Messages

Pastor’s Message

So, what are you getting for Jesus this Christmas?  Is He on your Christmas list?  We make our lists of who we’re buying gifts for, hoping and praying we don’t forget or overlook anyone, but let’s not forget that it’s Jesus’ birthday we’re celebrating.  What could we give Him?

Do we overlook Jesus on the very day we celebrate His coming?  We get so busy this time of year at church, or in the kitchen at home, or buying gifts to go under the tree, and we fail to think about our Lord and Savior.  We don’t mean to, or choose to, or want to, but we get so busy with the celebration itself that we sometimes forget who it is we’re celebrating.  This year, what can we give Jesus?  What would He want? 
 
Matthew’s account of the birth of Jesus helps us understand exactly what Jesus wants for Christmas.  What is it that the wise men gave Him?  Many would say frankincense, myrrh, and gold.  That’s true, but that’s not all.  Look carefully.  Matthew 2:11 tells us, “And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him; and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.”  Why did they come?  The Magi traveled all those miles to see, not a child, but a King.  Their gifts indicated that they understood the one they would find was royalty.  And their response was to worship Him.  That’s right.  Before they gave him the three gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, they first gave him their worship. 
 
That’s what our Lord first and foremost wants from us this Christmas, our worship — that’s all.  And it is a gift He richly deserves!  Just like the wise men knelt before Him so long ago, we need to come today and bow before Him.
 
May God bless you and your family during this Christmas season.  Have a great week and let your light shine for Jesus this week.
 
Pastor Rick

Message From Andy (Youth Minister)

Can you believe it’s December???
 
I went through a time in my life when I hated holidays – all of them. Growing up, I loved everything about them and all of our family’s traditions. But as time went on, family members passed, and traditions changed, I found myself in a place where I didn’t want to celebrate anymore.
 
And then Luke came along ….  There is no compare to seeing his pure joy on Christmas morning waking up and seeing what Santa Claus has delivered. But way more than that, the greatest joy is seeing Luke joyfully share JESUS with everyone he meets.
 
This Christmas, don’t let yourself get caught up in what you need to buy, where you need to go, what you need to do. We celebrate the birth of JESUS CHRIST at Christmastime…the Light of the World, our Savior and Lord!
 
If you need a reminder of this, remember these two words: Be Linus.  In the middle of all the ruckus of the Christmas play, only Linus could answer Charlie Brown’s question: “Does anyone know what Christmas is all about?”
 

“And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”
Luke 2:8-14

 
That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown. Be Linus. Carry a blue blanket if necessary. Much love to everyone as we celebrate JESUS this Christmas and head into 2022!
 
Andy W.

James’ Corner

I wonder why we celebrate Christmas the way we do.  We feast, party, give gifts, etc.  These are fun things and in no way wrong, but it seems like we go overboard.  Many people act like it is a party for themselves ……. forgetting it is the day we should be celebrating Jesus.  It is His special day.  Our gift exchanges should be reminders of God’s great gift, Jesus.  Our gift to others can be expensive or very small but it should always be given with love.  My favorite Christmas song is “Little Drummer Boy.”  He couldn’t afford a gift but he could play the drum!  We should give our talents to our Lord as a gift.  Remember, as you have fun exchanging gifts, let it remind you of God’s gift to us – Jesus.  All wrapped in love, with a cross as a bow.  Thank God for such a great gift.  MERRY CHRISTMAS from me and Margaret.  God bless each of you.
 
Bro. James Meade

Note from Kevin (Music Minister)

Most people know that I am a huge fan of summer. I love a good ninety-degree day full of sunshine. As we enter this new season sometimes, I become a little discouraged because my favorite time of the year is coming to a close. And then I remember of all the good things ahead of me, the beautiful colors of changing leaves, the bonfire nights and, of course, football. So often when we think that a chapter of our lives are coming to an end, we become discouraged and we think, “well what’s next” or we wonder how the next chapter in our lives can be better than the one we just closed. God’s word is full of promises that should encourage us that each day we have we should be thankful and gracious for the many great things that He has provided for us. The next chapter of our lives could hold wonderful blessings for each of us.
 
Standing on the promises that cannot fail. When the howling storms of doubt and fear assail, By the living word of God I shall prevail, Standing on the promises of God” May God’s many promises continue to bless you in each chapter of your life!
 
Blessings through song,
K

Message From Franklin Graham

We Cannot Remain Silent!

The Equality Act is a dangerous threat to our nation.

I am writing to you about a very dangerous piece of legislation — the Equality Act. The administration is wanting to pass this act soon. I cannot say this more emphatically — for people, for businesses, and for ministries of faith, the Equality Act is a threat to life as we know it in our nation today. It’s a real game-changer.

The House has already passed this legislation one time previously, so it will likely pass in the House again before moving on to the Senate. We need you to contact your congress member and U.S. senators and ask them to vote NO. I also encourage you to let the White House know about your strong opposition to this bill. The progressive Left is zealous about this issue and will pull out all the stops to try to make it the law of the land.
    • The Equality Act designates schools, churches, and healthcare organizations as “public accommodations.” With this, schools, churches, and hospitals could be forced to accept the government’s beliefs and mandates about sexual orientation and gender identity. That would be highly intrusive and incredibly far-reaching. It will threaten everyday speech where people can be fined or lose their jobs for using the wrong name or pronouns.
    • The Equality Act will use the force of law across all 50 states to strip Christian and other religious ministries of their right to hire people of shared faith to pursue a shared mission. Can you imagine a Christian organization being forced to hire people hostile to its deeply held beliefs who have no passion for its beliefs, teachings, and mission? That doesn’t work.

These are just a few examples. Friends, this is a pivotal time for our nation. The impact of this legislation is immense. We must not remain silent and accept what we know is wrong.

People of faith need to PRAY. Churches need to recognize the significance of this and pray corporately, asking for God’s intervention and mercy to extend the religious freedoms we have been blessed with for so long.

We also must get to work now, in these fleeting days before the Equality Act comes up for a vote again. As individuals, churches, and organizations, we need to let our representatives in the U.S. House and Senate know how important this is to us, and that we are asking them to vote an emphatic NO to the Equality Act.

Link to contact our representatives: https://www.house.gov/representatives/find-your-representative

Sincerely,

Franklin Graham

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