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April 2, 2019, 10:43 AM

April 3, 2019


"Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you," declares the Lord. Jeremiah 1:8
 
This week's devotion comes from Kim Biasotto. It is a very timely devotion in view of recent events in our church service.
 
     "Paramedics, firefighters, police officers. These are the people who run toward tragedy, while the rest of us hightail it the other way.
     They are known as "first responders" because they are the first to come when catastrophe strikes. They put their lives on the line
     in order to save, retrieve, and rescue others. They offer medication, safe transport, protection, and help to all who call.
 
     "In today's verse we are told that we do not need to be afraid, because God is with us and will rescue us. The verse does not say,
     God will prevent anything bad from happening to us. It does not say, we will never get sick, or hurt, or be in danger. It does promise,
     however, that when we need rescuing, He will be there. He is the ultimate first responder. He is ready to offer whatever is needed
     to all who call of Him: To the hurtHe offers hope; To the sickhealing; to the lonely comfort; and to the terrified peace.
 
     "When you are in need, call to the one who always hears, always cares, and always responds. He will be with you and He will
      rescue you."
 
We want to say thank-you to some other first responders too; our nurses. In the situation that occurred during worship this Sunday, our nurses quickly jumped to action. It was truly a blessing of the Lord that we had four nurses among us. They handled the situation in such a professional and calm manner. There were also many others that shared assistance as well and we are grateful to all of you. We also say thanks to the Lanett police and EMS for their prompt and much appreciated assistance. We are thankful that everything worked out so well. God truly is blessing us at Plant City, and we see it in all kinds of ways. He truly is the ultimate first responder!
 
                                                                                                                                                                         We love you,
                                                                                                                                                                         Brad and Virginia



March 26, 2019, 9:00 AM

March 27, 2019


"No one is like you, O Lord; you are great and your name is mighty in power. Among all the wise men of the nations and in all their kingdoms, there is no one like you." Jeremiah 10:6-7
 
What would it be like to live in a world where everyone knew and acknowledged God? What would it be like in a place where God's authority is realized and respected? Sadly, we live where the ?wise men? of the world believe they are ultimately in control and desire to push aside all understanding of God. Yet, what a difference we experience when we accept God's invitation to share a love relationship with Him. Our life takes on a whole different meaning!
 
In order to understand that there is "no one like God", we must know Him in a personal way. It seems that, in our society, we are becoming less and less dependent on God and are "learning" to live according to our own standards. This comes at the expense of hearing from God and allowing Him to guide us. What do we understand about God's sovereignty? We are living in a time when God's name may be acknowledged among men but there is really no power associated with Him. Is there much difference among Christians today? Do we really trust God in all things or is that just another thoughtless statement? In many ways, we have become like the church at Laodicea. The Laodicean church had plenty of wealth but no real relationship with God. They did not realize how wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked they had become. They were living according to their own standards and would suffer the consequences for it.
 
We must be careful to both acknowledge God and recognize His authority. As Christians, we are the ones to be sharing the news of Jesus and showing others how to live according to God's standards. We have enjoyed our comfortable lifestyle apart from God and are now paying the price. The line has now been drawn. We must recognize God's authority and live as though there is no one like Him, or we continue a downward spiral as we trust our own ways. Scripture reminds us vividly that as Christians we have been bought by the blood of Jesus. Let us always live that way as we recognize God's sovereignty and understand that "there is no one like God". We pray you are having a very blessed week as you live knowing there is no one like Him!
                                                                                                              
                                                                                                     We love you,
                                                                                                     Brad and Virginia



March 19, 2019, 11:10 AM

March 20, 2019


“When Solomon finished all these prayers and supplications to the Lord, he rose from before the altar of the Lord, where he had been kneeling with his hands spread out toward heaven.” 1 Kings 8:54

Do you see the picture? Solomon had completed the temple and was leading the people in a time of dedication before the Lord. During his prayer, Solomon was kneeling at the altar, hands stretched toward heaven, calling to God on behalf of all the people. The scene is vividly clear. The king was on his knees before Almighty God. It really hurts to think about how far we are from the example Solomon set before the people of his day. There was no doubt about God’s existence. There was no concern that someone in the crowd might be offended. This was a true time of worship as Solomon called upon the Lord recognizing that Israel’s future depended on God’s continual blessings.

We are seeing the very real consequences of a nation being blinded by the influences of a dark world. I know it seems as though you are reading and hearing the same message each week. Yet, it is a very real burden as we see our nation constantly sinking down right before our eyes. Many would say that we continue to be optimistic and that there is still the opportunity for our country to come back to the Lord. Yes, there is certainly always that possibility but is it probable?

Just examine how far we have fallen away from a time such as we see in King Solomon’s example. It’s sad but we seem to have the total opposite mindset. So many states are passing legislation allowing the murder of children. This is really no different from Old Testament days when people sacrificed their own children before unknown gods. It is sad that a nation of such intelligence cannot understand murder. God will not continue to allow such mindless decisions. The downward spiral is happening before our very eyes. World powers have all fallen in the past and there is no reason to believe we are too big, too powerful or too intelligent to fall.

Maybe soon we will get to some lighter reading. It is just difficult not to comment on the status of our nation. On a lighter note, we hope you are enjoying the season. This time of year brings a freshness and renewal to our lives. We are seeking a desire among us to grow closer to the Lord. Even though our nation falters, we continue to seek God’s guidance and strive to know Him better. We pray that you are having a great week and are making the most of every opportunity to share Jesus with others.

                                                                                                                         We love you,

                                                                                                                         Brad and Virginia

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March 12, 2019, 3:30 PM

March 13, 2019


“The Lord says: ‘These people come near to Me with their mouth and honor Me with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me. Their worship of Me is based merely on human rules they have been taught’.” Isaiah 29:13

What is the true essence of worship? It is to glorify Almighty God. What does it feel like to truly worship Him? Have you felt it lately? My heart has been burdened over the past several weeks because there seems to be a constant drift away from real worship. We see the constant leaning toward “meetings” that make us feel good and somehow meet our certain needs. However, that is probably not worship. In some ways, it seems as though we have forgotten the One who has given us abundant life. Our prayer for each of you is that you know God, know how to worship Him and know what He truly expects.

Are we guilty of merely lip service before God? According to Isaiah’s proclamation from God, the people of his day were offering lip service to Him, but their hearts were not truthful. Their “worship” consisted of following man-made rules and regulations they had been taught. What would have happened if they had been truly worshiping God? What would happen if we experienced the living God as we worship on Sunday? Yet, in order to worship on Sunday, we must have been worshiping God all during the week. Can we say that we walk closely with Him and depend on Him in every circumstance of our daily life?

Are we there yet? No, but I truly believe that as we pray diligently for God’s guidance, we will begin to experience real worship. When we experience worship, nothing else will ever satisfy us because that is why we were created. The challenge for our church family is that we let go of tradition and man-made regulations so that we glorify God. As we’ve said so many times before, it’s all about Him anyway! We pray that you are having a very blessed week and that you are experiencing worship every day because our Heavenly Father is so worthy of our praise, worship and devotion!

                                                                                                                                              We love you,

                                                                                                                                              Brad and Virginia




March 5, 2019, 9:31 AM

March 6, 2019


"The men who were guarding Jesus began mocking and beating Him.  They blindfolded Him and demanded, 'Prophesy! Who hit you?' And they said many other insulting things to Him."  
                                                                                                                                                    Luke 22:63-65
 
Have you ever thought much about the men charged with guarding Jesus?  The passage above says that they mocked Him and beat Him.  They hit Him while blindfolded and demanded He prophesy about who hit Him.  We cannot imagine doing that to God but those men really had no idea that He was the Savior of the world. To them, He was just another criminal and they would treat Him just the way they treated all the others.  Do you ever wonder if any of those men became followers after seeing and experiencing the crucifixion of Jesus?
 
There are those today who treat Jesus much the same as those guards.  No, they do not beat Him or blindfold Him, but they do mock Him.  They reject Him and thereby mock Him as the guards did.  People today either know Jesus for who He is (Savior, Messiah, and King of Kings) or treat Him much like the guards.  Jesus very well could have prophesied about who hit Him and shared every small detail about their lives as well.  However, He knew the reason for which He came to earth and this particular time wasn't to confront a group of guards who were mistreating Him.
 
There are many today in the same condition as the guards in Jesus' day.  Do you know someone today who mocks Jesus because they do not realize who He is?  Those who do not know Him fail to understand that every breath taken is because He has allowed it.  We live in a dark world that is continually getting darker.  During these days we must be the light that shines in a dark place.  As stars against the blackest night or diamonds against a black background, so we should shine more and more brilliantly as the days become darker.  Share the Good News, hold on to the Truth, and impact the people around you so that they may experience the only One who can save us.  May you have a blessed week as you continually shine forth the light of Jesus!
 
                                                                                                                             We love you,
                                                                                                                             Brad and Virginia

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