Monday, January 10, 2022

New Beginnings, New Seasons, New Habits

 With a New Year comes new expectations. No doubt we will hear many New Year’s resolutions, whether it be to shed a few pounds or to open our Bibles daily. The new year for many represents a time of change and a brand-new start to improve ourselves. Some of us will find ourselves in a different season of life. No matter what season you find yourself in 2022 remember Ecclesiastes 3:1.

“To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven…”

Whether in the depths of a valley or on the mountain top this next year, let’s make a resolution. Not just to reach some goal we set for ourselves to be a better follower of Christ.

Not just to read a certain number of chapters a day in God’s Word, or to pray a certain number of times a day. But to pull up to God’s table, put our eyes on Him, and let Him make the change. For who are we to know what God’s final image is for us? Who are we to change ourselves?  Is it not Jesus that died for us that we might be clothed in righteousness? Is it not He who changes hearts, breaks chains, and breathes life into dry bones? So, let’s not trust ourselves to make and reach some unobtainable goal this year. Instead let’s trust in Him. Let’s set our eyes on God and make Him the priority in our lives. Too often the clay tries to mold itself rather than submit to the gentle hands of the potter.

With this in mind I urge all of you, as brothers and sisters in Christ, to remember that whether it’s the New Year, the 4th of July, or whether you are turning 16 or 90; every day is a new day in Christ Jesus! 


“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come. The old has gone, the new is here!”
(II Corinthians 5:17)

We live in newness every day in Jesus. God didn’t provide new life for us so that we would walk in old ways. The Lord came down for us that we might set our sights on Him and have our chains broken. So, in this new year, let your chains fall and set your eyes on God. Don’t let doubt and anxiety whisper lies about what you must do to be better but rely on God’s strength to accomplish the plans He has for you in 2022.

May each one of you have an amazing New Year that is Christ-centered!

Kobie Heath,

Youth Director


Monday, November 29, 2021

Immanuel: God With Us

Thanksgiving has come and gone.  But as followers of Christ, we strive to practice a heart of gratitude and thanksgiving daily, especially at this joyous time of year.   Let’s celebrate and rejoice in God’s most glorious gift: a baby born in a manger, who forever changed the world. How thankful we are for our Immanuel, “God with us,” the true meaning of Christmas!

 

Have you noticed that stores have been playing Christmas music since before Thanksgiving?  This time of year approaches with much anticipation, excitement, sentimentality, and hope.   No doubt as the month of December begins, we ourselves will be singing some familiar Christmas hymns with meaning and depth as well as some of the fun songs about reindeer, chipmunks and snow falling.  

The sights, sounds, smells, traditions, stories and memories of Christmas past, may bring lots of different emotions to our hearts.  But as we focus on the true meaning of Christmas, we will find our hearts able to rejoice even in the midst of difficult memories. 

 

So let us intentionally focus on Christ, “the reason for the season” as they say.  As we participate in, and look forward to all of our annual Christmas traditions, let’s keep Him as the center of our JOY and celebrations.  

 

Thank you to those who participated in Operation Christmas Child with Samaritan’s Purse to reach children all over the world this holiday season. We also provide the opportunity to serve  in our Outdoor Live Nativity as we give to our community a” Living Christmas Card” to bless them with visuals of what Christmas is really all about.  Most of our church family will enjoy giving in the Birthday offering for Christ so that we can help those in need this season.  Many of us will enjoy going Christmas Caroling to be a blessing to our shut-ins.  Our church family will delight in watching our children perform their Christmas program.  All of these events are traditions of our church to celebrate our Savior’s birth and share the Gospel.

 

In the words of one of our Christmas hymn, Oh Come All Ye Faithful, Joyful and Triumphant, Come let us adore Him!” Oh come let us adore Him, Christ our King! He is not only the baby in the manger but this promised baby is the omnipotent Creator of heaven and earth. To adore is to regard with the utmost esteem, respect and honor.  He deserves our adoration!  

 

For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. John 3:17

 

For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”  Is. 9:6

“At the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”  Phil. 2:10-11

 

The shepherds adored Him, and the angels praised Him.  We are reminded to come and worship the King of Kings! The Wise Men saw the star, rejoiced with exceedingly great joy, fell down and worshiped Him.  Then they presented their gifts to Him. (Matthew 2:10-11) Let’s praise and worship HimLet’s rejoice with much joy at such great a salvation He has provided!  What a privilege to present Him with the gifts of ourselves in service, our time, using our talents to help others and to point them to Christ, all for God’s glory! 

 

May each of you enjoy a Christ-centered Christmas season!  I am praying for you.

 

In Christ’s love,

Pastor Paul, Senior Pastor

Monday, October 25, 2021

I Would Not Have You to be Ignorant Brethren

The Bible is criticized, biblical truth is condemned, and Christians are cursed.  This is not unique to our country or our time.  Opposition and violence toward Christians has been happening from the very beginning.  Even today, there are countries where being a Christian can result in imprisonment or death.  In some places, Christians are targeted for attack.  Many people die each year only because they are Christians.  These realities, matched by the vulgarities of the abortionists, the atheists, and the anarchists reflect a fulfillment of the warnings of Christ to His followers:

·  “Ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake.” Mark 13:13

·  “Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake.” Luke 6:22

·  “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.” John 15:18

Thus, we are not surprised when mobs aggressively seek to silence Christian voices, promote lies about what the Bible teaches, or discredit historical fact in favor of hysterical fancy, even if it means using violence and destroying private property or public displays.

So, the questions arise…What should a Christian do? And what do we need to know moving forward?  (Especially an American Christian in the year 2021)

Into such a culture of confusion and condemnation we seek the wisdom of Christ, who said in Luke 6:27, “Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you.” Love is indeed the response that Christ requires.  However, it’s an impossible task if we undertake it in our own strength.  We must ask the Lord for His strength to respond in love and not to respond in kind.

Additionally, we need to be informed regarding the cultural trends and strategies of anti-Christian voices. We need to hear the admonition of the Apostle Paul, who wrote to the Christians in Rome, Corinth, and Thessalonica, “I would not have you to be ignorant brethren…”  We cannot influence our family, our community, or our culture by being ignorant.  That’s why Christians must engage the Bible daily, it is the only source of truth that impacts our temporal and our eternal mindsets.  We cannot become “religious ostriches” and hide our head in the sand.  Rather, we must intentionally combat ignorance as we encounter the cultural and spiritual battles of the day. 

The two books below provide biblically based perspectives regarding the issues, challenges, and insights necessary to avoid being ignorant.  As we stand equipped with the truth of the Bible and the facts of history, we will be prepared to confidently present the Gospel and courageously defend the faith.  You can find these books at your favorite online book seller, or you can download and listen through Audible.  I highly recommend both as resources to help clarify the issues and responses needed in this time of cultural, political, and spiritual uncertainty.

                    Dr. Harlie Miller, Associate Pastor


We Will Not Be Silenced: Responding Courageously to Our Culture’s Assault on Christianity,  

by Erwin Lutzer




Fault Lines:

The Social Justice Movement and Evangelicalism’s Looming Catastrophe,

by Voddie T. Baucham, Jr.


Thursday, September 30, 2021

Turning Point

 I don’t know about you, but for me October signals a natural turning point. I, with gratitude, turn a year older. Fall has begun. I hone in on finishing the year well. I begin to look forward to all that comes in the final quarter of the year. After all, fall festivities, Thanksgiving and Christmas are right around the corner. Our family vacation coming up in December (the first in two years!) now seems like a reality. As with each and every eventful season of our lives, our God proves faithful and good. This October in particular will surely bring change for me. My departure from Gospel marks a beautiful end to what has been the honor and privilege of serving alongside a beautiful family of God and an exciting beginning to freely broaden my horizons and potential in the path of ministry the Lord has laid out for my life. With this in mind, I want to share with you a little about just one of the divine appointments I have had, one that served as just one more affirmation from the Lord who makes our paths straight.

 

Mrs. Denya, in partnership with Youth for Christ, runs a young ladies bible study on Friday mornings with students from Northern High School. As I do, I would pop in unannounced and give them all a good morning scare each week. This eventually turned into a short 10-minute worship session for a couple of weeks. One week, just before music time, I caught the end of their lesson and it has stuck with me. Hear this from a mother who learns a valuable lesson in giving all to God in every moment in this book, What Happens When Young Women Say Yes to God:    

 

“What moments have you had like this? The kind where you are certain that God’s fingerprints are all over them. Live in expectation of experiencing God and hearing His voice. Record these times in a journal. Look for answers to the prayers you’ve prayed and understanding from the steps of obedience and faithfulness God has called you to take. See how he weaves everything together in wonderful ways.”

 

         In this season of change, don’t forget to abide in Christ (John 15) and look for his leading, not neglecting to see the beauty of His purposeful weaving in each of our lives. He’s there, working all to our good. He’s there orchestrating while we are often times unaware. He is good. He is God. He is for us and not against us. He never sleeps or slumbers. He is able.

 

         A HUGE THANK YOU from the Wilson family to each of you who were so generous, kind and supportive during our final days at Gospel!! So many of you wrote cards, called, texted, gave gifts, visited with us, cried with us, rejoiced with us and more. Words just cannot express enough gratitude or reciprocity of love. Another HUGE THANK YOU to all those who put in the work to execute a farewell fellowship! That farewell fellowship was so beautiful and so humbling. I know the work it takes to pull off something like that, and we don’t take it lightly-thank you. I’ll never forget how honored and loved I felt in those moments- thank you. Thank you, church family, for the precious gift of that Martin guitar. It represents so much, not that I intend to idolize an object, but there’s a lot of miles in worship at the church and in the community that I will fondly remember upon every strum. The signatures and notes you all placed on the back are priceless and precious. Love you all!!   



  • Pastor Jason Wilson

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Remember

In the Bible, God’s people found ways to “remember” important events in their lives. They remembered, memorialized and celebrated ways in which God had helped them, worked miracles and blessed them. 


The word “remember” is used 217 times in the Bible.  Some of the annual feasts and celebrations of God’s people would include:  Sabbath when they would remember creation by resting. Passover helped them to remember the exodus from slavery in Egypt. Unleavened bread helped them remember the hasty exodus from Egypt. Firstfruits helped them remember the blessing of God‘s bounty. Weeks (Pentecost, harvest) helped them remember the harvest blessings. Trumpets helped them remember to seek God’s blessing in the new year.  Atonement helped them to remember to seek God’s forgiveness. Tabernacles helped them to remember the journey from Egypt to Canaan. Purim helped them to remember the deliverance of the Jews from the genocide in Persia. 


The desire to remember what God had done motivated the Israelites to create memorials. Exodus 12:7 – 8, Joshua 4,  Exodus 14, 1 Samuel 7:12


We are instructed in the Bible many times to remember God and His works! To list a few: 

  • Psalm 20:7 “Some trust in chariots and some in horses but we will remember the name of the Lord our God.”

  • Psalm 77:11, “I will remember the works of the Lord: surely I will remember the wonders of old.”

  • Psalm 105:5 “Remember his marvelous works that he has done.”

  • Psalm 143:5 “I remember the days of old; I meditate on all thy works; I muse on the work of thy hands.” 


Even Jesus at his final Passover meal said “Do this in remembrance of me.”

1 Corinthians 11:23 - 26 We as a church remember Christ’s sacrificial death until he comes again through communion.

In America most of us celebrate anniversaries, birthdays, achievements like graduations and other special events. We celebrate Thanksgiving, Christmas and July 4th as well as many others!  These national holidays are to remember, they have a purpose. We should remember blessings and sacrifices that have allowed us to prosper and survive as a nation. We should remember and be proactive in celebrating what God has done for us as a church and as well as each one of us personally. 


Let us remember His Sacrifice, the price He paid!  “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21


Remember where we came from!  “Therefore if any man be in Christ he is a new creature old things are passed away;” 

2 Corinthians 6:17-20 


Remember what He has done for us personally! “And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.” Hebrews 10:17, “…remember that thou was a bondman in Egypt and the LORD thy God redeemed thee.” Deuteronomy 24:18


So on Celebration Sunday we encourage each of us to REMEMBER & CELEBRATE:

  1. God‘s goodness to Gospel Baptist Church

  2. God has truly worked miracles for us at GBC

  3. To praise him and thank him for his continued blessings

  4. To recognize that God is in control and that he wants to continue to use us for his eternal purposes

  5. To teach our children that they might know and recognize the hand of the Lord.  Joshua 4:6, 22, 24


God Worked A Miracle For Us, In Relocating Us To This Location. We Don’t Want To Forget!  We Praise Him For His Continued Blessings On Gospel Baptist Church. Since Last September, We Remember & Celebrate Because:


We paid off the facility during COVID! We baptized 13! Made improvements to our playground area, built a new stew shed that includes a grill and smoker. We added 6 new members! We have had at least 63 professions of faith in our services, children’s ministries, VBS, GAP, outreach ministries & in funerals!  All to God’s glory!  


Pastor Paul Luttrell, Senior Pastor

Monday, July 19, 2021

Education: The Practical and the Spiritual

What does it mean to be well-educated?  It’s a question often discussed by educators (who spend lots of time), politicians (who spend lots of money), and parents (who spend lots of energy) to come to the best answer.  It’s also a question that has answers in the Bible.  As we stand on the threshold of a new school year, it’s a good time to be reminded of insights gained about education from the Scripture.

·  The Objectives of Education: While education has many practical outcomes (such as the familiar “reading, writing, and arithmetic”), it should go so much further.  It should pursue godly wisdom, justice, judgment, and equity as a natural extension that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge (Proverbs 1).  Education should prioritize God’s truth, ethics, and values.  To be well-educated should mean to have a biblical view of reality, thinking, and living (Romans 12:1-2).  Any educational framework that excludes God and biblical priorities can only produce educated fools (Proverbs 1:7).

·  The Opportunities of Education: Many believe that education only happens at school and church.  However, the Bible calls parents to use everyday events as learning occasions.  The Bible says parents are to display and teach God’s word when sitting in the house or taking a walk, when lying down and when getting up. (Deuteronomy 6:6-9). Parents should realize that the most important learning happens at home, where they are the role-models who use every situation to  teach godly principles and biblical truth (Proverbs 22:6).

·  The Oversight of Education: The American system has lured many into thinking that it’s the school or the government that makes the decisions about a child’s education.  This is not the Bible’s perspective.  Rather, it’s the parents who bear the ultimate responsibility to make, or approve, educational decisions.  Issues such as the age to start a child’s formal education, the structure of a child’s education (homeschool, private, or public), and the curriculum in a child’s courses and extra-curricular activities are, in the end, decisions for the parents.  This is because the Bible recognizes the family and the responsibilities of the parents (see Eph. 6:1-4).

Christian parents should prioritize what God prioritizes.  Obviously, education has real-world aspects, but to only pursue education for its practical or financial benefits is to grossly miss the mark.  In the end, such a system can only produce individuals who may know how to make a living, but have no foundation for how to live a life that honors God, the church, and the family, much less prepares them for eternity.  That’s why parents must be active in overseeing the development of each child, which must include biblical principles and attitudes.

Biblically-minded parents are warned not follow the belief system of secular education, which has at its core atheism, evolution, humanism, secularism, and socialism, all of which are abominations to biblical truth.  Rather, it is imperative that Christian parents follow biblical priorities and seek the way of Christ as the only means of salvation and the Bible as the cornerstone of an education that is both practically and spiritually valuable (Col. 2:6-8).


Monday, July 5, 2021

Celebrate

 

July reminds us of FIREWORKS and celebrating and rightfully so!  We will celebrate our Independence Day on July 4 during our morning services but there is much more to celebrate here at GBC! 
God has blessed us with a wonderful hard working, faithful family of God. As you all serve here at Gospel, you are being a genuine New Testament Church! 
Christ continues to build this church!  We individually counselled 15 for salvation in VBS and two others for assurance.  God blessed us with two adult professions of faith in my church office in the last couple of weeks.
We continue to exalt Jesus! He is Lord! (Matthew 16:13-16) Jesus is the ROCK upon which His church is built, God in the flesh, King of Kings, Lord of Lords! He should be exalted in our church and in our individual lives.  We are each called to give Him first place, preeminence. 
This church continues to demonstrate Christ’s love, (John 13:34-35) which is a distinguishing mark of a Christian church (not racism, hate or prejudice) but the love of Christ! 
Here at Gospel, we continue to unapologetically preach and teach the Word of God. (II Timothy 4:1-5)  Our focus is not social issues or politics but God’s eternal Word which is powerful and will change lives.

We continue to contend for the faith! (Jude 1-4) We strive to teach and live out the doctrine  of truth! We offer many ways to learn and grow in God’s Word and service.  

We continue to implement the Great Commission. (Matt. 28:18-20) Our mission budget for 2021 is $ 145,630 and we have taken on two new missionaries this year.  Also, our outreach ministry loves on, cares for, helps and teaches families from 11 countries around the world. We praise God for everyone who serves in this ministry and for Denya heading it up. We are thankful that many of the children and even some parents of our outreach ministry could come to our own church property for a day of fun in June. We fed them, played with them, sang with them and taught them God’s word. 

Our Vacation Bible School had 266 children registered with 88 workers per night. We enjoyed an exciting adventurous week of Bible stories taught by our GBC staff, mission stories, outdoor recreation, lively singing, and Popsicles to keep everybody cool. The students memorized 541 Bible verses! The VBS students and workers brought in $2,556.39 for our missionaries to Peru, Josh and Allie Miller!  All for God’s glory!  We thank and praise Him for His abundant blessings.  We are also very grateful for all of you who prayed for the VBS! 

We continue to encourage worship and praise. (Eph. 5:18-20)  We are so blessed with many musicians and singers who help us to praise and worship Him.  In every service, we have opportunity to sing His praises and worship Him with old and new hymns. In VBS we nightly heard over 200 children and teens joyfully singing in worship of Him!

We continue to enjoy sweet fellowship.  (I John 1:3-4, Phil. 2:2) We fellowship and enjoy each other as we build eternal relationships - before, during and after our services.  We encourage and build up one another in our fun fellowships and even when we work together. 

We are thankful for all the men and women who showed up for our “work day” in June as we cleaned up around the property and worked on our trail that will go around our entire property.  

We are also thankful for the men who have worked together tirelessly on our playground improvements and the stew shed.  

We are happy that our seniors have enjoyed a cook out, movie night and even out door celebrations during COVID restrictions.  Our Youth have continued their weekly fellowships. Our GAP ministry has a great experience daily at the church as the staff pours into their lives.

I personally praise the Lord for all of you who faithfully serve God in this local New Testament church assembly, the GBC family! He has truly blessed us with people who continue to be a church that is pleasing to God!  More and more of you are able to come back to “in person” worship and we praise God for this blessing as well.
As our Vacation Bible School learned this past week, YOU are a priceless treasure to God… and I AM THANKFUL FOR EACH OF YOU! 

                                                                                               Love in Christ, 

                                                                                                     Pastor Paul, Senior Pastor

New Beginnings, New Seasons, New Habits

  With a New Year comes new expectations. No doubt we will hear many New Year’s resolutions, whether it be to shed a few pounds or to open o...