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Pastor's Points - February

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Dear Church Family,

We are entering a very exciting season in the life of our church.  Exciting things are getting ready to take place.  We are getting ready to take action to keep pace with the movement of God.  But as we prepare ourselves for this we are first going to have to wait. I do not know about you but waiting is not one of my strong suits.
Rick Ezell shares this about waiting…

“No one likes to wait. But we wait in traffic, in carpool lines, in holding patterns, in grocery stores, for the doctor, for a spouse, for a baby, for retirement, for sermons to get over, or for Jesus to return. 

Waiting is not just something we have to do while we get what we want. Waiting is the process of becoming what God wants us to be. What God does in us while we wait is as important as what it is, we are waiting for. Waiting, biblical waiting, is not a passive waiting around for something to happen that will allow us to escape our troubles. Waiting does not mean doing nothing. It is not fatalistic resignation. It is not a way to evade
unpleasant reality.

Those who wait are those who work, because they know their work is not in vain. The farmer can wait all summer for his harvest because he has done his work of sowing the seed and watering the plants. Those who wait on God can go about their assigned tasks, confident that God will provide the meaning and conclusions to their lives and the harvest to their toil. Waiting is the confident, disciplined, expectant, active, and sometimes painful clinging to God. It knows that we will reap a reward.”

As a church we are waiting to close on our property and gain possession of it.  We are waiting on God as we prepare to enter into the time of raising funds for God’s plan, we are waiting for the building plans to be drawn, and now we are even waiting upon the Lord to show us the next worship pastor He has for us.  But while we are waiting, we can be assured that God is moving.  He is going to work all these things out for our good and His glory!  I know this because He has been faithful to do it many times in the past.  And He is going to do it again!!

So, as we wait there is one main thing we can do.  PRAY!!  Let’s pray like never before and ask God to do things that only He can do!  Let’s ask Him to do things that will only bring Him glory!  And let’s ask Him to do things that will require us to put our full trust in Him as we go forward together as a church family!!  Let scripture encourage you during this season of waiting.

Psalm 27:13-14
 
I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living! Wait for the Lord; be strong and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!

Lamentations 3:25
 
The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.

Proverbs 3:5-6
 
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

I love you and I love being your pastor!

 

Posted by Alan Scott with

Spare Change - February

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Combat False Teaching by Studying of God’s Word

Recently, we have been diving into 1 & 2 Timothy during our Wednesday Lunch Bible Studies.  This has been a great reminder to me of the importance of these two books. They are written to Timothy, a young pastor and prodigy of Paul.  Paul fearing that his life may end soon wants to impart knowledge that Timothy will need to carry on the legacy. One of the themes that is found in both of these books deals with adhering to and defending God’s Word.

I think Paul understands that people like to change things.  A foundational characteristic of people is our desire to upgrade, update, or improve virtually anything.  Buildings, technology, clothing, even ourselves are all things we like to improve. There are many things we should improve, but the truth of God’s Word is not one of them.

There is a temptation, or pressure, to come up with something new in the world of Christian religion.  The old stuff is boring, people have heard the stories, they know the instruction, they need something new, bigger, flashier.  This is the kind of thinking that many false teachers start with. I am sure that many are genuinely nice people that want to connect with people and create a following of their own.  They just find a way to "tweak" or "update" the truth of God. Some teachers might just simply take scripture and contextualize it to the here and now. Seems harmless right? The problem is that culture is always changing, it can’t make up its mind what it believes half the time.  However, we do know it is always skewing away from God’s truth. So, if we begin to interpret God’s Word by what is happening now, instead of how the author meant it we end up with false teaching.

This can happen very simply by well-meaning Christians not taking the time to study God’s Word.  When we don’t take time to study we can be tricked by false teachers. It is not hard to trick people, that haven’t been in the Bible, to believe a false interpretation.  That is why I am glad we challenge people by going through books of the Bible in our sermons and dive deeper into them in our Life Groups. We have trained people on how to read and handle the Word.  We're trying to do what Paul told Timothy in 2 Timothy 1:13-14:

“Follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you.”

Christians need to know the Word and develop a theological background so when a false teacher crops up, they will be able to recognize it.  Our church holds to the Baptist Faith & Message as a basic theological belief. This is a good starting point. Check it out on our website at oakhillbc.org/about-us/what-we-believe/ and read the scripture listed with the statement and see how the entirety of God’s Word informs our belief system.
  
When you think you might be listening to a false teacher, compare them to 1 Timothy 6:2-10.  Paul has a great profile of how a false teacher operates. God has also provided the Holy Spirit to help us. Make sure to ask the Holy Spirit to help you discern the good teachers from the false ones. One simple way is; if all they do is make you feel good or give you warm fuzzies you might want to check them out closer.  A true Bible teacher will challenge and encourage you.
  
We do need other resources when we study the Bible.  We just need to be discerning on who we learn from. Find good resources like desiringgod.org or ligonier.org.  There are many others out there but that is a great starting point.  

God wants us to be people of the Book!  He wants us to study and know it, not just have a surface knowledge, but He wants us to wrestle with the truths found in His Word so He can shape us into Christlike believers.  I pray you take time to really study God’s Word this week! 

Posted by Bryan Gotcher with

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