was strengthened by his faith and had full confidence in the fact that if God promised it, God would perform it! That's a word for someone today. Stop looking at what's going on around you and remember what God promised you! It doesn't matter if it makes sense to anyone or even yourself, just trust His promise! If God promised it, God will perform it! If God tells you a duck can pull a truck, just be quiet and hook the duck up!

God will do what He said He will do! The problem is not with God but with us. We have to have the patience to wait and the perseverance to walk. What do you mean walk? There's a promise of blessing, but there's also a place of blessing, and you have to walk by faith from promise to place. I know what you may be thinking; there are pitfalls, potholes, problems, and persecutions, but there's also a promise of His Presence. If we walk by faith, God will lead us from promise to place by His Presence!

The lesson closed by letting us know that Christ died for our sins, but was raised for our justification! This is where it got real heavy! Christ’s resurrection was the proof, the demonstration and vindication of God’s acceptance of Jesus’ sacrifice! If you ever question the fact that you're forgiven, go check out the tomb! He's not there! Above the tomb is a sign that says, "He is not here, He is risen!" Living He loved me! Dying He saved me! Buried He carried my sins far away! Rising He justified me, freed me forever! One day He's coming back, what a glorious day!

I'm still in a blaze from this Wednesday in the Word! Well it's late and I just found out that I have to preach at our District Board Meeting in a few hours, so let me get some sleep. Pray for us that the Lord gives us strength and power to preach His Word! I will post later to let you know how it went. Be Blessed!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Sunday Summary

Greetings All,

I know I haven't been a good steward lately to the blogging bunch, so please accept my apologies and keep my in your prayers.

We had a wonderful day of worship this past Lord's Day! Our prayer service was very inspiring, as the topic of prayer was self examination. The heart felt cries of God's people went out as we petitioned God to allow us to give us the mind to honestly look at ourselves and make the needed changes to live a more productive life for Christ. It amazes me how the Lord just lines things up for our benefit.

After the prayer service, the Sunday School lesson was from Isaiah 6:1-8 entitled, "A commitment to change". This was a powerful lesson and since i didn't go over it on Wednesday in a post, here's what I taught the teachers. If you will have a commitment to change you must:

1. Change your view of the Savior
2. Change your view of your Self
3. Change your view of Service

This was a powerful and practical lesson for all to embrace!

One of the things that I have noticed about most Christians is that they like predictability in worship. Even if it's "off the chain church" they want to know that in advance. I generally preach in robes at home. When I come to the pulpit in a suit, it means that someone else is going to preach. This is such a pattern that when my preachers did not see me change, they began to wonder who was going to preach. I have taught them to be ready at all times. They began to casually scroll through their bibles just in case the were the one.

When I went to the pulpit, I could see the looks of wonder on the faces of the congregation wondering who was going to preach. My choir director asked me if I was going to sing my song today because she thought that I was not preaching. Worship was fantastic! The choir was a real blessing to all as they sang Zion songs. I was anxious about the preaching moment because from Early Morning Prayer Service until the moment I mounted the pulpit the flow had been the same, and wouldn't you know, the message that the Lord gave me fell right in line! I preached a message from Luke 15;11-24. We know this as the parable of the prodigal son. I entitled the message, "There's no place like home!" Here's the basic outline:

At home you will find:

1. A Forgiving Father

2. A Feast of Food

3. Future Fellowship

God really blessed the exposition of this text even though I felt this was not one of my better presentations, and the Lord demonstrated His approval by sending a candidate for baptism! God be praised! The older I get, the more I discover the truth of the scripture that says, " His strength is made perfect in my weakness."

Sunday was our Mass Choir Anniversary! Our choir works so very hard, and they play an integral part of our corporate worship! This was their day to celebrate and thank God for another year of service. Our special guest were the Community Baptist Church of Elkhart, Indiana, and their pastor, Rev. Lefate Owens. This has been a fellowship in our church for several years. Pastor Owens is a well seasoned and very energetic preacher, who really gave us something to think about. I wont post his outline, but we all left there in amazement! All in all, I believe that God was pleased with our offering of public worship!

Pray for us as we have already began preparation for our new preaching series that will begin on this coming Lord's Day entitled, "No More Drama". This is a series on spiritual maturity in the church and in our lives.

I am excited as the DVD ministry is really beginning to take form and our website is under construction! I praise God for these new avenues of ministry!

Well, I must get on my way as I have a meeting today about the Gun Buy Back! Pray for us that it will be a success as we try and do our part to "Serve this present age". God Bless!!!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Sunday Summary

What a wonderful day of worship at BBC! We had our Friends and Family Day this past Sunday, and the Spirit of God met us there! Our Early Morning Prayer Service was a blessing for all! God met us in the meeting and poured out His Spirit in that service. Again, I must say that this Early Morning Prayer Meeting has brought new life into our church family.

Morning Worship was simply outstanding! Everything just seemed to flow so well. As a matter of fact, worship was so good, the closer I got to the preaching moment, the more nervous I became. I certainly did not want to mess up an experience like this with my presentation of preaching. I was excited and nervous at the same time. During the sermonic hymn, I heard a voice say, "Do what you have been called to do". After that I was fine. I preached a message from Acts 12:1-10 entitled, "How to handle a crisis". Here's the basic outline;

1. Sovereignty of God's Purpose

2. Service of God's People

3. Superiority of God's Peace

4. Splendor of God's Power

God truly blessed the exposition and presentation of this message! Friends and Family Day was a tremendous success! So many people brought guests and they enjoyed the worship experience at BBC. I had several people suggest that we should do this more often! We presented 3 people that brought the most people with gift cards. After worship we went to the fellowship hall for food, fellowship, and fun.

All in all I believe that God was pleased with our presentation of public worship on today! Pray for us this week ! God Bless!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Sunday Summary

We had wonderful day of worship at BBC this Lord's Day! As normal, we started off with our Early Morning Prayer Meeting. Our Usher's Ministry is providing leadership for the month of February. This prayer meting has been a real blessing to our church. It has helped to revitalize our worship and it has put the driving force behind many of the things that the Lord has given us to do.

During this week of sermon preparation, I was tossed between 3 passages and really in turmoil about what to preach. Later in the week than i would've liked, a passage finally settled in me. There was a heavy burden on me to exhort the congregation in the midst of these troubling times to put their trust in the Lord. i was excited about the preaching moment. I preached a message from Psalm 121. The message was entitled, "Help is on the way". Here's the outline;

Help is on the Way
Psalm 121

1. Provider
1. Creator v.2
2. Confidence
A. You won’t slip v. 3a
B. He won’t sleep v. 3b-4

2. Protector
1. Battle v.5
2. Being v.6
A. Sun – Body
B. Moon – Brain

3. Preserver
1. Adversaries
2. All Ages

God truly blessed the exposition and the reception of the Word was great! God be praised! I am truly excited about the new things going on at BBC. We made some changes to our Morning Worship that help service to flow real smooth. Also, on last week, the DVD ministry was started! Special thanks to Monica and Cory Brazier for volunteering their time, talent, and treasure to help us begin this form of outreach!

I thought I would be able to rest today, but I had to attend a school board meeting because they are getting ready to embark upon some new forms of education, meaning a new tech high school and a high school program that gives kids enough college credit to obtain an Associates degree. I was very interested in this and wanted to see if these new avenues of education would be available to all South Bend residents and not just some. The matter will be voted on next Monday. Keep our School Corporation in your prayers.

This will prove to be a busy week as we are getting ready for Gun Buy Back 2009 and as I am preparing my 1st Agenda as IMA president. Please keep me in your prayers that all of these endeavors do not keep me from my first love and calling and that is to PREACH!!! God Bless!!!