Thursday, August 27, 2009

Wednesday in the Word

We witnessed a wonderful Wednesday in the Word!! Both of our Bible Study classes were well attended and the saints were eager and excited to learn! Our Sunday School Teachers Meeting went very well. I am excited about this teaching setting because the teachers are so excited about learning. The lesson was entitled, "The Promise of Life", taken from Deuteronomy 30:1-10. This was a very interesting lesson the showed the sovereignty and graciousness of God.

In the first 5 verses we see RESTORATION. I found it interesting that Moses was speaking of God restoring them to the land God had promised them before they actually inhabited it. Even with repeated warnings and promises of blessing for obedience and cursing for disobedience, the Israelites still did not follow the commands of God. In spite of their inadequacy and inability to follow God, God still had a plan for them! I get joy every time I think about this, because there are times why I don't do right, but God doesn't forfeit His plan because I have flaws in my person!! God tells them that if they return, He will restore them! What I really like about this is, God says that He will go as far as it takes to bring them back! Someone other than me has that testimony, that He came a long way to rescue me! Glory to His name!! God is in the restoration business. I don't know why we want god to be mad all of the time and get everyone as soon as they mess up. Do we forget that we mess up as well? God is looking to restore us.

Next the lesson talks about REPENTANCE. The section speaks of loving God with all of their being. To repent means to turn from sin and turn to God. I believe that many only have one step down. It's not enough to turn from sin, you must turn to God. A turn from sin without a turn toward God, creates legalism. Unfortunately, we have many in the church that are loyal to legalism, but not in love with the Lord!

The last section talks about REPLENISHMENT. Once God restores them and they repent God said that He would bless everything that they touched, their family, food, and farm would be blessed and plentiful. He also says that He would take pleasure in doing so. God loves to bless His people and do good to them!! Who wouldn't serve a God that loves to restore and to replenish?

In Bible Study we covered verses 16-21 of chapter 10 in Romans and verses 1-10 in chapter 11. This was a great lesson for our church . This lesson deals with God's dealing with Israel, Israel rejecting the Gospel, God extending the Gospel to the Gentiles, and God's future plan for His chosen covenant people. Where we really dropped anchor last night was in chapter 11 :1-4. Paul clearly states that God has not cast away Israel. Can I ask a question? If God has not cast away Israel and he still has a plan for them, how can the church be New Israel as I have heard it called so many times?

Paul gives 2 examples of why God is not through with Israel. First is a personal example. Paul says I know that God is not done with the Jews because he is one. Paul says, if Jesus can save him, He can save anyone! We need to apply this truth to our existence. No one is so good that they don't need to be saved and no one is so bad that they cannot be saved! If God saved me, He can save anyone!! The next example is one from a prophet. After a great victory on Mount Carmel against the prophets of Baal, Elijah receives word that Jezebel is going to kill him and he takes off running for his life. God asks him what is doing here. Elijah's answer is both anxious and arrogant. Look at what he says. 1 Kings 19:14 (KJV) And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: because the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away. God responds by saying. 1 Kings 19:18 (KJV) Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him. He tells Elijah that he is not the only one who is still serving. We need to take this to heart. Many people have the idea that if they don't do it, it wont get done. If you prescribe to this idea, I tell you what I want you to do, die and see if things continue to roll on. This is why I say it is a privilege to be in the service of the Lord. God don't need us, but Thank God that He chooses to use us!! God Bless!!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Sunday Summary

This past Lord's Day is one that we at BBC shall not soon forget!! The power of God was manifest from beginning to end. I was not at Early Morning Prayer, but I am positive that the intercessors played a significant role in happenings of Sunday. I know that they bathed all of us in prayer and it was definitely felt.

Morning Worship started off on fire. Our Deacons Ministry really set the tone in the Devotional Service. The Mass Choir really blessed us with their ministry and took the service even higher! We felt the Glory Cloud fall in the place!! At this point, I pondered whether I should preach or should we just continue to praise. I was compelled by God to preach and I am so glad that I obeyed the command of God!

I preached a message from Psalm 91:1-3. The message was entitled,, "A story worth Telling". I argued that for too long many of us have been telling the wrong story. We have been telling about our mistakes, mess ups, and mis haps, instead of our miracles and makeovers! The story that we should all be telling includes these few things:

1. Devotion
A. Presence
B. Protection

2. Declaration
A. Provision
B. Praise

3. Deliverance
A. Power
B. Peace

God truly blessed the preaching of this text! I believe this is just what our church needed and I feel the winds of change beginning to blow on the hearts of the people. There was great celebration over the Word of God!! Bless His Holy name!!!

This did not conclude our day of worship. We traveled to Dowagaic, Michigan to Second Baptist Church to celebrate in worship with them for their 142 Church Anniversary! This was a blessed occasion for a church that has such a rich history and I am honored to have been asked to be the preacher. I preached from their theme which was, "A foundation that cannot be moved" Luke 6:48-49. Here's the outline:

1. Advantage of Selection

2. Assurance of Storms

3. Ability to Stand

4. Abruptness of Shattering

God blessed this preaching moment as well. Thank God for His Word!!! However, my day ended on a very sad note as I had to travel to Gary for a wake of one of my childhood friends, Lewis Eldridge or "Two Ton" as we called him. On last Tuesday he was brutally murdered in front of his home washing his car. I cannot express how tired I am of burying young men and women due to gun violence! THIS HAS TO STOP!!!! This is why I am so passionate about our Gun Buy Back! I am really looking forward to doing the next one, but in the mean time, let's strive to make our communities safer places!

Well, that's enough for now. I have really enjoyed my off day today to refresh and refuel for this busy week ahead filled with preaching, teaching, and meeting!! I am off to do tomorrow the same thing I do everyday, try and take over the world for Jesus Christ!! God Bless!!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Wednesday in the Word

We had a wonderful Wednesday in the Word. Both Bible Study classes were well attended. I really enjoy the teaching ministry of our church. It is truly a joy and a privilege to teach people that are hungry for the word of God!

Our Sunday School lesson was taken from Deuteronomy 6:1-9,20-24. The lesson was entitled, Obeying God's Commands. This was a very good lesson with valuable insight for us on today. The lesson begins with the TARGET. Moses stated that the Lord wanted to tell them some things before they went into the Promised Land. The 1st target or the aim of this is that the children of Israel might fear the Lord. This word fear does not mean to cower, but to have reverential respect or to be in awe. I believe that one of the problems with our worship is that there is no more awe of God We have relegated God to formulas and He is so much more than that!! The 2nd aim was so that the children of Israel may have long days upon the earth. Long life is a blessing from God. Obeying His commands causes us to make proper choices in life which is one step to long life. proper choices along with the Power of Christ guarantees us long life!!

After the target was given, the next step was to TEACH. They were instructed to teach their children and their grandchildren. The instructions were to teach them at every available opportunity! This is a lost art today! Most families don't sit down and enjoy a meal together anymore where teaching time could occur. Some children are being raised by X Box, PS 3, My space, Facebook, MTV, BET, VH1, or some other media source. We as a society need to be more involved in the upbringing of this next generation, especially those of us who are the Body of Christ! Someone once said that the church is only one generation from extinction. We must return to teaching the younger people the ways of the Lord!! It is the only way that they will be saved!

The final step in this lesson was to TESTIFY. One day someone will ask about the reasons that we do what we do. This is testimony time!! We need to be able to tell them what God has done for us and as a result of what He's done, this is what we do!! I challenged the class about the meaning or purpose of some things that we do in our house of worship. I told them someone is going to ask them and they need to know and if none of us know, then why are we still doing it?

In Bible Study we continued our series in Romans 10. We looked at verses 5-19. This was a powerful lesson! Being that I am trying to move the church into an evangelistic methodology, I really hammered in on verses 14-15. The context is Israel, but we made relevant application for us today. We know from our own experience that if we call on the Lord, He will save us. This is true for anyone. However, how can someone call on someone that they don't believe in? How can they believe in someone that they haven't heard about. How can they hear about Him of we don't tell them? How can we tell them, except we have been given a commission to do so? We all have a commission to tell people about the Good News of Jesus Christ, Matthew 28:19-20!!

That's enough for now, because my soul is getting happy!! Got more work to do here at the office, so I will blog later!! God Bless!!!!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Wednesday in the Word

Today we had a wonderful Wednesday in the Word!! The day started off with our Noon Day Bible Class. Class was well attended and the dialogue was dynamic! I taught the same lesson in both classes, so I will give you a synopsis shortly.

These past few Sunday School lessons have really been a blessing to both the pastor and people of BBC! Today's lesson was taken from Numbers 20:1-13. This is a great story with valuable insight for leaders everywhere. Moses and Aaron had led the people to Kadesh. When they arrived there, the congregation of the Lord began to complain and criticize the leadership because of a lack of water. You would think that after all of the miracles the people experienced, they would not have complained, but this is exactly what they did. In essence they blamed their lack of faith of Moses and Aaron's ability to lead. Why do people put their inadequacies on you?

Moses really blessed me with his next move. Remember, not only is Moses frustrated because of the murmuring of the people, but he is also grief stricken over the death of his sister. However, I like what he does, verse 6 says, "And Moses and Aaron went from the presence of the assembly unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and they fell upon their faces: and the glory of the LORD appeared unto them." When things got too much to bear, they removed themselves from the situation. This is good advice for all of us. There are times when we need to remove ourselves from the presence of the assembly to get a fresh perspective on what is going on. Now they didn't just remove themselves from the assembly and take a break. When they left, they went into the tabernacle and fell on their faces. Getting into God's presence gives us a renewed spirit and a refreshed mind.

God tells Moses to take the rod and gather the people and speak to the rock and it shall give water to the people and their beasts. Moses takes the rod, gathers the people and then makes mistake #1. He begins to speak to the people. God did not instruct him to tell the people anything. He tells them to listen up and calls them rebels and then makes mistake #2, he suggests that he and Aaron are the the ones that are performing this miracle, and then he makes mistake #3, he strikes the rock not once, but twice. Moses allowed his frustration to get the best of him, and that caused him to act out of the will of God. How many of us, have allowed our feelings to make us act contrary to our character and the codes and conduct of Christ? The amazing thing is, even though Moses acted wrong, the people still got the water that they desired. Thank God that our problems don't prevent God from providing for His people!

God then tells Moses and Aaron that because of their disobedience and their failure to sanctify God in the presence of the people that they would not be permitted to enter into the Promised Land. You mean after all they had been through with these people grumbling, complaining, murmuring, challenging, disrespecting, and lack of faith and trust in God, that it was Moses and Aaron that didn't get to go in? This tells us that we cannot be driven by our emotions and feelings because they can cause us to miss out in the very thing that God has promised us. What is an even bigger slap in the face is that the people who caused all of the emotions still got to go in. We are to be God driven and not emotion driven!!

Bible Class was really off the chain! Today we looked at Romans 9:30 - 10:4. This was a very interesting portion of scripture. I was always used to hearing this Romans 10 passage read during revival services, but never took the time to do an in depth study on it. Wow, I've been really missing out! This passage is packed with powerful and pertinent points! Israel did not have full understanding of God's provided righteousness through Jesus Christ. As a result of this, they went about to establish their own righteousness. This is where many Christians find themselves today. God's provided righteousness requires nothing of us but to believe it. This confuses many people as they seek a works based religion that will allow them to have badges of honor on their chest. When seeking your own righteousness, you cannot or will not submit yourself unto God's righteousness.

The last verse we studied says that Christ is the end of the law for righteousness. The Law did not and could not of itself provide righteousness before God for us. But Christ fulfilled the Law by keeping it perfectly during His sinless life and then gave His life in payment for the penalty of sin and the broken Law. The Law then pointed to Him as the Source of the God-provided righteousness it could not supply. So in closing, ITS ALL ABOUT JESUS!!! It got real hot in church right then and I had a Sunday Morning felling on a Wednesday night!! It is our job to lift Jesus up for all to see. How to reach the masses, men of every birth. For an answer, Jesus gave the key. He said and I, if I be lifted up from the earth, I'll draw all men unto me!!

I forgot to add one thing to my laundry list for the week. Yard Work!! UGH!!!!!! God Bless!!!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Sunday Summary

Today was a great day of worship! I arrived at church right before Sunday School. I had the opportunity to visit all of the classes on today. I was encouraged and strengthened by most of what I heard. As I viewed one class, I was troubled by a spin that was put on the lesson that was not there, but encouraged because the teacher addressed it very well. This means I must work harder in teacher's meeting. The Lesson today was from Numbers 14. This was a fantastic and an encouraging lesson for me. I really like how Moses in spite of all of his opposition by people who had not too long ago sang his praise, prayed for them as God wanted to eliminate them for their rebellion and their wanting to get a new leader to go back to Egypt. I really enjoy Sunday School, especially teaching it.

Today, we were blessed with songs from our Male Chorus. I have some men that have really stepped up their role in corporate worship! To God be the Glory!! I did not preach today. We were blessed in the preaching moment by Rev. Jordan Key from Michigan. He is an associate minister of Christ Temple Baptist Church and the son in law of one of our most faithful and dedicated members, Sis. Daisy Barnes. It was a blessing to hear him preach and he did an awesome job! He preached from Jonah 1:1-3. The message was entitled, "A ship headed in the wrong direction". This was a timely message that was a blessing to the people of God.

This was about it as far as worship went on today. I ask for your prayers as this week will prove to be a busy one. I have meetings that begin on tomorrow, there is a revival that I wanna support at Macedonia MBC, hosted by Pastor Ray E. Owens, where the guest evangelist is Pastor Rickey Harvey, Bible Study and sermon preparation for this coming Sunday, as well as an IMA meeting this weekend. My mind has been flooded with various thoughts that I've been meaning to write down. Unfortunately many of them have since escaped me, but on this week, I will attempt to blog about some of these discussions. Be Blessed!!!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Sunday Summary

This Lord's Day has proven to be one that I won't soon forget! Has anyone ever had a day of worship that seemed to be tailor made to your needs? At Early Morning Prayer Service, the topic of today was forgiveness. The prayers were fervent, the spirit was high, and it really helped to lift me up. I thank God for this time of corporate prayer. I feel like the songwriter when he said, "What a privilege it is to carry everything to God in prayer!

I really needed God to show up in a mighty way in worship today. Sometimes we all can get in a routine where things become mundane and stale. I needed to feel a move of God on this morning, and God did not disappoint. Our mass Choir did a tremendous job of setting the tone for worship. The last selection that they sang was, "Incredible God" and this really lifted the congregation into a spirit of praise. It was prime preaching ground now.

I preached a message from 1 Peter 5:10. This is a favorite passage of mine that has brought me through many of the storms in my life. However, this was the first time that I preached an entire sermon from this passage. The message was entitled, Reasons for Rejoicing. Here's the outline:

1. Commission

A. Sufficiency of the caller
B. Station of your calling

2. Condition

A. Severity of your suffering
B. Span of your suffering

3. Cause

A. Service
B. Shape

God really blessed the exposition of this passage! I thank God for His Word. This passage once again has moved me from looking at my circumstances to looking at my Christ! To God be the Glory!

This evening, our Mother's and Deaconess Ministry celebrated their Annual Day on today! Our special guest was Pastor H. Gregory Haygood and the Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church of South Bend. Pastor Haygood is a writer for the Sunday School Publishing Board and a tremendous preacher! I was excited for him to be with us on today!

It's amazing how the Lord works, especially when He wants to confirm or establish a Word in His people. You've already read what I preached, Pastor Haygood came this evening and preached from 1 Thessalonians 5:16, which simply says, "Rejoice Evermore". He entitled this message, "A short message that goes a long way". I wont post his outline, but let me be the first to say that his sermon was a walk off grand slam!! I thank God for his ministry! He serves as a mentor to me and several other young pastors in the area, and today he really encouraged me.

I have great anticipation about this upcoming week. My youngest son, Deonne and the rest of the family are traveling to Des Moines, Iowa to watch him run in the AAU Nationals! I am really happy and proud as a father because this is only his 1st year running. God has really blessed him with great ability. I ask for your prayers this week for him and our safe travel. I am also asking for prayer for BBC as this week is Vacation Bible School.