1. Pastors Message
2. This edition's Bible quiz question
3. Inspiration. This month: Joy.
4. July is Independence Day
5. August is the start of a new school year
6. September is Labor Day
7. Why do we... Give Testimony.
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Greetings in the name of Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Let us seek to serve God in all we say and do! We believe the Bible is the infallible Word of the Living God, and we need to live, teach and preach the Gospel in all that we say and do. Let us keep our focus on Jesus Christ, no matter what the world or our society says.
God is worthy of our worship and prayer. Christ loved you so much that He died on the cross that you and I have the gift of eternal life and one day be with Him in heaven. If we will repent of our sins and receive Him into our hearts as our personal Lord and Savior.
I encourage you to be faithful to our Lord and his Bride, the church. Let us be committed and serve Him in the beauty of His holiness.
Pastor Terry Johnson
When John says 'I am the voice of one calling in the desert, Make straight the way for the Lord, what prophet is he quoting??
Answer at the bottom.
GOD'S JOY IS INSIDE YOU
As God’s children, we have the Holy Spirit living inside us, and with Him come all the fruits of the Spirit, including joy (Galatians 5:22-23). Even though there are so many challenges going on in the world right now, we can still have joy. In fact, it’s incredibly important that we hold on to our joy, because the joy of the Lord is our strength (Nehemiah 8:10). We all have days that are overwhelming. Even in the middle of turbulent times, there are steps you can take to open your heart to the genuine, deep joy that Jesus wants you to have (John 17:13).
#1 – STOP TRYING TO FIGURE EVERYTHING OUT
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
When we choose to acknowledge God in the middle of our problems, we open the door for Him to begin to work in our situation, and for joy to begin to come back to our hearts.
This doesn’t mean we should neglect our own responsibilities, but it does mean that we can learn to trust God to provide the answers we need at the right time (Isaiah 30:21; 41:9-10; 58:11).
#2 – FORGIVE QUICKLY
Forgiveness frees us from the devastating, long-term damage of bitterness, and makes it possible for us to truly enjoy our life again.
God’s Word tells us to forgive quickly and often (Ephesians 4:26; Matthew 18:22), even when we don’t feel loving feelings toward that person (Ephesians 4:26; Matthew 18:22). If we don’t deal with our offenses, that pain will slowly but surely poison our lives, and we certainly won’t be experiencing the joy Jesus came to give us. Because He wants us to thrive,
#3 – REMIND YOURSELF EVERY DAY THAT GOD LOVES YOU!
God loves me—He paid a high price just so He could be in relationship with me (Galatians 4:4-5; 1 Corinthians 7:23).
He’s always thinking beautiful thoughts of me, and every day of my life was written in His book before I was born (Psalm 139:13-18).
Even when I was in my mother’s womb, God knew me, approved of me and wanted me (Jeremiah 1:5).
Jesus didn’t get stuck with me—He chose me for a specific, incredible purpose (Ephesians 1:4).
As you begin to really believe what God says about you in His Word, the joy that’s already in you will start to bubble up like never before!
#4 – LAUGH - IT MAKES YOU STRONGER!
A good laugh always makes me feel lighter and more rejuvenated afterward, and God knows that we need them often! He tells us in Proverbs 17:22 that “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.”
Proverbs 13:20 says that when you spend time with wise people, you’ll become wise, and I believe that when you hang out with joyful friends, you’ll grow in your ability to enjoy life.
When you feel frustrated, begin to look for the humor in the situation and laugh about your circumstances. Laugh again and again. Trust in God.
Civil religion is an old companion to American churches. Revolutionary-era pulpits pushed the cause of national identity. The Civil War divided one church from another over the same.
This companionship is gray-haired and venerable. It feels natural and neighborly. Of course, we should celebrate America! Hasn’t God blessed our nation?
Yes. He certainly has.
Celebrating Our Heavenly Citizenship
I remember attending an evening Bible study inside a backroom of Britain’s House of Commons in 1993. I was the strange American interning for a member of Parliament. Yet I remember experiencing an immediate sense of kinship with these fellow British staffers. Somehow, we shared a common language. I don’t mean English, but a deeper heart language of worship and allegiance. Our national differences remained, as apparent as our different accents, but their significance faded. More profound was common love and loyalty to a common King, whose name isn’t Charles, William, or Bill. And if that’s true for a weeknight Bible study, how much more for the service in which we gather around the Lord’s Table, where we declare ourselves “one body” (1 Cor. 10:17)
Church gatherings represent nothing if not a celebration of our heavenly, not earthly, citizenship (Phil. 3:20). The Lord’s Table is by definition a multinational one.
Certainly, Christians should thank God for any good that he has given through one’s nation. Paul argued in the Athenian Areopagus that God himself marked the times and boundaries of the nations (Acts 17:26). He exhorts churches to intercede for our rulers, to give thanks for them, to honor them (Rom. 13:7; 1 Tim. 2:1–2).
Pray for America’s prosperity on every front: in our schools, our businesses, our military, our entertainment industry, our homes. Christians have a vested interest in promoting just, fair, happy, and healthy nations, because free and peaceful nations provide an opportunity for people to get saved (1 Tim. 2:3). They provide a platform for God’s work of redemption.
American saints need to beware an alternative strategy of working against Jesus—not the strategy of keeping Christianity out, but of bringing the national in, thereby blurring the line between our Christian identity and our national one. You can know that’s happening whenever we begin declaring America—not the church—as “the city on the hill,” as Presidents Kennedy and Reagan both did.
So thank God for our nation on the Sunday nearest July 4. Praise God for his country-sized blessings.
We don’t want non-Christian Americans to believe they are us simply because they love the flag. No, they must love the cross, and we love them most by pointing not to the flag, but to the cross.
Parents, it is time for a long deserved break…. From the kids. That’s not really how it works. A parents job is never done. Part of this is inspiring our kids for the new school year. Some kids cant wait, some wish they could wait longer. Starting a school year can truly be difficult. The end of the school seems so far away. Even the semester can seem agonizingly slow, but take heart if you’re a Christian; God goes with you, and more than that, He is in you.
Proverbs 1:7 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.”
There is nothing more important for a student to know than the fear of the Lord is the very beginning of wisdom. It begins there and stays there. Students will be under a lot of influence in school and be exposed to a lot of different philosophies and theories. The student must guard their mind by staying firmly in the Word of God, daily. He or she can find wisdom and instruction there because it is God speaking to us, however the fool will despise this godly wisdom and instruction from the Bible and pay for it in their life, even while in school.
1 Samuel 12:24 “Only fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart. For consider what great things he has done for you.”
When we are in school, we’re trying to accomplish something but when we are, we must show by our lives that we fear the Lord more than we fear being embarrassed. Schools are small enough that things get around and many people may find out you’re a Christian. When we stop to think back about all God has done, and that is immeasurably good, then we’ll have less fear about what others think. A person who’s trusted in Christ is on a journey toward the kingdom and this should make us realize we must fear the Lord, not fear the peers.
Proverbs 15:5 “A fool despises his father’s instruction, but whoever heeds reproof is prudent.”
Solomon often didn’t take his own advice because he married foreign women and fell into idolatry. This tore the kingdom apart; only because Solomon didn’t follow the wise council of his father, King David. He heard his father’s advice; he just didn’t listen. It cost him much and Israel would never be the same again.
Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
I should have memorized this verse when I was young because when I started high school as a freshman, I was a skinny little runt. If I was a fish, they’d throw me back, but many children feel much the same way when they start school in a new environment, or moving up to middle school or high school, and even college. It’s a little interesting when you start the school year out and you don’t know anyone or very few at least. Think of this; God was with you last year in school…and He’s not going anywhere this year. He’s going to be “with you wherever you go.”
Philippians 4:6 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”
This is given in a command form from the Apostle Paul. He tells the Philippians to stop being anxious about everything. Take that same “everything” and in prayer with thankfulness, make all of these requests to God. A prayer that’s full of gratitude will be a prayer that brings a better attitude. Being thankful is a choice, so just put all of your worries about school (relationships, friends, grades, papers, homework) in His hands and thank Him; even in a storm. You do that and “the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil 4:7).
Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”
Part of a godly definition of success is to not be “wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil” (Prov 3:7). If you’re wise in your own eyes, then you’re not acknowledging God, you’re only acknowledging your own wisdom, but that won’t help to straighten the path. Besides, if you and I aren’t trusting in the Lord, we’re trusting in our own understanding, and that’s not going to end well.
Psalm 56:3-4 “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me?”
Notice the psalmist said “When I am afraid,” and not “If I am afraid.” Strangely, that gives me comfort to know that I’ve not been the only one to be afraid at times. I remember entering a new school and a few years later, a new college, and I didn’t know a soul! It was so odd being in the class where most everyone else knew one another, but I didn’t know anyone. What I decided to do was to start making friends. After a time, I had friends too, and felt like I fit in better, but I had to make the first move. You might too if you’re at a new school. As it turned out, one of the men I became friends with was in the same position I was.
Thinking of this my first thought was of one of my favorite songs. “I’m not tired yet!”
Some people hate to do it. Some love to do it. Some go to great lengths to avoid doing it. Some do it too much. While there are many different attitudes toward work, one thing remains constant: work must be done. Since the Garden of Eden everyone has worked or depended on someone else's work for their survival. Work sets a person's lifestyle—where you live, when you sleep and eat, the time with family, even your dress.
Another constant about work is the fact that God has a clear perspective on it, and we are to align our thoughts with His. As you reflect on your own attitude toward work, consider the following 8 principles that outline God's view of work:
1) Work is ordained by God. It was His creative invention from the beginning. The Bible declares that God worked (Genesis 1). By working we resemble God. Like God, you have the ability to work, make plans, implement them, and be creative. Additionally, God gave us the task of ruling over and taking care of His creation (Gen. Genesis 1:28, Genesis 2:15).
2) Work is for a lifetime. By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground (Genesis 3:19). God intends that humans are to work as long as they live. Meaningful activity plays a critical role in being a human being - whether paid or volunteer. The magical age of 65 shouldn't end meaningful, purposeful work.
3) Work is not a punishment. God did not create work as drudgery, but as a gift of fulfillment to life. A human being can do nothing better than...find satisfaction in his work. This too, I see, is from the hand of God, for without Him, who can eat or find enjoyment (Ecclesiastes 2:24-25)?
4) Work has three purposes: to provide money or resources to supply the necessities of life; to provide for a quality of life in the satisfaction of doing a job well; and to serve God.
5) Work calls for obedience. Even when the boss isn't looking, a good worker is consistent and diligent to the task and loyal to the organization (Colossians 3:22). The real boss is Jesus Christ. See your job as service to Him - not simply your employer. Employers should treat employees with respect and fairness.
6) Work should be done with excellence. You are to render service, as to the Lord, and not to men (Ephesians 6:6-7); not to be men-pleasers but God-pleasers. God's standard of excellence needs to be the human standard.
7) Work is honorable. All professions and all kinds of work, assuming they are legal and biblically ethical, are honorable before the Lord. There is no dichotomy between sacred and secular work. All work brings glory to God and fulfillment to you, if it is done to God's glory (1 Corinthians 10:31).
8) Work provides an opportunity for witness. You manifest a powerful message, both verbal and nonverbal, of a supernatural approach to work. The world today needs this powerful witness to the reality of Christ and the difference that He makes in His followers. (Matthew 5:16)
Why do we?
Sharing your testimony with others is a must for all Christians. When giving your testimony you tell how you came to trust in Christ alone as your Lord and Savior. You tell how God opened your eyes on how you were a sinner in need of a Savior.
We are sharing with others different events leading up to our salvation and how God has worked in our lives to bring us to repentance. Testimony is a form of praise and honor to Christ.
We also use it as a way to encourage others. Know every time when you’re going through trials and sufferings in life, that’s an opportunity to share a testimony of how God worked in your life and made you stronger.
Testimony is not only the things that we say. The way we live our life is a testimony to unbelievers as well.
Here are some quotes from different people on Testimony.
“Your story is the key that can unlock someone else’s prison.”
“Only God can turn mess into a message, a test into a testimony, a trial into a triumph, a victim into a victory.”
“Your testimony is the story of your encounter with God and what role He has played throughout your life.”
“What God is bringing you through at this very moment will be the testimony that will bring someone else through. No mess, no message.”
“If you give it to God, He transforms your test into a testimony, your mess into a message, and your misery into a ministry.”
“The unbelieving world should see our testimony lived out daily because it just may point them to the Savior.” Billy Graham
“Your personal testimony, however meaningful it is to you, is not the gospel.” R. C. Sproul
“Scripture will ultimately suffice for a saving knowledge of God only when its certainty is founded upon the inward persuasion of the Holy Spirit. Indeed, these human testimonies which exist to confirm it will not be vain if, as secondary aids to our feebleness, they follow that chief and highest testimony. But those who wish to prove to unbelievers that Scripture is the Word of God are acting foolishly, for only by faith can this be known.” John Calvin
“While we cannot know a person’s heart, we can see his light. Allowing sin to go unconfessed can dim God’s light and hinder the effectiveness of a life’s testimony.” Paul Chappell
“That is what it means to be saved. You declare that you belong to another system of things. People point to you and say, “Oh, yes, that is a Christian family; they belong to the Lord!” That is the salvation which the Lord desires for you, that by your public testimony you declare before God, “My world has gone; I am entering into another.” Watchman Nee