Worship


Happy Day

The text of the hymn “O Happy Day” was written by Philip Doddridge (1702-1751). It is said that he wrote his hymns as summaries of his sermons and intended to help his congregation express their response to what they were being taught.

 

O happy day, that fixed my choice
On Thee, my Savior and my God!
Well may this glowing heart rejoice,
And tell its raptures all abroad.

Happy day, happy day,
When Jesus washed my sins away!
He taught me how to watch and pray,
And live rejoicing every day:
Happy day, happy day,
When Jesus washed my sins away!

 

O happy bond, that seals my vows
To Him Who merits all my love!
Let cheerful anthems fill His house,
While to that sacred shrine I move.

It’s done: the great transaction’s done!
I am the Lord’s and He is mine;
He drew me and I followed on;
Charmed to confess the voice divine.

Now rest, my long-divided heart,
Fixed on this blissful center, rest;
Here have I found a nobler part;
Here heav’nly pleasures fill my breast.

High heav’n, that heard the solemn vow,
That vow renewed shall daily hear,
Till in life’s latest hour I bow
And bless in death a bond so dear.

 

 


Pastor Tommy Devotional: Delight in the Lord Jesus!

Delight yourself also in the Lord; and he shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. And he shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your judgment as the noon-day. (Psalm 37:4-6)

Pastor Tommy reminds us of the most wondrous gift any Christian can have: “Delight in the Lord Jesus!”

“The Psalms,” he said, “help us delight in the ultimate King of the universe!”

Zoar Strict Baptist Chapel in the hamlet of Lower Dicker in the English county of East Sussex. Founded in 1837.

Similarly, more than 150 years ago, Pastor Joseph Charles Philpot, preaching at Zoar Chapel, reminded his congregation of the close and intimate connection between the humbling teachings of God in the heart and our delighting ourselves in him.

Take time to read these Psalms. Turn the words into prayers of delight. We can do this because he has forgiven our sins and because he has given us eternal life through His Son, Jesus Christ.

 

 

 

 

 


Passion Week: The Resurrection of Christ

Whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)

The Empty Tomb by George Richardson

The Empty Tomb by George Richardson

This is the last in a BCBC in Action series remembering Christ’s final earthly days.

Day 8: Easter Sunday

The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the most important event of the Christian faith — the foundation of all Christian doctrine is based on the truth of this event.

Early Sunday morning Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, Joanna, and Salome go to the tomb and discover that the large stone covering the tomb’s entrance was rolled away.

There’s an earthquake. As the guards shake and become like dead men, an angel proclaims…

“Don’t be afraid! I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen.” (Matthew 28:5-6)

Learning of the event, John and Peter run to the tomb. Peter enters and sees the linen cloth and a neatly folded handkerchief. Among Jews of the time a master let his servants know whether he was finished eating or coming back to the table by the way he left his cloth napkin. If he tossed it aside, he was finished. If he folded it, he would return.

The cloth was still lying in its place, separate from the linen. (John 20:7)

On the day of his resurrection, Jesus Christ makes at least five appearances. The first person to see him is Mary Magdalene.

she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus. He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?” Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.”

Jesus said to her, “Mary.”

She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”).

Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” (John 20:11-18)

Jesus then appears to Peter, then to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus, and later that day to all of the disciples, except Thomas, while they gathered in a house for prayer.

After that he was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. After that he was seen by James, then by all the apostles. (1 Corinthians 15:5-7)

These eyewitness accounts in the Gospels offer undeniable evidence that, in deed, the resurrection of Jesus Christ happened. However, the resurrection of Jesus is not our ticket to “abundant life” in this age. Today, we die. In the age to come, we live. As Jesus said to Martha…

“I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 25-6)

Do you believe this?

Click here to begin reading this series with Day 1: Palm Sunday.


Passion Week: Holy Saturday

Peace be with you. (John 20:19)

Joseph of Arimathea providing a tomb for Jesus’s body

Joseph of Arimathea providing a tomb for Jesus’s body

This is seventh post in a BCBC in Action series remembering Christ’s final earthly days.

Day 7: Holy Saturday

After the crucifixion, with hopes dashed, undoubtedly Jesus’ followers questioned all that happened during the past 2 years.

It’s been said that faith isn’t something that arises after moments of understanding. Rather, faith is what you cling to when understanding and reason lay dead.

Faith is what Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea showed during those dark hours of Holy Saturday.

They were closet followers of Jesus, as well as members of the Sanhedrin, the court that condemned Jesus Christ to death. Before this day they were too fearful to publicly profess their faith because of their prominent positions in the Jewish community. Now, deeply affected by Christ’s death, they come forward and risk their reputations and lives because they realize Jesus was, indeed, the long-awaited Messiah.

Joseph asks Pilate for the body of Jesus… With Pilate’s permission, he came and took the body away. He was accompanied by Nicodemus, the man who earlier had visited Jesus at night. Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds. Taking Jesus’ body, the two of them wrapped it, with the spices, in strips of linen. This was in accordance with Jewish burial customs. (John 19:38-40)

The Pharisees, on the other hand, are uneasy. They remember what Jesus said.

Jesus answered and said unto them destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? But he spake of the temple of his body. (John 2:19-21)

They turn to Pilate.

“Sir,” they said, “we remember that while he was still alive that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ So give the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day. Otherwise, his disciples may come and steal the body and tell the people that he has been raised from the dead. This last deception will be worse than the first.” (Matthew 27:62-64)

And Pilate responds.

“Take a guard,” Pilate answered. “Go, make the tomb as secure as you know how.” So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting the guard. (Matthew 27:65)

Through growing faith Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea play their role in the Passion. In contrast, the Pharisees, who just a few hours earlier engineered the death or Jesus, are now powerless to block the unfolding events. Not even Roman guards can help them.

Tomorrow: Easter Sunday

Click here to begin reading this series with Day 1: Palm Sunday.



Passion Week: Good Friday

Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.

Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. (Isaiah 53:1-5)

This is the sixth in a BCBC in Action series remembering Christ’s final earthly days.

Day 6: Good Friday

Yes, it’s Friday, but as Pastor S. M. Lockridge tells us, Sunday is a comin’.

 

Praise the Lord!

What a mighty God we serve. Amen? Amen!

 

Tomorrow: Jesus in the Tomb

Click here to begin reading this series with Day 1: Palm Sunday.


Passion Week: The Last Supper

I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. (John 13:16)

The Last Supper. Leonardo da Vinci (1494–1499)

The Last Supper. Leonardo da Vinci (1494–1499)

This is the fifth in a BCBC in Action series remembering Christ’s final earthly days.

Day 5: The Last Supper

While at Bethany in the morning, Jesus sends Peter and John to Jerusalem to prepare the Passover. Later, Jesus comes from Bethany into Jerusalem to eat the Passover with the Twelve.

On the road, the Disciples argue about greatness. But greatness is serving, as Jesus shows by washing the disciples’ feet, beginning with Peter who is sitting at the last place at the table.

Then, he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him. (John 13:5)

This day, which has been called “Maundy Thursday” or “Holy Thursday” commemorates this act of service that took place during the Last Supper of Jesus Christ with the Apostles and the command Jesus gave them to love and serve one another.

Jesus says one among them will betray him. He dips bread and hands it to Judas, who took first place at the table. After Judas leaves, Jesus breaks bread and lifts a cup of wine, signifying his broken body and blood.

Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. (Matthew 26:26-28)

Around the table, Jesus predicts Peter’s (and all of the disciples’) denial.

Peter is adamant.

“Even though all may fall away because of you, I will never fall away… Even if I have to die with you, I will not deny you.” All the disciples said the same thing too. (Matthew 26:33, 35)

Jesus answers.

“Truly I say to you that this very night, before a rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” (Matthew 26:34)

Jesus tells them not to worry.

“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that here I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.” (John 14:1-4)

Later, Jesus and the disciples leave the Upper Room and go to the Garden of Gethsemane. Here, Jesus prays in agony to God the Father.

“his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” (Luke 22:44)

Late that evening in Gethsemane, Jesus is betrayed with a kiss by Judas Iscariot and arrested by the Sanhedrin. He’s taken to the home of Caiaphas, the High Priest, where the council has gathered to begin making their case against Jesus.

Meanwhile, in the early morning hours as Jesus’ trial is getting underway, Peter denies knowing his Master once, twice, and then three times. The rooster crows.

One of the slaves of the high priest, being a relative of the one whose ear Peter cut off, said, “Did I not see you in the garden with Him?” Peter then denied it again, and immediately a rooster crowed. (John 18:27)

Tomorrow: Good Friday

Click here to read Day 1: Palm Sunday.

Click here to read Day 2: Jesus Clears the Temple.

Click here to read Day 3: Ambush in the Temple, the Mount of Olives

Click here to read Day 4: Holy Wednesday — A Day of Plotting and Betrayal


Passion Week: Judas Agrees to Betray Jesus

But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him. (John 6:64)

The Sanhedrin plotting to kill Jesus.

The Sanhedrin plotting to kill Jesus.

This is the fourth in a BCBC in Action series remembering Christ’s final earthly days.

Day 4: Holy Wednesday — A Day of Plotting and Betrayal

The Bible doesn’t say what the Lord did on Wednesday of Passion Week. Scholars speculate that after two exhausting days in Jerusalem, Jesus and his disciples spent this day resting in Bethany in anticipation of the Passover.

In contrast, the Great Sanhedrin is busy this day. This supreme court of ancient Israel includes 71 members. It’s constituted with a Chief/Prince/Leader called Nasi,  a vice chief justice (Av Beit Din), and sixty-nine general members. At this time the position of leader (High Priest) is held by Caiaphas.

So the chief priests and the Pharisees convened the Sanhedrin and said, “What are we going to do? This man is performing many signs. If we leave him alone, all will believe in him, and the Romans will come and take away both our land and our nation.” (John 11:45-48)

They have powers to try Jesus.

They plot to arrest Jesus by stealth and kill him. But they said, “Not during the feast, lest there be an uproar among the people.” (Matthew 26:3-5)

The price negotiated with Judas to identify the One of inestimable worth is 30 pieces of silver (wages for about 4 months). Judas agrees to betray Jesus and says…

“What will you give me if I deliver him over to you?” And they paid him 30 pieces of silver. (Matthew 26:15)

Tomorrow: The Last Supper

Click here to read Day 1: Palm Sunday.

Click here to read Day 2: Jesus Clears the Temple.

Click here to read Day 3: Ambush in the Temple, the Mount of Olives.

The Sanhedrin plotting to kill Jesus.

The Sanhedrin plotting to kill Jesus.


Passion Week: Ambush in the Temple, the Mount of Olives

He said to it, “No longer shall there ever be any fruit from you.” And at once the fig tree withered. (Matthew 21:19)

The vine Dresser and the Fig Tree. James Tissot.

The vine Dresser and the Fig Tree. James Tissot.

This is the third in a BCBC in Action series remembering Christ’s final earthly days.

Day 3: It’s Tuesday

Peter and the other disciples see the withered fig tree on their way back into Jerusalem.

As they passed by in the morning, they saw the fig tree withered away to its roots. (Mark 11:20)

Once in Jerusalem, Jesus engages in the final confrontation with the Jewish leaders whom he confounds.

While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them,  “What do you think about the Messiah? Whose son is he?”

“The son of David,” they replied.

He said to them, “How is it then that David, speaking by the Spirit, calls him ‘Lord’? For he says, “‘The Lord said to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand until I put your enemies under your feet.”’

If then David calls him ‘Lord,’ how can he be his son?”

No one could say a word in reply, and from that day on no one dared to ask him any more questions. (Matthew 22:41-46)

Later, Jesus leaves the Temple, officially ending his public ministry.

Jesus left the temple and was going away, when his disciples came to point out to him the buildings of the temple.

But he answered them, “You see all these, do you not? Truly, I say to you, there will not be left here one stone upon another, that will not be thrown down.”

He withdraws to the Mount of Olives and instructs his disciples.

As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, “Tell us,… what will be the sign of your coming and of the close of the age?”

And Jesus answered them, “Take heed that no one leads you astray. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars; see that you are not alarmed; for this must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places: all this is but the beginning of the birth-pangs. (Matthew 24:1-14)

Tomorrow: Plotting to Kill Jesus.

Click here to read Day 1: Palm Sunday.

Click here to read Day 2: Jesus Clears the Temple.

 


Passion Week: Jesus Clears The Temple!

“Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him… In faithfulness he will bring forth justice; he will not falter or be discouraged till he establishes justice on earth. In his law the islands will put their hope.” (Isaiah 42:1,3-4)

A painting of Jesus using a whip in the temple. Giovanni Antonio Fumiani, 1678.

A painting of Jesus using a whip in the temple. Giovanni Antonio Fumiani, 1678.

This is the second in a BCBC in Action series remembering Christ’s final earthly days.

Day 2: Monday in The Temple

Upon leaving Bethany in the morning, Jesus is hungry. He finds a leafy fig tree with no fruit and curses it.

And he said to it, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard it. (Mark 11:14)

Jesus then enters Jerusalem and cleanses the Temple, just as He did at the opening of his public ministry.

And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all who sold and bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the moneychangers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. (Matthew 21:12)

Children in the Temple laud Jesus. He quotes Psalm 8 to the sneering Pharisees, again declaring His divinity.

“Do you hear what these children are saying?” they ask him.

“Yes,” replies Jesus, “have you never read, ‘From the lips of children and infants you, Lord, have called forth your praise’?” (Matthew 21:16)

Repeatedly, Jesus openly proclaims his divinity. And the Jews knew who he claimed to be — not just the Messiah.

Jesus declared that he (the Son of Man) has authority to…

  • Forgive sins (Matt 9:6; Mark 2:10; Luke 5:24)
  • Raise the dead (John 5:21,28; cf. Php 3:21)
  • Even raise Himself from the dead (John 2:19; 10:18)
  • Grant eternal life to others (John 17:2; Matt 25:34, 46)
  • Declare those are saved and which are rejected (Luke 12:8–9; Matt 10:32–33)

“I tell you, whoever publicly acknowledges me before others, the Son of Man will also acknowledge before the angels of God. But whoever disowns me before others will be disowned before the angels of God.” (Luke 12:8–9)

And, in a kingdom not of this world (John 18:36-37)…

  • Act as an authority higher than the Law and the Sabbath (Matt 12:8; Mark 2:28; Luke 6:5).

Then, Jesus said to them, “The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.” (Luke 6:5)

Tomorrow: Ambush in the Temple and the Mount of Olives.

Click here to read Day 1: Palm Sunday.


Passion Week: Remembering Christ’s Final Earthly Days

Have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who… made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death — even death on a cross! (Philippians 2:5-9)

The entry of Jesus into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday marks the beginning of Holy Week.

The entry of Jesus into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday marks the beginning of Holy Week.

Passion Week (aka Holy Week) is the time from Palm Sunday through Easter Sunday (Resurrection Sunday). It is so named because of the passion with which Jesus willingly went to the cross in order to pay for the sins of his people.

Follow BCBC in Action this week as we remember Christ’s final earthly days.

Day 1: Palm Sunday

After 2 years of ministry, Jesus begins his final journey to Jerusalem for the Passover. He and the disciples are not alone. Pilgrims from far and wide are entering Jerusalem for the Passover. They meet Jesus along the road and begin to cry “Hosanna!”

“Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest heaven!” (Matthew 21:9).

Hosanna is often thought of as a declaration of praise, similar to hallelujah, but it’s actually a plea for salvation. The Hebrew words yasha (“deliver, save”) and anna (“beg, beseech”) combine to form the word that, in English, is “hosanna.” Literally, hosanna means “I beg you to save!” or “please deliver us!”

Palm Sunday at Bent Creek Baptist Church

Happy the preacher and happy the hearer who find their theme and their attraction in the atoning death of our Lord and Savior. Thomas Griffith

Riding on a donkey to fulfill prophecy, the King of Israel wails loudly and pronounces judgment on Jerusalem.

And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it, (Luke 19:41)

Arriving late in the day, Jesus enters Jerusalem through the eastern Susa Gate, directly into the temple courts. Jesus looks around for any who bear the fruits of repentance, and then returns to Bethany with the disciples.

And he entered Jerusalem and went into the temple. And when he had looked around at everything, as it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the twelve. (Mark 11:11)

Tomorrow: Jesus openly proclaims his divinity.


Passion Week: Remembering Christ’s Final Earthly Days

Have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who… made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death — even death on a cross! (Philippians 2:5-9)

The entry of Jesus into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday marks the beginning of Holy Week.

The entry of Jesus into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday marks the beginning of Holy Week.

Passion Week (aka Holy Week) is the time from Palm Sunday through Easter Sunday (Resurrection Sunday). It is so named because of the passion with which Jesus willingly went to the cross in order to pay for the sins of his people.

Follow BCBC in Action this week as we remember Christ’s final earthly days.

Day 1: Palm Sunday

After 2 years of ministry, Jesus begins his final journey to Jerusalem for the Passover. He and the disciples are not alone. Pilgrims from far and wide are entering Jerusalem for the Passover. They meet Jesus along the road and begin to cry “Hosanna!”

“Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest heaven!” (Matthew 21:9).

Hosanna is often thought of as a declaration of praise, similar to hallelujah, but it’s actually a plea for salvation. The Hebrew words yasha (“deliver, save”) and anna (“beg, beseech”) combine to form the word that, in English, is “hosanna.” Literally, hosanna means “I beg you to save!” or “please deliver us!”

Riding on a donkey to fulfill prophecy, the King of Israel wails loudly and pronounces judgment on Jerusalem.

And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it, (Luke 19:41)

Arriving late in the day, Jesus enters Jerusalem through the eastern Susa Gate, directly into the temple courts. Jesus looks around for any who bear the fruits of repentance, and then returns to Bethany with the disciples.

And he entered Jerusalem and went into the temple. And when he had looked around at everything, as it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the twelve. (Mark 11:11)

Tomorrow: Jesus openly proclaims his divinity.


Rejoice in What We May Become

Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” (Matthew 4:19)

Charles Spurgeon was a British Baptist preacher who lived during the 19th century. It’s estimated that during his life he preached to around 10 million people and was a prolific writer.

Consider these words from Pastor Spurgeon, which are taken from one of his sermons.

I think I can say to every one of you—If you are already saved, then the work is only half done until you are active in bringing others to Christ.

You are as yet only half formed into the image of your Lord. You have not attained to the full development of the Christ-like life in you unless you have begun in some feeble way to tell to others of the grace of God: and I trust that you will find no rest to the sole of your foot until you have been the means of leading many to that blessed Savior who is your confidence and your hope.

His word is — “Follow me,” — not merely that you may be saved, nor even that you may be sanctified; but, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”

Be following Christ with that intent and aim; and fear that you are not perfectly following him, unless in some degree he is making use of you to be fishers of men.

This Sunday join us at BCBC for fellowship  at 10:30 am and stay for worship at 11:00 am.


Pastor Sam Bennett Devotional: Family and the Beauty of Broken

Rembrandt-15

“The Prophet Jeremiah Mourning over the Destruction of Jerusalem.” Rembrandt van Rijn, 1630.

For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. (2 Corinthians 5:1)

Jeremiah is referred to as the weeping prophet because of the disheartening messages he delivered to the people of Israel and because of his poems in the book of Lamentations, which deal with the destruction of Jerusalem. However, God showed Jeremiah that no situation is irredeemable. No matter the defect, God remolded and reshaped the people of Israel into something useful and beautiful. All this occurred some 600 years before the birth of Jesus Christ.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)

In the New Testament, the epistles of Paul echo many of the thoughts of Jeremiah.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. (2 Cor. 5:17).

Thankfully, today the Lord is here to work in our broken families.

In her book, The Beauty of Broken, Elisa Morgan reminds us that the family is an imperfect institution. Broken people become broken parents who make broken families.

Broken is normal and exactly where God wants us.

Over the years, Ms. Morgan’s family struggled privately with many issues parents face, including alcoholism and drug addiction, infertility and adoption, teen pregnancy and abortion, divorce, homosexuality, and death.

It’s all overwhelming; but there’s hope for parents to grow and thrive with God.

Powerfully, she tells us, there’s no such thing as a perfect family. In one way or another, we all end up in broken families. Even God’s family was broken beginning with Adam and Eve.

God knows we are wayward. He’s not calling us to a life where everything looks perfect on the outside. He’s calling us to the other side of brokenness, because he loves us — the broken.

Hope and healing come when we discover that God accepts the beauty in our brokenness, and our Savior can remold and reshape his people into useful, beautiful creations.

The key is to be “in Christ”.

Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know. (Jeremiah 33:3)

 


Pastor Sam Bennett Devotional: Love for One and Other

Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: “Love your neighbor as yourself. All the law and the prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:37-40)

Rising Love. Robert Pavao

Rising Love. Robert Pavao

Aran sweaters from the islands off the West coast of Ireland are intimately linked to the clans who live there. In addition to repelling water, the complex, textured stitch patterns on each garment are purposely designed to identify the people who wear them. In fact, Aran sweaters have been used to help identify bodies of fishermen washed up on the beach following an accident at sea.

As Christians, we wear breastplates. They’re not tactile; they’re woven by faith and sewn with the love of our Heavenly Father. Our breastplates work best when we speak to others with love. That doesn’t mean we must harness our beliefs, but information, correction, and admonition to others must always be done in the context of love.

As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. (Ephesians 4:1-2)

But was Jesus speaking with love or sarcasm when spoke to Nicodemus?

Are you the teacher of Israel and yet you don’t understand these things? (John 3:10)

Was Jesus acting with love or anger when he cleared the temple courts?

So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the moneychangers and overturned their tables. To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a market! (John 2:15-16)

From a 21st century perspective where sarcasm and anger prevail, it’s easy for us to interpret the words of Jesus with an “attitude”. So, how do we reconcile statements and actions read in the 21st century with the Jesus of the first century? How do we guarantee that we receive God’s message without the oppressive influence of 21st century culture?

The answer is through love, of course. Origen, who was Bishop of Alexandria during the second century, taught that most people fail to recognize the deeper truths enshrined in scripture, because they don’t realize that aside from a literal reading, we must journey into scripture’s very soul.

When reading the word of God remember the most important commandments. Interpret everything Jesus did as an act of love. Nicodemus didn’t understand; but rather than dismiss him, Jesus showed love by repeating his lesson 3 times. Jesus overturned the moneychangers’ tables, but there’s no evidence he caused physical harm to anyone in the temple courtyard. Lessons were stern but never punitive.

Each day, in all things, wear your breastplate — your beautiful heavenly Aran sweater — with love. So that everyone will recognize you as a child of God, always.

 


Pastor Tommy Bridges Devotional: Do You Wish to Be Seen or to See?

1001133_575870899102572_1919314115_n“What do you want me to do for you?” he asked. (Mark 10:36)              

 

Marilyn Chandler McEntyre advocates for developing careful habits of reading and writing among Christians. In her book, What’s in a Phrase? Pausing Where Scripture Gives You Pause, Dr. McEntyre, who is Professor of English at Westmont College, in California, discusses the value of dwelling on passages of Scripture that grab our attention.

Pastor Tommy refers us to the meaning of two well-known bible stories in The Gospel of Mark, Chapter 10. In both, Jesus asks the petitioners the same question: “What do you want me to do for you?”

Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to him. “Teacher,” they said, “we want you to do for us whatever we ask.”

“What do you want me to do for you?” he asked.

They replied, “Let one of us sit at your right and the other at your left in your glory.” (Mark 10:35-37)

Later, as Jesus and his disciples are leaving Jericho, a blind man, Bartimaeus, was sitting by the roadside begging. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”

And throwing off his outer garment, he leaped up and came to Jesus.  And Jesus said to him, What do you want Me to do for you? And the blind man said to Him, Master, let me receive my sight. And Jesus said to him, Go your way; your faith has healed you. And at once he received his sight and accompanied Jesus on the road. (Mark 10:50-52)

To both the apostles and the blind man, Jesus’ question was the same. “What do you want me to do for you?” In one case it was to be seen with Jesus in a position of authority. In the other, it was to see Jesus.

The issue for each of us is to recognize why we want to see.


Fear the Lord

continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, (Philippians 2:12)

God the Father and the Sinner. Ladislav Záborský, 2007.

God the Father and the Sinner. Ladislav Záborský, 2007.

The Bible uses the word fear at least 300 times in reference to God. Today, fear usually refers to an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat. And it is used this way in the Bible as well.

Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. (Psalm 23:4)

But there are two sides of fear in the Bible. Yes, there is fear displayed as cowering in dread and terror in anticipation of displeasure. But there is also fear based on awe, reverence, and obedience.

Dr. David Jones in his audio lecture on Christian ethics describes fear of the Lord as reverent submission motivated by love. Love is key. It is love as it might be offered to a parent by a child because the little one knows that all needs will be met and life is safe from harm.

Eugene Merrill, a distinguished professor at Dallas Theological Seminary, assures us that “fear of God lies at the heart of successful living in the world. Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, a fear equated with the ‘knowledge of the Holy One’”.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding. To him belongs eternal praise. (Psalm 111:10)

“To fear God,” continues Professor Merrill, “is to know him and to know him is to fear him. Such healthy fear enables one to praise God.”

He said in a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water.” (Revelation 14:7)

Reverent submission that motivates us to obey him — fear of the Lord — allows us to enjoy his benefits and blessings.

But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children — with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts. (Psalm 103:17-18)

Steadfast obedience that is motivated by love — fear of the Lord — is to rest in peace and security.

They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord.  Their hearts are secure; they will have no fear; in the end they will look in triumph on their foes. (Psalm 112:7-8)

Fear that allows us to warm ourselves in his peace and security, offers, in the long run, a satisfying life.

The fear of the Lord adds length to life, but the years of the wicked are cut short. (Proverbs 10:27).

Praise our Lord, and fear him as a child towards a loving parent.

 

 


Pray for Revival

Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you? (Psalm 85:6)

Open Heavens

Open Heavens

We should not be surprised to learn that spiritual factors play a major role in the growth of a church. Gary McIntosh, Director of the Doctor of Ministry program at the Talbot School of Theology, has observed that members of growing churches show a spiritual passion to find the lost and involve newcomers. They have a desire to fulfill the Great Commission as instructed by Jesus.

Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. (Matthew 28:19-20)

Join us as we pray for revival in Bent Creek Baptist Church and throughout Asheville. Meet with Pastor Tommy in the church library for prayer on Wednesday evenings at 6:30 pm. Call the church office for more information. 828-667-9818


Men, Take Time for Spiritual Renewal

They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. – See more at: http://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/Fellowship,-Among-Believers#sthash.LttyGEnM.dpuf

They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. – See more at: http://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/Fellowship,-Among-Believers#sthash.LttyGEnM.dpuf
They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. – See more at: http://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/Fellowship,-Among-Believers#sthash.LttyGEnM.dpuf

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. (Acts 2:42)

The annual BCBC Men’s Retreat will take place September 16-17 at Balsam Lake Lodge.  If you can’t make it for the whole weekend, come for part. Call Aaron Creasman (828-777-1272) if you are interested.

Remember, when men take time out for spiritual renewal, the whole church benefits.

BalsamLakeLodge

Balsam Lake Lodge

During the 2016 BCBC Men’s Retreat at Balsam Lake Lodge you’ll catch fish, hike the beautiful North Carolina mountains, eat hamburgers, and — most importantly — be spiritually renewed and refreshed as you share key truths and new perspectives in your walk with Jesus Christ.

Men, take this opportunity to develop unity through fellowship.

Best of all, the benefits continue long after the first fish is caught and last hamburger is eaten. Relationships at home become more positive and hopeful when you find renewal in God.

Therefore encourage one another and build one another up. (1 Thessalonians 5:11)

Join us on Friday, September 16th  to Saturday the 17th  for the BCBC Men’s Retreat.

Speak with Aaron Creasman, or call the church office for more information. 828-667-9818

And, remember you must sign up at the information desk in the church lobby. Space is limited for this event!


Come, Lord Jesus

Pastor Tommy Bridges

Pastor Tommy Bridges

 Look, I am coming soon, bringing my reward with me to repay all people according to their deeds. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. (Revelation 22:12-13)

In Revelation 21 and 22 we learn that the Lord will return for us. He may come any day, or he may wait 10,000 years. What we can rely on however, is that he will keep his promise.

The Bible teaches that those who believe in Jesus will not be condemned for their sin (Romans 5:8-9 and 8:1, and, John 5:24).

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! (Romans 5: 8-9)

The Bible also speaks of “rewards” given to “everyone according to what they have done” (Romans 2:6 and14:12, 2 Corinthians 5:10, 1 Corinthians 3:12-15, and Matthew 16:27). Click here and here for more articles on this topic.

For we must all stand before Christ to be judged. We will each receive whatever we deserve for the good or evil we have done in this earthly body. (2 Corinthians 5:10)

There are several things to remember in our Christian walk while waiting for Jesus to return.

For Growing Christians

  • Growth is about the direction you are headed, not just the distance you’ve traveled.

For non-Growing Christians

  • Ask the Holy Spirit to arouse a renewed appetite for God.

For non-Christians

  • Know well that Jesus is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9)

For Everyone

  • And let those who hear say, “Come!” Whoever is thirty, let him come, and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life. (Rev. 22:17)

Live your life in the grace of God, and cling to the Christ who died on the cross and rose victoriously.

Pastor Tommy and the congregation of Bent Creek Baptist Church invite you to join us each Sunday at 11 am in the worship sanctuary. Come early, and join us for Sunday School at 9:30 am.

 

 


Don’t Let Your Baby Stop You From Coming to Church

Come, my young friends, and listen to me, and I will teach you to honor the Lord (Psalm 34:11)

bficon-medIt’s not unusual to hear young parents say “I felt so frustrated; not with my baby, just with the situation. I thought, “Why should I even come to church if I spend the whole time out in the hallway or lobby?”

Bent Creek Baptist encourages parents to bring their infants and toddlers to our Sunday worship service. The presence of young ones is a sign of blessings from God. Please don’t let them be a reason for missing Sunday service.

You will not be alone as many of our members are young and just starting their own families. On any Sunday you will meet many of our parishioners holding their young loved ones while listening to the sermon.

Still hesitant? Then use the BCBC cry room located on the mezzanine directly in front of the lectern below. It’s an acoustically intimate and comfortable space, with a great view of the service. It offers a warm feeling for infants and toddlers to help ease the stress of both parent and child.

An added benefit, you will meet other young parents who have brought their children to hear the word of the Lord to support their parenting goals.

Looking forward to seeing you on Sunday at 11 am.


Should We Meditate?

I will ponder all your work, and meditate on your mighty deeds. (Psalm 77:11-12).

Rembrandt's Old Man in Prayer (17th century)

Rembrandt’s Old Man in Prayer (17th century)

Many Eastern religions teach that the source of salvation is found within, and that the fundamental human problem is not sin against a holy God but ignorance of our true condition. These worldviews advocate meditation and “higher forms of consciousness” as a way to discover a secret inner divinity.

Differences in various forms of Eastern meditation aside, they all aim at a supposedly “higher” or “altered” state of consciousness. Meditation guides claim that normal consciousness obscures sacred realities. Therefore, meditation is practiced in order to suspend rational patterns of thought.

The biblical worldview is completely at odds with the pantheistic concepts driving Eastern meditation.

No amount of chanting, breathing, visualizing, or physical contortions will melt away the sin that separates us from the Lord of the cosmos—however “peaceful” these practices may feel.  “Pleasant” experiences may be portals to peril.

Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. (2 Corinthians 11:14)

Even yoga teachers warn that yoga may open one up to spiritual and physical maladies.

The word meditation comes from the Latin word meditārī, which, among other things, means to reflect on, to study, and to practice. For Christians, meditation is a form of prayer in which a structured attempt is made to become aware of and reflect upon the revelations of God. 

Meditation is pondering the Word in our hearts, preaching it to our own souls, and personally applying it to our own lives and circumstances. It is a form of reverence as we bring ourselves closer to Christ.

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect (Romans 12:2).

 


Pastor Tommy Bridges Devotional: Firstfruits

From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. (Matthew 16:21)

Following the crucifixion of Jesus, no one really anticipated his resurrection. Even though he described it to the apostles, it was more than they could comprehend. Yet it happened, and many witnessed the events associated with this miracle.

But the miracle does not stop here. Jesus tells us that he will come again to take us home. We must not be surprised a second time.

The early believers living in Corinth, just 20 years after Christ’s crucifixion, thought that Jesus would return to take them to heaven during their lifetimes. Some became disheartened as time past and Jesus still did not return to take them home. Paul writing in 1 Corinthians 15 corrected this misunderstanding. He tells them that the resurrection of Jesus Christ was “only” the start — the firstfruits — of everlasting life. Before he returned, much work remained to be done by Christ… and by his children here on earth.

But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. (1 Corinthians 15:20)

Jesus will return for us, but not until his work is complete.

Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority, and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. (1 Corinthians 15:24-25)

Then, the Lord will come for us and take us home.

Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed—in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. (1 Corinthians 15:51-52)

Death will be swallowed up by victory, but first we must do our part in this miracle. We participate in this miracle by how we live each day.

Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” Come back to your senses as you ought, and stop sinning; for there are some who are ignorant of God—I say this to your shame.

Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. (1 Corinthians 15:33-34, 58)

Concluding his letter to the Corinthians, Paul reminds them of the good news…

Thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:57)


Drummer Boy

Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe! (Psalm 150:4)

Psa;m 100:1

Psalm 100:1)

What is your role in Sunday worship service?

In his book, Prayer: The Great Adventure, David Jeremiah thinks many of us have become “confused about who’s doing what in worship.”

Typically, we think of worshipers as an audience; pastors are entertainers; and God is the prompter – standing off stage supplying a forgotten word or thought  during the performance of a play.

In fact, says Pastor Jeremiah, “worshipers are performers; pastors are prompters.” Most importantly, “God is the audience.”

Those of us in the pews not simply sponges, soaking up the good word. Rather, we are worshipers, — actors, if you will — performing a drama with different parts: speaking, singing, praying, tithing, baptizing, and eating bread and drinking wine. “We do all this for the delight of God.”

Expand your role. Cherish it. Please the King.

Praise him with trumpet sound; praise him with lute and harp! (Psalm 150:3)

Consider this your invitation to move out from the pew, into the light. Reading, singing, dancing, acting. What is your talent? What is your message to God on Sunday morning?

If you have a talent you’d like to share to enhance our worship service, please speak to Pastor Tommy or Pastor Sam (both at 828-667-9818). Describe what is in your heart, your passion, your devotion. Worship service is a time to be consequential.

Be the drummer boy at Bent Creek Baptist Church.


Get Prayin’

“Empowered by the Holy Spirit, we are devoted to prayer,

the study of God’s Word,

and united in joyful, Christ-exalting worship.”*

"Sometimes when you discover something really special, it defies category. Sometimes, there's transcendence." Lecrae, Christian Hip Hop.

“Sometimes when you discover something really special, it defies category. Sometimes, there’s transcendence.” Lecrae, Christian Hip Hop.

 

Every Sunday at 9:30 am, Pastor Tommy hosts a pre-worship service prayer meeting. We come together to ask for the Lord’s blessings. Everyone is welcome to join us (BCBC members and nonmembers). Just come with a heart willing to experience our Lord’s love.

You ask, “Why bother to pray?” “What’s in it for me?”

“In today’s world,” writes David Jeremiah in his book, Prayer, the Great Adventure, the act of praying “flies in the face of our frantic efforts to prove that we are self sufficient, independent, and strong.” But be honest, we are none of these things!

Get prayin’.

Lecrae

Lecrae

We pray because it’s necessary, not because we ought to. We pray because we are without recourse. Acknowledging our limits and the Lord’s power, we call on his help. It’s our declaration of dependence. Could you use a little help?

Get prayin’.

Some think that prayer is what good people do when they are at their best. It isn’t. It’s what we do when we need guidance. Do you need guidance?

Get prayin’.

Some suppose that “insider” language is needed before God takes us seriously. There’s no code. God understands all languages.

Get prayin’.

Prayer is elemental. “It is no exaggeration,” says Pastor Jeremiah, “that prayer under-girded and preceded and empowered everything that our Lord did while He walked on this earth.” He is the best example of the power of prayer.

Jesus never taught his disciples how to preach, only how to pray and how to pray well. And he did it enthusiastically, with joy.

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. (Romans 12:12)

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. (Philippians 4:6)

To know how to speak to God is more important than knowing how to speak to man. Power through God, not men, is achieved by prayer — the first thing.

Get prayin’.

How often?

Pray continually. (1 Thessalonians 5:17)

Ask and it will be given to you. Seek and you will find. Knock and it will be opened unto you.” (Matthew 7:7)

Get prayin’.

But remember, “Prayer is not just about asking for God’s blessings,” says Robert Velarde, “– though we are welcome to do so — but it is about communication with the living God. Without communication, relationships fall apart. So, too, our relationship with God suffers when we do not communicate with him.”

Get prayin’.

We’re prayin’ for you.

*From the BCBC Vision Statement


Empowered by the Holy Spirit, Transformed by God’s Grace

This past year the members of Bent Creek Baptist Church came together to clearly define who we are and what we believe as group of Christians living in the world today.

If you’re searching for a church home in western North Carolina, we invite you to read our vision and values. If you find they mirror your beliefs about what you want in your spiritual life, please accept this invitation to join us on Sunday at 11 am when you will learn more, first hand.

Start your journey with Bent Creek Baptist Church here to learn about our vision and values, and here for a personal letter to you from our Senior Pastor, Tommy Bridges.

Thank you.


Pastor Brian: Be a Proper Witness

The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. (Deuteronomy 31:8) 

During the worship service on June 7th, Pastor Brian congratulated and encouraged our high school graduates from the class of 2015. The entire worship service can be heard here. What follows is an abridged version of his sermon.

Libby and Pastor Brian Davis

 

Good morning and welcome to Senior Day at Bent Creek. Today, we recognize our graduating seniors who are moving on to the next stage in their lives. This is one of the first milestones in a young person’s life. We recognize not just the achievement of completing high school but also that they are moving on from the BCBC Youth Group, with the expectation of having a relationship with Christ wherever they may be.

 

As I was deciding on a topic, Libby pointed out that these young people have an impressive amount of mission experience: Ecuador, Israel, Australia, and Nicaragua several times. This summer some among our graduates will go to Haiti, Mexico, and Nicaragua again. For this reason, I’ve decided to speak about our call to be a witness for Christ.

 

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. (Acts 1:8)

 

This verse runs parallel with the Great Commission found in Matthew.

 

Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, (Matthew 28:19)

 

The Great Commission was the final challenge given by Christ to his disciples. So, we should assume it’s important and it applies to all Christians — not just the disciples who heard it firsthand. The Bible refers many times to all Christians as his disciples.

 

So the word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith. (Acts 6:7)

 

You can tell by the way Jesus spoke that he’s not giving us a choice in the matter. He says you “will be” my witnesses. The question isn’t whether will you be his witness, but the kind of witness you will be?

 

So, what kind of witness will you be?

The Expert Witness

In the legal world there are several types of witnesses: the controlled expert witness, the hostile witness, and the eyewitness. Let’s see how they line up with the type of witness we can be for Christ.

 

Expert witnesses are experienced in the field, but have no direct involvement in the case. For a price they give their testimony. The hostile witness has knowledge of the case but doesn’t want to be involved. It’s risky to call on this witness.

The Hostile Witness

By comparison, our graduates aren’t paid a penny to go abroad. Their Godly witness comes from their deep commitment to the Lord. Our young people are deeply involved, and their witness is compelling.

 

The Eyewitness

Most importantly for us, there is the eyewitness — the average person who relates events as observed. Each of us has been touched by Christ. Our graduates have a story to tell about what the Lord is doing in their lives. Their eyewitness account of these events is what he wants them to share with the world.

 

How do we become a proper eyewitness?

First, live a transformed life for others to see. The way you live your life before the world is your witness for Christ.

 

When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. (Acts 4: 13)

 

Second, we must serve. Peter didn’t just preach at the beggar, he met his need. Preaching at a starving man isn’t enough. Meet his real needs, and he will see Christ in you.

 

Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God. (Acts 3:6-9)

 

Third, we must pray. Our prayer life fuels our relationship with Christ and should be a constant.

 

When they [11 Apostles] arrived, they went upstairs to the room where they were staying. They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers. (Acts 1:13-14)

 

Fourth, tell the truth. Speaking truth to power is a difficult challenge, because it entails personal danger. Despite this, when Peter spoke the unvarnished truth of events as he saw them (Acts 2), the response was breathtaking!

 

“Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.” When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” (Acts 2:36-37)

 

A witness for Christ needn’t be eloquent. There will be many opportunities both here and abroad for our graduates to witness. Trust that God will put you in the right place at the right time. Recognize that you are a witness, and make sure you are a proper one. The Holy Spirit is with you and gives you the power to open the eyes of unbelievers by illuminating God’s word. Once your relationship with the Lord is where it should be, the witness part of your life will overflow from your reaction to what Christ is doing for you.

 

 

 

 

 


Why is Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians Important Today?

As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. (Ephesians 4:1).

Claim you identity.

Paul was a prisoner in Rome when he wrote his letter to the Ephesians around AD 60–61. This was his follow-up to two earlier visits to the city of Ephesus in Asia Minor.

His thoughts are important even today because he deals with topics at the very core of what it means to be a Christian — both in faith and in practice.

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. (Ephesians 4:29)

Join us this Sunday at 11 am as Pastor Tommy speaks on the Book of Ephesians and its instruction on the unity of the church and how Christians should express their faith in unity.

 


The Resurrection of Christ…

he-is-risen_t_nv“The resurrection of Christ changed the midnight of bereavement into a sunrise of reunion; it changed the midnight of disappointment into a sunrise of joy; it changed the midnight of fear to a sunrise of peace.” Billy Graham, 2014

Jesus Christ rose from the dead as he promised! It is the chief proof of the Christian faith. It is the greatest news that mortal ears have ever heard.

“Christ is risen!”

“He is risen indeed!”

Please join us this Sunday (April 5th) at 11 am as we celebrate this most joyous event — Jesus’ victory over death.

 

 


Remembering the Day Before Good Friday

evt_ViaDolorosaA new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. (John 13:34)

As we look toward the cross of Good Friday and the open tomb of Easter morn, Pastor Benjamin Cole, writing in ABPNEWS.com, looks from a Baptist perspective at the events that took place on the day known as Maunday Thursday. It was the last night our Lord spent with his apostles before the Crucifixion — washing their feet, suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane, and the betrayal by Judas Iscariot.

How humbling to act as a servant and wash the apostles’ feet.

How painful the sacrifice when, like Abraham, the Father took his Son to a secret place to prepare him for the slaughter. Except this time there was no substitute. The cup could not pass to another.

How cruel the betrayal of Christ by Judas Iscariot; yet our Lord still treated him kindly, never hostile or bitter.

Many powerful lessons were taught that day: service, sacrifice, kindness, and grace.

Amen.


Have You Met My King?

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)

Pastor S. M. Lockridge (March 7, 1913 – April 4, 2000)

Shadrach Meshach Lockridge was born 102 years ago this month. He was the Pastor of Calvary Baptist Church, in San Diego, California, from 1953 to 1993.

Pastor Lockridge preached across the United States and around the world even after he retired in 1993. He passed away in 2004.

Today, be filled with joy by one of his best known sermons.