It looks like we will go into February with a chill! It has been so cold lately it must be because of Global Warming???
During the months to come, I have been led to preach on the “Home.” You have already heard, if you have been in the worship services, that I want to emphasize our families becoming closer to the Lord Jesus Christ by discipling our children in the Lord. That is more than bringing them to church and going on special retreats; it is where we, the parents, are the primary disciplers of our own children in our own home. God gave them to us and we are responsible to God for teaching them about who He is and what He desires in their lives that will help them to walk humbly with God. Make no mistake, we the church, will assist you the parents in doing our part here by being faithful to teach the truth from the Word of God to all of the children who attend.
The Word is faithful to guide us in not only growing as a family in Christ but to help each of us to be better disciples of Christ ourselves. Some of us need someone to disciple us and help us to grow in Christ, others of us need to disciple those who are seeking to grow in their relationship with Jesus. We will call these “Life Groups.” A group may have just a few people or they may have many depending upon the group and the leadership. Are these new “Life Groups” like our Small Groups now? No, we hope they will be more intimate and intentional in doing life together and would last longer than 6 to 12 weeks. We hope these Life Groups will begin to help one another grow into mature disciples in Christ Jesus. Please read Ephesians 4:12-16.
December brought to us the Lottie Moon Offering and an emphasis on missions. Of course, we at NABC have emphasized missions all year long, not just during December but also when Annie Armstrong Offering comes around or when Janie Chapman Offering time comes. We have talked about the mission to Baltimore and supporting Lina Fonseca and Meryl and Austin O’Donald, as well as our regular support of the mission trips to Kentucky. Plus, we have talked about helping Orrville Baptist in their street ministry. Let us now decide that it is time to prioritize in our own life, DOING missions. Jesus said in several different ways in the Scriptures to go and tell! One of the favorite ones is Matthew 28:16-20, 16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
In verses 16-17 I see something that is going on in churches all around. Eleven went to the mountain with Jesus and they worshiped Him, “but some doubted. ”What did they doubt? Could it be that they doubted that He was the Christ, the resurrected One, or that they would follow Him to do His bidding? I don’t really know what they doubted but it seems to me from the rest of the scripture that comes after the Gospels that the disciples, all of them, took seriously the command to Go and TELL! Are you doubting what Jesus said? Have you taken seriously the command of our Lord Jesus Christ to GO and TELL? If you say you have, then what are you doing about it, personally? Please don’t say that I am giving money so others can go and share, because that is not you personally going and telling! Who are you telling and where are you going? This year, 2019, will you make a really solid commitment to DO what your Savior and LORD has told you and every Christian to do? Go to those around you and to the near-est area and then to the utter most parts of the world, telling people that Jesus died on the cross and then was buried and finally He arose from the dead to live forever. Telling them He did this to save all of mankind from their sin and to give them eternal life, including the people to whom you are going. Will you make that commitment public in a worship service right away? I will wait for you at the front of the sanctuary to rejoice with you in obeying the Lord and Savior of yours and my life.
Cooperation is a special word to Southern Baptists. We have cooperated throughout the years with national, state organizations and local churches through our special offerings for missions, such as Lottie Moon, Annie Armstrong and Janie Chapman. Our churches also give to the Cooperative Program of the Southern Baptist Convention which sends thousands of missionaries throughout the world to share the Gospel, and another thing the CP does is to help educate ministers of all kinds, and missionaries too, through our seminaries.
We as believers cooperate in so many areas of ministry in our associations, state and our national organization. North Anderson would not be effective in our ministry if we were not cooperating together as believers to reach the world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Cooperation is a great word and through this act of individuals and organizations and churches, God can do miraculous things for His kingdom.
I want to call your attention to one of those events whereby we as an association cooper-ate with one another. Our Annual Associational Meeting, held at Concord Baptist Church, will meet on Sunday evening, October 21, 2018.A meal will be served at 4:45 pm ($5) with precession music will be at 5:45 pm. Our meeting begins at 6 pm with worship and mission reports for the association as well as a special guest speaker. The churches of our association generally take their Sunday night service and move them to the church where the meeting is being held. NABC will cooperate with the association and move our Sunday night service on October 21st to Concord Baptist.Please make every effort to be there. Child care will be available and children and youth pro-grams are scheduled too. This is an critical time to work together for the cause of Christ.
Between August and September, we have anniversaries of serving North Anderson Baptist Church: Kiley, 2 years, Dennis, 9 years and Diana, 17 years. We are a fortunate church family to have these special folks with us as servants of the Lord Jesus Christ. Not many churches can claim that kind of servant leadership. I want to personally thank each of them for all they do for the Lord Jesus and for this church family. We would not be what we are today without them all. Thank you from a grateful pastor.
Since discipleship is one of the most important things in the Christian life let me remind you that there are great opportunities for each of us to grow in our Christian faith and become more like Christ. We start with our Bible Study on Sunday morning at 9:15 within the circle of friends and with teachers who love and cherish the opportunity to teach and lead others in Bible study. On Wednesday evenings at 6:30 pm we faithfully study the Scriptures during the Prayer Meeting time in the sanctuary and then the Young Adults are being led in studying relevant material to their lives by Jerry Wilson. And, starting in September and written about in Dennis’ article, our new Small Groups, at 6 pm, which draw us closer in our walk with the Lord. There is a place for each of us and many are taking the advantage of going to each one they possibly can to seek the Lord with all their hearts. Starting the first Sunday in October, the 7th and going to the end of the month, every Sunday there will be New Member and Guest Orientation classes. If you have not yet attended one of these classes, either as a guest or a member of the church, you are truly welcome to
come. It will be very informative and all are welcome. We meet during the Sunday School hour, 9:15 am in the classroom across from the Nursery.
You are loved by this pastor, Bill
From Your Pastor…
August is the new beginning…? What does that mean? It used to be when I was a child and many of you too, we did not start school until after Labor Day. Today that is not so. Public schools, as well as private and home schools all start in the month of August. The vacation time for the family has been cut short and school starts again. Good or Bad? I don’t know, but I know that the family needs time together and sometimes this changes things. I talked to a teenager this week who said that she was already wanting to go back to school. That wasn’t me when I was her age!!!
So, what does August mean to you? Changes come again when the schedules start to be stricter and time with the children might be a little less. How about the church, what is the difference for us? There are programs starting back up and the youth ministry have new additions of those who are coming into middle school. There is still a RA camp that is to come for boys and their fathers or just boys, if that is the case. It is a great time together and the ones who have gone to Camp McCall have truly enjoyed the time with the staff and other campers.
I am going to finish up the preaching of the Sermon on the Mount in the middle of August and start a new series called “Freedom in Christ” from the Book of Galatians. Please pray for me as I preach through this important book in the Bible.
24 “The LORD bless you and keep you; 25 the LORD make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; 26 the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace.”
From Your Pastor…
To Our church family,
Another year has passed since Lynda and I came here to be a part of this great church and to serve the Lord through serving each of you. 27 years seems to be a long time; really it is, I was 43 when I came and of course Lynda was just a young girl. Our time has been so sweet and we have sought to love and work with each of you while we walk together with the Lord. Thanks for these years together. Seeking to fulfill the mission of God here at NABC calls us to be involved in so many wonderful ministries. There is nothing like Sunday School when it comes to learning and fellowshipping with brothers and sisters in Christ. It is the best place to introduce friends and others to the church for there they will be introduced to Christ as Lord, find Godly teaching and friendship worth investing in. Many of the newer churches do not have these kinds of classes; I think they miss out on so much. Of course, the soul of the church is our worship services where the Lord God Almighty is worshiped and adored through prayer, music, giving of tithes and offerings, fellowship and hearing the spoken word from the Bible. This is such a loving and caring fellowship that those who have chosen to become involved know that it changes lives. We have recently seen someone from each of the following groups, children, youth or adults make significant decisions. Lives are being changed and families strengthened. Go to others around you and share what Jesus has done in your life, giving them the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, that changes lives. Then encourage them by saying, “Come with me to church and see what great things God is doing!” Share the love God has given to you with those around you.
Blessings to you all,
March 12 devotion from Oswald Chambers is entitled “Total Surrender.” He uses Mark 10:28 as his scripture, “Then Peter spoke up, “We have left everything to follow you!” The surrender to Christ is not for our personal gain but as Mark 10:29 says in part, “for me and the gospel.” The author would have us to understand that our surrender is for the sake of Christ and the
Gospel not for our own purposes that might make us good people of more “righteous and holy.” Chambers says, “Genuine total surrender is a person sovereign preference for Jesus Christ Himself.” “True surrender will always go beyond natural devotion.” God desires from each of us our total complete surrender of life before Him. God is looking for that kind of gift to Him so He can do what God desires to do, meet our every need and touch us with His embrace of love. Have you completely surrendered your life to Him? Will you seek only Christ in your life and not what you can get from Him? Desire an intimate relationship with the God of the universe through knowing His Son Jesus with all your heart and God will do miraculous things in and through you. (Matthew 6:33)
In reading the devotionals found in Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for his Highest, I seek to make them very personal. For today’s devotion Chambers writes about 2 Timothy 4:2, “Preach the Word” and entitles the devotion, “Being an Example of His Message.” God calls us all to witness to His message but some He has called to preach the message of the Word. When one is called he is not only to study and prepare for the preaching of the Word but his life is to be lived out in such a way that people can see the Word of God living and breathing through them. All of us have been called to be witnesses, Acts 1:8 and Chambers calls for us to be the incarnation of what we believe and preach so that we literally make the message live. God desires that we become that living example of the message of God in the world in which we all live.
In days where we see very little in our world and nation to be thankful for it is just the time to go to God and give Him thanks for who He is, His sovereign hand in this world and His faithfulness to His children. We should also be thankful for all those things which He has provided for us as a church and our own family as well as personally. Our God has been good to us and has not failed to care for us in all situations.
Giving thanks is the theme of November. When our early settlers came onto the cold shores of New England they experienced hardships which we can’t imagine, yet when the winter was over and the harvest came, eventually, they gave thanks even though they had lost loved ones to death and life was still very hard for them.
You see our thanksgiving should not come only when we receive good things from the hand of God but in essence we are to thank God in every situation of life that comes our way no matter what we experience. (1 Thessalonians 5:18, “…give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”) Being a faithful God, He is aware of all our needs and is working in all things, good or bad, for our good. (Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”)
So beloved, give thanks to our Father in heaven who loves you in every situation you are going through and who is working in those experiences to make you more like Jesus and is giving you opportunities to trust Him even in the tough times of life.
With a thankful heart to God for our wonderful church family and your
faithfulness to Him, our Lord and Savior,
As a pastor there are times you get very sentimental about what you do. What the apostle Paul wrote in 1 Thessalonians 2:11-12, 19-20 helps describe how I feel about you, the people who make up North Anderson Baptist Church. I realize I am not your father, many of you are older than I, but I feel like I have “fathered” you over the years. Not that you are children either, but I hope I have cared for you, like Paul speaks of in this passage by “encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into His Kingdom and glory.” God has brightened my heart with hope and joy because of you. I can say of you that you are so special to me that I can humbly present you to the Lord Jesus when He comes as my glory and joy.
Like Paul, who was encouraged by those he ministered to in chapter 3:7-9 and in 12-13 that I can say God has encouraged me because of your faith, standing firm in the Lord as you live faithfully for the Lord. Part of a pastor’s life is praying for those God gives you that they may be strong in their faith and continue in the joy of the Lord. I enjoy so much seeing the love of God overflow in your lives and expressed to one another. What a picture of our Savior you are! My prayer is that you will continue to grow in the love of Jesus and walk blamelessly and holy in His presence until the Lord Jesus Christ comes in all His glory.
With a grateful heart,