As we gathered to worship Sunday morning at Mill Creek Baptist Church, we were greeted by Doug Cory, who opened our service with prayer. The Hazelton's grandsons were celebrating their fifth birthday, and happy birthday to Darlene Mitchell. Special prayers were requested for many, including Janet Chaney, Jimmy Easter, Bobby Bryan, Dell Hawkins and Alesia Parish. Linda shared a praise and read some thank you notes.
Terry Lett taught the adult Sunday school lesson, "Cornerstone," a study of Luke 20:9-19 which focuses on Jesus' ministry in Jerusalem. It was the story of the parable of the vineyard and made three points: "mistreating God's servants points to disrespect for God, believers demonstrate respect for the Father through expressing faith in Jesus, and failing to accept Jesus brings judgment."
Linda Abercrombie shared the devotional, "Blessing the Darkness," and read Psalm 139:11-12. It was a story of flirting with faith and choosing to live without it and a woman who was buried in the rubble of the North Tower of the NYC Trade Center bombing. It was a wake-up call as she discovered God's light in the darkness of the rubble.
Tyrel Lett asked God's blessing upon the offering and he and Wayne Holly served as ushers. Congregational hymns included "Redeemed," led by Karen Gardner with Susan Cory at the piano. Jerry Abercrombie shared a special hymn of praise, "What A Day That Will Be."
It was good to have Pastor Mark Hall back with us after preaching a revival last week. He began Sunday's message by talking about troublesome times, trials and tribulations in life and that we should be thankful when we are blessed. He told us that one of the ways that God provides for us is by surrounding us with people that we love. The title of Sunday's sermon was "Believing is Seeing," and scripture was John 11:40: "Jesus said to her, 'Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?'" Brother Mark told us that, "In Missouri, we believe that seeing is believing and we have to see it to believe it, but a miracle from God is the opposite. We have to believe it to see it. We would see more except we give the world more time than we give God."
Brother Mark shared some examples in the scripture from Matthew 13:58 -- "Now He did not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief"; James 1:6 -- "But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind"; and John 6:30 -- "Therefore they said to Him, 'What sign will You perform then, that we may see it and believe you? What work will You do?'"
Brother Mark told us that, "If you need a miracle or an answered prayer, there are two points to remember. First, you have to believe it before you see it, and, second, God wants you to be involved in the process. We can't just have everything delivered to us like we order things. We can't just sit back and hit a few keys and order." He referred to two scriptures that tell us we are God's co-workers and God's fellow workers. 2 Corinthians 6:1 says, "We then, as workers together with Him also plead with you not to receive the grace of God in vain." 1 Corinthians 3:9 says, "For we are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, you are God's building." Brother Mark told us that our duty at Mill Creek Baptist Church is to glorify God so the son of God, Jesus Christ, can be glorified through it.
As Brother Mark read the eleventh chapter of John, he talked about the death of Lazarus and the resurrection. "John 11:16 shows real commitment of the part of Thomas. And verses 25-26 tell us about Martha. Martha believed because she was a Christian. There is no doubt about her salvation." In verse 40 Jesus tells Martha, "Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?" Brother Mark told us that if we re-read verses 38-40, we would understand that you have to believe it to see it. "If you have to see what Jesus is going to do before you move the stone, you'll never see it. Martha needed help moving the stone. That's what churches do; to help in moving our stones or someone else's. Jesus will do what we can't do, but we need to do what we can do. We aren't here to get online and just send in our requests. Jesus expects us to do what we can to help. He will do his part. We are to be God's fellow workers. We need to do our part. We have responsibilities, too. We need to pray about things for people whether it be a miracle or help, but they need to do the same for themselves." Brother Mark told us that his grandfather would say, "When you work, you get what you can do. When you pray, you get what God can do."
Brother Mark told us that the church is in for hard times. "Things are changing and not for the good. We have enjoyed a luxury and a privilege, but the moral majority that has protected us is dwindling. We are now becoming the moral minority. All the things we hold dear will slowly disappear. The hard fact is that we are in for hard times. If something happened today, who's going to tell our grandchildren about Jesus Christ if there is no one to move the stones? Who's going to help them and be there for them? We are beyond blessed for everything that Jesus Christ has done for us. Is it too much to move a stone for Him? We are blessed for two reasons: to know Jesus Christ and to be a part of a church of God's family."
Our hymn of invitation was "The Savior is Waiting," and Jerry gave the benediction.
We invite you to worship with us Sunday mornings at Mill Creek Baptist Church. Sunday school begins at 10 a.m. and worship at 11 a.m. Everyone is welcome. We are located three and one-half miles east of Noel just off Highway 90.
Opinions expressed are those of the author.