Hold On Tight

April 13, 2016

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Scripture

Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise.

~Hebrews 10:23, NLT

Quote

Tenacity is the ability to hold on when letting go is easier and much more attractive.

~Ya’akov

I love Hebrews chapter ten; especially verses 19-25. The future reality foreshadowed in the Old Covenant was fulfilled to the fullest extent in Christ. In the Old Testament, the high priest went into the most holy place one time a year and never without blood–the blood of sheep, goats or bulls– but it was impossible for the blood of animals to take away our sins. Jesus voluntarily came into this world to become the One sacrifice that would cleanse us of all our sin. By one sacrifice He has made perfect forever those who are being made holy {Hebrews 10:14, NIV}.

Note the differences in tenses: By the sacrifice of Christ, we have been made perfect [past tense–already happened] but we are being made holy [presence tense] day by day. Our regeneration makes us perfect in God’s sight but we are not yet perfect in each other’s sight. Understanding this truth:

  1. Let us draw near to God with a truthful heart and full assurance knowing that Jesus has cleansed us of all sin. {v.22}
  2. Let us hold tightly [firmly] to the HOPE we profess, for He who promised is faithful. God can be trusted to keep His promise. {v.23}
  3. Let us think [consider] of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.{v.24}
  4. Let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near. {v.25} NLT

In a nutshell, let us pray, believe, motivate and encourage. The first two are personal: praying and believing. The second two are social: motivating and encouraging others.

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  • Our Hope…Day one was very rough due to physical problems. Hope is not well physically. Her stomach was bothering her on Monday and she is not eating. They did not make her work yesterday which is a good thing and I think she may get checked out by the clinic next door. At present, Hope does not have the stamina to do this program but we are hoping that she will get stronger. We desperately need your prayers.
  • VBS has been changed from June 6-10 to June 13-17. Commencement Picnic on June 19 {Sunday Night}. Pray for Holly, she has the three year olds and there are about 17 of them and most of them are pistols with Chloe at the head of the pack. If we got a perfect teacher/student ratio for this class, we would need 34 workers.
  • For those attending the PRAYER RALLY: we are going to leave the church parking lot at 9:00 am and stop in Prattville for Brunch. Joe David has to be home by 4:00 and I want him to drive.

Absolutely!

April 28, 2015

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SCRIPTURE

 For God’s will was for us to be made holy by the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all time.

~Hebrews 10:10, NLT

QUOTE

All God’s actions, like His attributes, are absolute.

~T. W. Hunt

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The old system under the law of Moses was only a shadow, a dim preview of the good things to come. Judaism was the shadow, Jesus is the real thing. The sacrifices under the old system were repeated again and again, year after year, but they were never able to provide perfect cleansing for those who offered them. If they could have provided perfect cleansing, Christ death would not have been necessary but they were powerless to efface our guilt. Actually, the repeated animal sacrifices reminded us of our guilt. All the prophets understood that the blood of bulls and goats could not take away sins, which is why Christ came into the world as a willing and acceptable sacrifice. When Jesus cried “It is finished,” it meant that the work of atonement was complete. No more sacrifices needed. The atoning work of Christ on the cross is absolute and perfect. Any suggestion that Christ work is not enough to secure the forgiveness of our sins is a subtle form of idolatry. Jesus never did anything halfway.

TODAY WE PRAY FOR TEACHERS

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  • Got a little chilly last night. I was at the ball field until 8:00 and it was nippy. You can pick out the Senior Adults at Spring ball games, we are the ones with coats and blankets.
  • Chloe Bug having a surgery today. The difference between minor surgery and major is if it’s your grand child, right!
  • Worked on the DIGEST all day Monday and we should make our deadline, PTL.
  • Wednesday is our final supper of the AWANA year. We’ve had a good year in AWANA: number wise, the best in recent history. This Wednesday night is STORE NIGHT in AWANA and June is baking brownies, they go for $5 for a canister of eight. Of course we are talking AWANA bucks. I have tasted them, they are good.
  • Mrs. Irene Pope has not been responsive in several days but she is hanging it there. She does not seem to be in any pain. I love Mrs. Irene and her family: they are gracious folks.
  • I had to leave early yesterday but Tony Smallwood was coming to fix the lock at the FORTE. If he has time, I’m going to get him to fix them all.

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Faith

December 15, 2014

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SCRIPTURE

 Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.

~Hebrews 11:1, NLT

QUOTE

Faith assures our hope and gives conviction about things we cannot see.

~Nicholas Thomas Wright 

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Claire Randall

Claire Randall

Diana Gabaldon wrote a fictional novel “Outlander” that features a British WWII nurse who mysteriously takes a step back in time. She finds herself in the Scottish turf wars of the 18th century. She lives amidst violence and death but her WWII experience has taught her much more about taking care of the wounded than the 1743 Scots understand. When Claire mentions ‘germs,’ the Scot are like, “What are germs?” She realized instantly that it would do no good to try to explain so she used another word. Germs have been around for a while but we did not see them until the microscope was invented.

So much of reality is unseen: Oxygen, practically all the gases, germs, bacteria, pain, the soul, angels and yes God who dwells in unapproachable light. If I said I did not believe in germs, the world of medical science would deem me a fool, yet some of the more intellectual among us deny the existence of God on basis of Him being unseen. We Christians believe that the Great Unseen created the seen; the Invisible One created all that is visible and He did it via the power of His Word. Paul told the Athenians, “Indeed God is not far from each one of us, for in Him we live and move and find our existence.”

Don’t be deceived by your eyes: God is not distant like a star, He is as close as the air you breath. Always remember, “What God says overrules what you see.” Jesus said of Jairus daughter, “She is not dead, only asleep,” and they laughed at Him because they had seen her dead lifeless body with their own eyes. Sometimes it’s better to listen than to look.

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  • Overwhelmed folks! There is no other word to describe how I felt when Willard handed me the results of the offering {over $1,600} and it continued to grow. Before I left the building, Willard brought me the envelope and said, “It grew, now there is more than $2,000.” It grew more last night with $200 more coming in. I really can’t tell you how many children we sponsored but I know of 16. Folks, I don’t know what to say? I am at a lost for words and that doesn’t happen often.
  • Today we pray for MISSIONARIES AND MINISTERS. I appreciate you praying for Joe David. He preached the best message I’ve ever heard on stewardship. I’ve always told him, “Son, you have to be brief or brilliant and for us, we had better be brief.” I’m not going to tell him that again: I need to be brief. If you didn’t understand the message yesterday it was because you didn’t want to.
  • Joe David and I will be going to Huntsville today. Preston’s surgery has been changed to 1:00 pm.
  • CHILDREN’S CHRISTMAS PLAY was a huge hit in spite of technical difficulty which we always seem to have. I was impressed with the singing and the motions. Everyone on stage was in sink and participated. Matthew will make it to Hollywood. The boy is a born entertainer. It was all good. We thank Charity, Stephanie, Beth and Shohn for doing a great job. Huge crowd and big turn out for CHRISTMAS SUPPER. We ran out of ham and chicken.
  • This Wednesday night is full throttle and then we hit our holiday slow down. Next Sunday {21}, we have Deacon and wives’ meeting at 8:55 in Sanctuary, LCBS at 9:00 and worship at 10:15 and no pm service.

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Perfect Justice

November 27, 2014

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SCRIPTURE

Nobody gets by with anything, no one plays fast and loose with Him.

~Psalms 76:12, MSG

QUOTE

Mercy, detached from Justice, grows unmerciful.

~C.S. Lewis

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Asaph said in Psalm 73, No doubt about it! God is good!” God is good and thus He is just. No sin escapes His judgment. Jesus died to save us from the penalty of sin which is hell but as followers of Christ, we are to give up the practice of sin. It is a paradox that I cannot resolve: Jesus blood atones for all my sins: past, present and future and yet I am accountable for my sins. The writer of Hebrews in chapter 12 quotes Proverbs 3, “My dear child, don’t shrug off God’s discipline, but don’t be crushed by it either. It’s the child he loves that he disciplines; the child he embraces, he also corrects.” For the child of God, we are disciplined for our sins and this will take place in this life time. For the unbeliever, there is punishment for sin because they rejected Jesus who is our atonement.

Naturally hurting people, those who have suffered an injustice due to the selfishness of another, have a desire to see justice. I am sure you have heard of the Nuremberg trials which began in November of 1945. It was an international court appointed to the task of prosecuting Nazi war crimes. It is hard to get an exact figure but some 1,800 Nazis were prosecuted. The law of retribution is woven into the very fabric of the universe and no human or group of humans can destroy this code of justice. When a human feels the deep pain of rejection and betrayal that often accompanies divorce; it is a natural tendency for them to want to see justice. I always quote the verse above to the hurting, “Nobody gets by with anything: no one can play fast and lose with God.” It is impossible to deceive Him.

  • Give into lust and you will pay.
  • Mistreat your wife and you will pay.
  • Neglect your children and you will pay.
  • Love money more than people and you will pay.
  • Reject Jesus and you will pay.

I can make the list longer but the point is: sin pays in real wages for anyone, believer or non-believer. NOBODY gets by with ANYTHING! Be thankful that God is just, good and merciful.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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