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It was good to be back in God's house to worship and fellowship Sunday morning at Mill Creek Baptist Church. Linda Abercrombie, Tiffany Hazelton and Sheri White were celebrating birthdays and Jerry and Linda Abercrombie were celebrating their wedding anniversary. Special prayers were requested for Nathan and Rachael Crittenden, G.W. Tompkins, June Sherman, the Keith Peck family and Kristi's mother.

Doug Cory greeted the congregation and many visitors and opened our service with prayer. Janet Chaney shared information about the Annie Armstrong Easter offering since we were not in church then and read a short story, "Directions to Heaven." Linda Abercrombie read Titus 2:3-5 and shared a story, "What Every Mom Needs," about a mothering mentor and suggestions and qualities of a good mother. Kitty read Proverbs 31 and then all of the mothers in the congregation were recognized and wished a happy Mother's Day.

Congregational hymns included "At the Cross" and "Blessed Redeemer," led by Karen Gardner with Susan Cory at the piano. We were so blessed to have Jerry Abercrombie back with us as he shared a special testimonial song, "Through It All," as we learn to depend on God's word.

Our Pastor, Brother Mark Hall, brought us God's word, "This Is Where It Gets Hard," with scripture from Luke 14:15-35 about leaving all to follow Christ. He began by asking how many had a job that they loved.

"We all have to make a living, but do we enjoy and love what we do? Some days are easier than others. It's like having cattle. It's great in May when we see the young calves hit the ground and run and play, but maybe not so fun in the cold in February pulling a calf.

There is no greater life than a Christian life. Our calling is to follow God. Serving God is a privilege but it is not always easy. Following God is also a blessing but sometimes the cross is hard to bear. Just remember that Jesus' cross is always heavier. When we come forward and get saved, the world is great, but realistically when the cross gets a little heavier and we go down, Jesus takes some of that burden. We still live an abundant life following Jesus. At the end of our workday, we can lay our cross down and be proud that we followed Jesus that day and maybe picked someone up to follow us to follow Jesus."

In Luke 14:27, Jesus tells us: "And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple." Brother Mark told us that Jesus comes first. "A discipleship is a partnership with Jesus. It is a total commitment without compromise. In a partnership, both have to carry some of the weight."

He told us that there are two things.

"First, we must know that Jesus requires His disciples to have a loyalty to Him that is greater than any loyalty you may have to any other human being or project. You can love other things, but you have to love Jesus more. Second, we must understand that discipleship means submitting your own interests in favor of God's."

Verse 25 tells us that Jesus had a great multitude of followers.

Brother Mark said, "If you are a follower of Jesus, you had better count the cost. There is a cross to bear. Don't make commitments you can't keep. You won't be popular with the world and you may not be rich, but you will have a treasure in heaven, eternal life. You have to count the cost of following Jesus and bearing the cross. Many following Jesus fall out when there is a real conviction. There are choices and sacrifices to make when you follow Jesus. Getting saved is easy. Following Jesus won't be if you bear the cross. You must make hard choices. It won't always be easy. Get hitched up tight. We all want rewards now, but store up treasure's in heaven. Baptism tells the world you have decided to follow Jesus."

Our hymn of invitation was "Jesus Paid It All," and Mitchell Lett gave the benediction. We welcome Raye Deen Boyle as our newest member into the Mill Creek Baptist Church family.

We invite you to worship with us Sunday mornings at 11 a.m. Sunday school is at 10 a.m. Mill Creek Baptist Church is located 3 1/2 miles east of Noel just off Highway 90. Everyone is welcome.

Opinions expressed are those of the author.

Religion on 05/14/2020

Print Headline: This is Where It Gets Hard

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