Today’s Speaker: Eager Avenue Grace Church extends a warm welcome to Pastor Bill Parker. Bill will conduct both the 10:00 am and 11:00 am services today. Pray for him as he delivers God's Word.
Baptism: We are delighted to receive Brother Richard O’Connor and Brother Tony Wages into the fellowship of our church. Richard and Tony will confess Christ in believer’s baptism this morning following the message.
Fellowship Meal: Immediately following the 11am service today, we will have a fellowship meal. All are invited to attend.
Television Broadcast: Our Reign of Grace Television program is being broadcast every Sunday morning on WALB-TV @ 9 AM.
Radio Broadcast: Sunday morning at 10:30 am on Mix 107.7 FM
We see a lot of religious gatherings today using the slogan on their signs or in their advertisements – "LET US HELP YOU RETHINK CHURCH." What most of them are saying is that their religious gatherings will not be a place where people dress up and participate in boring services singing outdated hymns and hearing dry sermons. Their way of thinking is that the "church" is a place where you "come as you are," even if you are in your pajamas. Just be comfortable and "rock on with us" or sit around with the warm fuzzies singing "Kumbaya." Our services are con-temporary and keep people active so they won’t go to sleep.
Well, one matter in which I do agree with them is that they should all re-think "church," but not in the ways described above. What is the church as defined in God’s Word? It is not a building or denomination. It is the elect of God, chosen before the foundation of the world, whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life (1 Pet. 1:2; 2:7-9). It is the church Christ has built against which the gates of hell will not prevail (Matt. 16:18). It is the redeemed of the Lord, purchased by Him with His own precious blood (Acts 20:28). It is the bride of Christ, united to Him and clothed in the wedding garment of His righteousness imputed (Isa. 61:10; Rev. 19:7-9). It is the "called out" ones who have been born again by the Holy Spirit, called to faith in Jesus Christ and repentance of dead works (2 Thess. 2:13-14; 2 Pet. 1:1-4,10). It is the witness of Christ and His Gospel here on earth to honor, worship, and point sinners to Him for all salvation (Matt. 5:16; 1 Tim. 3:15). Where the church is gathered to worship God in Christ, there is a hospital for sinners, not a social or religious country club where people can display their wealth, works, or fashion. And though it is true that the issue is not what we wear or even the style of music we sing, the issue for the true church is reverence and respect for God Almighty, the Savior of our souls. When you come to worship, dress appropriately, not to draw attention to yourself, but to participate in worshiping God in spirit and in truth. Sing hymns, not to entertain the masses or get caught up in the beat, but to express your love, gratitude, and respect for the Lord Jesus Christ.
--- Pastor Bill Parker
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ" (Ephesians 1:3). Many think that spiritual blessings are held in reserve for those who plead with God for them. They acknowledge He has a storehouse of gifts, but the distribution of those blessings they believe to be conditioned upon the willingness of sinners to request and accept them. It is clear, however, that God has already blessed a chosen people with all benefits in Christ. They are not kept from men because of non-request; they already belong to the children of God. Nothing pertaining to eternal salvation is given because sinners beg God. His greatest gift was His own Son, and God did not send Him in response to men pleading for a Savior. The "unspeakable Gift" was unasked for, and when He did come, He was unwanted. He was sent according to the eternal purpose of God to save a people by His sacrifice on the cross. God gives freely, making those to whom He gives thankful to be the recipients, and His gifts never go unclaimed. Rather than the Lord giving because we ask, He gives in spite of not being asked and in spite of our rebellion, enmity and unbelief. Furthermore, not only does God give unnumbered blessings on His own initiative, He gives with no condition to be met on our part. There are no laws to be kept, no rules to be followed, nothing to be given Him in exchange. Salvation is by grace alone through Christ alone.
--- Pastor Jim Byrd
IN THE LORD’S HAND
"No man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand" (John 10:29).
Think, my soul, how eternally safe and secure must the church of Jesus be, thus kept by the mighty power of God, through faith, unto salvation! What shall unclasp the hands of Jehovah? Who shall wrest the weakest, the humblest, the poorest of Christ’s little ones from the holding of His omnipotency? Why then art thou, my soul, so frequently exercised with fears, and doubts, and misgivings? It is the Lord’s love that is the foundation of thy assurance, and not the strength of thy graces! His own free mercy, and not thy merit were the first causes of thy calling; and what is it now, in thy present preservation, but the same which holds thee up and carries thee through every difficulty? "Yea, He loved the people; all His saints are in Thy hands" (Deut. 33:3). Precious Lord Jesus! It is enough. How shall a child of Thine perish when secured by such almighty support? Oh to hear Thy voice, in the soft whispers of Thy love, comforting my soul as Thou didst the church of old. "Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yea, they may forget; yet, will I not forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of My hands; thy walls are continually before Me" (Isaiah 49:15-16).