Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen

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Sunday attendance was good, several members were back after being out Sunday. Welcome to the visitors that came. They are always welcome to our services and we are blessed by their presence. We invite them to come anytime as the Lord leads. Pastor Cottrell invited Steve Barrett to come and share his testimony with us. His testimony is one of faith in a gracious God, our God. I know most everyone remembers the plane accident Steve had in February 2008. He said the first day of surgery lasted 16 hours. Steve was in a coma for 37 days and woke up on Easter Sunday morning after awakening the doctors told him he wouldn’t be able to do this or that. Steve said he told him, you don’t know my God.”

Pastor Cottrell said he had known Steve for a number of years and can say with all honesty that he has undergone the transformation that Paul speaks on in Romans 12. Last week Pastor Cottrell spoke on Elijah and the false prophets. As Elijah was addressing the crowd, specifically the Israelites, he asked the question, “How long will you falter between two opinions? This question is one of faith, he’s asking them how long will you struggle with whom you have faith in? The same struggle is in our world today. We all must decide whom we’re putting our faith in. In Elijah’s day fire rained from heaven to consume the offering. This great feat was there to show the power of God and to prove why Israel should have faith in the Almighty God. Heb. 11: 1. “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Today we believe someone wanted this man “Steve” to live and function and Steve himself says its God! Faith however is not just saying you believe, faith requires action. James 2: 14-17 Faith in action looks a lot like Jesus. Rom. 13: 11-14 Sunday night at 6 p.m. the study on Minor Prophet Haggai was taught by Patrick Alligood.

After this Pastor Anthony Cottrell followed with “To Be Called My People,” Ezra 3: 8-11, 4:1-5, Haggai 1: 1-7, 9-11; 13 and chapter 2. Haggai was prophesying, the temple sat for a number of years with only a foundation, this caused opposition, which was able to keep the Isralites from rebuilding. Ten years went by and no work was being done. The children of Israel began to lose sight of their priorities or where they put God in their life. God spoke to them through Haggai concerning their commitment to Him. God had heard what the people were saying regarding the rebuilding of the temple. God said, “This people” any other time God would say, “My people.” He said, “This people” because He felt like He had been pushed aside from their priorities. He told them to, “Consider your ways!” God is warning them through Haggai to look over, review, reflect and evaluate their efforts and focus. God reveals the first step to restoration. “Go up, bring wood and build!” They were to give to God first as they realized their errors they sought to obey God and He said “I am with you,” no matter how difficult it may be. God offers encouragement to the Israelites especially the elders of Solomon’s days. The temple being rebuilt God is telling them to keep pushing forward, He is with them, he reaffirms His covenant, promises for a greater temple to come.

Throughout this book we see in order for God to be with us we must choose to live for Him. God provided a way for His people to prosper when they sought to put Him first. I believe this action of God reveals that when they turned completely to Him He called them “My People.” The Morgan County Baptist Association Brotherhood meeting will be held Thursday night, February 4 at Rutledge Baptist Church at 7 p.m. The Executive Committee meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. Next Sunday, Jan. 17 is Sanctity of Human Life Sunday. On Saturday, Feb. 6 the Associational Senior Adult Banquet will be held at Lake Oconee Baptist Church at 6:30 p.m. Everyone is asked to bring a filled covered dish. Margie Ward visited Ann Ward at Morgan Memorial Hospital TCU Friday afternoon. Ann had the misfortune of breaking her hip in a fall at her home recently. Keep her in your prayers.

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