A Mighty Fortress Is Our God
July 31st, 2012
The great reformer Martin Luther wrote the song that has been called “the greatest hymn of the greatest man of the greatest period of German history”
"A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing;
Our helper He, amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing:
For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe;
His craft and power are great, and, armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal."
"Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing;
Were not the right Man on our side, the Man of God’s own choosing:
Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He;
Lord Sabbath, His Name, from age to age the same,
And He must win the battle."
"And though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us:
The Prince of Darkness grim, we tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure, for lo, his doom is sure,
One little word shall fell him."
"That word above all earthly powers, no thanks to them, abideth;
The Spirit and the gifts are ours through Him Who with us sideth:
Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also;
The body they may kill: God’s truth abideth still,
His kingdom is forever."
Grace All Over The PlaceJuly 26th, 2012
It is with Passion and Compassion that we spread the message of the Gospel Of The Grace Of God and train young men and young ladies to give their lives to do the same here at Grace Baptist Ministries in Gaylord, Michigan. Grace Baptist Church began with 5 families in the Spring of 1986 committed to establishing with the help and leadership of God a Bible preaching, soul winning, family oriented, compassionate church here in central, lower, northern Michigan. In 1992 our church began the Grace Baptist Christian School to provide a quality Christian education for families across our region with an added emphasis to put a passion for Christ in the hearts of our student body. In 2003 Grace Baptist College opened its doors as a preachers training ministry of the Grace Baptist Church. Over 10 years ago WBLW, a conservative, family friendly, Christian radio station (88.1 FM) began broadcasting the soul saving message of the gospel of Jesus Christ as another ministry of the Grace Baptist Church. What is all this energy and effort for? Yes it is our heartfelt passion to spread Grace All Over The Place. Not the Ministry of Grace Baptist Church but the Message of the Gospel Of The Grace Of God.
This past Sunday evening we ordained three more tremendous young men to the Gospel ministry here at Grace. These Three young men and their dear wives are entering the ministry of spreading Grace All Over The Place. Sunday evening July 22nd, 2012 Bro. Tim Martin, Bro. Wesley Goldsborough and Bro. Philip Bishop were ordained as preachers of the gospel. The Martins are heading to Osprey, Florida to serve as an Assistant Pastor at Victory Baptist Church. The Goldsborough's will be joining the staff of Grace Baptist Church here in Gaylord. The Bishops are going to Alberta, Canada as missionary church planters. We praise God for the work He has done in the lives of these graduates of our College and Christian School.
At present there are Graduates of Grace Baptist Christian School and Grace Baptist College serving in the ministries of local churches in 28 different states across our country and presently serving in 5 different countries. To God Be The Glory we are spreading Grace All Over The Place. Missionaries, Pastor's, Assistant Pastor's, Evangelist, Christian School Administrators and Faculty Members, Music Ministers, Church Secretaries, Bus Director's, Youth Director's, and Preacher's Wives are serving God in hundreds of places that grew up here at Grace or came here to be trained at Grace Baptist College.
I am overwhelmed at what God has done and continues to do through the Grace Baptist Ministries here in Gaylord, Michigan. My reflections are not Bragging but Praising God for all he has done here at Grace. We don't have any right to Brag but we sure do have a lot to Praise God about. Over 125 GBC graduates are already serving God around the country and world. We remain committed with Passion and Compassion to spread the message of the Gospel Of The Grace Of God and train young men and young ladies to give their lives to do the same here at Grace Baptist Ministries in Gaylord, Michigan. Praise God that He is touching the world, from a small, northern, Michigan town called Gaylord. God sure is an Awesome God!
Maybe God wants you to join us, in this Miracle Ministry, spreading Grace All Over The Place.
Held By HopeJuly 23, 2012
We do not Hold On To Our Hope but rather Our Hope Holds On To Us. The Bible says in Romans 15:13 "Now the God of hope (NOT WITH HOPE BUT OF HOPE) fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost." I Timothy 1:1 ends with the words, "...and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope."
When we face the difficult and discouraging situations of our lives without hope, and without faith that God can intervene and that God can turn the situation for his glory, we set ourselves up to completely miss the presence of Jesus in our lives! He is our hope and it is he that holds on to us, not we that hold on to him.
1. Our Hope Secures Us.
Hebrews 6:18-19 “That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil.”
2. Our Hope Anchors Us.
Hebrews 6:19 “Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil.”
Priscilla Owens is the lady who wrote the great hymn Jesus Saves. She also wrote the endearing hymn We Have An Anchor. “Will Your Anchor Hold In The Storms Of Life, When The Clouds Unfold Their Wings Of Strife? When The Strong Tides Lift And The Cables Strain, Will Your Anchor Drift, Or Firm Remain? We Have An Anchor That Keeps The Soul Steadfast And Sure While The Billows Roll, Fastened To The Rock Which Cannot Move, Grounded Firm And Deep In The Savior’s Love.”
3. Our Hope Draws Us.
Hebrews 7:19 “For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God.”
July 16, 2012
The emerging church and contemporary churches seem to be on the cutting edge of church growth these days. The discontent and frustration seen in many hearts in our Baptist churches is not hard to see. Do the evangelicals have the answers? Do we need to tone down our preaching and move our music ministries to a more contemporary sound? I will be the very first to confess that we need to take a very honest and introspective look in the mirror. Every sensitive and spirit filled pastor is concerned about the relevance and effectiveness of his ministry in these days of gross compromise and moral and ministry open mindedness.
I recently came across the comments of two well-known evangelical leaders. I found their insight and thoughts both intriguing and honest. John Koessler pastored for years before serving as chair and professor of pastoral studies at Moody Bible Institute. In 2007 he wrote, A Stranger In The House of God. Chronicling his experience in various churches Dr. Koessler wrote, "Most of the Christians I know are disappointed with their church, finding it either too traditional or too modern. The sermon is either too theological or not theological enough. The people, too cold to one another or too cliquish. In the end, the root problem is always the same. It is the people."
In the Winter 2009 issue of Leadership, Pastor Mike Lueken wrote: "We are a culture of Christ-followers who pay far too much attention to whether or not our needs are being satisfied. And we have become a culture of leaders who spend far too much time orienting our ministries around the ever-changing preferences of our people. As we mature in Christ, might the goal be to develop a gut-level instinct to give less attention to what we are not getting from our church? Perhaps a step on the way to growing more Christ-centered is to accept our dissatisfactions instead of assuming they have to be resolved. Churches that spend too much time alleviating their people's dissatisfactions may be nurturing A Self-Absorbed Attitude Of The Heart That Needs To Be Nailed To The Cross.... To authentically lead people into deeper apprenticeship with Jesus, we must graciously and rigorously confront the raging selfishness that is alive and well in all of us."
July 10, 2012
Last Sunday I began a Sermon Series that I believe may be one of the most important I have ever preached. We all Want Joy and we all Need Joy in our lives! Joy is not a Luxury, Joy is a Necessity. A life without Joy is a life Void Of Gladness, and Visited By Sadness. A joyless life is Emotionally Empty, Perpetually Painful, Devoid Of Delight and Discolored By Darkness.
David prayed in Psalm 51:12, “Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.” The key to understanding (Vs. 12) is looking back at (Vs. 10). David prayed in, Psalm 51:10 “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me." David realized that until the inside of me get’s fixed nothing else will matter. David petitioned God for Inward Renewal, and Inward Restoration of Holiness & Joyfulness. He was aware that he had become indifferent in his attitudes so he needed internal renovation. David was suffering from, what we would call today, Burn-Out! But the central truth that must be understood is that Christians do not Burn-Out they Joy-Out!
Burn-Out reduces our productivity and saps our energy, leaving us feeling increasingly helpless, hopeless, cynical, and resentful. Eventually, you may even reach the point that you feel like you have nothing more to give. All across the country today we are seeing an epidemic of drop-outs from church membership rolls. But not everyone leaves a church when they Burn-Out. Some just settle for a lot less than what God wanted for them when they first came to Christ. Many today are just going through the motions, running on fumes, busy but barren. Here is the issue - Why are people burning-out, dropping out or becoming "Comfort-Zone Christians" in so many churches today?
Here is just a glimpse of what we discovered Sunday - When a man receives the gift of salvation, he or she is really receiving the gift of Divine Love, which produces True Joy. Yet so many believers display an absence of real joy in their daily lives. We see our churches suffering from this problem and many pretended this problem does not exist, but many of our fellow believers are spiritually drained. They have become negative and cynical, bitter and resentful, and most of all hurt. They are suffering Spiritual Burn-Out. It is not as simple as just more Prayer, more Bible Study, or being more Faithful or more Dedicated. The problem goes much deeper than that! What has made us not want to pray, what has made us not want to read the bible, what has caused us to loose our enthusiasm for the things of God? Finding the answers to these vital questions is the focus of this new sermon series. Be sure to go to our website at www.gracebaptist.us and click on the Joy Out banner. Listen and learn for hope and help!
Welcome To My New Blog!
July 7, 2012
The heartbeat of this blog is to help strengthen your faith, to encourage and challenge you as you grow in grace, and to be a resource to you on your journey in the Christian life. You will find many inspirational thoughts from God's Word and updates on opportunities to serve and to be involved with us here at Grace Baptist. Stop back by soon and begin the journey with us. God bless you today.