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Dan Stillings sang a special song in the morning service. Pastor Bob Sorensen brought a message he called, “Don’t show up empty-handed,” from Deuteronomy 16.
The men of Israel were to come to Jerusalem to the temple for three major feasts each year. There was a certain time and a certain place for each feast. These special days were to be observed to worship God and to bring to remembrance His mighty works. There were specific and solemn instructions and standards for the observance of each feast. Today we have the Lord’s day set aside each week for the same reason. There is a time and a place to assemble to worship and remember our Lord. When the time for church comes, we should be there.
Each man of Israel was supposed to bring his tithe and offerings to the house of the Lord, as he was able. The offering was not valued by its comparison to another, but to the ability of the giver. Today, we should be faithful to bring our tithes and offerings to the house of the Lord. We should do what we can.
God set up judges in Israel and they were required to do just judgment. This was necessary for peaceful and righteous living in Israel. God has set up leaders in the home, the church, and in government God has given them the authority to rule, but too often someone is trying to buck that authority. We are to yield to God given authority rather than to try to do things our own way.
God had high standards set for the people of Israel. We should not tamper with God’s standards. We may see God’s standard being ignored and people letting their peers or their circumstances set their standards. Our children may fight against those old standards. But don’t let them down by letting down God’s standards.
We know that one day we will give an accounting. We will be judged by what we have built upon our foundation of faith in Jesus Christ. Of what sort are our works, our offerings? Are they like gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, or stubble? When we appear before God, we are not to appear empty-handed, but what we bring in our hands will be tested as by fire. How many souls have you won to the Lord? Have you kept God’s high standards? Have you kept a sanctified altar? Have you sown good seed? Will your works stand the fire or will you show up empty-handed?
The folks at Bethany Baptist Church enjoyed another 5th Sunday Evening Fellowship Supper followed by a service of special music and testimonies. Those performing music specials were the Jubilee Singers, the Stillings Trio, Liz Barstow at the piano, the Youth Choir, Luke and Sally Sorensen with a violin and vocal duet, and Norma Stillings and Darlene Sorensen with an autoharp and dulcimer duet. Three of the Parker children recited scripture verses. There were several testimonies and a skit featuring Alan Stillings as a struggling Christian, Luke Sorensen as an emissary of the devil, and Pastor Bob as a preacher preaching on “Making our lives count for Christ