In the Bible, being a follower of Jesus Christ was declared through a believer being baptized. If the Lord has been showing you His worth and has opened your eyes to count Him as the greatest of treasures then I invite you to plan on being baptized, Sunday, May 10th as a part of our worship of the Lord Jesus.
The Apostle Paul came to the end of his life and wrote these words: “I have fought the good fight. I have finished the course. I have kept the faith. In the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.”
Yesterday, I read a note to my oldest daughter from one of the dearest saints in the world to me (Elizabeth Smiley). Mrs. Smiley is 98 years old. I got to be her pastor for a few years in Texas and I have benefitted directly from her prayers for 15 or more years.
In her note (at 98 years of age) she wrote of how because of her infirmities she wasn’t able to attend church as much as she wished but she was thankful that she was still able to pray, encourage, and love.
PRAY – ENCOURAGE – LOVE
At 48 I want to pray more – encourage more and love more and by the grace of God do that all the way to the finish.
As a church – may God help us to PRAY – ENCOURAGE – LOVE and excel still more all the way to the end.
Thank you Lord for the example of Mrs. Smiley.
If you missed adult bible study yesterday – you can listen to the first part of a series we began on marriage here online soon. I am really excited about studying this issue biblically together.
If you are not married this study will still be a tremendous benefit for you. God may use it to equip you for a future marriage, for counseling/advising someone else about marriage, or as a spokesman and ambassador for biblical marriage.
Marriage parables forth a greater reality of our union with the Lord Jesus. If you are a believer then the Bible speaks of you being married to Christ. In this study, it is my prayer that studying the shadow of marriage will make sweeter for us the reality of being wed to Christ.
So listen if you missed it and be sure to come and join us next week at 9:45.
Join us Sunday, May 3rd for a fellowship meal and a special time of hearing and rejoicing in the Lord’s work in the lives of the graduating seniors of our church.
This is God’s universe and He does things His way. You may have a better way but you don’t have a universe.
J. Vernon McGee
In Romans 12:13, Paul points out that one effect of God’s mercy on his people is that they “seek to show hospitality.”
Seek. Pursue. Chase after.
They are not merely willing to be hospitable when someone comes to the door or asks for a favor. But they seek to show hospitality. They’re looking for and creating opportunities to be hospitable, not just answering the doorbell.
That Paul would point to seeking, not merely being willing to be hospitable, makes sense. After all, it’s an implication he’s drawing from the gospel—a gospel that says God was not merely hospitable to us when we asked him, but he sought to show hospitality.
He took initiative toward us before we showed up at his door or asked for any favors.
I’m thinking who we should have over next.
Come and join us this Lord’s Day as we remember the death of the Lord Jesus and the communion we have with Him and each other because of His death. The Lord’s Supper is an important part of worship because it expresses the infinite worth of Christ – perhaps as gloriously as anything that ever happens in the church. Surely, no one is more worthy to be remembered. No one is more worthy to be proclaimed. And no one can satisfy our souls with eternal life but Christ. So prepare yourself and let’s come and remember, and proclaim and eat and worship this Sunday.
My wife called my attention to a couple of advertisements by churches for “Easter” (Resurrection Day) that invited people to come to their particular church and then emphasized that it was a “safe place for your family.”
Is safety really an issue in deciding where you should go to church?
Pastor Andrew shared with me a story this week from a book he is reading about a church in China. These believers were choosing to meet in a home where there was active tuberculosis because the authorities wouldn’t raid it. It was actually safer than meeting somewhere else. Obviously, it wasn’t nearly as safe as not meeting or as meeting in a state run church.
When I think about reasons to invite people to come to Springs of Grace, the church being a “safe place” hasn’t been on my list. I hope Springs is “safe” in the sense that it is a place where you will hear the truth and see God’s people demonstrating love to the least of these. I hope Springs is “safe” because what unites us is not the color of our skin or the size of our homes or the amount of money in our pockets but our shared conviction that Christ is everything. It’s a safe place because you’ll be told about the greatness of God and the foolishness of living for anything other than Him and His purposes. It’s a safe place because you will be reminded that God is good all the time to those who are His own and remembering that will keep you from falling into temptation. It’s a safe place because at Springs of Grace we remind each other that life isn’t about us or about right now but it is about living for God, loving others and looking towards heaven. Remembering that will keep you from the danger of wasting your life on yourself. Springs of Grace is a safe place because you can hear about a Savior who took upon Himself the full fury of God’s wrath that your sin deserved and bore it on a cross and then rose from the dead. Believing that will keep you safe from hell.
So perhaps that’s what these churches on the radio mean when they say “they are a safe place for your family.” I hope so.
But if by “safe” they mean free from risk (which is how Webster’s dictionary defines the word) then they are missing what the church is about. God calls us to take risks for His kingdom. Esther did (Esther 4:16). Shadrack, Meshack, and Abednego did (Daniel 3:17-18). Thomas and the disciples did (John 11:16). The early church did (Acts 2:45; 4:19-21,32). The Apostle Paul did (Acts 14:19-20; 1 Thess. 2:8). Believers in most of the world still do and so should we.
We ought to risk our safety in order to love others who are not exactly like us. We ought to risk not having enough money in the bank for a future emergency in order to help those who are experiencing the emergency of doing without right now. We ought to risk the safety of privacy to share our needs with one another and confess our sins to one another and bear one another’s burdens. We ought to risk our safety in order to see the glory of God advanced and His Son treasured.
I’m glad I go to a church that is safe and not safe – may it be more so in the right ways to the glory of God.
“My Beloved spoke and said to me, Rise up, my love, my beautiful one and come away!” — Song of Solomon 2:10
Lo, I hear the voice of my Beloved! He speaks to me! He bids me “Rise up!” and well He may, for I have long enough been lying among the pots of worldliness. Why should I cleave to the dust? From lower loves, desires, pursuits, and aspirations, I would rise towards Him.
He calls me by the sweet title of “My love” and regards me as beautiful! This is a good encouragement for my rising. If He has thus exalted me, and thinks me thus lovely, how can I linger in the dark tents of Kedar and find congenial associates among the world?
He bids me “Come away!” Come away further and further from everything selfish, groveling, worldly, and sinful! He calls me from the outwardly religious world which knows Him not, and has no sympathy with the mystery of the godly and holy life.
“Come away” has no harsh sound to my ear, for what is there to hold me in this wilderness of vanity and sin? O my Lord, would that I could come away; but I am stuck among the thorns and cannot escape from them as I would! I would, if it were possible, have neither eyes, nor ears, nor heart for sin!
You call me to Yourself by saying “Come away!” and this is a melodious call indeed. To come to You is to come home from exile; to come to land out of the raging storm; to come to rest after long labor; to come to the goal of my desires and the summit of my wishes! But Lord, how can a stone rise, how can a lump of clay come away from the horrible pit? O raise me, draw me–and I will run after You! Your grace alone can do it. Send forth Your Holy Spirit to kindle sacred flames of love in my heart and I will continue to rise until I leave life and time behind me, and indeed come away!
– C. H. Spurgeon