Saturday, March 28, 2009

IMA City Wide Revival Conclusion

The past few days have truly been rich, rewarding and refreshing. Our City Wide Revival concluded last evening on a high note. Dr. James Boyd was greatly used of God to bless this region with messages of hope, trust and faith in God, who always come through for His people. The last two messages were entitled:

· Thursday - What Makes Jesus Weep – Luke 19:41-44
· Friday - A Fresh Encounter With God – Isaiah 6:1-8

We were so blessed to have such a preaching presence in our city this week. Our President, Pastor Keith D. Witherspoon has really demonstrated the he is the one whom God has sanctioned to lead the alliance pastors to higher heights and deeper depths. I solicit your prayers on his behalf as he is faced with many challenges. Thankfully, there are pastors and people who are willing to work in the trenches alongside him as together we glorify God. Here are a few additional photos compliments of Richard Armstrong. Enjoy!!!!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

IMA City Wide Revival

We are in the midst of revival at GSJ. The Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance of St. Joseph County annually sponsors a City Wide Revival which we are privileged to host each year. Under the leadership of our new President, Pastor Keith D. Witherspoon of Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church, we are off to a great start and even greater things yet await us.

For the second year in a row, we are graced with the preaching presence of Dr. James A. Boyd, Pastor of Zion Gate Missionary Baptist Church of Columbus, Mississippi. Each evening features an alliance pastor giving the lecture, their choirs rendering music, followed by a soul stirring message from our evangelist. The past two nights Dr. Boyd has shared with us the following messages:

· Tuesday - Can God Trust You With Trouble? - Job 1: 6-12
· Wednesday- The Blessed Man - Psalm 1:1-3; 1 Corinthians 15:58

We are anxiously anticipating what the Lord will continue to say through this Man of God. Please include this revival in your prayers and enjoy the following photos courtesy of our own, Bro. Richard Armstrong. God Bless!!!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Sunday Recap at GSJ

Sunday worship experience was truly one for the ages. We were blessed to engage our entire Youth Department to take a more active role. Aside from our Youth Choir and Junior Ushers, who usually play a role, we also featured our Stepping for Christ Drill Team, our Praise Dancers as well as our Boys & Cub Scouts. Both services were truly a joy to be a part of and we praise God for the work He is doing in the lives of our youth. The Lord has abundantly blessed GSJ with gifted young people.

During the preaching moment at both services, I deviated from my series in 1 Corinthians to preach on a subject that normally does not find its way to pulpits today. Due to the increased number of murder-suicides that has gripped our nation in recent weeks and the increased curiosity that is so pervasive among Christians, I thought it feasible to search the scriptures to find God’s take on the subject of suicide. Because of the economic downturn that we are currently facing and the apparent hopelessness it brings, many people are searching frantically for an anchor that holds and grips the Solid Rock.

The title of the message was “The Truth About Suicide.” Several passages were used throughout the message but my foundational passage was Deuteronomy 30:19-20 which says “I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: That thou mayest love the LORD thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.” The following is a brief synopsis of the message:

The Truth About Suicide

I. The Facts Concerning Suicide

A) Statistical Evidence
B) Scriptural Examples - Judges 9:54; 1 Samuel 31:4-5; 2 Samuel 17:23; 1Kings 16:18; Matthew 27:5

II. The Fables Confusing Suicide

a) Suicide is the unpardonable sin
b) The tendency to commit suicide is inherited
c) Everyone who commits suicide is mentally ill
d) People who talk about killing themselves never do
e) Christians who commit suicide lose their salvation

III. The Feelings Characterizing Suicide

a) Depression
b) Distress
c) Death
d) Dismal Outlook

IV. The Faith to Conquer Suicide

A) The power of God
B) The promise of God
C) The providence of God

This was the first time in my entire ministry that I attempted such a huge undertaking. Thankfully the membership shared with me that it was a timely message and that it really blessed them in so many ways. God be praised!!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Present Suffering; Future Glory

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. (NKJV)

As we continue our journey through the book of Romans, we find joy in studying chapter 8, which, many scholars agree, to be the crown jewel of the entire epistle. While reading this great chapter the above verse leaped from the page and has not let me go since. It’s hard for me to express succinctly my enthusiasm concerning the content of the chapter and how it blessed me and members of our congregation on Wednesday evening. Please allow the following summation of John MacArthur’s treatment of the text to suffice.

“Those who do not know Christ have no hope when they suffer. Whatever the reason for their affliction, it does not come upon them for Christ's sake, or righteousness's sake, and therefore cannot produce for them any spiritual blessing or glory. Those who live only for this life cannot look forward to any resolution of wrongs or to any comfort for their souls. Their pain, loneliness, and afflictions serve no divine purpose and bring no divine reward.

Christians, on the other hand, have great hope, not only that their afflictions eventually will end but that those afflictions actually will add to their eternal glory. Long before the incarnation of Christ, the prophet Daniel spoke of believers' glory as "the brightness of the expanse of heaven," and as being "like the stars forever and ever" (Dan. 12:3).

As followers of Christ, our suffering comes from men, whereas our glory comes from God. Our suffering is earthly, whereas our glory is heavenly. Our suffering is short, whereas our glory is forever. Our suffering is trivial, whereas our glory is limitless. Our suffering is in our mortal and corrupted bodies, whereas our glory will be in our perfected and imperishable bodies.”

MacArthur New Testament Commentary – Romans 1-8, pp. 450