As we gathered to worship Sunday morning at Mill Creek Baptist Church, we were greeted by Doug Cory, who opened our service with prayer and greeted our visitors. Happy anniversary to Wayne and Becky Johnson, and congratulations to Tim and Karen. Special prayers were requested for many, including Jimmy Easter, Lewis Davis, Barbara Cory, Don Chaney, Mildred Cook, Reta Henson, David Hazelton, Susan's mother, J.P. Judd, Skip, Angela, the Andrews family, the Perry family, the Wallace family and the Slankard family. We will begin our Christmas season with a "Classic Christmas begins with Christ" float in the Southwest City Christmas Parade on Saturday.
Linda gave the devotional, "God Sees You," and read John 1:45-48. It was a story from John's gospel about the peace and quiet of sitting under a tree. God sees into our heart. Nothing is hidden from him. He knows our struggles, joys, fears and dreams. We just need to follow where He leads.
Janet Chaney shared information about the Lottie Moon Christmas offering that we will be collecting during December, and the prayers needed to transform lives. The theme this year is "Every church, every nation." One hundred percent of the money donated goes to mission work, not administration.
Mitchell Lett asked God's blessing upon the offering, and he and Tyrel Lett served as ushers.
Congregational hymns included "Living for Jesus" and "Mansion Over the Hilltop," led by Becky Johnson and Karen.
"Things That Scare Me" was the title of Brother Mark Hall's message as he brought us God's word from Revelation 2:1-7. Brother Mark told us that he is thankful for Jesus the most, and his greatest fear is that he hadn't reached someone through God's word. He said his second fear is that he or someone else may wander away and leave our first love, which is Jesus. In Revelation, in the letters to the churches, it tells of the people being workers, patient and intolerant of evil and how they loved the word of the Bible. But there was a problem, they forgot the first rule of the church of Christian living and that is summed up in two words, "Jesus first."
Brother Mark asked, "How different would your Bible study be first thing in the morning if you put Jesus first? How different would our worship attendance be if we put Jesus first on Sunday mornings? How different would our witness for the Lord be to someone who needs to know Jesus if we put Him first? How different would the world be if we put Jesus first?"
Brother Mark tells us that the devil tempts us away from putting Jesus first by using something that seems innocent and practical to lure us away, a little at a time. Brother Mark asked, "Do you love money first or Jesus first? Do you keep the Sabbath and love Jesus first? In the Bible, Matthew, chapters four and six, tell us how the devil will tempt us away from putting Jesus first. Brother Mark said, "If you veer off and don't know where you went wrong, swallow your pride and have Jesus take you back to your first love of Him, so you can eat from the Tree of Life in the paradise of God. The easiest way to get back on track is the shortest distance. Humble yourself and just ask Jesus to get you back on the path of the straight and narrow. It is a scary world we live in. We have to hang on to Jesus and put Him first. How can we live in Heaven if we don't have Jesus first on earth?"
In closing, Brother Mark told us to imagine a 100-acre field. "Ninety-five acres of it is the prettiest winter wheat you ever saw. That represents the 95 percent of your heart that you give to Jesus. But in the corner of that field is five acres of weeds, thistles and brush that is fenced off from the rest. That is the five percent of your heart that you have not given to Jesus, and that is the part He wants the most. Jesus wants it all. He can clean up that corner, cut the brush and take down the fence so that we can live the abundant life He wants us to have. We will never know how blessed our life can be if we don't give Jesus all of our heart, put Him first and keep Him as our first love."
Our hymn of invitation was "I Surrender All," and Steve Mason gave the benediction.
Everyone is invited and welcome 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 on upper Mill Creek Road.Religion on 12/06/2018
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