Sunday Small Groups        9:45am
Sunday Worship Service    11:00am
Wed Fellowship Meal         5:15pm
Wed Night Bible Study       6:00pm
Wednesday Choir Practice 7:15pm
Grace Baptist Church
14087 JEB Stuart HWY
Stuart, VA 24171


“…Praise the name of the Lord”

This month we will wrap up our series on the 4th chapter of 1 Peter’s Epistle, “The Fiery Ordeal.” And the events of this weekend reminded me that our Fiery Ordeals are not always the results of persecution from the lost world. Often, they are simply the natural course of life in this fallen world: a world where our original sin has brought pain, suffering, and death into God’s perfect creation. Even His redeemed children will not be spared from its consequences. All of us wear the scars of life’s trials and sufferings. Whether it is the loss of a loved one, the ravages of a disease, or the frailty of our post Garden of Eden bodies.

While I was praying by Casey’s bedside this weekend, as she tried to sleep, the reality struck me like a bolder. The reality that my praises for God are not only reserved if He so willed for the antibiotics to work, but that He is worthy of praise from me, regardless of the outcome!!! Yes, we should praise Him when He does deliver us from our Fiery Ordeals…and yes we should praise Him because He loved us first and sent His only Son, Christ Jesus, to die and suffer the wrath for our sins…and yes we should praise Him for not only saving us, but for also making us sons and daughters with an eternal inheritance.

But, even if He had chosen to do none of those gracious and marvelous acts, like the Psalmist tells us, all the universe should still “…praise the name of the Lord, For His name alone is exalted; His glory is above earth and heaven.” (Ps. 148:13). And because of His grace we, His redeemed children, will have the privilege of one day casting our crowns before His throne and singing “Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created.” (Rev. 4:11)

Happy New Year!!!

Yes, it’s that time again, for making New Year’s resolutions to do things like diet, join the gym, quit smoking, walk after dinner, and read through the Bible in a year. While all of these are actually good things, they may not be the best ways to glorify God, in 2014. If we all knew that this was our last year alive together on earth, what would be the “must do” things for us to do  this year…what would be on our “Bucket List”?

Although the previous list is admirable, I would ask all of us (which includes me too) to consider what God would like us to accomplish this year, individually and collectively as a church. Perhaps, God wants you to reconcile a past friendship, or maybe start a new discipling relationship. Perhaps, He would like us to reach out to our community in new ways or serve a need with the blessings we have received. Maybe, God would like you to serve in a new ministry, such as with music or young people. Or maybe, He is preparing opportunities for us to touch souls around the world and around the corner in ways we may never thought possible.

Over the next several weeks, I want all of us to consider what would be on our “Bucket List” for 2014, both individually and for the entire church. Later in the month of January, we will all have an opportunity during a Sunday service, to place on the altar what God has laid on our hearts. Then we can beseech God to bless us and fulfill the deepest desires of our heart…to love Him will all our mind, body, and soul and love others as ourselves, as we make disciples of all nations, while obeying all that He has commanded. Beloved, I’m convinced that 2014 is going to be an incredible year for Grace Baptist Church and I can’t wait to see what Christ Jesus has in store for His flock.  Happy New Year and God Bless!!!

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