Ashamed

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.—Romans 1:16

The greatest event in history was the coming of Jesus Christ into the world to live and to die for mankind. The next greatest event was the going forth of the Church to embody the life of Christ and to spread the knowledge of His salvation throughout the earth.

It was not an easy task which the Church faced when she came down from that upper room…. Left to herself the Church must have perished as a thousand abortive sects had done before her, and have left nothing for a future generation to remember.

That the Church did not so perish was due entirely to the miraculous element within her. That element was supplied by the Holy Spirit who came at Pentecost to empower her for her task. For the Church was not an organization merely, not a movement, but a walking incarnation of spiritual energy. And she accomplished within a few brief years such prodigies of moral conquest as to leave us wholly without an explanation—apart from God. Paths to Power, 7-8.

“We continue to need that power, Lord, or we still are hopelessly incapable of the task You’ve left us. Empower us for our work, Holy Spirit, even as You empowered the early church. Amen.”

Reprinted from Tozer on Christian Leadership by A.W. Tozer, copyright © 2001 by Zur Ltd. Used by permission of WingSpread Publishers, a division of Zur Ltd.

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Who’s Building?

Psalms 127:1Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.

Have you ever been a part of something that just never seemed to take off? No matter how hard you tried, no matter how much time, energy, or money you put in, you still didn’t seem to get anywhere. It’s like rowing against the current or spitting into the wind.

What’s that all about?

It’s quite possible that “that thing” was what the proceeding passage in Psalm is describing. We’re told that “unless the LORD builds the house, they labor in vain who build it.” This is essentially telling us that there are things in life that God is actively participating in and things that He isn’t. There are things He’s building and things He isn’t. And when it comes to those things He’s not building, every ounce of man’s labor expended in their direction will be in vain.

We can work and work at something all we want, but if God isn’t the one putting things together, all of our time, energy, and money will be wasted. The key to living a productive life is knowing what the Lord is building and joining in…not trying to get Him to join us in what we want to build.

God is into giving, so invest in giving and watch what happens. God is into serving, so invest in serving and watch what happens. God is into prayer, so invest in prayer and watch what happens. You’ll find that futility and frustration will turn into fulfillment and fruitfulness, because now you’re building where He is.

If you sense you’re toiling in vain at something, honestly examine whether or not its something the Lord is building.

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Bible study

CONTENTMENT 2 Psalms 103:1-5

A.  What a blessing it is to sit back and take a look at the whole picture of our lives and know that we are blessed!  David had his share of problems, setbacks, disappointments, and failures but knew that God had blessed his life from beginning to end.  Too often, we find the bad times the focus of our attention instead of the big picture.  Life is hard and short!

B.  We should to be a thankful people 365 days a year. 

C.  David tells his soul, the seat of his affections, to bless the Lord.  Sometimes we have to said, “Bless the Lord anyhow!”  It may not be good English but it is good theology and advice.  God is good.

D.  David blessed the Lord for all of His benefits which included, up to this point, his great forgiveness of sins along with his good health.

E.  David blessed the Lord for a hedged life.  The Lord not only spiritually saved him but He also saved David’s life from the destruction of sin, self, and Satan!  Look around at where you are and then take a look at the destruction of sin in the lives of people that you know and say, “But for the grace of God go I!”  God changed your desires and your direction when He saved you.

F.  We live in days of lack of contentment and satisfaction.  People are neither content or satisfied with who they are nor with what they have. 

1.  More is never enough!  Not only the world, but God’s people lack satisfaction and contentment.  Preachers are possibly the worst of all in this area.  Some continually move because they never learn contentment.  This morning, you are looking at a contented man! 

2.  The Bible says much about contentment.  We need to be a contented people but satisfaction is another matter.  Let me explain the difference.  Contentment does not mean that you necessarily like your situation but it is livable!  You will improve it if you can but, if you cannot, then it will be alright.  Satisfaction is entirely different. 

a)  Contentment is something that needs to be sought!  Timothy 6:6-7   But godliness with contentment is great gain.

b)  Contentment is something that must be learned!  Philippians 4:11  Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.  (I had the privilege to go see Miss Linda’s mother in Hospice House the other day.  She is bedfast and it was Thanksgiving.  I began to talk with her about blessings.  You may think that is odd but, before I left, we were singing together: “There’s a roof up above me, I’ve a good place to sleep, there’s food on my table, and shoes on my feet.  You gave me your love, Lord, and a fine family.  Thank you, Lord, for your blessings on me!”  I thank the Lord that I left her with a smile on her face.  For a few minutes, she was content.  For a few minutes, she was satisfied!)

c)  Contentment is something that must be realized!  Hebrews 13:5  Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

Luke 12:15  And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.

G.  When you are satisfied, you want no more.  When I have eaten to the point that I am not still overly hungry, I can be in a state of contentment.  When I have eaten to my fill, I am satisfied and want no more, look at verse 4: “Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” 

1.  I Am Satisfied With My Salvation: In Christ alone, full, free, and eternal! “That God should love a sinner such as I; how wonderful is love like this?”

John 4:13-14  Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again:  (14)  But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

2.  I Am Satisfied With My Deliverance:  From self to Christ, from darkness to light, death to life, bondage to liberty, rebellion to loving submission!  He delivered me; He is delivering me; and He shall deliver me!

2 Timothy 4:17-18  Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.  (18)  And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
           

  1. I Am Satisfied With My Bible: leads us and guides us, protects us and provides for us, encourages, it assures us, and it matures us.  You can trade “bibles” all you want but I am satisfied with the old King James Bible! 

Psalms 119:97  O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day.

4.  I Am Satisfied With My Church:  I neither want nor would have any other! The best people in the world grace these pews!

1 Corinthians 16:24  My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen.

Psalms 17:15  As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness.

Psalms 103:5  Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

Conclusion:  Let us be a happy people in 2023 let’s keep our hearts turn to our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.  The best things in life cannot be bought!  You can be content and not be happy but you cannot be satisfied and not be happy!

Isaiah 55:2  Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness.

Victory Baptist Church January 2023 victorypalmetto.com

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Wade’s Wednesday

There is Hope!

By Estera Escobar

Edward Payson (1783–1827), was an American educator and Congregational preacher. He led an extremely difficult life. The death of his younger brother shook him to the core. He struggled with bipolar disorder, and he was affected by extreme migraine headaches for days. If this wasn’t enough, a fall from a horse led to paralysis of his arm, and he almost died from tuberculosis! Surprisingly, his response wasn’t one of despair and hopelessness. His friends said that before Edward passed away, his joy was intense. How could that be?

In his letter to the believers in Rome, the apostle Paul expressed his complete confidence in the reality of God’s love regardless of circumstances. He asked with boldness, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31). If God gave His very own Son, Jesus, to save us, then He will provide everything we need to finish this life well. Paul listed seven seemingly unbearable situations that he himself faced: trouble, hardship, persecution, famine, nakedness, danger, and the sword (v. 35). He didn’t imply that Christ’s love would stop bad things from happening. But Paul said that “in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us” (v. 37).

Through the uncertainty of this world, God can be trusted completely, knowing that nothing, absolutely nothing, “will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (v. 39).

When you face seemingly hopeless situations, how do you typically respond? What promise of God can you cling to, knowing He is faithful to fulfil it?

Faithful heavenly Father, thank You for Your Son’s sacrifice so that we can have eternal life. Thank You that, no matter how gray life may seem, we can trust in Your promises.

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Tuesday With Karen

Certified Worthy

Certified worthy, is God’s holy name,
His glory, our voices, need to proclaim;
He is the One we know as Lord of lords,
More than worthy to be loved & adored!

Certified worthy is God’s righteousness,
By it is our life continually blessed;
He gives us much more than we deserve,
Refreshing us daily by His own Word!

Certified worthy, the Lord Jesus Christ,
He paid for our sin, the ultimate price;
He died on Calvary to wash away sin,
Giving lost souls a Way to ask Him in!

Certified worthy, the Saviour we know,
Cleansing all our sin, as His blood flowed;
He’ll be worthy of glory, honor, & praise,
In every day we live, forever & always!

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Our Walk

“Our Walk” and “our life style,” (the way we live) defines us to others that we are a Christian.  Another requirement is that we walk “in truth,” (a commandment from our Father in Heaven.)  We can define “in truth” as being faithful, and sincere to The God of Heaven and His Son Jesus The Christ.
However, in our walk it must to be as He commands.  In (v 6) He commands “that we walk after his commandments.” Jesus also states in:

John 14:15  If ye love me, keep my commandments.

Therefore, our “walk” should always be as close as possible to what God wants for us.  (Many Christians perceive this more as a suggestion from God.)  But when we read and literally accept what has been stated, our “walk” is a command.  There are NO suggestions, and there are no other interpretations or perceptions.
Our Walk is the definition of what we claim to be.  Many who know us, (though they tell us not to judge them) will judge us in “Our Walk.”  Bro D. L. Moody stated:  “Out of one hundred men, one will read the Bible, the other ninety-nine will read the Christian.”   As Christians, we are The Bible for so many.  It is so important that “Our Talk” match “Our Walk.”  “Our Walk” must match what God expects of us.
Part of that expectation is that “we love one another,” and in that love “keep my commandments.”  In this “love [for] one another,” we are to be concerned about their souls.   As a Christian, we are allowed to judge others’ sins, and counsel them concerning their involvement in sin.  We are to “love” the individual (regardless of their sin.)  However, we are NOT to “love” their sin.  We may come across as being a self-righteous person, and/or with an angry attitude.  This is why “Our Walk” is so important.  Those we approach must see Jesus’ Love in us by our compassion and concern.
We must remember that there was a day that we were where they are now.  “So, do you love Jesus?  Do you keep His commandments?”

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JOY

If you wanna be joyful, hang out with joyful people. How do you know the kind of people to hang out with? Find those who are joyful, because if a person has authentic joy, you just solved your problem. You’ve got the right person.

Catch the virus. Get infected with the joy of Jesus Christ.

J- Jesus first  O-Others  Y-Yourself

A life beyond amazing is being saved, a gift from GOD.

There are three tenses of saved:
1) Saved at the moment you accept or accepted Christ.
2) As you live your life you are continuing to be saved.
3) When you die and Stand before GOD to be judged you continue to be saved for all eternity

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Walking

“I will cause you to walk in My statutes” (Eze. xxxvi. 27).

The highest spiritual condition is one where life is spontaneous and flows without effort, like the deep floods of Ezekiel’s river, where the struggles of the swimmer ceased, and he was borne by the current’s resistless force.

So God leads us into spiritual conditions and habits which become the spontaneous impulses of our being, and we live and move in the fulness of the divine life.

But these spiritual habits are not the outcome of some transitory impulse, but are often slowly acquired and established. They begin, like every true habit, in a definite act of will, and they are confirmed by the repetition of that act until it becomes a habit. The first stages always involve effort and choice. We have to take a stand and hold it steadily, and after we have done so a certain time, it becomes second nature, and carries us by its own force.

The Holy Spirit is willing to form such habits in every direction of our Christian life, and if we will but obey Him in the first steppings of faith, we will soon become established in the attitude of obedience, and duty will be delight.

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Friday Funnies

Cranky Beautician Arguing with her Customer

A woman came into the beauty shop one day to get her hair fixed.  Her beautician was noted to always be complaining about most everything.  The customer stated that she was planning on leaving for Rome in a few days.

Beautician: Rome…Rome…Why that is one of the dirtiest cities you could ever go. How are you going to get there?

Customer: We are flying Continental Airlines.

Beautician: Continental…They are the worst airline! And they have the ugliest hostesses. Where are you staying?

Customer: We are staying in the Villa.

Beautician: Villa…Villa! Why that is so overrated and way too expensive. I wouldn’t stay there if I were you. What are you going to see?

Customer: We are planning on seeing the Pope.

Beautician: Why girl, you would be lucky to even see him from long distance. Don’t you know everyone wants to be around him. You won’t be able to get within a mile of him.

A month went by and the customer went back to the beautician, hoping to break her of her bad habits. The beautician asked her what she has been doing and the customer replied that she had just got back from Rome.

Beautician: Rome…I bet your flight was bad.

Customer: No, the flight was great. They had actually overbooked the flights and gave us first class seating and fed us steaks all the way to Rome. And our hostess was the most handsome man I had ever seen!

Beautician: Well. What about the Villa?

Customer: Funny you should ask. The Villa had just completed a $5 million restoration. They were also overbooked and we were forced to stay in the owner’s personal villa. Wow! The accommodations, the service, we had everything, we lived like kings!

Beautician: Well…what about the Pope?

Customer: We took the tour to the Vatican. One of the guards taped us on the shoulder and stated, “The Pope often entertains a few people now and then, would like to have a personal visit with the Pope?”

Beautician: I can’t believe that. What did the Pope say?

Customer: He took one look at me and asked, “That’s the worst hair-do I had ever seen! Who fixed your hair?”

COURT
Lawyers should never ask a Southern grandma a question if they aren’t prepared for the answer. In a trial, a Southern small-town prosecuting attorney called his first witness, a grandmotherly, elderly woman to the stand.
He approached her and asked, “Mrs. Jones, do you know me?”

She responded, “Why, yes, I do know you, Mr. Williams. I’ve known you since you were a young boy, and frankly, you’ve been a big disappointment to me. You lie, you cheat on your wife, and you manipulate people and talk about them behind their backs. You think you’re a big shot when you haven’t the brains to realize you never will amount to anything more than a two-bit paper pusher. Yes, I know you.”

The lawyer was stunned! Not knowing what else to do, he pointed across the room and asked, “Mrs. Jones, do you know the defense attorney?”

She again replied, “Why, yes, I do. I’ve known Mr. Bradley since he was a youngster, too. He’s lazy, bigoted, and he has a drinking problem. He can’t build a normal relationship with anyone and his law practice is one of the worst in the entire state. Not to mention he cheated on his wife with three different women. One of them was your wife. Yes, I know him.”

The defense attorney almost died.

The judge asked both counselors to approach the bench and, in a very quiet voice, said, “If either of you idiots asks her if she knows me, I’ll send you to the electric chair.

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Bible Study

CONTENTMENT Philippians 4:10-19

A. Life is full of “ups” and “downs.” Not just in the area of trials and tribulations but also in the area of finances. The area of finances is one that affects all of us at some point in life because of the natural flow of life.

Our youth, according to them, are basically “broke.” Been there and done that. I pushed a mower around town, raked leaves, and help around the house. We have all been there.

  1. When we were young families, who are raising children, were “truly” broke at times. Been there and done that but loved it. I had Mavis and the boys around me in our home and they were good days; they were great days; they were wonderful days.

B. Easton’s 1897 Bible Dictionary. “Contentment is a state of mind in which one’s desires are confined to his lot whatever it may be. It is opposed to envy, greed, ambition, anxiety and fretting. It arises from the inward disposition. Contentment is the offspring of humility, and of an intelligent consideration of the integrity and generosity of divine providence, the greatness of the divine promises and our own unworthiness as well as from the view the gospel opens up to us of rest and peace hereafter.”

C. Contentment is Taught. Vs. 12. “Instructed” I call this the “School of Hard Knocks.” Life is hard and, when you know this, you can make it! “Every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.” Life will give you a college education.

D. Therefore, Contentment must be Learned! Vs. 11. “For I have learned.” It is no big deal to be content in good times. I have heard people say, “Life is good!” but they were not sitting where I sat and they were not walking in my shoes. Let me say that life is good but all of us have a tendency to not be as content in the hard times as we are in the good.

E. First of all, let us look at some verses dealing with our subject:

Hebrews 13:5-6 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. (6) So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.
Psalms 37:16 A little that a righteous man hath is better than the riches of many wicked.
Proverbs 13:25 The righteous eateth to the satisfying of his soul: but the belly of the wicked shall want.
Proverbs 15:16 Better is little with the fear of the LORD than great treasure and trouble therewith.
Proverbs 16:8 Better is a little with righteousness than great revenues without right.
1 Timothy 6:6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.

F. Let say again that Paul was in PRISON! “For I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.”

  1. State – Where you are. Paul was content in prison where he was! Paul was content to just serve the Lord in whatever capacity He would allow he to have.
  2. State – What is going on. Paul was content with the persecution he suffered. 2 Corinthians 12:9 promised Paul the sufficient grace of God for suffering and it was enough.
  3. State – Who you are with. Paul was content with the people who surrounded him during his incarceration. Paul had many, as all of us have had, who forsook him in the hard places of life but—thank the Lord—there were some who stood with him and he was content with these who loved him.
  4. State – What you have. Paul was content with the possessions God gave him. Paul “lacked” but he did not “want.” The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want!
  5. State – What you do not know is coming. Paul was content in the providence of God for his life. Paul was content with the “state” that God had allowed him to be in but was also content with what the Lord would do with him.

Victory Baptist Church January 2023 victorypalmetto.com

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