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.  Writing this newsletter on Monday night, Nov. 25, with a greater understanding that thanksgiving is not optional.  Remembering not only the happenings of November but reflecting also on 2019.  My oldest grandson spent the day with me today and was a big help getting up leaves.  It wasn’t all work, as we had some play time as well.  Received a text from Hannah, and Marshall’s first doctor’s appointment went well.  Days like today make thanksgiving easy.  Then you remember those hard and challenging days we have experienced in 2019 and the thanksgiving rendered was and is for God’s faithfulness and goodness.  By the time you read this, you will have eaten your Thanksgiving meal and possibly even shopped till you’ve dropped, but let us never consider thanksgiving unto the Lord as an optional aspect of our life; rather let it be an essence of our lives.

     The month of December is certainly marked by Christmas, celebrating the birth of Christ, but it also contains the Week of Prayer for IMB Missionaries (Dec. 1-8) and the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering, which is received all month.  The Women’s Ministry Christmas party is Monday, Dec. 2 @ 6pm.  Senior Adult breakfast is Dec. 10 @ 8am at Old Gin House.  On Sunday, Dec. 15, the Choir will be presenting their Christmas cantata @ 10:30am followed by a churchwide Christmas lunch.  Also, that evening the AWANA clubs will be visiting the nursing home.  Everyone is invited to go caroling on Wednesday, Dec.18 @ 5:45pm.  We will not have services on Christmas day.

     The Lord led us to “That I may know him…” (Php. 3:10a) as a theme for 2019, desiring each of us to grow in our intimate knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.  What was the reason the Lord Jesus came from heaven to earth, being born as a babe in the fullness of God’s timing, and being crucified on an old rugged cross?  Some might answer to pay our sin debt and save us.  “So that we could be redeemed by His shed blood,” others might answer.  Some might say, “To give us eternal life through His resurrection life.”  None of these could be said to be wrong, but salvation and redemption would just be judicial without reconciliation and intimate revelation.  Let us not forget what Jesus said, “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” (John 17:3)  Salvation, forgiveness of sin, redemption by the shed blood of Jesus is only the beginning of the gift of eternal life through His resurrection life.  This beginning would not have been possible without Jesus coming.  Consider John 1:18, “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared [him].”  The Greek word translated “declared” is exegeomai, which according to Strong’s, means to declare the things relating to God; to unfold a teaching; used in Greek writing of the interpretation of things sacred and divine.  Toney’s simple understanding of “declared” in John 1:18 is to make known.  Just as John 14:6 states, “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”  The Bible emphatically declares that Jesus Christ is the only Savior! (Acts 4:12)  Considering the truth of John 17:3 and 14:6, you must know Jesus to know God, and you must come to Jesus to come to God.  If any preacher, popular personality or even an angel from heaven declares a person can go to heaven and God will accept you without personally knowing Jesus Christ it is a lie from the devil.  Don’t believe it; believe the Word of God, which is truth and the source of faith (John 17:7; Rom. 10:17).  Know the Lord Jesus and grow in your knowledge of Him.  Merry Christmas! 

 

By His grace,

Toney





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