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Opening Sunday school, Roy Hampton read John 12:35&36, then lead in prayer. Sunday school lesson is Acts 14. Everyone read a verse and discussed the chapter and asked questions. A good lesson showing the persecution and tribulation placed on the early Christian church. This chapter spoke of how a multitude of Jews and Greeks believed after hearing the gospel of Jesus Christ preached by Paul and Barnabas. However, the unbelieving Jews, stirred up some trouble and got the Gentiles angry, as well so the city was divided. Both of these groups went to their rulers and wanted Paul and Barnabas to be stoned. Paul and Barnabas fled to the region of Lycaonia but they continued following God’s direction in healing and preaching Jesus Christ. In Lystra, which is a city in this region, there was a man that was a cripple from birth. Paul perceived he had faith to be healed and in the 10th verse, he said with a loud voice, “Stand upright on thy feet, and he leaped and walked.” The people saw it and wanted to name Paul and Barnabas as gods. Barnabas was to be Jupiter and Paul was to be Mercarius. The priest of Jupiter brought oxen and garlands to the gates to offer a sacrifice to these “gods.” Paul and Barnabas heard of this and they could have had a lot of glory and high thoughts of themselves, but they corrected the people and explained they were only mortal men, just as the people of the city were. They preached to them to turn away from these ‘vanities’ and turn to the living God, in verse 15. The sacrifice did not take place rather some Jews from Antioch and Iconium, persuaded the people to stone Paul and left him for dead, but the disciples were around Paul and no doubt praying for his healing. They taught and preached the gospel to that city and went on to Derbe, then returned to Lystra, Iconium and Antioch, to confirm the souls of the disciples and encouraged them to continue on in the faith, explaining “through much tribulation, we enter the kingdom of God.” They ordained elders in every church, prayed with fasting and commended them to the Lord on whom they believed. The door was opened to the Gentiles and the early church was being established and continues on yet today. Thanks and praise to our Heavenly Father, for this included you and me. Our service changed to praise and worship. We were thankful for our visitors, Brother Rick and Sister Jean Crawshaw. Jean is one of Brother Cub’s daughters and her sister, Susie Sisco, sang specials with her. Two very powerful songs; “Lord, I’ve Never Been this Home Sick Before” and “We’ve Got the Power in the Name of Jesus.” Praise Jesus that He is our hope and salvation, for if it was left up to us, we would get our just reward of eternal hell and seperation from God our Heavenly Father. Brother Cub took the pulpit and preached from Matthew 24:14-30 and I Corinthians 11:23-25. Today we will have our communion and foot washing service. Just as we remember our loved ones that have gone to be with Jesus, so shall we remember Jesus by taking of His body and blood and be humbled, as His servant to wash wash each other’s feet, as in the scripture, John 13:1-20. Not many churches of today do this part of the Passover, but Jesus thoroughly explains to serve one another humbly. This service actually took place after the Last Supper and I enjoy it because it keeps me humble and desiring a servant’s heart as Jesus would have me be. Brother Roy Hampton, preached this message before we gathered in our men and women’s group and washed one another’s feet. It is a humbling experience and I learn from it each year.
I want to thank Sister Esther for giving us the book, “Heaven is For Real,” by Todd Burpo with Lynn Vincent. If you want to hear a trustworthy account of knowing Heaven is real, read this book. A little boy actually died during an operation and even though he was dead for a short time, he brought back accounts that he just could not have known unless he had experienced them. It is a very good book and I encourage every one to read it. Sister Wilma Hampton, is home and doing better. She wasn’t able to attend service today at church, but is going to try to be at the memorial service at Stilling’s Cemetery, that we do everyu year. Let’s remember our loved ones and our veterans, but most of all, remember our Lord and Savior, for setting us free. God bless and keep you all this week. P.S. Don’t forget June 2nd, at 6 p.m., music and 7 p.m. preaching, “Tag that Preacher” on the Ava public square. Bring your lawn chairs.