Most of us around this area enjoyed a nice 4th of July celebration yesterday; and this, our following day of worshipping God, was wonderful as well with gorgeous weather and beautiful creations of God to enjoy. Our brief business meeting was followed by our Sunday School lessons with the adult class study on Job 16. Herein Job tells his friends that they should have put their efforts into comforting him in some way and that they might have thought that was what they were doing, but were not. He also said that if they were in his shoes and he in theirs, he could have been as they were to him, but he would not do that. Instead, he would give strength and comfort to them. Even if God would have suddenly put Job’s friends in his shoes, Job would have shown the compassion and offered strength in some manner. Job was at ease when all came upon him, and he states that he was attacked and come against as an animal would its prey. Verse 10 reads “they have gaped upon me with their mouth; they have smitten me upon the cheek reproachfully; they have gathered themselves together against me.” Did this not happen to our Lord Jesus? Job says to the earth not to cover his blood. Whatever and however events proceed, he wants his blood (his life) to be his testimony to all and that this injustice upon him would not be forgotten. He knows he remains righteous before God. He also knows that he had an advocate (l John 2:1) and mediator (1 Timothy 2:5) in heaven who he refers to as his witness in verse 19. His faith in God remains strong.
The youth studied on Jonah’s story and spoke of it before the congregation. They blessed us with two songs as well. Then Pastor Vic Murdy preached a sermon entitled “Guarding Our Salvation.” In these last days, we need to be on guard against false teachings and the wiles of evil by guarding our minds. If we allow ourselves to be drawn away from following God’s instructions by wrong thinking which leads to wrong doing, He will blot our names out of His Book of Life (Exodus 32, Numbers 5, Deuteronomy 9 and 29, 2 Kings 14, and Revelations 3:5) 2 Peter 3 questions where is the promise of His coming? Be not deceived in thinking we have a lot of time. We cannot put this off until tomorrow. While we know not the day or hour, we have been given signs to warn us of its impending fulfillment. In this dispensation of grace, God has not readily and quickly brought punishment for sin as He did in the Old Testament. Maybe this mercy and grace has made us lax and wrongly given us the idea that God is overlooking our sin. He is not! He keeps a record. He is a just God who cannot lie. What He has said He will do. Not because He wants to, but He has to honor His word. It is on each one of us to make the right choice and line up with the Word of God. Our battleground has always been our thinking, our mindset. Do we take captive wrong thoughts and cast them from our mind? Do we entertain them and give them a place in our hearts? For the issues of life come from our heart. We guard our heart when we guard what we think about and dwell on. Repent when we have failed to guard our hearts for God is quick to forgive a repentive heart. Proverbs 8:6 and 23:16 tells us that if we know to do right and don’t, it is to us a sin. James 4:5 tells us to submit ourselves to God and evil must flee. Matthew 18 tells us we can bind and loose on earth and it will be done so in heaven. Do you believe you have such power? Do you exercise it? Use it? Deuteronomy 32 records Israel’s ignorance or disregard to God, and Moses tells his people in verse 47 that the things he told them were not vain or without purpose. He declares what he said to be their life; they will be able to prolong their life and cross over into the promised land if they take heed to what God was saying to them.
We are a peculiar people who are to come out from among them and be separate from the ways of the world. 2 Peter 1:15 reminds us to “be holy for I am holy”. God always makes a way for His children to escape. His thoughts and His ways are above ours. “Wide is the gate and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction; and many there which go in thereat,” Matthew 7:13-14 declares. Is it really a wise thing to do what everyone else is doing?
We cannot be followers of any, but Jesus Christ: seek out your own salvation with fear and trembling. In Him is all wisdom, knowledge and understanding.
We enjoyed a good luncheon meal and fellowship following our services. Please come and join us for our services next Sunday which begin at l0:00 a.m. We are located off 14 and AC highways east of Ava and on Farm Road 350. Be blessed and to God be all glory, honor and praise.