October 2017

Explore the Bible Lesson for October 15: Equipped

October 3 2017 by Casey Short, pastor, Reddicks Grove Baptist Church, Williamston

Focal Passage: Exodus 25:1-9; 31:1-6
Have you ever endured the credits following a feature film? Had I asked that question 20 years ago, the answer would most assuredly be no. Today, filmmakers have developed clever ways to keep their audiences until the last words scroll by.
What strikes me about film credits is the sheer number of people involved in the process, each with a particular skillset vital to bringing the vision of the producers and directors to life. No doubt within this field of specialists there are some who labored hard at their training while others seemed to possess a gift that propelled them to the top.
Exodus 25-31 is hardly detailing something as trivial as filmmaking. God instructed His people to erect a dwelling place in which He would commune with them.
His vision was laid out in meticulous detail, so meticulous in fact that no one man could accomplish the task. So, God graciously gifted those called to labor with the skillsets needed to build the furniture, craft the elements and utensils and weave the curtains and the garments. To others He imparted gifts of wisdom to oversee and to lead in the construction of the tabernacle.
God’s calling and God’s gifting work the same way in the church. The Bible teaches that Christ is building a spiritual house (1 Peter 2:5) and that He calls believers to use both their skillsets (Colossians 3:17) and their spiritual gifts (Romans 12:6-8; 1 Corinthians 12:8-10; 1 Peter 4:11) for the construction of that house in love (Ephesians 4:15-16).
What He calls us to do, He equips us to do. And just like Bezalel and Oholiab He has granted to some to aid in that equipping through gifts of administration and leadership – prophets, evangelists and the pastor/teacher (Ephesians 4:11-12).
Having been graciously equipped, we willfully and joyfully labor, using our talents and spiritual gifts, not to see our name scroll by in the credits, but rather to bring glory and honor to the One who has granted us the privilege of His presence.

10/3/2017 7:35:59 AM by Casey Short, pastor, Reddicks Grove Baptist Church, Williamston | with 0 comments

Bible Studies for Life Lesson for October 15: Caleb: Unwavering Faith

October 3 2017 by Matthew Jacobs, associate pastor, First Baptist Church, Crossnore

Focal passage: Numbers 13: 26-30; 14:6-10, 21-24
Trusting in God, not in our circumstances, is often hard.
A little more than a year ago, my wife and I were in a place much like Caleb. I was in seminary and our first child had just arrived. I also received a call to interview at a church.
The meeting went well, and before we made it 300 yards from the church, I looked over at my wife and said, “They might not know it yet, but this is where we are moving.”
But not long after, my wife was offered a teaching job where we were currently living. We were faced with a decision.
Just like Caleb, we had to trust God more than circumstances.
In this study, we read that the Israelites sent spies out into the promised land.
When the agents came back they told of how great the land was, yet they couldn’t take it, for it had giants in it.
But Caleb knew the promise of God and believed they needed to take it.
Caleb also trusted God to continually be with him. When he spoke about the promise of God, they wanted to stone him.
Caleb did not change his mind; he knew God had given them the land.
Caleb trusted God and His faithfulness. God made a promise to Caleb for his unwavering faith, that he and his children would see the promised land. God said no others from that generation would see it, but because Caleb stood firm on the promises God had given him, he was given a promise to see it.
My wife and I knew God had called us to that church, yet we were still in the waiting stage. We had to seek God on what the next step of life would be.
So, we turned down the teaching job. A few days later we received word the church was going to vote me in as their next associate/youth pastor.
We must have unwavering faith when it comes to God and what He calls us to do. 

10/3/2017 7:29:51 AM by Matthew Jacobs, associate pastor, First Baptist Church, Crossnore | with 0 comments

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