Feb. 2 – What a lovely day of worship and fellowship at Blackjack Church this Sunday. Prayer requests and prayer preceded Sunday School as did the reading of Psalms 121. Matthew 13 further discussions regarding the Lord’s parables followed the reading of Matthew 13. Jesus expounded the wisdom of heaven different times in a manner by which the Pharisees and Sadducees could hear but not understand for they so greatly opposed His teachings.
The youth heard the parable of the prodigal son, learning what happened to make him want to return home even if he could only return as a servant. But his father forgave him, welcoming him home with celebration. Pastor Vic Murdy brought a message entitled ‘Praying with Confidence’ founded on 2 Chronicles 20. The answer to prayer begins before we pray. Isaiah 65:24 tells us that “..before they call I will answer, and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.” God promises to hear our prayer if we pray according to His will (3 John 2).
King Jehoshaphat set an example for prayer when his country was about to be attacked by armies far greater than his. He feared the obvious outcome. He desperately needed help and called on God, his only recourse, his only chance. So, his approach had to be respectful and done with appropriate decorum. So he set (prepared) himself to approach God. As King, he humbled himself first before his people, calling an assembly to tell them of the danger. He called for a fast and prayer throughout Judah that all might seek God for help. He and his nation humbled themselves, preparing their hearts toward God. Psalms 51:17 “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart O God thou will not despise.” Acts records the events of the day of Pentecost when all were of one mind and one accord in one place; they received the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Peter, imprisoned and in chains, was set free by an angel of God when his friends gathered together and prayed for God to keep him from being killed by the Romans (Acts 12:7).
Before we approach God with needs, we must repent; hearts contrite and humble. Ephesians 3:20 declares that we have such a great power within each of us; the Holy Spirit power, greater than any other entity. The power within is multiplied many times over as we join together with single mindedness of prayer. Verses 14-17 of 2 Chronicles 20 records that God spoke thru a prophet declaring that “the battle is not yours but God’s.” They believed the prophet and worshiped God. Standing in faith of God’s words, they went to the place of the battle, praising and dancing before God as God caused the enemy armies to kill one another. In 1 John 5:13 and John 14:12-14, we read that if we believe on Him and ask in His name, whatsoever we ask, He will do it.
Consider the old paths, the old ways – prayer around the altar in the Holy of Holies wherein (before Christ) we could not approach the Throne of God. The Sovereign God of the universes requires honor and respect. Have confidence in God and believe in Him.
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Jan. 26 – Once again we partook of the opportunity to join together to worship our Lord and Savior. Following a reading from Matthew 25 and prayer, the Sunday school class studied more regarding the parables of Matthew 13, discussing at length the wheat and tare parable that exists within the church. Much care is to be given to avoid creating stumbling blocks or an offence for anyone with whom God and His sovereignty has authority to teach, correct, chastise or relocate. Salvation, understanding and growth occur for each of us at an individual pace. Allow the Holy Spirit to do the perfect will of God. Meanwhile, we are to pray for one another.
The youth shared their lesson on King Solomon’s wisdom in exposing the mother of a child two women were fighting over. Following worship, Pastor Vic Murdy preached from John 6 a message entitled “Feasting on the Bread of Life.” In verses 35, 48 and 51, Jesus referred to Himself as the Bread of Life. He spoke to a crowd that had witnessed the feeding of over 5,000 with loaves of bread and fish. They were with Him looking for more. Jesus announced He is the Bread of Life which differs from the manna their forefathers had received of God yet were now dead. Both manna and Jesus came down from heaven to feed man; one the physical body and the other the spiritual body. The manna that sustained the body was not able to feed the Spirit of man. Jesus declares Himself as the Bread of Life or the Word of God. John 1 tells us that “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God.”
It is eating of the Word, the ingesting of it, the partaking of it that gives life to the Spirit of man. Although the old man dies at salvation, the body still requires daily food. At salvation, the spirit of man is restored to life and also requires nourishment. In feeding the spirit man through the Word, God enters into man for the maintenance and well being of the unseen part of man through which, if we live according to God’s instruction, will bring us to an eternal life in heaven. Verse 63, tells us that the flesh does not profit from the Word. “It is the spirit that profiteth.” What we do with the Word determines our eternal life (verse 68). Peter answers Jesus saying “To whom shall we go? Thou has the words of eternal life.” He is the way, the truth and the life.
All are welcomed to join us for Sunday service at 10:00 am. Pastor Murdy can be contacted at 4l7-543-3659. Follow us on Facebook to view our videoed services. God bless you.