Messages

Pastor’s Message

We are currently studying the book of Romans on Wednesday evenings. This past Wednesday, one of the verses we looked at was Romans 7:15 “For that which I do I allow not; for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.” Even though Paul wanted to do the right thing and knew what the right thing to do was, there were so many times he did not do the right thing. Paul is being honest, as we see him wrestling with himself. I’m thankful that God inspired Paul to share that struggle with us. Can you relate to Paul? I can.

As Christians, our old sinful nature likes to rear its ugly head and drag us down or keep us from being as close to the Lord as we want and need to be. You want to be more patient, but you still lose your temper too often; you want to watch the words that come out of your mouth, but you still say things you can’t take back; you still act in ways you later regret, you still struggle to control your thoughts. Every day, we as Christians sin. Why? Because we are still works in progress, being changed into the likeness of Jesus Christ each and every day.
 
As a Christian, we now have a desire to live lives that are holy and pleasing to God. That desire to live your life in obedience to God is proof of salvation, proof that the Holy Spirit is at work in your life, helping you in this process of becoming more like Christ. If you think about it, there are really only three things you can do when you sin: First, you can deny it. Many people sadly do that. Second, you can try to deal with it on your own. That doesn’t work. Third, you can admit it and turn to the Lord in repentance and receive forgiveness.
 
When you look on down in chapter 7 of Romans, you come to v.24, where Paul says, “O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from this body of death?” Like Paul, we must understand we do not have the power in and of ourselves to overcome sin. The good news comes in v.25, “I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” That’s the answer to this struggle with sin. It is a moment-by-moment dependence on Jesus Christ, realizing that His power is enough to help us to resist and overcome sin. Remember, when you fail – not if – but when you fail, when you struggle, and when you fall, remember the promise of 1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
 
Have a great week and let your light shine for Jesus this week.
 

Pastor Rick

Bro. James’ Corner

Back in my early teens, I was walking from downtown Bristol on West State Street. It was a very hot day. I saw a fruit stand that said, “Ice Cold Watermelon – 10 cents/pound.” I thought that is just what I need. I stopped and asked the clerk for a pound of watermelon. She told me that was the price per pound for a whole watermelon. My heart broke. As well as I can remember, she gave me a glass of water. I wanted watermelon but I got water. I got what I really needed, water, not what I wanted. That’s the way God works for us today. We do not always get what we want, but we always get what we need. Philippians 4:19 says, “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”

Bro. James Meade

Message From Andy (Youth Minister)

“The angel of the LORD encamps all around those who fear Him,

And delivers them. Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good;

Blessed is the man who trusts in Him! Oh, fear the LORD, you

His saints! There is no want to those who fear Him.”

– Psalm 34:7-9

Well, August was different! In a month where I’m usually meeting a new group of 3rd graders, having back-to-school events at school and church, getting ready for college football, and getting re-used to getting up at 5:30 a.m.  I’ve found myself sitting in front of a laptop planning out “virtual” classes, making instructional videos, and only seeing my students on a screen.
 
And, as is usual in this COVID-19 world, it’s all about to change again!
 
Our J.A.M. and ROOTZ children and youth have either already started back to school in person or will be soon. If you ask the majority of them, they are more than ready to be back in their schools with their friends. As I write this, COVID-19 cases are decreasing in our area, and I’m asking our church family to pray along with me that the cases will continue to drop as we go into September, and to pray for our children and youth who are back in their schools!
 
Psalm 34:7-9 reminds us how great our protection is as Christians who place our faith and trust in the Lord!
 
Growing God’s Garden Together

Andy

Note from Kevin (Music Minister)

This Is Just What Heaven Means to Me

Just a few days ago I was reading a daily devotion about what heaven will be like. Which also made me think of one of my favorite Howard and Vestal Goodman songs, “This Is Just What Heaven Means to Me.”
 
Now, we are so often reminded of the strife, pain, and sufferings we have to endure here on earth. But think about this scripture from Revelation 22:3, “And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him.” That’s it. No virus, no cancer, no pain, no death. Just us, God’s people, serving and praising Him continually.

 

“A place where there is no misunderstanding,

And from all enmity and strife we’re free.

No unkind words to wrong the heart are spoken,

Now this is just what Heaven means to me.

What will it be when we get over yonder

And join the throng upon the glassy sea?

Will join our loved ones and crown Christ forever

Oh, this is just what Heaven means to me.”

 
What does heaven mean to you? Good health? Seeing loved ones? No more aches and pains? Dwell on these things.

 

-KevO

Message from Steve (SS Director)

How’s your knowledge of Scripture: 1) Extensive, 2) Above Average, 3) Average, 4) Below Average, 5) Minimal? Can you name the four gospels? How many of Jesus’ disciples can you name? According to the data from the Barna Research Group, 60% of Americans can’t name five of the ten commandments. Why do we believe what we believe about the Lord? It’s because of Scripture. However, if we don’t know it, how can we be sure of what we believe? Let me give a couple of examples. “The Lord helps those who help themselves”, is a statement we sometimes here, and according to 82% of Americans, it is a Bible verse. How many of us can correctly discern that it is not? A majority of adults think the Bible teaches that the most important purpose in one’s life if taking care of one’s family. Would you be able to refute that? So many false doctrines gain traction in churches because the members because can’t discern what is true and what is a lie.
 
In a recent Lifeway Research study, the following was revealed about Bible reading habits among those who attend church: 1) 19% – every day, 2) 26% – a few times a week, 3) 14% – once a week, 4) 22% – at least once a month, 5) 18% – rarely or never. Which category to do fit in? Are you surprised by # 5?
 
The point I’m trying to make is that biblical illiteracy is a big problem in churches across America. How can we really know the Lord if we are not avid students of His Word? A great way to get more familiar with the Word is by getting involved in a Sunday School class. You’ll get into God’s Word and you’ll learn more about who He is, what He desires, and what pleases Him. You’ll discover the timeless nature of this most unique of all books, and how the teachings contained in it apply to our daily lives. You’ll come to understand the importance of being in God’s Word on a daily basis, and be able to better discern truth from falsehood.
 
Not sure what class might be the best for you? Let’s get together and we’ll find one that is right for you!
 
Blessings in Christ!
Steve Byrd
LGBC Sunday School Director