On Sunday morning attendance was down due to sickness, jobs, traveling etc. Some may have been still having get togethers for Christmas. Seems like these holidays run together. Visitors were present they are so faithful with their attendance. We are blessed by their coming and pray they will continue to come as God leads. Pastor Cottrell’s message, “Reflections,” I Kings 11 -14. Solomon did not heed God’s instructions. These decisions not to follow God would not just hurt him they would lead to tough times for all the people of Israel. Solomon turned his heart toward the gods of the women of foreign nations.
This was in conflict with God’s directions and would lead to the splitting of the Kingdom but there would still remain a piece by which Jesus would come through. Now there was Jeroboam, he was industrious so he was put as an officer over all the labor force of the house of Joseph. He was a servant to Solomon that rebelled against his reign. I Kings 11: 29-38, Ahijah speaks the prophecy to Jeroboam, and then goes further to tell why He (God) made this decision. Solomon’s time passed, his son Rehoboam steps into the picture as the king. I Kings 12: 1-33. He heard complaints from the people they revolted against him. With Rehoboam fleeing to Jerusalem the door was opened for Jeroboam to walk through. The story takes a slight twist here. Rehoboam was amassing an army to fight with.
While planning to attack the house of Israel a word of God came to Shama-iah. Jeroboam was King, but he feared losing his kingdom. He took steps to prevent this from happening. In verse 33 it says, “devised in his own heart.” It is important that we see this and learn from it. After all this we see another man entering into the picture. We only know him as the Man of God. I King 13: 1-33. Jeroboam was in earshot from the Man of God and heard the whole thing. Jeroboam thought back that it was The God who promised to him that he would be king, the same God that was causing this to happen. Jeroboam was given a last chance as his encounter with the Man of God, yet he chose to disobey one again. He built altars to the gods of the foreigners in an attempt to force God’s promise through the prophet Ahijah. He sought advice from men rather than God. We face consequences when we follow our will and not God’s.
God’s instructions to us do not change. God will not lead you in a direction that conflicts what He told you. Much of this for us is going to apply to His word. He will not lead us in a direction that conflict with His word. Sunday night at 6 p.m. attendance was good. Special in song, Alicia Cottrell, “The Greatness of our God.” Connie Cottrell, “The Midnight Cry.” Pastor Cottrell’s message, “Prepare the Way.” Isaiah 40, Matthew 3: 1-12, Matt. 2: 19-23. We look at John the Baptist to see what we can learn from him to apply to our next year. Christ has come in the form of a baby; the Christ child was taken to Nazareth to be raised there and to fulfill the prophecy that He would be called a Nazarene. The Savior has come but there were still many more prophecies to be fulfilled.
John the Baptist references one in Matthew 3: 3. We can take away from Matthew’s account of John preparing the way for the Lord. We can apply it to our lives in 2016. Verse 1-3, The message of repentance is preached. V-4, The messenger is not one fitted into standards of society. We should look different than society, not for attention, but because society reflects the world’s standards and not God’s V. 5-6. The message will find an ear if we are willing to preach it. People will hear and come. V. 7-8, The message of repentance requires fruit to show that a true turning has taken place. We cannot just offer up words, we must offer up the sacrifice of ourselves through our vent will submitting to His. V.9, Our present repentance cannot be confused with our past achievements. We cannot rely on the life we have lived for God, we must look to live daily for God.
Our present repentance shows our hearts desire to live for God. V. 10, We must live in the understanding that if we deny God’s calling we will move to a point of distance where we will not feel God moving in our life. God does not force himself on us, but He makes Himself completely available to us. We must seek Him daily and seek to show His fruits daily. V. 11, John proclaimed Christ’s worthiness. We need to recognize this and proclaim Christ and His majesty. V. 12, Jesus provides each of us with the ability to have eternity with Him, but we are the ones that must act on it. If someone waits too long the ability will be taken from them and they will experience the unquenchable fire. Read Isaiah 5: 1-7. He has given us everything we need to be a fruit bearing people. We can prosper in His grace by spreading His message of hope, love, and salvation. It is up to us just as it was to John for us to prepare the way for God’s message in this world. Our family was saddened Thursday night, Christmas Day, to hear of the death of my brother-in-law Doyle Wood in Athens. A memorial service will be held Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. at Edwards Chapel Baptist Church in Athens.John Grubbs came home for the Christmas holidays. He was met at the airport by eight family members. He spent his time visiting with family and friends enjoying home cooked meals.
He was honored at a fish fry at his grandmother’s house with 27 friends and family members present, Sammie, Christy, Emma and Carter hosted a “Happy Birthday Jesus” breakfast at their home on Christmas morning. Those attending were Peggy Harper, Joe and Retha Brown, Brandon, Gail and John Grubbs. The family also celebrated the birth of Jesus with a “White Elephant” Christmas Party at the home of Peggy Harper, in which 26 family members were present. John left Saturday morning to return to the Army.
Julie and Billy Phillips, Sonny, Mary, Rebekah, Rachel and Zach Wood, James and Sarah Folson of Cincinnati, Ohio enjoyed Christmas Day with Margie Ward. Betty Bailey and Lovie McGiboney visited Margie Ward Wednesday afternoon. Sonny, Mary, Rebekah, Rachel and Zach Wood, James and Sarah Folson and Margie Ward visited with the Doyle Wood family Saturday afternoon.