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Fall Festival

Haven Baptist Fall Festival Coming Soon

Our church will be hosting a Fall Festival this year as we celebrate life together in our community.  The details are still being ironed out but for now we know that we will have an inflatable ski ball game, a life-size connect four, other games, food, and giveaways.

It will be inside the church building on October 13th from 5-7 pm.  There is no cost involved.  All are welcome to attend.

Trusting God

Trusting God is not easy.  Jesus never said it would be.  Yet, if we say we are Christians, we must obey his commands because He is the Son of God.  He is God in the flesh.  Jesus demonstrates his love for us in this, "While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."  This is great news.  While we were hopelessly dead in our sins, God provided a way to life.  So, if we  have turned from sin and have trusted in Christ, let us spur one another one towards obedience.  Our obedience must not be man-centered or guilt-driven.  It must be motivated by the gospel of grace. Today, you will have many opportunities to trust God as you go about your daily routine.  Believe me, it is always better to trust in the Lord than to take your chances alone. So, church, let us make His name known together.

“Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe.” -- Proverbs 29:25

Little White Church

Well, it's been a crazy day to say the least.  In the midst of the running around I had to do today, I turned the radio to a country station.  Occasionally, I still turn the radio station to country music.  It must be the years of going to the Rodeo in Sikeston, Missouri that runs through my veins. Anyway, I heard a song that I've heard before but it struck me in a new way today.  The song is called Little White Church by  Little Big Town.  In the song, you hear the following lyrics:

You've been singing that same old song Far too long, far too long Say you'll buy me a shiny ring But your words don't mean a thing

No more calling me baby, no more loving like crazy

'Til you take me down (Take me down) You better take me down (Take me down) Take me down to the little white church

Now, those aren't the words you thought you would hear from a Baptist preacher on a Wednesday, are they?  The words strike a chord though with many women in our nation.  The reason being is that it paints a picture of how many men refuse to be men and abandon  their responsibilities to provide, lead, and love.  Of course, some men might think they are leading and loving but in reality they are lying and lusting for self-gratification.  As a Christian man, God continues to teach me to love my wife by serving my wife.  I believe women are not looking for a man with bulging biceps but are rather looking for a man who builds a marriage on humility.  So, in this country song, it gets to the heart of marriage.  Commitment.  A marriage built on a Christ-centered commitment will last.  So, men, it is time to grow up and take her to the little white church and do it fast.  Don't be a silver tongued devil abandoning your role, it could cost you your soul.

22 Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church,his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. -- Ephesians 5:22-33

Gratitude

What does it mean to be thankful to God for the sacrifice of His Son Jesus Christ as a Christian?   It means we are to show gratitude.  Gratitude dispels our old ways and displays our new nature in Christ.  

Becoming more like Christ

So sanctification involves hard work and dependence on Christ; what I call dependent effort. And it will always mean we are dissatisfied with our performance. For a growing Christian, desire will always outstrip performance or, at least, perceived performance. What is it then that will keep us going in the face of this tension between desire and performance? The answer is the gospel. It is the assurance in the gospel that we have indeed died to the guilt of sin and that there is no condemnation for us in Christ Jesus that will motivate us and keep us going even in the face of this tension.  We must always keep focused on the gospel because it is in the nature of sanctification that as we grow, we see more and more of our sinfulness. Instead of driving us to discouragement, though, this should drive us to the gospel. It is the gospel believed every day that is the only enduring motivation to pursue progressive sanctification even in those times when we don't seem to see progress. That is why I use the expression "gospel driven sanctification" and that is why we need to "preach the gospel to ourselves every day."  -- Jerry Bridges

Discipleship is...

Discipleship is time-consuming and rough at times but just like preparing for a sport, it is rewarding.  Christians are called to be holy and to live godly lives but we do so with God's mercy and grace in view.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer has said, "Christianity without discipleship is always Christianity without Christ."

Then, while we are growing as disciples, we are called to teach and disciple others.

Many people have influenced my life by teaching me formally and informally.  I'm so thankful for Eric Klingenberg, David Grove, Russ Fitzgerald, Chad Crooks, Adam Dorsey, Dennis Melton , Hershael York, JD Payne, my Dad, and Rich Baker (my father-in-law) for teaching me what it means to grow like Christ.

Who are you thankful for?  Who are you discipling?

But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine. Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness.  Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.Likewise, urge the younger men to be self-controlled. Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us.   -- Titus 2:1-8

Prayer

Below is a prayer entitled Valley of Vision.  It was prayed by the Puritans and others.  It is a good reminder today to seek God in all things, which includes adversity and trials and pain.  It is in fact through these that we see God's grace more clearly and we breathe in the beauty of our God. ____________________

Valley of Vision Prayer

Lord, high and holy, meek and lowly, Thou hast brought me to the valley of vision, where I live in the depths but see Thee in the heights; hemmed in by mountains of sin I behold Thy glory. Let me learn by paradox that the way down is the way up, that to be low is to be high, that the broken heart is the healed heart, that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit, that the repenting soul is the victorious soul, that to have nothing is to possess all, that to bear the cross is to wear the crown, that to give is to receive, that the valley is the place of vision. Lord, in the daytime stars can be seen from deepest wells, and the deeper the wells the brighter Thy stars shine; let me find Thy light in my darkness, Thy life in my death, Thy joy in my sorrow, Thy grace in my sin, Thy riches in my poverty, Thy glory in my valley.

Upcoming Sermons

Last week, we looked at the first P of the "5 P's" that I outlined in my July 29th Vision Casting Sermon.  We examined the purpose of preaching last week. This week we will look at the priority of Prayer -- Matthew 6:9-13

August 19th -- Personal Discipling Relationships -- 2 Timothy 2:1-2, Titus 2

August 26th -- Patience -- 1 Thessalonians 5;12-15

September 2nd -- Perseverance -- Hebrews 12:3-11

 

The Kingdom of God (Vision-Casting)

As followers of Christ, we are called to enter the kingdom by trusting Jesus as Savior but we are also called to proclaim, inherit, and possess the kingdom.  It is not about what we do as if we are in a business partnership with God but rather what he has already done through the Cross.

5 Core Values (for the church)

1.      Preaching (Matthew 4:17, 2 Timothy 4:2, Matthew 24;14, 1 Corinthians 1:23, 9:16, Luke 4:18, Romans 1:15-17)

2.      Prayer (Matthew 6:10, Colossians 4:2, Matthew 21;13, Isaiah 56:7, Acts 2:42, 1 Timothy 4:5, Luke 18:1, Romans 12:12)

3.      Personal Discipleship Relationships (Titus 2, 2 Timothy 2:2, Matthew 28:18-20)

4.      Patience (Romans 8:17-18, Proverbs 15;1, 2 Corinthians 6:4-10, Isaiah 40:31)

5.      Perseverance (1 Tim. 6:11-12, James 1:25, Hebrews 10:19-25, chapters 11-12, Jude 17-25)

Leads to Practical Results --> People Changed, Planting New Churches, & the Power of God on Display

It is the word which declares “This gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come (Matthew 24:14).”

No Fear

Where does your security lie? Is God your refuge, your hiding place, your stronghold, your shepherd, your counselor, your friend, your redeemer, your saviour, your guide? If He is, you don't need to search any further for security.  -- Elisabeth Elliot --