Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Sunday Reflections (7-16-17)

God continues to amaze me! What incredible services we had this past Sunday on "The Hill." The Spirit of God had free reign in both our AM and PM worship services. As the invitation was given Sunday morning, the altars were flooded. The leadership came and prayed for our church. The men came and prayed for their families. Others came and laid their burdens before the Lord. We had one come on profession of faith Sunday morning and one Sunday night. In our 11AM worship service, we had another sweet couple come and make BRVBC their church home. Welcome Jesse Evatt and Moriah Hughes... And congratulations on your upcoming wedding!

We continued our Sunday morning series on "The Church Ablaze" in the book of Acts, and our Sunday evening series, "Deeper." There is a sense of excitement and expectation in the air at BRV. With each passing Sunday, we are seeing God do incredible things and move in different ways! I can't wait to baptize 8 or 9 more this coming Sunday night!

Let me give you our AM and PM outlines for you to reflect upon this week:

AM Service

Series: "The Church Ablaze"
Subject: Early Church in Acts
Sermon: "Fire Power!" (3/7)
Scripture: Acts 4. 1-33

INTRODUCTION

*One of the most incredible passages in all of the Word of God on praying: Acts 4.31

I. WHERE THEY PRAYED (18,23)

   A. In the Midst of Tribulation (18)

*There is something wrong with Christianity when Christians do not suffer tribulation in some form or another.

John 16.33

   B. In the Midst of Persecution (23)

*Many times where TRIBULATION and PERSECUTION exist, revival also breaks out.
*Our Christian life will either attract or antagonize a watching world.

John 15.20
Matt. 5.12

II. HOW THEY PRAYED (24-25, 28-30)

$$ Statement: There is no greater force on earth than a praying church.

*3 aspects of their praying:

   A. Unity (24)

*One church in one accord!!

   B. Their View of God was Clear (24-25)

*They had a Biblical View of God!!

     1. God of Sovereignty- "Lord, you are God..."
     2. God of Prophecy- "who by the mouth of your servant David said..."
*quote Psalm 2 in their prayer
     3. God of History (28)

   C. They Prayed Big (29-30)

- They did not pray for little things. They desired revival. They desired for God to shake their world. And they did not compromise their message despite their circumstances!

III. WHAT HAPPENED IN RESPONSE TO THEIR PRAYING (31-33)

*2 things happened as a result of their praying:

   A. The Church was Empowered to Minister (33)

*Could it be that the church today has no great power because we have no great prayer meetings?

*Thousands were saved and ministered to because they were operating in the power of the Holy Spirit!

   B. The Church was Filled with Grace (33, 35)

"grace"- the love of God in action

*There was a conscious spirit of community- a caring and sharing that was extraordinary.

CONCLUSION

*God does not work in spite of us- He works through us, and He works in answer to prayer.

*The church's strength is not revealed in it's business meetings. It is revealed in it's prayer meetings.

*The early church's prayer meetings were demonstrations of how God's people should always pray.

PM Service

Series: "Deeper"
Subject: Deepening our Spiritual Roots
Sermon: "I Am a Church Member" (#2)
Scripture: Colossians 2.6-7; Hebrews 10.25

INTRODUCTION

QUESTION: After salvation, where do we start to deepen our spiritual roots?
ANSWER: In a local fellowship called the church. The church is essential to a deepening Christian life.


QUESTION: What is a church?
ANSWER: A group of saved, scripturally baptized followers of Christ

*What does it involve?

I. MEMBERSHIP

*There are no such things as spiritual gypsies. God wants His people deeply rooted in a fellowship of believers.  

*You can be a christian without being a member of a church, but you cannot be an obedient one. 

QUESTION: What kind of church should I join?

   A. A Bible Preaching Church!

     1. It Ought to be Preached Consistently (2Tim. 4.2)
     2. It Ought to be Preached Courageously (2Tim. 4.2)

   B. Where Jesus is the Main Attraction! (Eph. 5.23)

*Worship is not about me and it's not about you. It's about Jesus only.

"Just give me Jesus when I come to church!"

   C. Where God's Spirit is Present! (Acts 2)

*There is nothing more sad and CONTRADICTORY than a dead church.
*The church you join should be alive with the presence and power of the Holy Spirit.

   D. Where God's People are Passionate about His Work and Will (Acts 2.41-47)

II. COMPANIONSHIP (Hebrews 10.25)

*Church is a place of Christian fellowship.

   A. The Assembling of the Fellowship (25)

*Christian are to attend faithfully the church to which they belong.
   
   B. The Expectancy of the Fellowship (25)

*As we approach the coming of the Lord, assembling together as fellow believers becomes even more important ("so much more...")

   C. The Encouragement from the Fellowship (25)

"exhort"- has the idea of comforting and encouraging one another (I Thes. 4)

*Assembling together as believers is important because we draw strength from the companionship and fellowship that we have with other christians!

III. STEWARDSHIP (Titus 1.7)

*The church is a place to serve. It is a place to be a good steward of our spiritual gifts.

*The Bible speaks of every Christian as being gifted to serve, therefore you need to:

   A. Discover your Gift (1st Cor. 12.4)

*Spiritual gift is how God has equipped a believer to serve. You were not saved to sit. You were saved to serve.

   B. Employ your Gift- Put it to work!!!

*The church needs your service, but greater than that. you need to be serving.

AGAIN: You were not saved to sit. You were saved to serve.

CONCLUSION

*In order to deepen our spiritual roots, we need to be a part of a church. Our Membership, Companionship and Stewardship are all part of our spiritual growth.


Until Next Time,

Bro. Pastor
Eph. 3.20
     

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Sunday Reflections (7-9-17)

It is hard to put into words what we saw God do in our midst this past Sunday. It was just one of those sacred times when God settles down among us as we are in a spirit of obedience to Him. I thank God for the testimonies in the 11am worship service of what God is doing in your lives. I praise Him for displaying His power in our lives and in our church. I once heard the phrase that "A church alive is worth the drive." I believe that...and it is obvious, even in the middle of Summer, that many of you do as well!

Here's a brief recap of our messages from Sunday:

Sunday AM

Series: "Deeper" (#1)
Subject; Assurance of Salvation
Sermon: "Oh Yes I Know!
Scripture: 1st John 5.6-13

INTRODUCTION

1. We are beginning a series on Sunday nights entitled, "Deeper." In this series, we are going to reveal the building blocks of our faith...how to go and grow Deeper in our walk with the Lord Jesus Christ. How to grow closer to God and walk in a greater obedience to Him on a daily basis. "Deeper!"

2. If you want to go Deeper in your walk and in your faith, you have to begin with the foundation: the assurance of your salvation. You will live in defeat if you wake each day wondering whether you are "saved" or "lost."

3. Based on Scripture, we can know beyond the shadow of a doubt that we are a child of God. You should never have a "Hope So" salvation when the Bible teaches that you can have a "Know So" salvation.

$$ Statement: You will never go Deeper with God if you do not have this foundational truth settled in your life.

*John outlines for us in our text the truth of salvation:

I. SALVATION IS BASED UPON HIS WORK (6)

   A. Notice the Sacrifice (6)
     1. He Speaks of the Water
     2. He Speaks of the Blood

   B. Notice the Symbol (6)

"blood"- salvation, conversion, judicial cleansing
"water"- sanctification, continuous cleansing, practical cleansing

*The blood of Jesus saves me. The water of the Word cleanses me!

II. SALVATION IS AFFIRMED BY HIS WITNESS (9-12)

*His witness (Holy Spirit) in me confirms my salvation.
*God sent Christ to accomplish our salvation, but He sent Holy Spirit to empower us to flesh out our salvation.

**The witness of the Holy Spirit is indispensable if we are going to be saved and have the assurance of our salvation.

   A. This Witness is Reliable (8)
   B. This Witness Reveals (9-10)
   C. This Witness Plays a Role (11-12)

REMEMBER: The Holy Spirit will always point us to Jesus Christ...
"Any parade that emphasizes the Holy Spirit over the Lord Jesus Christ is in direct contradiction to the Word of God." Dr. Akin

- The witness (testimony) of the Holy Spirit is found in v.12!

III. SALVATION IS EVIDENCED IN MY LIFE IN ACCORDANCE TO GOD'S WORD (13)

   A. Our Basis for Assurance- the Word of God!
- Not remembrance
- Not feelings
*The truth of the Word of God is our basis for the assurance of our salvation

   B. The Behavior of Our Assurance
1) Joy!
2) Service!

Dwight L. Moody: "I have never known a Christian who was any good in the work of Christ who did not have the assurance of his salvation."

CONCLUSION

Dr. Adrian Rogers suggests that John gives us 3 tests to reveal how salvation should show up in our behavior:

     1. The Commandment Test (1st John 2. 3-6)
     2. The Companion Test (1st John 3.14)
     3. The Commitment Test (1st John 5.10,13)- are you trusting Jesus right now- Him alone- as Savior and Lord of your life?

**Is there any evidence in your life today that you are the offspring of the living God?


Sunday PM

Series: "The Church Ablaze" (#2)
Subject: The Early Church in Acts
Sermon: "The Portrait of a Great Church"
Scripture: Acts 2.41-47

INTRODUCTION

$$ Statement: The ultimate aim of evangelism is not only to produce converts, but also to produce disciples.

- Converts become disciples when they are involved in the kind of church Luke describes in 2.41-47. The Acts 2 church is A Portrait of a Great Church.

"The verses between 41-47 describe what happens when God breaks loose in a group of ordinary men and women!" Harbour

- Notice the core values of a great church. A great church is:

I. ROOTED IN THE WORD OF GOD (42)

*Converts become disciples thru the study of God's Word.

II. SERIOUS ABOUT THE WORSHIP OF GOD (42, 46, 47)

   A. Worship that is Active (Vibrant) (42, 46-47)

"Worship is a verb." -Babbie Mason

   B. Worship that Uplifts (43)
   C. Worship that Attracts (47)

*Converts become disciples thru Biblical worship.

III. COMMITTED TO FELLOWSHIP AMONG THE PEOPLE OF GOD (42, 44, 46)

PRINCIPLE: God never intended the Christian to go it alone. *Converts become disciples thru fellowship with other Christians in the setting of the local church.

IV. EXPERIENCES THE POWER OF GOD BY PRAYER (42-43)

   A. Devotion to Prayer (42)

William Barclay: "They (early church) always spoke to God before they spoke with man; they always went into God before they went out to the world; they could meet the problems of life because they had first met with God."

   B. Displays of Power (43)

fear, awe, wonders, signs

- Maybe we don't see awe and wonder in the church today because we don't labor in prayer.

*Converts become disciples thru the disciplined practice of prayer.

V. SACRIFICES IN ORDER TO MINISTER TO OTHERS (44-45)

- Their caring and sharing caused the culture around them to stand up and take notice.
- This church was more interested in giving than receiving. ministering than being ministered to.

*Converts become disciples thru serving and other ministry.

CONCLUSION

- I am attracted to the Acts church. I want BRV to follow her example. They made such an impact because they came together from all regions and ethnicities and shared a common faith in Jesus Christ.

*What does a great church look like?

1) The Word of God is Foundational
2) Biblical Worship is Transformational
3) Commitment to One Another is Non-negotiable
4) Prayer is a Priority
5) Ministry is Carried Out

*Who are we BRV?
*Who do we want to become?

BENEDICTION: Remember during the highs and lows of this week that: "Anything short of Hell is grace." -Bill Stafford


Until Next Time,
Bro. Pastor
Eph. 3.20

Thursday, June 29, 2017

#PTBT

Enjoy this message from one of the world's greatest preachers, Dr. Adrian Rogers. He needs no introduction.

"Why I Believe in Jesus Christ." APR

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MQ0CWrQ9UOM

Until Next Time,
Bro. Pastor
Gal.n2.20

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Tell it to Jesus...Alone


Life sometimes throws us a curve ball. You know what I'm talking about. There are heartaches we experience that we think we cannot bear. A mate dies. A friend betrays you. The news from the doctor is devastating. In these times we often wonder what in the world we are going to do...

If you read the Psalms, you will find that David had some of these same emotions. He was fearful. He was despondent. He was depressed and discouraged. He dealt with anger and feelings of revenge. But as you read his laments, you will find a common refrain. After running the gamut of negative emotions, in the end his thoughts turned to God. He brought these feelings to the only One Who could comfort him and give him guidance. Many times, he ends up praising God in the midst of it all. You will read of him dealing with anger and then turning his enemies over to his Heavenly Father. You will read of him being in the clutches of despair and then turning to God for help and security. This refrain is common in his writings.

David teaches us a valuable lesson. For all of our hurts, fears, hopeless situations and horrible circumstances, Jesus is the Answer. He is the One Who can turn your tragedy into a triumph. He can turn your fear into faith and your hurt into hope. I do not know what you are dealing with today, but I do know One Who does. His name is Jesus. I want you to think about something as you go throughout your day today: Jesus not only knows your situation, He cares about your situation. He cares about your loneliness, depression and discouragement. Whatever concerns you concerns Him.

When I read some of the writings of David, I am reminded of an old hymn we used to sing: “Tell it to Jesus.” Listen to the words:


Are you weary, are you heavyhearted?
Tell it to Jesus,
Tell it to Jesus;
Are you grieving over joys departed?
Tell it to Jesus alone.

Chorus:
Tell it to Jesus, tell it to Jesus,
He is a friend that's well-known;
You've no other such a friend or brother,
Tell it to Jesus alone.

Do the tears flow down your cheeks unbidden?
Tell it to Jesus,
Tell it to Jesus;
Have you sins that to men's eyes are hidden?
Tell it to Jesus alone.

[Chorus]

Do you fear the gath'ring clouds of sorrow?
Tell it to Jesus,
Tell it to Jesus;
Are you anxious what shall be tomorrow?
Tell it to Jesus alone.

[Chorus]

Are you troubled at the thought of dying?
Tell it to Jesus,
Tell it to Jesus;
For Christ's coming kingdom are you sighing?
Tell it to Jesus alone.



 If you are going through one of those "curve ball" times of life, could I encourage you to tell it to Jesus alone?

Until Next Time, 
Bro. Pastor
Gal. 2.20

Monday, June 26, 2017

Sunday Reflections (6-25-17)

We had another wonderful day "On the Hill" yesterday. Tremendous worship crowds, incredible music and a challenging message from the Word of God. We began a new series entitled, "The Church Ablaze." Over the course of the next several weeks, we are going to look at some snapshots of the early church in the book of Acts. We are going to focus on 2 main themes: What made the early church so impactful, energetic and expectant, and how can the 21st century church regain that passion and influence today?

Sunday AM Service

Here is a brief outline from our first message in the series: "A Fire Ignited!" Acts 1-2

INTRODUCTION
*The first church was "set ablaze" corporately and individually by the Holy Spirit of God. Notice they were:

I. A CHURCH IGNITED FOR A PURPOSE (1.6-8)
   A, They Were Given a Plan to Carry Out (6-7)
   B. They Were Given a Place to Carry Out the Plan (8)
     1. Jerusalem
     2. Judea
     3. Samaria
     4. Ends of the Earth

*A Church Ablaze is a Church on Mission!

II. A CHURCH ENABLED BY THE POWER OF THE SPIRIT (2.1-11)
*We have enablement to carry out our purpose.

   A. A Miraculous Manifestation (6)
- Everybody heard the Gospel in their own language. It is a Gospel for everyone!

   B. A Common Witness (11)
Theme: "the wonderful works of God"

III. A CHURCH ENTRUSTED WITH A DIVINE PROCLAMATION (2.21-24, 36-41
   A. Peter's Sermon (21-24)

- Jesus lived. Jesus Died. Jesus rose again. That is our message!
- The church was built upon the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

   B. The Crowds Reaction (37)
Question: "What shall we do?"
Answer: "Repent!"

$$ Statement: When you repent of your sin and turn to the resurrected Christ: you get freedom from what you used to be and you get the power to be what you ought to be.

CONCLUSION (40-41)

*Invitation/3000 responded and gave their life to Jesus.

Take away: BRVBC, we should be Ignited for a Purpose, Enabled by the Spirit, and Trustworthy of our command to Proclaim the Resurrected Christ!!


Sunday PM Service

VBS Kickoff!! Please be much in prayer for all kids and volunteers this week in Vacation Bible School. We are praying for children to come to faith in Christ.

Until Next Time,
Bro. Pastor
Gal.2.20

Thursday, June 22, 2017

#PTBT

#PTBT- Preachers Throw Back Thursday! Thursdays will be reserved for great Preachers and preaching of the past. I will post either video links or the full manuscript of some of America's greatest Preachers who have gone on to Glory.

Today's preacher and sermon comes from the incomparable Dr. E.V. Hill. You can find Dr. Hill's brief biography here: http://mtzionla.org/mt-zion-missionary-baptist-church-dr-edward-hill-tribute.php

Dr. Hill preached one of my all-time favorite sermons entitled, "The Hogpen Trail" from Luke 15, centered around the truth of the Prodigal Son. I hope you enjoy:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ow8vE0ekpz0

Until Next Time,
Bro. Pastor
Gal.2.20

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Sunday Reflections( 6-18-17)

I never cease to be amazed at the work of God in His church. It is such a blessing to be a part of a fellowship where God is moving. I love to get up each Sunday morning with a spirit of expectation and anticipation of what God is going to do in our worship services and in the life of our church. This past Sunday was no exception. Our worship services were filled with the power of the Holy Spirit. We saw decisions made for Christ once again. Someone stopped me after Sunday School before our second worship to tell me that God had done a work in his heart that morning and that he had made some things right with God. It was just a tremendous day. We thank God that another family was added to our fellowship Sunday morning...Welcome Tommy and Janice McCullough! 

The message Sunday morning was a great challenge to our men, as well as to every christian in our church. Our text was Ezekiel 22.30: "And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none..." I want the phrase, "Will You be that Man?" to burn in your heart this week. Will you be that man that answers the call of God on your life? Will you answer the call to salvation, surrender and service? Will you be the man that rises to that call, motivated by how he has blessed you? Motivated to do something for Him because of His promises to you? And will you be that man that rises to the occasion and says, "Stop the search! I am your man! You do not have to search any longer for a man to make up the hedge and stand in the gap! I am here!" Will You be that Man?

Church, God is looking for one man to wake up and realize that the hedge is weakening and the gap is widening in our homes, in our churches and in our nation, and then to rise up and say, "Lord, I will be that man that you are searching for ..."

"I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And that which I can do, by the grace of God, I will do." D.L. Moody

Until Next Time,
Bro. Pastor

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Just One Soul

I remember one of the first times I personally led someone to faith in Jesus Christ. I was working at a local YMCA, and on occasion troubled teens would be assigned community service there at the "Y." I worked as a "maintenance technician" (janitor, custodian, toilet scrubber, trash emptier, etc.), so many times those fulfilling community service requirements were assigned to me. His name was Jesse and he was 14 years old. He had been suspended from school several times, the last time for bringing a weapon on campus. He had also been in and out of trouble with the law, hence his community service assignment. This young man was obviously searching for something that he had not found in the ways of the world.

Jesse spent a week with me. I tried to be a Godly influence before him as we worked side by side each day. On his last day, as we were working in the boiler room, I presented the Gospel to him. In our conversation, I said, "Jesse, I want you to know that God loves you. If you don't think anyone else in this world loves you, I want you to know that Jesus does..."  As I spoke those words, this tough, hardened, cold, directionless young teenager began to weep. And there in that old boiler room at the Pickens County YMCA in 1994, young Jesse wept his way to Jesus.

I have never forgotten that witnessing encounter. As christians, we have the Truth that can set people free from their sin and bondage. I don't want to keep that news to myself. I don't want BRVBC to keep that news to herself. We are in direct disobedience to our Lord if we do. We have a command to go, a message to share, and a power to enable us. People all around us are dying and going out into a Christ-less eternity while we have the news that can give them life- abundant and eternal. Why would we keep that to ourselves?

Charles Peace, a notorious criminal in England, was executed on February 25, 1879. Just before his execution, an Anglican minister halfheartedly read to him from The Consolation of Religion: "Those who die without Christ experience hell, which is the pain of forever dying without the release which death itself can bring."

Charles Peace stopped the minister and said, "Sir, if I believed what you and the church of God say that you believe, even if England were covered with broken glass from coast to coast, I would walk over it, if need be, on hands and knees and think it worthwhile living, just to save one soul from an eternal hell like that!"1

May you, me and the church as a whole, be so burdened today for just one soul, that we would simply walk across the street on freshly laid pavement to tell them about Jesus.

Until Next Time,
Bro. Pastor

_______________

1. Leonard Ravenhill, Why Revival Tarries (Bethany House, 1991), 32.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Sunday Reflections

What wonderful services we had yesterday here on "The Hill" at Blue Ridge View Baptist Church! The Word of God was taught, sung, preached and shared. There was evangelism, discipleship, prayer, worship and ministry carried out yesterday. God was lifted high and decisions were made for Him.

Let's have a quick reminder of what we learned yesterday so that we can apply it today church!

AM Service
Subject: Prayer
Sermon: The Blueprint for Biblical Praying
Scripture: Matthew 6.5-15

INTRODUCTION
*Christ teaches us how to connect with God every time we pray.

I. THE PRESUPPOSITION OF THE CHRISTIAN'S PRAYER LIFE (5-6)

v.5: "when"
v.6: "when"
v.7: "when

*Praying is a given in the life of a Christian. How is our "prayer track?"

II. THE INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE CHRISTIAN'S PRAYER LIFE (7-8)

v.7: Be careful of "rote", "going by the numbers" praying; cliches, coined phrases, canned prayers.

*It is not how much we say in our prayer that causes God to hear us...it is how we say what we say that garners His attention.

John Bunyan: "When you pray, it would be better to let your heart be without words than to let you words be without heart."

III. THE BLUEPRINT FOR THE CHRISTIAN'S PRAYER LIFE (9-13)

   A. Praise Him (9-10)

*Focus on the Father!
*Prayer is not to tell God what is on your mind; prayer seeks to find out what is on God's mind.

   B. Petition Him (11)

James 4.3

   C. Plead with Him (12)
     
     1. We Need to Get Forgiveness (12a)
     2. We Need to Give Forgiveness (12b)

   D. Receive Power from Him (13a)

   E. Praise Him...Again! (13b)

CONCLUSION

*In most of chapter 6, Jesus deals with hypocrisy: in our giving, fasting and praying. We need to make sure that we are not hypocritical in WHERE we pray, WHAT we pray, or in WHY we pray.


PM Service
Subject: Wisdom about Social Media
Sermon: The Blessings and Cursings of Social Media- Pt, 2 (Blessings)
Scripture: Various

INTRODUCTION

Reminder: (Titus 1.15) Perversion and sin with online activity is not a reflection of technology; it is a reflection of the user's heart. What I post on my Facebook account, etc., and what I participate in on the internet, is simply a window into my heart.

Blessings of Social Media: 
1.) ABILITY TO BE A WITNESS FOR CHRIST- "Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel...
2.) ABILITY TO ENCOURAGE SPIRITUAL GROWTH- 2 Tim. 2.15
3. ABILITY TO ENCOURAGE OTHERS (thru text, email, Facebook...)- Prov. 25.11
4.) ABILITY TO KEEP IN TOUCH WITH ALL LOVED ONES
5.) ABILITY TO CREATE A VAST PRAYER CHAIN
6.) ABILITY TO ENHANCE YOUR EDUCATION
7.) ABILITY TO STRENGTHEN AND FORM GODLY RELATIONSHIPS AS WELL AS INFLUENCE.
8.) ABILITY TO SAVE TIME: Able to take care of the temporal quickly in order to spend time on the eternal.
9.) WORLD EVANGELISM! Social networking and media mobilizes us to reach the nations with the Gospel.

CONCLUSION/ADMONITION FOR SOCIAL MEDIA USE:

     1. Stay Accountable (programs, people, spouse)
     2. Engage people in face to face convo!
     3. Be real
     4. Avoid shady conversations and strangers
     5. Be moderate
     6. Keep motives pure


Challenge for today (Monday) BRV: Use your access to social media to encourage someone!

Until Next Time,
Brother Pastor
Gal. 2.20 



Sunday Reflections (7-16-17)

God continues to amaze me! What incredible services we had this past Sunday on "The Hill." The Spirit of God had free reign in bot...