Faith Baptist Church Upson Christian Academy

Subtitle

"Before The Throne of God Above"...Isaiah 49:6

Before the throne of God above                                                                                      I have a strong and perfect plea                                                                                      A great High Priest whose name is love                                                                           Who ever lives and pleads for me                                                                                     My name is graven on His hands                                                                                       My name is written on His heart                                                                                       I know that while in Heav'n He stands                                                                               No tongue can bid me thence depart.

When satan tempts me to despair                                                                                  And tells me of the guilt within                                                                                 Upward I look and see Him there                                                                                   Who made an end of all my sin                                                                                Because the sinless Saviour died                                                                                      My sinful soul is counted free                                                                                          For God the Just is satisfied                                                                                             To look on Him and pardon me.

Behold Him there, the risen Lamb                                                                                    My perfect, spotless Righteousness                                                                                 The great unchangeable I AM                                                                                         The King of glory and of grace                                                                                       One with Himself, I cannot die                                                                                         My soul is purchased by His blood                                                                                     My life is hid with Christ on High                                                                                   With Christ my Saviour and my God

What more could you say.....

Have You Seen Jesus Lately?

In Sunday School we were reading about Jesus as a child.  We were in Luke 2:40-52.  ...Now His parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the Passover.  And when He was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast.  And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and His mother knew not of it.  But they, supposing Him to have been in the company, went a day's journey; and they sought him among their kinfolk and acquaintance.  I wonder how many times we have been among God's people, busy with the things of God, hanging out at the church, yet not realizing that Jesus is not with us.  Not realizing we have lost that one-on-one time with the Lord, that personal closeness with Him.  We're just busy (like Martha) yet not really accomplishing what is important.  Then when we do realize.... it's a shock,"Where is He?, "How could I be where I am?, How did I get here?, "My faith is stronger than this....Then one of two things will happen ...Like Mary and Joseph-And when they found Him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking Him.  Or we could be like Saul...realizing that God is not with us, not near us, yet we never turn back.  ...Job 33:27-He looketh upon men, and if any say, I have sinned, and perverted that which was right, and it profited me not; He will deliver his soul from the pit, and his life shall see the Light.  Psalm 9:10-And they that know Thy Name will put their trust in Thee: for Thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek Thee.    God wants the closeness-it's not His goal for us to be far from Him-He will restore that which we lost-we just need to realize it, repent of it, return to Him, and He will restore.

Great Is Thy Faithfulness..

Great is Thy faithfulness, oh God my Father;
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not;
As Thou hast been, Thou forever wilt be

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!
 

Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided;
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

Wow, what more can be said...God is good to us---come, let us worship Him together..warning--when I sing this in the car-- I sing it really loud :) 

Are You a Cannibal?...

Galatians 5:15...But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that you be not consumed one of another.

As we bite and nip at each other..taking away pieces of each other..we are tearing down our own houses..(Proverbs 14:1 Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands)..piece by piece.

I think it gives a new meaning to "Skeletons in the closet".  Wonder how many bones/skeletons we have in our closests of people we have torn apart over the years and instead of asking for forgiveness of them and trying to make it right-(in- a-sense put them back together)-we will throw that part we ripped off in the closet and shut the door so we don't have to see it anymore and we let that person now walk around handicapped.

I think our churches are full of handicapped people that either come to church and see their attacker every service and tries to ignore the pain/problem or eventually it becomes too much and they stop coming to church altogether. Either way the outcome is not good. 

The ones that leave have usually turned their anger, frustration, pain from their attacker to the church or worse yet, to God.  These people are hard to win back to the Lord and His service, (Proverbs 18:19  A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city: and their contentions are like the bars of a castle.),not to mention what kind of lives they are now leading and how their experience is being spread far and wide.

For the ones that stay--they want to do what is right and stay where God put them but really, they are only half there.  They can get nothing out of the messages, they don't want to fellowship, every suggestion is met with opposition.  They are miserable and make those around them feel the same way. These people are carrying around a good bit of pain and anger and even if they try to internalize it..it just keeps seeping out.

God help us and forgive us for what we have done one to another.

Galatians 5:15...But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that you be not consumed one of another.

Yet we wonder why our churches are empty.

You might be feeling pretty miserable, dejected right now.  But there is help, there is hope and it's found in Jesus Christ-who is our only hope and help in this life.

1st..Matthew 5:23-24... Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee;

Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.

you could say--I didn't do anything to them.  They just took it the wrong way.  They are too quick to judge....yea, you're right...but how long do you want to keep living like this?--how long do you want to be a part of keeping the Holy Spirit at bay.  It doesn't matter how much you put the blame on them-you have a part.  Just ask God to help you, (and I can testify that if you are willing He will have already made a way--), go to that person and say.."Bro. or Sis. I am sorry for the contention I feel between us.. will you please forgive me and pray with me that we can get this under the blood and move on as brothers/sisters in Christ?" and don't stop there --grab their hand and ask them to pray right then..go to the altar together..get it done....

2nd..Ephesians 4:3I.. And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.

 

you could say-- i didn't do anything--they did it...yea, your right...but how long do you want to keep living like this??--how long do you want your anger to separate you from God. I'm telling you God doesn't hang around stuff like that--He is Holy, Just, Right...you know God has no part in that anger. So, if not for them, then do it for yourself...forgive them.  (I can testify that God is more than able to remove this from you.)  He loves you and He doesn't want this separation--...the question is--do you?

And then what does God say:

II Chronicles 7:14...If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Hey..what if the "land" could be our church???..do you ever think on this verse? I know I do...what are all of us "Christians" doing in our wicked ways?...how do we "humble ourselves"?  Is God telling me to go to the courthouse and fall on my face and pray?...maybe, but what if it's to humble ourselves before each other and ask forgiveness of our backbiting to each other...what if it's us praying together in unity with love....wow, wouldn't that be wonderful and wouldn't you want to come and be a part of that??

I think Revival is here  :)  and I for one am Happy!!!!

Life is Hard..But God is ALWAYS Good!

 Psalm 3

1Lord, how are they increased that trouble me! many are they that rise up against me.

2Many there be which say of my soul, There is no help for him in God. Selah.

3But thou, O LORD, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head.

4I cried unto the LORD with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill. Selah.

5I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the LORD sustained me.

6I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people, that have set themselves against me round about.

7Arise, O LORD; save me, O my God: for thou hast smitten all mine enemies upon the cheek bone; thou hast broken the teeth of the ungodly.

8Salvation belongeth unto the LORD: thy blessing is upon thy people. Selah.

 

Sometimes it's hard to smile and be upbeat when you go to church on Sunday. You've been in the trenches all week and seen the despair and sadness, the hopelessness and loss.  You come stumbling in the church like a survivor of a car wreck---not really understanding it all-just dazed by the horrificness of what you have seen.  You do good to find your pew and sit in silence for a few moments before the choir anthem starts. Then you're in choir and looking out at the people that are there.......... and you see:

a woman who has just enough food for two days..

a man who needs God but thinks God is sending him visions

a child that lives in such poverty that her parent was stripping plastic from a clothesline to get the copper to sell.

a woman who's sister-n-law is laying dead at the funeral home, whose husband is sick, her kids don't have jobs, and her grandchildren aren't where she wants them to be.

a man who sees no hope for a better life

a woman who sees no future except what she has right now and it is almost unbearable

a man who's left alone in his old age and no one has time for him anymore

a woman who's family is changing and things are not like she expected them to be

a man with cancer

and it goes on and on.......the real world isn't a very nice place to be in all week...i looked at all these different people in the same room--and i'm overwhelmed at the misery --, the sadness that is evident in some of their lives---and i'm saying Lord "it's hard to lift up happy, smiling faces when you see and feel all this."  That's when the Lord asked me a question... why are we here in this place together?........because people have burdens -need help-need encouraging--need hope ---and the Lord says... "where did they come to get that?"...............they came to church... they came where they expected Jesus to be.........

.we all came to where we could hear, see, feel, touch,and be touched, by Jesus....and we can walk out knowing that there is hope, there is someone who cares, there is someone who sees me and knows what i am going through and cares deeply for me and understands my trials and pains....that someone is Jesus and He gives me hope to go back out and keep going. So, that is why I can come into His house and praise Him because He is! ...and I can leave from His presence being better than I was before I got there.  Yes, I can smile because I can tell people that help is on the way...and his name is "Jesus."
 
I Chronicles 16:34
O give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good, for his mercy endureth forever.

Psalm 13:5
But I have trusted in thy mercy; my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation

Psalm 33:22
Let they mercy, O LORD, be upon us, according as we hope in thee.

Is Your Hut on Fire?

The only survivor of a shipwreck was washed up on a small, uninhabited island. He prayed feverishly for God to rescue him, and every day he scanned the horizon for help, but none seemed forthcoming.

Exhausted, he eventually managed to build a little hut out of driftwood to protect Him from the elements, and to store his few possessions. Then one day, after scavenging for food, he arrived home to find his little hut in flames, the smoke rolling up to the sky. The worst had happened; everything was lost.

He was stunned with grief and anger. "God, how could you do this to me!" he cried.

Early the next day, however, he was awakened by the sound of a ship that was approaching the island. It had come to rescue him. "How did you know I was here?" asked the weary man of his rescuers. "We saw your smoke signal," they replied.

It is easy to get discouraged when things are going bad. But we shouldn't lose heart, because God is at work in our lives, even in the midst of pain and suffering. Remember, next time your little hut is burning to the ground-it just may be a smoke signal that summons the grace of God.

Have You Hugged the Lord Today??

So, i'm reading this book about how we deny ourselves or feel guilty for giving something to ourselves.  In the book it starts talking about how the Lord didn't rebuke Mary for pouring the costly ointment on his head.  It was something he needed at the time...(not that our Lord needs anything)...but it made me think....and here is my thought----the Lord, in a short time, will be headed to Cavalry where men will spit on him, hate him, beat him, hurt him, and yes, crucify him.  But right here at this moment is someone who is saying, in their own way, Lord, I Love You.  I think He needed to hear that right then, He wanted to hear that right then. (and I think she needed to say it, show it).  I wonder if He wanted to hear us say that today...."Lord, I Love You."...is He still waiting for you to say it????  Hey, you still have time---He's waiting......

Time...use it or lose it

Time and Friends.............

Imagine there is a bank that credits your account each morning with
$86,400.
It carries over no balance from day to day.
Every evening deletes whatever part of the balance you failed to use
during the day. What would you do? Draw out ALL OF IT, of course!!

Each of us has such a bank. Its name is TIME.
Every morning, it credits you with 86,400 seconds.
Every night it writes off, as lost, whatever of this you have failed to
invest to good purpose.
It carries over no balance. It allows no overdraft.

Each day it opens a new account for you.
Each night it burns the remains of the day.
If you fail to use the day's deposits, the loss is yours.

There is no going back. There is no drawing against the "tomorrow."
You must live in the present on today's deposits. Invest it so as to get
from it the utmost in health, happiness, and success!
The clock is running. Make the most of today.

...his captivity

 

job 42: 1-10

Job 42

42 Then Job answered the Lord, and said,

2 I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee.
3 Who is he that hideth counsel without knowledge? therefore have I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not.
4 Hear, I beseech thee, and I will speak: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me.
5 I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee.
6 Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.
7 And it was so, that after the Lord had spoken these words unto Job, the Lord said to Eliphaz the Temanite, My wrath is kindled against thee, and against thy two friends: for ye have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job hath.
8 Therefore take unto you now seven bullocks and seven rams, and go to my servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering; and my servant Job shall pray for you: for him will I accept: lest I deal with you after your folly, in that ye have not spoken of me the thing which is right, like my servant Job.
9 So Eliphaz the Temanite and Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite went, and did according as the Lord commanded them: the Lord also accepted Job.
10 And the Lord turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before.
10 And the Lord turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before.
captivity = bondage,, servitude,, slavery,, thralldom, subjection, imprisonment, confinement, incarceration.
Job was trapped, enslaved, confined, and imprisoned in this trial. He was subjected to and had no authority over what was happening to him. He was incarcerated in a place he did not want to be. Yet, through it all he did not charge God foolishly, but remembered that God is God and He has a right to do what He will, what He deems good and right for our lives.
When was Job released from this bondage?...not when He cried for mercy, or for understanding, or declared God's righteousness, but when He prayed for His friends with their problems and afflictions..when he cried out for others.... even while he himself was still in the midst of his trial,.....that's when God "turned the captivity of Job."
sometimes it's hard to focus on others when our own lives are being bombarded with fiery darts from the devil...but if we can pray for others and their problems then we show forth the love of Christ and the devil doesn't like to hang out around loving christians anyway--so, God just sends him on his way-- after he has seen what the love of Christ can do in someone's life.
Sister Evelyn sings this song--"God Will Take Care of You" a portion of it reads:

No matter what may be the test,
God will take care of you;
Lean, weary one, upon His breast,
God will take care of you.
God will take care of you,
Through every day, o’er all the way;
He will take care of you,
God will take care of you.
So, today--pray for others, try and take the focus off of self, and let God turn your captivity.
In Christ and for His honor and glory................

 

Go to Church and be Blessed--Isaiah 58:13-14 

Isaiah 58: 13-14...If thou turn away thou foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words.

Then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father; for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.

When I read these verses it seems pretty clear what the Lord is saying; we need to stop spoiling our flesh on Sundays..."nor finding thine own pleasure."  (Talk about being relevant to todays times.)  Someone just remarked this weekend how their church, which at one time easily held hundreds during church, only had five members this past Sunday and three of them were members of his own family. We, as a nation, are abandoning the old paths and the results can be seen in society today.

Then the verse says..."not doing thine own ways,"  'Change' is the word of this generation. Change isn't always a good thing.  I think God intended His house to be a house of worship and to worship HIM.  I don't think God's house was to imitate a worldly concert venue, a circus act with clowns and cotton candy, nor is it "Have it Your Way" day.  God's House is a house of order.  Yes, the Holy Spirit should have free reign but not man.   

The verse also says ..."nor speaking thine own words."  We have the very Words of God in our hands--maybe that's why some are leaving the church...I can listen to man's words anywhere so what's the point of 'being in church'.

But these verses also go along with the chapters before it and it is also talking about people that were just going through the motions.  They were coming to church but they had no closeness with God.  They were where they were suppose to be on the right day, but they had no relationship with God. They were going through the motions and wanted it to count as sacrifice.  WOW! That was deep. 

... "and call the Sabbath a delight."  Are we really happy that it is Sunday and..and we get to spend it in church?  Do we delight in this? Delight means: great joy, pleasure, rejoice at. 

Have you ever planned a trip and went to bed at night excited about where you were going the next day, you couldn't hardly sleep you were so happy about it, then you got up early to get dressed and were just smiling the whole time?  Is that the way we go to church?  If it wasn't comparable then I think we fall short of what God wants us to be like on Sunday. I think He wants us to look forward to visiting with Him at His house.  I know I want that from my family - I want them to be glad to see me, not just duty visit.

Then, if we do these things, God said He would bless us. He should be able to expect this of us just out of our love for Him, but out of His goodness He will also bless us if we do it.  God is good!!!

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