G reetings from The Springs! Many have asked about the annual Church Conference at USBC. During this meeting, the calendar is set, however no date has been determined. As usual, I will keep you posted. The church directories will be out soon. Secretary Jamie Baker has diligently worked on this project so that it will be as accurate as possible. When they come back from the printer, I will let you know when to get them. Dr. Kathy Hubbard taught last Wednesday’s Bible Study and the class focused on Chapter Eight of Revelation. She discussed the Seventh Seal and the Trumpets of Judgment. Verse one stated that there was silence in Heaven of half an hour. In our discussion, it is thought that it was quiet because God was about to pass judgment. There were also similarities with the angel that had the censer. This angel was like the high priest when he offered up incense and prayers to God in the holies of holy. Dr. Hubbard went into detail with the disasters that happened when the four trumpets sounded. Many of these events were like the plagues that God sent in Exodus to the Egyptians. Join us as this series continues. It is getting better and better!
On Sunday, January 24, 2016, Pastor Robert Terrell continued the series, “His Grace is Sufficient.” This sermon titled, “The Gift of God,” began with Pastor T affirming that God sent His only begotten Son. The reason that He gave us His Son was for the gift of salvation. The gift that He gave was the price that He paid on a Roman cross. The gift was His shed blood which saved us! When we look at what He did, none of us ever feels qualified. Yet, His grace is sufficient. It is enough for all the saints past, present and future. It does not ever run out. It is more than enough! God has call us to be witnesses. He did not call us to get anyone saved because His grace will do that part. Looking at the woman at the well, we see that she was not qualified to be a witness, but God did indeed use her. The morning’s text came from St. John 4: 1-41 where the Pharisees stated that, “Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John, (though Jesus Himself baptized not, but His disciples.)
Basically, the Pharisees sat around talking and not doing anything but the disciples were baptizing and equipping others. God called us to be witnesses. Now, being a Christian means that a person has been saved. A disciple is one who follows Jesus. They go out, witness and make other disciples so that the whole world will know about Jesus. They followed Jesus’ example. In these passages, the woman at the well got an entire community saved. Verse four shows that Jesus went through Samaria, which is a place that could be referred to as “sin city.” As witnesses, at times we have to go to places that are uncomfortable. It is outside the four walls of the church where the work needs to be done. Pastor Terrell stated that Jesus approached the woman in a common way. He was probably hot and tired since it was 12 noon when He was at the well. He simply asked the woman there, “Give Me a drink.” When witnessing, you don’t have to approach someone in a deep, spiritual manner. To be an effective witness, go to them in a manner that is common to them. The grace of God will do the work. In the woman’s reply to Him, she asked why a big shot Jew would ask a common woman such as herself for water. There are two problems with this. One is that Samaria was considered “sin city” and the other factor was that she was a woman. However, Jesus said, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.” In this case, Jesus put the gift before Himself. We can be the secondary vessel and put the gift of God first when we witness. In verse 15, the woman opens up to Jesus and later repents. Before this, she asks for the water where she will thirst no more. When we give our testimony, it often lets people open up to us. At this point, we can then move forward. When they repent, then we can go even further. This woman repented in her spirit and admitted that she had a problem. Jesus shared with her that He had a gift that let Him know all about her. He told her to get her husband and she told Him that she did not have one. She told God about her situation. Jesus says if you have a repented spirit, you are worthy to be a witness. However, the devil will tell us that we do not qualify because of our standing. As we read on down in this text, we see that guilt sets in with the woman and she lashes out at Jesus. She is hurt when He speaks about her past five husbands.
As witnesses for Christ, we cannot get upset when people come to us in this manner, either. The good news is that she does speak with her mouth the Lord Jesus. She says that the Messiah is coming. After leaving the presence of Jesus, she goes back to where she lived and tells about meeting Him. They then believed in Jesus and her testimony. Her witness drew them to the place where they would hear the Word. This woman’s past was harsh but she was an effective witness. In today’s terms, she would not qualify to be a missionary. She would not qualify to be one that they would hear. Like her, God will make a change in you for everyone to see. God will put a change in you when you go back to your neighborhood and tell them your testimony. God wants to use your testimony. Everybody knew about this woman, but it was something different about her because she had been with Jesus. Pastor Terrell compelled us to go out and witness. He said no matter what our pasts looks like; we need to witness to the people in our neighborhoods and in our families. The gift of God makes a difference in people’s lives. Don’t look at yourselves. The world is dying for witnesses. His grace is sufficient to save your family. It is sufficient to save anybody. Take them your testimony about what God has done in your life. The Lord wants to use us! It is not about us, but the gift of God! Glory Be To God!