It was a beautiful Sunday morning as we gathered to worship at Mill Creek Baptist Church. Doug Cory greeted the congregation and special prayers were requested for the John Adams family, the David O'Brien family, the John King family, Gene Hall, Shawn, Dillion Cartwright, Karen Sherman, Jim Roberts and several in the congregation, including Becky, Alesia and Jerry.
Linda Abercrombie shared a devotional, "Seasons," and read Ecclesiastes 3:1 "To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven." As we compare the seasons of life to those of nature, life unfolds like the seasons -- one passes and another unfolds.
Congregational hymns included "Rock of Ages" and "Redeemed," led by Karen Gardner with Susan Cory at the piano. We were blessed with special praise music from Jerry, who sang "Thanks to Calvary," and Karen, who sang "My Tribute."
Brother Mark Hall continued a sermon series: "When Life Gets Hard," with Sunday's message, "When the Sifting Comes."
Scripture was from Luke 22:31 "And the Lord said, "Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat."
Brother Mark began by asking, "Satan wants to sift Simon Peter, a fisherman and disciple of Jesus. Why? Why then? Why does Jesus allow it? Brother Mark told us that "Simon Peter is a follower of Christ. He told Jesus he had left all to follow him and begin God's ministry. But parts of him became a threat to Satan's agenda. That's why Peter is getting sifted."
Brother Mark talked about the difference between a saved man going into the ministry and a lost man getting ready to lose it all. "Satan entered Judas to use him. Judas wasn't saved. Peter was. There are three options when the devil works on us. We can fight the devil, work for the devil or sit on the sidelines and watch our world and neighborhood go, literally, to hell."
Brother Mark told us that when the devil starts working on us, the church is the headquarters for the army of God, not a hospital for sinners. "The church is like a MASH unit. It is like an altar. We can confess, get healed, get right with God and get back in the fight."
Brother Mark referred to Luke 22:54-62 as the Bible tells us of Peter denying Jesus and weeping bitterly because he was so ashamed. "Peter was wounded by his own disloyalty, his spiritual pride and questioned his own usefulness, but in Luke 22:32 Jesus tells Peter, 'But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.'"
Brother Mark said, "Satan wanted to sift Peter like wheat. When you sift wheat, you shake it to separate the chaff from the wheat. Satan wanted to sift Peter's faith from Jesus. Was Peter's faith shaken from Jesus or himself? It is not that our faith in Jesus becomes weaker; it is that our faith in ourselves to serve Him becomes weaker." Brother Mark referred to Philippians 1:1-6 and said, "When Jesus begins work, Jesus finishes it.
Why shouldn't we believe Jesus? If we have faith in Him, don't question it. Put on Jesus and allow Him to call the shots. The fight we face is not what we see, but the unseen. Our greatest defense against Satan is our dependence on Jesus. The more we depend on Him, the more He does through us. When it got hard, Peter stepped out of the fight. Have you been wounded? Sifted? Do you need to get back in the fight? You can win the fight."
In closing, Brother Mark asked, "Why did Jesus allow Peter to be sifted? Because He had a plan for Him, but he had to pass the test. Sitting on the sidelines is not an option when you tell Jesus you will follow Him. How effective you are depends on you getting back in the fight. The bench is not an option, but there will be sifting. Whatever sifting you are going through, Jesus is there for you. Even Jesus told us that in this world there will be trouble. Trust in God, not ourselves. Even with the best intentions, we still need God."
"Pass Me Not" was our hymn of invitation and Wayne Holly gave the benediction.
We invite you to join us for Sunday school each Sunday morning at 10 a.m. Last week's adult lesson, "Citizens," was taught by Rick Lett, with Scripture for the lesson from Romans 13. The lesson was about believers who should seek to represent Christ well in their communities and world.
Mill Creek Baptist Church is located 3 1/2 miles east of Noel just off Highway 90. Worship service begins at 11 a.m. and everyone is always welcome.
Opinions expressed are those of the author.Religion on 05/21/2020
Print Headline: Is Your Faith Shaken From Jesus Or Yourself?