Would you say you are a good person?

Pastor's Notes

     Greetings and grace to you in the wonderful name of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Praising the Lord for how greatly He blessed our Easter Sunday.  The Lord assembled His people together in great numbers (130 in Sunday School & 171 for Worship), and His presence was very strong and sweet at the same time.  Thank you, Bro. David and Choir for leading us to worship with Victor’s Crown.  I am always very thankful and mindful of the Lord’s work among us when both Church ordinances are observed in the same service.  If it were not for the death and resurrection of Christ, baptism would be a futile exercise of religion, but thanks be unto God for the death and resurrection of Christ and a relationship with Jesus made possible by grace through faith; in which baptism is our identifying public profession.  God is good, all the time!

     May and June are full of ministry opportunities.  I will begin a sermon series on Family Matters on May 5 and continue through June 16.  Celebrate Jesus, a community outreach fun day, will be Sunday, May 5 from 3-7pm at Piney Chapel Elementary.  Last year over 300 people attended; we expect more this year.  There will be a Gospel presentation, First Priority Kids assembly, the Cavaliers Quartet will be singing, free hamburgers, hotdogs and cokes served, and inflatables!  Please invite and bring your friends and family, especially those that are unchurched.  The AWANA Derby will be May 26 @ 5:30pm.  Please see John Crutcher for your car kit and information.  Youth Ministry Retreat is scheduled May 31- June 2, on which they will be leading the evening service.  We will conduct a VBS outreach on the afternoon of June 9, concluding with cookout and fun at ERBC.  VBS is June 10-14 from 6-8:30pm.  The Cavaliers Quartet will be in concert at ERBC on the evening of June 23.  Yes the Lord has planned a lot of opportunities.      

     “That I may know him,” (Philp. 3:10a).  My heart concurs with Paul’s in this desire, and is the reason I read and study God’s Word.  The other day I looked through the Bible my grandmother gave me on November 22, 1969.  The gift date is unusual and I do not remember why she gave it to me on that specific date, a month before my fifth birthday.  It was the first Bible I ever read, and contains priceless notes to me from my mother on some passages and life.  Though I possess several copies of God’s Word, including my grandfather’s, looking through my first Bible provoked many thoughts about the individual copies I have primarily studied from through the years.  The little black zipper Bible was replaced with a newer Bible from my parents for Christmas in 1981, which I treasure.  The Lord used that red reference Bible to give me a love for His Word, and from it I preached my first sermon on Easter Sunday night, March 31, 1991.  New Bethel Baptist Church presented me with my first Scofield Study Bible when they licensed me to the Gospel Ministry on August 11, 1991.  I keep it on my desk next to my grandfather’s Bible to this day.  It is tattered and torn, not from disrespect, but from much use.  During my first pastorate, Amos and Betty made it possible for me to buy a Reader’s Edition Scofield in 1995, which by the time I came to ERBC was also about to fall apart.  Pam gave me a wide margin in 1998 for Christmas and it was my study and preaching Bible for the next fifteen years.  Upon beginning to lose pages from it, a regular sized Scofield replaced it in 2013, and our deacons gave me a very nice leather large print Scofield for Christmas in 2014.  Why did I tell you all of this?  You may wear your Bible out studying it and even exhaust its life, but you will never wear Jesus out or exhaust the life He gives to you through His Word!  Study the Word of God to know Him, not to just know facts, names, and events, or just to have knowledge about the Lord.  Hell is full of people that knew about the Lord, and the eternal lake of fire will be occupied by people that heard Him say, “I never knew you: depart from me…” (Matt. 7:23).  “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” (John 17:3)  Truly knowing the Lord Jesus Christ makes an eternal difference.  

 

By His grace,

Toney





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