Ava Seventh Day Adventist – Connie Opeka

“The apple of his eye” is a phrase you may have heard and wondered about.  If you did an online search you would find a lot of interesting things and where this phrase originated from, but one thing you will find for sure is that the phrase refers to something or someone that one cherishes (loves) above all others. 

The phrase is found several places in the Bible and Elder Mel Cline used Zechariah 2:8 as the foundation for his message. “…for he that touches you touches the apple of His eye.” YOU are the apple of God’s eye! He loves you above all others as if there were no other! He loves you more than words can describe! 

We have just finished the Christmas season and for many of us that meant enjoying being with our families near and far. If we were not able to be with our family most would say they wanted to be with their family but could not for various reasons. 

Even more than we want to be with our children, God wants His children to come home and be with Him in heaven for eternity. Jesus is coming again, and most believe that it is going to be soon. The signs of his second coming (listed in Matthew 24) are all around us!  The question is, “Are we ready?” Or, are we just going on with life like we will be here forever?

Elder Cline went on to explain that to be a Christian means to be Christlike. Christ is to be our pattern and this life is to prepare for the higher life in the kingdom of God. We need to keep eternity in our view! As we keep our eyes upon Jesus, we will be changed more and more. To possess true godliness means to love one another, to help one another, to make apparent the religion of Jesus in our lives. Then others will see something in us that they want.  A pure example will do more to enlighten your loved ones and those in the world than all your profession.

This reminds me of the poem by Edgar Guest “I’d rather see a sermon than hear one any day…”  As we begin this New Year may we remember we are the apple of God’s eye and spend more time with Him. By beholding His love, we are changed and will be more like Him. He cares about you and what you are going through. He will never leave you nor forsake you! We need to understand now this love and what it means to bring every thought into captivity to the will of Christ. If we don’t and will not trust Him now, then we may miss out on the homecoming. What a tragedy that would be. 

 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!” (Matthew 23:37) That many “would not” break the heart of Jesus on the cross. May we respond to His loving call to our heart. He died for you. You are the apple of His eye!  

Do you enjoy bell choirs and young people? Well, then you need to be sure to come hear Ouachita Hills Academy Ringers of Hope bell choir perform this Saturday January 18 at 11:15 at the church. They toured through here a few years ago and they were excellent, so it is with confidence I say you won’t be disappointed. Come early as they will share some during the Sabbath School program also beginning at 10:20. 

The Neuharth Family, David, Lisa, Lucas (17), Levi (16), and Benjamin (13), will be presenting a special concert for the church service on February 1. Their ministry name, “New Hearts 4 Christ,” is a play on their last name and reflects their desire for God to create in them a new heart. While in 1800’s era costume, they will share inspiring early Advent History stories and 5-part harmonious vocal and instrumental music that is sure to keep the attention of all ages and encourage a genuinely deep, practical, and personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Learn more at www.NewHearts4Christ.com

We invite you to visit the Community Services Center located on the church property – open every Tuesday from 10:00 – 2:00. We appreciate your donations and support as 91 people in our community were served during the month of December when we were closed twice due to the holidays. Cherie Downs manages the center and we appreciate the 53.5 hours of time given by our volunteers as they gave away 1,042 items.  If we can be of assistance to you, please call the church at 683-5713, or Elder Eck Ulrich at 683-3343. Check us out at www.avaadventistchurch.org and follow us on Facebook! May God bless and keep you!