White Rock Baptist Church Blog
PREPARING TO RECEIVE GOD’S PROMISE!
The Bible is a testimony that God keeps His word. It is hence a word of hope and a summons to faithfulness. We are engaged this year in a celebration of this truth borne out in our history and we joyfully recommit ourselves to the journey in faith to which He has summoned us. We have not yet entered into the fullness that He has promised. Believing Him, however, we look to and seek to prepare for receiving the greater/greatest blessing.
Let us hear the Lord’s words of instruction regarding these blessings as voiced in the book of Numbers and as spoken in the life and works of Jesus. We are near to Women’s Day, to the witness of 40/50/60 and 120 in this year of 2018 as we journey together.
“May God’s grace and peace be multiplied unto us. . .”
Joy! We are one in the Lord.
Title: Among Jesus’ Last Words
John 19:25-27, Luke 24:50-53, Mark 16-19-20
Welcome to the Lord’s House. This Sunday we celebrate Mother’s Day and we remember the Ascension of Jesus forty days after His resurrection. We do both as expressions and offerings of worship to our God. May He be highly praised!
I pray that the spirit of God will place upon all members the desire and determination to fully participate in all the regular and special occasions of celebration which are ours throughout the course of this year 2018. In this calendar period we pay special attention to some of the manifestations of God’s favor throughout our 120 years as the White Rock Church family. How good and glorious God has been. Next Sunday, Women’s Day, we highlight “The Daughter of Zelophehad” and follow throughout the months with activities distinguished by the numbers 40/50/60/120.
As we celebrate what God has done let us all resolve to respond to the need we have to give this year an extra $100,000 to underwrite needed building repairs and the need to maintain fiscal solvency and health. As Pastor, I am pledging at least $10,000 beyond regular tithes to be contributed on Women’s Day, Men’s Day and Church Anniversary Sunday. God will bless us with the ability to exceed our goal if and when we give to Him NOTHING LESS than our BEST. “May God’s grace and peace be multiplied unto you . . .”
Joy! We are one in the Lord.
Lesson and Read: John 21.15-25
He said to him the third time, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter felt hurt because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?’ And he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.”
John 21.17 (NRSV)
This lesson focuses on the commission Jesus gave to Peter to tend and feed the Lord’s flock. Jesus asked a crucial question in a deliberately uncomfortable setting to get a true answer. It was a response more accurate than even Peter imagined.
On the night Jesus was betrayed, he was arrested and taken to the home of Annas, the former high priest, where an illegal trial was held. Peter followed and was sitting in the outer courtyard, next to a charcoal fire (John 18.16-27). While Jesus suffered through false charges and bribed testimony, Peter was also being interrogated. Several persons suspected he was a follower of Jesus but when asked directly he denied it, three times. When Peter heard the sound of the cock crowing, he realized that he had broken his bold promise to never desert Jesus—he had failed his Lord. Now, on the beach, after a miraculous catch, Jesus prepared breakfast for the disciples, cooking the fish on a charcoal fire (21.9). That fire must have reminded Peter of that terrible night. In that setting, Jesus asked Peter about his devotion and dedication: “Do you love me?” Jesus asked Peter three times and the torturous memory of his denial was lifted up. No doubt Peter was ashamed and disappointed with himself. In his arrogance, he had contested Jesus’ prediction and overestimated his own strength (13.38). Now, on the beach, Jesus did not ask, “Did you love me that night?” He asked, “Do you love me, right now?” He asked three times. He pushed Peter to look inside himself and honestly answer. Peter’s best answer was, Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you (21:17). Each time Peter responded, Jesus repeated his commission: “Feed my lambs; tend my little sheep; pasture my sheep.”
Jesus knew all about Peter and still he assigned him the care of his followers. If Jesus could forgive such a betrayal and entrust with such a responsibility, how much forbearance should his followers show? How much should share the work of ministry? We must be like Jesus, if we would follow him.
Reverend Steven B. Lawrence
Sermon: "From one spiritual knucklehead to another"
The Lord Will Provide Read: Genesis 22.1-24
Isaac said to his father Abraham, “Father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” He said, “The fire and the wood are here, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” Abraham said, “God himself will provide the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.”
Genesis 22.7-8 (NRSV)
The Lord called Abram out of Haran and made a covenant with him. God promised him a land, many descendants, renown, protection, blessings and a destiny involving all nations (Genesis 12.1-3). Twenty-five years or so later, Isaac was born, as promised (Genesis 21.1-3). This birth should have been the pinnacle of Abraham’s story. Instead, in Genesis 22, we have the puzzling, and troubling, story of Abraham’ sacrifice of Isaac. Why would God fulfill the promise then ask Abraham to give it up?
What an ordeal. Abraham received a message from God to sacrifice his son, Isaac. (Normally, human sacrifice would have been unacceptable, so this must be some sort of test.) Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled the donkey, gathered wood, the knife, two servants and his son and set out for Mount Moriah. (The Scripture does not tell us if Abraham woke his wife, Sarah, to inform her of his destination and his intent; do you think he left without stirring her?) Abraham and Isaac walked the final distance to the mount alone. Isaac asked his father about the lamb for sacrifice and Abraham replied, “God will provide the sacrifice.” When they arrived at the site, Abraham secured his son to the altar and raised his hand, without hesitation, to offer up Isaac. But an angel of the Lord stayed his hand. Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me (Genesis 22:12).
This was a test of Abraham’s faith. And he passed, exceedingly so. Abraham exhibited not only his obedience to God but also his trust. His detailed actions demonstrated that he was totally prepared to sacrifice his son until God provided a substitute. Abraham also showed how much his faith had grown since his call. No doubt, he loved Isaac but his confidence was in God the giver, not Isaac, the gift. Abraham believed and he renamed that spot Jehovah jireh, “the Lord will provide” (Genesis 22.14).
Reverend Steven B. Lawrence