New Year’s Eve Party!

December 30th, 2009

Bring your favorite treat and dessert and join us for a New Creation Celebration on New Year’s Eve.

Praise, worship, and celebration at 10:00 p.m. (You will see and experience something you have never seen in church before!)

11:15 p.m. Party hats, horns, fun, food, and ushering in 2010 with friends and family!

New Years Eve Party

Christmas Eve Service

December 21st, 2009

12-24-09Christmas Eve Communion Service Ch 2 Ad Join us for a special Christmas Eve experience, “Letters at Christmas”, this Thursday at 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

This time together on Christmas Eve will prepare you to enjoy a wonderful Christmas in the right frame mind as we celebrate the birth of our savior.

We will also share in a Christmas Eve Communion as we remember all that Christ Jesus has done for us!

Merry Christmas!

The Letter of Hope

December 17th, 2009

Join us this Sunday at 9:00 a.m. or 11:00 a.m. for an amazing presentation of “The Letter of Hope” by our Believers Seasonal Choir.

12-20-09 The Letter of Hope

I was so blessed the other day after hearing the songs and reading the script. It is going to be so good! And not only did it bless me, but I thought about how much potential it has to bless others. It is a beautiful story of hope and God’s love for us. This musical will meet people right where they are and minister to their deepest needs.

So it is very important that we invite and bring as many people as we can to hear this timely message in song and drama!

I also encourage you to remember what we learned for the Shepherds last week in “Dear Timid”. We learned that when we have good news we are to spread the word and people will be amazed.

Luke 2:17-18 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.

I also want to remind you that even though Easter is the season of highest probability that someone will come to church with you when invited, the Christmas season is the second highest probability.

Spread the word! Invite someone to come and watch God amaze them!

Dear Timid

December 10th, 2009

If God were to send you a letter.  What would it say?

Join us this Sunday at Believers for another Letter from God.

Dear Timid Pic

Letters at Christmas Dear Timid Believers Statesboro 12-13-09

Luke 2:8-20 “,,,When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them…”

Unwanted Mail

Today we are going to look at an OT story that happened around 850 BC God sent the prophet Elisha to tell King Joram that God was going to judge him for his sins. He didn’t repent so God allows his enemies to capture his Kingdom. The Aramean army surrounded the City of Samaria and no one was allowed to enter or exit the city.

What happens when a city is under siege and no one goes in and no one comes out? They run out of food. They were eating everything in sight, even unclean animals. Donkey heads, dove dung, and they even participated in cannibalism.

Outside the city walls lived four lepers. Considering the conditions in the city, you can imagine their situation. 2 Kings 7:3 “Now there were four men with leprosy at the entrance of the city gate. They said to each other, "Why stay here until we die?”

Three Very Bad Options

2 Kings 7:4 “If we say, ‘We’ll go into the city’– the famine is there, and we will die. And if we stay here, we will die. So let’s go over to the camp of the Aramean’s and surrender. If they spare us, we live; if they kill us, then we die.” (NIV)

Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes!

2 Kings 7:5-8 So these four starving men with leprosy found an empty camp full of food, clothes, and money. And just like we would do they said, “Hey we better go back and tell everyone else.” NAH! They’ve got donkey heads and dove dung to eat! Let’s PARTY!

Then finally it hit them. We are eating, drinking and being merry and people are back at home dying!” 2 Kings 7:9 “Then they said to each other, "We’re not doing right. This is a day of good news and we are keeping it to ourselves. If we wait until daylight, punishment will overtake us. Let’s go at once and report this to the royal palace.” (NIV)

(After they confirmed that this wasn’t a trap.) 2 Kings 7:16 Then the people went out and plundered the camp of the Arameans. So a seah of flour sold for a shekel, and two seahs of barley sold for a shekel, as the LORD had said.” The City plundered the camp! There was plenty for everyone!

It’s so obvious to us as to what they should do!

  • I can’t help but wonder if all of heaven looks down on us and it’s so obvious to them as to what we should do! We are a lot like those four lepers.
  • The temptation, as it is for all of us, is to bask in the awesome reality of who God is and give very little thought, if any thought, to the people and the places we left behind.

Forward the Mail

Isn’t that what these Shepherd’s could have done? They were desperate for a messiah, a savior. They needed a Prince of Peace, a deliverer. And SUDDENLY THEY HAD ONE. (Luke 2:13-16)

God chose to appear to lowly Shepherd’s, they came and saw the messiah, and now… the party was on! No, they didn’t do that.

Luke 2:17-18 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.

They knew that God is Not a Secret to be Kept!

And you see that you and I must understand that when God does something for us at salvation and every time he does something for us now, it is not a secret to be kept. We are not to be timid, but we are to tell somebody! We like the Shepherd’s are to spread the word!

Mail Men and Letter Carriers

Mark 5:17-20 “…Jesus did not let him, but said, "Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you." So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed.”

Don’t be timid… tell them how much Jesus has done for you!

Lost Mail

God sent a love letter to lost people, but many have never read the letter, because it was lost in the mail. Like the four men with leprosy, we are so absorbed in what God is doing for and within us that we forget that we have a responsibility to go back and deliver the letter to those we left behind.

  • It’s not that we don’t care, we do. Or that we are not compassionate toward people, we are.
  • It’s not that there aren’t times when we are stirred within and we say, “I ought to say, I ought to call, I ought to, I ought to!”

But then we look around at the treasure, we look around at the wealth, we look around at the richness of being with other believers and we just don’t go back. It just doesn’t happen.

  • The longer you are a Christian the more you are prone to letting this happen.
  • We can get so caught up in celebrating the Birth of the Savior this Christmas that we can forget to let other people know that they can know this Savior too!

But maybe this Christmas we will find ourselves, like those four men with leprosy, saying,

“WE ARE NOT DOING RIGHT! WE ARE NOT DOING THE RIGHT THING!

THIS IS A DAY OF GOOD NEWS AND WE ARE KEEPING IT TO OURSELVES!

What those four lepers discovered was this:

  • With their INCREDIBLE DISCOVERY came an INCREDIBLE RESPONSIBILITY
  • Because they knew how it could and should be, they had the responsibility to share with others who don’t know yet.

You have a dilemma. I have a dilemma.

  • Will we go back to those same places, those same people?
  • Will we take the time to take to others what has been so graciously given to us?

Outward Focused

God has laid it on my heart and the heart of the pastoral staff and leadership that He is calling us in 2010 to be “Outward Focused”.

Does that mean that we will do more outreaches? Not necessarily because you can do an outreach, such as wash a car for free, purchase a backpack, donate to the Mingi Children, put together a shoe box, give to the Gideon’s, and feed the hungry and NOT HAVE AN OUTWARD FOCUSED HEART.

You can mindlessly do those things and not really hurt and ache for the lost. I believe that God wants us to have an Outward Focused Heart, an Outward Focused Attitude, and an Outward Focused Mentality, that will be the fuel behind Outward Focused Actions.

I am going to encourage you to set a goal to share and lead one person to Christ Jesus in 2010, One in Ten. Focusing on leading one person will help you develop an Outward Focus towards others.

If your heart is not Outward Focused, my prayer is that sometime during 2010 you will wake up, come to your senses, and say, “We’re not doing right. This is a day of good news and we are keeping it to ourselves…” What are you doing with the good news? Don’t be timid. Don’t be shy. Tell someone!

Love Letter Sent

I John 4:9 How do we know that God loves us? Not because He said it, but because He sent. He came back, He didn’t forget about us. Thank God he wasn’t timid. This is love.

This is wonderful in here, in this church, the body of Christ, but out there they are eating donkey heads and dove dung. And when we go and tell someone…all who hear it will be amazed!

Christmas Semester Break

December 8th, 2009

New Christmas at Believers

Chanukah The Festival of Lights

December 1st, 2009

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Join us this Wednesday Night, 12-2-09, at 7:00 p.m., as we Celebrate Chanukah (The Festival of Lights) together at Believers! We will see how Christ Jesus is revealed in this Jewish Traditional Holiday and then the Ministry Leaders of the church will lights the eight candles on the Menorah and speak eight specific blessings over your life. Come in faith ready to receive all that Christ Jesus has for you!

The Festival of Lights (Chanukah – Pronounced: “Hanukka”)

Sunday December 1st, 2002

“CHANUKAH” or the Festival of Lights is a happy festival and brings enjoyment to all. Chanukah begins on the 25th day of the Hebrew month of Kislev. It commemorates the historic victory of the Maccabeans (Orthodox Jews loyal to God and the Torah) following a three year uprising to overthrow the heathen ruler Antiochus, who ruled Jerusalem with the help of traitor Hellenist Jews (Jews who favored Greek culture) and the self-appointed High Priest, Jason.

Antiochus determined to remove all traces of orthodox Jewish faith. The heathen ruler identified Jehovah God with Jupiter, erected a pagan idol on the altar of the Temple of God and offered swine on the altar. He refused the right of circumcision, Sabbath worship or the celebration of Jewish holidays under penalty of death. Copies of the Holy Scriptures were ordered destroyed. The pagan laws were enforced with great cruelty.

In the village of Modin the devout aged priest Mattahias was called to offer a pagan sacrifice, he refused. Instead he stepped forward and slew both the weak Jew who stepped forward to do it for him and the representative of Antiochus. His five sons joined Mattahias immediately, destroyed the pagan idol sitting on the altar of God and then fled to the hills. Mattahias soon died.

His third son Judas (Hebrew – Judah), known as “the Maccabee” (meaning “the hammer”) formed guerilla forces to “hammer” away at the pagan occupation forces for three years. He recaptured Jerusalem in 165 BC, cleansed the Temple of God and restored traditional Jewish service. All this was done with a very small military force and the supernatural help of God. Many stories of miracles are told during the eight-day celebration. They relate the wonders of God imparted to Jews both to suffer and die nobly for God and supernaturally win the victories. The Maccabees were able to reclaim the Temple and rededicate it back to God. Hanukkah means dedication.

When Judas, “the Maccabee” and his soldiers entered the Temple they wanted to light the large “MENORAH” (meaning-light), or lampstand, but there was no container of oil bearing the seal of the High Priest. The Menorah was to never go out and symbolized the eternal covenant between God and the Jewish people. The Jewish soldiers poured other oil on the tips of eight spears found lying outside the Temple. They lit them and used them as light for the altar. (The light was a symbol of life.)

Someone later found enough oil to light the Menorah for one day. After it was lit, the oil supernaturally burned for eight days. At the end of the eight-day, oil had been produced to keep the Menorah on the altar burning continually.

During Hanukka the Jews celebrate the wonderful miracle of the menorah burning for eight days on enough oil to last one day. The first night one candle on the menorah is lit and blessings are said. The second night two candles are lit with blessings. The third three, and so on, until the eighth night when all eight are lit. Blessings are spoken or sung and the children receive presents each night for eight nights.

 

How is Christ Jesus seen in this wonderful Jewish celebration?

The Menorah on the altar of the Temple was a sevenfold lamp.

– Zechariah 4:1-6 “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel saying, Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of Host.”

– Revelation 1:12-18; “Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands; and in the middle of the lampstands I saw one like a son of man, … (NASB)

During the eight day Hanukah celebration every candle is lighted with the SHAMMASH, a special candle which “serves” the others. It is placed near the others if individual candles are used. It is the one in the middle slightly elevated above the others if a traditional menorah is used in a Jewish home. It is the SHAMMASH (this special candle lights all the others) that sets the other candles a flame. The candles are lit each night after dark (except on the Sabbath) and placed near a window for all to see.

– God promised in Isaiah 42:6-8 that the Messiah would be a light to us. “A light to the Gentiles.”

– On His day of dedication Simeon prophesied over Christ calling Him “A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people Israel.” Luke 2:32

– John 1:6-9 “There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world.”

– John 8:12 “Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”

 

As Christ Jesus is the Light … Let Your Light Shine!

Matt 5:14-16 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”

The SHAMMASH, a special candle that “serves” the others.

– Jesus is referred to as Gods Holy Servant. Acts 4:29-30 “that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus.”

– Matt 20:26-28 “Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave–just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

 

As Christ Jesus is the Servant … Let us Serve Others!

1 Pet 4:10 “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.” (NIV)

 

Other Interesting Facts

The Dreidle. During the celebration of Hanukkah, children play a game with a four-sided top called a dreidle. There is a different Hebrew letter on each side. The letters stand for the words: “A Great Miracle Happened There.”

Maoz Tzur. A traditional song of praise sung for the rededication of the Temple. Sung after the candles are lit. Maoz Tzur is translated “Rock of Ages.”

Lets let the flame of God burn bright within us, with the oil of the Holy Spirit and let us rededicate ourselves a new today to be a light to the word and a servant to all.