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Wayne Johnson opened our service with prayer and Linda Abercrombie was celebrating a birthday as we gathered to worship Sunday morning at Mill Creek Baptist Church. Special prayers were requested for Polly Ritter, the Barton family, Larry Dick, Renae Sherman and Dot's sister.

Linda gave the devotional, "Win, Win," and read Romans 8:28. Ever play a two-person game by yourself? You always win. Don't we sometimes wish life was a solo game ensuring a win? We have a playing field created by God when we have peace through the truth. We will win with God in the end.

Jerry Abercrombie led the congregation in singing "A New Name in Glory" and "Just A Closer Walk with Thee," and Jerry and Linda sang a special "Eastern Gate." Rick Lett and Tyrel Lett served as ushers and collected the offerting.

Brother Mark Hall brought us God's message, "Married or just dating?" which was not a sermon about a man and woman but about being the bride and body of Christ. Scripture for the message was from Ephesians 5:25-32. Before beginning the message, Brother Mark asked, "Do you ever feel just a little off sometimes? We can feel that way spiritually, too. We get so busy we get off our feet spiritually. God has a way of getting us back on track. We need to spend some time by ourselves and get with God to get back on track and see what He can do for you."

As he began the sermon, Brother Mark reminded us, that we are the bride and body of Christ. Ephesians 5:32 tells us that the marriage is between Christ and the church, the bride of Christ. "Are you married or just dating church? Dating is a trial period in a relationship. It is soft, tentative, options are open and there is an escape route. A marriage is a covenant relationship of devotion, sacrifice and joy. Are you married or dating the church? Are you detached just enough to get out the door? In the United States, one in four church attendees are church shoppers. Many Christians don't attend church for lots of reasons. Some don't attend because they say churches just want money or there are hypocrites who attend. Hypocrites in church don't make the Bible a lie; it just proves its truth."

Brother Mark continued by reading Matthew 13:24-30 about the parable of the sower as it talks about the tares and the wheat. "The tares looked like wheat. It would be hard to weed out the tares without uprooting the wheat. The hypocrites in church are what the devil sows to sabotage the church. The church is the number one enemy of the devil on earth. Church is where we show our love to Him and He shows His love to us. As the body of Christ, we are here to do His work."

Brother Mark referred to 1 Corinthians 12:12-27. Verse 27 says, "Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually." Brother Mark asked, "How can we love Jesus and not be a part of God's body, the church? Churches are ineffective because we are a bunch of amputees. We have missing body parts. If one member suffers, we should all suffer. That's what makes us the body of Christ and effective builders in the Kingdom of God. Christ and the church should be one. When you take the bride away, we are not complete. The church looks complete only if we are all there. Part of the body is missing if someone is gone. We need every part of the body because we are the bride of Christ to build the Kingdom of God."

In closing, Brother Mark asked, "Are you married to the church and a part of the bride and body of Christ or are you just dating the church? There comes a time in a relationship when you have to decide. Don't just fool around in the house of God. Become a part of the body of Christ and take on His work? What is God calling you to do?"

Our hymn of invitation was "Have Thine Own Way, Lord," and Steve Mason gave the benediction.

An invitation is extended to all to worship on Sunday mornings at Mill Creek Baptist Church at 11 a.m. Sunday school begins at 1o a.m. Mill Creek Baptist Church is located three and one-half miles east of Noel, just off Highway 90.

Religion on 01/11/2018

Print Headline: Married Or Just Dating?

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