December 2, 2019

 

My little children, I am writing you these things so that you may not sin.

But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ the Righteous One.

1 John 2:1

 

I’ll never forget standing before a judge in a cold Siberian courtroom. I was unfamiliar with the legal process, couldn’t speak the language, had no knowledge of local customs, and was at the complete mercy of the court. To say the least, I had no hope of trying to plead my case. Thankfully, our adoption agency provided us an advocate. This individual would take our pleas for making little Alexey and Vadim a part of the Reed family and translate it into the language of the judge. She knew the legal ins and outs and what the judge needed to know about us to rule favorably. We sat in silence as the advocate poured through our file and explained our situation to the judge. Thankfully, we were awarded custody and our dreams of being parents to the twins became a reality
 
When John calls Jesus “our Advocate,” he means that our Savior stands before the Father to plead our case. But Jesus’ work as our Advocate goes far above and beyond the work of an earthly defense attorney as His case for us is based on the work He has done to secure God’s favorable verdict. For those who are in Christ, God is no longer the Judge who condemns us but the Father who adopts us into His family. We are guilty of sin and unable to meet the Lord’s demands, but the perfect righteousness of Jesus has been gifted to us which sets us right with God. Matthew Henry writes: “The clients are guilty; their innocence and legal righteousness cannot be pleaded. It is the advocate’s own righteousness that he must plead for the criminals.” Praise be to God for our Great Advocate!
 
-Brother Kevin Reed


November 25th, 2019

 

1 Peter 2:2-3

 

2 Like newborn infants, desire the pure milk of the word, so that you may grow up into your salvation, 3 if you have tasted that the Lord is good.”

I’ve always liked to drink milk. Even now as an adult, I still am fond of a glass of milk every now and again. But there is only one way (in my humble, but accurate opinion) to drink it. It has to be really cold. Anything less than that is no good. The taste changes. But that’s me being picky. I have the option to drink it however I desire. Peter in our passage here gives us a fascinating illustration that I find ever so relatable yet, so simple it’s easy to miss. Lets break it down a little:

“Like newborn infants, desire the pure milk of the word,” If you have ever been a parent, you most likely know what a hungry infant looks like. The cries and the screams are quick to alert you that they are hungry. And if the cries don’t give it away, the way an infant will search for its source of food should. One of the funniest memories I have from when my son was an infant is him trying to latch on to me a few times. He would be hungry and in my arms and would suck on my finger, or my shirt or anything he could get near his mouth. Obviously they were all the wrong sources of what he truly wanted, but his desire was so strong, he sought it out with everything he could.

Look at Peter’s words here; just like an infant desires milk. That word “desires” in the original Greek means to “to strain after, greatly desire, long for, to yearn for”. Think of the smallest infant. It knows that it needs milk to sustain its life. It is going to look for it where ever it can. It “needs” it, craves it, has to have it. It is at that level in which we should want God’s word. We should long to fill our lives with it because it is indeed the only source of spiritual nutrition that will sustain us. But look at the second half of the verse; “…that you may grow up into your salvation.” Babies haven’t changed in the way they grow since this letter was written. Babies need nutrition to grow; our spiritual lives need nutrition to grow. Just as babies get their nutrition from milk, we get our spiritual nutrition from God’s word. That makes a lot of sense doesn’t it? Like I said, it’s not a complex teaching of the Bible. But I want to ask you…how grown up are you?

See I think the truth is, we can see what Peter is saying here and say “well of course that’s how it works” but then when it comes time to actually live that way and apply it to our lives, all of a sudden we have all kinds of reasons why we don’t. Just like I only like my milk a certain way, we have excuses for why we aren’t letting God’s word feed us. We’re not craving it like we should. And so often what happens is we find that we aren’t growing into our salvation or into our faith, and we begin to question why. It’s because of instead of craving what our spirit needs for nutrition, we’re filling it with junk instead. See infants can’t choose what they want to eat. They don’t know any better. What they know is what is good for them. What will help them grow. What will sustain them. As adults, we get to choose what we fill ourselves with. I’m afraid (and am guilty of) though we more often fill ourselves with junk that doesn’t sustain, doesn’t help us grow, doesn’t give life.

But like Peter says here, quoting Psalm 34, when we drink in the word and truly crave it – like we can’t get enough of it – then we see that the Lord is good and we need Him more.

My challenge for you this evening is to examine your heart. Is your desire for God’s word at this level? Do you realize the necessity for life that it holds in your spiritual walk with the Lord? Are you craving God’s word or letting your spirit be filled with junk food?

God Bless!

Brother Sam



November 23, 2019

11/23/19


This past Tuesday I wrote a devotion from our Bible-in-a-Year reading of James 1:19-21, speaking on anger. Oftentimes, confrontation results in anger. But does that mean that we are called to always avoid confrontation? On the contrary, in Christ we are called to confront brothers and sisters in sin. Why would God call us to do this? Not for self-righteousness, not because we think we are better, not for our own egos, but out of love for the fellow believer. James 5:19-20 says,


“19 My brethren, if any among you strays from the truth and one turns him back, 20 let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.”


Think about it like this: if your young child or grandchild really wanted to go and play on the highway, if it was the thing they most wanted to do and they felt that nothing else could bring them happiness, would you let them? Of course not! You would not only forbid them from going, but if they tried to go without your permission you would discipline them to teach them a lesson. You would do everything in your power to keep them from playing on the highway because you would know that it would lead to a tragic outcome. You would not be denying their wishes to play on the highway because you hated them, but because you loved them deeply (perhaps in a way they were not yet able to understand).


In the same way, we are called to love one another. Jesus said the whole world would be able to identify Christians by our love for one another (see John 13:35). And yet we know that sin is slavery, sin brings shame, and the wages of sin is death (see Romans 6:16, 21, and 23). So why would we allow our brothers and sisters in Christ to be ensnared by sin? Jesus told us to go to our brothers and sisters and correct them. In fact, sin is so urgent that if they won’t listen we’re to take another brother or sister with us a second time to plead with them to repent. If they still won’t listen we’re to bring it before all the brothers and sisters in the local church, and if they still refuse we’re to assume they are lost and need to be saved from sin (see Matthew 18:15-18).


Some folks point to Matthew 7:1-3 and say that we should “stay out of other people’s business.” This is a false reading of Scripture. Jesus, in Matthew 7:1-3, says,


“1 Do not judge so that you will not be judged. 2 For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. 3 Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?”


But Jesus goes on to say, in the next two verses,


“4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye” (Matthew 7:4-5, emphasis my own).


In other words, Jesus says hypocrites shouldn’t correct one another. And the solution is: don’t be hypocrites. Turn from your sins, listen to rebuke from faithful brothers and sisters, and then faithfully turn other brothers and sisters away from sin when they are ensnared. Take the log out of your own eye first, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.


We are not doing each other any favors when we ignore unrepentant sin in each other’s lives. Biblically, we’re not even loving each other when we do that. May we all strive to repent of our sins together, to help one another along the way, and to hold one another accountable that we might bring glory to God and lost people to know Christ (see Matthew 5:13-16).


If you have any questions about what it means to be saved from your sins and to receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior, or about how to repent of sin in your life, please contact us at info@fb3c.org.


I hope you’ll come be with us tomorrow for our Sunday services! We have something for all ages and we would love to have you and your family present with us. May God bless you!


In Christ,

Pastor Chase





November 19, 2019

James 1:19-21

We know that the way of the world, the way of the flesh, is incompatible with God’s way.  We know that we are all born into sin, that Jesus Christ saves us out of our sin when we turn to Him, and that with the help of the Holy Spirit the saved person can overcome sin and be obedient to the Lord.  Nevertheless, we still struggle with temptation.  We are tempted by food, we are tempted by money, we are tempted by untruths, and we are tempted with lust.  But we don’t often think about how we are also tempted by anger.  James 1:19-21 says,


19 This you know, my beloved brethren.  But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; 20 for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God.  21 Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls.”


    One of the first responses we have when we are confronted in any way (unjustly or justly, by an enemy or by a friend, by an authority figure or by an equal) is anger.  Anger is often one of our first inclinations when we experience something uncomfortable or something we don’t like.  And anger demands an instantaneous gratification.  The moment we feel anger it feels good to let it out.  But the Bible tells us, as believers in Christ, we ought to be “quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God.”


    Anger, like any sin, promises us the world but leaves us empty.  We often believe our anger will fix things – if someone didn’t listen to you, get angry!  If a store won’t give you a refund, get angry!  If someone disrespects you, get angry!  Just think how terrible our lives would be if our Lord treated us like that…


    The Scripture, here in James, tells us, “Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls.”  Love covers a multitude of sins.  And if we reflect on all the times we have angered the Lord by our sins, we remember very quickly that we receive a loving amount of grace every day.  This knowledge should humble us as we reflect on how many of our sins the Lord has mercifully forgiven us in Christ.  


So this week, if someone has angered you, think back to the cross.  Think back to our Lord.  Think back to your sins which have been forgiven by grace alone, and extend the same love and forgiveness that Jesus has extended to you.  The righteousness of God is not achieved by our anger, it is achieved when we are quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger – seeking to be a community of grace toward one another under the shadow of the cross.


If you have any questions about what it means to be saved from your sins and to receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior, or about how to resist the temptation of anger, please contact us at info@fb3c.org.  


I hope you’ll come be with us tomorrow night at 6pm for our Wednesday Night services!  We have something for all ages and we would love to have you and your family present with us for our midweek services.  May God bless you! 


In Christ,

Pastor Chase 



November 16th, 2019

“But you, son of man, do not be afraid of them or their words, though briers and thorns are beside you and you live among scorpions. Don’t be afraid of their words or be discouraged by the look on their faces, for they are a rebellious house. But speak My words to them whether they listen or refuse to listen, for they are rebellious.” Ezekiel 2:6-7

 

If you are anything like me, I like being liked. It kills me when I think someone doesn’t like me! I know, I know… as I tell the students, the only person whose opinion of us truly matters is God’s. As we read about the prophet Ezekiel, we find a pretty eccentric and occasionally odd individual. Throughout the book, we will read of times that he didn’t hesitate to make a public spectacle of himself because God instructed him to do so. If such behavior at times seems unusual, it should remind us that a person totally committed to God will always run the risk of being labeled “strange.”

 

We see in these first few chapters God consistently commanding Ezekiel to tell the people exactly what He says to tell them regardless of whether they accept it or not. Christians, God’s mandate to us is to speak and live the Gospel to everyone, regardless of whether they listen or not. Regardless of whether they accept it or reject it. There are two reasons why this is so vital: 1) at least they will know that a word from God has been delivered to them. That is, hearers will have no excuse. In the future, if they have rejected Him, they cannot say that it was because no one ever told them (although Romans makes it clear that we all know anyway). 2) We can never know whether our words will take root. Maybe it is initially rejected, but some later time they may flower leading the individual to accept the message later in life. Faithfully proclaim the Good News whether they listen or refuse to listen!

In Christ,

Kevin



November 6th, 2019

 

Hebrews 3:7-11

7 Today, if you hear his voice, 8 do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion on the day of testing in the wilderness,9 where your fathers tested me, tried me, and saw my works 10 for forty years. Therefore I was provoked to anger with that generation and said, “They always go astray in their hearts, and they have not known my ways.” 11 So I swore in my anger, “They will not enter my rest.
 
I have always been fascinated with history. I especially enjoy reading and studying world history. To think about societies and civilizations that lived and existed centuries ago; to learn how they lived in social structures, how they developed industry, how they overcame and accomplished difficulties – I find all of this fascinating. It causes you to think about everything we have today and so often don’t even think about. One of my favorite characters to read about is Martin Luther. You may be familiar with that name but incase you are not, he was the famous monk who nailed a list of 95 things that he saw wrong with the catholic church in that time frame (Luther is a fantastic character to read and study – I would highly recommend it!).
 
I recently read something interesting about Luther and really all people in that time period. It’s something that I’ve never really thought about before. However, after reading it, it makes total sense. So what is it that I read? Well you see Luther (and most others) went to bed wondering if they were going to wake up the next day. Have you ever done that? If you’re like me, probably not. I don’t know that I’ve ever had that thought in my head before I went to sleep. I’ve never consciously thought about the day that was ending being my last. In a world that we live in with modern medicine and technology advancements and such, the idea of life becomes pretty secure. We rest easy knowing there’s most likely a tomorrow. But for Luther, there was no guarantee at all. They didn’t have modern medicine, or hygienic standards, or advanced technology that would help them sustain life. It was not uncommon at all to lay your head down and not wake up the next day.
 

I suppose its a little cliche to think about (I believe there’s even a country song or two about it) but imagine if you knew that today was your last day. How would that information affect the way in which you live your life? What decisions would you make differently? What choices would shape that 24 hour window? Let me dig a little deeper – what would your relationship with the Lord look like? See one of the most agonizing thoughts for Martin Luther was did he live his life that day in a manner that was pleasing to the Lord? Did he, through his life that day, glorify the Lord? He felt the weight of God’s holiness and his own sin every day. So when Luther laid his head on his pillow that night, wondering and fearing if it was his last, what terrified him the most was the fear that he did not live a life that pursued holiness and righteousness that day. Because he may not get another one to “fix” it. There may not be another chance to live better. He may not have the choice to “start tomorrow”.

Look at our passage today in Hebrews 3. The author of Hebrews here is quoting Psalm 95 and is recalling a historical reference to the nation of Israel and their rebellion toward God. See the nation of Israel has a big sin problem. They had idolatrous hearts. They were constant seeking to please themselves and do what they wanted to do; live the life they wanted to live. God was always something they could do tomorrow. They could pursue Him tomorrow; they could follow Him with their lives tomorrow; they could trust Him tomorrow. This mentality didn’t change even after Jesus came and literally walked among them. God was literally with them and yet they still put it off. And you know what, even in 2019 today, we still have that same mentality. We can follow, trust, believe, hope in – God tomorrow; today it’s about me. Verses 7 and 8 here give us a clear message about the timing in which we should approach God. There is an urgency spoken here in the “today”. He tells us don’t wait until tomorrow, because tomorrow might be too late.

You see even with modern medicine and all of the fancy stuff we find in the world today, there is never a guarantee of life, but there certainly is a guarantee of death. We don’t know for certain if tomorrow will come, yet we live as if we still have time. Maybe you know the Lord but you’ve not walked closely with Him. Or maybe you’ve been on the fence about God and all this religious stuff. Please don’t wait anymore. Whatever decision you need to make, make it today, right now! Because tomorrow may not come.

So what if you don’t wake up tomorrow? Have you lived a life today that glorified the Lord. Have you taken your relationship with Him seriously? Have you told someone about Jesus and how he takes away their sins? Have you worshiped Him and praised Him for His goodness and mercy? We may not get tomorrow, so lets start doing these things now while we still can!

In Christ,

Sam Killman



October 22, 2019

 

1 Timothy 1:12-17

“I give thanks to Christ Jesus our Lord who has strengthened me, because he considered me faithful, appointing me to the ministry— 13 even though I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an arrogant man. But I received mercy because I acted out of ignorance in unbelief, 14 and the grace of our Lord overflowed, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 15 This saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”—and I am the worst of them. 16 But I received mercy for this reason, so that in me, the worst of them, Christ Jesus might demonstrate his extraordinary patience as an example to those who would believe in him for eternal life. 17 Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only[b] God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.”

Yesterday’s passage of 1 Timothy 1 in our Bible-In-A-Year reading has had me really stirring and thinking about my own story. In fact in this specific translation of the Bible the section heading says “Paul’s Testimony”. I’ve been thinking about my testimony. I’ve found myself deeply reflecting on who I was as a believer and who I am now having put my faith in Jesus Christ and seeking to follow after Him. I find myself thinking about sin and about the ways in which I still sometimes choose it over the righteousness and pursuit of God. As I read this passage I can so greatly identify with Pauls self described identity as “the worst of them…(regarding to sinners in v. 15)”. As I have reflected through this passage I think it has been incredibly healthy and good for my soul. Paul offers great encouragement in this section that I feel is helpful for all of us. Let me briefly break down some of the key parts that have really worked on my heart:

In verse 13 Paul says, “even though I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an arrogant man.” If you recall in Philippians 3 Paul gives his personal pedigree and proves how, in that culture, he was a first class citizen. He possessed the best national heritage, he was born to a great family. He grew up in the best house, probably had the best clothes, went to the best schools. As an adult he had the best job, but not only that, he was the best at his job. Paul had it all. He then says that when compared to having a close and intimate relationship with Jesus, those things are like dung. They don’t matter at all. Look at how he describes himself here though: Pauls self description here is not one of confidence or esteem as in Philippians, it’s much lower than that. He calls himself a “blasphemer, a persecutor and an arrogant man…acting out of ignorance and unbelief.”

When I think about my life before Christ, I think Paul’s words register with me pretty well. I grew up in a Christian home. My mom was a believer, my grandmother was a believer. We went to church every time the doors were open. I went to a private Christian school. Literally every single day I heard the Bible taught and proclaimed. I was involved in every program and activity available. It is no exaggeration to say we practically lived at church. I knew the truth, I knew what the Bible said (as best a child can). I always gave the right answers in Sunday school and in Bible class at school. In spite of all of this though, my testimony is similar to Pauls. I knew the truth, yet chose to ignore it. I doubted God’s love. I lived my life in such a manner that assumed everything was ok on the surface, that I believed and followed God, but secretly in my heart I rejected the Lord. Enough had happened in my young life that caused me to want nothing to do with the Lord.

Can you identify with that? Think about the course of your life for a second. Now look what Paul says in this passage. “But I received mercy…the grace of God overflowed…Jesus is patient with us!” Isn’t it wonderful to know that God never gave up on you? And the WHOLE point is to show that God is a loving, caring, kind and patient God who never stops pursuing you! And even when we mess up and get it wrong, He still pursues us. Even when we wander away, He still chases after us.

What I find significant about this passage is the way in which Paul titles himself “the worst of [sinners]”. A flip through earlier pages of the Bible would reveal people who lived much worse lives than Paul did; people who’s lives were more deplorable than his. Charles Spurgeon commented on this passage saying:

“This godly sensitivity toward sin was associated in the apostles mind with an equally vivid sense of the freeness and richness of divine grace. That Christ died not for the righteous but for the guilty is the great thought that is on his mind, and he has no hesitancy in declaring it and in speaking most boldly concerning the exceedingly abundant grace of God in forgiving sin. The union of these two feelings in Paul is by no means an unusual occurrence among human minds, for you will generally find that the people who are most clear in their witness that salvation is by grace are also the people for whom sin is exceedingly sinful. Indeed all those who prize grace most are those who feel most sorrow concerting their transgressions.”

Finally, and I’ll wrap up here, look at Paul’s response in verse 17. He can’t help but praise God. He lifts a song of doxology as he remembers who he was and where he’s been and who and where he is now. Friends let me encourage you to think often of your life. And as you dwell on it, praise God often for the work he has done and continues to do.

God Bless!

Sam



October 18, 2019

 

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, and your ways are not My ways.” This is the Lord’s declaration. 9 “For as heaven is higher than earth,
so My ways are higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8-9
 
Hopie and I have worked a few puzzles together over the years and I have to tell you, I love seeing how everything comes together. I especially love the big, complicated ones with thousands of pieces. Occasionally, we get toward completion and realize a piece is missing. Panic ensues because we have invested so much time and energy into this masterpiece and it’s not coming together! We know how it’s supposed to look in the end but what we have before us doesn’t look anything like the picture on the box. Thankfully, the piece was just wedged between the couch cushion and everything fit just as it should.
 
Life can seem like a puzzle, mixed up with big gaps of missing pieces. Many times, we wish the puzzle of our lives would all come together at once in our timeline of things. It’s easy to focus only on bits and pieces and fail to look toward the end result. Often, things don’t seem to come together and the gaps in the picture lead to confusion. Gradually, depression and anxiety creep in and steal away our joy and peace.
 
Thanks be to God that He holds all the pieces and will put them into place at His perfect time. He will make a beautiful picture out of even the messiest of circumstances. His thoughts and ways are so much greater than ours. His plan and purpose are much higher than anything you and I can comprehend. We have hope that one day He will slip that last piece into place and the picture of life will be complete. With God, there are no missing pieces!
 
In Christ,
Kevin


October 16th, 2019

 

Isaiah 43

 

Do not remember the past events, pay no attention to things of old. 19 Look, I am about to do something new; even now it is coming.

Do you not see it? Indeed, I will make a way in the wilderness, rivers[e] in the desert.” Isaiah 43:18-19

 

At this point in the history of God’s people, the nation has found themselves imprisoned, at the mercy of their captors, with no one powerful enough to rescue them. This had come about because the people had not listened to God’s instructions. Time and again, He had sent warnings for the people to remain true to Him but they turned a deaf ear. Chapter 43 starts with a promise to God’s people that even in exile they had no reason for fear. They could count on the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, their Savior! Once God had delivered Israel from Egypt; now He was ready to give Egypt to the new world ruler, Cyrus of Persia, in exchange for the freedom of His people. What a huge ransom for a tiny nation!

What I love so much about this passage is the reminder of the entirely new thing God makes available for all who come to trust in Him. Many get hung up on the past. For the people of Israel, some got hung up on the “good ole days” and never moved on. All their stories revolved how good things used to be and why they couldn’t just go back to their glory days. Others were never able to move past the evil they had done in the eyes of God. Seeing themselves as totally unworthy, they lived in defeat feeling too sinful for God’s love.

These verses remind us to stop hanging on to the past. Stop dwelling on how things once were. Oh, if we could only see things from God’s perspective! If we could only climb on His shoulders to get a better view of the road ahead we would see the amazing things a-comin’! He has cleared the path ahead and has made all things new through Jesus Christ. May we forget what is behind and reach forward to what is ahead.

In Christ,

Kevin



October 11th, 2019

Colossians 3:1-7

In Wednesday’s blog, I mentioned that if we’ve truly given our lives to Jesus, then our lives will reflect that. Colossians 3, from today’s Bible-in-a-Year reading, affirms that truth. I’m trusting you will read the entire chapter and see for yourself, but I want to highlight the first few verses. Vv.1-7 say,
 
“1 Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. 3 For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory. 5 Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry. 6 For it is because of these things that the wrath of God will come upon the sons of disobedience, 7 and in them you also once walked, when you were living in them.”
 
When Jesus called people to respond to Him, He said, “Deny yourself, take up your cross daily, and follow Me” (Luke 9:23, NASB). Even in Jesus’ most gentle moments with sinners, Jesus never gave affirmation or approval to their sin. Consider the story of the woman caught in adultery, a story about Jesus that people love because of how compassionate He was to the woman caught in adultery when everyone else would have stoned her to death. But what does He say to the woman? “Go. From now on sin no more” (John 8:11, NASB, my emphasis added).”
 
What we have to understand about coming to Christ for salvation and receiving eternal life in His Name is that we come to Jesus broken, looking for true life. We come to Jesus as sinners looking to be rescued from our sin. We come to Jesus opposed to God, looking to be given peace with God. We come to Jesus as lost people, looking to be adopted as God’s very own children. And Jesus never fails to deliver on His promise of salvation. But when we come to Jesus we are turning away from sin, and oftentimes there are sins that we love to indulge in.
 
It’s important in today’s day-and-age where we are told to “be true to yourself,” “follow your heart,” “be who you were born to be,” “don’t change who you are,” and “do what you feel,” that we recognize that we were born into sin; our hearts are deceitful, desperately sick, and beyond understanding (Jeremiah 17:9); and that Jesus calls us to forsake ourselves to follow Him! Colossians 3:3 says, “For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.”
 
Recognizing these truths, and that we are called to be holy as the Lord is holy (1 Peter 1:16), how are you seeking and setting your mind on the things above as opposed to on the things that are on earth? How are you actively seeking Jesus and the holiness He gives as opposed to wallowing in sin? What steps are you taking to avoid sin (which amounts to idolatry and leads to the wrath of God) and keep Christ as the priority in your life?
 
I would encourage you to pray every day, read the Bible every day, attend worship weekly, be involved in a Sunday School class or small-group regularly, share Jesus Christ with non-believers regularly, tithe regularly, serve regularly, encourage regularly, and love always. And when it comes to sin, recognize that the battle begins in your mind. Go to the Lord for help at the first sign of temptation and submit yourself to the Holy Spirit so that you will overcome sin and obey your Lord.
 
If you have any questions about what it means to be saved from your sins and to receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior, or about how to live a life of obedience to Christ and victory over sin, please contact us at info@fb3c.org.
 
I hope you’ll come be with us this Sunday at First Baptist Church Central City for Sunday School at 9:45 am, Worship at 11 am, and our Guatemala Mission Team Share service at 6 pm (we will all be in the sanctuary together).
 
In Christ,
Pastor Chase



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