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October 17, 2017, 10:08 AM

October 18, 2017

“This, then, is how you ought to regard us: as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the mysteries God has revealed.  Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.”  I Corinthians 4:1-2

            We have shared on numerous occasions some of the traits of a disciple.  The passage above describes what it means to be a disciple.  As a disciple we are, first of all, servants of Christ.  The word Paul uses for servant is the Greek word hyperetas.  The word literally means an “under rower” in the sense that someone is a rower on a big galley ship.  One commentator describes this “under rower” as “one who acts under direction, and asks no questions, one who does the thing he is appointed to do without hesitation”.

            As servants of Jesus, we understand that our job is to manage the resources given to us.  We are to use our God-given resources in a way that honors Him.  Ken Adams very well sums up what God has entrusted to us.  “Disciples in our day must understand the difference between ownership and management.  Your time, treasure, temple, and talents all belong to God.  He has entrusted them into your care to be managed and used for His glory.  Being a good life manager is a mark of an authentic disciple of Jesus”.

            Paul also reminds us that a disciple of Christ must prove faithful.  Is God able to trust us and depend on us to be obedient to Him?  God has provided the resources and entrusted us with the task of sharing Jesus.  Are we using our resources wisely?  It becomes very easy to overlook our real purpose as we get caught in the world’s vicious trap of busyness.  Jesus reminded those seeking Him to count the cost of being a disciple.  It is not an easy life and persecution is a real possibility.  However, you will never find a more satisfying or rewarding life.  Let us ask God to put people in our path daily who need to hear the gospel message.  Let us also ask God to give us the right words for every situation so the message is presented adequately and accurately.  May you have an extraordinarily blessed week as we serve Him together.

                                                                                                We love you,

                                                                                                Brad and Virginia

October 10, 2017, 11:03 AM

October 11, 2017

“For Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.”  II Corinthians 11:14

Our world is in utter chaos.  As you hear and see the news, it reveals just how far we have drifted from the commands of God.  If we are not careful, it becomes very easy to lose our focus.  We are, by human nature, prone to wander away from God.  Remember the hymn from Sunday?  “Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, prone to leave the God I love”.  The enemy certainly knows this and will put anything in our path to take our eyes away from our clear purpose.  The more we strive to accomplish God’s purpose, the more the enemy uses distractions along the way.  An important point for us to understand about the enemy is that he “masquerades as an angel of light”.  He doesn’t just use all bad things to trip us up.  He will keep us busy doing “good things” to stop us from doing “God things”.

Let me ask a question: Why does Plant City Baptist Church exist?  Our purpose is not to become a feel-good country club whereby we meet the wants and desires of members.  Our purpose is no different from the vision of those in the very beginning.  We are a congregation in the Plant City community of Lanett that must focus on a two-fold purpose.  First, we are to glorify God through worship and the proclamation of His Word.  Second, we are to edify (enlighten, inform, and strengthen) and equip believers to carry out God’s calling to share our faith and make disciples of all nations.  Yet, when we lose our focus and wander from the purpose of God, we become ineffective in our calling.

Do you know the way Satan uses most often to get us out of focus?  It is a two-letter word that we all know very well.  It is when the purpose of God gets all caught up in the concern for meOur prayer is that we are all striving to maintain the purpose of God as we consistently move ourselves out of the way.  The days are few and the work is tremendous!  We must continue to concentrate on the fundamentals to accomplish the work for which God has called us.  There are many, many distractions all around us.  A football team usually begins to struggle if they ever get away from the fundamentals that are practiced repeatedly.  Let us stick to the fundamentals of what God has called us to do and He will take care of the rest.  It may not look new and shiny or like everyone else but we will know we are glorifying our Heavenly Father.  We pray you are having a blessed and prosperous week in Christ!

                                                                                                                                We love you,

                                                                                                                                Brad and Virginia

October 3, 2017, 11:45 AM

October 4, 2017

“Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.  And surely I am with you to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20
     We have experienced yet another tragedy in our nation.  Over the next few days and weeks, we will hear commentary from news media and social media placing blame in various ways.  We'll hear all about gun control and if we had stricter gun laws these situations could be avoided.  However, when you consider it, most drugs are illegal but people still get them, sell them, and use them thereby destroying lives every day.  There is a much deeper problem and we rarely hear the truth.  The fact is, we live in a nation that is steadily crumbling before our eyes.  We are wondering helplessly along because we have lost our way.  The seriousness of our condition cannot be minimized or overlooked.
     There are many who will adamantly disagree, but if we take a step back and carefully examine our situation we will see clearly the results that come from pushing God aside.  We are living in the last days (the last of the last days) and as such we will continue to see the onslaught of wickedness throughout the world.  However, it could be different in the United Stated.  God makes a very real promise about healing a nation but it happens only after certain criteria are met.  One of the main conditions noted in the passage above is a turning by God's people from their wicked ways.  As we look across our country, do we really see that happening?  We see churches closing and “Christians” that look and act just like the world.  We certainly see lives changing here and there but the overall direction seems to be a constant progression toward evil.  We have pushed God aside.
     Our prayer is that through this most recent tragedy we will be made aware of the real problem facing our nation.  We do not need more laws and legislation.  We have so many now that we cannot enforce all of them.  Our greatest need is revival!  Only through revival will we see any improvement in the condition of our nation.  Only through revival will we see hearts changed, minds renewed and a real sense of unity in our communities.  What else will it take to get our attention?  Christians, please let us rise up during this final hour!  God has called and commissioned us to go, make disciples, baptize them, and teach them to obey the commands of God.  Our only hope is Jesus who gave Himself so that we can experience freedom from the bondage of sin.  What is the real cause of this recent tragedy?  A heart not controlled by Jesus!  God desires revival for our nation.  Christians, do we?
                                                                                                                                        We love you,
                                                                                                                                        Brad and Virginia

September 26, 2017, 11:22 AM

September 27, 2017

“When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?”  Psalm 8:3-4              

Can you believe that we have almost entered the month of October?  How quickly the time moves!  However, this is one of the most beautiful times of the year.  The only problem for me is that it leads to winter and it seems like the winter months stay around at least twice as long as the others.  Most of you already know that winter is not our favorite time of the year.  Yet, we also realize that for many of you the winter months are a real blessing.  Many people struggle to breathe in the summer months when the air is heavy and humid.  Others struggle during the summer months because the heat seems to literally take every bit of their strength away.  So, for many of you, the cooler months (and the forecast is for cooler weather soon) provide a much needed reprise from the hot, humid days of summer.

From time to time I hear people declare their love for cold weather.  Things are always subject to change but you will probably not hear that from us.  There seems to be more activity from the butterflies than I have seen all summer.   The birds have been quite busy as well.  Is there a meaning to all this activity among nature?  Does it mean a cold winter or something?  More than likely, it is God’s creation continuing on the path that He set for them.  Wouldn’t it be great if mankind did the same?  Man is the very pinnacle of God’s creation and yet the one who so easily wanders away from Him.

What is man that God would even care about us?  We were created in the image of God.  None of the other animals have that distinction.  Jesus came to earth specifically to die for us.  Why would man wander away from the love and care of our Heavenly Father?  God has given us a will to make choices and some of those choices can have a negative consequences.  The ultimate decision that God has for each of us is whether or not we will be obedient to Him.  Obedience to God requires: admitting that we have sinned and fallen short of God’s standard, believing that Jesus gave His life that we might have true life in Him and surrendering our life to the Lordship of Christ.

As we enjoy the beautiful days of the season, let us always be mindful of God’s love and care for us.  Of all the beauty of creation, it is mankind that Jesus came to redeem.  Our prayer is that you know Him, love Him and are serving Him every day.  Give thanks to God that you are able to experience the beauty of nature and to be reminded daily of God’s love.  May you have a great week as we all serve Him together.

                                                                                                                            We love you,

                                                                                                                            Brad and Virginia 

September 19, 2017, 1:40 PM

September 20, 2017

“We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us.  We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.”  II Corinthians 5:20            

There was once a common thread that permeated throughout our country.  It was the sense of being a part of the greatest country of our time.  We have certainly had our struggles as a nation, but somehow we knew we could rally together when we faced a common enemy.  The common thread of unity seems to be waning at a rapid pace.  We seem to be more focused on what we are able to do individually rather than collectively.  Any football team or business understands that much more is accomplished when team members work together.  What has made this such a great nation?  First and foremost, it has been our history of dependence on Almighty God.  There was a time when we depended heavily upon God and trusted Him to solve our issues.  However, we see less and less dependence on God which has brought about the moral decline and the negativity we face today.  Secondly, this nation has been great because there was an attitude of working together toward a common goal with a commitment to excellence that would ensure success.  Yet, we have not seen that among our people in quite some time!

                One of the biggest problems we face today is the fact that so many people live without any sense of purpose.  Without a sense of purpose, our life goal is to only please ourselves.  Do we have a right to protest and speak out against issues we deem controversial?  Sure we do because that’s who we are as Americans.  However, is that the real answer to the issues we face today?  The real answer is to foster a sense of unity among our people.  The real question is not whether or not we should protest but how we can be a part of a real solution.  What things can I do to help bring about unity in the community?

                For us, as Christians, we are to be Christ’s ambassadors in our society.  That means we are showing God’s love and sharing real purpose with those we contact each day.  We should be sharing with people the real life principles needed to draw them closer to God and help them understand the purpose for living.  There is a strong message for the Church.  We must be showing unity among ourselves if we are to help instill unity among others.  Let us, as God’s people, seek to please God while helping others rather than living a life simply to please ourselves!

                                                                                                                                We love you,

                                                                                                                                Brad and Virginia

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