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
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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!!!

Should Christians Celebrate Christmas?

I was recently reading an interesting post on one of my favorite websites, gotquestions.org about whether Christians should celebrate Christmas. I’ve reproduced the article in its entirety below. Enjoy and have a Merry Christmas!!!!


The debate about whether or not Christians should celebrate Christmas has been raging for centuries. There are equally sincere and committed Christians on both sides of the issue, each with multiple reasons why or why not Christmas should be celebrated in Christian homes. But what does the Bible say? Does the Bible give clear direction as to whether Christmas is a holiday to be celebrated by Christians?

First, let’s look at the reasons why some Christians do not celebrate Christmas. One argument against Christmas is that the traditions surrounding the holiday have origins in paganism. Searching for reliable information on this topic is difficult because the origins of many of our traditions are so obscure that sources often contradict one another. Bells, candles, holly, and yuletide decorations are mentioned in the history of pagan worship, but the use of such in one’s home certainly does not indicate a return to paganism. While there are definitely pagan roots to some traditions, there are many more traditions associated with the true meaning of Christmas—the birth of the Savior of the world in Bethlehem. Bells are played to ring out the joyous news, candles are lit to remind us that Christ is the Light of the world (John 1:4-9), a star is placed on the top of a Christmas tree to remember the Star of Bethlehem, and gifts are exchanged to remind us of the gifts of the Magi to Jesus, the greatest gift of God to mankind.

Another argument against Christmas, especially having a Christmas tree, is that the Bible forbids bringing trees into our homes and decorating them. The passage often cited is Jeremiah 10:1-16, but this passage refers to cutting down trees, chiseling the wood to make an idol, and then decorating the idol with silver and gold for the purpose of bowing down before it to worship it (see also Isaiah 44:9-18). The passage in Jeremiah cannot be taken out of its context and used to make a legitimate argument against Christmas trees.

Christians who choose to ignore Christmas point to the fact that the Bible doesn’t give us the date of Christ’s birth, which is certainly true. December 25 may not be even close to the time Jesus was born, and arguments on both sides are legion, some relating to climate in Israel, the practices of shepherds in winter, and the dates of Roman census-taking. None of these points are without a certain amount of conjecture, which brings us back to the fact that the Bible doesn’t tell us when Jesus was born. Some see this as proof positive that God didn’t want us to celebrate the birth, while others see the Bible’s silence on the issue as tacit approval.

Some Christians say that since the world celebrates Christmas—although it is becoming more and more politically correct to refer to it as “the holidays”—Christians should avoid it. But that is the same argument made by false religions that deny Christ altogether, as well as cults such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses who deny His deity. Those Christians who do celebrate Christmas often see the occasion as an opportunity to proclaim Christ as “the reason for the season” among the nations and to those trapped in false religions.

As we have seen, there is no legitimate scriptural reason not to celebrate Christmas. At the same time, there is no biblical mandate to celebrate it, either. In the end, of course, whether or not to celebrate Christmas is a personal decision. Whatever Christians decide to do regarding Christmas, their views should not be used as a club with which to beat down or denigrate those with opposing views, nor should either view be used as a badge of honor inducing pride over celebrating or not celebrating. As in all things, we seek wisdom from Him who gives it liberally to all who ask (James 1:5) and accept one another in Christian love and grace, regardless of our views on Christmas.

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