Day Twenty Nine

40 Days of Prayer.

I am so thankful that you have chosen to join us on this journey. Over the next 40 days we are going to be looking at God’s Word and letting it guide our prayer. We believe that God has big things in store for SBC. God is going to use these next 40 days to challenge us and lead us to be a more faithful church. I hope that you will be prayerful and pray for big things!

Read: Acts 6

In Acts 6 we see the office of deacon introduced. The word deacon in the New Testament is translated “servant”. We actually see that when Jesus said that He came to serve and not to be served, the word “deacon” was used in that verse. Deacon is a servant. We see this in Acts 6 an issue going on with the first church. An issue of widows not getting their daily rations. These are men that were chosen to help with the issue so that the apostles could continue the work of the Word.

As pastor I am very thankful for the deacons of SBC. Men that are full of the Spirit and willing to serve. Right now we are in a unique time. I am thankful for their wisdom and insight. But something in chapter 6 is something that everyone should strive for.

Acts 6:3 “Therefore, brothers, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and wisdom, whom we will appoint this duty.”

Friends that should be all of our hopes to strive for. We should all strive for a good reputation and to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. These are characteristics that we should seek, should pray for, and ones that we hope to describe each one of us.

I want you to spend time today doing something different. I want you to take time to evaluate your character. Ask God to reveal to you where you fall short. Repent and pray that God would guide you to be the one that is full of the Spirit and wisdom.

Aaron

Day Twenty Eight

40 Days of Prayer.

I am so thankful that you have chosen to join us on this journey. Over the next 40 days we are going to be looking at God’s Word and letting it guide our prayer. We believe that God has big things in store for SBC. God is going to use these next 40 days to challenge us and lead us to be a more faithful church. I hope that you will be prayerful and pray for big things!

Read: Acts 5

We see in this chapter some unique things. In this chapter we see Ananias and Sapphira, a married couple that sold a piece of property, told the church they were giving all of the money to the church, and yet gave a smaller amount. It was not forced upon them, but something they did, yet lied. We can learn a lot from this story, but the story I want to look at is later in the chapter.

The apostles are arrested and are brought before the ruling council. The council makes the decision that they are not going to kill the apostles but that they are going to let them go. They don’t leave them empty handed, rather, they beat them and set them loose. The apostles found joy in the fact that they were worthy to be beaten for the sake of the Gospel. As Christians we know that they message of the Gospel is offensive. The Gospel says that you can not please God on your own merit. That in and of itself is offensive. It says that you and I are not good enough. That we need Christ on our behalf. We will face persecution. Church history for the past 2000 years has shown that to be true. We do not seek it, but we must be bold in the face of it. We must hold true to the teachings of the Word.

Adoration– Praise God that He has taken your place. Praise God that He has redeemed you.

Confession- Confess to Christ when you fail to hold true to the Gospel. Confess to Him your fear of man.

Thanksgiving- Thank God for the Gospel. We need to be a people of thanks. We should be so thankful for the grace that has been given to you and I!

Supplication- Pray that the church stands firm during this time. Pray that we would be found faithful to share the good news of Jesus Christ. Pray!

Aaron

Day Twenty Seven

40 Days of Prayer.

I am so thankful that you have chosen to join us on this journey. Over the next 40 days we are going to be looking at God’s Word and letting it guide our prayer. We believe that God has big things in store for SBC. God is going to use these next 40 days to challenge us and lead us to be a more faithful church. I hope that you will be prayerful and pray for big things!

Read: Acts 4

In Acts 4 we find Peter and John before the ruling council. They are questioned because they refused to stop preaching the name of Jesus Christ. They had just healed a man that was born lame in the name of Jesus. The council is unsure how to proceed with these men. There is a verse in this chapter that has always stuck out to me, one that I have honestly hoped to be my life verse, and I pray yours.

Acts 4:13 “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus.” (Emphasis Added)

Peter and John were ordinary fisherman. They were regular folks. They did not have education, pedigree, or status. They were regular joes. Just like you and me. But that’s not the part that sticks out to me. They recognized that they had been with Jesus. They knew that these men, their boldness, their response, their joy, their confidence was because they had been with Jesus.

Do people say the same thing about you and I? Often we are known for our passions. Maybe your passion is your occupation, hobby, or even church. Are you passionate about being with the Lord? Are you passionate about your pursuit of Him? Honestly this is convicting to me. At the end of my life, when it is all said and done, it doesn’t matter how big the church is, it doesn’t matter how many degrees I have, it doesn’t matter the size of my bank account, what matters will be do people say, “I can tell he had been with Jesus!” That is the greatest thing that can be said about us. Is it said about you?

Adoration– Praise God that you have the same Spirit inside of you. Praise Him that you have the Word to draw you close to Him. Praise Him for revealing Himself to you.

Confession- Confess that things that take the place of the Lord. Confess the false idols in your heart. Confess the things that take the throne of your life.

Thanksgiving- Thank God for the redeeming grace He’s so freely given you. Thank Him for His eternal salvation and for making His Word so plentiful. It is through His Word we grow to know Him more, to Love Him more!

Supplication- Please Pray. Now is the time that we so desperately need you to pray! Pray for your church, pray that God continues to keep us together and united. Pray that the COVID-19 pandemic would end soon. Pray that He would get the glory.

Aaron

Day Twenty Six

40 Days of Prayer.

I am so thankful that you have chosen to join us on this journey. Over the next 40 days we are going to be looking at God’s Word and letting it guide our prayer. We believe that God has big things in store for SBC. God is going to use these next 40 days to challenge us and lead us to be a more faithful church. I hope that you will be prayerful and pray for big things!

Read: Acts 3

Acts 3:4 “And Peter directed his gaze at him, as did John, and said, “Look at us.”

I’ve always been amazed at this verse. There is something to be said about it, something that you and I can learn a lot from.

Before this verse Peter and John are going up to the temple to pray. They are on their way to pray as they would have done any other time. It was not unusual to see those in need waiting by gates of the temple for people to give of their charity to them. It would not have been unusual for them to simply walk right past the man looking to where they were going. But that is not what happened. The man was asking for alms to everyone that went past him. He would have went quickly from individual to individual. This was different.

Peter and John directed their gaze at him. They took the time to look and notice the issue that this man faced. He was unable to walk, unable to provide for himself, lived off of the charity of others. They took the time to notice him. How often do we fail to notice those around us. Not just those who are hungry or cripple. Those around us that are hurting. We fail to take the time to know their hurt, to know their pain. Right now we have so many that are living in anxiety, fear, and hopeless. How have you directed your gaze at them? How have you let them know that you are thinking about them? How have you shared the hope? I pray that you will get this and do something about it.

Adoration– Praise God for the many blessings that He has blessed you with. Praise Him for the grace that He has given you. You’ve been so blessed. Praise Him for it!

Confession- Confess your lack of compassion. Confess that you’ve failed to see the needs of others. Confess your lack of caring for others. Confess your selfishness. I know that it is easy to get wrapped up in our own concerns that we forget others. Let it not be said of us.

Thanksgiving- Thank God for those who have blessed you. Thank God for those that didn’t just walk past you but turned their gaze to you.

Supplication- Pray that God would give you a heart of compassion. Pray that you would seek to bless someone this week, to love them, to share grace with them.

Aaron

Day Twenty Five

40 Days of Prayer.

I am so thankful that you have chosen to join us on this journey. Over the next 40 days we are going to be looking at God’s Word and letting it guide our prayer. We believe that God has big things in store for SBC. God is going to use these next 40 days to challenge us and lead us to be a more faithful church. I hope that you will be prayerful and pray for big things!

Read: Acts 2

At the beginning of this year we did a series looking at Acts 2:42-47. We looked at the first church and saw things that they did and sought to do ourselves. The Lord has blessed our church because we made decisions to live these values out. Now that we are in a different season, I know many long for these things once again. I want us to examine what those things are, let us long for them togehter.

Acts 2:42-47
42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 43 And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. 44 And all who believed were together and had all things in common. 45 And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts,47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.

I want us to look at what it is that a church is to do, what we long to do. First, we are devoted to the apostles teaching, to the Word of God. Devoted to the fellowship. This is yet another thing that we long for. To be together. Have you reached out to someone from our church body lately? Reach out to someone today and tell them how much you miss them. The breaking of bread and the prayers. To break bread together, both communion and in fellowship. To pray in person with one another. The simple things that we’ve taken for granted are the things I long for once again. These times also require us to live out verse 45. Times are here where we must reach out and sacrifice for one another. This leads me to ask, how are we loving one another? Are you reaching out to one another? Show love

Adoration- Praise God for the local body. Praise God for the church. Praise God for the family and for the fellowship.

Confession- Confess your lack of love for your brothers and sisters. Confess your anxiety and your fear.

Thanksgiving- Thank God for the local body. Thank God for the family of believers that you are blessed to call your family.

Supplication- Pray for your church family. Pray for your brothers and sisters in Christ. Pray that they would grow closer to Jesus during this time.

Aaron

Day Twenty Four

40 Days of Prayer.

I am so thankful that you have chosen to join us on this journey. Over the next 40 days we are going to be looking at God’s Word and letting it guide our prayer. We believe that God has big things in store for SBC. God is going to use these next 40 days to challenge us and lead us to be a more faithful church. I hope that you will be prayerful and pray for big things!

Read: John 20

John 20:30-31 “Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are all written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His name.”

Here we find the purpose of the Gospel of John. The purpose being that you would believe that Jesus is who He says He is. That you would believe in Jesus and have life. If you believe this to be true then there are implications on our lives. Things Jesus said we are to do or not to do ring true.

I’m sure that many of you, like myself, are curious to the days ahead. You are asking questions about how our country and world are going to change? We are looking at major changes in our economy, our way of life, and the way we do church for the time being. But if you claim to be a follower of Jesus and you believe that He is who He says He is, then there are some great truths that you and I need to rest in today.

1. Jesus church will not fail. Now this does not mean that through this that some church buildings may close. Some congregations will make hard decisions. This is why we need  you to continue to be faithful to give to your local church. Support the work that continues. But Jesus church will not fail. The way church has looked has changed dramatically over the last 30-40 years, and now it’s about to change again, but the universal church will continue.
2. Jesus will provide. Jesus tells us on that great sermon on the mount to not be anxious. That God knows what you need and will provide for you. It may look different than how you’ve been doing it, but Jesus will not fail you.
3. Jesus is the only hope. In the midst of great chaos, Jesus is our constant. In the midst of uncertainty, Jesus is certain. It doesn’t matter what is going on in the world today, whether it is great economic growth or absolute chaos, Jesus is the only hope.

There is so much more that we must cling to, but I want to give you these to know that God is in control. Turn your hope to Him today. Go to the only source of hope that is to be found.

Adoration- Praise God for giving you a great sense of hope. Praise God for the truth of His Word. Praise Him for the Gospel of John and the words that bring comfort.

Confession- Confess to Him your lack of faith. Confess to Him your fear, your doubt, your anxiety. Cast all your anxiety on Him.

Thanksgiving- Thank God for showing you such tremendous grace and mercy. Thank Him for what He has so tremendously blessed you with.

Supplication- Pray for the church to continue to bring glory to Go. Pray that God would use this to purify His church, to prune His church. We know that John 15 says that He prunes those that bear fruit, pray that we continue to bear fruit. Pray for your heart, pray that you would remain faithful during this time. Pray that you would be able to share your hope today!

I am praying for you and thankful. Miss being with you.

Aaron

Day Twenty Three

40 Days of Prayer.

I am so thankful that you have chosen to join us on this journey. Over the next 40 days we are going to be looking at God’s Word and letting it guide our prayer. We believe that God has big things in store for SBC. God is going to use these next 40 days to challenge us and lead us to be a more faithful church. I hope that you will be prayerful and pray for big things!

Read: John 21

As we come to the end of the Gospel of John in our daily reading let us take great hope. As your pastor, I want to encourage you during this time. Jesus loves His church. Jesus loves His people. Jesus loves you. I firmly believe that God is going to use this to make His church better. There are things that we are discovering daily about ourselves. We are discovering that we took for granted our public gathering together. I know so many that long to be together again. We also learned that we put focus on things that we don’t need to focus on. There are essential things that we need to focus on and non-essentials that we can do without. The Gospel of John shows us the heart of Jesus. His heart for His people. A heart that I pray we have regained during this time.

John 21:15-17
15 When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.” 16 He said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.”17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.”

Here we see an encounter between Jesus and Peter. Peter had just denied Jesus three times and wept bitterly. Peter was now back to doing what he knew how to do, fish. Jesus comes to him and gives him his new job. “Feed my sheep.” As your pastor one thing that I have always taken serious in my ministry is the responsibility to teach the Word. I have felt that it is necessary over anything else that we are in the Word. That you are fed. This is why we do daily readings, Bible studies, and spend great amount of time in God’s Word. The Word will always come first. But here is the deal. Put your name in the spot of Peter. We need to realize that we are now in a unique time that we have our children with us at home all the more. We should be influencing our children with the truth of the Gospel.

Feed your sheep. Team them about God’s Word. Don’t Waste Your Quarantine. Friends I say this not only to you, but myself. We are called to shepherd our own families. We are called to raise our children in the ways of the Lord. Are you taking advantage of the time you’ve been given? Take time today to read God’s Word as a family, to pray as a family, and to help them know Jesus.

Adoration– Praise God for His truth. Praise Him for the faithful men and women that have fed you.

Confession- Confess to Him where you’ve failed as a parent. Confess to Him your fear, your struggle, your unwillingness. Many do not do this simply because they are unwilling. That is sinful, pray for forgiveness.

Thanksgiving- Thank God for your family. Thank God for this time that you have with them. Thank God for loving you.

Supplication- Pray for your family. Pray that you will be a faithful father or mother. Pray that you will do as God has called you to do.

I am praying for you and thankful. Miss being with you.

Aaron