January 27th, 2011
Notice the latter part of Deuteronomy 30:19, Now choose life, so that you and your children may live! Wow, that means your choices don’t just affect you and you alone. They have a lasting effect on your family, children, and descendants to come! It’s what I call The Ripple Effect”.
Not only are we what we are today because of choices we made in the past, but often times, our families and children are what they are because of choices we made in the past.
Some of those choices were good, and others were not so good. Some choices we wish that we could just forget.
Also, have you ever noticed that sometimes, it seems that we become our parents? Then, there are those shocking moments when we see ourselves in our kids! Why is that?
Join us this Sunday at Believers Church of Statesboro at 9 or 11 a.m., as we answer that question and learn about The Ripple Effect.
Join us at 9:00 a.m. for a special treat that will be for the first service crowd only!
Choices “Turn and Live” Believers Statesboro 01/30/11
Our Public Declaration
Joshua 24:15 “…But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”
Deuteronomy 30:15 “See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction.” Door Number One: Life and Good or Door Number: Two Death and Evil
The Ripple Effect
Notice the latter part of Deuteronomy 30:19, Now choose life, so that you and your children may live!
Your choices don’t just affect you and you alone, they have a lasting effect on your family, children, and descendants to come! Not only are we what we are today because of choices we made in the past, but often times our families and children are what they are because of choices we made in the past.
Deut 5:8-10 (Exod 20:3-6) One of the biggest deceptions of sin is thinking, “I can get away with this. I can do it and no one will see me. It won’t affect me that much, and besides, Jesus will forgive me.” That’s not true! You will be making choices that will impact you and those around you. Yes, Jesus will forgive, but often, there are still consequences to pay. You will either cause life and the blessing of God to come into your home or death and curses.
Think of it as the ripple effect when you throw a rock into a pond.
· 1 Chronicles 21:8-19. King David’s sin caused punishment to come upon the nation.
· Joshua 7 The entire family of Achan was punished for the sin of the father.
In the New Covenant, does God punish children for the sins of their fathers? Absolutely not. Do children sometimes suffer as a result of the sins of their fathers? Yes. The Scripture says, “For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me.”
What is an iniquity?
An iniquity is not just the act of committing the sin, but it is the desire to sin and transgress. It deals with the wickedness and rebellion in a person’s heart. If you find yourself continually committing a certain sin, asking for and receiving forgiveness, only to sin again, then you need to realize that Jesus has set you free from those desires, that iniquity, as well as the law of sin and death. You are dead to your sin nature and alive in Christ Jesus.
It was the iniquity of the fathers that was being passed down to their children. God, being just, was forced to visit those sins and transgressions that the children were walking in with judgment. God was not judging the children for the sins of the fathers. God was judging the children for their own sinful acts. Some of these sinful acts were a result of an iniquity passed down from generation to generation.
Breaking Generational Iniquities
Ezek 18:1-4 The word of the LORD came to me: "What do you people mean by quoting this proverb about the land of Israel: "’The fathers eat sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge’? "As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, you will no longer quote this proverb in Israel. For every living soul belongs to me, the father as well as the son– both alike belong to me. The soul who sins is the one who will die. (NIV)
Ezek 18:5-9 Describes a just man whose choices result in life!
Ezek 18:10-13 Describes the choices of a wicked man.
What about the wicked man’s son?
Ezek 18:14 "But suppose this son has a son who sees all the sins his father commits, and though he sees
them, he does not do such things: (NIV)
Ezek 18:17 He withholds his hand from sin and takes no usury or excessive interest. He keeps my laws and follows my decrees. He will not die for his father’s sin; he will surely live. (NIV)
Ezek 18:18 But his father will die for his own sin, because he practiced extortion, robbed his brother and did what was wrong among his people. (NIV)
Ezek 18:19-20 "Yet you ask, ‘Why does the son not share the guilt of his father?’ Since the son has
done what is just and right and has been careful to keep all my decrees, he will surely live.
The soul who sins is the one who will die. The son will not share the guilt of the father, nor will the
father share the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous man will be credited to him, and the
wickedness of the wicked will be charged against him. (NIV)
There Is Hope for Even the Wicked Man
Ezek 18:21-22 "But if a wicked man turns away from all the sins he has committed and keeps all my decrees and does what is just and right, he will surely live; he will not die. (CHOOSE LIFE!)
None of the offenses he has committed will be remembered against him. Because of the righteous
things he has done, he will live. (NIV)
Ø Ezek 36:25-27 I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. (NIV)
Ø Phil 2:12-13 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed– not only in my presence,
but now much more in my absence– continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose. (NIV)
Choosing Life Pleases God
Ezek 18:23 Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked? declares the Sovereign LORD. Rather,
am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live? (NIV)
Ø 1 Tim 2:3-4 This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. (NIV)
Ø 2 Pet 3:9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. (NIV)
Turn and Live
Ezek 18:30-31 "Therefore, O house of Israel, I will judge you, each one according to his ways, declares the Sovereign LORD. Repent! Turn away from all your offenses; then sin will not be your downfall. Rid yourselves of all the offenses you have committed, and get a new heart and a new spirit. Why will you die, O house of Israel? (NIV)
Ø 2 Cor 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! (NIV)
Ø Rom 8:1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, (NIV)
Ezek 18:32 For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign LORD. Repent and live! (NIV)
When I choose life…
I like to think of it as an umbrella of protection that God has over my family.
As long as I walk in obedience and love the Father, we are safe and protected from the curses of this world. But, if I decide to do something totally stupid and step out from under the protection of the umbrella, I will get wet and will reap what I sow. My family and I will suffer the consequences of MY sin.
Thank God that He is loving and merciful. He has lovingly brought me back under that umbrella of protection many times. God has had mercy on me and has not always given me what I deserved.
January 26th, 2011
January 20th, 2011
Come early for Warm Spiced Cider that will be served before the 9 a.m. service!
Join us this Sunday for Baptism’s and be blessed as we continue our “Choices” series. This week, I Choose to Believe!
Choices Week 4 “I Choose to Believe Believers Statesboro 01-23-11
You are what you are today largely in part to decisions you made in the past. Life is a series of small choices and decisions. Every day, and until the day that we die, we must make choices that lead to
life. One of the greatest choices that you will ever make in your life is the day you to say, “I Choose
As I began to seek God for our new emphasis for 2011, I considered some of the challenges of our growing church and some of the challenges of reaching a community full of people who desperately need Christ Jesus. I knew all too well that what God wants us to accomplish is not possible within our own strength and ability.
As I pondered these things, I just kept hearing the Holy Spirit speak to me simply saying, “Believe, just believe.” Then, an old song by Paul Rader popped into my heart: Only believe, only believe. All things are possible, only believe. Only believe, only believe. All things are possible, only believe.
· In Luke 1:35-37, the Angel Gabriel told the young virgin, Mary, that when the Holy Spirit comes upon you and the power of the Most High overshadows you that “nothing is impossible with God."
· Jesus said in Mark 9:23, "Everything is possible for him who believes."
· Paul and Silas said in Acts 16:31, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved– you and your household."
So, per the Holy Spirit, our theme and emphasis for 2011 is simply “BELIEVE”.
Besides, we are Believers Church aren’t we? And yes, we refer to ourselves as “believers”! So, let’s join God on this great adventure and see all that God is going to do as we “BELIEVE”.
Words Found in the Word Believe
Be – God created us to be something.
· He created us to be in relationship with Him.
· He calls us to be a blessing to all the nations of the world.
· He commissioned us to be salt and light.
Eve – God created Eve from Adam and the two lived as one, in peace with one another and in relationship with God.
· It was a grace-filled world.
Lie – Adam and Eve were lied to.
· In Genesis 3, Satan told a lie to Adam and Eve, and they broke the one rule that God had given them; not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
· Interestingly enough, though not present in the correct order, the word “Evil” and “Live” are also seen in the word believe.
· We have choices to make every day that will be in agreement with the “evil” one Satan, or we can make choices that will help us ‘live” the abundant life we are all called to “live”.
John 10:10 “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.’ (NKJ)
I – I must believe.
· “I” is normally considered in a negative light.
o Especially if “I” is on the throne of my life instead of Christ Jesus.
o If “I” takes first place in marriage, it is a bad. A misplaced “I” will change the word “united” to “untied”.
o “I” church I bad. That is thinking that Church is all about what “I” want and need.
· But, this time the “I” is good in that “I” MUST BELIEVE.
o God sent Jesus as our Lord and Savior. That is a fact, but “I” must believe it.
o Salvation is a free gift offered to me, but “I” must receive it.
o “I” must choose who “I” will serve.
o “I” must confess Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.
I must believe! Gen 15:6 Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness.
How You Believe Will Amaze Jesus
One way or the other, your faith and belief or lack of faith and belief will amaze Jesus.
Jesus was amazed by great faith. Luke 7:6-9 …When Jesus heard this, he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd following him, he said, "I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel."
Jesus was amazed at the lack of faith. Mark 6:1-6 …And he was amazed at their lack of faith. Then Jesus went around teaching from village to village. (NIV)
So, we are going to amaze Jesus one way or the other. He is going to be amazed at our unbelief, or He is going to be amazed at our belief!
I want us to believe God in 2011, and I want our faith to amaze Jesus. I want us to have amazing belief, amazing faith!
I Want to Act Like a Believer, Not an Unbeliever
Matthew 6:30-33 (New Living Translation) And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith? “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God[a] above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.
Doubting, worrying, fretting, overly concerned about material things is what Jesus said unbelievers do.
I want us to rest in the truth and promise of Hebrews 11:6 “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” (NKJ)
“Clear but Uncertain”
Hebrews 11:7-8 By faith, Noah and Abraham obeyed God. Believing resulted in obeying, not that they understood everything. They had a clear directive but unclear directions. “Clear but Uncertain”
You may be uncertain, but the directive is clear. You must choose to believe God and obey or not to believe and not to obey.
Anything is Possible
Jesus said in Mark 9:23, "Everything is possible for him who believes."
The challenges may seem overbearing. But, God is up to the challenge.
The task may seem overwhelming. But, I can do all things through Christ.
The questions may be many. But, we have the mind of Christ.
The risk may seem great. But, if God is for you, who can be against you.
The obstacles may be large. But, God is bigger.
We just have to believe. Hebrews 10:39 But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved. (NIV)
We will “Be” what God has purposed for us to be.
We won’t be deceived like “Eve” and disobedient like Adam.
We will not believe a “Lie”.
We will make a choice today and say “I” choose to believe.
January 19th, 2011
Sunday, January 23rd, is the time set aside for Water Baptism at Believers Church. If you have recently asked Jesus to be your Lord and Savior, this is your first step in a life of obedience. As a child of God, it is important to follow Jesus’ example and be baptized in water. Baptism is an outward expression of what has already occurred in our heart.
"He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned”
“Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” Acts 2:38.
Also if you were baptized in the past and you didn’t understand what you were doing, or maybe you have been away from Christ for a long time and now you are back, or you just feel the need for a public declaration you are welcome to be baptized as well.
I highly encourage water baptized. It will be a significant spiritual event in your life that you will treasure forever. Don’t let the devil rob you of this joy. Make a "Life” decision to be baptized and we will rejoice with you as you publicly declare, “I am now a new creation in Christ Jesus, the old has passed away and all things are new! I am now baptized into the Body of Christ Jesus. I am part of His family!”
Things you will need to bring with you to baptism:
- Shorts and a shirt that can get wet. We do not have baptism robes so do not wear thin or white garments that tend to show through when they become wet.
- Towel and any other toiletry you may need.
- Dry clothes to change into.
- Plastic bag for your wet clothes.
- As many family members and friends as possible.
Please call the church office as soon as possible to verify which service, 9:00 a.m. or 11:00 a.m. that you would like to be baptized in. You also have the option to schedule an appointment to record your testimony that will be played prior to you baptism.
Should you have any questions about Baptism, or need any additional information, please feel free to contact me here at the church at 681-1440.
Thank you and God bless you,
January 19th, 2011
January 18th, 2011
Men Who Believe Chili Dinner
Join us tonight, 01-18-11, 06:30 p.m., at Believers Church for a Men Who Believe Chili Dinner.
Special Speaker Geoffrey Cameron.
Geoffrey has just lived through a life changing year that turned his whole world upside down. Come hear how God showed up in the midst of some of the worst trials and tribulations that a man can endure including prison.
January 18th, 2011
If you have visited with Believers Church recently and would like to meet others who are new to the church, we have designed this dinner for you.
You will hear about the Vision of Believers Church, how we got started, and much more! RSVP Today by calling the church office at 681-1440!
Already attended a Vision Dinner? Ready to take the next step?
Sign Up for New Members Class! You will learn everything you need to know about becoming a member at Believers Church! RSVP by calling the church office @ 681.1440!
January 13th, 2011
Join us this Sunday at Believers Church of Statesboro at 9 or 11 a.m. as we continue in our series on “Choices”. Don’t forget, there will be a little something extra for the 9:00 a.m. crowd.
So come early and find out what it is!
You are here today largely in part to decisions you made in the past. Life is a series of small choices and decisions. Every day, and until the day that we die, we must make choices that lead to life. Today, we can choose life or death.
Everyone needs a place to belong. We are created as social beings and we are wired for relationships.
You can belong here at Believers Church if you want to. It’s your choice. You can choose to belong, meet friends, and feel acceptance. How? You can participate in Life Groups and in Membership at Believers. The 2011 Spring Semester Life Groups information is in the Lobby. Check it out!
“The Local Church is the Hope of the World.” Bill Hybels
One of the greatest choices that you and I can make after salvation is the choice to join a local church.
I believe that one of the greatest deceptions to come upon believers in recent years is the downplaying of the importance of membership in a local church. Americans (individualist) tend to hop from church to church with no sense of identity, accountability, or commitment. In other countries, believers don’t have a lone-ranger mentality. Being a believer is synonymous with being connected to a local body
Church membership was once motivated by conformity, but not any more in our society.
A George Gallup poll found that the vast majority of Americans believe it is possible to be a “good Christian” without joining (or even attending) a local church.
Now, church membership is more of a matter of commitment than a matter of conformity.
“People don’t resent being asked for a great commitment if there is a great purpose behind it.”
John C. Maxwell
I believe that, when people understand the Great Purpose of a local church, they don’t hesitate to be committed to the GREAT PURPOSE that God had called us to.
What could be more challenging and exciting?
The word “membership” is of Christian origin.
Membership refers to being a member of the Body of Christ with Christ Jesus being the Head.
Paul teaches us that membership is not an institution or organization, but rather being part of a living organism. As a matter of fact we are not only baptized in water to represent our salvation, but baptism also represents our being baptized by the Spirit into one body. 1 Cor 12:12-14
A disconnected member of a body will not survive. It will miss what it was created for and created to be. The same is true for Christians who are not committed to any specific congregation.
They are like a football player with no team, a soldier with no platoon, a tuba player with no orchestra, or a child with no family. 1 Tim. 3:15 “…God’s household which is the church of the living God.”
You do not have to join Believers Church.
You are welcome to come, attend, and share in everything that we do without being a member.
But by becoming a member, you commit yourself to this ministry and to belong to our part of the Family of God (Eph 2:19; Rom 12:5) Joining Believers Church says that this is my church. This is where I belong. We want to see people move from The Crowd Þ To Attendees Þ To Members.
Awareness of our church Þ to attendance at our churchÞ to active membership in our church.
The community talks about “that church”, the attendees talks about “this church”, but the members talks about “our church”.
Members have a “sense of ownership”. Members get into the game. Members become players and contributors. Members don’t just believe, they belong!
Prospective members’ questions that we all ask:
· Do I fit here? (This is an issue of Acceptance.)
· Does anyone want to know me? (This is an issue of Friendship.)
· Am I needed? (This is an issue of Value.)
· What are some of the advantages of joining? (This is an issue of Benefit.)
Why not join? There are several reasons:
1. We are on the uphill road to God’s kind of success. As Paul Harvey said, “You can always tell when you are on the road to success, it’s uphill all the way.”
2. We are a new church, and we can’t provide all the material things that a larger, more established church can provide for you. We have big vision but some things take time to develop.
3. You will be asked to apply what you are taught by working and laboring for the Kingdom of God.
4. No church is perfect, and I’m sure that we will make our share of mistakes.
5. You will be asked to give of your time, talents, and resources as we fulfill our mission.
6. You will be expected to continue to be transformed into the image of Christ Jesus.
You won’t be able to stay the same.
What are some of the advantages of joining?
1. Membership identifies a person as a genuine believer. (Eph. 2:19; Rom. 12:5) You will be a part of something that is bigger than yourself.
“You tell me: what is nobler, what is loftier, what is a higher purpose in life, than devoting yourself to establishing and developing a community of believers that strives to fulfill the Acts 2 description of the bride of Christ? To create a supportive and encouraging place where Spirit-led preaching brings a new, God-focused direction to people’s lives; where believers gather in small groups to share their hearts on the deepest of levels; where people compassionately walk with each other through life’s problems and pain; where prayer, worship, and the sacraments are lifted up; where rich share their God-given resources with the poor; and where people ache so much for their irreligious friends that the church gets strategic and takes risks to reach out to them with the Gospel?” (Bill Hybels)
2. Membership provides a spiritual family to support and encourage you in your walk with Christ. (Heb. 10:24-25 Encourage one another daily…)
We are commanded to love each other, pray for each other, encourage each other, admonish each other, greet each other, serve each other, teach each other, accept each other, honor each other, bear each other’s burdens, forgive each other, sing to each other, submit to each other, and be devoted to each other. Rick Warren
3. As a member, you will be given a place to discover and use your gifts in ministry. (1 Cor. 12:4-27)
1Tim 4:14 Do not neglect your gift, which was given you… (NIV)
4. Membership places you under the spiritual protection of Godly leaders. (Heb. 13:17; Acts 20:28-29)
5. Membership gives you the accountability that you need to grow. (Eph. 5:21; Gal. 6:1-2)
6. You will “belong”. (Romans 12:10)
Adding Water Is A Public Identification With the Death, Burial, and Resurrection of Christ Jesus. (Rom. 6:1-11; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Gal 2:20)
Adding Water Is a Public Declaration of Your Belonging (1 Corinthians 12:12-14)
You can choose to belong. You can choose to join a life group. You can choose to join Believers Church as a member. You can choose to be baptized.
I challenge you to make these “Life Choices” and be committed to what God is doing in this local body!
January 12th, 2011
Ladies join us at Believers Church this Thursday, 1/13/11 and enjoy a meal while you fellowship with your friends and meet new friends! Hear a devotional on God’s “word” for Believers Church in 2011 and learn from our special speaker Terri Gary on “Money Saving Coupons”! Bring copies of your favorite soup recipes and some containers to take some home! You will even get to vote for your favorite soup recipe.