Celebrating 76 Years Of Ministry
To God Be The Glory
This Week's Sermon:
November 30th: “Ten Reasons To Be Thankful”
Read: Psalm 118:1. Please join us at 10:45 AM.
Each Sunday we have a program for children
K through 5th grade, from 6:00-7:00 PM.
Senior's Exercise Class on Wednesdays at 10:30 AM. For men and women of all ages. Handicapped accessible.
Each Saturday - Men's Bible Study at 9:00 AM
Third Saturday of each month at 10:00 AM - The Food Pantry is open to all who are in need.
Fourth Saturday of each month at 10:00 AM - Our Clothes Closet is open to the community.
My Favorite Bible Passage
What is your favorite Bible verse or passage? That’s not an easy question to answer because there are so many wonderful verses in the Bible, and all of them are inspired and useful. I could mention various verses that mean a lot to me (e.g., Matt 19.26; Heb 13.5; 1 John 1.9). Yet, if I had to nail it down, I think I would say Philippians 4.4-7. This passage has meant so much to me down through the years and I return to it again and again. I think it means so much to me because it helps me with my temptations. I’m tempted to be negative, and this passage says rejoice. I’m tempted to be inconsiderate and even rude at times, but this passage says be gentle. I’m tempted to worry, and yet this passage reminds me not to worry and instead to trust God to take care of things. I think that’s why this passage is my favorite: it helps me so much.
First, it tells us to rejoice. Joy is one of the most prominent themes in Philippians. Words related to joy occur sixteen times in this small letter. Though Paul himself is writing from prison, he is joyful and he urges his readers to be joyful. Twice in verse 4 he says, “Rejoice.” He wants us to get this. God does not want us to have a negative attitude. God does not want us to be sour, pessimistic, or a kill-joy. He wants us to rejoice—to rejoice “always” (see 1 Thess 5.16). That means at all times, in the good times and the bad. That’s not easy of course. But remember: we are not told to rejoice in our circumstances, but “in the Lord.” That’s the secret to Christian joy. We rejoice in the Lord. We rejoice in who he is and what he's done for us. He is the Lord. He died for us, saved us, and is coming again to take us home to heaven one day. There is always cause to rejoice in the Lord Jesus Christ. Our circumstances change, people change, our emotions change; but the Lord never changes (see Mal 3.6). That's why we can rejoice in the Lord always.
Second, we are told to be gentle. Paul says, “Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near” (v. 5). What does it mean to be gentle? This word is translated in various ways: “moderation” (KJV), “considerate” (NLT), “graciousness” (HCSB), and “reasonable” (ESV). Probably, the idea of gentleness is as good as any. The word speaks of not demanding your rights but being courteous, kind, forbearing and considerate. It is the opposite of being rude. I need more of this in my life. I need to be more gentle and considerate. What about you? Gentleness is a characteristic of Christ, and so when I am gentle I am acting like Christ (see Matt 11.29; 2 Cor 10.1). We are to be gentle to all people by the way, even those we may not like or agree with. Paul gives us a reason why we should be gentle to all people: the Lord is near. The Lord is near spatially (he is with us even now, see Matt 28.20). The Lord is also near temporally (his coming is soon, see James 5.8). Both are true, and both should motivate us to be gentle. He is with us and so he can help us to treat other people right. He is coming soon, and I for one don't want to be chewing someone out when the Lord appears.
Third, we are admonished not to be anxious. This is a tall order. Paul basically tells us not be worry about anything but to pray about everything (see vv. 6-7). I tend to worry about things. I don’t know if it’s due to a lack of faith or wanting to be in control or my mind that never seems to stop. I’m not sure, but I can worry and be anxious at times. Most people I meet struggle with anxiety as well. Especially in the world in which we live with terrorism and a vulnerable economy and disease and crime, it’s understandable why so many people worry. Yet, the Bible tells us not to worry. Instead of worrying, we are to pray about things. Our prayers are to involve petitions (asking God for things) and thanksgiving (thankful for answered prayer and thankful in general). The result of praying about things is God’s peace protecting our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. I can't promise you that all your prayers will be answered just the way you want, but I can promise you that if you put matters in God's hand you will receive his peace. And his peace is all you need. It is better than human understanding (John 14.27).
For more devotions by Pastor Mark, visit his blog at drmarkjackson.wordpress.com.