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Category: First Seniors

Your Special Gift

Your Special Gift

There are two days that almost every single person looks forward to. They are Christmas and your birthday. Why do we love those days? It is because of gifts. We receive gifts on those days. I still have some of my favorite Christmas gifts including Hot Wheels, a G.I. Joe doll and a Ken. My sister had the Barbie so I had the Ken. Do you remember the excitement that you had as a child over Christmas? You could not wait to see what was under the tree.
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Our Baptism, the Final Blow to Sin

Our Baptism, the Final Blow to Sin

Do you remember the day of your water baptism? I remember mine so clearly. I was a rising freshman in High School. I had to run home between Sunday school and Worship Service to get a change of clothes. The Interim Pastor at our church baptized me. I remember thinking his white robe was so bright. I did not know that he was wearing waders underneath the robe. I nailed down my decision for Jesus to be my Savior when I was baptized. I still have my baptism certificate and a Bible that the church gave me.
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The Church’s most Powerful Weapon

The Church’s most Powerful Weapon

The church is to be active and militant in this world. We are not called to sit around and wait for heaven or the Lord’s second coming. As the hymn, Onward Christian Soldiers says, “Onward Christian soldiers marching as to war, with the Cross of Jesus going on before. Christ the royal Master leads against the foe; forward into battle, see His banner go!” The church is to be weaponized, but what are the weapons that we bring into battle? The most powerful weapon we have is the most neglected. It is the weapon of prayer. In Ephesians 6:18 it says, “With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints,” We are to have perseverance and petition for the saints. Just do not give up in prayer, just keep praying. Tom Elliff was a Southern Baptist pastor for many years, then a missionary and then the president of the International Mission Board of the S.B.C. He is known for his amazing prayer life. Recently he wrote some insights into his personal prayer life. Let me share these 7 daily prayer points with you.
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The Identity Crisis

The Identity Crisis

One of the most rampant crimes today is Identity theft. According to CNBC 41 million Americans have had their identity stolen. As bad as that crime is against a person there is another identity theft going on. There is a spiritual identity theft going on today. Christians are having their spiritual identity stolen. Satan is a murderer, liar and thief. He is seeking to destroy our witness and testimony before a lost world. Satan cannot steal our salvation because that is secure in the Lord’s hands, but Satan can seek to steal our credibility before the world.
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Jesus Is Calling

Jesus Is Calling

Last week we had a staff member of our church who was going to have surgery. I thought it would be nice to gather around her and pray. It turned out to really be a fun time as we gathered to pray. I went down the hallways of the church trying to recruit people to come and pray for her. I simply shouted, “Come follow me.” People began to follow the crowd. I felt just like Jesus with the crowd behind me. Finally one person said, “By the way, where are we going?”
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The Great Commission for First Seniors

The Great Commission for First Seniors

I am writing this blog for First Seniors at our church, but also for everyone. The Great Commission is found in Matthew 28:19-20, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” That ancient commission was given a rededication by Southern Baptists in 2009. If we continue with business as usual we will never reach our global world for Jesus. According to a recent study it takes 47 Southern Baptists to reach one person for Christ in a year. We all need to say, “Who will be my one this year?” God had but one Son and He made Him a missionary. We need a missional philosophy to carry out the Great Commission.
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Love Sweet Love

Love Sweet Love

 

 

This month is the month for love. Jackie DeShannon said in his song, “What the world needs now is love, sweet love. It’s the only thing that there’s just too little of. What the world needs now is love, sweet love, No not just for some, but for everyone.”

Indeed the world needs more love. On Valentine’s Day we focus on the love we have for our spouse or boyfriend/girlfriend. We need to develop a God kind of love for everyone. An old adage says that we are to, “love the sinner, but condemn the sin.” Sometimes that is hard to do. In Jude 21 it says, “Keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life.” What a challenge, to keep ourselves in the love of God. How do we do that? Let me give you three things to keep in mind.
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A New Year’s Letter

A New Year’s Letter


It seems like the practice of writing letters is out of style. Today we send emails or text messages, but letters are just too time consuming to write. Recently after the death of President George H.W. Bush we got to see and hear the love letters he wrote to his wife Barbara. They were full of lovely romantic overtones. When is the last time you actually wrote a letter with a pen and paper?

God has written a love letter, not with pen and paper, but with the Word that became flesh and blood. In John 1:1-2 scripture says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.” God’s love letter to us became flesh and blood and dwelt on earth. For 33 years you could read that letter on earth, now we can read it in the sacred scriptures. In ancient Greek thought, the Greek word, “logos” suggests a divine mind that unites reality. John enlarges that definition to say that Jesus is the ultimate expression of God’s thought and mind. Jesus is God’s letter to us from God. What does God say in that letter? I believe His letter in Jesus tells us three things.
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He Moved into the Neighborhood

He Moved into the Neighborhood

 

What do you think of your neighbors? We all have neighbors and we live in neighborhood communities. Sometimes we have good neighbors and sometimes we have neighbors that get on our nerves. There have been neighbors featured on television and in the theater. There was Mr. Wilson who lived next door to Tim the tool man Taylor. He would peek over the fence and say, “hi-di-ho, neighbor.” What about Mr. Rogers’s neighborhood? He was always introducing us to his neighborhood characters and scenery.
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Great Gratitude

Great Gratitude

We need to learn the secret of having an attitude filled with gratitude.  We live in a day when people are not content with what they are and what they have.  The most common words used by some people are, “If only.”  They sit around and say, “if only I was thinner, if only I was richer, if only the kids would come, if only the kids would go.”  They live in the world of, “if only.”  In Philippians 4:6 the Apostle Paul says that we need to pray with thanksgiving.  Many times our prayers go like this, “Lord please give me, Lord please help me and Lord please show me.”  There are two words that should be added to those prayers.  They are the words, “with Thanksgiving.”  The issue with so many American Christians is that they are not content.  The Apostle Paul speaks of contentment in Philippians 4:11-13, “Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.  I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need.  I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”  Paul states that he has learned the secret.  He doesn’t say he learned the principle or truth.  Living in gratitude is a secret to most Christians.  Let me make a list of what you should be grateful for.   

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