Easter Sunrise Service at 6:30 am on March 27
Enjoy a delicious breakfast following the service.
Our Missionary Conference starts March 13th. Missionaries scheduled to be with us are: Trevor Martin, Dennis Caudle with Piedmont Bible College and Thomas Hawkins, Rock of Ages Ministry.
February is here! It seems just yesterday that we were watching the ball drop in New York bringing in 2016. Celebrations were held all around the world bringing in the new year. Now, here we are through the first month and entering in the second.
As I thought about February, probably the most significant thing that happens in the month is “Valentine’s Day,” or as some have called it “The Great Day of Love.”
Anyone now can research as to the origin of Valentine’s Day, for example we can read in the free encyclopedia Wikipedia that Valentine’s Day was originally called St. Valentine’s Day. It began as a liturgical celebration of one or more early Christian saints named Valentinus. Several martyrdom stories were invented for the various Valentines that belonged to February 14, and added to later martyrologies. A popular hagiographical account of Saint Valentine of Rome states that he was imprisoned for performing weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry and for ministering to Christians, who were persecuted under the Roman Empire.
But why the modern association of sending flowers, candy, gifts and cards to our sweetheart?
Well, Wikipedia also adds this: The day was first associated with romantic love in the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer in the High Middle Ages, when the tradition of courtly love flourished. In 18th-century England, it evolved into an occasion in which lovers expressed their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery, and sending greeting cards (known as “valentines”).
So down through the years we have seen Valentine’s Day become that great day of love. The retailers make us feel guilty by suggesting that if we really loved our sweetheart we would buy her/him candy, cards, jewelry, etc. You know the drill.
In an article about Valentine’s Day spending, “IBISWorld breaks Valentine’s Day spending out by concluding that 47.4% accounts for dining out, 13.9% candy, 11.6% romantic getaways, 8.5% flowers, 7.8% jewelry, 6.3% clothing and lingerie, and 4.4% greeting cards. Frank Cirillo, senior communications specialist at American Greetings, says, “Valentine’s Day is the second-most popular holiday for sending cards, falling behind only Christmas.”
Enough of that aspect of the day. I would like to suggest that they all have it wrong!
The greatest day of love in the history of the world is found in the most widely quoted Bible verse we know as John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
On the day that Christ died to redeem mankind from sin was the single greatest act of love ever demonstrated.
It is sad to think that someone purchases or makes a gift for someone, a gift which would represent their love for that individual, and that person rejects it.
Then, we think of the Heavenly Father, how He has done everything to let the world know he loves them. He didn’t send a card or a box of candy… He sent His Only Son, Jesus, to come to the earth and offer his life as an atonement for our sins.
In closing let me suggest a few things for you to consider:
First, if you have not received the gift of God’s love, eternal life through Jesus Christ, then why not do so today. If you need to get in touch with me or a pastor or good Godly friend to help you understand this message of love more fully, then please do so today. God has offered you His love by providing salvation freely through faith in what His Son did by dying for you.
Secondly, if you have accepted His love and you are a Believer, then share God’s love with others. Maybe you can find a Valentine’s Card that offers a place for you to write a note… if so, tell them of the “Greatest Day of Love!”
Finally, live out the love in your life! “How?” you might ask. By striving every day to keep and live the greatest commandment and the second great commandment. We find them in Matthew 22:36-40 “Master, which is the great commandment in the law? (37) Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. (38) This is the first and great commandment. (39) And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. (40) On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
Simplified, Love God first and love your neighbor as yourself! Jesus said upon these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. That means that if we practice these two, then the other are never needed.
I hope you have a great February. According to the famous groundhog Punxsutawney, who did not see his shadow, we will have Spring-like weather just around the corner.
If you celebrate Valentine’s Day, may you select the perfect expression of your love to your sweetheart.
If you have not received God’s gift of love, eternal life through the salvation in Christ, may you do so before the opportunity is gone.
If you have received the gift of God’s love, then share it with others.
God bless, Pastor Taylor
The AWANA program is growing as we average around 50 participants each week. We have a great group of leaders and helpers. However, if you have ever wanted to work or God has laid it upon your heart to work in a ministry like AWANA we could always use your help. Also, I would like to let you know that the AWANA Grand Prix is scheduled for March 20th at 6:00 pm. Car kits are ow available for $6.00. Let’s make this the greatest Grand Prix ever and support our Clubbers. If you don’t plan on racing, plan on coming out and cheering your favorite car on to a victory! Food and drinks will be available.
In your Christian walk of faith you will go through some tough times, but remember storms never last forever. In the midst of the storm seek the Lord and run unto Him for shelter. He will protect and help you endure.
Don’t think about the bad weather, but instead seek peace through Christ. Meditate on His promises and be strong. The sun doesn’t always have to be out to give the Lord thanks so continue to give Him praise.
Draw closer to the Lord with prayer and know that His presence is near. Be still, God will comfort and provide for you. You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you.
Every new year thousands of Christians start a new Bible reading plan with the hope of reading through the entire Bible in a year. A few weeks into January or February and most have already abandoned those plans. Let’s be honest, after getting through the familiar & event packed books of Genesis & Exodus things start to slow down.
In 2016 we want to encourage you to start a new reading plan and provide some tips that will keep you reading throughout the year.
Bible Reading Tips
Here are a few tips that I have found helpful over the years, and I hope they encourage you as we enter the new year:
Start Small. If you’ve never read through large portions of Scripture before, don’t try to start with a plan that looks insurmountable. That’s like someone new to the gym thinking they can lift the same weights as a power lifter. It’s not a good idea and can be a setup for failure. Instead of a year long reading plan, start with something that’s 2 weeks or 30 days. Once you finish that, try another 30 day plan, and gradually lengthen your plan.
Pick a Time & Place. One of the easiest ways to maintain success in your Bible reading is by making it routine. Try to read at the same time everyday, and preferably in the same place. This will create a routine that you’ll get used to and put you in the right mindset. Also, do it at a time of day when you’re most alert. There’s nothing worse than reading the Bible when you’re tired or sleepy.
Don’t Give Up. This one is the most important. There will be times when you want to give up, but push through it and keep at it. You’ll hit difficult passages and sometimes you may not understand what you just read, and that’s okay. Just keep at it and ask God to help you understand what you’re reading. Over time God will make it clear to you. When you hit those difficult spots, remember to make use of the tools available to you. And, inevitably, you may fall off the wagon and stop reading altogether for a season. Don’t get discouraged, just start again.
On December 20, 2015 at the 10:30am service, the IBC Adult Choir with other special singers will present a wonderful Christmas musical with Christmas songs and a Christmas cantata. Such a wonderful way to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus. Come join us for these two programs and experience a special Christmas blessing.
The children of IBC have a lovely Christmas program planned for December 13th at 6:00 pm.
Please join us on December 12th at 6:00 pm for our annual Christmas banquet. We are planning on having a delicious meal along with a great evening filled with a few surprises.