October 1, 2017
“The Just Shall Live by Faith”
This phrase is used four times in God’s Word. I kind of think that God is trying to get something into our thinking about how to live life here on earth as His children. It is pretty clear that God is calling us to live a life that is against our human nature. It is our natural mindset to live according to our physical abilities and our own understanding. However, God calls His children to live according to a very different philosophy. God wants us to live by trusting Him in every aspect of life. He wants us to live life trusting His Word, His Spirit, and His ability to help us live obediently to Him. Whatever He tells us to do or not to do is possible with His help if we will trust in Him and act in obedience. Every believer is called and commanded by God to do many of the same things. We are all commanded to give of our time, our talents, our treasures, and our testimony; all of which He has entrusted into our care for His glory. However, the reality is that many of God’s children are sinning against Him in these basic areas of obedience. Far too many of the believers on earth today are using the gifts of God entrusted into their care for their own desires, ambitions, and purposes instead of living by faith and being faithful to God. If every believer in Summerville Baptist Church and every other biblical church would live by faith, trusting God and His ability to enable them to obey His Word in these and other areas of life, we would see so much more accomplished for His glory on earth. We are not reaching our full potential as a church here at Summerville. We have people who are not giving the Lord what He is deserving of in their time, talents, treasures, or testimony. They are robbing God of His glory in them and through them unto others. There is so much more we could see accomplished right here in our local ministry as well as in our missions outreach into the world. Would you be willing to live like Joseph and reach the potential that God has placed within your life? Would you be willing to trust Him and obey Him no matter what your circumstances may be? Would you be willing to use part of your time to serve Him? Would you be willing to exercise the gifts and abilities He has given you to serve Him in ministry through His church in this place? Would you be willing to help others hear about how God saved you from the destruction of your sins? Would you be willing to give part of your finances to support His work here and support others doing His work in other places? Would you be willing to live by faith?
September 10, 2017
Today as we gather in worship and continue our study in the life of Joseph, we are also recognizing our daily heroes that serve to protect us from the malicious violence of evil people and rescue us when disasters take place. Joseph went from being an imprisoned slave to becoming a national hero to the nation of Egypt and the surrounding nations as well. He was exalted to second in command over the Egyptian Empire because of his insight, understanding, trustworthiness, and strategic thinking. He not only identified the looming problem of a devastating famine, but he also had a strategic plan that if executed skillfully would protect much people alive, as he would later put it. God had uniquely and purposefully gifted Joseph for “such a time as this,” and now God was using him in a powerful and great way to show forth His power and majesty as the true God over all things. Much like God used Joseph as a public servant to serve and protect the citizens of a city, nation, and other people groups; so too does God use those who serve to protect and care for us today. In the Romans 13, God actually calls those who serve as armed enforcers of law and justice His own ministers. That would include our military as well as federal, state, county, and city law enforcement personnel. Every day these public servants, along with our fire service, medical, EMT, and first responder personnel, serve to protect us and our way of life. These people are available to aid us and bless us in our worst moments of life. As many of us have seen images of these public servants as well as fellow citizens helping their neighbors in the flooding left by Harvey, we are thankful for those who serve. We need to daily pray for these workers, and we need to express our appreciation to them for their service. The tragic attack on the World Trade Center Towers of September 11th many years ago is a constant reminder to us all of the dangers these public servants face on our behalf. In the battles against terror since that day, we are ever aware of the dangers that our military servants face on our behalf in harms-way as well as in their training for battle. It is critical that we never forget the dangers of attack by those who hate our nation, and we should never neglect to pray for the safety and well-being of those who serve to protect us.
September 3, 2017
Believe God & His Word
Joseph clearly was a faithful believer in God and His Word. Joseph did not allow the people around him or the situations of his life to cause him to doubt the promises that God gave to him or the God that gave these promises to him. Throughout history there have been people and men who have started religions. They have said the reason they are starting their church or writing their religious books is because the true Bible from God and the true church of God have been lost. They say that God was using them to establish His new true church or record His new true Scriptures. Well, either they are true and believable or God is. I am going to believe God and His Word over any man and their words every time. You have to decide this for yourself just as I have and just as Joseph did. When you come to this place of conviction, it settles a lot of the instability that many Christians are suffering from and what Satan is using to cause them to forfeit the peace they could have from the Lord. Why I believe God has preserved His Word through the lineage of the King James Bible is settled for me in Psalm 12:6-7, Matthew 5:18, I Peter 1:25, and many others. God’s true Word was not hidden for hundreds of years between the Textus Receptus and the Westcott and Hort Greek texts as some would like us to believe. I also believe in the perpetual reproduction of true Biblical churches from the time of Christ to today and until the Lord returns to take us into Heaven. Matthew 16:18-19, I Corinthians 11:26 and many others settled this matter for me. Jesus said “the gates of hell will not prevail against it,” and I believe Him. God inspired Paul to record his word to the church of Corinth about the correct observance of the Lord’s Table until Jesus returns, and I believe God knew what He was saying to Paul. Each person must come to their own conclusion on these and other truths, but let me encourage you to trust God over man and don’t let other people do your thinking for you.
August 27, 2017
Giving God the Glory He Deserves
The God of the Bible is a great and good God who is worthy of glory for all He has done and from all He has created. It never goes well for those who try to steal God’s glory for themselves; the Bible is full of examples of that result. Joseph is an example of one who continually gives God the glory He deserves, and it is critical for believers in the Lord today to do the same. We need to give God glory for the good things He does for us. It is imperative that we let those around us know what the Lord means to us personally. The older generation of adults must communicate what we have learned, seen, and experienced about the Lord with those who are coming up behind us. Our children and grandchildren need to hear us share with them about the goodness and greatness of our God. The lost around us need to hear the children of God talking about who He is and what He has done for them in their relationship with Him. They need us to share with them how they can enjoy a personal relationship with the living God of the Bible in their own lives. God deserves to have His children telling others about Him. He deserves the glory for what He has done for each one of us. The Bible is filled with directives to proclaim the truth of God to others, to give God the glory due unto Him, and to declare to others what God has done for His children. For us to refuse to open our mouth and make known the goodness and greatness of the one true and living God is sinful. For us to not care about those around us enough to introduce them to our great and good God is inhumane. Will you commit to sharing with one person who you do not know is saved about how good God has been to you? Let them know how they can enjoy His goodness in their own life. Pray for them to come to know Him.
August 20, 2017
We Must Get Our Eyes Off Ourselves
We humans, by nature, are prone to be very self-absorbed. If we do not consciously work against it, we will fall to it all the time. Some are surely more self-centered than others. But, if we are honest with ourselves, we must all admit that we can become guilty very easily. If we have any hope of even coming close to the Christ-life that we are called to live, then we must get our eyes off ourselves and get them onto what God has called us to look on—Him and others! By looking to Him, we are helped from becoming so inward thinking that we only care about our hurts, our needs, our enjoyment, our life. We can know Him, do His will, and learn to be used by Him to make a difference in the world around us. By looking on others, we can become a tool in His hand to make the difference that He has created us to make through Him in the lives of others. God created each, and everyone, of us to be used as a tool in His hand to make a difference in the world we live and the lives we live around every day. We were not created for yourself nor for your own glory, but rather for God and His glory. You and I have not been given life to live it for ourselves or for what we want to get out of it, but rather for Him to use our lives to have His impact on the lives around us. We must see ourselves in the light of these biblical truths and realities, or we will never have any hope of reaching our potential while we are here on earth. God built you on purpose for His purpose to be accomplished through you in His work on the earth while you are here. Far too many people who call themselves Christians and even faithfully worship the Lord religiously are not living for the Lord practically each day. They are not living in great evil or worldliness in the eyes of others. But they are so consumed with living their life, they are failing to live the Christ-life they were called to live when they became a follower of Jesus as their Saviour. This is also a sin according to James 4:17.
August 13, 2017
Faith Produces Faithfulness
This week I heard a sermon about the productivity of faith. Faith produces actions of obedience and faithfulness to our Lord God Almighty. If your faith is not being productive, there is a problem. The problem is either with your faith, what it is based on, or in whom your faith is placed. People put there faith in all kinds of things and different people. The strength of our faith is not only in our exercise of our faith, it is also in the focus of our faith. Life is challenging and trials are normal for us all; it is faith that helps us get through those hard times with success. As we read the Bible, we find example after example of men and women who put their faith in the Creator God and His truth to find out that He was sufficient for their need. In Hebrews 11, we find the Hall of Fame of Faith and many of these people are recorded for their faith in the Lord and what their faith was able to produce in their lives. In real life, our faith is challenged on a regular basis. Satan wants to use fear to defeat us, limit us, and keep us from experiencing the greatest that we could enjoy in the Lord. Our fear collides with our faith every week, and it is the strength of our faith that will help us not become a casualty in those collisions. Each of us must ask ourselves about the productivity of our faith. What has your faith produced in your life this past week? What will your faith produce through your life in the lives of others this coming week? God wants us to trust Him for great things in us and through us by trusting Him greatly. He does the producing while we do the trusting as we make ourselves yielded to Him working through us. If each of us will trust God and His Word as we live through this coming week, we can experience Him producing obedience in our lives and faithfulness through our lives for His glory as a testimony of faith to all who live around us. Let’s see what faith can produce!
August 6, 2017
By the Kingsmen Quartet
Excuses, excuses, you'll hear them every day.
And the Devil he'll supply them, if the church you stay away.
When people come to know the Lord, the Devil always loses
So to keep them folks away from church, he offers them excuses.
In the summer it's too hot. And, in the winter, it's too cold.
In the spring time when the weather's just right, you find some place else to go.
Well, it's up to the mountains or down to the beach or to visit some old friend.
Or, to just stay home and kinda relax and hope that some of the kin folks will start dropping in.
Well, the church benches are too hard. And, that choir sings way too loud.
Boy, you know how nervous you get when you're sitting in a great big crowd.
The doctor told you, "Now, you better watch them crowds. They'll set you back."
But, you go to that old ball game because you say "it helps you to relax."
Well, a headache Sunday morning and a backache Sunday night.
But by worktime Monday morning, you're feeling quite alright.
While one of the children has a cold, "Pneumonia, do you suppose?"
Why the whole family had to stay home, just to blow that poor kid's nose.
Well, the preacher he's too young. And, maybe he's too old.
The sermons they're not hard enough. And, maybe they're too bold.
His voice is much too quiet-like. Sometimes he gets too loud.
He needs to have more dignity. Or, else he's way too proud.
Well, the sermons they're too long. And, maybe they're too short.
He ought to preach the word with dignity instead of "stomp and snort."
Well, that preacher we've got must be "the world's most stuck up man."
Well, one of the lady's told me the other day, "Well, he didn't even shake my hand."
This is a song I heard years ago and I have been recently reminded of how true it still is. It is not just children who are professionals at making up excuses to remove blame of their actions or decisions. We adults find help from Satan in this very issue when we need help feeling better about a poor choice.
The Power of Influence
Every one of us needs to be cautiously aware of the power that our influence has on other people. As parents, older siblings, even older adults, we all have people that are looking to us for leadership and guidance. Our choices are being watched by these people who are affected by our influence, and we will be accountable to God for the way that our influence impacted those who are looking up to us. Charles Barkley made the quote, “I am not your child’s role model,” but in reality he was a role model to many children. We may not want to have influence on others, we may not want others to be influenced by our lives, we may not want to be accountable for our influence; but what we want does not change the fact that we are. Every one of us is being watched by others. Every one of us is being followed by others. Therefore, it is paramount that we follow the Lord in our lives so we can influence them toward Him instead of away from Him. I have seen younger brothers follow in the steps of their older brothers for good and for evil. I have seen children follow in the steps of their parents for evil and for righteousness. I have seen younger teens follow in the steps of older teens into evil and into holiness. No matter if we like or not, if we desire it or not, if want to admit it or not; the fact is, we all have influence on others, and we are accountable and responsible for how our influence affects those who are under it. Parents, our choices about our involvement in church or lack of it, which church we are involved in, what we believe about God and His Word all has influence on our children and the direction we send them off into life. The habits we allow in our lives as parents, grandparents, and adults will invariably influence those coming behind us and affect their involvement in these same habits whether they be good or sinful, healthy or destructive. This is a reality that the Lord is constantly speaking to my heart about; I hope that you are hearing Him speak to your heart about it as well. I am sad when I see people acting like they are an island unto themselves and they do not even remotely think about how their choices and action will influence and impact those that are around them. God even says, “none of us liveth to himself” in Romans 14:7. We are answerable to God for how we live, and we are answerable for how our lives influenced others. Let each of us make sure that our influence on others is for God’s glory and their good.
July 23, 2017
Let God Help You Dream
God has created us to desire to achieve things in life. He has wired us to be motivated to accomplish things in our future. For us to fulfill God’s will for our lives, we need to let God give us our dreams and help us achieve our dreams. If we do not dream and if we are not motivated to achieve, then great things will never be accomplished in our lives. God does not want us to settle for status quo or sub-par. He wants our lives to be lived to the fullest and leave an impact that makes a difference in the world and the lives of others. We have guests with us today that are on a God given journey to see a dream become a reality. God has placed it in their hearts to serve the US Military by planting a church outside a base on foreign soil. In a few weeks, they will be moving to Okinawa, Japan, to begin the fulfillment of this burden or dream given to them by God. It has required much effort, sacrifice, perseverance, patience, and faith in the Lord to see this dream come true in their lives. Their dream is much like the one given to the Martins many years ago by the Lord. They, too, are on the same journey the Jellison family has been on for several years. The Lord has given the Martins the opportunity to get some on the job training in Military church ministry next year with the Jellison family in Japan. Okinawa is the place where God gave this burden of ministry to US Military to the Martins and I think it is wonderful that the first place to experience this ministry will be back there again. The Lord wants to give each of His children His dream for their lives and help them see those dreams come to reality. The question is will we make ourselves available, sensitive, and yielded to Him so He can do His work in us and through us. Walk with God each day in His Word and through His Spirit and let Him bring Himself the glory He deserves in each of our lives.
July 16, 2017
Treating Others Like Christ Wants You To
The Bible tells us nine times that God does not want us to treat people differently based upon what we can get from them or because they can benefit us. Showing favoritism to someone by ignoring the wrong they do because of who they are or ignoring the good they do because of who they are is always a bad thing to do. When we treat people based on the principle of God’s truth and love them, we will always treat them with grace and respect. If we are a follower of Christ, then we should follow His example in how we treat people. Jesus was always gracious in His dealings with people, but He was also principled in dealing with what is right and wrong no matter who the person doing it was. As parents, we need make sure that we deal with our easy children and difficult children the same. We need to correct wrong in our compliant child just as we do with our rebellious child. To ignore what is wrong just because we like someone or they can benefit us is never a good thing. To ignore things that are done well and right just because we do not like someone or they cannot benefit us is never the right thing to do. According to I John 2:6, God’s Word tells true followers of Jesus they ought to walk or behave like Jesus behaved. This truth applies to how we treat others as well. Biblical Christianity applies to everyday life just as much as it applies to what we believe. What we believe is supposed to influence how we act, how we talk, and how we treat people. Joseph’s beliefs showed up in his life when he was loved by his father and when he was betrayed by his brothers. His father, grandfather, and grandmother did not do that quite as well. We all need to work on living out our faith in our everyday life and dealings with others.
July 9, 2017
Three D’s of Daily Christian Living
There are certain things about being a believer that are instantaneous and once for all, while there are other things that are needed to be done continually, regularly, and daily. Forgiveness of all our sins to be able to be in a relationship with the Holy God is done once forever, as is receiving God’s righteousness to be able to be part of His righteous family. Being born into God’s family and adopted as an equal heir of His eternal inheritance is instant and forever. Receiving the gift of God’s Holy Spirit is instant and forever, as is having an eternal residence in Heaven with your Heavenly Father. However, there are other aspects of our Salvation and relationship with God that need to be done regularly and continually. Keeping things right with God and being cleansed of sinful actions to stay in close, intimate fellowship with our Heavenly Father needs to be done regularly and continually according to I John 1:9, which is written to believers. Being in tune with the Holy Spirit that is dwelling in you is something that is an ongoing, repetitive matter as well. As we make ourselves sensitive to Him, we learn to listen to Him speak to our heart, learn from Him as He teaches us His Word, experience His power more and more so we can serve Him effectively, and experience the victory we have in Christ over sin and temptation. There are several other aspects of our Christian life that need to maintained regularly and done continually. Three of them being with the letter D: Discipleship, Devotion, and Dependency are continual, daily, and regular. Following Christ is a decision to be made, but must be maintained daily. Being a disciple of Christ means being a follower of Christ and learning from Him and about Him as we walk in close fellowship and intimacy with Him. But for that to be our reality it requires us to be committed to it each day, which involves discipline on our part. Being devoted to the Lord in our lives is a decision that also requires daily maintenance. Dedication to anything is renewed each day to make sure we are maintaining our decision of devotion to whatever it might be. To faithfully fulfill our duty to something we decide to dedicate ourselves to must be a continual, daily commitment. To be dependent on something requires a regular replenishing of whatever we are dependent on. Some people are dependent on certain chemicals because their body is no longer functioning as it should. Some people make themselves dependent on chemicals by putting chemicals into their system that God never intended on being there at all. Their body craves the chemical they have made themselves dependent on by using it originally. If we are going to maintain our physical strength, we must be dependent on regular exercise. So, too, is our dependency upon God. Prayer, God’s Word, the Spirit’s power, doing right, all need to be daily habits that strengthen our dependency upon them and our filling from them. Our dependency on these things will help us be more dependable to the Lord, to others, and to ourselves living the kind of life that brings God’s blessings richly to us.
July 2, 2017
Intimacy With God
The word “intimacy” means a special closeness and familiarity with someone. It means to have a belonging with someone and an inseparable nearness. It is the reality that God intended to be experienced in a biblical marriage and what too many marriages do not have. It is what God desires children to enjoy with their parents and, unfortunately, too many do not for a variety of reasons. This is exactly what God wants each of His children to experience with Him and many Christians never enjoy. Intimacy is what Adam and Eve enjoyed with each other and their Creator God before sin came in to destroy it. They enjoyed His personal presence with them, talking to Him and listening to Him, walking in harmony together and in close fellowship without any hindrances. This intimacy with God was destroyed by their sin, and it is sin that keeps us today from experiencing true intimacy with God in our own lives. Salvation redeems for us and restores to us what sin steals and destroys in intimacy with God. However, even in the believer’s life as a true follower of Christ, it is our sinful choices that causes us to not enjoy real intimacy with our God and Saviour. It is sin that hinders true intimacy in our relationships with other people in our lives here on earth as well. In marriage, parenting, church families, and friendships, it is sin that hinders our experience and enjoyment of deep, soul level connections with people we care about. Intimacy with God and with others is what God created us for, equipped us to have, and even redeemed us to renew. But far too often we settle for a lesser quality of relationship with God and others than true, authentic intimacy. Let each of us strive to have the best and deepest relationships we can have with God and those He has placed in our lives for His glory.
June 25, 2017
God Calls Men to Lead
Leadership is not always easy nor is it always glamorous or glorious. Sometimes leading is difficult and discouraging, but it is still the will of God for each person in different ways. Older people are called to lead in the lives of younger people. Parents are called to lead in the lives of children. Many people are entrusted with leadership roles in the lives of people in a nation or community. Pastors are called to lead in a flock of believers as a shepherd under the Chief Shepherd’s direction with the help of deacons and godly men. Husbands and fathers are called to lead in their families as they follow the Lord in their own life. Leadership is more of a responsibility than it is a right. It involves a greater accountability for the role of leaders unto God than those who are being led. We have been seeing how poorly Jacob has been leading in his life even though God is still pursuing him and not giving up on him. Today, we will look at further bad leadership by Jacob and how it led to some bad consequences in his family. Leaders must think about the result of their decisions in leading the lives of others. Our decisions have serious repercussions in the lives of others. I am amazed at Joseph and how well he led in his own life personally and in the lives of the Egyptian people as a political leader and in his family even in a pagan land. If Joseph could do well with all of the negative influences in his life, so can any one of us here today if we will walk with God personally and privately like Joseph did.
June 11, 2017
We Must All Deal With God
No matter what anyone wants to say, think, or believe; sooner or later everyone is going to come face to face with the Almighty God of the Bible. While on earth, we have the freewill to choose what we want, believe what we want, and do what we want within the laws of the land; however, we will give an account for it all unto our Creator God. He is the Creator of us all and the Judge of us all. No matter who we are, where we come from, how we were raised, what our beliefs are, or what we have done in our lives, we will be judged by God. We will all answer to our Creator for the life, abilities, and opportunities He gave to us and what we did with them. We can use these things for our own gain and glory or we can choose to use them for His glory, but we cannot choose if we will be accountable to Him for our choice. Today, we are going to look at two men who had to deal with their Creator. They were both sneaky, tricky, deceivers; but they could not fake, deceive, or manipulate their way through this encounter with the Holy God. For both of them, their dealing with God changed them. It behooves us all to meet with our maker on a personal level before we finish life on earth and enter eternity. It is in our eternal best interest to come before Him willingly, repentantly, and obediently to seek forgiveness of our sins and to be brought into a right relationship with Him while we are still on earth. If we choose not to come before Him willingly before eternity, we will still have to do it in eternity. If we refuse to humble ourselves before Him willingly, we will still have to face Him in eternity. If we reject making things right with Him willingly in repentance before eternity, we will have no choice but to face our consequences for eternity. We must all deal with God sooner or later. If we do it early, willingly, and obediently, it is better for us later. If we wait until after life on earth is over, the result will be eternal separation from God in the place God prepared for the Devil and His angels; it will also have room for His deniers.
Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.
Summerville Baptist Church
507 Jefferson St
PO Box 164
Summerville, OR 97876
Phone: 541 534-9155
Sunday School 9:45am
Sunday Morning Worship Service: 11:00am
Sunday Evening Worship Service: 6:00pm
Wednesday Evening: 7:00pm
Please join us on Sundays and Wednesday for all ages! See "Ministries" for more information.
Call the church office for a ride @ 541-534-9155
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Sundays @ 9:00AM
La Grande & Union
Temporarily off the air and working to get back on.
Radio - 1450AM
Points to Ponder
Membership is made up of Union County residents including La Grande, Imbler, Elgin, Cove, Union, North Powder, and Summerville.