First Baptist Church Family,
What a strange time we live in, right? I remember reading a book by Ray Bradbury in the early 1970s about a global plague, and there have been many movies with the same theme. This pandemic is the stuff of science fiction movies, and yet here we are. However, none of those books or movies showed the church or Christians in a good light.
I believe these are the times when the church can shine brightest. How?
First, love your neighbor. Even with careful social distancing, we can reach out to those around us. Do you know someone who may be alone, new to the area, or unable to get around? Get to know them and offer help. Call if you feel uneasy about a face-to-face meeting.
Second, love your church family. Stay connected. Get in touch with your deacon and let him or her know how you’re doing. If you are new to our church, you may not be part of a deacon family yet. If that is the case or you are not sure who your deacon is, please call the church office. If you are willing and available to help others (get food or supplies for someone or drive them somewhere), please let your deacon know.
Third, love the Lord. Experience church with us this Sunday morning, but online. I know that internet church misses the fellowship of live church, but for this Sunday and most likely next Sunday (Mar 29), this is how we will do this:
https://www.firstbaptisthartsville.org/ at either 10:00 or 11:00 to watch the service on line.
This is also the time to pray. Here are some suggestions on what to pray:
Pray for our nation and world. 2 Chronicles 7:13-14 (NIV) When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, 14if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. “Lord, I pray that Your people will humbly come to you and turn from any wicked way. Forgive us and heal our land. I pray that people who do not yet know You will become strong believers as a result of this global wake-up call.”
Pray for people’s health and for them to stay strong in spirit. 3 John 1:2 (NLT2) Dear friend, I hope all is well with you and that you are as healthy in body as you are strong in spirit. “Father, I pray that those who are healthy will stay healthy. I also pray that those who are fighting sickness or injury will return to health sooner than later. Above all, I pray that we will continually get stronger in spirit, in spite of how our bodies get along.”
Look for God through all this and thank Him. James 1:2-4 (NIV) Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NLT2) Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. “Lord, I sure don’t understand all that is happening around the world right now. But by faith I thank You and I’m looking for the joy in this trial of suffering. Help me to see You through all the pain, confusion, fear, and uncertainties in our world.”
In these unprecedented and confusing times, pray for God’s wisdom. James 1:5-8 (NIV) If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. 6But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; 8he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does. “Lord, I need wisdom. The world seems to be in panic mode right now. I chose to place my faith and trust in You, and I need to sense Your wisdom and direction for me these days. By faith, I receive Your peace. I will not fear. And I believe that You will give me the wisdom I need to move forward.”
A frequently asked question is “How do I continue to give my tithes and offerings?” Here are four ways you can give from your home or smart phone:
1. Text BeCheerful to 73256 anytime, anywhere.
2. Give online through our website: firstbaptisthartsville.org
3. Automatic bank check (bill pay). Contact your bank to set this up.
4. Mail your gift to the FBC office.
Please call your deacon or the church if you or someone you know needs help.
I look forward to connecting with you on Sunday,
Pastor Greg Boyd
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