40 Days of Prayer

40days

Catch the Wave! Beginning August 1st, #EBC will be starting 40 Days of Prayer for the family! How can you be a part?

1. Commit to 40 Days of Prayer!
2. Download a copy of the 40 Days of Prayer Guide at: (copy and paste the link below into your browser, if the link does not automatically connect when you click. Go! Download onto your device.)

http://40-days.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/40-Days-Catching-the-Wave.pdf

3. Gather your family each day for the included devotions and prayer focus. Then PRAY!
4. Join us on September 11, 2016 at Stanton City Park for a night of Celebration, through music, food, and preaching with our community.

Let’s Catch the Wave together, for the Glory of God!

Wisdom

James Faith Works

We have at our disposal more information that at any time in human history. More information has been produced in the last 30 years than in the preceding 5000 years. Today, information doubles every four years, but somehow our world seems to be lacking in wisdom. Now, to be fair, there are many kinds of wisdom. For example, children can be a source of wisdom. I read these wise quotes from children recently.

  • Patrick, age 10, says: “Never trust a dog to watch your food for you.”
  • Lauren, age 9, says: “No matter how pretty the look, felt markers are not good lipstick.”
  • Eileen, age 8, says: “Never try to baptize a cat.”

 

True faith transforms your life. If you don’t have a changed life, if your actions don’t match your belief, then your faith is dead. It’s not just deficient, it is dead. And true faith, will be manifest by godly wisdom. True faith is demonstrated by godly wisdom.

James begins to deal with wisdom in James 3:13. He poses a question. “Who is wise and understanding among you? No one wants to be thought of as foolish. No one wants to be perceived as unwise. We all desire to be known as a wise person. But James asks a question. “Who is wise and understanding among you?” Now listen, James does not equate wisdom with intelligence, titles, or degrees. We are quick to call people with vast education “wise” but knowing information is not the same as being wise. For example, did you know that Weird Al Yankovic was valedictorian of his high school, and has an advanced degree in Architecture? How many of you would call Weird Al “Wise Al?”

Wisdom is not measured by information; it is measured according to James, by your actions. Verse 13 continues, “By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom.” James is saying that the true test for someone’s level of wisdom is found by testing their actions, not testing their knowledge. The way you act demonstrates whether or not you are wise.

James 3:14 says, “But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth.” If your conduct and your character are defined by bitter jealousy and selfish ambition, you are not a wise person.

James wants a New Testament church to be characterized by such people. That is a great aim of Christianity. All our church activities are to be to that end, to produce and multiply the wise and understanding. In this section of his epistle James is going to tell his readers what this means and how it may be attained. First he is going to set the standard, and then he is going to warn us of those particular sins which mean the destruction of such wisdom. Finally, he is going to list the marks of a wise life, and the promised harvest.

The sources of wisdom

Wisdom from below

There is a wisdom that comes from the world. There is a wisdom that comes from below. James says, if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition, you have wisdom that comes from below. It is a worldly wisdom. James is talking about a person who simply resents and dislikes the blessings that others receive. Are you so full of the Holy Spirit that the sins of bitter jealousy and selfish ambition have been ejected from your life? If not, you have a wisdom that comes from below. It is a worldly wisdom.

James 3:15 says, “This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic.” Notice please, James is not describing murder, burglary, or any other of a long list of high crimes and treasons. He is simply saying, if you are bitter towards others and put your own needs before the needs of another, you have a worldly wisdom that is carnal, unspiritual, and demonic!

Emmanuel Baptist Church is to be a congregation that is not jealous of another’s possessions, rank, status, beauty, job, intelligence, style, family, office or health! False wisdom fails to understand that all people matter because all people matter to God! Rich or poor, black or white, successful or not, famous or anonymous, intelligent or normal, gifted or not, all people matter to God and when you fail to understand this you fall into a worldly wisdom and not the wisdom of God. James continues in verse 14, “if you boast and are false to the truth, you have wisdom from below.”

The measuring stick of the world is not the same as the measuring stick of God. These are the things that the world measures. It all depends upon your outlook. The way you look at other people determines the quality of your wisdom. Bitter jealousy and selfish ambition unnaturally “LOOK UP” to people. It is an unhealthy outlook. Boasting “LOOKS DOWN” on people.

These are the things that the world tells you to chase after. But not so with the people of God. When you find yourself looking up to the achievements of another, “LOOK OUT!” When you find yourself looking down on the shortcomings of another, “LOOK OUT!” The value of the Christian is found in the cross, and the ground beneath the cross is level for all!

What are the effects of unnaturally looking up or looking down on people? James 3:15 says that a poor outlook towards other people produces “disorder and every evil practice.”  This sort of wisdom only produces trouble. James says in verse 16, “For where envying and strife are, there is confusion and every foul deed.”

Wisdom from above

But James says there is another kind of wisdom. This wisdom does not come from below, but from above. There is a better way to look at the world. There is a better way to look at others. Again, the context of our text says, “by your conduct you will demonstrate the quality of the character of your wisdom.”

There is a wisdom that comes from above. There is a wisdom that comes from God. James is often called the New Testament Book of Wisdom, just as Proverbs is the Old Testament Book of Wisdom. In Proverbs, Solomon tells us a great deal about the Wisdom that Comes from Above. Solomon tells us that wisdom comes from above.

  • Proverbs 2:6 says, “For the LORD gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding.”
  • Proverbs 9:10 says, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.”

There is a wisdom that comes from above. It source is heaven.

The characteristics of wisdom

It is Pure (v. 17)
It is peaceable (v. 17)
It is gentle (v. 17)
It is teachable (v. 17)
It is Merciful (v. 17)

The results of wisdom

James 3:18 says, “And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.” A harvest of righteousness… I pray that this this is what EBC is

  • Praying for
  • Longing for
  • Striving for
  • Working for

Not just mere religion, God help us. Not just merely going through the motions. Not just merely living life till we breathe our last. No, a harvest of righteousness. A great choice is laid before you today. And today you must choose. Yes, each day you much choose.

Will you live your life for what comes below: bitter jealousy and selfish ambition, or will you live for what comes from above. One is useless, false, carnal, unspiritual and demonic, the other flows from the throne of God. What is righteousness? Righteousness is God’s goodness. Righteousness is living according to God’s standard. It is submitting your life to God’s will, God’s Word, and God’s way. It is not pursuing the passions of this world, but submitting your life to God’s standard.

If you sow to your flesh, you will reap corruption. If you sow what is worldly, you will reap what is carnal, and that which is carnal is corrupt. How do you sow to your flesh? Just do what comes naturally. “If it feels good, do it.” That is the philosophy of the world. That is carnal philosophy. “If it feels good, do it.” That is sowing to the flesh. And it will only reap corruption. Defilement. Rotten putrification!

On a particularly hot day, I went to my garbage container to dispose of some trash. I lifted the lid to be welcomed with the most vile, hideous odor conceivable to man. It sped through my nostrils, overwhelmed my lungs, and caused my stomach to wretch.

Rotten meat. Rotten maggot infested meat. Rotten putrefying, spoiled, worm-covered meat. I wretched. I vomited. Still with bag in hand, I lifted the lid again, only to wretch again. And again. Finally, I gathered the strength to throw the bag in and run, but for the rest of the day, I could not get the smell out of my nose. In fact, for the next few days, the very sight of the canister made my stomach involuntarily wretch.

That is what the things of this world should do to the Christian. The vile odor of their putrid smell should repulse us. The pleasures of this world are rotting. The pursuits of this world are decaying. They are vile smelling, putrid, rotten, and produce a harvest that will not last.

But there is a greater harvest. It is not natural, it is supernatural. It is not worldly, it is heavenly. It is not putrid, it is pure. It is not bellicose, it is peaceable. A harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. If one professes to be a Christian, he must prove it by living like a Christian. And nothing is more convincing than the kind of wisdom revealed in his or her behavior. God’s wisdom will be revealed in the way we live. And when we hear Him and we love Him and we obey Him and we serve Him, it will be manifest by a purified heart in humble peacemaking deeds of righteousness that reproduce themselves. It’s a tremendous, tremendous picture. And James says that’s how a person proves whether or not he has the wisdom of God.

You ask yourself: do I? Do I have the wisdom of God? The answer is not anything other than what is the character of your life, what are the specific deeds you do and what is your attitude. And you run the inventory yourself. Is your life worldly wisdom? Or is your life divine wisdom?

You say, “I don’t know. Maybe I’m in the middle.” Well, you better get on your knees and find out which side of the line you’re on. It may be that you’re in the worldly wisdom area but you’ve been around Christians so long you’ve picked up some of their habits. It may be that you are in the godly wisdom area but you’ve been hanging around the world so long you’ve picked up some of their habits. And if you’re having trouble figuring out where you are, you’re in desperate situation. God’s wisdom should mark without equivocation those people who belong to Jesus Christ.

And let me just summarize in closing thought…wisdom equals life style. The entry into wisdom is through faith in God through Jesus Christ. We are saved into wisdom. Once we come into wisdom, then Scripture becomes the source of wisdom, the Holy Spirit becomes the teacher of wisdom. What a wonderful thought. What a wonderful truth.

Earwax

Quick to Listen

A man walking into church late asked one of the ushers, “Is the sermon done yet?” The usher replied, “The sermon has been preached someone, but it has yet to be done by anyone.” What an answer! The word of God is not just meant to be preached. It’s meant to be practiced. It’s not just meant to be delivered, it’s meant to be done! The book of James gives us a step by step procedure.

We have spent the last few weeks talking about trials and temptations. James has been blunt and transparent in his instructions. He has given us commands, imperatives, that we are to follow if we are to allow the faith on the inside to be lived out on the outside. Today is no different. Today the rubber meets the road. Today he is going to command us specifically how to respond to trials and temptations in our life!

Know this, my beloved brothers, let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger, for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. (James 1:19, 20)

A Careful Ear

We live in a time of information explosion. I read recently that over 100 billion emails are sent each day. That’s more than ten times the population of the whole world. Each day 5000 new books are published. This year the number of text messages will exceed 6 trillion. Everyone is sending communication, but is anyone really listening?

If we take the year Christ was born as our starting point, it took 1500 years for all the knowledge in the world to double. The next doubling took only 250 years. It doubled again in 150 years. By the end of World War II, knowledge doubled every 25 years. Today knowledge is doubling every 12 months.

No wonder we can’t keep up. According to Stephen Davey, “If you happen to read the New York Times newspaper for one week, you will be exposed to more information than the average person, living in the 1800‘s, came across in their entire lifetime.” (From the message “Tutored by Truth.”)

We are being swamped by a tidal wave of information that pours in 24/7/365. The whole world is now “live” and in “real-time.” Stories change every few minutes, and the screen you’re watching may have an anchor reading a story with an image to the right, a sidebar to the left, with a screen crawl at the top and another at the bottom so that you’re following five different information sources at the same time on the same screen.

We are easily distracted therefore we must cultivate the discipline of listening. No wonder we are easily distracted. We look without seeing, we listen without hearing, and we speak without understanding. We are a wired up, tuned in, hyper-caffeinated generation that seems to know less than ever.

Listening is a discipline that must be cultivated. Isn’t it amazing that when we bring a little critter into the world, we can’t wait for the baby’s first words. We hope and long for the day that they say “momma” or “dada.” Once we hear them speak that first word, we practice it with them over and over. We teach them new words. As they grow, we teach them to pronounce them more clearly, we practice better diction, and better grammar. We carefully cultivate their speech.

But how careful are we to teach them to listen? Is not one of the greatest frustrations of parenting that our kids talk back too much and listen to our directions too little? Listening is a discipline that must be cultivated. We must learn not only how to hear, but how to really listen!  James says that we are to have a careful ear. “Let everyone be quick to hear…” This verse is naturally connected to everything that has gone before, and that which will come next.

James is telling you today that you are going to face trials and temptations, and when you face trials and temptations, you are going to need wisdom, and if you are to gain true wisdom, you need to understand that wisdom comes when we listen more…The word translated “quick” was used in a slightly different form in John 20:4 to describe Peter outrunning John to the empty tomb. That’s a helpful picture. We ought to be “outrunning” ourselves to find out what God has to say to us.

I read of a man who says that he and his wife have a simple morning rule: “No Bible, no breakfast.” I like it as a personal worth adopting. We would all be better off if instead of checking Facebook first thing in the morning, we went running to the Word of God. I can’t make rules for you or for anyone else, but here’s a challenge to think about. Being “quick to hear” doesn’t happen by accident.

A Controlled Tongue

James says, “Let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak…” When you are in a trial or temptation, or when you are in need of wisdom, have a controlled tongue. Ecclesiastes 5:2 says it this way: “God is in heaven and you are on earth. Therefore let your words be few.” It’s hard to argue with that. We need more wisdom and less words! Have a controlled tongue. Solomon wrote a book on Wisdom, called Proverbs. Over and over again in this book on wisdom, he wrote of having a controlled tongue.

  1. Prov 10:19 In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, but he who restrains his lips is wise.
  2. Prov 13:3 He who guards his mouth preserves his life, but he who opens wide his lips shall have destruction.
  3. Prov 17:28 Even a fool is counted wise when he holds his peace; when he shuts his lips, he is considered wise.
  4. Prov 29:20 Do you see a man hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him

Social media encourages quick feedback. Someone says something we don’t like so without thinking it through, we post a snappy reply, a snarky comment, a clever comeback or a mean-spirited innuendo. Sometimes we are so eager to post our comments that we hit Send and then start chuckling over our cleverness.

Slow down. Stop. Control yourself. When James says “Be slow to speak,” he is thinking about our tendency to speak when we are angry and frustrated. I’m sure you’ve heard it said: Speak when you are angry and you’ll make the best speech you’ll ever regret. So talk less and listen more. Specifically, listen to the Word of God.

A Calm Temper

James is not saying don’t get angry. That’s unrealistic. We’re all going to get angry from time to time. The word translated “anger” actually refers to a deep-seated rage. It doesn’t refer to a passing moment of displeasure which is soon gone and forgotten. No, James is speaking of that deep emotion which, when released, is like a volcano erupting. It spews red-hot lava all over the living room.

Anger is under your control. Sometimes we talk of “blowing up” as if it happened against our will. But that’s a cop-out. Anger is under your control. When you are in the midst of a trial or a temptation, have a calm temper.

Anger is an emotion we control. Here’s the proof. Have you ever had an argument with your spouse and the phone rang right in the middle of the argument? You were raising your voice and getting red in the face and then, “Hello, how are you? I’m so glad you called. Goodbye.” You hang the phone up and go at it again. That’s because anger is an emotion you can control.

But notice the progression. If we are quick to hear, we will be slow to speak. But if we are slow to hear, we will doubtless be quick to speak. Quick speaking leads to quick anger. A controlled tongue leads to a calm temper. The angrier we get, the faster we speak, and the less we hear. The more controlled the tongue, the calmer the temper.

I think James knew we would have an issue with this third command so he added a reason in verse 20: “For the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.” The CEV offers this practical warning: “If you are angry, you cannot do any of the good things that God wants done.” Did you ever know a person who was angry all the time? They get up angry, they shower angry, they eat breakfast angry, they go to work angry, they come home angry, they watch TV angry, and they go to bed angry. When they are happy, that makes them angry. Nothing pleases a person like that. Anger leads to jealousy, harsh words, and it can even lead to murder.

That sort of anger can never produce a life pleasing to God. That sort of anger only destroys; it never builds up. That sort of anger brings the smell of death with it. Jesus didn’t come to make us nicer people. He came to make us new people. If you are going to live like God wants you to, you must actively get rid of the moral filth that has become like spiritual earwax. You cannot obey when you cannot hear.

Sons of Liberty Concert

sons of liberty 3

Formed in the 1980’s, The Sons of Liberty, Inc. is a non-profit organization endeavoring to spread the news of Jesus Christ through song. With the roots of this group being from the Appalachian Mountains of southeastern Kentucky, their music styles range from the traditional music sounds of southern gospel, to a slight country gospel and even a little flavor of bluegrass gospel music.

The Sons of Liberty will provide an evening of music at Emmanuel Baptist Church on Sunday, May 15, 2016 at 6PM. There is no charge for the event, but a free-will offering will be taken to help provide for the band’s expenses. The whole family is welcome to attend, and guests are welcomed.

Copycat

 

facebook-copycat-130613William J. Bennett once said, “We—all of us, but especially the young—need around us individuals who possess a certain nobility, a largeness of soul, and qualities of human experience worth imitating and striving for.” The Apostle Paul understood the importance of imitation. He wrote:
Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us. For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself. (Philippians 3:17-21 ESV)

1. Because we are citizens of heaven, We Have An Example to Follow After 
Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us. (Philippians 3:17)

The Greek word translated “join in imitating me” is interesting. It literally means, “be fellow imitators.” It is not found anywhere else in the NT or that we can find in other Greek Literature. Paul created a word under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. It can mean to “bring to the same form as someone or something” or “to be conformed unto.” It is a picture of “an imitator with others.”
Paul was not just calling others to be a copycat. He was saying, join me as fellow imitators, fellow copycats. You see, Paul was busy about the business of copying Christ. Therefore, he said, look at my example, and imitate me as I am imitating Christ.

“Keep your eyes on…” means to “regard attentively, to take heed, or to contemplate.” Attentively regard those who walk according to the example you have in us.
For you have an example…Literally a type, or a pattern. Paul is not being arrogant here. He is not bragging or boasting in his walk. Remember, he has told us he has not arrived. He has not attained all that he has set out to. He was still a work in progress. But having considered his own walk with Christ, Paul had placed himself in a position to be an example of all those who would come behind.

In 1 Cor. 4:16, Paul said, “Therefore, I urge you, imitate me.”
In 1 Cor. 11:1 Paul wrote, “Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.”
In 2 Thess. 2:10, he said, “For you yourselves know how you ought to follow us…”

Later in this same book, he gives a broad appeal for imitation when he says in Philippians 4:9, “Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” This time, he urges a total lifestyle imitation – what you have learned, received, heard or seen. Paul was saying in a bold way, I am a model to follow and you can safely watch what I do and do it and you will be doing the right way.

How then are we to imitate Paul?

  • Forgetting those things which are behind
  • Reaching forward for those things which are ahead
  • Pressing on towards the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Paul’s lifelong objective, and the objective for which you should dedicate your life, is to become more and more like Jesus Christ. Paul is saying, “Follow me! I know the way up. Walk in my footsteps. Climb where I have climbed already.” If we are to live such lives, it means that we can never let down our guard. What pressure to live perfect lives! If you live in a city or a small town, you sometimes notice that most people like to have their curtains drawn at night. Otherwise, people can drive by and see exactly what is going on inside. If you are going to live with your curtains open, your life must be lived in such a way that you don’t mind it being under constant inspection. If we are to say, “imitate me” our life must be lived in such a way that we don’t mind it being under constant inspection.

How can Paul say this? In some ways, this is the wrong question. The reality is that whether or not we accept it, our lives are a model. Whether we are conscious of it or not, people are imitating us. So it is not so much a question of whether or not we want to be a model, the question really is, am I bold enough to say that I will be a model deliberately. Am I committed enough to doing things Jesus’ way to make such a life a priority?
How did Paul do it? I Corinthians 11:1 is another passage in which he expresses the invitation to imitate him, but this time, he tells us the basis for this statement. He says, “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.”

2. Because we are citizens of heaven, We Have An Enemy to Flee From 

For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. (Philippians 3:18-19) There was a group of false converts who troubled the Philippian saints.  This group wished to be regarded as Christians but their lives did not line up with their confession.  In other words, they made certain claims to true Christianity but were teaching lies and not living for Christ but they lived for themselves.
There is a great gulf between God’s people and Satan’s people.  Paul brings this out in this text.  Satan’s people are enemies of the cross of Christ because they serve a different god.
Self-indulgence marks those who follow Satan and self-sacrificing marks those who follow Christ.  Satan is only out for himself and so are his followers while Christ seeks the good of others and so do those who follow Him.

There is always an example…there is always a model. But not all are good examples and good models. Those who walk as enemies of the cross are more concerned with earthly things because their home is this world…for now.  The believer’s home is not this earth and its pleasures but heaven and its pleasures.  True believers must not get too comfortable in this life.  We must not think that this world is to be heaven.  It’s not comfortable or satisfying.  Those things will be met when we enter into eternal life.
3. Because we are citizens of heaven, We Have An Expectation to Focus On

“But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.” (Philippians 3:20-21)

Christians should live as citizens of heaven, not as citizens of earth. Philippi was a Roman colony, some 800 miles east of Rome, surrounded by territory subject to Rome but whose residents lacked Roman citizenship. But those in Philippi had legal status as Roman citizens, so that the city was an outpost of Roman life. It was governed by Roman law. They practiced Roman customs. A Roman could go to Philippi and feel right at home.
To these Christians who lived in a city that took pride in its Roman citizenship, Paul is saying, “You have a higher citizenship than that of Rome. You are citizens of heaven. Just as your Roman citizenship greatly affects the way you live, even more so your heavenly citizenship should affect how you live. Don’t fall into the trap of living as those around you.” Apparently there were some, even in the church, who professed to be Christians, but whose lives revealed that they were not true citizens of heaven. So Paul warns the flock of this danger and urges them to stand firm in the Lord. The more we as believers realize these things the less we’ll be attached to this world.  In heaven an inheritance awaits us…

1 Peter 1:3-9 (ESV)  says, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,  [4] to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you,  [5] who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.  [6] In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, as was necessary, you have been grieved by various trials,  [7] so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.  [8] Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory,  [9] obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
Do you see how what Peter writes coincides with Paul?  Peter tells us that we have an imperishable inheritance waiting for us, but it’s not here, it’s in heaven.  We rejoice in our salvation which isn’t fully given yet because we’re not in heaven yet.  We rejoice through various trials because we know that these earthly trials will in no way affect our standing with Christ or our eternal inheritance.”

This is the attitude of a true mature believer.  This attitude is possible as we realize our citizenship is in heaven. Not only are we standing firm as we await our inheritance as Peter writes, but, as Paul tells us here, we stand firm awaiting our Savior to appear.  We must remember that we will someday see Jesus.  I’m not sure what he’ll look like.  He will no doubt look like what John saw at the beginning of the Book of Revelation.  We will see Jesus Christ.

So often, I believe, we can drift into theological theory instead of theological worship and adoration.  As we learn more and more about Christ we must become better worshippers not simply fill our heads with facts. What is going to happen when we meet Christ who will come from heaven? [21] who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.

On the basis that all this is true, Paul tells us to Stand Firm…
[Philippians 4:1] Therefore, my brothers, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm thus in the Lord, my beloved.
When I read in the Bible these words, “stand firm,” I often think of the reporter on the Weather Channel as he tells about the hurricane.  He’s trying his best to stand firm in the midst of 100 plus mph winds. That’s how we are to be as we endue trials of this life.  At times we’ll need to zip up our raincoats and lean into the wind and endure.  These Philippian believers found themselves in a storm of false teaching and a storm of Roman aggression.  Paul told them that Jesus is the finish line.  Heaven is our real home.  Jesus is the Savior we wait for.  Stand firm.
I pray we will also apply Paul’s words to our lives as well.  Stand firm!

Application

  •  Following a good example is a necessity. (Whom will you follow?)
  • Being a good example is a responsibility. (Whom will I lead?)
  • Maturity requires authenticity. (How will I live?)

 

On-Mission

Hope House 8How old do you have to be to be on-mission with God? I guess the answer is simply: old enough to embrace and obey what God is saying. The mission of Emmanuel Baptist Church is to “GO to the families of Powell County and beyond, to SHOW them the love of God, and to GROW them into fully-devoted followers of Jesus Christ.”

Recently, some students at Emmanuel gave of their time and energy to travel to help feed men at Hope Center in Lexington, KY, and to minister to the homeless and those in a recovery program. There, the students encountered many people, from different walks of life, different experiences, and different struggles. But our students went with one purpose: to be on-mission with God.Hope House 7

Just days before He was crucified, Jesus said:

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’” (Matthew 25:31-40 ESV)

Thank God, for our students who were willing to GO to the “least of these!”

 

Good Friday Service

LifeChurch-GoodFridayService

As Jesus Christ hung on Mount Calvary’s cruel cross, he uttered seven sayings. The words of any dying man are important, but how much more the importance is found in the final words of the Son of God?

“Father, forgive them for they do not know what they do.”

“Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”

“Woman, this is your son…This is your mother.”

“My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”

“I thirst…”

“It is finished…”

“Father, into Thy hands I commit my spirit.”

Perhaps the least understood of all these sayings is the middle utterance. “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” Did the Father truly forsake the Son? Did He turn His back on His Beloved? Was there a greater purpose to these words, borrowed from the Old Testament?

Join Emmanuel Baptist Church, in cooperation with the Powell County Ministerial Association, for a look at these words of Jesus, and let us consider the purpose of the work and the words of Jesus, this Good Friday, March 25, at 7 PM. Pastor Douglas Turner, the new pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church will be preaching. All are welcome to attend.