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Monthly Archives: October 2011

“So that ye were ensamples…”

 1 Thessalonians 1:7-8  So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia.  8  For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing.

These believers at Thessalonica were so changed by the gospel of Christ and the leadership of Paul their new pastor that they themselves began to make a difference for Christ. After learning Gods word by following the teachings & examples of Paul, Silas and Timothy, they began to be “ensamples to all that believe” WOW, what a testimony; these new Christians were now making the same difference that was made in them.

Notice the phrase “but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad” This means, not only did this church make a difference in their local area, but also everywhere their name was mentioned, they were known as a faithful and Christ-like church. This 1st century church hit the ground running and grew in their new faith. These believers received the word of God from His messengers and immediately put it into practice. They abandoned the sinful habits of their past and embraced the newness of life in Christ. They did not keep this great new salvation to themselves, but rather spread the message of Christ to everyone they came in contact with. This young church was responsible for many others coming to Christ.   

Many people, after salvation will grow to a certain point, then find a “comfort zone” and park it! They may be doing very little for the cause of Christ, then again, they may be mature in faith and serving in the local church but refuse to go any farther in service & faith; in either case this is unfruitful to the cause of Christ and will not make the difference where it counts. We need to work in church and out of church. We should actually work more out of church than in. If our church will grow, we must work hard to fill it up by bringing people in; daily passing out tracts and church/gospel literature, along with sharing your faith with those your come in contact with. I challenge you to get up and move, look for ways to spread the gospel and encourage the saints. Follow the zealous example of this church; notice the Christ-pleasing characteristics of the believer of Thessalonica:

  1. They were willing to take leadership responsibilities…they “stepped up”
  2. They were willing to learn the spiritual “ropes” from Paul and other faithful believers
  3. They had a teachable spirit…they received the word of God, as directly from God
  4. They were genuinely concerned for the lost people in their community
  5. They were sincerely in love with their Savior that delivered them from idolatry
  6. They were careful to maintain a clean & godly testimony
  7. They desired to grow in faith, learn Gods word & work hard in their church
  8. They were committed to a faithful Christian life & service oriented…till Christ return!

You too can make a difference for Christ if we are faithful to the same truths and practices of this 1st century church.

 

 

My Strength…

“My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” 2Corinthians 12:9

Child of God do you feel weak? Do you feel inadequate to fulfill all that is expected of you? Does it seem as though all the frailties of your body and soul stand before you every day shouting “you cannot, you have not the strength to do it” It is true, we have no strength within ourselves. All that we would desire to do can never be fulfilled through these bodies of sin and weakness. Our minds always doubts, our flesh always fails, our eyes always lust for more pleasure, our heart seeks its own and our commitments seem to wash away after time. If you trust in yourself to succeed you will be disappointed every time.

Except the Lord build the house they labor in vain that build it. Hear me, this is not an excuse for failure; it is just the truth of this Adamic body of sin. But listen to God’s words to the Apostle Paul, “my strength is made perfect in weakness” God wants us to always remember it is in His strength that we live, move and succeed. We have not the strength to forgive others, overcome our sinful desires or be faithful until death; if we do anything good, it is because God’s strength is in us. God also wants us to know that it is only when we have come to the end of our strength that his strength begins. “my strength is made perfect in weakness” He is not speaking of His weakness, for He has none; He is speaking of our weakness, our frailty and our inability.  God works his best when we are too weak to get in the way. It is at those times when we think all is lost, that the Mighty Power of God shines through the dreadful clouds and gives His perfect strength to His people. Where our strength stops is the very place God’s strength will begin.

Child of God, hold your head up in your distress. Stand and finish like the Royal Child of the King that you have been created in Christ Jesus to be. There is no situation to complex for the wisdom of our heavenly Father, nor is there any enemy that can stand before His terrible voice. When our God speaks nations tremble, mountains crumble and the waters that keep us from His blessings will part. Leave now your strength and stand in the perfect strength of God. Only then will we begin to PLEASE HIM and live victoriously in this life.

 

 
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Posted by on October 24, 2011 in Devotional Reading

 

Peace Like a River

“For thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river….Isaiah 66:12” 

Peace like a river…what a refreshing sound. Like the still mountain waters so clear and peaceful they appear to be glass mirroring the surrounding landscape so perfectly, it becomes difficult to distinguish the real trees from the mirrored image; so is the stillness of God’s peace toward His people.  The peace of God is “great” (Psalm 199:165), and “abundant” (Psalm 72:7); it is a blessing from the LORD (Psalm 29:11) which allows us to “sleep”(Psalm 4:8) though the storms rage around us. The world’s idea of peace may be a relaxing weekend away from the noise and bustle of the work place or slipping away into some quiet place for a time, but sadly it must always end. The vacation at some point will end and the frustrations will again begin. Man has always been in search for his Garden of Eden, some place where he can escape his troubles, aggravations and enemies. It was Jesus that said in John 14:27  “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” This peace is not bought, earned or inherited but given by God himself unto his people. It is his to pour out upon his obedient children as his perfect and sovereign will desires. O troubled saint, rest assured that your heavenly father is more than capable to offer you the full measure of peace needed to overcome your present trial. Not only is he capable but he says here “I will extend peace” not maybe, might or most likely…he said I will! Retreat into this promise of the God of heaven which cannot lie. Trust your God, love your God, obey your God and wait on your God. He will come through at the exact time needed. Your LORD will do as he hath said.

 
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Posted by on October 21, 2011 in Devotional Reading

 

Bringing in the Harvest_Fall Friend Day

Join us at VBC on Sunday, October 30th in the 10:30am service for our old fashion, Harvest Day Celebration. Bring your friends and family for Christ-centered preaching, Old-fashion music, annual chili cook-off, pie making contest and Fall Games for everyone to enjoy. Hay throwing, punkin’ chunkin’, three leg & sack races, along with our famous Turkey Bowling are a few games we will enjoy this day. Many will be dress up in 1800’s old fashion clothing, so don’t be alarmed if you think you walked onto the set of “Little House on the Prairie” Cost is free, you may bring a side dish or drinks if you like.

 
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Posted by on October 13, 2011 in Announcements

 

Give me this mountain…

Joshua 14:10-13  And now, behold, the LORD hath kept me alive, as he said, these forty and five years, even since the LORD spake this word unto Moses, while the children of Israel wandered in the wilderness: and now, lo, I am this day fourscore and five years old.  11  As yet I am as strong this day as I was in the day that Moses sent me: as my strength was then, even so is my strength now, for war, both to go out, and to come in.  12  Now therefore give me this mountain, whereof the LORD spake in that day; for thou heardest in that day how the Anakims were there, and that the cities were great and fenced: if so be the LORD will be with me, then I shall be able to drive them out, as the LORD said.  13  And Joshua blessed him, and gave unto Caleb the son of Jephunneh Hebron for an inheritance. 

Forty-five years prior to these verses, God had freed his people Israel from the Egyptian bondage and brought them to the Promised Land. There, Moses sent twelve spies to survey the land and determine whether or not it could be conquered. Joshua and Caleb were the only two leaders that said God could do it, the rest of them doubted. As a result they wandered in the desert for forty years until those unbelieving men died.

This passage picks up at a time when Israel has now entered their Promised Land and Joshua is dividing the land between the tribes. It now comes Caleb’s turn to receive his inheritance. He is now eighty-five years old, and as strong as ever. He is not content to take some “backwoods” piece of land that had no enemies to fight, but he wants the land of the Anakims; a land full of warring Giants. He wants to fight the same people that he would have fought forty-five years prior to this if all the people would not have doubted God. What a man! This senior citizen could have taken his discounts and AARP and relaxed for the rest of his life, but instead, he wanted to fight Giants. He wanted to finish what he started forty-five years ago.

We can learn a lot from Caleb…

  1. Strength given by God does not deteriorate. He may have been old by our standards, but he was as strong as ever the Bible says. When we go to battle in the strength of God, we go in a strength that can never grow old.
  2. Caleb was not content to take the easy road. He certainly paid his dues and could have relaxed in the Promised Land. When he said “give me this mountain” he was saying, give me the hard task. Caleb was active, bold and eager to use his God given strength. God gives us strengths and talents, and when we use them faithfully, He receives the glory.
  3. Caleb wanted to finish what he started. He was sent on a mission to destroy the Anakims and that desire to finish his task stayed with him for forty-five years. We should never quit, never lay down until we have done all that our God has sent us to do.
  4. Caleb never stopped believing in his God’s power. Caleb believed God was able to save, and no amount of time was going to change that. We see here a faithful Christian living his life for his God. What a testimony of faithfulness Caleb is. He stayed with the same God, same pastor, same church, same friends, same beliefs and the same dedication for more than forty-five years. O what God could do with some faithful Caleb’s today!

 Never give up, never lay down, God has the same strength he has always had. We need Christians to have the same fortitude as Caleb and say “Give me this mountain” give me the jobs no one else wants, the jobs that are hard and require faith and faithfulness. As God was with Caleb, he will be with you. Never give up!  

 

 

Our God is Sufficient

“…our sufficiency is of God.  2 Corinthians 3:5” 

Feelings of insufficiency come to every person at some point in life.  If we allow these emotions to continue in our hearts & minds they will only breed more despair and defeat.  This scripture comes to the rescue of every downcast child of God. The very God that made you is sufficient to sustain you. In our own strength we cannot stand, problems reveal that truth to us; but this verse reveals to us a more comforting truth, and that is, God is all you need. When we say I cannot, God says I can. When we say it can’t be done, God says I’ve done it before, watch me do it again. When we say I cannot go another day, God says I will be your strength and carry you through. When we say I cannot figure out the details, God says I know all things from beginning to end and I know how to work out the details. If we are going to make it through, it will be by the power of God. God makes up the difference; where our strength stops, His begins. Where our insight ends, His sees clearly through to the solution. Where our compassion is limited, His, overwhelmingly makes up the difference. When our resources tap out, His has not even begun to diminish.  In every situation and in every trial, if we will stand still and let God move, and if we will just trust his ability, we would see positive results more and more. It is only when we realize we can’t, that God shows up and says I can. The greatest victory you will ever experience, will come right after you surrender to the All Sufficient God of Heaven.

Here are some things to prayerfully consider:

  1. Consider God’s sufficiency to save a soul & change lives
  2. Consider God’s past provision in your life
  3. Consider God’s Biblical history of helping his people
  4. Consider God’s love for you as demonstrated at Calvary
  5. Consider God’s power in creating the universe and keep it in orbit
  6. Consider God’s willingness to help his children and provide daily mercy & grace
  7. Consider God’s ability to handle any situation as seen throughout his word

 

 
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Posted by on October 4, 2011 in Devotional Reading

 
 
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