What to expect

A traditional church that is passionate about loving our community to the gospel.

James Pranger - AM


Speaker 1: Good morning and welcome to the Baptist Tabernacle, we're so thankful that you're here this morning, if you would, please, let's go ahead and stand together and worship the Lord singing here number three hundred and thirty four at Calvary. If you want to

Speaker 2: use your handbook's, you can, but you can follow along on the screen.

Unidentified: Is and then and right here,

Speaker 2: not my lord was crucified going on, it was for me right on time. Ray. First, there was Lady Grace was card,

Unidentified: and there was more to find. May, my bird is about Libatique, I can.

Speaker 2: Murray. By God's word, at last, I said,

Unidentified: I learned then I tremble that the Lord hides word

Speaker 2: till my guilty soul and boring

Unidentified: turns to Kalbarri.

Speaker 2: But there was great and Grace was born and there was born to fly to me, they're my bird.

Unidentified: It's all about Libatique. I can.

Speaker 2: Laborie. Now, I came to Jesus, everything, now I gladly own him as my king, oh, my rapture, OK, and all

Unidentified: these things, of course. Murray Mercy there was

Speaker 2: fading, grace was very hard, and there was more apply to. Them, I've heard it's all about Libatique, I can. Boris.

Speaker 1: Hey, man, great job saying this morning how brother Jerry Prader come up and help us on a word of prayer.

Speaker 3: Let's pray, dear heavenly Father, thank you for this day, thank you for our opportunity to come and meet together. Thank you for everyone who is here. Please bless them as they go on about their day in about their week. Please take this time to help convict and calm our hearts and just focus on you to praise and worship you for everything you've done for us. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.

Speaker 4: All right, you can be seated. Glad to have you here with us this morning and hope that you're having a good weekend thus far. It's been beautiful weather except for the rain yesterday morning, but I think we all ought to enjoy it while it lasts because next week seems to be a major washout. So anyways, but we're glad to be together in the Lord's house today and glad to have you with us. If you're a guest with us here, today is your first time here. Our first time in a long time. We sure are glad to have you with us. And hopefully you received one of our bulletins as you came in this morning. And if you wouldn't mind filling that out with whatever information you feel comfortable with sharing, you can turn that in at the welcome desk after the service is over. And we'll give you a gift to show our appreciation for you being here with us today. I did want to point out for our guests, we have a new thing on the back. And if you are technologically advanced, you can scan that QR code and you can actually fill out the connection card online. Maybe you don't like doing the paper stuff, but you can fill that out online and that we will have your record of you being here with us today. So anyways, we're glad that you're here, hope that the service is a blessing to you. A couple of announcements for you. Want to make you aware of things coming up. First, we do have a safety team meeting after the morning service. And so all of our men, if you are interested in helping us with the issue of safety during the church services, you would meet right over here by the keyboard. After the service is over, Brother Tony, go over a couple of things and kind of help us make a new schedule. We got a lot of men on the schedule that have moved away. And so we need to update that and make sure we have something that is up to date. And so if you are interested, this basically means once a month, maybe twice a month, you'll be out in the area making sure the doors are locked during the service, making sure nobody comes in that shouldn't be in, just trying to make sure that we have a safe opportunity to meet together without any interruptions. And so anyway, that'll be right after the service this morning. Also, our mission team will be meeting at four thirty this afternoon, mission committee. If you all would make plans on being there for 30. We'll go over some things coming up and some things having to do with our mission program and some exciting opportunities that we have. So that'll be this afternoon at four thirty May. Twenty second, we're going to have a wedding shower. That is coming up this this coming Saturday for Bo and Lauren, as we are excited for them getting married later on in August. But their wedding shower will be here at the church at 10 a.m. They're registered at Target and Bed, Bath and Beyond. And so we'd like to invite all the ladies, come out for that and honor this young couple as they prepare to begin their lives together here in a few months. But what's the actual countdown at? Ninety four days. All right, very good. May twenty third, that's next Sunday. We're going have our graduation Sunday where we honor our high school graduates. And so we are already aware of one. But if we're missing anybody, if you'd let Brother Matt know if we've got any other high school graduates here in the church, that way we can honor them next Sunday. We don't want Brandon to feel all alone up here. But I don't know, maybe you like having all the attention on on on Jishu is the baby of the family. So usually they're they're attention hogs, but not you, right? No, it's not a first point thing. You keep that to yourself, OK? So graduation Sunday, we'll have a special gift for for our graduates May twenty third. Also, we're going have a nursery worker meeting following the morning service. So if you are currently on our nursery worker schedule or you would like to join the nursery ministry, we'll have a meeting over here by the keyboard after the morning service. And the deacons and trustees meet next month, next week at four thirty May. Twenty third hour. Energized kids, first through sixth grade will be singing in the evening service and so excited to hear they've been working on some songs on Wednesday nights with Miss Leah and so they'll be singing in the evening service next Sunday night and then vacation. Bible School is coming up June 7th through the 11th from 9:00 to noon. And you can now register online or on our website, on our website or on Facebook. And there are fliers out on the welcome desk to invite your neighbors and friends. And Aleesha and the boys went out yesterday and doorknocked a couple of streets in the neighborhood and people were super excited to hear about vacation, Bible school happening. And so we have a unique opportunity this year. Everyone is dying to get back to normal. And so let's take those cards and let's distribute them to as many people as we can. I think you would be surprised how many folks are going to be thrilled to death to hear that they can drop their kids off for a week and not have to watch them on them all morning. I mean, honestly, I don't understand why anybody wouldn't want to send their kids to VBS. All right, and then lastly, June 13th, church anniversary, June 13th is our church anniversary. We're going be celebrating. Sixty six years of ministry and we're thrilled to death for the long, the long reputation that we've had here in this community and excited for what God is still doing in our church. We don't want to be a church that celebrates just what's happening. It happened in the past. We won't be a church that's looking forward to what God will do in the future. And so we're thrilled to death for that special day. And we'll have more information about it as we get closer at this time. Let's all stand by. That's going to come and lead us in another song.

Speaker 1: All right, him no, let's see, two sixty four, get my my votes, my votes, my ducks in order. Here we go. My hope is, Bill,

Speaker 2: my hope is built on nothing less than Jesus blood and righteousness.

Unidentified: I trust must lead this right, but only later

Speaker 2: on, Jesus name on Christ, the solid

Unidentified: rock by state from other ground is sinking since all the other ground is sinking sand.

Speaker 2: And talk this face to hide his face, I rest on his race, and every time I saw me, my anchor holds with.

Unidentified: The bell on crisis all. I sat on the

Speaker 2: ground is sinking

Unidentified: sand, all the ground is sinking sand on the fourth floor when

Speaker 2: he shall talk

Unidentified: with trumpets sound Kapolei.

Speaker 2: Christ and his righteousness, lot less to stand before the.

Unidentified: On crisis. All right, guys.

Speaker 2: The ground is sinking sand. The ground is sinking sand

Speaker 1: before he's saying the blood will never lose his power. We're going to quote a verse together first, Peter, chapter one, verses 18 and 19 will be on the screen for along as our quote with me as I read for as much as you know that you were not redeemed with corruptible things as silver and gold from your vain conversation received by the tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ and of a lamb without spot, we are redeemed by the precious blood of the lamb. It's a it's a blood that will never lose its power. Let's think about this song as we sing

Unidentified: it this morning.

Speaker 2: The blood that Jesus shed for me way back on Calvary, the blood that gives me strength from day. Today, it will

Unidentified: never lose its.

Speaker 2: It reaches to the highest mountain. It was.

Unidentified: To the. With the.

Speaker 2: But that gives me strength from day to day. Will. There is. It soothes my doubts and. I think. And drives all my tears, the blood gives me strength from day to day. It will. It's about. It reaches to the highest mountain. The. Ali. The blood that gives me strength from.

Unidentified: Today, it will have.

Speaker 2: Ayman.

Speaker 4: Ushers come forward as we prepare to receive our tithes and offerings and trust that God will bless you as your faithful to give, I didn't fail to mention, man, if you signed up for the golfing activity tomorrow night, we'll meet down at golf suites at six o'clock. Cost is six dollars to be sure to bring that up and then we'll pay that to the church. And then any food that you may purchase will be on you. But we're looking forward to a good time with the and we've got twenty seven men signed up to go to golf suites, which is awesome. So I'm looking forward to spending some guy time and we'll stuff ourselves till we can't swing the golf clubs anymore and then we'll go home and go to sleep. All right. Anyway, we're going to take up the offering, and I trust that God will bless you. And let's see, I want to meet somebody here. Oh, it's to me, OK, I'm going to pray and ask God's blessing on the offering this morning. The Heavenly Father, we thank for this day. Thank you for the opportunity. We have to come here to your house. Lord, I pray that you take the offering that we're about to receive me. Bless it. Use it for the furtherance of your work. Lord, we're so grateful for each one that supports the ministry here and around the world. I ask that you would bless them for their faithfulness. And Lord, we are so excited to be able to serve you and have a part in what you do. And it's in Jesus name, I pray. Amen. Maybe seated.

Speaker 2: Ever felt as though his skin was deeper than Grace would go? If anyone.

Unidentified: Ever thought his career was a waste of

Speaker 2: time because no one cares? He's gone too far.

Unidentified: Then, my friend, I've been right where you are. You're not alone? No. I have. To share with you. What's your feeling? Is Paul. From Trud, so keep hanging on. Because if there is one who loves me

Speaker 2: on the sad mistakes

Unidentified: that we've all. Peter. If there's a soul.

Speaker 2: Who understands and longs to heal

Unidentified: the hurts we have, Peter? Zoster. He was from.

Speaker 2: To Calvary,

Unidentified: he suffered pain in. Because he knew that committed. To call his name if there is one. Who wants to be the one in? The friend you need. He told. If anyone. One has a

Speaker 2: right to say

Unidentified: thank you, Lord, for another.

Speaker 2: I, too. If there is one who has a reason to sing a song and Gray Skies

Unidentified: High, the blue, that's me.

Speaker 2: If anyone can stand. Testify. You can count on me and I'll tell you why he set me free or. He set me

Unidentified: free. With the guilt and shame. From my own skin sore to Robbie. The joy he gives he. It reminded me. Because if there is one who loves me on the sad mistakes that we've all done.

Speaker 2: He does.

Unidentified: If there's a soul. Who understands? Longs to help or hurt, sweetheart. Peter. Star. He walked the road. To Calvary saw. And he because he knew. Call. If there is one who wants to be. The opening of leverage you need, Peter. Jason. He lost the. In Calgary, he suffered pain. CNN. To call his name. If there is one. And who wants to be? The warning of. You need Peter. If there is one who wants to. The opening of.

Speaker 2: Frangipani. Chief. Solstar.

Speaker 4: Thank you very much for that, brother Matt. I did forget one of the things that I needed to let you know about, um, we've been talking for the last year and a half about getting a new church van, which we are in desperate need of. And so we need to move on that before camp. It's very important. We've got Fermat, over 40 people signed up to go to camp. And so we need the transportation. We need a new van. The shuttle is is not fixable. It's not worth it fixing it. So we need to move forward with a new van now, uh, vehicles, in case you haven't if you're not in the market for a vehicle, you may not notice they're moving really fast. And so, uh, talking to the trustees this past week, we are looking for a new 15 passenger van. But we need to approve the funds so that when one comes available, we can purchase it. We're not going to have time to wait for the next service to vote on a van. And so we're going to need the church body to put some trust in the trustees. And me, that will make a good decision on that, but tonight we're going to have a very short business meeting to approve, setting aside a certain amount of money to be able to purchase a van should one come available. That way, we can move forward on that without having to wait for the next church service. And so I just want to make you aware of that, that they'll take place tonight after the evening service. If they have any questions about that, please come see me or any one of our trustees before tonight. But anyways, that will take place this evening. This morning, we're excited to be able to have one of my good friends here with us, James and Amber Prager. They are missionaries, the country of Russia, specifically in the area of Siberia. And James and I got to Heartland together. We graduated together. He was my R.A., my kind of dorm mom kind of thing. And and he was one of the best arias that I ever had. I'll never forget the sacrifices that he made for us there in the dorm. One one winter when the power was out, he sacrificed his laptop's battery so that we could watch a movie in his room. And we weren't supposed to be watching movies, but he was willing to take that risk because he cared for us and loved us. And so anyways, I've always been indebted to him for that outpouring of kindness, but we've kept up over the years. Don't keep up with a lot of people that I met or graduated with a heartline. But James and I have. And usually around our birthdays we will talk. And so anyways, he he and his family are home for a few months to just visit some of their churches and there are new missionary couple to us, but they're not new missionaries. Uh, they just completed their second term on the field, is that right? Second or third? Second. And and so God's already been blessing their ministry and they'll be heading back in September. So when I found out he was coming home, is that mean you've got to come visit us and we'd love to take you on for support. And so they're here with us. They're going to be here this morning. And tonight you'll have to come back tonight if you want to see their video, he'll be showing that and then giving a little bit of an update on the ministry that God has blessed them with. But this morning is going to come and preach to us and we're excited to have your brother James. You come and tell us what God's laid on your heart this morning.

Speaker 5: Well, good morning. It's so good to be here in Collinsville, I'm all right, that's great. All right. So good to be here in Collinsville. The meat, you folks, and be back with Pastor Gary and his wife. And as he was telling that story, I honestly don't really remember that watching watching movies in the in our room. And honestly, I mean, it's very possible that could have been. But as I was thinking about that then I was thinking about this morning, as I as I came in as Pastor Gary was already here this morning and he was in his office and I saw his boys in there and one was on the iPad. And his oldest son was Titus was sitting in his closet playing video games. And I'm like, you know what? There's some things that just don't change, because in Gary, right in his dorm room behind him, he would have all his clothes hanging up on the clothes, clothes hanger at the doors close. He would open those doors, move the clothes off to the side. I'm pretty sure he had an Xbox or something like that. And they're so glad to see that things never change. So even in his office, you still got something like that. But it's so good to be here. And I'm thankful for the opportunity to be able to preach to you folks this morning to be able to be here. And I hope you will come back tonight. We'll be showing our video and sharing about a ministry that God has called us to and what the Lord is doing there. And just to share a little bit with what where we're at, we are in a part of Russia that most people don't know anything about. Any time you think of Russia, you think of Moscow, St. Petersburg and all the beautiful areas in Russia where you would have the large old architectural design of buildings and and so on. But we are eight time zones away from that. And we are I don't know how many miles would be, but very far away from Moscow. And in fact, we are if there was a direct flight at the current time, it would only be for our flight to Anchorage, Alaska, where we're at. So we're on the complete opposite end of Russia. And in fact, the closest large city to us is fourteen hundred miles away. And the only road that connects us to that city is a dirt and gravel road, which would at least take you three days to drive if the road is good, or usually it could take up to five days depending on the barges that you would have to take to cross the rivers up north. And so we're in a very far secluded area, but the city we're in has about ninety five thousand people in. And the Lord allowed us to move there just two years ago. And this last August, we started a ministry, started a Bible study in our home, and we've seen it continue to grow. And in fact, our last Sunday that we gather together and it was the last Sunday in March that we actually had thirty four people in attendance. And we've seen several folks trust Christ as their savior. And more come more show an interest in that. And so it's just an exciting time they're going on as we see what God is doing there. So I really hope and pray that you'll come back tonight and kind of give you a plug because you definitely don't want to miss that, don't want to hear some of the updates that what what the Lord is doing there in Russia. If you have your Bibles this morning, let's go and take them and turn to the book of First Thessalonians. First Thessalonians, chapter number three, I'll go ahead. Actually, while you guys are turning, if you would can have my wife stand up, I'm going to point out to you this, my beautiful wife, Amber, and we just celebrated 11 years of marriage just yesterday. And so we're excited to be here. And we have four children as well. They're probably somewhere in the kids area terrorizing their teachers. And I was telling your pastor that our kids coming back to the states that they experience sometimes culture shock. And as I as I was sharing with them a story that one of our first Wednesday nights back here in the States are sending churches in Cleveland, Ohio. It's a rather large church. And so for our youngest son, he didn't remember being in and being in our church the first time we were stateside on furlough. So it was all completely new. So his view or idea of churches, it's in our living room. And so we came to church and he didn't want to go to his class that was designated for his age group. So we said, well, you know what? You can go in with your older brother. You'll feel more comfortable with them there. And so Wednesday night, because of covid, our church had moved all their Sunday school programs to Wednesday night. And there he is sitting in the class class started, they started playing a game. And he doesn't really like noise too much, and so he decided to go for a walk. So he left the classroom, the teacher is trying to get his attention and teachers started chasing after him. He thought it was a game, so he started running away from his teacher. And he made his way into the auditorium and made his way up into the balcony of the auditorium, and here the Sunday school teachers chasing after him and then on one of the security guards at the church is chasing after him throughout the balcony, he starts literally climbing underneath pews. Trying to get away from the Sunday school teacher because he thinks it's a game. And finally, he pops up right between the legs of an elderly lady. So they finally catch him. And they take him to the first class he's supposed to be in and the entire time he is flicking the security guard right in the forehead. So as pastor said, you know, sign up for the security, you never know what you're getting into. You may have a little missionary kid come flying you in the forehead. So he he goes from there and then they take in the first class and he escapes out of that class and then they finally take him to the kid. The class has a baby gate, so you can't get past it. And he was finally stuck there. So a week goes on, and as I'm walking and walking into the church, they're taking him to class again. I have to meet this lady that my son and I climb through her legs underneath the pew. And she looked at me and she said, oh, it's so good to see you. And she said, I had already met your son the other day. And she looked at me right like in all seriousness, she looked at me and said. I hope it turns out. And I'm thinking, you know, there's some things you just don't tell a parent, right? You don't tell a parent of a five year old say, you know what, I got my doubts about that kid, and I really hope he turns out, you know, and I see there's quite a few young families here. I mean, I'm sure that would be the most encouraging thing that you could hear from hear from an elderly person that would say, I really hope your son turns out. You know, as I as I think about that and think about that scenario of what happened there, I it's interesting that we can kind of take that and we can look into the scripture and look at different life situations that happen. And we can then use that as an application to then make the Bible come alive to us, because that's the important thing as we as we read our Bibles, that we want the Bible to come alive to us. So that begins to change us and begins to speak to us and show us the direction that God would have us to go in our lives. And so as we look down here in First Thessalonians, chapter number three, I want to direct you I want you to direct your attention down to verse number nine. And it says this. For what things can we render to God against you, for you, for all the joy wherewith we enjoy, for your sakes, before our God? Night and day praying exceedingly that we might see your face and might perfect that which is lacking in your faith. Now, God himself and our father and our Lord Jesus Christ direct our way onto you and the Lord make you to increase in abounding love, one toward another and toward all men, even as we do toward you. To the end, he may establish your heart's unbreakable and holiness before God, even our father at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints. Let's go and pray this morning and then we'll get right into the message. Father, we thank you for today. We thank you for the privilege and opportunity. We have to be able to meet in your house this morning. And Father, we pray your blessings upon this service, upon this time as we open your word. Father, we need to hear from you this morning. And father, we pray exactly that. And each person here would have an open heart and open ears to hear exactly the message that you have for that. Father, I pray that you just bless now, Lord, if there be anyone here that does not know us, our lord and savior. Father, that today that their eyes would be open, that they would understand their need of a savior and they'd act upon that understanding and trust you, not only you for salvation, father, we ask these things and we'll give you the honor and glory for everything. Today in Jesus name, we pray. Eman. As I look down in this passage, I think one thing, if you read the entire book of First First Thessalonians, you'll find this to be true, that the apostle Paul, as he's writing this epistle, he's writing it specifically to this church in Thessalonica. And then he kind of has this mentality or are thinking that viewpoint that almost as if they are his spiritual children because he's invested a significant amount of time dealing, speaking with them and preaching to them. And he's seen this church established there and that directly as a result of the the missionary ministry or church planning ministry that the apostle Paul had, that they are a direct product of that. And so because they are a direct product of that, he has a spiritual mentor, a spiritual leader in their lives. He's writing this epistle to encourage them to continue on trust in Christ and being faithful to do what God has called them to do. And before we came back, ever since about the first week in January, all the way through the time that we came back to the States, Lord allowed me to preach specifically through this this epistle. And one of the things that I really enjoyed about this, as I preach through this to our people there and in Russia, was just how you really see the heart that the apostle Paul has specifically for these people. And one of the things that it's incredible as he sees them and almost as if he's this this parent of giving them instruction and trying to lead them along and trying to encourage them to grow in their faith, that as we as we look in this, you see this overwhelming perhaps burden that he has us on his shoulders, that he wants them to do well, he wants them to succeed. So he starts off the episode by more or less bragging on them to ask how well they're doing it, being faithful to the Lord. And we all like to be Bragdon sometimes, don't we? You know, as I think about that and I think about my children, we have four children and as I think about raising our children, there's nothing more that I want more for my children than to see them do well in life and to see them live for the Lord and fall in love with God and and serve God with their life. And I believe that ought to be the desire of each and every parent that is here this morning. For each and every parent that that has children is that their children fall in love with God and that they serve God to live for God. So because we would think a parent would be quite crazy if they said, you know, all I want my child a child to do is become a convict. You know, no parent took pride in and saying, my child is a convict. No one would go to their children and say, you know what? I am so proud of you because you're unfaithful, you're lazy and you're disobedient. In fact, if that was a child, the parents would probably be seeking counsel and how they can instruct their child to see them change and become something more profitable or even productive within society. And so as we look in this passage, this is something the apostle Paul, I believe this burning has, he has this great desire. He wants to see these people do well. Because he has a vested interest in them. He spent time of his life and no doubt as he sought to come to Thessalonika, you can read back in the Book of Acts and even touches that on this in the second chapter, this episode, he has a vested interest because he went through trials and suffering and persecution coming to these people to preach the gospel to them. But as a result of preaching the gospel, you can read the account as he gives the account in Chapter one, that God did some incredible and powerful things, that as he came with the power of the Holy Ghost and as it came in, as he preached to them, the scores and scores and scores of people were coming to Christ and being saved. And no doubt, as a missionary, that is an incredible, exciting thing that as you go to a place and as you preach the gospel to people, that those people, they turn their lives around and they they they follow after God and they get say that's an encouragement. Well, you know, it doesn't stop there. Missionary work doesn't stop at the point when you just get someone to get saved. It's a continual process of encouraging them and disciplining them and teaching them to to grow and to fall in love with Christ more and more and more each day. See, because my wife and I, we've been married now for 11 years, and I can assuredly tell you that today I love my wife significantly more than I did 11 years ago. Why, because we're growing in our love. So as I look in this passage. And as the apostle Paul is talking, as we look down at verse number nine. He says this. For what things can we render to God again, for you, for all the joy wherewith with joy, for all your sakes, before our God. In essence, he's saying this is what manner of Thanksgiving can we offer to God? That would be equivalent to the joy that we have knowing that you are walking and truth and faith. He says our Thanksgiving, that we have the amount of Thanksgiving that we have, it can't even really come close to matching the amount of joy we have that as we see you and as we see you, Christians faithfully serving God in the midst of adversity, in the midst of trials and tribulations that you face in the persecution that you may face, that in the midst of that you're faithfully following after God and that me as the spiritual mentor that God had allowed me to bring you the gospel. And you trust in Christ that the Thanksgiving that I have, that you're faithfully following God is not can't even come compare. To the joy that I have, knowing that you are living for. You know, I believe this is exactly what should be the goal of each parent. That the thankfulness that we have doesn't even compare to the point of the actual joy we have, why? Because our children are living for the Lord. So the apostle Paul, as he's sharing these things, you can look back at verse number one, you can see specifically the Testament or chapter one. You can see specifically the testimony of these people. See now the apostle Paul, as he's writing this epistle, he's always removed from them as he continued preaching the gospel throughout Macedonia, as he's continued to go and and reach to reach more people and and follow after the Macedonian call that God had placed upon his life to reach the Gentiles. And so as he was going in, as he was preaching the gospel periodically to go from one town to another town to another town, and he was meeting people. That had been in Thessalonica. And he kept on hearing. He kept on hearing this very same testimony. Now, we had been in Thessalonica, we had some business going on there. We had some business venture going on there and we had been to Thessalonika, we came in contact with the. The Christians there in Thessalonica. I mean. They're doing something right there. What is taking place there, and that's one of those people, they have a burden and a vision to reach this world with the gospel. And so everyone that comes to the town, they're they're sharing their faith with them. He said the testimony was that they used to be people that served as served in worship idols, that all of everything, all about them was all about themselves, and that God has changed their lives so much that not only have they just placed our faith and trust in Christ, but they allow that to affect their life and to change their life wholly and completely to where now, instead of worshiping those idols, that now they're worshiping God. And now not only do they have this, not only have they made this profession of faith, but they are living it out in their life in every single aspect. And so as he's writing this epistle, he's saying job well done. Know, those are the very words that all of us like to hear when they're directed toward us, right.

Unidentified: Job. Well, the.

Speaker 5: You know what, though, in the midst of even these words, as he's saying, job well done and I want to direct our attention down further to the next few verses. That is this. He says a verse number 10 that. It says night and day, praying exceedingly that we might see your face and might perfect that which is lacking in your faith. So now that he's been apart from them for a while, that as he has this burden and vision, he wants to see them continuing on and being faithful to God, and he wants to see them be successful in their Christian life. He says, I have this desire. I want to come back to you. I want to come back and meet with you and and spend some time with you so I can continue investing in your life and continue nurturing you and continue. Discipling, you said that you, as you grow in your faith and as you continue following God. That if there's anything lacking in your life that I can help you with that which is like. Now, I want to get a point, get across the point to you this morning is, is he's not just trying to bring up a point in saying where you're lacking in this, you're lacking that. You're lacking this. He's already said he's already commended the first two chapters. He's already said job well done. But he's recognizing the point that no matter where you are at, no matter how good of a job you're doing, he says you need to look inside you and examine yourself, because if we're completely truthful to ourselves, we'd say this. There's always room to improve. There's always room to improve, see, our Christian life is a life that is ought to be progressing in a progressive relationship with Christ so that as we grow in our understanding of God and as we grow in our love for God. No doubt then it changes us. And affects us. Sometimes we have trials and tribulations in our life, and as a result of those trials and tribulations. It changes us. Because it grows us. So we as a people, we don't like facing trials. We don't like difficult times. And oftentimes they're alive because there's a difficulty or there's a trial. We try to run away from it. But it's those very same trials and difficulties are the very things. That produced growth in our life. And that's exactly what the apostle Paul is saying is this he says. Job well done. Let's not stop drilling here. Let's continue to grow. Let's continue to move toward what God would have us to move toward, let's continue moving in the direction that God would have us to go. And so he says this is that I have this great desire that night and day I desired, and I pray for you continue, that God will allow us one day to come back to you and return to you and to be able to impart these spiritual gifts and impart these spiritual things to you so that your faith. Would be increased. So look down in verse number 11. He says this now, God himself and our father and our Lord Jesus Christ. Director Wei. Until you. So in essence, what we've seen is this is that he desires to perfect that which was lacking, which is lacking, not necessarily meaning that they were in a bad place. But what it does mean is that through instruction, teaching and guidance, improvement can be made. Someone once said the moment you stopped learning. Is the moment you stop rolling. So it's important that we in our lives or someone actually, I believe someone also said the moment you stop learning is the moment you start dying. Why, because. Our life is all about learning and how do we learn, we learn through through reading for through people, through instruction and through investment in our lives. That's how we grow. That's how we grow physically. That's how we grow spiritually. And so in verse 11, as he points out, he says it's our desires that as God allows us and that in God's timing, when he allows us, that we could come to you and we can impart to these things to you, in part this instruction to you to see you grow. And to verse 12, he comes to the. Of what he's trying to get across to that. He says, and the Lord make you to increase and then end abound in love one toward another. And toward all men. Even as we do toward you. So if you look at the entire episodes, the apostle Paul has written it, I think you'd be trying to get across this point that, listen, you've demonstrated in your life that you have a love for God and that your life, the way you live, your testimony approves that. But he's saying, let's work on growing in that. Let's continue to facilitate an environment in your lives and in your hearts that you're growing in that love and then specifically says this is listen, if there's any area that you could work on improving on is this is specifically loving each other. Why is that so important? It's because loving each other, their entire church depended on it. You ever walked into a church before? When the tension among the people was so thick. You almost needed like a sword or a knife just to cut through the air, to walk through. This side of the church building, the people, they haven't talked to this side for 20 years. And it's it's comical, it's funny, but there are churches like that. What happens to those churches? Sooner or later, one argument turns into another argument. And every argument gets bigger and bigger and bigger to where the whole thing just blows up. Church ends up splitting. And the. The goal of what God had designed a church to do and to accomplish. It's completely destroyed. Why? Because they chose rather than to love one another. They chose I'm going to love myself more than I love any. See, any issue that comes up in a church between. People. It boils down to this very same thing the apostle Paul is pointing out. He says this. Grow in your love for one another. What he's saying is, is there ought to be a unity among you and that unity of collectively wanting to do what God has for you and collectively doing what God designed this church to do. And the only thing that is going to unify you together is going to be this four letter word love. Grow in your love for one another. So he's saying you've already demonstrated your love for God, but ultimately, if you read first, John, you'll find out this to be true, that as you grow in your love for God, then no doubt then the things that God loves. You're going to begin to love them to. And so then as you grow in your love for God, he says, then let's focus then not only on loving God, let's focus on loving one another so that collectively, together. As you love one another. The unity, the bond among Christians that are to be the strongest than anywhere else, the unity among this local body of believers. He's saying. Love. That's the glue. That's the key to it. Love. So then. Not only does he say to love. One another. That they would grow, that they would increase in their love toward one another, but also then he says that you would grow in your love. Toward all men. You notice the progression, what is in essence what he's saying is, is this you love God. You can increase in your love from one another and you're saying is this is the area, too, that you can increase and work on is growing in your love for mankind. In essence, what he's saying is growing and understanding your responsibility, not just understanding it, but acting upon your responsibility to reach this world. With Godzilla. So because you can't tell me that you love mankind. If you don't care what else. About the souls of mankind that walk around each and every day. So what he's saying is, is. If there's anything that we can improve on. It's love. Loving God. And loving others. So that's what it's all about, but why does he say this? See, it's interesting shift here going from then verse number 12 to 13. I want to point this out. He says this. Verse 13 to the end, he may establish your heart's unbelievable and holiness before God, even our father at the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints. See the byproduct. A loving each other. And the byproduct of, first of all, obviously loving God and loving each other and then loving mankind, the byproduct of that is then we are moved to live holy and righteous lives. See, sometimes as parents, we want our children to do right and we try to get them to do right and live righteously. And it's easy for us to just all of a sudden put a whole bunch of rules and regulations and things in their life that say do this and do that and look the part. Let's see if it's not found out of a genuine love for God and a genuine love for fellow Christians and a genuine love for people. It's just rules. And sooner or later, they're going to buck against those rules. They're going to learn to resent them, despise them and hate them. So in essence, what he's saying is in Christianity, it's not about the rules, it's not about looking the part or having all your I's dotted and all your T's crossed. What it's about as this is growing specifically in your love for God and your love for fellow church members and fellow Christians, that growing in your love for man. That's what it's all about. Love. So then as I look at this. In essence, he's saying is this growing a love produces a life that is dedicated to live righteously toward all men. And as we grow in our love toward men, we will be moved to act accordingly, thus producing the result of being blameless in our own actions. Toward God. Think about this, that if charity were diffused through their hearts, they would abound in every virtue and would be at length found. What am I trying to get across to you this? This is where it all comes down. It as Christians, sometimes I've been in churches, I've been around many different stripes of Baptist churches. And for a large portion of my childhood, I lived in a circle of of churches where it's all about looking the part, all that looking the. You know, I've learned. That looking the part should not be the foundation. That looking the part is a byproduct. The love that's developed in. I'm not saying we should throw out all rules, all the standards and everything else out to win. I'm not saying that at all. Because those are important, they guide us, they help lead us, they help guide us. But what I'm saying is what we need to do is we need to make the focal point of this is do we love God? Do we love.

Unidentified: Do we love people?

Speaker 5: So how does that. Translate into our lives. How do we grow in our love for God? How do we specifically grow in our love for others? Ask yourself this question. What have I done to demonstrate love to people? See, the day and age we live in right now, covid era, I know we're all sick and tired of hearing those very words, right. Think of a way that you can use. The turmoil in the world, in our country, all around us. How can you demonstrate love this? Ultimately, how can you demonstrate Christ's love for that? See, because everywhere we go, as we've just recently started traveling, reporting back to somewhere, supporting churches and have we as we've been in a few few places here and there. There's a lot of people out there hurting. There's a lot of people out there. That they're waiting for someone to come. Show them love. Show them compassion and say, hey, listen. I love you, man. You know what, there's someone else that loves you even more. That individual not only did he come to this earth and lived a sinless life, but that individual. He took your sin upon himself. And that which is holy became sin for us. So that we might be ready so that we can have all our sins washed away. So you two can be saved. See, the point of what he was trying to get across here is this. And as we. Live for. As we grow in Christ. That we ought to be growing. I love. For one another. For those around. You can't tell me you love people. If you don't care about where they'll spend. That's why our family that's why we. I've spent the last almost eight years living in Russia. Why? Because. There's a whole group of people there in Russia. They need the gospel. You know, on the day and age we live in today. You talk to people here in America. You know what their mentality is, why in the world would you go to Russia? I mean, after all, they are America's number one arch enemy, aren't they? Why? Because if God loves them. And he was willing to send his son to die for them, then shouldn't we then in return love them? Likewise. See, because if you can look around this auditorium this morning. And you can see someone in this auditorium this morning that maybe in what you have a little animosity toward that. Maybe you don't really like to talk to them. Maybe you would never dream of really even sitting next to them. I believe then that's a very clear cut picture. Of your heart. A very clear picture of how you can increase in your love. For fellow brothers and sisters. Imagine what God can do. Here in this local body of believers. If we are unified together. And accomplishing God's purpose and accomplishing God's will. To reach your Jerusalem and our world around us. And what's going to hinder that? There's a lack of love for women. So ask yourself these two questions. Do I love my fellow Christians? Are they dear to me? And then after you've asked the answer to that question. Ask yourself. The question, do I love? People. Do I love the people around me enough? And I'm willing to go. That I'm willing to sacrifice, that I'm willing to take the gospel to them, whether they be here or they be in a completely different country. Am I willing, in demonstration of my love for the. Am I willing to follow God? Wherever it may be. Maybe you're here this morning and you don't know the love of Christ. And maybe you can try to love people, you can try to love those around you, but until you've truly experienced the love of Christ in your life, you'll never be able to love in the way Christ wants you. I challenge you this morning, this morning, you have an opportunity then in just a few moments. I'll be done preaching. I'll pray. Instruments will begin to play. And you'll have an opportunity this morning to come down to this very same alter. And you'll be able to be introduced. To that very same love. That's so many of us. There's no. So if you don't know the love of Christ, if you've never trusted Christ. Why don't you come this morning? That's where it's all starts. That's where life truly begins. The moment that you trust Christ, as you're saying. And if you've already done that. How about love? Where you where are you growing? In your love this morning, let's pray. Father, I thank you for this morning. I thank you for your word, I thank you for how it speaks to hearts. Lord, I thank you for how you spoke to my heart. Through this passage. About where I am at. And growing in my love. For you. Then how am I living out my love for you through living and loving those around me, whether they be Christian or whether they be Los? Lord, help us. Help me not to become complacent. Where I'm at. A father helped me to always be growing. And discovering new ways. How I can learn to grow. And loving those around. Father, help us solve this. To truly follow after you. And to demonstrate love through our lives, just like this example we have here. Father, have your will, in a way, now in this invitation now. That's your wonderful name, we pray. As the panel begins to play, I'd ask you, please stand your feet. Heads bowed, eyes close of God spoke to you this morning. Now's your chance to respond. Do you love people? Do you have that same love for people that God does, God sent his son, who's willing to sacrifice his only begotten son, to show us that he loves us. What are you willing to demonstrate this morning? What are you willing to sacrifice? See, because love is sacrifice. Bible says verse. All of us are familiar with, for God so loved the world that he gave, he gave he gave the most precious thing that anyone could ever possibly give. He gave us son. What are you willing to give? And demonstrating your love. For God, demonstrating your love for people, God spoke to you this morning, why don't you come this morning?

Speaker 2: Oh, to Jesus, I surrender all to him, I freely

Unidentified: give I will ever

Speaker 2: love and trust him and his presence

Unidentified: daily live, I surrender. I surrender or.

Speaker 2: Oh, to thee, my plus savior, I surrender.

Speaker 4: Oh, amen. Well, thank you so much, Brother James. Appreciate that message for us this morning. I don't think there's any doubt in any of our minds the world is looking for love, someone to love them. And we have a love. Our God is love. And we need to be sharing that love with one another and with the world around us. Thank you so much again, James, if you don't mind to make your way back to your table, be back there with Amber and your kids. That way folks can come by and greet them. Please go by their table, pick up one of their prayer cards and commit to praying for them. And I know you'll do that and appreciate them being here with us and that good message this morning. Thank you for being here as well. I do appreciate each one of you making the effort to be here today and get the kids ready and dressed and in the car. Breakfast. Well, maybe not breakfast, but to get here. And we're so glad to see each one of you have several families out of town this weekend. So if you see somebody notice somebody is not here, be sure to send them a text or something. Just let them know, hey, we missed you. Hope you had a good time, but we'll see you next week. Uh, well, let's be in prayer for one another. And I did want to remind everybody that the Mullet's are hosting a welcome party for Claire Snezana. And we're glad to have her here at our I see you back there. Glad to have her here at our church. And and so you can go by there. I believe it's from two to five and they'll have hot dogs and and bounce house for the kids. And so, uh, goodbye. They said no gifts, but just want to celebrate her being here and making it home and praise God for her being adopted by the Mullet's. So anyways, don't forget Mission Committee for thirty service tonight at five thirty and we'll look forward to seeing you there. Uh, I'd like to ask, uh, let's see where the McGuire or their he is really McGuire is going to come close in a word of prayer once. Uh. Oh, yes, choir tonight, choir be here for 30, but once for Maguire is done praying, then you are dismissed.

Speaker 6: Lord, we thank you for the opportunity to come to your house. We thank you for our message this morning, our main service and our Sunday school time, will warden, and will you just thank you so much for our church family, Lord. And we just hope that our prayer is that we can love one another as your first loved us, Lord, and just help us to carry that love over to serving you in spreading your word. And even as we go through the upcoming week, we just pray that we'd be the example to others to show them that love that you show it for us has two things in your name. Amen.

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