What a blessing to be able to celebrate Thanksgiving with your family. We are in greeneville for the next few days visiting family and eating way too much. I have so much to be thankful for. This has definitely been a strange week. Monday evening I received a call from my neighbor, Mrs. McCullough, asking me to go check on her husband, she is nearly immobile and could not find him. Upon going up to their house, I immediately found him collapsed in his garage. He had died while pouring food for his dogs(11, which visit us very often at church). I stayed up there with his wife for most of the evening while family arrived and some details were worked out. Upon returning home that evening my little girl, Ella, informed me that she had been saved that evening. Whew, what a night. God really blew me away showing me how fleeting life is and how beautiful new birth is. Please pray for Mrs. McCullough as she grieves, and pray for Ella as she grows in Christ. I will see you all very soon, God bless and have a great thanksgiving.
As we studied Ephesians 1:15-23 together yesterday, what did God reveal to you about your prayers? Are they self centered and needs based? Or, do your prayers focus on the God of your salvation and His character and attributes? Within scripture we see that the latter seems to be the pattern of prayer. As you pray this week, remember to pray for God to open the eyes of your heart. Pray that He would help you remember the hope of your calling. That is, remember what he has rescued you from and His promise to sustain you and carry you home. Remember this is not optimism, but resting assured in promises made but not yet fully received. You also need to pray that He would give you an understanding of what it means to be His inheritance. Look throughout scripture at how God has always pursued His people. Look at your life and how He has pursued you. Lastly, remember the power that resides within you. Remember that it is not your power, but the power of the new creation that raised Jesus from the dead. Reflect on this in your prayers this week. Pray this for yourself, your family, your church, your pastor. God bless you and have a great day in Him.
I would really like to read through a book with all of you that are visiting the site. I propose that we read Knowing God by JI Packer. This is a great intro to theological thinking and would be of benefit to us all. It is availible at any christian bookstore, but is a lot cheaper at amazon http://www.amazon.com/Knowing-God-J-I-Packer/dp/083081650X/ref=pd_bbs_sr_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1227277145&sr=8-2. If this interests you then please let me know by leaving a comment. Please try and purchase the book and have the introduction read by December the 8th. We will then go through it at a leisurely pace and try to encourage one another in growth. God bless you and have a great weekend.
Sunday Morning in Ephesians As we concluded one of the most powerful paragraphs in all of scripture Sunday, what was your reaction? We have seen election, predestination, adoption, redemption, and the protection and sealing of the Holy Spirit in Ephesians 1:3-14. Those are theological terms that a man could spend a lifetime contemplating and praising God for. What do they mean to you? What does it mean that you had no merit in and of yourself and that God chose you in spite of your sin? What does it mean that he not only chose you, but He has a purpose in the choice that you would be something that brings Him glory? What does it mean that He has adopted you? Please think about the rights you have as a full fledged member of God's family. You are also redeemed. What are you redeemed from? What is the purpose of sealing? What kind of guarantee do we have that once we are saved we are always saved? As you study this week think of this and read ahead towards Ephesians 1:15-23 which we will cover next week.
Sunday Night in James As we look at great tests of our salvation in James I pray that you have been challenged, challenged to think about the living out of this faith that we have. On Sunday evening as we looked at James 1:19-27 I pray that, like myself, you were cut. I pray you were cut by 1:19, which tells us to be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry. What a simple maxim for us on a day to day basis. What about verse 22? Are you a hearer of the word only, or are you a hearer and a doer? Did you look at yourself in the mirror this morning and notice disheveled hair, leftovers from breakfast in your teeth, and perhaps like my kids like to say, lots of eye boogers? Did you do anything about it? I hope so. We listened, we heard the word of God Sunday, and I pray that you heard it yesterday and today, what have we done about it? I want you to especially think through verse 27 of James 1. How do you as an individual, and we as a church take care of orphans and widows? I have been on the phone already today with the TN Baptist children's home to try and coordinate a way for us to help them with some physical needs that they have. We have a group going from our church with King's Academy in the spring to Guatemala to help in an orphanage there. Will God call us as a church to go there? What about the Christmas topic we covered a little on Sunday? Will you change some of your Christmas traditions(giving and receiving too many gifts) in order to help someone this Christmas? May God bless you this week and give you a greater understanding of His love for you.
My prayer for you is that this blog would help you grow. Beginning on Tuesday the 18th I will begin posting questions and challenges stemming from the previous weeks sermon in order to get you thinking between Sundays. We will also read books together and sharpen one another as we seek to grow in Holiness. This is just another way we can share life together at Shiloh Baptist. God bless, have a great day.