Good Friday Service

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What could be good about the day that True Love died? Find out as the churches of the Powell County Ministerial Association join together to see how at “just the right time, Christ died for us.” The Good Friday Service will be held on April 14, 2017 at 7:00 PM at Emmanuel Baptist Church.

The EBC Worship Team will lead in music, and Pastor Turner will give a relevant hope-filled message taken from the Word of God. Everyone is welcome! Please invite a friend to join you.

Compassion

Compassion.jpgCan one person make a difference? The answer is “yes.” William Wilberforce made a difference. John Newton made a difference. Abraham Lincoln made a difference. Gandhi made a difference. Martin Luther King, Jr. made a difference. Nelson Mandela made a difference. Esther made a difference. And so can you. The real question is not whether you can make a difference or not; the real question is, will you make a difference or not.

You can make a difference! What the world needs now is for people just like you and me who are willing and ready to think, say, and do what is right, regardless of the cost.

See something

It all begins by opening your eyes. Look around you. What is wrong with the world? What is broken? What is unjust? What is improper? Look. See. Cut through the haze of day to day surviving and see the world the way that it really is.

Put aside your preconceptions and prejudices and just look. It won’t take you long to see things are not the way they should be. Don’t turn a blind eye. Don’t look the other way. Don’t ignore. See it, even if it is difficult to see.

I want to tell you something that may be hard for you to hear, and harder for you to believe. But it is true. God is not frustrated with the candidates for the November elections. God is not frustrated over whether the states are Blue or Red. God is not frustrated over whether you are registered Republican, Democrat, or Libertarian. God is not frustrated over a 29% increase in Obamacare Insurance Premiums. God is not frustrated over fracking. God is not frustrated with Wall Street. God is not frustrated with the economy.

But God is grieved that just down the road there are neglected widows. Just down the street there are hungry children. Just over the River there is incest. Just up the Parkway there is a Boy’s Home filled with orphans. Just across town there is an abused woman. Just across the street there is a school filled with children who don’t know Jesus.

Listen to me. Listen well. We are overly concerned with Macro problems, while God is concerned with micro-possibilities. Let me simplify. We care about the big. God cares about the small. To my knowledge, God has never called His people to win a Presidential Election! God has never called His people to win the House or the Senate. God has never called His People to increase international trade agreements.

But God has called His people…

  • To care for the widow
  • To care for the orphan
  • To feed the hungry
  • To care for the alien, and the refugee
  • To clothe the naked
  • To give cold water to the thirsty
  • To bandage the wounds of the injured
  • To visit those in prison

You may not change the whole world, but when you change the destiny of one person you change their whole world! Stop worrying about Macro problems and see micro-possibilities!

Feel something

Having seen, feel. Having opened your eyes, open your heart. Opening your eyes brings consciousness. Opening your heart brings compassion. Feel something. If there is hurt around you, then feel the hurt. If there is brokenness, then feel broken. If there is injustice, feel aggrieved. Awareness of injustice without emotion breeds condescension. Awareness of injustice with emotion births compassion. Compassion brings action.

There is no such thing as compassion without action. Compassion moves you inwardly to act outwardly. But you will not do something great outwardly until you feel something great inwardly. Think about the world. What wretches your gut? What leaves you wide-eyed until the wee hours of the morning? What turns your stomach? What makes your heart race?

Find something. Then feel something.

Do something

When you have seen and when you have felt, do something. Doing nothing is an option, but it is not a very good option! Act. Even if you act alone. Listen, as your pastor I am not seeking to recruit more people to carry our more programs for our church. I am seeking more people who are willing to go into this broken world and BE the church!

Act. Even if you act alone. Be courageous—no matter the cost.

On April 18, 1521 at the Diet of Worms, Martin Luther took a stand against the ills he saw. He said, “Here I stand; I can do no other. God help me. Amen.” The Roman Church hated him for his staunch stand against their ways. They wanted to kill him, but they couldn’t, so they settled for excommunicating him. Nevertheless, there he stood. God helped him. All by himself raised a torch that lit the fires of churches like ours today. Would you have done that? Would you have had the guts to do something?When Mother Theresa, the compassionate nun of Calcutta, spoke before an audience on sophisticated Washington D.C., she addressed a deep concern of hers: the sanctity of life. As a pro-abortion President of the USA sat behind her, she boldly announced, “Send me your babies.” Would you have the guts to say what she said in the company in which she said it?

We cannot be known for what we stand against until we take an active stand for what we believe. Martin Luther saw something, felt something, and did something. Mother Teresa saw something, felt something, and did something. Mordecai saw something, felt something, did something. Esther saw something, felt something, did something.

Having a belief is not the same as taking a stand. Convictions without action are really just theories. Theories without action are just fantasies. Theories with action become realities. Realities can change destinies. Changed destinies change eternities.

Lives are never changed by privately held opinions. Lives are changed when people put their opinions into action. See something. Feel something. Do something. Regardless of the consequences.

A New Direction

Vision Night 2016

Last night was a wonderful gathering of God’s people. It’s hard to summarize a 90 minute meeting in a post, but here are the highlights. (More details will be available in days to come!) The Members of ‪#‎EBC‬ voted unanimously and enthusiastically to:

1. Begin the search for a full-time Family Life Minister to oversee the discipleship of our children from cradle to college, to be presented to the Church for approval.

2. Increase the 2016 Fiscal Budget to allow for the hiring of the Family Life Minister.

3. To launch a Family Life Center Team to prepare and present proposals to the church for the construction of a Family Life Center and the renovations of the existing Worship Center.

Praise God for the spirit of unity, and the bond of peace present in the meeting. May God bless the work of our hands!

40 Days of Prayer

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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!

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!”

 

The Light of the World

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John 8:12-30

I love campfires. It’s not just the smell of burning wood, or the prospect of s’mores. It’s not just the sound of crackling wood or the blast of warm air against my face in the midst of a crisp evening. It’s the light. It’s captivating. It’s mesmerizing. It’s attractive. It brings a sense of safety in the midst of darkness.

Announcing the Light

Watch now. Verse 12 of John 8 declares, “When Jesus spoke again to the people…” At first this may seem as an unimportant introduction to a passage. But I want you to look with me at an important question. Where was Jesus speaking to the people? Let me show you how the context of this passage can shed light onto our text.

Please skip ahead to verse 20 of John 8 with me. “He spoke these words while teaching in the temple area near the place where the offerings where put.” The Scripture tells you that Jesus was speaking in a portion of the temple that was known as the Treasury. The Treasury was located in a part of the temple known as the Court of Women. This Court contained two enormous menorahs. Menorah is the Jewish word for candle stand. It is said that when these menorahs were lit, there was not a court in the Temple of Jerusalem that was not illuminated. In fact, you could see the light of the temple from any part of the city.

The second important question I would like for you to consider is, “When was Jesus speaking to the people.” Please flip back with me to John 7:2. “But when the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles was near, Jesus’ brothers said to him, ‘You ought to leave here and go to Judea..’” But Jesus responded in verse 6, “The right time for me has not yet come…”

John 7:14 says, “Not until halfway through the Feast did Jesus go up to the temple courts and began to teach.”

Skip ahead to John 8:2. “At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people sat down to teach them.” And this brings us back to 8:12. “When Jesus spoke again to the people…”

  • Where was Jesus teaching? The Treasury in the Court of Women.
  • When was Jesus teaching? At the close of the Feast of Tabernacles.

The Feast of Tabernacles was an annual Jewish celebration. The purpose of the feast was to Celebrate God’s miraculous provision in protecting and guiding the Jewish people through the Wilderness during their Exodus from Egypt. During the Feast, the Jews lit enormous candelabras each evening to remember the brilliant pillar of fire that led the Jews through the wilderness by night. “The great candelabra were close behind Him, fifty cubits [6 feet] high and sumptuously gilded. Every night these lights were lit and shed their soft light all over the city. Here, the people joined in festive dances to the sound of the flutes and other music and the Levites chanted the Songs of Degrees [Pss. 120-134].” (J. W. Shepard, The Christ of the Gospels, (Eerdmans: Grand Rapids: 1939), 352.)

On the last night of the Feast, the candelabras were extinguished. With all this as a background, I believe Jesus stood in this court that had been so brilliantly illuminated for days but now was dark and declared, “I am the Light of the World…” This must have been such shock to the senses of the Jews that were gathered there. The light of the candelabras was still fresh in their memories. The darkness of the night was enveloping them. And Jesus declares, “I am the Light of the World.”

My friends there is a darkness that is enveloping the world around us. Immorality, promiscuity, pornography, homosexuality, and all manner of evil casts its shade over the landscape of our nation. But the light of Jesus Christ shines into the darkness!

The Permanence of the Light     

The Lights of the candelabras were extinguished, but Jesus is the Light that shines for eternity. The pillar of fire was extinguished after the Jews reached the Promised Land; the candelabras were extinguished at the end of the Feast of Lights, but Jesus Christ burns brightly for eternity.

  • His Light will never dim
  • His Light will never darken
  • His Light will never diminish

Satan is seeking to do all that He can to snuff the Light of God. But Satan can’t touch, tarnish, or tamper with the Light of God. The brilliant light of Jesus Christ is greater than light for the temple, or light for a city: it is the light of the world! Jesus shines brightly for eternity. He is shining brightly in the World today. I know that there is violence in the Middle East, fighting in Iraq, troops in the Afghanistan, economic difficulty in American, and drugs in our schools, but the Light of God is still shining!

It is shining brightly and brilliantly in the world today. I’ve seen His light in my life, I’ve seen His light in my marriage, I’ve seen His light in my kids, and I’ve seen His light shine in you!

  • His Light has led some of you out of sin
  • His Light has led some of you through suffering
  • His Light has brought some of you sickness

The Extent of the Light

But notice please, that this Light isn’t just for you and me. Jesus says that He is the “Light of the world.” Jesus is not just a Light to the Jews. He is a light to the African, the Oriental, the Westerner, the Easterner, the Northerner and the Southerner. He’s a light to the privileged, and to the poor. He’s a light to the respected, and to the reviled. He’s a light to old and to the young. My Jesus is a Light to the whole world.

Please look at verse 12 again. “Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” Jesus picks up on the symbolism of the people wandering in the wilderness.  Remember, the feast of tabernacles was the celebration of when God brought His people out of wilderness during the great Exodus. Imagine nearly one million people lost in the wilderness, wandering around with no one to guide them, no map to lead them, no cloud to guide them by day and no pillar of fire to guide them by night. They wouldn’t get very far would they. They would have been lost in the wilderness.

Today, it is not 1 million people lost in the wilderness; it is 6 Billion people lost in spiritual wilderness! They are fumbling around aimlessly, hoping to stumble upon a path that will lead them out of the defeat they are experiencing. They are hopeless, hapless, and helpless. Friends, without a light to guide you, you will remain lost in the wilderness. But in the light of God you can have all the guidance and protection that you need. Go and spread His light, for you “are the light of the world!”