Southside's Blog

Southside is a loving, vigorous, and growing congregation in Shelbyville, Tennessee. Our vision is toward the future: Our Children, Our Ministry, and Our Outreach. Our goal is to embrace all people in our hearts and fellowship as we strive together to support Christ’s mission on earth.

Forsaken Advice

What should I do when someone forsakes sound spiritual advice and suffers the consequences? Do I say, “I told you so!” and leave the person to suffer? Do I pretend nothing happened and enable them to keep making poor choices? Do I ignore them? When certain people scorned Paul’s advice and wound up in a storm that left them in grave danger, Paul did not simply say, “I told you so!” He did not enable them to continue to make poor choices. Nor did he ignore their pleas. Let’s pick up the text to see what he did.

Acts 27:21-26 “Since they had been without food for a long time, Paul stood up among them and said, ‘Men, you should have listened to me and not have set sail from Crete and incurred this injury and loss. Yet now I urge you to take heart, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship. For this very night there stood before me an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I worship, and he said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul; you must stand before Caesar. And behold, God has granted you all those who sail with you.’ So take heart, men, for I have faith in God that it will be exactly as I have been told. But we must run aground on some island.”

The situation was dire, but Paul knew that God was still involved. When people don’t heed sound spiritual advice there are consequences. However, to repudiate them, to enable them, or ignore them is not right. Like Paul, we need to help them see their mistakes and learn from them while helping them to move forward.

 

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FOLKS LIKE US - Max Lucado

You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8 NIV). Does Jesus still use simple folks like us to change the world? You know, we suffer from such ordinariness. But God does not call the qualified. He qualifies the called.”

“So don’t let Satan convince you otherwise. He will tell you that God has an IQ requirement or an entry fee. And when Satan whispers such lies, dismiss him with this truth: God stampeded the first-century society with swaybacks, not thoroughbreds. There is no evidence that Jesus chose the disciples because they were smarter or nicer than the guy next door. The one thing they had going for them was a willingness to take a step when Jesus said, “Follow me.” God changes the world with folks like you.”

From Mike: Have you ever doubted that God has qualified you for any duty? It’s often used as an excuse for not serving Him. Satan is more than willing to help you develop a good-sounding one. At least it sounds good to you. He’ll feed you that lie as often as it takes to keep you from taking a step to follow Jesus. The longer you use it, the more you believe it. Do you think Jesus is going to swallow that lie and say, “That’s ok!”? Not likely!

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How does Jesus's Resurrection Impact the Christian?

Jesus Christ died, was buried, and rose on the third day (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). There are mounds of Biblical and extrabiblical evidence for the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. (I am happy to discuss this with you further.) For now, I want to briefly share some of the impact of the resurrection on believers.

1.  Our faith in Jesus Christ is based on His resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:1-4).

2.  Our baptism (by immersion) into Christ is based on the resurrection of Jesus (Romans 6:1-7).

3.  Our attitude, behavior, and speech toward others (Colossians 3:1-11).

4. Our salvation from our sins (1 Peter 1:3-5).

5. Our hope for Christians who have already died (1 Corinthians 15:16-18; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14).

6. Our patience and perseverance through suffering (1 John 2:15-17).

 

The resurrection of Jesus Christ impacts my life completely (or at least it should)!

 

 

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What Held Jesus to the Cross

And those passing by were hurling abuse at Him, wagging their heads and saying, “You who are going to destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save Yourself! If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” In the same way the chief priests also, along with the scribes and elders, were mocking Him and saying, “He saved others; He cannot save Himself. He is the King of Israel; let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe in Him. “HE TRUSTS IN GOD; LET GOD RESCUE Him now, IF HE DELIGHTS IN HIM; for He said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” (Matthew 27:39-43)

Jesus did not come down from the cross, even though the mob and the leaders of Israel challenged him to do so.He remained on the cross despite every reason to come down. Despite the physical pain, the emotional anguish, the anger and frustration, he remained on the cross.

Jesus was not held to the cross by a Jewish mob, the leaders of the Jews, Roman law, a lack of power, nor the nails.

It was not the nails that held Jesus to the cross! He had “prints from the nails” in his hands (John 20:24-25). He had the power to remove the nails.God could have provided him with “more than twelve legions of angels,” (Matt. 26:53). He had the power to still the storm, feed the multitudes and raise the dead. He COULD have removed the nails.

The crowd could not have killed Jesus if He had not allowed it to happen. “The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord.  I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.” (John 10:17-18) 

It was the will of God that put Him there and kept Him there. The entire aim of His life on earth was to do the will of His Father. John 4:34“My food”, Jesus said, “Is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.” John 5:30“By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me.” John 6:38“For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me.” 

The plan from eternity was for Jesus to die upon a Roman cross. “His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to his eternal purpose which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Eph. 3:10-11) “This man was handed over to you by God’s set purpose and foreknowledge; and you with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross.” (Acts 2:23) The will of God held Jesus to the cross.

Our sins held Him to the cross. Paul writes, in Galatians 1:3-4—that the Lord Jesus Christ gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age. Peter writes, in 1 Peter 3:18 -- “For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit.” "God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God." (2 Cor. 5:21) Our sins kept Him on the cross.

Love held Him to the cross. John 15:13“Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” Revelation 1:5“…To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood.” Galatians 2:20—“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Ephesians 5:2“And live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” Love held Jesus to the cross.

Not the nails, not the crowd, and not even Rome could hold Jesus to that cross!  It was his choice to stay!

There is no better way to honor the sacrifice of Christ than to sacrifice yourself. Not on a cross, but by giving your life today and everyday to the work of the Lord.

Love, 

Tim (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

 

 

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From Max Lucado

GOD’S WAITING ROOM

Are you in God’s waiting room? Perhaps you are between jobs or in search of health, help, a house, or a spouse. If so, here is what you need to know: while you wait, God works. God never twiddles his thumbs. He never stops. He takes no vacations. “Be still and know that I am God” reads the sign on God’s waiting room wall. You can be glad because God is good. You can be still because he is active. You can rest because he is busy.

To wait, biblically speaking, is not to assume the worst, worry, fret, make demands, or take control. Nor is waiting inactivity. Waiting is a sustained effort to stay focused on God through prayer and belief. To wait is to “rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him” (Psalm 37:7 NASB).

REMEMBER GOD’S BLESSINGS

Jesus performed two bread-multiplying miracles: in one he fed 5,000 people, in the other 4,000. Still, his disciples, who witnessed both feasts, worried about empty pantries. A frustrated Jesus rebuked them. “Don’t you know or understand even yet? Are your hearts too hard to take it in? You have eyes—can’t you see? You have ears—can’t you hear? Don’t you remember anything at all?” (Mark 8:17-18 NLT).

Short memories harden the heart. Make careful note of God’s blessings. Declare with David: “[I will] daily add praise to praise. I’ll write the book on your righteousness, talk up your salvation the livelong day, never run out of good things to write or say” (Psalm 71:14-15 MSG).

Catalog God’s goodness. Meditate on his work. Remember what God has done for you.

From Mike: These Max Lucado devotionals are tied together because they provide good encouragement for me. Being a Christian is often not easy. It takes TRUST, FAITH, and the determination to be PATIENT and to REMEMBER His goodness. For some people, it’s more effort than they care to expend. My relationship with God is more a promise of the future than of right now. I wouldn’t say I like spending time in God’s waiting room. RIGHT NOW is better! My experience with the corporations I’ve worked for is, “Mike, what have you done for me today?” At times, I’ve treated God the same way.

I must focus on the song, “Heaven will surely be worth it all!”  It will be!

Thanks!  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Reading up to the Death, Burial, and Resurrection

Easter Sunday is coming on March 31. On that day, I will be preaching from Colossians 3 about what it means for us to be raised with Christ (baptism plus His resurrection victory). To get our minds thinking more about what Jesus said about what he would go through, and to revisit His sufferings, I invite you to read along in these passages each day, starting this Sunday, March 24. 

Daily Bible Readings

Sun: Matt. 20:17-19; 26:6-13

Mon: Mark 10:33-34; 14:1-11

Tues: Luke 22:37-53

Wed: John 16:16-22; 18:1-11

Thurs: Matt. 27:11-66

Fri: Mark 15:1-47

Sat.: Luke 23:1-56

If you would like to discuss them, learn more about Jesus, or discuss more about how to become a follower of Jesus Christ, please reach out to me: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

Sincerely,

 

Tim Gunnells

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FUEL YOUR FAITH - Max Lucado

Trying to control all the details of your world is exhausting. Only God has the power to see and know everything, but we forget.  And before long, we’re back at it—running too fast, working too many hours, and trying to control everyone and everything around us. What do you do when you run out of gas?

To avoid suffering from a fuel-less faith, you need to fill yourself with some high-test fuel. Try some Philippians. Like chapter 1 in verse 6: “Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” And then, in chapter 4 in verse 13: “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”

Fill your tank with verses like these, and remember: God is able to do what you can’t.

 

From Mike: There are times when we need encouragement to replenish our spiritual reserves. We need the uplifting words of others. Our elders and Tim are always ready and eager to provide you with that support. If you pay attention to Tim's remarks during the invitation, he encourages you to express your needs not only at that moment but also to arrange a private meeting if that better fits your needs. Talk to them!

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SPEAK WORDS OF LIFE - Max Lucado

Nathaniel Hawthorne came home heartbroken. He had just been fired from his job in the customhouse. His wife, rather than responding with anxiety, surprised him with joy. “Now you can write your book!” He wasn’t so positive. “And what shall we live on while I’m writing it?” To his amazement she opened a drawer and revealed a wad of money she’d saved out of her housekeeping budget. “I always knew you were a man of genius,” she told him. “I always knew you’d write a masterpiece”

She believed in her husband. And because she did, he wrote. And because he wrote, every library in America has a copy of The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Proverbs 18:21 (NKJV) says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” You have the power to change someone’s life simply by the words you speak.

From Mike:  James 3:3-12

 "When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell."

"7 All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison."

"9 With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. 11 Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? 12 My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water."

 Focus on Max's closing statement and then read James. Hawthorne's wife used words of encourage. We should also!

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Psalm 15: A Prayer Reflection

I remember translating this passage from Hebrew in one of my Hebrew Reading classes a few decades ago. The professor did not tell us where it came from so we would look at it and translate it with fresh eyes. As it came to light, word by word and phrase by phrase, it took on a power I hadn’t noticed before.  Who may abide with God indeed?

O Lord, who may abide in Your tent?
Who may dwell on Your holy hill?
He who walks with integrity, and works righteousness,
And speaks truth in his heart.
He does not slander with his tongue,
Nor does evil to his neighbor,
Nor takes up a reproach against his friend;
In whose eyes a reprobate is despised,
But who honors those who fear the Lord;
He swears to his own hurt and does not change;
He does not put out his money at interest,
Nor does he take a bribe against the innocent.
He who does these things will never be shaken.
Psalm 15

O Lord, the thought of living with you and spending time with you is overwhelming. I cannot even fathom how it is possible.

I try to live a life of truth and openness. I strive to be a person who is whole and complete. I want to live right with You and people but I can’t do any of it without You.

Keep me from talking bad about people and injuring them with my words and thoughts.

Teach me to honor those who honor You. Keep me from defrauding anyone and complaining about anyone doing me wrong (in my estimation).

Never let my tongue be still when innocent people suffer.

I want these principles, Your principles, to be my guide.

Amen

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Enemies of Spiritual Passion

If you are a Christian, you are part of the Church. If you are part of the Church, then you are the Bride of Christ (Ephesians 5:22-32). Just as we can lose the passion for our earthly spouse, we can also lose our passion for our heavenly one, Jesus.  

Kenneth Boa, in his book, Conformed to His Image (Zondervan, 2001), points out some natural enemies of spiritual passion:

  1. Unresolved areas of disobedience.  You know God wants you to do something for Him, but you continually push Him aside. James says, “Therefore, to him who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin (James 4:17).” Maybe it’s time to truly give your life over to God in serving Him. Or, maybe you are caught up in a sin that you refuse to give up.
  2. You have stopped intentionally seeking Him. Your hunger and thirst for God is gone. Indifference has set in. It is time to ask God to awaken us to Him again.
  3. Erosion in spiritual disciplines.  When spiritual disciplines like prayer, bible study, time in solitude with God, and fellowship with other believers take a back seat to other things in life, it is natural for our spiritual passion to wane.
  4. External obedience.  Are you more concerned with conformity to rules, moral behavior, and duty than with imitating Jesus? External obedience without internal affection falls short of obeying God from the heart (Jeremiah 31:33; Ephesians 6:6).
  5. Loving truth more than Christ.  Keep reading….don’t give up on me. Some students of God’s Word can easily fall into the trap of loving the content in the Bible more than the Source of that truth.  Doctrine and theology are worthy pursuits, but not when they replace the pursuit of knowing and becoming like Jesus. Some of us can quote a lot of Scripture and not look anything like Jesus.
  6. Elevating service and ministry above Christ.  Fellowship, serving those in need, and telling other people the Gospel message are all essential parts of being a disciple of Christ. However, if we elevate those things above becoming intimate with Jesus then they become empty actions.
  7. Greater commitment to institutions than to Christ.  Does your activity with the church or some other organization occupy more time than your devotion to Jesus? It is easy to get more passionate about causes than to be passionate about Christ.
  8. A merely functional relationship.  Are you in a relationship with Christ only for what you think He can do for you? Do you follow Him because you want help with your marriage, your career, or your health? We have to grow beyond the gifts-above-the-giver mentality if we hope to be spiritually passionate. What if you got nothing in return for serving Jesus other than forgiveness of sins? 

Love for God can truly be threatened by these enemies.  If any of these hit home, then I would encourage you to take some time to examine your life, pray to God about it, and seek out a spiritually passionate person to help you reignite your passion for Christ.

“Search me, O God, and know my heart;

Try me and know my anxious thoughts;

And see if there be any hurtful way in me,

And lead me in the everlasting way.” (Psalm 139:23-24)

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GUARD YOUR THOUGHTS - Max Lucado

Life has a way of unloading its rubbish on us. Your boss expects too much. Your kids whine too much. Trash. Load after load of anger, guilt, pessimism, bitterness, anxiety. It all piles up. As a result, we must guard our thoughts. Today’s thoughts are tomorrow’s actions. Today’s jealousy is tomorrow’s hate crime.

Could that be why Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 13:5 (NIV), “Love keeps no record of wrongs”? Paul says in 2 Corinthians 10:5 (NCV) that we have a choice: “We capture every thought and make it give up and obey Christ.” Selfishness, step back! Envy, get lost! Rather than store up the sour thoughts, store up the sweet ones. Make a list of God’s mercies—the many times that he’s blessed you, the many times that he’s forgiven you—and you will find your thoughts resulting in happy days.

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Jesus is Worthy to be in First Place

Jesus is the Supreme One and He is worthy of our devotion. The Apostle Paul writes, 

 

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven. (Colossians 1:15-20)

 

Why is He worthy to be First Place? Here is the list:

  • He is the King of His Kingdom.
  • He is the Savior of our sins.
  • He is the image of the invisible God.
  • He is the firstborn of all creation (meaning the one with all authority).
  • He is the creator of all things. 
  • He is the sustainer of all things.
  • He is the head of the body, the church.
  • He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead.
  • He is the fullness of all things.
  • He is the reconciler of all things.

 

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On the Anvil

Max Lucado’s first book was On the Anvil. In it, he considers us God’s tools and compares us to a blacksmith's tools.  “ In the shop of a blacksmith, there are three types of tools. There are tools on the junk pile: outdated, broken, dull, and rusty. There are tools on the anvil: melted down, molten hot, moldable and changeable. There are tools of usefulness: sharpened, primed, defined, and mobile.”

“We are all somewhere in the blacksmith’s shop. We are either on the scrap pile, on the anvil, in the Master’s hands or in the tool chest. Some of us have been in all three.”

Max describes his book as taking a tour of God’s shop. “For you who make the journey who leave the heap and enter the fire, dare to be pounded on God’s anvil, and doggedly seek to discover your own purpose, take courage, for you await the privilege of being called “God’s chosen instruments.”

Max writes that there is no question as to what a tool is for. ”One look at the tool and you instantly know its function. You pick up a hammer and you know it was made to hit nails. As a human emerges from the anvil of God, the same should be true. Being tested by God reminds us that our function and task is to be about His business.”

“In a world of confused identity, in a world of wavering commitments and foggy futures, let us be firm in our role. Society is in dire need of a quorum of people whose task is clear and whose determination is unquenchable.” The book was first published in 1985, 39 years ago. Max’s description of the world in 1985 was accurate for 2024 only I believe the world has moved further away from God.

I will be 74 years old soon. It would be nice to think that there is no more “anvil time” for me, but God still needs every one of us. Where are you in God’s blacksmith shop?

Thanks

Mike   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

On the Anvil – Max Lucado – 1985 – Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.

 

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Jesus Deserves to be in First Place

In Colossians 1:18-20, the apostle Paul is trying to help the church at Colossae, and all of us today understand the place that Jesus deserves in our lives. He explains why Jesus and Jesus alone is to be at the top.

18 He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything.

Why is He the head of the body, the church? Why will He have first place in everything?

The answer follows in verses 19 and 20.

19 For it was the Father's good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, 20 and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.

Jesus gave His life for all of us. He did not have to because it was required of Him. He did so because it was required for us to be saved.

He deserves to be the most important relationship in our lives.

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A Prayer Reflection on Psalm 111

Praise the Lord!
I will give thanks to the Lord with all my heart,
In the company of the upright and in the assembly.
Great are the works of the Lord;
They are studied by all who delight in them.
Splendid and majestic is His work,
And His righteousness endures forever.
He has made His wonders to be remembered;
The Lord is gracious and compassionate.
He has given food to those who fear Him;
He will remember His covenant forever.

He has made known to His people the power of His works,
In giving them the heritage of the nations.

The works of His hands are truth and justice;
All His precepts are sure.
They are upheld forever and ever;
They are performed in truth and uprightness.
He has sent redemption to His people;
He has ordained His covenant forever;
Holy and awesome is His name.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
A good understanding have all those who do His commandments;
His praise endures forever.
Psalm 111

O Lord, You are truly worthy of praise from all people!

I will say thanks to You in front of everyone I meet, without any reservation; whether they acknowledge You or not.

Your works are so great that there are many who doubt that You exist because they cannot fathom a being capable of such creative wonders.

Your righteous deeds, Your redemptive power, Your creative grace has never been forgotten in all the history of the earth.

You are grace and compassion, and You show it by Your care for those You honor You. When we show grace and compassion to others, we are simply being like You.

You never forget a promise.  Your works are truth and justice and Your rules to live by will never be wrong.

You buy back those who turn from their slavery to sin, and You never forget those who love You.

To say that Your name is holy and awesome is not enough for You, but it is the most I have to offer with words from my lips.

May all my decisions emanate from a reverent respect for You and Your teachings.

Your praise will not end.

Amen and Amen

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ACCEPT GOD’S OFFER - Max Lucado

A person can be religious and yet lost. Attending church won’t make you God’s child. You must accept his offer. “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God” (1st Peter 3:18).

It makes no sense to seek your God-given strength until you trust in his. “It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for” (Ephesians 1:11 MSG).

Take a few moments and talk to God. Whether you are making a decision or reaffirming an earlier one, talk to your Maker about your eternal life. You might find this prayer helpful: Immanuel, you are with me. You became a person and took on flesh. You became my Savior and took on my sin. I accept your gift. I receive you as my Lord, Savior, and friend. And because of you, I’ll never be alone again.

From Mike: I believe Max's opening paragraph describes a number of people in this world. Our greatest need is to build and cultivate a relationship with God. Attending church is only one facet of a relationship. Have a very honest talk with Him. He already knows what's on your heart but He wants us to open up in prayer to Him. You'll never regret opening up to God!

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Becoming More Like Jesus

Being a follower of Jesus Christ, a Christian, is more than just going to church, saying you believe in Jesus, or reading your Bible every day. The goal for every Christian should be to become more like Jesus. Following Him is to become like Him. I like what James Wilhoit says about Christian spiritual formation:

“Christian spiritual formation: (1) is intentional; (2) is communal; (3) requires our engagement; (4) is accomplished by the Holy Spirit; (5) is for the glory of God and the service of others; and has as its means and end the imitation of Christ.” – James C. Wilhoit, Spiritual Formation as if the Church Mattered: Growing in Christ through Community, 23

I must want to become more like Jesus. I must realize the need to be part of a church family striving for the same goal. I must remain connected to Jesus, and allow the Holy Spirit to work on me to produce fruit. I must seek to honor God through my service to Him and my love for others.

 

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MADE FOR THE PART - Max Lucado

Listen to the way God described the builder Bezalel. “I have filled him with the Spirit of God, giving him great wisdom, intelligence and skill in all kinds of crafts” (Exodus 31:3 NLT). Can you hear the pleasure in God’s voice?

You know, when you do the most what you do the best, you pop the pride buttons on the vest of God. In the movie Chariots of Fire, Eric Liddell defended his devotion to running by telling his sister, “God made me fast, and when I run, I feel his pleasure.” When do you feel God’s pleasure? When do you look up into the heavens and say, “I was made to do this”?

When it comes to being you, you were made for the part. So speak your lines with confidence.

From Mike: Sometimes, we want to excel in what we want, not what God wants. My brother-in-law wanted to be a preacher. After his Navy service, he went to Freed Hardeman, determined to become a preacher. His experience there and the staff convinced him that was not what he was made for. Now, 30+ years later, he does excellent personal work in the church.  I believe he is popping God's buttons!

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Upcoming Teaching from Tim Gunnells

It is a new year and I will be doing some Sermons and Bible Studies to help strengthen our faith and our walk with Jesus each day.

Starting this Sunday evening, I will begin a Bible study focusing on an overview of the Old Testament. This will last a few months. It is intended to help us understand God's big story and how we fit into it.

On Wednesday, January 17, I will begin a study in our auditorium class on Wednesday evenings on the Book of Daniel. There is a lot in Daniel that is valuable to both our understanding of the Old and New Testaments and how we should respond to the challenges of the culture.

Starting Sunday, January 21, I will begin a sermon series on Sunday mornings at 10 am from the Book of Colossians called:  Christ, Church, and the Christian. We will be looking at Christ's supremacy, the Church's importance, and how we should live as Christians in this world.

Please join us in person or online!

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Our Hearts

God wants our hearts! He wants them voluntarily. He will not force us, deceive us, or trick us. Unfortunately, Satan wants them too. He doesn’t care how he gets them. He’s willing to deceive or mislead us in any way he can. Which of these two relationships describes the relationship you want to live in?

Who you give your heart to is not a one-time decision but one we make moment by moment each day.  Paul gives an accurate description of my life in Romans.

Romans 7:19-25:

 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing.

20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. 21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me.

22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me.

24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?

25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.

I continue to believe that I’m in a war with Satan over my soul! Each temptation is a battle in the war. It’s my choice! It’s also yours! Choose to give your heart to God!

Thanks

Mike  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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