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Christmas is in the air. One can feel it, see it, and hear it everywhere one goes through the crispness of the air, the beautiful Christmas decorations hanging in window fronts, in yard trees and elsewhere, and the sounds of Christmas carols resonating over the airways and in big department stores. Church hymns such as Silent Night and many other musical lyrics that tell of the virgin birth of God’s only Son are being sung by the congregations. To me, all of that is the best part of the Christmas season.
Brother Gary Lirley opened the church service at Red Bank by leading the congregation in Hymns. Brother Jerry Huff gave the morning welcome to members and guest. He also read from our Sunday school literature called, “Life Words,” four important needs of a healthy Christian. The first was to connect by connecting with God in prayer and worship, relate to others in positive relationships, and becomes a vital part of a local church. Second was to grow by increasing knowledge and understanding of God through the study of His Word– and then act to apply it. Third was to serve and be willing to work alongside fellow believers in church. Fourth is go outside the church walls and proclaim the good news about Jesus Christ to others. As Christians, we need to improve on each of these important ways of Spiritual growth.
The morning sermon was taken from Mark 10:13-16 and Genesis 48. Brother Les used these two Scriptures to compare Jesus blessing the little children to when Jacob provided a blessing for his two grandsons, Manasseh and Ephraim, the sons of Joseph. God had told Jacob in a dream that his descendants shall be as the dust of the earth; and shall spread abroad to the west and to the east the north and the south. And moreover, that through Jacobs seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed. (Genesis 28:14-15) Through the generation of Ephraim, Joseph’s youngest son, God sent to us His Son, Jesus. Joseph thought that Jacob had made a mistake when he placed his right hand on Ephraim as he blessed his two grandsons because it was custom that the oldest son would receive that special blessing, but Jacob let him know that he knew what he was doing by laying his right hand on Ephraim’s head for the special blessing. God had planned it that way. Jesus told his disciples that he had made no mistake in especially laying his hands on the little children because, as he said in Mark 10:15, “Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.” It is God’s desire to bless all his children. He knows each of our hearts and how we can be a great blessing to Him. To want anything more than Jesus will not bring the happiness, joy and peace that we need to live an abundant life, but only grief and despair. Choose Jesus and receive the blessings he has for you and your family. Your love, dedication and obedience are the greatest gift you could ever give him for his birthday. That’s all he asks for.
A group from Red Bank provided a program of music and testimony for the residents at the Heart of the Ozark Healthcare Center Sunday afternoon. I understand that Willene Adams also sung a special song for the program.
A Christmas, covered dish, luncheon is planned at Red Bank Church after services on December 19. We invite you to come and enjoy that special time of fellowship with us. Services will be dismissed that evening.
Until next week, take care. Enjoy the holidays and remember that: Jesus is the reason for the Christmas season.