2017 Bible Reading Plan
Commit to spending some time each week in 2017 paying attention to the message of the prophets! Download the Bible reading schedule here. This week's reading is Nahum 1-3.
Thinking Again About Rainbows by Joshua Creel
"Can you tell me what the rainbow means?" Most of us parents have asked this question, or one like it, to our children when a rainbow appears after a rainstorm. And we are always pleased when our children respond by describing the Lord's promise in Genesis 9.11-17, that He would never again destroy the earth by water. Every rainbow is a reminder of His faithfulness to this covenant. But that's not all it represents.
The Lord made reference to the rainbow covenant in Isaiah 54.9-10. Following the wondrous Messianic prophecy found in Isaiah 52.13-53.12, we see what the Messiah's work means for the Lord's people. God's people had been distressed because of their sins, but when the Messiah's work was completed the Lord's new people would have reason to rejoice. One reason for their rejoicing was that the Lord who faithfully kept His promise to Noah had also made a promise to them: "I have sworn that I will not be angry with you nor will I rebuke you... My lovingkindness will not be removed from you, and my covenant of peace will not be shaken" (Isaiah 54.9-10).
So, what does the rainbow mean? It means that the Lord who was faithful to Noah will also be faithful to me! And it should prompt faithfulness in me so I can be counted as one of His people.
Great Lessons for Our Summer Series by Steve Patton
We plan to continue our Wednesday Night Summer Series this year with some great guest speakers. We have asked 12 men from the area to speak on a topic of their choosing, lessons they think are particularly good and helpful. We chose from three suggested lessons from each speaker. The result is a variety of topics we feel will be relevant and helpful.
The topics include: The Story of Satan (Nathan Ward); From Generation to Generation (Don Truex); We Would See Jesus (David McClister); The King of Dinosaurs (Andrew Roberts); Babel: Seeking God's Presence (Luke Chandler) and many more intriguing topics for our edification.
The series will begin on June 14 (the week after our VBS) with Royce Chandler speaking on Significant Nobodies, a lesson stressing God's use of "unimportant" people to accomplish significant things in His plan.
Our Summer Series has been a very successful way of not only edifying us but giving us a chance to hear many of the capable men who proclaim God's Word in central Florida. All are skilled at preaching the Gospel. Start praying for its success and plan to be here every night for these lessons. Flyers will be available soon and the topics will be suitable to invite friends to hear.
From the desk of Taylor Pickup
"I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him! Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows." (Luke 12:4-7)
Fear is a topic that the Bible frequently addresses, perhaps because everyone struggles with it. Jesus uses the word, "fear" here several times. First, He says "do not fear" human beings, since the most they could ever do is destroy your physical body. This teaching is easy to understand, but hard to apply. Jesus went on to demonstrate this principle, showing us that righteousness is more important than fearing the punishment that man could deliver.
Next, Jesus reveals who it is that should be feared: God. Fearing man is unimportant when there is someone more significant to be feared. God can do much more than simply end physical life. He can deliver the sentence of eternal punishment.
Lastly, Jesus says that God Himself is the reason to "fear not." Even though Jesus had just said that God was someone to be feared, He now says that God should eliminate our fear. How do we harmonize these ideas? God’s fearful punishment is only for those who are opposing God. Rebelling against God is something that should always bring fear. But what about those who are seeking God? Those who accept God's authority and accept His care, need not fear. God’s care for them (which far surpasses that of sparrows) is a source of comfort. God cares for each individual person. Therefore, "fear not."
The Greatest Thing You'll Do by Joshua Creel
On October 14, 1947 Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier, flying faster than anyone had flown before... flying faster than anyone thought possible just a few years earlier. But to his fellow pilots, that epic feat was not the greatest thing Yeager had ever done. Yeager's greatest feats were the many times he aided his fellow pilots in distress. On one occasion a young pilot was losing oxygen at high altitude, causing him to become delirious and erratic. If the pilot didn't decrease his altitude, and soon, he would pass-out and die. Yeager flew out in front and talked the young pilot through the process of following him down to lower altitude, saving the young man's life. On another occasion a pilot had all of his windows ice up, rendering him blind. He was almost out of fuel, but how could he land the plane without the ability to see out of the windows? Well, up comes Yeager, flying alongside the blind plane talking the pilot all the way down to a safe landing.
Chuck Yeager's fellow pilots were well aware that he had broken the sound barrier. They new that he was a true Ace of the skies. But what made him truly great to them was that he cared and that he would do whatever he could to help them when in need.
“It is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave; just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:26–28) What's the greatest thing you will do?