February 2019

Explore the Bible Lesson for February 24: Reunited

February 7 2019 by Casey Short, pastor, Reddicks Grove Baptist Church, Williamston

Focal Passage: Genesis 45:1-15
 
Little boys break things, and mine is no exception. Interestingly, my son looks to me to fix whatever it is he has broken. No one taught him to come to me, but something inside of him views me as the answer to the problem. The two pieces cannot come together unless I by some means unknown to him reunite them. On the one hand, this makes me feel great as a father.
 
On the other hand, the pressure is a bit more than one person can bear. What happens when that which is broken is something glue cannot reunite?
 
Joseph suffered greatly at the hands of his brothers. They plotted to kill him but instead sold him into slavery. In Genesis 45 he stands over them as second in command of Egypt and responsible for the livelihood of the entire kingdom and those who surrounded her. The lives of his brothers are in his hands. What will he do? Will he get his revenge or will he forgive?
 
Joseph forgives. Joseph forgives, because he sees the sovereign hand of God in his circumstances to provide for His people. Because God has rescued him, he can offer the same to his brothers.
 
Second Corinthians 6:19 says that because God has reconciled us to Himself in Christ, He has given to us the ministry of reconciliation. In the narrow context that means He has commissioned us to call others into this reconciliation through salvation. More broadly it also means that because we have been reconciled to God we can be reconciled to others, even those who have committed the worst atrocities against us.
 
What wrongs have been committed against you? They are nothing compared to the sin you have committed against God. Yet, He has offered you mercy and grace and forgiveness in Christ. Therefore, seek to be reconciled to your enemies. Offer grace and mercy and forgiveness to others. In this, you will bring God glory.

2/7/2019 12:11:49 PM by Casey Short, pastor, Reddicks Grove Baptist Church, Williamston | with 0 comments



Bible Studies for Life Lesson for February 24: When False Religions Deceive

February 7 2019 by Bartley Wooten, pastor, Beulaville Baptist Church

Focal passage: 1 John 2:18-29
 
Recently, I was on a plane sitting next to very successful land developer in Atlanta, Ga. We had a fascinating conversation about how he made important business decisions. Basically, he would draw a grid on a piece of paper and write all the pros on one side and all the cons on the other side.
 
The business leader would evaluate both sides of the grid using a rational and reasonable approach. If he knew his decision was wise and right, he would move forward and make the deal.
 
In the midst of our conversation, I told him I was a pastor and asked if he ever thought about using his grid when it came to making decisions about eternal matters.
 
Immediately, he began to argue that all religions, for the most part, were all the same. So, to him, it did not matter if you were a Christian or a Buddhist, it was all equal. I tried to explain to him that all religions are not the same and they often make claims that are contrary to each other. I suggested using his grid to evaluate the claims of Christ, knowing that he would come to the conclusion that Jesus Christ is the Messiah – fully God and fully man.
 
Unfortunately, all his excitement about his strategy for making rational and reasonable decisions for his business endeavors were irrelevant when it came to truth claims about Jesus.

Tragically, he left the plane that evening rejecting what God had done for him in Jesus Christ.
 
As we think through our lesson this week, the Apostle John makes clear that anyone who denies that Jesus is the Messiah has no part in God’s family (1 John 2:22).
 
With that in mind, we must do all we can to help others to embrace the truth that Jesus is God, came to earth and dwelled among us, died on the cross for our sins, rose on the third day, ascended into heaven and is the mediator between God and anyone who believes on Him so they will not spend eternity separated from God.

2/7/2019 12:11:37 PM by Bartley Wooten, pastor, Beulaville Baptist Church | with 0 comments



Explore the Bible Lesson for February 17: Opportunity Knocks

February 7 2019 by Casey Short, pastor, Reddicks Grove Baptist Church, Williamston

Focal Passage: Genesis 41:15-21, 33-40
 
While I was in seminary I worked at UPS, and while I was proud to wear the golden shield, I was miserable in my work.
 
During the day I was training for ministry, trying to master the skills I would need to take the gospel to wherever the Lord might send me.
 
At night, I was daily missing the chance to put those skills to the test by ministering to my lost coworkers.
 
My heart was not in the right place, and when opportunity knocked I was not listening.
Thankfully, we have a better example in the life of Joseph.
 
Joseph never missed the truth regarding his circumstances.
 
He knew God was sovereign and that no matter what there was always an opportunity to do God’s work.
 
He had been given an audience with Pharaoh for such a time as this, to rely on God’s wisdom to interpret Pharaoh’s dream and prepare for the famine that was to come. As a result, God exalted him to a place of great prominence to accomplish the task set before him. In doing this he would provide not only for the nation of Egypt, but for Jacob and his people as well, through whom God would send the Messiah.
 
Psalm 139:16 says, “In Your book were all written the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them.”
 
In whatever circumstance you find yourself, God is not surprised. He has so ordained that you be where you are that you might glorify Him in Christ by spreading the gospel to the lost around you and by displaying the love of Christ through acts of service to all.
 
Rely on His wisdom, wisdom found in the Bible, and trust that if He has called you to the task, He will give you all that you need to accomplish it.

2/7/2019 12:05:58 PM by Casey Short, pastor, Reddicks Grove Baptist Church, Williamston | with 0 comments



Bible Studies for Life Lesson for February 17: When Materialism Consumes

February 7 2019 by Bartley Wooten, pastor, Beulaville Baptist Church

Focal passage: 1 John 2:12-17; 3:16-18
 
When I was 15 years old, my father brought home an old 1970 Camaro.
 
It had a lot of surface rust, the front windshield was cracked, the side window was gone and there was about six inches of water in the floorboard along with leaves and fishing tackle. He paid $100 for the car, and told me it would be mine when I turned 16.
 
In many ways, that car was the best gift my dad could have given me.
 
He helped me work on it, and I learned to take something in really bad shape and make something really nice out of it.
 
For months, we worked together, so it would be ready to drive when the time came.
 
The day I turned 16, God taught me a valuable lesson. I got home from getting my license, and I went straight to the gas station to fill up the car. As I was turning into the store, a good friend was walking inside and I began waving to him. Not looking where I was going, I ran right into the concrete steel post that protected the gas pump.
 
It completely destroyed the right front fender of my newly restored car. I was so upset. I didn’t even get gas and went back home to tell my parents. They were very kind, because they knew I had worked so hard to make the car nice.
 
From that experience, I learned two valuable lessons.
 
First, pay attention when you are driving. Second, earthly possessions cannot ultimately satisfy you.
 
Even though I was a Christian when I wrecked my car, I had let restoring that car consume my life.
 
It was all I thought about for months. When I had the accident, it woke me up to the reality that earthly things will not last, and if I was not careful, they can compete for God’s rightful place on the throne of my life. Only God’s love can truly satisfy the longing of our hearts.
 
What about you? Do you have anything competing for God’s love in your life?

2/7/2019 12:05:50 PM by Bartley Wooten, pastor, Beulaville Baptist Church | with 0 comments