Eternity is a word and concept too high for me. It humbles me. I cannot explain or comprehend it since it looks back past what the natural eye can see and forward past what it can see. God is eternal so it should not surprise me that it is this way. However, this is my consolation in the matter – God has saved me with an everlasting salvation, Christ brought in everlasting righteousness for me and obtained eternal redemption for me by His shed blood, and the Spirit has given unto me eternal life. God's grace in Christ has covered eternity for me and me for eternity! –Pastor Gary Shepard
A MODERN-DAY MIRACLE!
Lost religious people are always looking for signs and wonders (Matthew 16:4), miracles in which they can place or prove their faith. But if we really want to see a real and powerful miracle in our day, we have only to look at one great work of God – A BELIEVER IN THE LORD JESUS CHRIST! We know the Bible teaches us that man by nature is fallen, sinful, and spiritually dead. He is in bondage to sin. This bondage includes his mind, conscience, affections, and will. Man is a free moral agent, meaning he has the ability to choose that which he desires, but he cannot and does not desire or choose the things that glorify God, especially in the matter of salvation (Romans 3:10-12). But what if a person chooses God’s way of salvation by grace through the Lord Jesus Christ? According to the Bible that person is miracle of God’s power and grace. That person has not only been chosen by God before the world began, he has been redeemed by the blood of Christ. That person has been raised from the dead spiritually – born again (regenerated and converted) by the Holy Spirit. That person has been made willing in the day of God’s power (Psalm 110:3; John 6:44-45). That person has been born again by the Holy Spirit (John 1:12-13). That person has been given by God a new heart and a new spirit (Ezekiel 36:26). This includes spiritual eyes to see the glory of God in Christ, spiritual ears to hear and understand the Gospel of God’s grace, and a spiritual desire to believe in and submit to Christ as the only way of salvation, righteousness, forgiveness, and eternal life. That person has been given by God the gifts of faith in Christ and repentance of dead works (Ephesians 2:8-9; Acts 11:18). That person is a miracle of God’s grace in Christ. That person is the fruit of Christ’s righteousness imputed to him for his justification before God and from which he has life from God. –Pastor Bill Parker
But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: Whereunto He called you by our Gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle. Now our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work. (2 Thessalonians 2:13-17)
THE ENCOURAGING DOCTRINE OF ELECTION
If the Word of God did not teach that some sinners were chosen unto salvation, there would be no reason to expect that anyone would ever believe the gospel because the Master said, “No man can come to me except it were given him of My Father” (John 6:65). Had the Lord not determined some sinners to be the objects of His saving grace, none of our race would have been rescued from the fall because we all died in Adam. However, since God ordained a people to eternal life before the foundation of the world, and these were redeemed by the blood of Christ, then I am heartened in preaching the gospel. God will save “the vessels of mercy, which He has afore prepared unto glory” (Romans 9:23) from their sins and He will use the preaching of the gospel to accomplish His eternal purpose. He will bring every sinner chosen unto salvation to trust His Son who died to rescue them from sin and shame. The Lord Jesus said of those that the Father gave Him in covenant mercy, “they shall all be taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto Me” (John 6:45). The Psalmist proclaimed, “Thy people shall be willing in the day of Thy power” (Psalm 110:3). Election is not a discouraging truth, and it does not stifle evangelism; it makes us optimistic in our labors, for we are assured of the certain triumph of the gospel. The Lord said of His Word, “it shall not return unto Me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it” (Isaiah 55:11). The Lord is bringing chosen sinners to trust the dear Savior. Nothing can prevent the success of His purpose of grace. The Surety of the covenant declared, “I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18). —Pastor Jim Byrd
FEBRUARY 12, 2017 CALL TO WORSHIP(Tune: O For A Thousand Tongues – p. 46) Dear Lord, into Thy faithful hands,My welfare I commit;And to Thy righteousness alone,For safety I retreat. Sorrows and agonies and death,Thou didst endure for...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
FEBRUARY 5, 2017 CALL TO WORSHIP(Tune – Immortal, Invisible – p. 34)(Words written by Pastor Gary Shepard) We gather this morning to worship and praise,The God of all glory, the Ancient of Days.None other is worthy but Jesus...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
JANUARY 8, 2017 CALL TO WORSHIP(Tune – How Firm a Foundation – p. 268) Thy mercy, My God, is the theme of my song,The joy of my heart, the boast of my tongue;Thy free grace alone, from the first to the last,Hath won my affection...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
JANUARY 1, 2017 CALL TO WORSHIP (Tune – Come Thou Fount – p. 17) (Words by Pastor Jim Byrd) In this house, O great Jehovah, God of everlasting days;Humbly now we all assemble, to begin this year with praiseLord we thank Thee for...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
DECEMBER 18, 2016 CALL TO WORSHIP(Tune – Take My Life, And Let it Be – 393) Unto us a child is born;Human nature to adorn;By His merits to atone,For our sins before God’s throne. (R) Unto us a Son is giv’n;Now our...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
Jim was born in Camilla, Georgia in 1947. He moved to Albany, Georgia in 1963 where he attended public schools and Darton College where he completed a Business...
DECEMBER 11, 2016 CALL TO WORSHIP(Tune: “O Little Town of Bethlehem,” – p. 92)(Words by Pastor Jim Byrd) Sing praises to the Son of God, Who down from heaven cameTo save His people from their guilt, From misery and shame.Down...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
DECEMBER 4, 2016 CALL TO WORSHIP(Tune – Like a River Glorious – p. 287)(Words by Pastor Jim Byrd) Sinners saved by Jesus, glory in His Name;For He came and cleansed us from our guilt and shame;He alone could save us from our lost...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
NOVEMBER 27, 2016 CALL TO WORSHIP(Tune – O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing – p. 46)(Words written by Pastor Gary Shepard) What hope have we but Christ alone?What righteousness but Him?What peace have we but by His blood?What life but...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
NOVEMBER 20, 2016 CALL TO WORSHIP(Tune – Come Holy Spirit, Heavenly Dove – p. 158) Thou, Christ, the great Jehovah art,The Fount of holiness,And, God with us, Thou art become,The Lord our Righteousness. Oh, wash us with Thy blood and...[ abbreviated | read entire ]