Prayer and songs of praise opened services for Sunday morning, Oct. 11, as the sweet presence of the Lord was felt in our midst. "Risen With Christ" was taken from Romans 6:13, 7:6, 8:10-11; Acts 2:1-4, 2:38; and Colossians 3:1.
Many times we fail to realize the close communion we have with God. He promised to send us another Comforter before he ascended. His promise was fulfilled as the Holy Ghost fell on the day of Pentecost. Everyone who has received the Holy Ghost has the Comforter dwelling within them.
Before we were born again of the water and of the Spirit, we were servants of sin. By nature, people are sinners. Those who reject the plan of salvation of repentance, baptism in Jesus' name for the remission of sins, and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost remain the servants of sin.
After the Holy Ghost fell on those in the upper room on the day of Pentecost, Peter preached the plan of salvation that we must obey to be saved.
We cannot change ourselves, but the Lord can change us and make all things new - old things are passed away.
We are made free from sin and become servants of righteousness. We are born of a different nature, taking on the divine nature of God.
We become sensitive to the pitfalls of sin and the devil. The Lord gives everyone the freedom to choose whether to obey the old nature, or to obey God. Even as we serve the Lord, our flesh wars against our spirit. We must overcome the flesh by the power given us in the Holy Ghost.
The Lord loved us enough to go to Calvary to provide the way for us to have his Spirit within us that we might be overcomers of sin.
His plan of salvation was not in effect until his death, burial and resurrection. There must be the death of the testator for a testament to be in force. While he lived, the Lord was the lawgiver. As the risen Lord, he dwells in our midst as we gather in his name to worship him - for where two or three are gathered in his name, he is among us.
Tahlequah First Baptist
Most of us don't like being alone for long periods of time. We don't mind too much for short periods of time, but when it comes to being alone for long periods of time, most of us don't do very well.
We actually weren't designed to be alone or isolated. God said after he created man, "It is not good for the man to be alone" (Genesis 2:18). But as you know, life sometimes leaves us alone; when a spouse dies or leaves, for example.
Sometimes we might just feel lonely even if we live with our spouse and family. Sometimes we feel shut out, shut off or isolated from our family, husband or wife, or maybe even friends.
If you are a believer, you are never alone. Jesus is always near. He sent his Holy Spirit to dwell in us. Just as he knew his disciples would feel abandoned after his crucifixion.
He told them he would send a helper who would never, ever leave them…the Holy Spirit. And the Holy Spirit is still with us today.
He is still by our side, helping us, comforting us, and guiding us.
Unlike our human companions, the Holy Spirit is quite adequate to meet our every need. He knows us perfectly. When we feel loss or pain, he is there to comfort us and heal us from our hurting.
No one else can comfort us like God's Holy Spirit. If we are frantic or in a frenzy, He knows exactly what we should do. He knows our future. He knows the world's future and he knows everything in between, and he is always there to guide our steps and calm our fears even in all of our inadequacies.
God created each of us and only his Holy Spirit can make us complete. He is the solution to man's loneliness. He will never forget us, not ever, and he will always be there to help us when we need him.
Others will let you down, but God will never let you down. He is ever present and by our side to help us in our journey through life. The Holy Spirit is always with us and here to remind us that we are never alone.
Services are: Sunday school, 9:30 a.m.; Sunday worship service, 10:45 a.m.; and Wednesday Bible studies, 6 p.m.
Pastor Matt Lawrence entitled his message "The Christian life is the best life." Many people don't fully experience this.
After Paul's conversion, Jesus told him in Acts 26:16, "But rise, and stand upon thy feet; for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee."
The Christian life is so great because, first, our sins are forgiven; next, Jesus lives in us; and last of all, our future is secure.
First, God made a way for sins to be forgiven through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Deuteronomy 33:29: "Happy art thou, O Israel; who is like unto thee, O people saved by the Lord, the shield of thy help, and who is the sword of thy excellency. And thine enemies shall be found liars unto thee; and thou shalt tread upon their high places."
God wants all people to be saved. Read Psalm 103:12.
Isaiah 44:22: "I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed thee."
The only sin not forgiven, is rejecting Jesus Christ.
Next, because Christ lives in me, I have nonending life in him
John 10:28: "And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand."
2 Corinthians 5:21: "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him."
Philippians 3:7-9: "But which things were gain unto me, those I counted loss for Christ….And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith."
We have the righteousness of Jesus.
Philippians 2:5: "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus."
We have his ministry. See Mathew 28:10.
Lastly, we don't fear death; our future is secure with Jesus in eternity.
Philippians 1:33: "For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better."
Christ intends for us to serve, testify and be his ambassadors here, because, we believe God's word; know the Savior; live securely in Jesus, and someday appear with God in glory.
The angels of heaven rejoiced along with the church as Shelly Fallen received Jesus Christ as her Savior today.
Pray for Hunter Burkholder and Gabby Walker as they get married Friday at 5 p.m. at the TBA campgrounds.
Peggs Community Church
Services for Oct. 11 opened in prayer led by Brother Loyd Eaton, with 47 in attendance. The devotional was read from Psalm 119:1-16, and the first song was "We'll Work til Jesus Comes."
We've had several rather critical prayer requests recently, four of which are for small children under the age of 3, elders that are still having lots of health problems, surgeries, cancers, and such.
Keep these folks in your thoughts and prayers each day; praying always for God's will in their lives and his healing for them; and their families should he call them home.
Food pantry distribution was Wednesday, Oct. 14, and the senior lunch is Thursday, Oct. 14. Lunch will be served as curbside pick-up, as in the past few months, from 11 a.m. until noon. Beef stew, cornbread, and "fixins" are on the menu.
Brother Rex took his message this morning from Mark 8:22-26, the story of healing the blind man. Jesus had been asked to heal the man's eyes, and rather than kneel and make "mud" to coat the eyes as he had in the past, he walked up near the man and spit in his eyes. Jesus asked him, "What do you see?" The reply: "I see men walking about as trees." Jesus then laid hands on the man's eyes, backed up a step, directed the man to look up and open his eyes. It was then he indicated that Jesus had healed him completely and he could see clearly.
Brother Rex used this story of healing to ask us "What are you looking at? Which direction are you looking? How's your focus? Are you looking up and focusing on Christ or the obstacles of your day?"
There are so many things going on in today's world, that it is easy to get involved and worried about what is happening, that we forget to turn to Jesus and the Father for wisdom, strength, and safety.
Stress causes so many problems: high blood pressure, heightened mood swings, uncertainty and the temptation to turn to a "quick fix" for your moods. The best "fix" is to turn to the cross, fasten your eyes on Christ, your heart on him, and let his peace calm you. Remember, if you turn your trust to him, your way through this mess we call our "new normal" will be shown to you clearly.
Another something to remember: you gotta look up toward heaven. Otherwise, you'll stumble over your own feet.