What It Means to Be Community
How well do you know some of your fellow church members? I don’t just mean their name, that on most Sundays they’re doing “good”, and a few standard facts about them. I’m not advocating for knowing more about people. I’m suggesting that it’s time to invest ourselves into deeper relationships with our family in Christ!
God in the Cracks?
special feature by Pastor’s wife, Diane Scallon
For those of you who have smartphones, please take a moment to check the battery status of your phone. In the battery section, it will give you a percentage of what app is used the most. Where is your Bible app in comparison to Facebook? Where is your Bible app in comparison to Instagram? How about Snapchat? Whatsapp?
Warning! Harden NOT Your Heart!
Have you ever noticed how doing something wrong gets a little bit easier every time? The first time committing a particular sin, our conscience may burn within us! But if we manage to explain away that guilt and pep-talk ourselves into another go, we can surely work ourselves into a comfort zone with certain sins! Eventually, those sins might become normal life to us, and the very notion that it is “sin” can horribly offend us! It goes without saying that there is an urgent need for regular self-examination – and there are repeated warnings in Scripture to caution us against this “hardening” of our hearts!
How to Have Beautiful Feet
Each morning before leaving home, the typical person will look in the mirror to check his appearance and ensure that they look presentable. Some traits can be adjusted, such as bedhead or food on our faces; others are simply a part of who we are, like my freckles and stubborn cowlick. It’s important for us to examine ourselves regularly, though! Take a look at your feet, considering: what is your appearance before God? Would He describe your feet as “beautiful”? “As it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!’” (Romans 10:15).
It is amazing to me that an almighty and glorious God can look upon sinners like us, and see beauty. What is it that gives us beautiful feet before God?
A Prayer for Our Church
Thank you, Lord, for our All Nations Praise last Sunday at Grace Baptist Church, in which you were honored, and your Word challenged us all to be continually praising you, in a way that would influence the lost world around us to know the good news of Jesus! Thank you for calling us out to be instruments in your hands, through which you would show the world your love and truth. Lord, we believe… help our unbelief! Help us to remember this call and not to forget! Help us to be doers of the Word, and not hearers only! Help us to see evangelism not simply as a good idea to be talked about, but a natural daily response to who you are!
We live in a world that is saturated with the pursuit of comfort, and that comfort is especially one in which we have familiarity and ease. As I study the Bible, I am more and more convinced that God wants to challenge us in our comfort, and move us out of our comfort zone for our own good. Our country is sadly still facing the challenges of adapting in its comforts of familiarity, and a superiority complex in regarding our own ways as being right, and different ways from being wrong – particularly as it relates to race and culture. We need to be challenged in our comfortable worldview, to see everyone around us from God’s perspective!
The Bible is Simple
I wish I had it all together. I wish I had all the answers so I could get myself together. How I long to know the secret to life! There is a weariness all around right now. Are you weighed down with daily regrets, relationship struggles, and spiritual weariness?
I am learning that there is deep joy and rest in obeying God’s commands in the Bible! I believe there is relief from the fatigue we are facing, and that God wants to work in our struggling relationships and weary hearts to bring us to delight in Him as we obey His will.
Are you thinking right now, “But I can’t”?
The Church Must Pray Together!
The Lord tells us, “Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know” (Jeremiah 33:3). That invitation and promise sounds exciting… but perhaps you share the common sentiment: “I’ve tried praying… and it doesn’t work.” Maybe that outlook is reflected in your dissatisfaction with your prayer life, and a looming shame when the topic of prayer is on the table. How then could you even consider joining the church for prayer meeting?
Let me assure you, first of all, that prayer is not for those who have their life together, nor is it a measurement of greatness!
Daily Devotion and Worship
How was your time reading the Bible today? Do you remember what you read? Did it transform your attitude or perspective? Did it move you to worship? Or was it a struggle to push through and maintain focus as you read the Word of God? Or did you pause from your busyness to spend time with God at all?
As we saw on Sunday, in Romans 8:31, Paul asks the question, “What then shall we say to these things?”
The Suffering Child and His Father
The hardest thing a parent will ever have to do is to watch his child suffer. We love our children and want the best for them! How difficult it is to be helpless amidst our own child’s suffering… and if we are able to stop the suffering and rescue them, how driven we are to intervene! So, where is God, our Father, amidst our suffering? God Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, the God of comfort, who can do beyond anything we ask or even imagine? Am I truly God’s child, and is He truly my Father?