Doug Cory greeted everyone and welcomed visitors while all were gathering to worship Sunday morning at Mill Creek Baptist Church. Special prayers were requested for Kendra and Derek Blankenship, Lexie, Sherri's friend, Linda Abercrombie, Skip, Gene Hall and unspoken.
Janet Chaney gave the devotional and read "The Railroad Tracks," about giving God the praise and glory for all He does for us instead of taking the credit ourselves.
Congregational hymns included "It Is Well With My Soul" and "Redeemed," led by Karen Gardner with Susan Cory at the piano. Tyrel Lett asked God's blessing. He and Rick Lett served as ushers and collected the offertory.
"A Good Life" was the title of Brother Mark Hall's message as he read the fruits of the spirit from Galatians 5:22-23, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law." Brother Mark asked, "When you ask someone how they are and they say 'I'm good,' what is it to be good? Goodness is a fruit of the spirit. You don't produce it; the spirit bears it. Like a garden, you plant it to produce, but the vine bears it. The spirit produced the fruit as we abide in Jesus. Everyone wants a good life."
As Brother Mark talked about a good life, he asked, "Is it what I get out of it or is it what I can give to others? It is a fine thing to be known as someone who is kind but you also want to be known as someone who leads a good life. It starts with kindness and goodness. What is a good life? The Lord's truth tells us what it is in Micah 6:8, "He has shown you, O man, what is good and what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God."
During the message, Brother Mark focused on three things to lead a good life and three reasons to live a good life. The first is the inward reason. "You have to have inward peace and tranquility. You can deceive others, but you can't deceive yourself and live by your own opinions.
The second reason to live a good life is the outward reason. Brother Mark said, "You look in, but others look on. We have an influence on others whether we know it or not. When Christians fall, we take others with us. It is like cutting down a big tree in the forest and it takes some of the trees around it, too. No one lives to himself and no one dies to himself. You are the only Bible that some read. All they know about Christianity is what they see in you. That may be their only vision of Christianity and Christ. Don't let someone spend an eternity in hell because of what they saw in you."
The third reason to live a good life is the upward reason -- the best reason of all to live a good life. Brother Mark said, "There is a God in glory and He is always looking down." Proverbs 15:3 says, "The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good." Brother Mark said, "God is not looking down on us keeping score for good and bad, He is watching us because he loves us, like a mother watches over her child. Watching us pleases Him because He cares for us and wants to protect us. It disappointments Him to see us do bad and He smiles when we do good.
"But there is a difference between being good and doing good works. Being good doesn't make you a good man. God told us in Micah that we are to 'do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly' with Him. It is important to remember that no person is worth more or less than another. God's justice shows no partiality. No one is more valuable than another. As humans, we tend to want people to earn our love, respect and time, but God treats all justly. That's where the mercy to love justly comes in. Unless you can love mercy, it is hard to be merciful. You have to have mercy to show it and to do that we have to walk humbly with God. When we realize we can walk humbly with God, we can walk justly. Good works are good, but we have to do that first."
Psalm 37:23 says, "The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way, though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; for the LORD upholds him with His hand."
Brother Mark said, "Even a good man falls. We all fall from time to time because we are human, but the Lord will reach out to us if we trust Him and pick us up. Psalm 37:3-6 says, "Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness, delight yourself also in the LORD, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass. He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday."
In closing, Brother Mark read the 37th chapter of Psalms and emphasized verses 27-28, "Depart from evil, and do good and dwell forevermore. For the LORD loves justice, and does not forsake His saints; they are preserved forever, but the descendants of the wicked shall be cut off." Verse 34, "Wait on the LORD, and keep His way, and He shall exalt you to inherit the land when the wicked are cut off, you shall see it."
Verse 40 says, "And the LORD shall help them and deliver them; He shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in Him." Brother Mark said, "It all comes down to trust. Our ability to do justly, love mercy and walk humbly, all comes down to 'can I trust Him'? Don't take matters into your own hands, but wait on Him to help you. To be a good man you have to be able to trust in the Lord to have a good life of peace, joy and blessings. The first thing is to trust Him with our salvation and then our life."
Our hymn of invitation was "The Savior is Waiting" and Wayne Holly gave the benediction.
Everyone is welcome to come worship at Mill Creek Baptist Church. Sunday school begins at 10 a.m. and worship service at 11 a.m. Mill Creek Baptist Church is located 3 1/2 miles east of Noel or 8 1/2 miles west of I49, just off Highway 90, on Upper Mill Creek Road.
Religion on 07/11/2019
Print Headline: RELIGION: A Good Life