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Pastor Rod's Weekly Blog
May 20, 2018
Today is the second message in our series on the glory of our God in creation. Our goal is for each of us to be in awe of God and have a greater understanding of how great and magnificent our Creator and Savior is. I know that when people continually grow in their appreciation of the limitless love, justice and power of God and of how He truly loves and accepts us, they will have a greater love and confidence in Him. They will begin to really see the big picture, the eternal plan of God. They will know that there are no accidents with Him and that He will use good things and bad things to benefit our lives. Romans 5:2–5, “We rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.” Our prayer and desire is that we will all become more confident in our great God and Savior and live life confidently.
Bible meditation: Romans 5:2–5, “We rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.”
May 6, 2018
This is the last Sunday of our Forgiveness series. I believe it has been one of the most important and beneficial subjects that we have taught in our church. I am praying that everyone that has been with us through this series has been applying the biblical truths we have presented. I cannot express enough how important and life changing the upcoming workshop, The Road to Forgiveness, could mean to each of us. Jim Valez has spent much of his life helping people be delivered from their wounds from the past. He is a professional counselor and has taught many leaders how to help people. So if you need release from your past, or you would like to help others find freedom from their past, join on this coming Friday night and Saturday morning.
We are gearing up for our Vacation Bible School now - don’t miss out on getting involved in any way you can. Feel free to join the staff meeting in the auditorium at 11:30 this morning. You will not want to miss being a part of something that will have eternal value. More information will be coming. If you would like to give financially specifically to VBS, just designate on an offering envelope or on a check and put in the offering box.
Meditation passage: Philippians 4:4-8 (NIV), “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.”
April 29, 2018
There is one week remaining on our Forgiving series. We have been discussing a great issue in so many lives, if not everyone to some degree. I think that it would be good for many of you that have had victory by applying the principles of forgiveness to share with the congregation the actions you have taken. You can write it out so we could share them so that God is given the glory and others are encouraged to begin the lifestyle of forgiveness.
We also encourage you to invite others and to come yourselves to the Road to Forgiveness workshop, May 11 and 12. There may be questions we didn’t answer in our weekly messages that will be answered in the workshop. Don’t miss this opportunity to better your life and help others as well.
Vacation Bible School is gearing up. It is a known fact that people are the most likely to come to Jesus when they are children or in their teen years. Find a way to be a part in this eternal endeavor. Drop by next week at 11:30 after church for the all-staff meeting.
Meditation passage: Romans 12:19 (NIV) Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.
April 22, 2018
This week while reading through Proverbs 19 I had to stop and read verse three several times: “People ruin their lives by their own foolishness and then get angry at God.” Many times we have seen this happen - people hear God’s commands and truths and then ignore them; then when self-inflicted trouble comes they blame God and get angry with Him. I would encourage you to not blame and get angry at God for your self-inflicted wounds, but face up to your part. Troubles are a part of everybody’s life, but the plan is to determine if our disobedience is bringing on that trouble.
We are in our third week of teaching on the command to forgive everyone. Now if you are unwilling to forgive someone (and that is your choice) when problems spring up don’t get angry and blame God, just recognize that you have chosen self-inflicted pain rather than to obey and forgive. I know I would rather go through the healing process of forgiveness, no matter how difficult and painful, because obedience is always the way to blessings.
Meditation passage: Proverbs 19:3 (NLT) People ruin their lives by their own foolishness and then are angry at the Lord.
April 15, 2018
This morning, Friday, I woke up with several verses bouncing in my head, such as: Psalm 119:10 (NIV) “I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands.” And John 15:10–11 (NIV) “If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.”
I know that I am like most of you and I want to experience joy every day of my life. Joy is promised to us, but it is a conditional promise. The condition is that we obey the commands that Jesus gave His disciples. His commands for us can be broken down into two classifications and they are: Matthew 22:37–39 (NIV) “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself." There it is. Are you focused on God and His goodness and love? Are you serving the needs of others as well as your own needs? How can you know if you are obeying? The result will be a lifestyle of joy.
April 8, 2018
The resurrection of Jesus Christ is all about new life. Last Sunday, Easter, we saw a foretaste of new life for our church. For over a year we have taken corporate prayer in our church to a more purposeful and intentional level. We are praying with greater focus and expectation of how God really wants to use our church in bringing healing to our communities. The focus of our lives must be on Jesus Christ with nothing coming between Him and us, as a church and as individuals. It must be our mission and passion to influence Christians who have strayed from Jesus Christ, and people that have never had a relationship with Him, to follow Him. This will not only bring praise to God, but also bring people a life filled with the joy of the Lord and the peace of God. Are you committing your life to His mission? Throughout eternity you will be glad you did. So join with me in Romans 12:1–2, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. 2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
Vacation Bible School is our next big event. What will your part be?
Meditation verse; Romans 8:1–2 (NIV) Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.
EASTER CELEBRATION AT ELKTON BAPTIST
April 1, 2018
Welcome everyone to our celebration of the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. There are over 60 benefits promised to each of us as a result of the death, burial and the rising from the dead of our Savior. In this morning’s message we will highlight three of those benefits. We have designed this service to focus on the life changing work that God has done in so many people in the last two thousand years, including examples today from our own church family. We believe there is irrefutable evidence that the Lord Jesus Christ is the answer to all societal and personal problems in the world. God established the church to proclaim to everyone everywhere the good news of Jesus Christ. For that to happen, people need to not only attend church services but also to be actively involved. So we invite one and all to attend and get involved in a church, this church. So that we can see homes and people in North Douglas County become healthy, vibrant and full of joy. Once again we are so glad that you shared your time with us today.
First of all, I would like to thank all of you who participated in our church clean-up yesterday. It is always special when our church gets together as a team and works on a project. Speaking of teamwork, that is what it takes to make our church function. It takes many team members: There will be some out in front where everyone can see what they are doing, and then there will be more members behind the scenes doing their part, which is just as important as those in the front. For example, weekly and daily there are many people who are preparing, praying, serving and inviting people to come and be a part of our upcoming weekend services. These weekend services are extremely important for the Kingdom of God. The first event is our Good Friday Communion service at 7:00 pm March 30th. (Luke 22:19 (NLT) He took some bread and gave thanks to God for it. Then he broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”) And the second event is our special Easter Service next Sunday, April 1st at 10:00 am.
Be sure to set aside time to attend these events to show your appreciation to our Lord Jesus Christ; and to greet and welcome each other and the guests that will be with us.
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.” Colossians 3:16 (NIV)
This was one of the passages that I included in my message last Sunday; and this morning, Friday, I am realizing that I need to pick up the pace. So I read through Psalm 119 which is the longest chapter in the Bible, and also mentions a word for God’s instruction in all 176 verses. By reading Psalm 119 and then Ephesians chapters 4-6, which are God’s instructions for living, I committed myself not only to meditate on my identity in Christ but also to meditate on His instructions for my daily living. Not only is this the right thing for me to do, but here is the promised result: “Joyful are people of integrity who follow the instructions of the LORD. 2Joyful are those who obey his laws and search for him with all their hearts.” (Psalm 119:1-2 NLT) And I do like being joyful so much more than being sad.
Meditation Passage: Psalm 119:1-2 NLT Joyful are people of integrity who follow the instructions of the LORD. 2Joyful are those who obey his laws and search for him with all their hearts.
In three weeks it will be Easter. This is like the playoffs for churches around the world including the Elkton Baptist Church. We are encouraging everyone to be a part in making this a special Sunday for our community. Maybe in the following list you can find a place to exalt Christ by serving, and by helping our guests give their lives to Jesus Christ:
Also, Good Friday Communion service will be at 7:00pm Friday, March 30. This is an important time for all of us to show God the Father how much we appreciate Him for sacrificing His Son.
Meditation verse: Revelation 3:20 (NLT) Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.
March 4, 2018
Sunday In four weeks it will be Easter Sunday. This is the most important Sunday for any church because it is the week that we remember and celebrate the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and His resurrection - His coming back to life. His dying on the cross forgave all the sins we have done or will do, and His resurrection gives us a new life with freedom. So, I am asking you to begin praying now that the many people in our area who have not received the gift of everlasting life will attend church services. Also, please pray that those who have Salvation but are not living the victorious Christian life will attend. I am also asking you to invite people to come and experience being with our church family as we worship our great Savior Jesus Christ. Also pray for all those who will be organizing this special day. There may be a place for you to help in our service or in the preparation of our property. Let us look forward to a day of great victory.
Meditation passage: Matthew 18:19 God make disciples
February 25, 2018
If you keep my commandments, you shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. John 15:10-11
I just love this passage of Scripture. Any time I hear or read any promise from God that guarantees that if I do something it will result in me having joy, and especially fullness of joy, count me in. Often I hear people say to get over feeling down or to become happy they need to do or take something to mask their negative feelings. But Jesus tells us to serve Him and others without expecting anything in return and we will experience joy and peace. What a deal! It kind of reminds me of that old country song, “Looking for love in all the wrong places.” Check out this promise, and keep God’s commandments, to love Him and to love others like He loves us and we will celebrate and experience peace no matter what the circumstances.
Meditation passage: John 15:10-11 If you keep my commandments, you shall abide in my love; 11 even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.
You will have to sit in the front seat for the rest of the week.” “I promise I will be good if you let me sit wherever I want to sit.” I have heard that so many times by kids on the bus, but I know they will forget if I don’t follow through and make them sit in the front seat. I wonder if sometimes we try to pull that one on our Lord. “Lord, if you bless me or make me more comfortable I promise I will obey you.” But we can quickly forget.
For the next six weeks we will be teaching on what is sometimes called the Upper Room Discourse which did not all take place in the Upper Room. This will lead us to our Easter Service on April 1. So as you come each week I hope you will listen and then obey the applications you hear. And not wait for God to bless you first.
Meditation passage: Psalm 37:3-5 (NLT) “Trust in the Lord and do good. Then you will live safely in the land and prosper. 4Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you your heart’s desires. 5Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust Him, and He will help you.”
February 11, 2018
I looked up on the internet how many times in the Bible fear not or do not be afraid appeared and apparently it is 365. Interesting isn’t it - I wonder if there is any correlation between how many days there is in the year and the amount of fear nots. How many opportunities have we missed because of fear of failure or fear of the unknown? How many times have we doubted God’s love and goodness because we were focused on problems rather than His great ability? The fear is not the problem, it is the not being courageous and doing what is right even when we do not feel like doing what He wants. Our meditation verse this week is a great antidote to fear. Isaiah 41:10 Fear thou not; for I am with thee: Be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee yea, I will help thee; Yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. Also rehearsing to yourself and others of how God has met your needs and much of your wants in the past. One more thing that works for me is thanking God for the victories before I receive them. So, don’t be afraid but be courageous.
Meditation - Isaiah 41:10 Fear thou not; for I am with thee: Be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee yea, I will help thee; Yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.
February 4, 2018
I came across an article on the 5 results of Christians not attending church. Last week I presented the first three, this week I will share the final two:
1. YOU WILL MISS OUT ON GOD’S PRIMARY DESIGN FOR YOUR SPIRITUAL GROWTH AND WELL-BEING.
2. YOU DISOBEY GOD. 3. YOU MAKE A STATEMENT TO THE WORLD THAT GOD IS NOT WORTHY OF WORSHIP. 4. YOU CAN’T MINISTER TO ANYONE Too often people think that corporate worship is only about getting their own spiritual needs met. And therefore if they don’t have any spiritual needs at that time then there is no reason for them to attend. The problem with this view of worship is that it’s too individualistic and self-centered. As Christians, our lives are to be spent serving, helping and encouraging others. Missing church robs you of an opportunity to serve someone other than yourself. If you are gone on Sunday morning you can’t offer a word of encouragement to someone who needs it; you can’t welcome an unbeliever who doesn’t usually come to church; you can’t pray with a fellow member who is suffering; you can’t encourage the other members with your voice during times of corporate singing; you can’t encourage your pastor with your presence while he preaches the sermon he has labored over all week. These are just a few ways you can’t serve if you are absent on Sunday morning. 5. YOU SKIP OUT ON A FORETASTE OF HEAVEN. God created us to worship him. That’s the primary reason you exist. This is why the church was redeemed and this is what God’s people will do when Jesus returns and restores our fallen world. Revelation 22:3 gives a picture of this: “No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him.” In 1988, three whales became trapped under a sheet of ice near the city of Point Barrow, Alaska. In an attempt to save the whales, rescuers dug a series of breathing holes in the ice leading back to the ocean. Two of the three whales were rescued because they were able to get the oxygen they needed and were guided in the correct direction. Similarly, Sunday morning worship is a like string of breathing holes the Lord provides for his people guiding and sustaining them until they make it to their true home in heaven. Meditation: Psalm 100:4–5 NLT Enter his gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise. Give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good. His unfailing love continues forever, and his faithfulness continues to each generation.
January 21, 2018
What better way to start the New Year than to emphasize prayer and the power of prayer. I am excited in what we will learn, and I look forward to the results. Many questions will be answered of how to pray and how to get results, as well as the things that hinder our prayers from being answered. This is going to be a six week series on prayer. I encourage you to invest your time to learn and experience super natural power. Does this sound like an over sale? Consider this conditional promise from God: John 15:7 NIV If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. Does it sound too good to be true? Come and check it out.
Meditation passage: John 15:7 NIV If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.
January 14, 2018
HWFW – HWLW Can you figure what those eight letters represent? I’ll give you a hint, if you apply them daily it will be more effective than medicine for you emotional and mental outlook. Here is the answer; His Word First Word and His Word Last Word. That means to read and meditate on the Bible before anything else in morning and read and meditate should be the last thing before you go to sleep. So instead of allowing your mind to worry about your problems and being anxious of what lies ahead, fill your mind with God’s Word and watch how it will affect your whole day. Your first thoughts in the morning will be connected to God and you will know He has got you covered. Give this exercise a tryout for the next few weeks and you might find yourself sleeping better and having more energy. It will be a lot cheaper than pills.
Meditation verses: Psalm 119-9-11 NIV How can a young person stay on a path of purity? By living according to your word. 10 I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. 11 I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.
January 7, 2018
What better way to start the New Year than to emphasize prayer and the power of prayer. I am excited in what we will learn and look forward to the results. Many questions will be answered of how to pray and how to get results, as well as the things that hinder our prayers from being answered. This series on prayer will last six weeks. I encourage you to invest your time to learn and experience super natural power. Does this sound like an over sale? Consider this conditional promise from God: John 15:7 NIV If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. Does it sound too good to be true? Come and check it out.