Is Your Faith In Christ Going Forward Or Backward?
It was a beautiful drive to Mill Creek Baptist Church Sunday morning as the beauty of nature abounds in the colors of the fall leaves and God’s handiwork. For everything, there is a season.
We were greeted by Doug Cory, who opened our service with prayer. Kalissa Smith was celebrating a birthday, and special prayers were requested for Don Chaney, Tommy and Aaron.
Linda Abercrombie shared the devotional, “Thought Process,” and read Romans 12:2: “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
When we try not to think about something, we end up thinking about it more. Sometimes we need to send our thoughts to the timeout chair. Distractions keep us from positive thoughts and negativity robs us of God’s peace. We need time to think good thoughts and let problem-solving overcome our doubts.
Tyrel Lett asked God’s blessing upon the offering and he and Rick Lett served as ushers. With Becky Johnson at the piano, Karen Gardner led the congregation in singing hymns of praise, with special music from Jerry and Linda, who sang, “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus.” Scripture for the song is Isaiah 45:22 which says, “Look unto Me, and be saved, all you ends of the earth. For I am God, and there is no other.”
Brother Mark Hall began God’s message for us by reading 2 Corinthians: “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith, test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you — unless indeed you are disqualified.”
Brother Mark told us the scripture is talking to us and that we are to test and examine ourselves. “We are good at testing others, but do we test ourselves. We need to look at ourselves so we know if we are in the faith.”
The title of Sunday’s sermon was “Test Day.” Brother Mark told us the test is self-given, open-book and no one can take it for us. “It is between you and the Lord. You can’t look at someone and tell if they are saved. If you know the real Jesus, you know the real thing. Those who worry about their salvation usually have the least to worry about. Those who don’t probably should. The Spirit convicts your heart. True conviction will cause you to love holiness, pray often, hate sin and walk humbly with God.”
Brother Mark told us to test ourselves. We need to ask if our beliefs are governed by scripture or our own. “Do we elevate our opinion above God’s and then ask our self the most important question — who is Jesus to me? He lived a sinless life, died for our sins and rose again. We need to be submissive to the teachings of the Bible. How do you feel and respond when you sin? Do you try to make excuses and try to rationalize your sin? You need to repent and confess.” In Luke 13:3, Jesus tells us, “I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.”
Brother Mark shared the parts of the Conversion Test. “First, there is the Character Test. When you are born, you inherit characteristics of your parents and relatives like looks and actions. When you are born again, you inherit traits of our Heavenly Father, and we begin to act more like Him to see things and respond like Jesus (scripture reference was I Peter 1:22-23). Second, there is the Continuation Test. Is your faith in Christ going forward or backward? On any given Sunday, less than half the members of any church will be in church. Are you a dropout? (Scripture reference II Timothy 3:14). Third, there is the Currency Test. Where is your heart? Is it with your checkbook or the Good Book? (Scripture reference Matthew 6:21). Fifth, there is the Crisis Test. How are you in a crisis? We should have the same faith in bad times as we do the good times. Good is easy, bad, not so much. During a crisis is when your faith should show (Scripture reference 2 Timothy 1:17). And the last test is the Companion Test. Are you in the faith? This is the most important test you will ever take. Examine yourself first to see if you are in the faith. Do you know for sure where you will spend eternity? There is no reason to live in doubt.”
Our hymn of invitation was “The Savior is Waiting,” and Tom Sharp gave the benediction. We greeted Weston Allison on his profession of faith and upcoming baptism.
We will be set up at Southwest City’s Trunk or Treat with God’s “Pumpkin Patch” and everyone is invited to our annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner on Saturday, Nov. 10, at Mill Creek Baptist Church. The free meal will be served from 5 to 6:30 p.m. and consists of turkey, ham, dressing, potatoes, gravy, green beans, rolls and lots of sides, salads and desserts.
Everyone is always invited to worship at Mill Creek Baptist Church on Sunday mornings at 11 a.m. Sunday school begins at 10 a.m. Mill Creek Baptist Church is located 3½ miles east of Noel, just off Highway 90.
“Distractions keep us from positive thoughts and negativity robs us of God’s peace. We need time to think good thoughts and let problem-solving overcome our doubts.”