April 2019

Mothers, be a godly influence on your children

April 30 2019 by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer

Whether or not your child attends a public school, a private school or is a homeschool student, parents are key figures in their child’s education either formally or informally. In everything from eating vegetables to tying shoes to imparting spiritual truth, parents play a significant role in their children’s growth and development, and much of this training happens at home.
 
This is especially true of mothers because moms have a tremendous influence on their children. Often, moms spend more time with their children than the father does. There are situations when some moms are called upon to be the sole spiritual influence in the home because dad is not a Christ follower or he fails to fulfill his responsibilities in this area with his children. 
 
In Paul’s second letter to Timothy, we see the influence of a mother and grandmother on a young boy. In 2 Timothy 1:5, Paul says the following about his son in the faith: “I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well.”
 
In the absence of a Christian father, Timothy was greatly influenced by both a devout Christian mother and a devout Christian grandmother. These two women did not let an unbelieving father paralyze them from teaching Timothy the Word of God, and it made an eternal difference in his life. Thousands of years later, we are reaping the benefits of their influence through what is recorded and preserved about them and Timothy in the pages of scripture.
 
Moms and grandmothers, obey God’s leadership in your life by making sure you are giving a spiritual heritage to your children. Teach them the spiritual truths that other women taught you. Kids today are growing up in a complicated culture with many anti-Christian influences that attempt to pull your kids away from Christian values. Ask God to help you recognize and combat those demonic influences by teaching your children truth from God’s Word. Instill within your children a Christian worldview.
 
In my own life, I am thankful for the spiritual influence that my grandmother had on my own father even though she died at an early age. I also well remember when my preacher father was away from home on mission trips or preaching revivals, our mother took responsibility for reading the Bible to us and praying with my sisters, our brother and me. Now, in this season of my life, I’m grateful for the influence my wife Gloria has had on our son, our wonderful daughter-in-law and our two grandsons.
 
As you approach Mother’s Day, please don’t take for granted the influence and impact of godly mothers or spiritual mothers that God ushered into your life. On this coming Mother’s Day, express your love and appreciation to the women who made an eternal impact on you. It may have been your mom, your grandmother, another relative, a children’s leader or a youth leader in your church. If that special woman is still living, it’s not too late to thank her for the godly spiritual influence she had on you.
 
Then He said to the disciple, ‘Behold your mother!’” – John 19:27a.

4/30/2019 11:31:55 AM by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer | with 0 comments



What makes Good Friday good?

April 16 2019 by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer

Have you ever stopped to consider why Good Friday is described as “good” if that’s the day Jesus was crucified?
 
On the surface, “sorrowful” may appear to be a more appropriate description of the day that the sinless God-man Jesus the Christ was crucified in our place on a cruel wooden cross to pay the penalty for our sins.
 
Jesus’ own disciples were scared and went into hiding following His crucifixion.
 
To them, the first Good Friday must have seemed anything but good.
 
But what took place three days later – Resurrection Sunday – turned sorrow into joy and made Good Friday good. Jesus Christ’s resurrection from the dead validated the fact that Jesus was God and His death on Good Friday was an all-sufficient, fully atoning and acceptable sacrifice for our sins.
 
Another reason Good Friday is good is because the veil of the temple was torn in two, from the top to the bottom (Matthew 27:51).
 
The curtain that had separated common man from the holy of holies, where a Holy God made His presence known, was torn in two signifying that through the sacrificial death of Jesus and His triumphant bodily resurrection, a forgiven person would now be able to come directly into the presence of God without an earthly priest to intercede on their behalf. 
 
So, as we celebrate Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday, let us reflect on the death, burial and triumphant, glorious bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ from the grave.
 
Jesus was the “sin bearer” for us. He gave Himself as the ultimate sacrifice so we could be reconciled to our Father. Why? Because He loved us even while we were His enemies (Romans 5:10).
 
Without His sacrificial, vicarious death, there would be no resurrection, but without His resurrection, His death would have had no meaning.
 
That is the glorious news of the gospel and it makes Good Friday a day we can celebrate.
 
We must spread this great news to everyone who does not understand the true meaning of Resurrection Sunday. Share with them how they can receive eternal life when they repent of their sin, ask Jesus to forgive them, trust in Him as their Savior and follow Him as Lord of their life.
 
In Philippians 2:8-11, we are reminded of another thing God did which helps us understand why we can call it “Good Friday.”
 
This is one of my most favorite scripture passages.
 
Every time I read it, I feel more gratitude for Jesus and want to proclaim “Hallelujah, what a Savior.”
 
And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore, God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” – Philippians 2:8-11.

4/16/2019 3:36:41 PM by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer | with 0 comments



‘Gospel Above All’ to highlight SBC annual meeting

April 2 2019 by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer

The 2019 Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) annual meeting is quickly approaching, and I hope to see many North Carolina Baptists at the meeting and SBC Pastors’ Conference in Birmingham, Ala., this June.
 
It makes me proud to think that a North Carolina Baptist will be presiding over this year’s SBC annual meeting. I have much admiration and respect for our SBC President J.D. Greear, and I am thankful for how God has used him as pastor of The Summit Church in the Raleigh-Durham area.
 
I’m also thankful for how J.D. has led our Southern Baptist Convention in recent days in light of the sexual abuse cases that have been brought to light. J.D. has done the right thing in taking the stand that he has in working to put some things in place to prevent abuse from happening while appropriately ministering to and caring for abuse victims.
 
Working to combat sexual abuse and care for victims will be addressed at this year’s SBC annual meeting and is in keeping with the meeting’s theme of “Gospel Above All.” As J.D. told the SBC Executive Committee in February at a meeting where I was in attendance, “We serve a God who laid down His life to protect the vulnerable. How dare we proclaim that gospel with our mouths and then turn a blind eye when the vulnerable in our midst cry out for help?”
 
Under the “Gospel Above All” banner, J.D. has also challenged everyone in our convention to a renewed emphasis on personal evangelism through the “Who’s Your One?” initiative. This is one of the strongest emphases on personal evangelism our convention has seen in some time. I hope every member of every church in our state will commit to praying for and being intentional about sharing the gospel with that one individual you know who is far from God.
 
My “one” is a woman who works at the dry cleaning business that I frequent. Although she is from another ethnic and religious background, the Lord has opened up opportunities for us to have gospel conversations as I see her on a regular basis. Who’s your one? Is it a friend, a family member, a coworker or neighbor? No matter who it is, God can use you to reach them.
 
In addition to the SBC annual meeting and pastors’ conference, I encourage you to pray for the various evangelistic outreach events in the host city as part of the North American Mission Board’s “Crossover” initiative.
 
I’m looking forward to seeing colleagues, missionaries and friends from North America and other countries in Birmingham, and I hope to see many of you there.
 
For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures” – 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 (NKJV).

4/2/2019 11:23:31 AM by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer | with 0 comments