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November 7, 2017, 2:33 PM

November 8, 2017

“Submit yourselves, then, to God.  Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”  James 4:7
     Sunday morning we learned that our enemy does not like us, desires to draw us away from God and see that we live miserable lives.  Satan continually works his plan today just as he did with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.  The key element to his strategy is to get us away from worshiping God.  He does this by making sure there is a plethora of distractions to fill our life.  His distractions usually involve worry, money, and pleasures in some form.  What happens next?
     As Satan's plan progresses, thoughts begin to drift away from obedience to God toward fulfilling our own desires.  Do you remember how Sarah developed her own plan for Abraham to have children because she was convinced that she was too old?  Satan still works the very same way.  He provides just the right set of circumstances so that the temptation is huge.  The choice is all ours to make, but with all the other factors in place and the looming temptation, a correct decision becomes extremely difficult.
     We've all faced it!  You may be facing similar circumstances today and on the verge of a wrong, potentially devastating decision.  This is not where God would have you to be.  Recognize the warning signals of drifting away from God's plan.  Look carefully at the passage above.  Submit to God as you recognize that you cannot battle Satan all alone.  Call on God, worship Him, surround yourself with Christian friends and participate in corporate worship to help hold you accountable.  Resist the enemy's strategy realizing that he only desires to destroy your life.  Run to the Father because He is always eager to keep you safe.
                                                                                                                 We love you,
                                                                                                                 Brad and Virginia

October 31, 2017, 10:59 AM

November 1, 2017

“May God be gracious to us and bless us and make His face shine on us.”  Psalm 67:1

     How often have we heard those words as a benediction?  We all pray for God's blessings and protection daily.  However, as usual, the enemy desires to deceive us.  Why do we ask for God's blessings?  More than likely, it is because we desire to enjoy a life free from problems and difficult circumstances.  Yet, that is not the real reason we should ask for God's blessings.  The remainder of this psalm specifically shares with us the reason we should desire to be blessed.  We are blessed so that God's ways may be known on earth (v. 4).
     So, we have a huge responsibility when we ask for God's blessings in our own life, for our family and for our church.  Whatever God gives us and shares with us is to be used to glorify His name and to tell others about Him.  We have been duped by the enemy thinking that everything God gives us is to be exclusively used for our benefit.  It is the psalmist's plea that all the nations would praise God, be glad and sing for joy.  He recognizes that this will happen only as God's people share their blessings with others.  From this psalm we also recognize God's sovereignty in the world.  God rules all the people of the earth justly and guides the nations of the earth.  The sad thing, people do not or will not recognize that God is in control.  Man, with his knowledge and ingenuity, cannot fathom God who is over all and controls every step.
     Has God blessed you?  How are you using those blessings to serve and glorify Him?  Are we using our blessings to share with others or strictly for our benefit?  There is a world full of hurting and lost people and God has blessed us beyond measure for a purpose.  If we were called on today to give an accounting of what we've done with our blessings, how would we answer?  I'm afraid I would certainly be lacking in what I should have done.  How about you?  Our life has purpose and meaning.  Our blessings are to be used to fulfill God's purpose for our life.  Our prayer is that the motive for the blessings we desire is so that we can better proclaim Jesus to the world and help others understand the need to know Him and praise Him.  May you be blessed abundantly this week so that you may in turn share those blessings to a lost world.
                                                                                                                                      We love you,
                                                                                                                                      Brad and Virginia

October 17, 2017, 10:08 AM

October 18, 2017

“This, then, is how you ought to regard us: as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the mysteries God has revealed.  Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.”  I Corinthians 4:1-2

            We have shared on numerous occasions some of the traits of a disciple.  The passage above describes what it means to be a disciple.  As a disciple we are, first of all, servants of Christ.  The word Paul uses for servant is the Greek word hyperetas.  The word literally means an “under rower” in the sense that someone is a rower on a big galley ship.  One commentator describes this “under rower” as “one who acts under direction, and asks no questions, one who does the thing he is appointed to do without hesitation”.

            As servants of Jesus, we understand that our job is to manage the resources given to us.  We are to use our God-given resources in a way that honors Him.  Ken Adams very well sums up what God has entrusted to us.  “Disciples in our day must understand the difference between ownership and management.  Your time, treasure, temple, and talents all belong to God.  He has entrusted them into your care to be managed and used for His glory.  Being a good life manager is a mark of an authentic disciple of Jesus”.

            Paul also reminds us that a disciple of Christ must prove faithful.  Is God able to trust us and depend on us to be obedient to Him?  God has provided the resources and entrusted us with the task of sharing Jesus.  Are we using our resources wisely?  It becomes very easy to overlook our real purpose as we get caught in the world’s vicious trap of busyness.  Jesus reminded those seeking Him to count the cost of being a disciple.  It is not an easy life and persecution is a real possibility.  However, you will never find a more satisfying or rewarding life.  Let us ask God to put people in our path daily who need to hear the gospel message.  Let us also ask God to give us the right words for every situation so the message is presented adequately and accurately.  May you have an extraordinarily blessed week as we serve Him together.

                                                                                                We love you,

                                                                                                Brad and Virginia

October 10, 2017, 11:03 AM

October 11, 2017

“For Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.”  II Corinthians 11:14

Our world is in utter chaos.  As you hear and see the news, it reveals just how far we have drifted from the commands of God.  If we are not careful, it becomes very easy to lose our focus.  We are, by human nature, prone to wander away from God.  Remember the hymn from Sunday?  “Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, prone to leave the God I love”.  The enemy certainly knows this and will put anything in our path to take our eyes away from our clear purpose.  The more we strive to accomplish God’s purpose, the more the enemy uses distractions along the way.  An important point for us to understand about the enemy is that he “masquerades as an angel of light”.  He doesn’t just use all bad things to trip us up.  He will keep us busy doing “good things” to stop us from doing “God things”.

Let me ask a question: Why does Plant City Baptist Church exist?  Our purpose is not to become a feel-good country club whereby we meet the wants and desires of members.  Our purpose is no different from the vision of those in the very beginning.  We are a congregation in the Plant City community of Lanett that must focus on a two-fold purpose.  First, we are to glorify God through worship and the proclamation of His Word.  Second, we are to edify (enlighten, inform, and strengthen) and equip believers to carry out God’s calling to share our faith and make disciples of all nations.  Yet, when we lose our focus and wander from the purpose of God, we become ineffective in our calling.

Do you know the way Satan uses most often to get us out of focus?  It is a two-letter word that we all know very well.  It is when the purpose of God gets all caught up in the concern for meOur prayer is that we are all striving to maintain the purpose of God as we consistently move ourselves out of the way.  The days are few and the work is tremendous!  We must continue to concentrate on the fundamentals to accomplish the work for which God has called us.  There are many, many distractions all around us.  A football team usually begins to struggle if they ever get away from the fundamentals that are practiced repeatedly.  Let us stick to the fundamentals of what God has called us to do and He will take care of the rest.  It may not look new and shiny or like everyone else but we will know we are glorifying our Heavenly Father.  We pray you are having a blessed and prosperous week in Christ!

                                                                                                                                We love you,

                                                                                                                                Brad and Virginia

October 3, 2017, 11:45 AM

October 4, 2017

“Therefore, 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.  And surely I am with you to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20
     We have experienced yet another tragedy in our nation.  Over the next few days and weeks, we will hear commentary from news media and social media placing blame in various ways.  We'll hear all about gun control and if we had stricter gun laws these situations could be avoided.  However, when you consider it, most drugs are illegal but people still get them, sell them, and use them thereby destroying lives every day.  There is a much deeper problem and we rarely hear the truth.  The fact is, we live in a nation that is steadily crumbling before our eyes.  We are wondering helplessly along because we have lost our way.  The seriousness of our condition cannot be minimized or overlooked.
     There are many who will adamantly disagree, but if we take a step back and carefully examine our situation we will see clearly the results that come from pushing God aside.  We are living in the last days (the last of the last days) and as such we will continue to see the onslaught of wickedness throughout the world.  However, it could be different in the United Stated.  God makes a very real promise about healing a nation but it happens only after certain criteria are met.  One of the main conditions noted in the passage above is a turning by God's people from their wicked ways.  As we look across our country, do we really see that happening?  We see churches closing and “Christians” that look and act just like the world.  We certainly see lives changing here and there but the overall direction seems to be a constant progression toward evil.  We have pushed God aside.
     Our prayer is that through this most recent tragedy we will be made aware of the real problem facing our nation.  We do not need more laws and legislation.  We have so many now that we cannot enforce all of them.  Our greatest need is revival!  Only through revival will we see any improvement in the condition of our nation.  Only through revival will we see hearts changed, minds renewed and a real sense of unity in our communities.  What else will it take to get our attention?  Christians, please let us rise up during this final hour!  God has called and commissioned us to go, make disciples, baptize them, and teach them to obey the commands of God.  Our only hope is Jesus who gave Himself so that we can experience freedom from the bondage of sin.  What is the real cause of this recent tragedy?  A heart not controlled by Jesus!  God desires revival for our nation.  Christians, do we?
                                                                                                                                        We love you,
                                                                                                                                        Brad and Virginia

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