First Baptist Church, KCK ~ Sunday, November 15, 2020
Our Call to Worship:
Hymn Of Praise and Worship: “Come, Ye Thankful People Come” #565 “Hymns For The Living Church”
1) Come, ye thankful people, come, 2) All the world is God’s own field,
Raise the song of harvest-home! Fruit unto His praise to yield;
All is safely gathered in, Wheat and tares together sown
Ere the winter storms begin: Unto joy or sorrow grown.
God our Maker doth provide First the blade and then the ear,
For our wants to be supplied; Then the full corn shall appear;
Come to God’s own temple, come, Grant, O Harvest Lord, that we
Raise the song of harvest-home! Wholesome grain and pure may be.
3) For the Lord our God shall come, 4) Even so, Lord, quickly come,
And shall take His harvest home; And shall take His harvest-home;
From His field shall purge away Gather Thou Thy people in,
All that doth offend that day: Free from sorrow, free from sin,
Give His angels charge at last There, for ever purified,
In the fire the tares to cast; In Thy presence to abide;
But the fruitful ears to store Come, with all Thine angels, come,
In His garner evermore. Raise the glorious harvest-home!
The COVID problem is increasing in our communities throughout the USA. It is touching many families and organizations. Grandview Church that meets in our Fellowship Hall has not met here for two weeks because of the COVID pandemic. Pastor Melissa Newberry has decided to go back to virtual church for a couple of weeks because someone in their congregation has tested positive for the disease. There is no indication that any contact was made with this person by other worshippers, just a precaution at this time. It goes to show that it can touch anyone at anytime. Please stay safe!
This Week’s Encouraging Word:
“For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases Him.”
~Philippians 2:13 (NLT)~
Our Time for Prayer
Please keep in your prayers:
Jean Parrett – Health
Gay Stocker – Support
Louise Strain – Health
Doris Woodward – Health
Judy and John Wheeler – Health
Gracie and Lawrence Allen
Christy Kresyman –Upcoming surgery on November 10th, prayers for complete healing
Prayers for all those who have been affected by the hurricanes, flooding and wild fires
Please pray for protection from this virus and that it will soon be brought under control
Pray for all who are suffering through this pandemic and who have lost loved ones
We pray for all these in the Name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus, Amen.
We Dedicate Our Offerings
Father we are so grateful for all You give us. When we see the harvesters in the fields, we pause to reflect that You provide the grain for our bread and sustenance out of the abundance of Your provisions for all of us. Help us to remember, Lord, how much You do for us by sending the rain and the sunshine when it is most needed. Everything is in Your hands, O God, and we are aware of all You provide. Thank you for taking care of us! Accept our tithes and offerings this week to strengthen Your church.
In the Name of Jesus we pray, Amen!
Doxology: Hymn #572 “Hymns For The Living Church”
Praise God from whom all blessings flow, Praise Him all creatures here below;
Praise Him above the heavenly host, Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost! Amen!
Reading of God’s Word: Psalm 24
“The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; 2 for he founded it upon the seas and established it upon the waters. 3 Who may ascend the hill of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place? 4 He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to an idol or swear by what is false. 5 He will receive blessing from the Lord and vindication from God his Savior. 6 Such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek your face, O God of Jacob. Selah
7 Lift up your heads, O you gates; be lifted up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. 8 Who is this King of glory? T he Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle. 9 Lift up your heads, O you gates; lift them up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. 10 Who is he, this King of glory? The Lord Almighty- he is the King of glory. Selah
The Earth Is The Lord’s
When God made you and God made me, He gave us a wonderful place to be. We have woods and hills and waterfalls; we have varieties of creatures, great and small. When God made you and God made me, He gave us an awesome responsibility.
There is much to be known about Christian stewardship. Christian stewardship begins with the view that God is the Creator and the owner of all things! There is a lot of talk today about preserving our world and our natural resources for future generations. As the world population grows bigger we are using our natural resources faster. People and groups have been working on preserving these resources and that is great. But the world has a different perspective when it comes to what we do or do not own. People go about with the perspective that everything is owned by us humans. Nothing could be further from the truth. Our Scripture verse has a lot to say about who owns what. In it we find that in reality, we don’t own a single thing. All of life, all of the Creation, has been loaned to us as human beings to manage while we are here for a short time. So the thought of Christian stewardship is the recognition that while we are here, we have to live up to a higher responsibility.
What will we take with us when we leave this earth? Do you realize that we can’t even take our bodies with us? These are shells in which our spirit, our souls, our very essence lives. That in itself is a pretty stark reality! The body is left behind until that day God recreates us with a body like our Lord’s on the day of the Resurrection. The Psalmist tells us: “The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it, the world and those who live in it” (Psalm 24:1). Until this sovereign truth becomes an abiding conviction, we are lost in an endless debate and ultimate self destruction. Of course, not everybody agrees with this view because many reject the idea of the sovereign rule of God. People think “Who says the Earth is the Lord’s?” It’s my land, it’s my house, it’s my car, it’s my investments; I will do with them as I please. We become so engrossed in our appointments, our accomplishments, and especially our accumulations that we have little time to consider the alternatives. Jesus told a sobering parable about such self-possessed persons. It has been rightly named “The parable of the rich fool” (See Luke 12:16-21) Where can I store MY crops? Notice the self-centeredness of this man, these are all mine! Then he looks for ways to store them. He thinks about tearing down what he already has to build bigger ones! Doesn’t that sound familiar in today’s world economy? The government does this all the time with our tax money! But what does Jesus say about this man’s plan? He calls this man a “fool”. Why? Because he is not going to take even a kernel with him when he dies! When his life is demanded of him who will reap all his possessions? He will leave it all behind for someone else to rummage through. Then Jesus gives us the punch line: “This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God." What does He mean by being rich toward God? God has blessed us with abundance just like the man in the parable. When we share our abundance from God with others that are in need, we are “rich toward God”. This man was a fool because he was not willing to distribute some of his blessings with those who were hungry. This man decided to hoard it all for himself.
Christian stewardship takes into account everything that we have, everything God has blessed us with, and using it for the glory of God. We often talk about the three corners of stewardship; time, talent, and treasure. You might say about the treasure part “well I have just enough to live on”. That’s great; at least you can see God’s blessings in that! God has blessed you by taking care of your needs. But God has given you much more. Perhaps you can’t give a tithe, but you can give one thing that is precious. That is you can give yourself. You could write a note to someone who is struggling to encourage that person. You could make a simple phone call to cheer a person up. There are countless ways we can serve God without having to spend money. Christian stewardship takes into account everything that we have, everything God has blessed us with, and using it for the glory of God.
“Who may ascend the hill of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to an idol or swear by what is false.” Whom does God call to worship Him? Only those with clean hands and a pure heart. Only those who don’t worship created things which are false idols. What God wants is for each of us to come to Him cleansed and pure. And how do we accomplish that since we are sinners? Only through the grace of Jesus can we approach God. Jesus makes us clean, something that an idol cannot do. When we come to the place of worship we do so with a cleansed heart. And that is not all. Look at the results! ”He will receive blessing from the Lord and vindication from God his Savior.” Vindication, blessings, and forgiveness leads to being clean before God.
Among the groups that reject the reality of God is a group who ignores God’s ownership of the Earth. It is a generation of those who say, “Who Cares or it’s all mine?” Take what we can and live life to the fullest no matter the cost. Interestingly, this thought is prevalent among some Christians. If this world is not our home, then why should we care what happens to the Earth? Since we are going on to heaven, why be concerned with what’s left behind? If it’s just a matter of time until the world self-destructs, why should we interfere with God’s final judgment? God will say to us too “You Fools”. “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.” We are not owners, we are caretakers. We are not kings, we are stewards. We are not the masters of our fate and certainly nor the captains of our souls. The very air we breathe is a gift of God and God requires His followers to take care of what He has created. Therefore, we have an awesome responsibility, and if I may add a greater responsibility than those who do not know God.
Going back to Genesis, God declared that humans would subdue the earth and rule over all that God had created. Elohim (the plural Name for God) gave us the responsibility to care for His creation and He declared that it was good. Well how are we doing? Not well as we all know but better than we have been. During WWII patriotic Americans recycled tin cans and old tires for the war effort. People of that great generation valued hard work, modest consumption, consistent giving, and frugal spending. They lived by a simple motto: “Buy only what you need and make it last as long as you can.” That flies in the face of this modern world view that we take what we can now, consume it, and discard what is left in the landfill. I have to be the first to admit I can be doing much more in that regard; so can we all. What has happened to that great American Spirit? Have we the desire to leave the Earth in better shape than we found it? Are we willing to put in to this earth more than we take out? Are we willing to do little things for the good of all? Our responsibility is to manage for a while this marvelous creation which belongs to our Creator. It is also our responsibility to care for one another! If each of us did our share, we will be setting the example that is needed. We don’t own a thing; we simply manage what God has given us! Our goal should be to use God’s resources to His glory and in the process He will bless us tremendously! That is Christian stewardship!
To God be the glory, forever and ever. AMEN!! Pastor Bill
Hymn of Consecration: “Come All Christians Be Committed” #498 “Hymns For The Living Church”
1) Come, all Christians, be committed 2) Of your time and talents give ye,
To the service of the lord; They are gifts from God above;
Make your lives for him more fitted, To be used by Christians freely
Tune your hearts with one accord. To proclaim His wondrous love.
Come into His courts with gladness, Come again to serve the Savior,
Each his sacred vows renew, Tithes and off’rings with you bring.
Turn away from sin and sadness, In your work, with Him find favor,
Be transformed with life anew. And with joy His praises sing.
3) God’s command to love each other 4) Come in praise and adoration,
Is required of every one; All who in Christ’s name believe;
Showing mercy to one another Worship Him with consecration,
Mirrors His redemptive plan. Grace and love you will receive.
In compassion He has given For His grace give Him the glory,
Of His love that is divine; For the Spirit and the Word,
On the cross sins were forgiven; And repeat the gospel story
Joy and peace are fully thine. Till mankind His name has heard.
Our closing prayer:
Lord, as we approach Thanksgiving in just a short while, we are humbled to remember what a short history is ours in the making. From that first pilgrim who touched this land, to the many who have called this place in which we live home, we are called by You to evoke a clear sense of Your ownership. What we have been given should be used for Your great Glory! Whatever we have, we must remember that You are the Source. We are to give back to You by giving from our blessings to others in need. Thank You for your richness toward us. Help us to manage all You give us so that others will know that You are with them.
We pray in and through the most Holy and Precious Name of Jesus. AMEN!!
**May the Lord watch between me and thee as we are absent one from another, AMEN!**
Blessings in the Name of our Lord and Savior Jesus our Messiah!
Have a great week in the Lord!