We enjoyed a wonderful time of fellowship as we gathered to worship and pray at Blackjack Church in Drury, Missouri this Sunday, January 28, 2018.
We had the corporate reading of Philippians 3 prior to special prayers which were lifted unto the throne of God.
The adult Sunday school class continued their study of Acts 22, speculating on how we might have reacted when we were given an opportunity to speak to those who had just physically assaulted and lied about us. We noted that Paul was neither angry nor fearful nor retaliatory in his speaking; he was in the spirit and not walking in the flesh. Paul spoke to them as one of them as they quieted to hear him. He was born a Jew in a noteworthy city as a freeman. He was educated not only as a gentleman but also as a scholar. He taught the perfect letter of the law and was devoted to it. The Christians who were not following the law as he understood it were persecuted to death or imprisoned. He was employed by the Sanhedrin as they used his zealousness for his faith to serve their own agenda. He told them how he was blinded on the road to Damascus by a light that was Jesus the Christ. We remarked that Stephen had seen Jesus following His ascension in heaven as he was stoned. Paul not only saw Jesus but spoke with Him on the earth! Paul learned that he would face trials and persecutions as he chose to follow Jesus. He remarked as recorded in Romans 15:20 that he went to preach where Christ’s name was not known. In John 4:38 he would reap where no one else had laboured.
Paul added in verses 17-18 that he had prayed in the temple and was in a trance when he was told to leave Jerusalem for his testimony would not be received. He told the crowd that he was to “Depart; for I will send thee far hence unto the Gentiles”.
Now the crowd reacted vehemently with shouting anew and cast off their clothes saying this man was not fit to live (verses 22 and 23). Their God was not to be shared with the likes of the Gentile whom they considered dogs. The chief captain had Paul put into the castle for scourging so that they might learn the truth of his errors. One would think that hearing diverse accusations from the crowd that the captain would have scourged some of them instead. Paul then made the officials aware that he was a Roman; he would not be scourged according to the law.
The youth treated the congregation to a song and a recap of their study on Jonah and his experiences when he disobeyed God. Jonah tried to hide from God, getting on a boat until he was thrown overboard as the final effort of the crew to save themselves and their ship during a fierce storm. Jonah was swallowed by a big fish and prayed unto God for three days and nights before the creature spit him out onto the shore. Then he went on to obey God but perhaps with an attitude.
More next week.
Pastor Vic Murdy began a new series of teaching on the Holy Spirit.
Without the Holy Spirit, we will not see a harvest of souls. As he spoke last week from Philippians 3, all of us need reminding of the Word. Success in our walk and our ministry all depend on the Holy Spirit working through us. Acts 1:4 -8 states a promise God made to the disciples and, henceforth, us. Power would be given from on high to finish the work to be done on the earth. There is no age limit. Luke 11 tells us to ask, seek and knock. What we ask for, earnestly hunger and strive for, will be opened unto us for use in our ministry and the tasks God gives us. God equips His army for the work at hand.
Will we as individuals or church body be ready and able to meet the needs of those God will send our way? Are we filled with the Holy Spirit? Yielded to His direction?
Have we prepared ourselves, making ourselves serviceable vessels unto His service? Time is drawing nigh. What are we willing to give up in order to prepare ourselves that we might be a tool that would bring forth the healing power of the Holy Spirit or set a captive free?
Contrary to popular thinking, it is not about me or about you. Life here is about what we can do for another that would bring glory to God our Father.
Our noon day meal was great. Afterwards, we returned to the sanctuary and Pastor Murdy began a Bible study with Revelations 1. Please feel free to join us next Sunday at l0:00 a.m. for service. All are welcomed to share our noon day meal and to join us for Bible study about 2:00 p.m. Pastor Murdy can be reached at 4l7-543-3659. Please follow us on Facebook under Blackjack Church.