Message on James

I was driving back to the church this afternoon, I heard an excellent and convicting message on James 4 about how we speak.  The men’s group on Saturday mornings has been going through James, so I thought it was timely.  If any of you enjoy listening to good messages, here’s a link to the one I heard today:  http://www.growingthrugrace.com/RadioBroadcastArchive.aspx

 

Grace be with you!

Michael



Love From Your Pastor

Hello FBC Friends!

 

Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity! (Psalm 133:1)

 

It was interesting that this was our reading in the psalms in the One Year Bible today.  In the blurb in The Times (Brownsville’s weekly paper) about the community-wide church service during Pioneer Picnic this Sunday, the last words were these same words from Psalm 133:1.

 

I appreciated these comments I read today about Psalm 133:  “The unity of God’s people has been, and continues to be, a sign of God’s rich blessing.  Here the psalmist reflects on those who are bound together in the worship of Yahweh at the temple, and he revels in their union in faith and practice as the true people of God… Spiritual and physical blessings are both good gifts from God above, and those who see God’s hand at work in both ways unite in their common praise of their gracious God.  As believers on this side of the cross, our minds are naturally brought to the unity we have in Christ (John 17:21-23).  The basis of our unity is even greater now that the fulfillment of those priestly laws has come, and the true Mediator of God’s people with their heavenly Father intercedes for us.  If there was beauty in the unity of God’s people at the temple, how much more is the glory of our union shown as we, in Christ, display our devotion and love for Him.” (Gospel Transformation Bible)

 


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Love From Your Pastor

Hello FBC Friends!

 

A worthless man plots evil, and his speech is like a scorching fire. (Proverbs 16:27)

 

This verse is somewhat startling!  And yet so true.  I’ve been thinking about how easily our words can do tremendous damage.  Sometimes without trying to, meaning anything, or even noticing, we can say things that cause damage.  It’s so easy to do, yet we must be diligent to prevent it.  Remember the Smokie the Bear commercials?  “Only YOU can prevent forest fires!”  We need to pray for the Lord to rein in our tongues!  James dealt with the same thing:  And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness.  The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell (James 3:6).  Wow!  Instead, let’s use our speech for uplifting others, for putting out fires instead of starting them, for giving glory to God.  Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. (Ephesians 4:29)

 

This week I will be continuing our series, “Dollar$ & $ense” with a message about work.  Our memory verse is Colossians 3:23-24 — Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward.  You are serving the Lord Christ. (ESV)

 


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Love From Your Pastor

Hello FBC!

 

But these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His name. (John 20:31)

 

John tells us near the end of his gospel account that Jesus did many other signs besides what he had written.  Which is pretty amazing because John wrote about so many things that Jesus did and said!  But apparently there were many other things.  John affirms here that what he did write, he wrote for a purpose: so that his readers would believe that Jesus is the Christ (the Messiah), the Son of God, and that by believing they might have life in His name.  The gospel of John in the gospel of belief.  John is passionate that all people would believe the truth about who Jesus is and what Jesus said.  Do you believe?  Are you allowing that belief to transform how you live and think?

 

This Sunday we’ll be reminded about another key truth from John’s gospel: that God so loved the world that He gave His only Son (3:16).  We’ll be talking about how blessed it is for us to be givers.  But our ability to be givers only manifests itself because of the greatest Giver of all – God Himself!

 


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Love From Your Pastor

Happy Friday FBC!

 

When I think of Your rules from of old, I take comfort, O LORD. (Psalm 119:52)

 

The 119th Psalm is the longest chapter in the Bible.  Thankfully, the One Year Bible breaks it up into a number of days!  What an amazing testimony of the glorious truth found in God’s Word.  David expresses many emotions that come through the reading, studying, and obeying His commands in Scripture.  He talks about them being his “delight.”  In the above verse, he says thinking about God’s rules causes him to take “comfort.”  Do you delight in God’s Word?  Does thinking on it bring you comfort?  I hope so!

 

This Sunday I will be speaking on “God’s Absolute Standard,” dealing with honesty in our financial dealings (and all of life).  Our memory verse for this Sunday is Leviticus 19:11

 

“You shall not steal; you shall not deal falsely; you shall not lie to one another.”

 

This past week we had a meeting to begin preparations for VBS, which will be here at FBC July 31 – Aug. 4.  If you missed it, but would like to help, please contact Pastor Justin or Lynsey Hostetter.  Lynsey is planning on a BRIEF meeting immediately following the worship service this Sunday, so please be ready to stay and see how you can help!

 

Happy Memorial Day! As we enjoy the beautiful weather, and perhaps opportunities to enjoy fellowship with friends and family, let’s remember to be grateful for those who gave their lives so that we can enjoy the freedoms we do.  And thank you to all active military and veterans for serving our great country.  God Bless You

 

Love From Your Pastor,

Michael



Love From Your Pastor

Hello FBC Friends!

 

And Jonathan, Saul’s son, rose and went to David at Horesh, and strengthened his hand in God. (1 Samuel 23:16)

 

Something I read in a comment on the above verse this morning intrigued me, especially in light of the fact that I will be speaking about seeking counsel this Sunday:

 

“A true friend does not minimize or make light of the sorrow or difficulty another may be experiencing but, rather, helps the other find strength in God.  Jonathan’s encouragement of David in the present circumstances, ‘strengthening his hand in God,’ helps prepare him for a later dire situation, where David will again find strength in God (1 Sam. 30:6).  ‘The sweetness of a friend comes from his earnest counsel‘ (Prov. 27:9).”

 

The writer of this commentary continues, talking about both verses 16-17 of 1 Sam. 23:  “In the present episode, Jonathan encourages David by reminding him of God’s purpose to make David king.  How much grander is the Christian hope: ‘We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf’ (Heb. 6:19-20).  The calling of all Christians is to ‘encourage one another and build one another up’ (1 Thes. 5:11).  Yet we do this ultimately because we ourselves have been befriended by God Himself in the person of Jesus.  In Jesus we have a Friend, the Great Friend, the Friend of Sinners (Luke 7:34).  ‘No longer do I call you servants… but I have called you friends’ (John 15:15).” (Gospel Transformation Bible)

 

The sermon this week is called, “Be a Wise Guy (or Girl)”. We will be looking at the importance of seeking counsel, especially when it comes to finances.  Our memory verse is short this week!

 

“The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.” (Proverbs 12:15)  Let’s be ready to recite that together this Sunday!

 

Here are a number of other important things I wanted to share with you today:

 

  • Saturday at 7am is our Men’s Breakfast in the fellowship hall.  Let’s come together and strengthen one another’s hand in God!  Following the breakfast there is a work day scheduled up at our FBC cemetery.
  • Please pray for Judy C and Rosemary as they conclude their time in Senegal this week.  They are scheduled to return home this weekend.
  • Thank you for praying for Lisa Goracke as she had hip surgery this week.  She is now home and recovering, and the doctor says the surgery went well.  
  • Please pray for Jared and Myriah Lemerande and their baby (Eva) who is only 25 weeks along.  Myriah is in Riverbend hospital with pre-term labor right now.
  • Fred & Loraine Anderson are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary Saturday from 2-5pm.  Contact the Anderson’s if you’d like to attend and don’t know where it is.  An invitation is on the bulletin board in the church foyer.
  • The youth are doing their progressive dinner activity this Saturday. Those youth who have signed up need to meet at FBC at 3:30pm Saturday.  Thank you to everyone hosting them!
  • The Awana Awards Night and Barbecue is this Sunday night at the church beginning at 5pm!  Join us for a great celebration of all that’s been accomplished this year.
  • Caleb is turning 16 on Sunday! (Yikes!)
  • There is a Vacation Bible School helpers meeting next Tuesday at 7pm at FBC.  Make sure to be there if you’d like to help with VBS this summer! Contact Lynsey Hostetter for more info.
  • Next Wednesday, May 24, is WorldVenture’s (the world missions of Conservative Baptists) Global Prayer Day. https://www.worldventure.com/prayerday/ 

Looking forward to an event-filled weekend together as we strengthen one another in our walk with Christ!

 

Love From Your Pastor,

Michael



Love From Your Pastor

Hello FBC!

 

“I am the living bread that came down from heaven.  If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever.  And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is My flesh.” (John 6:51)

 

My family really likes good bread.  One member of our family in particular really likes bread.  A lot.  We talked about this briefly yesterday after we had either some really yummy rolls, or garlic bread, or both.  I had read the verse yesterday where Jesus said, “I am the bread of life.”  Of course, Jesus wasn’t talking about literal bread.  But one of us said something like, “That must mean bread really is holy!”  I like the explanation from the ESV Study Bible a little better though:

 

“The ‘bread’ Jesus gives is His flesh (a reference to Jesus’ death on the cross).  Jesus’ statement intermingles physical and spiritual truth.  Jesus is not talking about literal ‘bread,’ but He is the true ‘living bread’ in the sense that those who believe in Him have their spiritual hunger satisfied.  He becomes this spiritually satisfying ‘bread’ by sacrificing His own physical body in His death on the cross, and in that sense He can say that this spiritual bread is ‘My flesh’.”  That’s part of what we commemorated last Sunday during Communion!  Have you eaten of the living bread?


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Love From Your Pastor

 

Hello FBC!
 
Sing to Him, sing praises to Him; tell of all His wondrous works!
 (Psalm 105:2)
 
But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship Him.  God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.
 (John 4:23-24)
 
A couple of great reminders for me today of the great privilege of worship!  He is worthy to be praised.  Regardless of style preferences, song choices, personalities… the focus of our hearts on Sunday mornings (and every moment of every day!) needs to be on the worthiness of our God to be worshiped in spirit and truth.  Let’s sing praises to Him.  Let’s tell of all His wondrous works!  Let’s worship Him in spirit and truth.
 
Pastor Justin asked me to remind you about his parents Sunday School class: “We are starting a parenting class on Sunday, May 21st during the Sunday School hour.
  Please sign up in the foyer if you plan to attend.  This is a 6 week series using Dr. Michelle Anthony’s ‘Spiritual Parenting’ curriculum.”
 
There are also a couple of great opportunities for more online biblical training.
 
D6 Days – (May 8-9) Family ministry conference online.  Justin will be watching it at FBC, and he is inviting anyone who wants to come join him.  If you are working with children or youth, or if you are a parent or grandparent, or someone just interested in family ministry, this will be good stuff.  You can also just watch it online one your laptop or smartphone or tablet.  Just click on: https://d6family.com/d6days-2017/
 
Basics Conference – (May 8-10) This is an annual pastors conference at Alistair Begg’s church in Cleveland.  But it will certainly be just good Bible teaching for anyone who likes to hear good solid teachers.  Not only Begg, but also Al Mohler and Sinclair Ferguson are headlining this event.  I will be trying to watch as much of this one as I can.  You can sign up to watch it here:  https://www.basicsconference.org/
 
This Sunday I will be speaking on “Borrowing into Slavery” as we continue our “Dollar$ & $ense” series.  We will look at a lot of different passages of Scripture, but our memory verse is Proverbs 22:7 – The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender.
 
I hope you will join me in working on the memory verses for this series.  I am using the app called “Scripture Typer” to help me.  It also reminds me to review every so many days.  So I will keep working on last week’s verse (which was much longer than this week’s!).
 
Looking forward to being together again this weekend!
 
Grace be with you all.
 
Love From Your Pastor,
Michael
 
P.S. Thank you for praying for Rosemary and Judy C as they have arrived safely in Senegal to visit our missionary friend and sister Marilyn Escher.  Keep praying for a blessed time together for them!


Love From Your Pastor

God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.”  And He said, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.'”  God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘The LORD, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’  This is My name forever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations.”

 (Exodus 3:14-15)
 
The ever-existent, all-powerful, never-changing Lord of the universe… He is the God we worship!  Isn’t it amazing that when Jesus came He referred to Himself numerous times saying, “I Am…”! What an amazing God we serve, love, worship, and obey!
 
Ladies, don’t forget about the baby shower for Samantha at FBC at 10:30am tomorrow.  Thank you for being such a blessing to her and her family!
 
Jack and Bonny asked me to express their gratitude to everyone for your many prayers, cards, and phone calls.  Jack had another round of chemo this week.  It makes him pretty sick.  But he has had a number of opportunities to share with friends about his faith in Jesus Christ.  Please keep praying for the Pimms and sharing your love with them.
 
This Sunday I’m speaking on “At Home & At Work” from Colossians 3:18 — 4:1.
Paul gets tremendously practical about the implications of the Lordship of Jesus Christ in our lives.  It should impact our most important relationships in very real ways!  Please read that passage prayerfully before Sunday.  
 
God bless you all, and I am looking forward to seeing you again this weekend!
 
Love From Your Pastor,
Michael


Love From Your Pastor

Hello FBC Friends!

 
For You, O LORD, are most high over all the earth; You are exalted far above all gods.
 (Psalm 97:9)
 
Yes He is!  One of our primary responsibilities as individual Christians and as a church is to EXALT the Lord’s name.  And one of the first ways we do that is by simply acknowledging how great He really is and that He is indeed exalted above all else.  He is the Most High God.  Is He supreme in
your
 heart?
 
This Sunday we’ll continue our series on “Dollar$ & $ense” with a message titled, “He Owns It All” from 1 Chronicles 29:10-22.  This is an amazing example of prayer and worship by David, in response to the collection of resources to build the temple, and in preparation for the building of this great house for God.  Please prayerfully read through that as you prepare for Sunday morning.  And also remember, we are trying to memorize a passage each week during this sermon series.  This week’s is the longest one, so I hope you’ve already started working on it!
 
Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O LORD, and you are exalted as head above all. Both riches and honor come from you, and you rule over all. In your hand are power and might, and in your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all. (1 Chronicles 29:11-12 ESV)
 
We will be having a baptism service coming in the near future, so if you haven’t already, please talk to me or Pastor Justin if you are wanting to be baptized.  Also, please let me know if you are interested in membership at FBC.  These are great opportunites for taking steps of faith and commitment to Christ and His church.
 
May God’s grace shine on you as you exalt Him in word and deed!
 
Love From Your Pastor,
Michael
 



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