Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Glories of Christ

The best advertisement is a satisfied customer. We all realize that. When we are looking to make a large purchase we frequently ask others what their experience has been. Their testimony is a major factor in helping us decide about who to buy from.

While certainly salvation is not a purchase we make, the principle still holds true. When we are joyful and enthused about Jesus, that is attractive to others and gives them good reason to consider the Gospel.

The greatest thing that we can do as believers is to truly worship the Lord Jesus. When we do that we honor him and we become the best testimonies of his grace. Consider who he is:

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. (Col. 1:15-16)

The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. (Heb. 1:3)

“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.” (Rev. 1:8)

Consider what he did:

Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross! (Phil. 2:6-8)

Consider where he is today:

Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. (Rom. 8:34b)

Meditate on the glories of God the Son. Rejoice in his person. Stand in awe of his being. Wonder at his love. Tell him how much you love him.

As you worship Christ constantly and consistently you will be the best testimony that the world can see. As Paul told Titus, you will “adorn the Gospel. . “ (Titus 2:10)

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Blessings by the Minute!

This morning I am sitting with a cup of coffee thinking back through this past week. As I contemplate the last 168 hours I am overwhelmed with the sense of God’s goodness.

Last Saturday the team from Evangel Baptist arrived and we got them situated. Sunday Morning was a blessing as they shared in our service, then in the evening service they ministered greatly to our hearts.

That was just the appetizer to what God had in store for us for the week.

These teens threw themselves into the work of ministering to the children we had come for VBS. Our adults had prepared and were just as enthusiastic. That combination achieved one of the most energetic and effective VBS’ that I have ever had the privilege to be a part of.

The numbers grew each day except the last. The enthusiasm was contagious and the love of God was evident. Our Bible teacher did a wonderful job of conveying the truth of God’s Word. The crafts were well thought out. The game time was exciting yet under control. The individual teachers were able to reinforce the truths that had been taught during the lesson time. I am so grateful for our director and how all of this was pulled together.

In the afternoons the team from Evangel dug in (literally) and accomplished some work projects we had. They cleaned out an old brush pile from the back corner, dug out an overgrown bush, scraped and painted an outdoor staircase, then dug out to the foundation of the building so we could waterproof it. That project alone would have occupied the men of the church for most of the summer, but praise God it was done in 4 days.

Thursday evening was special as we hosted a teen rally. The title for it was “Knights of the Burnt Marshmallow.” Our teen leader had games planned, food prepared and we had a marvelous time. At the end of the evening the Gospel was clearly presented by Pastor Pierpont. Praise God for His grace.

The week ended well as our closing program on Friday afternoon was attended by many of the parents. We presented the Gospel and are praying for God’s Spirit to be working in hearts.

The team from Evangel left on Friday afternoon and we are praying for God’s blessing to be upon them as He directs in these teens lives.

I am grateful for the vision of leadership at Evangel Baptist that is behind mission’s trips like these. The parents’ prayers and training is very evident. The commitment of the church to developing a heart for ministry is also evident.

God is always blessing us, it is extra special when he gives us such a week like this when his hand of blessing is even more evident.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Teen Servants

A wonderful group of young people from Evangel Baptist Church in Taylor Michigan are with us this week. They have come to help out with our Vacation Bible School and a large Teen Outreach.

Yesterday they participated in our morning service, leading our singing. Then in the evening service they led they entire service. It was a blessing to have them minister in this way. Watching some young people that we watched grow up serve in such mature ways warmed Renee and my hearts. One of the young men preached in the evening service. His message was very pertinent and it was well done.

I am also humbled by the four adults who have taken a week of their lives and come along to help make this event happen. They truly are showing a servant’s heart.

We all are encouraged by the willingness of these young people to do whatever we need them to do. Their spirit is willing and eager to serve. God will greatly use that type of willingness. I am looking forward to watching how he chooses to use these young people over the next few years. I praise God for the vision that the leadership at Evangel Baptist has. Their commitment to raise up a new generation of Christian leaders has born much fruit. I am thankful that we at First Baptist can benefit from that vision.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Book Review: Notes From the Tilt-A-Whirl

Notes From the Tilt-A-Whirl focuses one’s attention on the important questions of creation as the snapshot impressions taken during a year on the vast cosmic tilt-a-whirl are recorded. The amusement park ride is the metaphor for the globe spinning in multiple circles as it races through the universe. The various pictures are melded together and form a larger composition that distinctly shows the hand of a designer. Some of these observations are quick, drive by snapshots; others are examined in greater depth.

As I read the book there were times that I felt as if I were on an amusement park ride. The pictures flew by so fast that I had a hard time focusing. Then there are the times when Wilson stops the ride and lets us take a few deep breaths and examine a particular picture. His descriptions are thorough and he writes with good clarity. You truly are given a fresh glimpse of "wide-eyed wonder" as you consider the intricacies of even the most mundane of things. I appreciated the book as a good introduction to building a worldview. Nate Wilson does more than make observations; he draws lines to help us connect the dots so that the larger picture begins to emerge.

I recommend this book for any that are willing to look at the world with that "wide-eyed wonder" and then draw honest conclusions.

Thanks to Thomas Nelson for sending this for me to review as a member of their book review blogger program.

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