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That All May Know Him

1 Timothy 2:1-7

A friend of mine recently told me about a cab driver who had religious symbols representing Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism displayed in his taxi. My friend asked why he had so many contrasting religions represented. The driver said they were for protection. When asked which one served that purpose, the man said, “I don’t know. But I want to be sure that one will work, so I have all of them.” 

Here in America, it’s easy to think most people know about Jesus Christ, but there are men and women we see each day who have no knowledge of our Savior. 1 Timothy 2:5-6 says, “There is one God, and one mediator also between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all.” That truth is the foundation for the Christian faith. Through the Son, we are forgiven and reconciled to the Father. 

Don’t assume that everyone in your life is familiar with the good news of Jesus Christ. Whether it’s a coworker, a new friend, or your long-time neighbor, you may be the only person they know who can tell them about the one true God and Savior.

Look for an opportunity this week to share your faith.

source: Charles Stanley

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Seeing Obstacles Through God’s Eyes

Jericho was the first city the Israelites needed to conquer in their quest for the land of Canaan. When sending a pair of spies to check it out, Joshua probably didn’t realize that he would receive a glimpse of the Lord’s impressive behind-the-scenes activity. 

We must remember to look at every obstacle through the lens of God’s unlimited strength and resources. Anything that appears to block His plans is an opportunity for Him to demonstrate His sovereign power. Just because we don’t see anything happening, that doesn’t mean He’s inactive. God is at work on the other side of our obstacles, arranging the details and bringing His plans to fruition. 

When the spies returned to Joshua, they reported that the people of Jericho were scared to death. Having heard about the Jews’ deliverance from Egypt and the parting of the Red Sea, they were gripped by fear of the Lord. The stage was set for the conquest, though by that point, Joshua hadn’t done a thing. Sometimes we think we need to be involved in the solution to our problem, but God is not limited with regard to whom or what He can use to accomplish His will. In this case, He worked in the hearts of the opposition by instilling demoralizing fear. 

For the Christian, great obstacles need not be reasons for discouragement. Although much of the Lord’s activity is silent and invisible, we can be sure He is dynamically working out His will for our life. When the pieces of His plan are in place, He will move us on to victory.

Joshua 2:1-24

Source: Charles Stanley/Intouch Ministries

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When You Have to Wait

Do you want the Lord’s will above all else, even if He doesn’t give you what you want when you desire? Here’s what it takes to stay in the will of God in both the good times and bad:

  1. Trust. If we understand who God is, we can trust Him because He knows so much more than we do, and His timing is always right. He is not depriving us of anything but is doing what is best for us according to His wisdom and knowledge. He invites us to ask, seek, and knock in prayer and promises to answer according to His divine timing and purpose (Matt. 7:7).

    Therefore, we must not think that if the answer doesn’t come immediately then God will never provide what we’ve requested. Instead, we should remember God’s power, wisdom, love, and knowledge, and trust that He controls every circumstance and will provide what is good. If His provision doesn’t come immediately, it’s because we really don’t need it, it’s not good for us, or it’s not the right time to have it.
  2. Patience. Psalm 37:7 says, “Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him; do not fret.” Waiting could cause us to be anxious and impatient because it seems like God isn’t doing anything. However, we must remember that He loves us and gives good guidance, provision, help, and strength during the wait. 

    When David was anointed king of Israel as a teenager, he had no idea that he would have to wait over twelve years before the promise became a reality. What may have seemed like a waste of time was actually God’s perfect plan for his life being worked out. God wasn’t acting against David in the delay, but for him.
  3. Courage. When an offer or opportunity looks good and seems right, it takes courage to wait on God because we may have to say no. Even if others don’t understand our decision and urge us to go ahead, if it’s not according to God’s will or timing, it’s the wrong choice. We can’t fathom all the difficulties and problems that could come if we move forward in disobedience instead of waiting patiently and courageously for God to make the way clear before us.
  4. Determination. Because the influence of others has a powerful effect on us, it takes fortitude to wait on the Lord. While the situation may look right on the outside, if the Holy Spirit is cautioning us, we must make up our minds to obey Him rather than give in to others’ opinions and advice.
  5. Strength. When we are tempted to jump ahead of God, we must remember that almighty God is the source of our strength, and He will provide the power we need to wait patiently. And beyond this, He can even change the desires of our heart to align with His will and give us a strong passion to obey Him.
  6. Endurance. If the Lord calls us to wait, we need endurance to stand firm when other people give their opinions and offer suggestions regarding what we should do. Although the world is full of tempting offers, and people readily share their thoughts regarding how we ought to live, there is only one supreme Person to whom we should listen, and that is the Lord. Our responsibility is to obey and leave all the consequences to Him. Walking within the will of God is the safest, best, wisest, and happiest place to live.

What requests are you still waiting for God to answer? Although we will not receive everything we desire when we want, we will never miss out on the good things God has for us that are according to His will and timing. Therefore, we should always seek God’s wisdom in prayer, wait for His guidance, and watch how He works.

Source: Charles Stanley

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Be Doers of the Word, and Not Hearers Only

“The Bible—know it in your head, stow it in your heart, show it in your life, sow it in the world.” -Dr. J. Vernon McGee

Know it in your head

“Read the Bible. Over and above what any teacher may give you, it is all-important to read for yourself and see what the Bible has to say. Don’t be weary in well doing, friend; just read the Word of God. If you don’t get it the first time, read it the second time. If you don’t get it the second time, read it the third time. Keep on reading it. Sometimes I take a passage and I kneel down and ask the Lord to show me what it means. Most often He answers me by showing me how it relates to another part of His Word. We are to get the facts of the Word of God in our heads.”

Stow it in your heart 

“Plenty of folks write to us saying that a husband and wife listen separately to our Bible study by radio and that evening at the dinner table they discuss the Scripture that was covered. That is meditation; it is going back over it again. Riding along in the car alone is a good place to take a passage of Scripture and really give thought to it. Think about it over and over. After you hear or read something in His Word, ask God to bring it to your mind and listen to it again in your heart.”

Show it in your life 

“To understand Scripture, you must be willing to obey it. God appeared to Abraham when He called him out of Ur and along the way in the Promised Land. But when Abraham ran off to Egypt when famine came, God had no word for him. Not until Abraham came back did God appear and speak to him again. Why? Until Abraham obeyed what God had already revealed to him, God was not prepared to give to him any new truth. So it is with us. When we obey, God opens up new truth for us.”

Sow it in the world

“You will reach a saturation point in the study of the Word unless you share what you’re learning with others. For some reason, God won’t let you withdraw yourself from everyone and become a walking Bible encyclopedia, knowing everything, while the rest of us remain ignorant. I think that is the reason He said ‘not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together … but exhorting one another’ (Hebrews 10:25). Do not bury God’s truth in a notebook. God has told us to be witnesses today, therefore we ought to pass it on to others.”

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Mercy’s Well

Join us June 17th at 6:00 pm for an incredible evening of music by Mercy’s Well.

ABOUT:

For any rising, young Christian vocal group, each new recording and each church or concert appearance spawns the hope of making an indelible mark on the life of each individual who hears the music that group presents. Before the first note has been played or the first lyric has been sung, the commitment is made to strive for perfection. Nothing less can be said of talented trio, Mercy’s Well.
Originally organized in 1998 as a duet, Mercy’s Well, under the leadership of group founder, Brad Strider, soon made the natural transition to a trio. The group’s first three single releases paved the way for their first Top 80 single in 2005. Throughout the past six years, the group, which is based in Greensboro, NC, has continued to produce chart topping singles and has gained national attention from fans, music critics, pastors and promoters alike.

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Learning from Mothers of the Bible

Despite the passage of time, despite the cultural differences, mothers of the Bible still speak profoundly to us today. All mothers need the timeless wisdom of moms who made a difference and can teach us to do the same.

The Bible is replete with narratives of mothers who grappled with many of the same issues we face today. Their stories help us navigate our own, creating a rich tapestry of faith that continues through each successive generation.

Eve

Eve, the mother of all, probably is best remembered as being duped by Satan. From Eve we can learn the importance of being aware of the enemy’s schemes, his desire to ruin families.

When we have important decisions to make, are overwhelmed, or are facing a trial of some sort, that’s when the enemy moves in as he did with Eve and says, “Did God really say …?” When we are most vulnerable, Satan wants us to doubt God’s character and his words to us. Don’t ever question what God says in his Word. If you begin to doubt, doubt your doubt. Sounds confusing, but it works. Be discerning and stick close to God.

Satan approached Eve when she was alone and vulnerable; from this we can learn the importance of staying in community. Join a women’s group at church or invite some Christian moms into your home for fellowship.

Zarephath Widow

The widow of Zarephath struggled, as many mothers do today, with putting food on the table. Whether a single mom or in a family facing economic hardship, many moms are worried about having enough food. The woman of Zarephath was asked by God to give what little she had to someone else, something we probably don’t consider, believing that we need to conserve and ration what little we have. Give our food to someone else? Ludicrous! But not in God’s eyes. It’s in the giving that we receive, in the trusting that provision transpires.

Trust God as your Provider. If all you can spare is a single can of corn, give it. Take it to the local food bank or homeless shelter as a step of faith, believing that God will provide for your every need. Even a single can of corn is a beautiful sacrifice in the eyes of God. If we could easily do without it, it wouldn’t really be a sacrifice. May we be willing to say with David, “I will not sacrifice to the Lord my God that which cost me nothing” (2 Samuel 24:24, author paraphrase).

Hannah

Hannah reminds us that our children really belong to the Lord; they are with us for just a brief time. I’m sure Hannah cherished every minute she had with Samuel, yet she knew from the very beginning whose he really was.

As moms we have the wonderful privilege of raising our children for however long they are with us. Yes, they are loud, they sap our energy, and at times they get on our nerves. But they are also beautiful, unique, and a wonder to behold. Enjoy every step of the parenting journey, for these children grow up way too fast.

Canaanite woman

The Canaanite woman reminds me of myself: stubborn, persistent, dogged. Like a mother bear protecting her cub, this mom wasn’t about to give an inch as she pleaded with Jesus on behalf of her child. I like that. Jesus did too, and said to her, “Dear woman, your faith is great. Your request is granted (Matthew 15:28).

No matter what you are going through, never give up. No matter how much your child rebels, never give up. If you are waiting for your prodigal to come home, keep waiting and never give up. God loves a persevering woman.

Mary

Mary watched her beloved son die on the cross, a pain so intense I’m sure she felt as though the nails were piercing her heart as surely as they were piercing her son’s hands. Mary grieved, but she kept on living. She became a “mom” to the disciple John.

Parenting can be painful, but it’s worth it. Perhaps you’ve loved and lost a child; I’ve lost three children myself through miscarriage. Maybe your prodigal has left home and you haven’t heard from him since. Or maybe years of infertility have left you barren. Become a mom to the motherless. My husband and I are in the process of adopting a child. Or be a much-needed spiritual mom to a kid who could use some godly guidance. Whatever you do, love with all you have.

While these are just some of the mothers of the Bible we can glean from, perhaps the greatest cumulative lesson to be learned is that the responsibilities of motherhood are great, but the rewards are even greater.

By Tammy Darling

source: ChristianityToday.com

 

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LLTL: Sunday, January 28th, 2018

What is PMGF?
What is GGTP?

What’s coming up for this Sunday?

Two weeks ago, we began a new sermon series at Immanuel Baptist Church, “PMGF”.

“PMGF” is a title for a sermon, as well as for this sermon series.

Our church family had some fun trying to figure out what the letters stood for and some of their guesses were read in the service. “PMGF” means, “Putting My God First.”
This has to do with a person’s personal choice to make God first in their life. Our text was taken from Proverbs 3: 5-6

This past Sunday, we learned how important it was to GGTP.
Once again, we had some clever guesses. What does it mean?
“GGTP” means, “Giving God the Preeminence.” Our text was taken from Colossians 1:12-18

Keep in mind, there will be a total of ten sermons, (nine more to go), each sermon has a title made of letters.
When we finish the sermon series, the first letter of each sermon title will also spell out an acrostic. The acrostic is also very important and will tie in with the overall theme.

This can be fun, educational and a nice project for the entire family. Get on board!

 LLTL is this weeks sermon title. Can you guess what that means? Let us know your guesses!

Plan on being with us, this Sunday at 10:30 AM to hear the sermon first hand!

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A Great Bible Study for the New Year

Here’s a great Proverbs Bible study you can do all together as a family, or assign to your older children to do as an independent study, during the new year.

Step 1: Pick a topic that the book of Proverbs addresses.

Some good possibilities include friends, parents and children, our speech, a fool versus a wise person, pride and humility, money, our relationship with God, food and drink, self-control, handling temptation.

Step 2: Read a chapter of Proverbs each day for a month and look for verses about your selected topic.

An easy way to keep track of which chapter to read is to look at the date. On the 1st of the month, read chapter 1; on the 2nd, read chapter 2; and so on. Since most months have 31 days, you’ll be able to get through all 31 chapters quite simply.

Step 3: Write down what you find out about your selected topic.

Whenever you see a verse that relates to your topic, write down what it says about that topic. And be sure to note the reference (chapter and verse).

Step 4: At the end of the month, look back through all your findings and summarize them.

Read through the truths that you have found during the month. If you are doing this study as a family, discuss your topic and try to state your findings as general guidelines for life. If your older children are doing the study on their own, they can write their summaries.

Step 5: Select another topic for the next month and repeat Steps 1 to 4.

This Bible study is a great way to get the wisdom from Proverbs into your hearts and minds, as well as develop a habit of daily Bible reading. It’s a simple study that can bring profound results.

You can easily make a notebook in which to keep track of your topics and record your findings and summaries.

Let’s make 2017 a year of getting God’s wisdom into our hearts and minds—and our children’s.