THIS SUNDAY, 8/30
Preacher: DL Lowrie
God is already blessing greatly. (See next item immediately below.)
This Sunday I will make my final presentation in regard to exhorting and encouraging our people to prayerfully consider being a part of the retirement of our present debt incurred from our new construction.
Our “ingathering” day will be Sunday, 9/13. That is the day we will be asking everyone to bring and present their gifts and/or pledges before the Lord. This Sunday, 8/30, I will provide the biblical history associated with the Jewish ingathering. What the Bible records is extremely exciting.
These are strange days that can often be discouraging. So a good word is always timely. Allow me to share a few here:
- This past Sunday we welcomed back our youth & children’s ministries. And the attendance was almost overflowing!
- Monday morning I poked my head into the room where our money-counters gather to say hello (I do this every week). Gaylon Kerr turned around and, with a huge smile on his face, said, “Our building receipts are strong!”
- I was thrilled to be able to welcome our people back on Wednesday evenings. And, like our youth & children on Sunday, our attendance was strong. It was personally rewarding to see so many of our precious people. Further, after I finished teaching, two people walked up to me and asked if they could join BHBC! I’ll present them in the early service this Sunday.
- Dana, Mike & I met with all of our Youth Workers this past Sunday to visit about ‘next steps’ in light of Jordan Morales’ recent resignation. My heart was filled with joy as we engaged in solid, spirited discussion and, as a result, were able to create what I believe is a wise and effective strategy for leadership in the coming weeks. The Lord has blessed us with wonderful youth ministry leadership.
My friends, there is so much good happening within our midst. It’s good for you to know that.
THE GOSPEL OF JOHN
Each week, I hope to share with you here just one nugget from the previous Wed. evening’s study. Since this was the first time we gathered to learn since March 11th, we reviewed the first three chapters of John’s gospel. John 3:16-18 reads as follows:
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
We are familiar with vs. 16, but note vss. 17-18. Because vss. 17-18 are precisely why vs. 16 is called “good news.”
We’ve deserved hell ever since Eden (Genesis 3). But, God, slow to anger and abounding in love, immediately revealed his plan known to redeem us from the enemy’s hand. God so loved us too much to let us remain under eternal condemnation.
When we, as Christians, stand before a holy, just God, we will hear from his throne the verdict, “Not guilty!” Why? Because of the Cross and the Empty Tomb. Author, Neil Anderson, describes it this way:
“Many Christians live as, if they mess up, the hammer of God will fall on them. But the hammer has already fallen. It fell on Christ, who died “once for all” our sins. (Rom. 6:10) We are no longer ‘sinners in the hands of an angry God.’ We are saints in the hands of a loving God who has called us to ‘draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith….(cf. Heb. 10:22).” – Neil Anderson
THE EPIDEMIC OF BIBLICAL ILLITERACY
A recent article cited that over half of U.S. Christians believe good works will get them into heaven – over half. (Read the article here.)
C.S. Lewis once said about philosophy, “Good philosophy must exist, if for no other reason, because bad philosophy needs to be answered.”
Translated to biblical teaching: “Teaching of sound, biblical doctrine must exist, if for no other reason, because bad biblical teaching needs to be corrected.”
One of my overarching passions in ministry is to eradicate biblical illiteracy through the teaching and preaching of responsible, sound doctrine. And, this was one of Paul’s passions as well:
[Pastors and teachers are given the responsibility to equip God’s people with sound doctrine.] “Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth.” – Ephesians 4:11-14
This kind of teaching requires great focus and dedication because it carries with it eternal implications. This is precisely why James warned, “Dear brothers and sisters, not many of you should become teachers in the church, for we who teach will be judged more strictly.“
Never, ever forget: what you’re doing matters. Always.
WHEN WE INVITE SOMEONE TO CONSIDER TRUSTING CHRIST, WHAT IS IT, EXACTLY, WE’RE ASKING THEM TO DO? (I’m glad you asked.)
“When we invite people [to consider faith in Christ] we are inviting them to come home and, in so doing, also to explore a glorious new country, where there is always more to discover.”“We are inviting them to be made truly whole, as unique individuals, and also to discover the joyous ‘fellowship of the [resurrection.]’”[We are inviting them to see] “that the universe is profoundly meaningful, that all things are interconnected in and through Christ, and that to be a Christian is to be fully alive, now and eternally.“God is the ultimate Artist, and Author, and Composer: in his work, all creation sings, and each of us is called to join in the cosmic harmony.” – Dr. Holly Ordway; Imaginative Apologetics: An Integrated Approach to Defending the Faith
For a list of Search Team members, or to know the steps for communicating with the Team, please see click here. Pray for them!
QUOTES of the WEEK
G.K. Chesterton was a towering figure, both in physical and societal stature. A brilliant literary scholar and defender of the Christian faith, the man possessed a rare wit that could slice an opposing argument in half. Should you be interested in reading him further I would humbly suggest to begin with his book, Orthodoxy. This week, enjoy two of his quotes here.
“Men do not differ much on what things they call evil; rather, they differ on what evils they will call excusable.” – GK Chesterton
LAUGHTER IS GOOD MEDICINE
Call it the Youth Pastor in me. But, every now and then, when I sense people need a respite of laughter and joy in their lives, I like to do what I can in order to help bring a little sunshine into their otherwise cloudy day.
Background: I’m not certain exactly when it began. Perhaps, it was birthed while I served in a church puppet ministry when I was a teenager. Regardless, at some point decades ago, I imitated Kermit the Frog for the very first time. And it ended up being a staple through the next 30 years of ministry. More than that, each time I’ve spoken to public school elementary classes (usually during “Red Ribbon” week) I am almost always asked to “bring Kermit.”
I recorded this in just a few minutes last week posted it on my Facebook page. It’s been viewed almost 2.5 thousand times with many commenting, “Thank you! I needed to laugh.” Mission accomplished.
So, for those who may need a laugh, here you go…
SOUL FOOD: America & the Supernatural
We actually live in a nation ripe for discussion about something beyond the physical realm. Read the blog here.
Soli Deo Gloria, Nick