Thus declares the Lord of hosts, "Return to me, says the Lord of hosts, and I will return to you, says the Lord of hosts." (Zechariah 1:3)
January 27, 2020 - This is the call of the Lord to all people, that all should return to him, that all should turn from their wicked ways, repent of their sins, seek his face and pray to him for salvation.
The Lord makes this call for he does not wish that any should perish but that all should reach repentance.
"The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance." (2 Peter 3:9)
And why would the Most High worry or care about all men, why should he wish that none should perish in the fires of hell?
It's simple, because his Son, Jesus Christ, died for the sin of all men, that all men simply by accepting his free gift of salvation could then be saved from the penalty of their sin, which is death of the spirit.
Does God really love us that much and wish for our repentance and redemption?
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life." (John 3:16)
But why one might ask is mankind doomed to perish without the salvation that only comes through Christ Jesus?
Because of the original sin of Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden.
"The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, "You may surely eat of every tree of the garden. But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die." (Genesis 3:15-17)
Now Eve ate the fruit of the tree and gave it to Adam and he too ate of it.
God then cast them out of the garden, forever, and due to this original sin against God, from that day forth the earth and all men have been accursed. All must therefore repent of their sins to gain redemption and salvation for without salvation all are dead in their sins forever.
"For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him." (John 3:17)
There is no other way to secure one's salvation except through belief in Jesus Christ as our Lord.
Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6)
"Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God." (John 3:18)
Condemned not by God but by the sin of Adam and Eve. All must reach repentance or face the penalty of their sin which is death.
"For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 6:23)
All must decide between life in Christ Jesus or death in the darkness, forever away from God, suffering the torment of eternal fire and damnation in hell.
Return to God and he will return to you and save you from your sins.
Which will it be for you, life in Christ, or death in hell?
All must choose, please my friends, choose wisely for your eternity depends upon this decision.
May God's blessings be upon you forever and ever!!!
January 23, 2020 - In our day and time, we have become obsessed with the consumer mentality. To be sure, it has permeated every aspect of our lives. We look for a restaurant with the best price, menu, atmosphere and location. We shop for clothes at a store that carries our size, has our taste in clothes and the best sales.
Sadly, many take this same attitude with them when it comes to church. To be sure, we call it “church shopping”.
If we have little kids, we look for a church with a great program for kids. If we don’t have kids, we look for a church that doesn’t have a “bunch of noisy kids” bothering us.
We want the music enthusiastic but not too loud, the preacher to be youthful but not too young, and relevant but not trendy. Most of all, he needs to deliver a life changing message in less than 20 minutes.
And, know this, if anything stops meeting our expectations, we are off “church shopping” again.
Yet, the church was never intended to serve the consumer mentality. You see, the church is not about serving us, it is about us serving God and serving others. In the church, we are to be more focused on seeking the desperately lost rather than meeting the felt needs of the comfortably saved.
It’s something to think about…..tbp
Join us for worship this coming Lord’s day at the Center Church of Christ, 110 Hurst Street, Center, Texas or online at www.centerchurchofchrist.com.
January 22, 2020 - Pastor Freddie Wilson and the members of Saint Paul MBC invites you to join us for our Mission Community. We will begin at the church on Saturday, January 25, 2020 at 12-noon.
This event is to serve those in need in the community. Vegetable soup and fixings will be served at the church, and from there the mission will reach out to the community.
Saint Paul M.B.C. - A Church With a Vision, A Community of Faith.
January 21, 2020 - Grace and peace from our brother, Jesus, Amen. It is Saturday, January 18, and I am at my computer working on my sermon for tomorrow. The Gospel lesson comes from the John Gospel, which was one of the later writings to be included in the Christian Testament. We don’t know who the author of this very spiritual book was, but are fairly certain it was written at the end of the first century of the Common Era. It is very different from the first three gospels. I have pulled several wonderful books from the bookshelves about the period of time when Jesus was thought to have lived in Capernaum. This part of his life is after his tribulations in the wilderness and the beginning of his three-year ministry. From his home base at Capernaum, Jesus makes frequent trips to the Jordan where John the Baptizer is urging people to turn away from the old ways of living. In our Gospel story, people seek out Jesus, who invites them to his home.
Our Sunday School lesson comes from the Jewish (Old) Testament and focuses on the covenant between Yahweh and David. From the scripture we see that the covenant Yahweh made with Saul had many conditions, and also that Saul failed to meet them. But the special bond between Yahweh and David had no preconditions, as David had a special place in God’s heart. It seems as if David was the favorite and that he could get away with more than others. His poor choices did complicate his life and bring him sorrow, but God’s love for him did not weaken. That kind of love is a comforting thought as we muddle through our own living!
I had a busy week seeing doctors this week. I had four appointments—but I guess I’m good to go for awhile longer! I am feeling better after having the flu and a sinus infection. The weather has been so strange, it is hard to figure out if it is going to be raining and warm or windy and cold. We have had temperatures in the 70s in January! After my last doctor’s appointment Friday, I drove by Community Christian Services and found workers busily getting the food bank ready to go. Paxton Methodist collected cans of soup in December, so I was able to deliver those. In January we are collecting cans of tuna. We have two nursing home ministries this week. On Tuesday at 2:00 we head to Holiday Nursing Center; the same time on Thursday will find us at Lakeside Village Assisted Living.
Whoever you are, in whatever faith you were born, whatever creed you profess; if you come to this house to find God you are welcome here.” Paxton United Methodist Church is an inviting church that takes to heart the idea of “Open Doors, Open Hearts, and Open Minds.” Sunday School starts at 9:30 and Worship begins at 10:00. Our email address is email@example.com. If you would like the weekly email newsletter about Paxton Methodist you can send me your email address to the Paxton email address and I will add you to the list. God’s Speed.
January 20, 2020 - Sold to the Highest Bidder: The Teresa Richenberger Story
First United Methodist Church in Joaquin has invited Teresa Richenberger to speak at the 10:30am service Sunday, January 26. Teresa has not only written a book, she has lived the life of an Exotic Dancer and experienced the life that would be perfect movie material, except it’s not a pretty story. It is raw and often tough to hear.
As a teenager, she began to feel hopelessness, as lots of teenagers do. Teresa began a life that would spiral out of control and cause countless problems and dangerous situations. She’s the only one who could put into words what happened because she lived it for over 10 years on the streets of towns and cities in East Texas.
From shame and guilt to freedom and confidence, her story brings hope to many. God did a might work in her life and she now speaks often to teens and young adults in need of her transforming story. All are welcome at the service and we especially invite young adults, both men and women.
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” (Romans 1:16)
January 20, 2020 - Jesus said that if we are ashamed of him to others, he will be ashamed of us to the Father.
I am not ashamed of the gospel of our Lord, no, I praise it for it is the power of God manifest, first in Christ Jesus and forever in our Holy Bible.
“For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.” (Romans 1:17)
First came the Law of Moses, an impossible set of rules and laws that no one could follow save and except the Lord Jesus.
Then came Jesus Christ, the Son of God in human form to save the sinner from himself.
By Jesus’ death and resurrection the Law of Moses is no more, all things now come by grace for all who believe, “from faith for faith.”
Faith, the trust that Jesus had in the Father allowed him to endure the pain and agony of death on the cross, his death giving all who would believe in him, through faith, the power of God in salvation.
“For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.” (Romans 10:4)
“So faith comes from hearing and hearing through the word of Christ.” (Romans 10:17)
The printed words of Christ, the Bible brings salvation to all who will believe in him as Lord, delivered both by the Bible and by the preaching of good men who are called to preach the gospel of our Lord to the world.
“For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.” (Romans 11:36)
“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 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 12:1-2)
Step forth in faith brothers, becoming living reflections of the goodness of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Become an example, a reflection, that all can see the joy of living in Christ Jesus. It is through our lives that the Lord is seen by the world, it is by our lives that Jesus Christ is judged by those who do not know him. It is our duty as his followers to present him as he is, Lord of all and savior to the world.
“Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophesy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.” (Romans 12:6-8)
Step forth today and become a living reflection of our Lord, bringing his joy and peace to the world around you. May his blessings by upon you and his peace be within you…
January 16, 2020 - The Calvary Boys will be in Concert at Providence Missionary Baptist Church on Saturday, January 18, 2020 at 6:30pm. There will be Refreshments after their performance. We invite all to come and share an evening of Blessings and Gospel music.
While many of you are just discovering the Calvary Boys Quartet (CBQ) you may be interested to know a little history about the group. In 1970, when the Beatles were at the top of the pop music charts, the Vietnam War was in full swing, Richard Nixon was the president, riots and protests rocked the nation, 8-track tapes were the norm and no one had even dreamed of a VCR much less digital video, a young group of gospel singers, coached and led by their mentor, Waylon Moore, emerged. Singing for churches, homecomings, radio programs and just about anywhere they were asked to, the young group began to develop a following. Encouraged to do so, the group (who were all FFA members at the local high school) entered competitions and won awards - most notably winning both state and regional FFA talent competitions. But they were known then as the Farmers Quartet.
Inspired by early success and with lots of encouragement from parents, friends and fans, the group changed their name to the Calvary Boys Quartet and started performing more and larger venues. Aubrey King (d. 2012) and Chip Roberson are original members of the quartet. Their first album ‘Our First - At Last’ was released in 1972. In 1981 Ron Meadows joined the group as the lead singer and in 1983 Bill Smith joined the group as bass.
So as you can see, it is no accident that these men, performing together as a group for over 25 years have developed the rich full and mature sound that you enjoy today. But it is more than just the music.
Chip, who is also the music minister for his local church, enjoys traveling and feels that since God gave him the talent of singing, he needs to use this God-given talent as his ministry to glorify God. Bill just gets joy out of singing and takes pride in the fact that the hard work pays off - that the great harmony may touch the hearts of the audience. Ron Meadows put it quite well, ‘We enjoy each other’s company and we have something to sing about’.
And the beat goes on...... It is inevitable that young men will grow up and want to emulate their fathers. That is particularly wonderful when their fathers are Gospel singers. In 2001 a group comprised of Andrew and Aaron King (sons of Aubrey) and Timothy Roberson (son of Chip), each individually blessed with his own singing talent, launched their group - The Calvary Boys Trio. Led by Andrew, their first concert was in 2001. The group regularly performs on stage with the Calvary Boys and released their own album in 2004. When Andrew left to sing with the nationally acclaimed Dixie Melody Boys, his place was filled by Chip for their on-stage performances.
January 16, 2020 - Take a leafy branch from a tree. Lay it carefully aside and watch. Slowly the color fades, the leaves go limp, they curl up and it is dead.
Take a fish out of the lake. Lay it carefully on the sand and watch. Frantically it twists, and struggles and gradually weakens, moving its gills slower, then quivers and it is dead.
Take a church member. Carefully allow them to be separated from God in Bible Study, worship, fellowship, prayer and active service. Gradually their conscience quivers as they miss the Lord’s Supper. They fret at themselves for being absent as questionable activities begin to occupy their time. Soon, there are so many hypocrites in the church, the church is always asking for money and finally they take a stand against Christian living and they are dead.
When members of the Lord’s church do not attend worship because they sleep late, they forsake the assembly. They sin. When members of the Lord’s church do not attend worship because of inconvenience, they forsake the assembly. They sin. When members of the Lord’s church do not attend worship because it interferes with their pleasure, they forsake the assembly. They sin.
Serious isn’t it?
It’s something to think about…..tbp
Join us for worship this coming Lord’s day at the Center Church of Christ, 110 Hurst Street, Center, Texas or online at www.centerchurchofchrist.com
January 15, 2020 - The Golden Harvest Ministries Club will meet Monday, January 20, 2020 in the Fellowship Hall of First Baptist Church at 11:30 AM. We will have a musical program presented by Ann Harmon.
Visitors are always welcome to join us for a delicious covered dish luncheon, an enjoyable program and time of fellowship.
January 15, 2020 - A tale of two women, one old and barren, the other young barely old enough to marry.
A man, Zechariah and his wife, Elizabeth of the daughters of Aaron, were growing old without child as Elizabeth had been barren all of her life.
As Zechariah served in the temple, an angel of the Lord came to him, an angel called Gabriel, telling him that his wife would conceive and have a son and that he would call his name John.
Being old and without child Zechariah asked for more proof of how he would know this to be true.
"And the angel answered him, "I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I was sent to speak to you and bring you this good news." (Luke 1:19)
Elizabeth did indeed conceive but kept herself hidden from view from the people of the town.
"In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgins name was Mary. And he came to her and said, "Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you." (Luke 1:26-28)
As one might expect, Mary was shocked at the sight of this angel and at his words to her and so Gabriel said the her.
"Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end." (Luke 1:30-33)
Gabriel then told Mary that Elizabeth was six months pregnant with a son, even this one that had been barren.
"For nothing will be impossible with God. And Mary said, "Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word. And the angel departed from her." (Luke 1:37-38)
No hesitation from Mary, only trust in the Lord God and her willingness to serve him, how it should be for all people, yes, you and I too.
Now Mary went quickly to the home of Elizabeth and Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth.
"And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, and she exclaimed with a loud cry, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me?" (Luke 1:41-43)
And so we see the first meeting of Jesus and John the Baptist, the next time they meet it will be thirty plus years later for the baptism of Jesus Christ by John in the River Jordan.
Both John and Elizabeth knew at the sound of Mary's voice that the Lord had entered their presence, that is the power of the Holy Spirit as he works in the lives of ordinary people put into extraordinary circumstances, it still happens today to those who welcome him and receive his blessings.
Will you accept him today as your Lord, if you will cry out to him for salvation he will save you and you will know the joy and peace that only comes in living for the Lord.
May his blessings fill you this day and forever...