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It was a beautiful sunny Sunday morning as we gathered to worship at Mill Creek Baptist Church. Happy birthday to Jeanette Easter, Janet Chaney and Frankie Garvin. Happy 49th anniversary to Jerry and Linda Abercrombie. Special prayers were requested for Ruth Briggs, Dot's sister, Angela's friend, Mildred Sharp, Don Chaney, Jimmy Easter, Wayne Johnson, John Adams, Skip, Bailey, Keith Lindquist, Cindy and Pam, along with some unspoken requests.

Doug Cory opened the service with prayer, and Linda Abercrombie gave the devotional, "Side Effects." Scripture was from Romans 6:22-23 and Linda talked about the many television ads for prescription medicine. They advertise how the medicine will help and then list all of the side effects. The Bible also talks about prescriptions and side effects. The side effect of swallowing the sin pill will lead to disaster and a life of destruction and unhappiness. In comparison, the side effect of God's love will lead to love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, self-control and life everlasting.

Tyrel Lett asked God to bless the offering, and he and Mitchell Lett served as offering attendants. With Susan Cory and Becky Johnson at the piano and organ, Karen Stroud led the congregational hymns. We were blessed with special music from Jerry Abercrombie, who sang, "The Family Bible," and Karen, who sang about the signs of the times.

Brother Mark Hall began God's message by praying that we would be attentive to God's voice and read 2 Timothy 2:24-26. Brother Mark told us that the devil wants to take us captive. In comparison, Brother Mark talked about trapping.

"The devil is the trapper and we are the game. He can trap several in one trap while you can only trap one animal at a time in a trap. People are so easy to trap that the devil has never changed his tactics and uses the same lure. Anyone can be trapped including card-carrying Baptists," Brother Mark said.

When trapping, Brother Mark told us that, to be a success at it and catch our game, we must know where our game travels, where it lives, what it eats and where it is the most active.

"The devil sets traps around the church house door as much as he does the beer joint," Brother Mark said. "People let their guard down and step in the trap and get caught just like game." Psalm 141:9 says, "Keep me from 'the snares they have laid for me, and from the traps of the workers of iniquity.'"

Brother Mark told us, "The devil is out to get us and keep us captive. As Christians, we are his prime target. The world weakens us. How do we stay out of the devil's trap?"

He referred to Isaiah 14:12 and Hebrews 12:12-17 and talked about the discipline of God and how to be spiritually stronger.

Brother Mark said, "First, we need to seek peace to be strong. We have too many disputes in life that make us weak so we can't control our mouth and what we do. Second, we need holiness. It is not an old-fashioned concept. It still applies. Jesus Christ is holy, and we need to be holy. Holy living makes you more careful about what your mouth says, what your eyes see and what your ears hear. It will help in not baiting and luring you into the trap. We live by grace as Christians. Do not live by the root of bitterness. It runs deep and it is hard to dig out. You gotta get the root or it comes back. The root of bitterness will steal your joy, your faith and it will affect your church. Harboring bitterness is like putting in a support beam for your unhappiness.

"Third, don't get caught in the Esau trap. Esau sold his birthright to his brother Jacob for a pot of stew and was tricked out of his blessings from God. Esau's life went to pot because of bitterness, so he was easy prey for the devil's trap. He traded God's blessings for one moment of pleasure. Don't squander your blessings from God for a moment of pleasure that doesn't last. The devil traps good people as well as others. It can happen to anyone, including Christians. Who would trade a moment's pleasure for a life of God's blessings? All Esau had left was bitterness."

In closing, Brother Mark said that we are never too old for the trap or to grow a root of bitterness.

"It ruins your testimony," he said. "You are only safe from the devil and his trap when you are in the presence of God. It is like holding your child's hand and pointing to the dangers when walking in the woods. God won't leave us, but we wander away from Him and can't hear His voice. Then we end up in the devil's trap. We just sit there and get bitter because we turned loose of God's hand and wandered off. Hang onto God and don't wander off so we don't end up in the devil's trap. There is nothing more important in life than God's salvation."

Brother Mark read Psalm 91:1-3.

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

Everyone is always welcome at Mill Creek Baptist Church. Sunday school begins at 10 a.m. and worship service at 11 a.m. Mill Creek is located 3½ miles east of Noel, just off Highway 90.

Religion on 01/31/2019

Print Headline: Nothing Is More Important In Life Than God's Salvation Why am I so Torn?=Why

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