Job 9:20 If I justify myself, mine own mouth shall condemn me: If I say, I am perfect, it shall also prove me perverse. There is no way for me to fix myself. If I try to say that I am right and good then my mouth will prove otherwise. If I were to say that I am perfect it will easily be found out that I am the opposite of perfect, I am perverse. I can't. I need God. I can't do right enough to go to heaven. I can't do right enough for God to be pleased. I need Him and what only He can do. I need God. I love this verse because I so often begin to think of myself as better than I should. I want to humble myself and see my need of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Â This week we are spotlighting Joe and Rhonda Gibby, who have been members of Vision Baptist Church almost from the beginning! I have greatly enjoyed learning about the Gibbyâ€™s story and I hope you will too. Â Joe Gibby grew up having a Christian mother, grandmother, and a few other Christian aunts and uncles. Around the age of nine or ten his mother started taking him to church. Before, they had been moving around too much because of his dadâ€™s job to join a church.Â Thankfully, theÂ relocating slowed at that time, allowing them to always be in church. One night, when Joe was thirteen years old, he realized he was a sinner and accepted Christ at his Savior at Calvary Baptist Church. Â Â Rhondaâ€™s parents divorced when she was still an infant. However, both sides of her family took her to church. Despite the minor differences in the churches, she grew up regularly hearing the gospel. At seven years old, she got saved. Both her grandmothers helped her grow as a young Christian. After Joe and Rhonda got married, they attended local churches. But it wasnâ€™t until they moved to St. Louis, Missouri that they first met [â€¦]
It was another exciting week here at Vision Baptist Church! Thursday we had the ordination service for Micah Rastelli our missionary to Bosnia. It was a blessing to be able to ordain this young man to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This Sunday, while Bro. Austin was in Athens preachingÂ a Missions Emphasis Day, we were delighted to have Bro. Trent Cornwell lead our services. We had 242 people in Sunday School and 297 people in church. There were 65 people in the Spanish services. Bro. Trent from Mark chapter 2 about how our first and greatest needÂ is forgiveness from our sins. Sunday evening we had an update from Jeff Brown about the Indian Independence Day celebration. Our 5 minute preacher was one of our newest training center students, Nate Wilkerson. Bro. Robert Canfield brought us the main message from Daniel chapter 5. He reminded us that although as the redeemed we will escape judgement, there are still those who will not that we must go and tell.
Job 7:17 What is man, that thou shouldest magnify him? And that thou shouldest set thine heart upon him? God is so good to even consider us. God, who created it all, who is above all, who is eternal notices man. God thinks about us. God set His heart upon man. Can you believe that? He loves you. No, we do not deserve His love. No, there is no reason that He should have thought of us but He did. God is good to us. I should sit in wonder that He would take time to love me. I should be amazed that His great goodness would reach down to me.
Esther 4:16 Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish. I doubt that I give the importance to fasting and prayer that God does in the Word. That is an indictment against me. Here Esther knew that she would need God to intervene. It was more than she would be able to do personally so God would have to act. She called on God's people to fast. They fasted without food or water for 3 days and nights. That was really focusing on what God was going to do. I want to know that it is God and Him alone that can work. I need to spend more time God focused and not man focused in my prayer life and study.
James 3:13 Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. 14 But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. 15 This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. 16 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. 17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. 18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace. God really worked on my heart with this passage of Scripture. I was wondering about how much I was jealous, how much I wanted attention for myself. If I were wise I would live with a different attitude. This hungering for position, this desiring what God has given another really convicted me. I want a bigger ministry. I want to be used more. Sometimes this is a cover for wanting to be more recognized and respected. God really dealt with my heart. [â€¦]
Nehemiah 13:10 And I perceived that the portions of the Levites had not been given them: for the Levites and the singers, that did the work, were fled every one to his field. Nehemiah was checking to make sure that the congregation was taking care of its spiritual workers like they should. They had been instructed to give a tithe and special offerings to take care of the Levites. They were to meet their needs. These were those that did the work of the Tabernacle and Temple. What is also beautiful is that the singers were part of that. Singing was so important that they were to take care of them. Singing is a part of our worship service. We should have singing that encourages us and motivates us to worship and serve God. We shouldn't take the singing lightly. Obviously God wanted to take care of them. That made me consider how much I expressed my appreciation to those that do the music in the church where I serve. I do not do enough. I am so blessed to have so many that sing specials, that play instruments, that practice and lead us in worship. God has blessed and [â€¦]
Nehemiah 6:12 And, lo, I perceived that God had not sent him; but that he pronounced this prophecy against me: for Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him. Don't just accept that someone who says that they are talking for God is indeed doing so. Try the spirits. Don't just accept what someone says. Investigate. Think it through. Nehemiah listens and then perceives that this message is not from God. Satan knows how to cover up his message. He knows how to package it. The majority of people will not use their discernment. They will believe what ever they hear as long as it is packaged right. You have the Word of God. Use it and see what the truth is. Do not just accept what you hear with out testing its validity.
Nehemiah 4:10 And Judah said, The strength of the bearers of burdens is decayed, and there is much rubbish; so that we are not able to build the wall. If we do not get rid of the trash, the rubbish, then we will find that we are unable to work. As we work and serve God we are regularly beset my selfish desires. As I write this I am reminded of how much I think of me and what I want. I want to be appreciated. I want for me and that is rubbish. I pray but often selfishly. I preach but often thinking of how I look. God is not pleased and these things hinder us. Satan loves for me to think of myself. Satan loves for me to focus on myself and what I am feeling and needing. Satan will destroy me because he will keep this trash front and foremost in my life. I must get rid of the junk if I want to concentrate on the work He has in front of me.
Ezra 5:5 But the eye of their God was upon the elders of the Jews, that they could not cause them to cease, till the matter came to Darius: and then they returned answer by letter concerning this matter. It was the eye of their God on them that caused them to do the work and not to stop. It was that they were working for God and not for men. It was that they found God to be worthy of their effort. I wonder how often that I remember that I am serving God. I wonder how often I live in full expectation that He is at work in me and that I am working for Him. I will preach this morning but it needs to be because it is for Him and He is looking. I will give an offering today but it needs to be for Him and because He is looking. We are serving God and must never forget that.
This Sunday was a very exciting and special one here at Vision Baptist Church. It was Leviâ€™s Luau; a time for us to invite all of our friends and neighbors to hear a clear presentation of the Gospel and to enjoy to food and getting to know us a little better. We had 242 in Sunday School and 317 in the main service. God is so good! After our time of fellowship we had an afternoon service. Â Â During the morning serviceÂ we were also thrilled to have Jon and Amber Canavan join our church! We are so excited to have this couple join us! Please be sure to welcome them to Vision. Also we had an exciting announcement from Jason King. After months of issues trying to get his families visas to South Africa and much prayer, God has called him and his family to Argentina!!! They leave in less than 30 days! Please be in prayer for this family as they learn the language and start reaching people with the Gospel! Â Â After all the excitement of Leviâ€™s Luau the day was still not over. Jeff Brown and the Desi Bible Fellowship hosted an Indian Independence Day [â€¦]
II Chronicles 34:27 Because thine heart was tender, and thou didst humble thyself before God, when thou heardest his words against this place, and against the inhabitants thereof, and humbledst thyself before me, and didst rend thy clothes, and weep before me; I have even heard thee also, saith the LORD. A tender heart and humbling himself is what caused God to hear Him. God is able to hear and answer our prayers. God is able to move and do great things in our lives. When we hear the word of God we should be careful to keep a tender heart. We should work at staying tender before our God. When He works in our lives then we need to humble ourselves and ask God to work. We need God to show His power in us. God worked in this servant's life because he was tender, he saw his error and repented, he humbled himself. God, I want you to work in my life. I want you to show your power in my life. I want to stay tender and humble before you. I want to be quick to see my sin and turn from it. God work in us.
II Chronicles 31:4 Moreover he commanded the people that dwelt in Jerusalem to give the portion of the priests and the Levites, that they might be encouraged in the law of the LORD. They gave to the priests and the Levites and this encouraged them in the Lord and in His law. As they ministered and served God the financial help given by the people made them realize that they were appreciated. They were able to do their work knowing that others saw the value in it. As you give to help your pastor, the missionaries, the church staff they will know that you appreciate the work that they do. It is a good thing to let them know you believe in them. There is a great deal of pressure to believe that no one cares. It is most certainly that the devil would tempt and discourage but anything you can do to help them feel loved and appreciated will be a blessing.
II Chronicles 25:15 Wherefore the anger of the LORD was kindled against Amaziah, and he sent unto him a prophet, which said unto him, Why hast thou sought after the gods of the people, which could not deliver their own people out of thine hand? Amazingly Amaziah thought that he could go to false gods, idols, made with men's hands and ask for help. The false gods have never been enough for any one who lives in those countries. They never give victory for those that worship them. What makes you think that they can work for you? Why would you believe in a god that leaves his people in such misery. The false gods of the world leave their people hungry. These false gods leave their people with no hope. These false gods are worthless even to those that make and follow them. What would make you think that they could do anything for you? Don't look at other religions and think there is something to them simply because they seem exotic. Don't believe that they have a peace you do not have. Believe God. He is the only One that can make a difference in your life or [â€¦]
II Chronicles 16:12 And Asa in the thirty and ninth year of his reign was diseased in his feet, until his disease was exceeding great: yet in his disease he sought not to the LORD, but to the physicians. There is nothing wrong with going to a doctor. The real problem isn't the doctor but the attitude that things can be fixed without God. Notice Asa went to men instead of God. He didn't even ask God to work. There is nothing wrong with us going to a doctor but we should know that all healing comes from God even if He decides to use a doctor. Our first call needs to be to God in prayer. We need to ask God to work and guide us. We need to know that God does hear and answer prayer. He is able to save and to heal. He has power over disease. He has power over our bodies. We can ask Him to work in our lives. Don't let it be your testimony that you didn't seek God. Don't trust men first but God. Don't go to men first but to God. Ask God in every area of your life.
II Chronicles 7:22 And it shall be answered, Because they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, which brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, and laid hold on other gods, and worshipped them, and served them: therefore hath he brought all this evil upon them. They forsook God. God was the one that had saved their fathers, their country, and them. They not only turned away from God but they turned to false gods, idols. They worshipped idols made with men's hands instead of the God that made them. God caused or allowed horrible things to happen to them. They had decided He wasn't good enough so they could live with the consequences of their sin and rebellion. Other gods will never be enough for any of us. They are false. They have no power. They are simply an insult to the One and Only true God. They are a way of saying that you do not love God. You do not value truth. It is a way of letting God know you reject Him. There will always be consequences from such behavior. God doesn't want you to hurt but it is better to hurt enough to [â€¦]
I Chronicles 29:3 Moreover, because I have set my affection to the house of my God, I have of mine own proper good, of gold and silver, which I have given to the house of my God, over and above all that I have prepared for the holy house, David loved God and so he loved the house of God. I want you to notice that he set his affection. That means he made a conscious decision to place his affection in the house of God. It wasn't a passing emotion it was a decision. Once David had made that decision he then began giving his things to God by giving them to the house of God. He also worked at including others and motivating them to give but he gave in big ways. His love was costly because he gave what he had. As king he made moves to build the house but personally he gave also. Where have you set your heart. Do you live like a child with changing, fleeting emotions or like a mature man who makes a decision for the things of God? Do you make a decision and then follow through knowing it meant [â€¦]
July 30th was another wonderful day in the House of the Lord! We had 254 in Sunday School and 267 in the morning service! Bro. Gardner finished his message on How to Resist Satan and have Victory from the book of Mark. In the evening we had the Student Driven Service and Olivia Penrod got baptized! Please pray for this young lady as she follows the Lord. We were also able to hear from Greg Keelen about his trip to India. What a blessing and challenge to hear how God is moving not only in the hearts of our young people but also around the world! This past Sunday, August 6th God continued to bless. We had 226 in Sunday School and 264 in the morning service. Pastor taught from the book of Mark chapter 2 where Levi is called and had a banquet for all of his friends to come and hear Jesus. This was in preparation for Leviâ€™s Luau next Sunday, August 13th. We are all encouraged to invite friends, family, and coworkers to hear a clear presentation of the Gospel. We had a new member added to our church also! Please welcome Nate Wilkerson. He has moved [â€¦]
I Chronicles 21:1 And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel. I think it is easy for us to ignore Satan but we do so at our peril. He is real. He has real power. He influenced David and caused Israel and David to suffer. Satan provoked David. He motivated him. He gave him the idea. He caused David to at least think about numbering or counting Israel. David thought he thought of it but the thought came from Satan. Just like when Peter was just trying to love Jesus and keep Him from going to the cross. Peter thought he said it but Jesus recognized it as coming from Satan. Satan wanted to harm Israel. He knew that he could do that through messing with David. David thought he was just considering what he wanted when he was playing into the hands of Satan and sin. Be careful and consider each of your thoughts. Try the spirits and make sure your thoughts come from the Lord and not Satan or you will suffer from it.
I Chronicles 16:25 For great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised: He also is to be feared above all gods. 26 For all the gods of the people are idols: But the LORD made the heavens. God is to be praised. He is to be feared. You are to know that He is the real thing. The point of these two verses is that there is only one true God. The others are false gods. They are really just man made objects. God is not a god that we made but makes it clear He is the God that made the heavens. He is the Creator. We didn't create Him. He created us. So when we have an understanding that God is truly bigger than us we should honor and praise Him. He is God. There is no other. Put things into perspective. He is so big that He made us not the other way around. So what is your relationship with this great God that is so big He made us? Do you honor Him? Do you live for Him?
I Chronicles 12:32 And of the children of Issachar, which were men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do; the heads of them were two hundred; and all their brethren were at their commandment. The children of Issachar were men that understood the times. They knew what Israel ought to do. Those are two of the most important characteristics that a person could have. We should read and study our Bibles so much that we would have an idea what is going on from God's point of view. We should understand â€śBiblicallyâ€ť the times we are living in. Are you consistently working at reading and studying the Bible. Not other books about the Bible but the Bible itself? If you do not get into God's Word you will not really understand what is going on. After understanding what is going on we need to know what to do about it. We will also learn that from the Word of God. As we fill our hearts with the Word we will become men of understanding and we will know what to do. So the question is, are you in the Book for yourself? How many [â€¦]
I Chronicles 11:9 So David waxed greater and greater: for the LORD of hosts was with him. David was becoming stronger and stronger. His influence was spreading. People were realizing that he was a powerful king. From the outside or common appearance it might seem that David was accomplishing great things. The truth is that David is experiencing all of this earthly success because the Lord is with him. God is blessing. It might seem like David has found the fast track to success and should be hailed as an expert at the next conference but it was simply that God was with him. Isn't it true that the blessings that I enjoy should be attributed to the Lord. It is God with me that brings blessings and success! When good times come and things are going right it is easy to think that you are the cause. We forget God. That is a terrible mistake. It is that the Lord was with him.
II Kings 24:9 And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his father had done. Dad's influence is amazing. Jehoiachin does wick things because he was following the example his dad had given him. There are other verses in II Kings where men did good things because of the influence of their dad. There is a definite correlation in the Bible of children being influenced by their parents. How can you read this without feeling a great sense of responsibility. You know that how your children will live has much to do with how you live. They are watching you. They will imitate you. They will not do what you want them to do but rather what you do. Life is caught not taught. We can teach what we want then watch them follow what we live. I must think of my example. I must be careful to live and do right at home as well as at work. I must live out what Christ has put in me. I must always be thinking that my children will treat their wives in a similar fashion to how I treat their mother [â€¦]
II Kings 12:15 Moreover they reckoned not with the men, into whose hand they delivered the money to be bestowed on workmen: for they dealt faithfully. This is wild. The men that were working on the temple were completely faithful. They didn't need to make them give accounts for the money. No need for receipts because these men were faithful and did right. They used the money correctly. They used the materials and the time in the way that they should. This is a wonderful testimony. They were right on a much deeper level than just what they were doing. They were right in their hearts and that caused them to live out this spiritual maturity that God had put in them. What you do is a reflection of who you are! You do things because of who you are! So it is time to check out my heart. Have I been born again? Have I seen a work of grace in my life? Because if God has done that work in me then I will live it out!
II Kings 8:12 And Hazael said, Why weepeth my lord? And he answered, Because I know the evil that thou wilt do unto the children of Israel: their strong holds wilt thou set on fire, and their young men wilt thou slay with the sword, and wilt dash their children, and rip up their women with child. Elisha knows what God's will is. He also knows that horrible things are about to happen. He knows that Hazael will be king and that he will bring much destruction. Elisha knowing this before hand doesn't mean that Elisha planned it or made it happen. It simply means that he knew what was going to happen. God knows what is going to happen. That doesn't mean that He plans it or makes it happen. Don't read more into a story than is there. God knows everything, God is in control. There is no evidence, at all, that God makes it all happen.
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