Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Most Exciting Announcement of All

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:8-11 (KJV)

Most of us dread the announcement time during church and find that time to be dull and boring, but this announcement that was given to the shepherds was anything but boring. The following are four reasons why the announcement to the shepherds is an exciting announcement for them and for us:

1) It is personal. The angels announced, “unto you,” to the common shepherds. The fact that God revealed the gift of Jesus to simple shepherds should be a comfort for all of us ordinary people. Paul suggests a possible reason in 1 Corinthians 1:26-29, which tells us that God chooses the humble things for grand purposes, and ordinary people to do extraordinary things. Today, centuries after the shepherds heard this heavenly declaration, the message is still personal.

2) It is universal. The angels announced that this savior was given “to all people.” The message of Christmas is still an evangelistic message to be given to all people around the world. While some of us might still struggle with the sin of racism, Peter declared in Acts 10:34-35 that God is no respecter of persons. Today, through missions, we still get to play a role in sending the message of Jesus all over the world.

3) It is timely. The angels declared that the savior was born “this day.” The birth of Jesus on earth fulfilled Bible prophecy and had been planned before the world was even created. It is fitting that every Christmas, Christians spiritually celebrate the birth of Jesus as if Christ is being born for the first time. We must encourage all to follow the blessing of the great Christmas carol, O Little Town of Bethlehem, “Cast out our sin, and enter in, be born in us today.”

4) It is timeless. Last, the angels shouted that the baby born was “a Savior.” People then needed Jesus, and people today need Jesus. From now until the end of time all people need Jesus.

Have you responded to this angelic announcement? And are you playing the role of an angel today by declaring to all that there is a Savior that was born in the City of David, which is Christ the Lord?

May God bless our Christmas season with many conversations that share the hope of the Savior born in Bethlehem!

-       Bro. Dave

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Standing on the Promises - A Journey Through Joshua

As we have been journeying through Joshua on Sunday Mornings, one theme that stands firm through the book is God's faithfulness to His promises. As the Israelites enter the “Promised” land, they have to stand on the promises of God.  When you get towards the end of the book of Joshua, you read in 21:45 “Not one word of all the good promises that the Lord had made to the house of Israel had failed; all came to pass.”

We have to also stand firm on God’s promises. I hope that you have been able to get your free copy of the Bible Promise Book that was given out in our services during the month of October. If not, you can pick up your copy at the information table in the back lobby of our sanctuary. I want to encourage you to brouse through the book and to take in the many promises of God as you battle fear, sin, and the devil. 

If I had to pick a theme song for the Journey through Joshua, it would be the Hymn, “Standing on the Promises of God,” written by Russell Kelso Carter (1849-1928). Although Carter was a professed Christian most of his life, it wasn't until a crisis with his natural heart that he began to understand the reality and power of Bible promises. At age 30, his health was in critical condition and the physicians could do no more for him. Carter turned to God for help and healing.

Carter knelt and made a promise that healing or not, his life was finally and forever, fully consecrated to the service of the Lord. It was from that moment that the written Word of God became alive to Carter. He began to stand upon the promises of healing, determining to believe no matter what his physical condition, no matter how he felt. Over the course of the next several months his strength returned, and his heart was completely healed! Carter lived another healthy 49 years.

The hymn Carter had written several years before his healing miracle became more than words and music to him. Standing on the Promises became an integral part of his life:

Standing on the promises of Christ my King, Through eternal ages let His praises ring,
Glory in the highest, I will shout and sing, Standing on the promises of God.

Standing, standing, Standing on the promises of God my Savior;
Standing, standing, I’m standing on the promises of God.

Standing on the promises that cannot fail, When the howling storms of doubt and fear assail, By the living Word of God I shall prevail, Standing on the promises of God.

Standing on the promises I now can see! Perfect, present cleansing in the blood for me;
Standing in the liberty where Christ makes free, Standing on the promises of God.

Standing on the promises of Christ the Lord, Bound to Him eternally by love’s strong cord, Overcoming daily with the Spirit’s sword, Standing on the promises of God.

Standing on the promises I cannot fall, Listening every moment to the Spirit’s call
Resting in my Savior as my all in all, Standing on the promises of God.

May God bless us to stand on His Promises, and like Joshua may we see that his promises will never fail!

- Bro. Dave

Sunday, September 29, 2013

The Blessed Life - A Study of the Sermon on the Mount

In our study of the Sermon on the Mount, happening on Sunday Evenings at 7PM, we have reflected on the words of Jesus concerning His Beatitudes. In the Beatitudes, found in Matthew 5:2-12, Jesus makes nine statements that start with the word “Blessed.” The word literally means “happy, fortunate, blissful.” Here it speaks of more than a surface emotion. Jesus was describing the divinely bestowed well-being that belongs only to the faithful. The Beatitudes demonstrate that the way to heavenly blessedness is opposite to the worldly path normally followed in pursuit of happiness. The worldly idea is that happiness is found in riches, merriment, abundance, leisure, and other such things. The real truth is the very opposite.

The Greek word for blessed, makarios, was the name of an island off of Greece—the Makarios Island. It was known as the blessed island because it was self-contained. The residents didn’t need to leave the island in order to get their needs met. The island offered everything that they needed. The natural resources of the blessed island were so thick, so rich, so fruitful, and so productive that everything they needed to enjoy their lives was already built-in. The inhabitants of the island were self-sustained and self-contained without having to run to another island to get their needs met. The blessed island provided everything they needed.

All the stuff you get is outside of you. The new car, the new house, and the new money are all fine … but they are all extra. They are a bonus. In the biblical world of being blessed, you should be okay being on the island. Just being in the Kingdom with the King ought to put you in a blessed location. One of the ways you know that you aren’t blessed yet in the biblical sense of the word is that you got to keep leaving the island to have fun. You need more than your relationship with God to have peace. You crave more than your communion with the Father to have joy. The blessed person finds their sufficiency with Him.
Is your joy today in Jesus or in material things? Are you dwelling on the island of blessedness with our Lord, or do you find yourself leaving that island in a vain search for happiness?

May God strengthen our faith to see the joy that can only come from Jesus, and may we invite as many as we can to the island,

-       Bro. Dave 

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Mission Trip to Mackville Road

The invitation has gone out through all the church to join together for a “Mission Trip to Mackville Road.” We have identified 173 houses that we would like to take the Gospel to, and we have planned out our Monday nights to go and survey the homes. 

While many have shown an interest in helping out, I know others are struggling with the desire to go and knock on doors. I can understand that struggle. I am certain that knocking on doors is not anyone’s preferred way to share the Gospel. But I am also certain that God is going to bless our teams with wonderful opportunities to share Jesus Christ with our neighbors. 

My prayer is that God will break us all out of our comfort zones and place us in situations where we cannot help but to talk to people about Jesus. Wrestling with the feelings of a comfortable Christianity, Nicole Winkel, writing for Christianity Today, attempts to answer the question, “Have we become too comfortable to share the Gospel?” I believe her observations correctly address the feelings of many of us: 

The Christian life is great, but at some point in our lives we might reach a point where our own comfort hinders us from looking at the needs of others.

I have to admit that I have become lazy over the years. Sadly I am not referring to my work. Much worse, I am talking about my attitude as a Christian.

It is easy to find yourself in a safe haven, especially if you are mainly surrounded by other Christians. Yet the real challenge begins when we step out of our comfort zone. For me, however, it does not stop there. The majority of us work or are friends with people, who do not share our belief. We might also, for example in my case, not have had a Christian upbringing. The problem I find myself faced with now is not that those around me do not know that I am a believer or that I find it difficult to tell them about it.

Since I became a Christian when I was 17, most people have accepted my faith and were interested in my lifestyle. But what happens, when you go a step further and actually do what God said in Matthew 28:19-20?

"[Go] and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you." (NIV)

What I noted is that if people were curious about my faith, it lasted as long as I did not make any attempt "to evangelise" them. But is that not what God asked us to do in the above-mentioned verses?

Whenever I meet new people, I will let them know that I am a committed Christian. But what does this actually mean? Can our level of commitment be measured by the frequency of our prayers, how often we read the Bible, go to church and attend prayer meetings? I believe that being committed as a Christian does not only entail that you take responsibility of your own life, but that you also let others know about what Jesus did for them 2013 years ago.

I have come to realize that I have turned into a selfish Christian, which actually is an oxymoron in itself - being a Christian and being self-centered at the same time. How is that supposed to work? I am saved, so I am good, but what about the millions of others, who do not know God. What will happen to them? It makes me cringe that I cannot even remember the last time I shared the Gospel with someone. There are no excuses for that, not a busy work schedule, my private life, or the fear of rejection.

May God break us out of our comfortable and lazy inactivity in the area of evangelism and bless us with a fire-hot passion to win souls! 

- Bro. Dave 

Monday, July 1, 2013

The Nature and Attributes of God - A Sunday Morning Study

Do you find yourself doubting God when you are faced with a difficult situation? Are you often frustrated by negative circumstances? Is it hard for you to trust God with the challenges of life?

People have many different perceptions of what God is like. Some see Him as an indulgent grandfather or a divine Santa Claus. Others see Him as a vengeful dictator. Many people fear God because they have a distorted understanding of His character. God not only wants you to view Him correctly, He wants you to know Him intimately.

How you view God and His involvement in your life touches every facet of who you are. Everything about your life—your desires, motives, attitudes, words, and actions—is influenced by your perception of God.
Even your self-esteem will improve once you realize the awesome greatness of God and the worth He places on you. When you have an accurate understanding of who God is and how He is involved in your life, you will be motivated to excel in the use of your time, talents, and abilities.

God is completely trustworthy. But you can trust Him only to the degree that you know Him. God has unlimited abilities, so He can do anything. He is all-powerful, ever-present, all-knowing, and sovereign. Nothing is too difficult for Him.

God’s character is of the highest integrity. He is morally perfect in every way, so He will always do the right thing. He is holy, absolutely truthful, righteous, and just. He will never betray your confidence.

And God is totally committed to His relationship with you, so you can experience the many blessings of His gracious goodness. He is loving, merciful, faithful, and never changes. He will always do what is best for you.

Are you in the midst of difficult circumstances? Are you facing challenges that seem beyond your ability to cope? Do not despair because God is with you and He wants to help you.

As we work through our Sunday Morning series on the Nature and Attributes of God, allow the truth about Him and His marvelous character to transform your situation and your life. Only then will you experience God’s best and become all He wants you to be. 

May God grow our knowledge of Him, and may it affect our worship, obedience, and joy!

- Bro. Dave

Sunday, May 26, 2013

A Catechism of Bible Teaching by John Broadus

Here is the Catechism of Bible Teaching by John Broadus:

Click here to download.

Useful for family devotions and growth in doctrine and salvation. This Catechism will be a helpful addition to your personal library of tools to help disciple your children and grandchildren.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Sunday Night Summer Extravaganza!

Every Sunday Evening during the months of June and July we will have special guests, fellowships, movies, and events. Please mark your calendars and make plans to attend!

May 26, 7PM – Dr. Shane Garrison will continue his series from our recent revival and preach on one of the seven churches of Revelation.

June 2, 6PM – Musician Kenny Evans will perform a concert of great songs of the faith.

June 9, 6PM – Church Movie Night – “October Baby” This powerful pro-life film was co-financed by Lifeway and produced by the Kendrick brothers. Rated PG13 for some dialogue about abortion, we will have a children’s movie showing in the basement for the kids.

June 16 – Father’s Day – No evening services.

June 23 (Time T.B.A)– VBS Family Night. Come out and see the class presentations from each of our Vacation Bible School groups.

June 30, 7PM – Dr. Shane Garrison finishes his series on the seven churches of Revelation.

July 7, 7PM – Come hear from an IMB missionary who is reaching a formerly unreached people group in one of the harshest climates on earth.

July 14, 7PM – Mission Trip Report Night. Hear testimonies from our mission team to Covington Kentucky’s Moore Activity Center.

July 21 – Details to come.

July 28, 6PM – Ice Cream Fellowship and church game night. 

Monday, April 1, 2013

Summer Mission Trip Profile

Where will we be going?  To the Moore Activity Center in Covington. Located at 304 Linden Ave. Covington, KY 41011. (phone number 859.261.2300)

When is this trip? Monday, July 8  Friday, July 12. While you are welcome to come and go at any time, our team will meet at the church at 9AM on Monday, July 8 and return on Friday, July 12 by 12 noon.

What is the Moore Activity Center? The Moore Activity Center is designed to show Love to inner-city individuals and families by developing the whole person (physical, mental, emotional, spiritual) through teaching, nurturing, mentoring, tutoring and lay counseling based on Christian values.

Under the direction of Amy Wilhelmus, the MAC is literally reaching thousands of people by "Meeting Needs - Sharing Christ" through the vehicles of various activities and programming: tutoring, family fun nights, bible programs, community service events, recovery programs, giveaways, summer programs and so much more.

How was the Moore Activity Center established? On April 1, 2000, South Side Baptist Church in downtown Covington, KY took ownership of the "Salty Dog Saloon" as an answer to 33 years of prayer of former pastor Harold Pike. With the financial help of the church, special friends Elaine & Jimmy Moore, and former saloon owners Mr. & Mrs. Salter, that saloon became South Side's and ultimately became the Moore Activity Center, known as the MAC. The MAC has become a beacon in the downtown Covington area, seeking to reach what some may call the unreachable.

What will we be doing?
Mornings - Construction and community work. Construction includes fixing up a bathroom, painting, floor work, plumbing, and landscaping. Community work includes helping with the food pantry, counseling, handing out fliers for the evening outreach, and feeding the poor.
Afternoons - Variety - more construction, community work, outreach, sightseeing, counsel with children during the day program, go to nursing homes ministry, evangelism, or taking a break.
Evenings - We are running a large "Backyard Bible Club" in the Covington community called "Fun in the Son." We will have to plan and implement this by ourselves and we can use our VBS material or any other material we desire.

What is the cost? While the trip is free, you will need to bring about $30 for eating out.

What about lodging?
-       The Moore Activity Center sleeps 14 in three different rooms. These rooms have beds for mission team guests. Two rooms sleep 4 and one room sleeps 6. There are two full bathrooms between these three rooms that have showers.
-       South Side Baptist Church, which is located on the same block as the Activity Center, has many rooms available to sleep on the floor using air mattresses or sleeping bags. There are bathrooms with showers available in the church. The church can sleep up to 50 people.

What do I need to bring? Snacks, sheets for the bed or air mattress or sleeping bag. clothes for warm weather and clothes for construction. Towels and bathroom stuff.

What are some of the needs?
Construction - We need Construction workers for painting, plumbing, landscaping, and tearing down.

Backyard Bible Club Leaders - We will need a person for the Gospel story, missionary story (optional), crafts, games, and snacks. Talk to Amy Riley for more information.

Cooks - We have to bring and cook our own food and we have access to a full kitchen.

Driver - We will need to take the church van or bus, depending on interest.

Please pray about your role in this trip, and whether God would have you join with us!

May God bless us as we give, pray, and go on missions!

-       Bro. Dave

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Words on Revival from Charles Spurgeon -

It is incumbent upon all Christians to be thoroughly awake to the interests of Zion, but upon the leaders most of all. Special supplication should be made for beloved brethren in office that they may be full of the Holy Ghost.

Workers in the Sunday-schools, tract distributors, and other laborers for Christ, what different people they become when grace is vigorous from what they are when their life flickers in the socket! Like sickly vegetation in a cellar, all blanched and unhealthy, are workers who have little grace; like willows by the water-courses, like grease with reeds and rushes in well-watered valleys, are the servants of God who live in his presence. It is no wonder that our Lord said, "Because thou art neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth," for when the earnest Christian's heart is full of fire it is sickening to talk with lukewarm people. 

While a true revival in its essence belongs only to God's people, it always brings with it a blessing for the other sheep who are not yet of the fold. If you drop a stone into a lake the ring widens continually, till the farthest corner of the lake feels the influence. Let the Lord revive a believer and very soon his family, his friends, his neighbors, receive a share of the benefit; for when a Christian is revived, he prays more fervently for sinners. Longing, loving prayer for sinners, is one of the marks of a revival in the renewed heart. Since the blessing is asked for sinners, the blessing comes from him who hears the prayers of his people; and thus the world gains by revival. Soon the revived Christian speaks concerning Jesus and the gospel; he sows good seed, and God's good seed is never lost, for he has said, "It shall not return unto me void." The good seed is sown in the furrows, and in some sinners' hearts God prepares the soil, so that the seed springs up in a glorious harvest. Thus by the zealous conversation of believers another door of mercy opens to men.

When Christians are revived they live more consistently, they make their homes more holy and more happy, and this leads the ungodly to envy them, and to enquire after their secret. Sinners by God's grace long to be like such cheerful happy saints; their mouths water to feast with them upon their hidden manna, and this is another blessing, for it leads men to seek the Savior. If an ungodly man steps into a congregation where all the saints are revived he does not go to sleep under the sermon. The minister will not let him do that, for the hearer perceives that the preacher feels what he is preaching, and has a right to be heard. This is a clear gain, for now the man listens with deep emotion; and above all, the Holy Spirit's power, which the preacher has received in answer to prayer comes upon the hearer's mind; he is convinced of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment to come, and Christians who are on the watch around him hasten to tell him of the Savior, and point him to the redeeming blood, so that though the revival, strictly speaking, is with the people of God, yet the result of it no man can limit. 

Brethren, let us seek a revival during the present month. Let us pledge ourselves to form a prayer-union, a sacred band of suppliants, and may God do unto us according to our faith.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Spring is Here!

'For behold, the winter is past, The rain is over and gone. 'The flowers have already appeared in the land; The time has arrived for pruning the vines, And the voice of the turtledove has been heard in our land. 'The fig tree has ripened its figs,  And the vines in blossom have given forth their fragrance. Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, And come along!' " Song of Solomon 2:11-13 (NASB)

Spring is here! With spring warming things up, I would like to share some upcoming events that will need your prayer and participation:

Spring Revival with Dr. Shane Garrison and Sola Grace.  April 21-24, 2013.
Dr. Shane Garrison is the assistant professor of Educational Ministries in the School of Theology at Campbellsville University. There is hardly a Western Recorder in print during the last three years that does not have a quote from or a conference advertisement featuring Shane Garrison. Shane’s preaching is beloved throughout the state and he has been recently featured in a number of national VBS conferences for Lifeway. Bruner’s Chapel Baptist Church will have the honor of hosting Shane for a four day revival on April 21-24. Please pray for Shane and for our church that God would “afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted.”

July Mission Trip to the Moore Activity Center in Covington, Ky. July 8-12, 2013. (Details will be forthcoming)
All volunteers will be needed to assist with Northern Kentucky evangelism, discipleship, and construction needs. In April of 2000, South Side Baptist Church in downtown Covington, KY, took ownership of the “Salty Dog Saloon” and turned it into the Moore Activity Center, a place for inner city outreach. God has been blessing the outreach of this center to where it is now one of the most sought after mission experiences in the state. Bruner’s Chapel Baptist Church has a full week scheduled in July and we will need volunteers for all types of service. If you are interested in more information, please check out our website and look under the “Show Jesus to the World” tab and click on "Mission Trips."
While these two events should provide some great memories for life, will you join me in praying for their eternal impact? I pray that God would open up the windows of heaven and rain down such a blessing on us that we would not be able to contain it!

May God bless us with a fruitful spring!
-      -  Bro. Dave

Friday, February 15, 2013

When the perfect comes...

“…when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away” (1 Corinthians 13:10). (The following post was adapted from an article by Jon Bloom)

“When the perfect comes.” Those inspired words stir up deep longings for a time we have never known and yet desperately want.

Right now even the best things are not what they should be. And so much goes so very wrong. In this partial age, our bodies, our loved ones, our careers, our creations, our investments, and our plans are all subject to the forces of uselessness (Romans 8:20). This age is marked more by suffering (8:18), longing (8:19), groaning (8:23), and hope (8:24) than by fulfillment.

We must remind each other that the partial, this age that is all that we’ve ever known, is passing away and the perfect is coming. To all you road-weary travelers who have found that the way that leads to life (Matthew 7:14) is harder than you ever imagined, the perfect day of rest is coming (Matthew 11:28).

To all you who find yourself poor in spirit (Matthew 5:3), humbled, desolate, and in desperate need of what only God can provide, the perfect day of the all-abundant kingdom is coming.

To all you who are mourning the loss of a precious one (Matthew 5:4) and finding it hard to press on under the heavy cloud of sorrow, the perfect day of death’s death (1 Corinthians 15:26) is coming.

To all of you who are growing tired in the relentless struggle to hold back the flood of unrighteousness, both from within and without, and who long deeply for a time when all is made right (Matthew 5:6), the perfect day of your satisfaction is coming.

To all of you who have been injured by the wickedness of another and have responded with a tear-filled mercy (Matthew 5:7), the perfect day of restoration is coming.

To all of you whose soft heart (Matthew 5:8) is tormented over the sin-hardened, sin-infected world around you, the perfectly pure day is coming when you will see what your soul most longs for.

To all of you peacemakers who are blessed of God (Matthew 5:9) and yet find this blessed work heartbreaking, misunderstood, and underappreciated, the perfect day of reconciliation is coming.

To all of you who find yourselves in a disorienting darkness that feels unbearable and wonder if God has abandoned you (Psalm 88:14), the perfect day is coming when the Light, in whom there is no darkness (1 John 1:5), will shine upon you (Numbers 6:25).

And to all of you who increasingly love and long for Jesus’ appearing (2 Timothy 4:8), who have an inconsolable homesickness for a country far better than any that exists here (Hebrews 11:16), your perfect home, a home prepared especially for you (John 14:2), is coming.

When the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. The promised “soon” (Revelation 22:20) is getting sooner. Let us keep encouraging one another with these words (1 Thessalonians 4:18).

May God bless us to hold fast to the hope set before us (Hebrews 6:18). And let us press on to know Him (Hosea 6:3)!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Spiritual Gift Survey

In an effort to help you discover your spiritual gift, download and fill out the following Survey from Lifeway:

You can click here to download the PDF file.

If you would like, you can request a copy of this survey from the church office by calling 859-734-3546 during regular office hours. (Tuesday-Thursday from 8:30-4:30)

You can also order Charles Stanley's series, "God's Children: Gifted for Ministry" by clicking here.