Category: Life at First

FRIDAY

FRIDAY

And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Luke 23:34 (NIV)

Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Matt. 27:46 (NIV)

“It is finished.” John 19:30 (NIV)

Lord Jesus, it’s hard not to feel conflicted about calling the day of your crucifixion “good.” That there had to be a day when you—the eternally glorious, righteous, loving Son of God, would be made sin for us, is not good at all. But at the same time,that you would freely and gladly give yourself for us on the cross is never-to-be surpassed goodness. It is quintessential goodness.

From the cross and your heart, came these two impassioned cries. “Father forgive them” (Luke 23:34) and “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matt. 27:46). The first required the second. The second secured the first. Together, they humble our hearts, silence our words, and fuel our worship.

And then there’s the third cry. “It is finished.” Nothing is left undone, concerning our salvation and for the transformation of our world. Once and for all, perfectly and fully, we have been reconciled to God. You became sin for us, than in you, we might become the righteousness of God (2 Cor. 5:21)—the Just for the unjust, the Beautiful One for the broken ones, the Lamb of God for the rebels from God. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

A millions years into our life in the new heaven and new earth, we’ll still be filled with childlike wonder and ceaseless gratitude, for your sacrifice and love for us. Because you were fully forsaken, we are forever forgiven. Because you exhausted God’s judgment against our numberless sins, we now live by the gift of your perfect righteousness. We bow our heads in awe and raise our hands in praise. So very Amen we pray, in your all-glorious, all-grace-full name.

SATURDAY

SATURDAY

The next day, on the Sabbath, the leading priests and Pharisees went to see Pilate. They told him, “Sir, we remember what that deceiver once said while he was still alive: ‘After three days I will rise from the dead.’ So we request that you seal the tomb until the third day. This will prevent his disciples from coming and stealing his body and then telling everyone he was raised from the dead! If that happens, we’ll be worse off than we were at first.” Matt. 27:62-64 (NLT)

Lord Jesus, how could your family and followers have slept the night of Good Friday? I can only imagine the depth of sadness that seized their hearts. And yet, others were euphoric and relieved, that you, “the deceiver,” could no longer threaten the status quo of the religious community, or the political agendas of the Roman Empire.

As the sun rose on Saturday, no one understood that the most undeserved death imaginable would yield the greatest return calculable. As you were nailed to the cross, the written code—God’s law, with all its regulations and requirements, lost all its condemning power over us. With your last breath, you disarmed the powers of darkness, triumphing over all authorities marshaled against the God’s kingdom (Col. 2:14-15).

No one realized that your mortal punishment would bring our eternal peace; that your fatal wounding would secure our everlasting healing; that your being crushed under God’s judgment would lead to our being cherished by the thrice-holy God (Isa. 53). Though they had the Scriptures, they had no clue.

And yet the chief priests and the Pharisees did remember your promise of resurrection. They weren’t sad about your death; they were mad with fear about the possibility of your life. Having planned to put to death a resurrected Lazarus (John 12:10), they weren’t about to indulge a resurrected Jesus.

O silly, sinful men—they’d sooner hold back the rising of the sun than the rising of the Son of God. Resurrection Sunday was coming, and there was absolutely nothing they could do about it. The silence of Saturday would soon be shattered with the shouts of Sunday: “The Lord is risen! He is risen indeed!” Hallelujah, many times over. So very Amen we pray, in your triumphant and loving name.

Don’t Worry About Your Life … Or COVID-19

Don’t Worry About Your Life … Or COVID-19

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life …”

Jesus spoke these words during His famous Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 6:25). There’s a tendency for us sound trite when we use them. “Oh just don’t worry about that. The Bible says you shouldn’t worry,” but I’ve never encountered a situation where simply telling a person to not worry or to not be anxious has ever worked. We miss everything that Jesus meant when we try to package these words up into a cliche saying or platitude.
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Welcome In Your Presence

Welcome In Your Presence

It was a weird day. It was a tough day. It involved a funeral, but the deceased was not someone to whom I was close. The situation though, was utterly tragic and my heart wrenched for the family and close friends. I showed up to share in the suffering. Christmas was just a few days away and the stress of completing the mile long to-do list was mounting on top of the emotion of that miserable, rainy day. Hours later, after another Christmas activity was over, I went to speak to a friend who had also been at the funeral. I knew that she was grappling with her own feelings, so I simply went to give a hug, and, since I knew I wouldn’t see her again before the holiday, say “Merry Christmas” before departing. My hug was not reciprocated and instead of “Merry Christmas,” I was met with a rant about how she had already seen me that day and it was too much. A bit shocked and hurt, I backed off and stepped away. Then the anger and confusion started to flood in, filling the emotional canyon that the initial hurt had dug, and I retreated to the comfort of more accepting and predictable friends.
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Good Manners

Good Manners

When we think of good manners we think of children needing to learn them. We have a wonderful Manners Camp at our church coming up on July 20-22, 2020. It is for 3 year old preschoolers through rising 5th graders. It is fun and exciting to see these children learning proper manners. Perhaps we need to do a Manners Camp for adults? I have seen many adult Christians act improper at a restaurant. When Jesus dined out in the Bible, what did He do? Continue reading →

Why Do I Sing About Jesus?

Why Do I Sing About Jesus?

Our First Seniors at First Baptist Church love to sing. We are a singing church. Our sanctuary choir and our senior adult choir sing beautiful music. We enjoy coming and listening to them. We stand in awe of our Savior as we listen to the choirs. But what about our singing? Why do we sing about Jesus? In Psalm 138:5 it says, “And they will sing of the ways of the Lord, for great is the glory of the Lord.” This seems to be a command in scripture. Charles Spurgeon writes of this verse in his classic devotion Morning and Evening, “The time when Christians begin to sing in the ways of the Lord is when they first lose their burden at the foot of the Cross. Not even the songs of the angels seem so sweet as the first song of rapture which gushes from the inmost soul of the forgiven child of God.” It should be in the nature of the redeemed that we sing of our Redeemer. We will spend all of eternity singing before the throne of God. My motivation for singing is found in Revelation 1:5-6, “and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loves us and released us from our sins by His blood – and He has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father – to Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.” I sing about three wonderful things in those verses.

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Bible Reading Plans

Bible Reading Plans

It’s so important to have a plan for the regular intake of God’s Word in order to mature in your love for God and others and grow in Christlikeness. I want to challenge you to (1) Find Time to read the Scriptures everyday, (2) Find a Plan for reading the Bible, and (3) Find one idea or one thought from your daily reading to meditate on or apply to your life.
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Volunteer for Good News Club

Volunteer for Good News Club

The Good News Clubs is an after school program focused on reaching kids with the gospel. It’s designed for kids and makes learning about the bible fun!

Children who have received parental permission come to the club after school is dismissed and separate into different rooms based on grade level. They are split again into smaller groups whereby they grab a snack and begin going over bible verses with their small group leaders. Sometimes they may sing a song or listen to a story but the goal is to learn about the bible. When small group time is up all groups converge in the gym for some worship, stories, and bible lesson.

Good News Club helps provide a safe and loving environment for kids while sharing the love of Jesus. It is a program that reaches children of all backgrounds and gives an opportunity for children that don’t go to church to learn about Jesus.

Are you interested in Volunteering? Good News Club is happening now and we need your help! Fill out the form below and we’ll get in touch with you. Thank you!

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The Blessings of Bible Studies at First Baptist Church

The Blessings of Bible Studies at First Baptist Church

As we begin a new year and a new decade at First Baptist Church in Columbia, let’s focus on the study of God’s Word together.  Whether you are a Senior Adult or Young Adult there is a blessing to be had for studying God’s Word together.  We have so many opportunities at our church to study God’s Word.  The Bible is a treasure that God has given to us. Charles H. Spurgeon in “The Treasury of David” said, “The Scriptures teem with marvels; the Bible is wonder-land…it is itself a world of wonders.”  We can travel down that world of wonders with one another in our church fellowship.  Psalm 119 is the longest chapter in the Bible and its main theme is “the power of scripture in the believer’s life.” What are the blessings of studying the Bible together? We find three blessings of small-group Bible studies in Psalm 119:17-24.
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