Let me be the first to welcome you to Unity Baptist Church! Perhaps you are looking for a church to visit in person or maybe you have been to a service and are now doing a little research. In either case I will take a moment and share a little about us.
As a small country church, we don’t have people directing traffic in the parking lot or a team of greeters to meet you at the front door. But I can promise you this: any visitor will be met and warmly welcomed. Our people will be happy to see you. My wife and I have served at Unity since October of 2014. I cannot write a long list of things our church “has to offer” but our goal is to be the body of Christ in this community. We read and study God’s Word and seek to share the Gospel – Good News – at every available opportunity.
Sunday School begins at 10 am and our worship service is at 11. Singing, praying, reading scripture, giving, preaching and the response to preaching are all acts of worship. We have Discipleship on Sunday evenings which is a small group focused on living the Christian life and a short worship service after that. On Wednesday evenings we have a short Bible study followed by prayer meeting. Throughout the year we have events like Easter Egg Hunts, 4th of July cookouts, Trunk ‘R Treat around Halloween and a Christmas dinner. Visit a few different things to get a good idea of who we and what we’re about. I don’t shove religion down anybody’s throat; I want to introduce to Jesus and tell you more about him. And don’t get the wrong idea – we’re still learning as well, myself included.
You can read about our beliefs, the church’s history and listen to sermons at this website. Contact me via email firstname.lastname@example.org or give me a call (770) 608-7005 to schedule a pastoral meeting or discuss any concerns you may have. Don’t be a stranger. Feel free to drop in anytime we are here.
When Israel demanding a king, God told Samuel to give them one. He did so for one specific reason and that was to demonstrate they were better off without one. God was with Saul when he was called but after not keeping God’s commandments, and eventually claiming his sin was God’s will, the Bible tells us He regretted making Saul king. Samuel encouraged/warned Israel that king or no king God would not forsake his people if they would serve the Lord.
*I messed up my notes and began reading 1 Samuel 9:9-13 and it should have been 10:9-13. It wouldn’t hurt to go back and read all of 1st Samuel, in this case chapters 9 – 15, in order to understand this sermon in it’s full context.
Samuel is a judge and a prophet, a bridge between the time Israel was guided by judges and ruled by its first kings. Samuel was established as a prophet in all of Israel and during his lifetime they served only the LORD.
Joshua 24 begins with a brief history review, from the time of Abraham to the conquest of the people in Canaan. Joshua then challenges Israel to “choose whom you will serve.” The people commit themselves to putting away other gods and serving the LORD all their days.
At the end of Moses’s life, the mantle of leadership is passed on to Joshua. Joshua was one of only two adults that left Egypt and 40 years later entered the promised land. He had been close to Moses and nearer to God than anyone else in Israel. The crossing of the Jordan was almost a repeat of the miraculous crossing of the Red Sea, so that a new generation of Israelites would know God was near and also with Joshua.
*On Sunday evening we read most of Joshua 3 and the beginning of 4. Israel crossed the Jordan on dry ground, following the ark of testimony (covenant). A man of each tribe picked up a stone from the river bed and a mound is built on the Cannan side of the river. “When your children ask in time to come, ‘What do those stones mean to you?’then you shall tell them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it passed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. So these stones shall be to the people of Israel a memorial forever.” Joshua 4:6-7 ESV
After several chapters of instructions, followed by several chapters of building, sewing and carving, the Tabernacle was raised in Exodus 40. It was one year from the day the Israelites left Egypt and it was all a picture of what was to come. God is less visible but nearer to believers than in the days of Moses.
The Annual Meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention took place earlier this week in Dallas, TX. Because of some hot button topics in the news lately, and the perceived importance of selecting the next SBC president, this convention was the highest attending since 2010. Nearly double the messengers met in Dallas as in Phoenix last year.
This article from Baptist Press does a good job summarizing everything of importance that took place this week. J.D. Greear is the new SBC President, Vice President Mike Pence spoke to the convention, 79 IMB missionaries were appointed and there was lots of discussion about women and minorities being represented well and given opportunities for leadership. There was talk in the 11th hour about electing Beth Moore as president. (I have not even heard is she was willing to accept the nomination.) Follow the link above to Baptist Press for a good summation.
If you are concerned about Greear’s election after hearing that he is a Calvinist please read my post at The Master’s Table. I am not a Calvinist but don’t believe our ship is sinking or that any nails being driven into the SBC coffin. I don’t even believe there’s a coffin.
I spent a lot of time last week on the Ten Commandments but gave very little focus to the way Israel knew God was near. It was a good sermon, all it really needed was a part 2. So here we are. The Ten Commandments are spoken by God in Exodus 20. In this sermon we will look into Exodus 19 and 24 at the different ways God made his presence known. Before and after the words of the covenant the people declared “All the Lord has said we will do.”
I said a lot about the Ten Commandments in this sermon, did not do as much as I could have to illustrate that God was near. The people saw the mountain smoke and felt the earth shake. Beginning at Exodus 20, and continuing for several chapters, God is speaking. The commandments have not been written down at this point. The people’s response was to declare that all God said they will do. There was no question that God’s presence was clearly manifest at Sinai.