February Month 2011

Friday, February 25th, 2011

"Rebuke not an elder but entreat him as a father, and the younger men as brethren: The elder women as mothers: the younger as sisters, with all purit. Honor widows that are widows indeed. -1st Timothy 5:1-3

We call them old, old people, senior citizens , we ignore them and too many times disrespect them. They have been the building blocks of our past, the ones who suffered that we might have success. When we as believers are looking for heroes we should look no further than the elder women and men of our churches. Yet in many cases we fell to give them their due.

Paul encourages his Son in the ministry, Timothy that there is an expectation on how the elders and the young in the church should treat one another. Even though there are younger believers in leadership roles they must not embarrass or rebuke an elder, rather treat them as a father. He does not say treat them as your father, but rather as a father in the eyes of God. A father by biblical standards is wise, respectful, a provider, a loving leader and an authority figure in the Kingdom of God. Likewise a mother in the kingdom has a great responsibility to be nourishing, kind and comforting to the young believers. Giving them guidance and showing them love that that Lord has shown has for her Lord.

Ephesians 6 says for children to honor thy mother and they father. This applies to God’s children; the church should honor its elders as mothers and fathers of the church. Consider who your responsibility as a child of God, as a member of the family of God. He expects us to show respect and to give honor. When we consider the elders of our church we must ask ourselves "Do we give them their due?"

Pastor SP Courtney

Friday, February 11th, 2011

"From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. Then said Jesus unto thetwelve, Will ye also go away?. -John 6:66-67

These words from Jesus to the disciples fly like arrows of judgment into the heart of unrighteousness. As the economic clouds begin to clear and people are getting back to work it appears they are also going back to the world. When we are struggling and going through difficulty we attend church more frequently. When trials, tribulations and the troubles of life or pressing us on every side we tend to sing louder, praise harder and pray more fervently. When we need the church it is of much more concern to us than when the church is calling us. If Jesus was observing you today, would you be in the group of the disciples leaving or the remaining 12 of whom he presents the question, "Will you also go away?"

It is a difficult time in Jesus ministry as in the preceding verses he was introducing his followers to the crucifixion and His role as sacrificial lamb. He was telling them that they would eat of His flesh and drink of His blood. This was an analogy of the last supper and the sacraments of communion which represents his broken body and the blood shed on Calvary. This was not the plan that they had envisioned. Things were not going the way they wanted it to go yet Jesus was asking them to stay with him. Many of the disciples that had been following him left. They disagreed with his teaching, his theology and they no longer wanted to follow him. What about you, are you still a reliable servant. Do you leave or become disengaged when things don’t go your way.

As we prepare for a new season of changes and the next level of ministry that God has in store for Bethlehem Baptist Church, will you commit to be a disciple and disciple others in the Name of Jesus? Or, "Will you also Go Away?"

Pastor SP Courtney

Friday, February 4th, 2011

And Jesus answering said unto him, It is said, thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. And when the devil had ended all the temptation he departed from him for a season. -Luke 4:12-13

As seasons come and go, believers are often looking for their next victory. However I believe that if we are going to truly be prepared for victory we need to acknowledge our true enemy in warfare. The scripture says that "we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." No matter how good things might be going each season will bring different challenges and obstacles. The prince of darkness is always trying to attack God’s children.

Jesus after fasting for forty days and forty nights is being tempted by the devil and after defeating the devil with the word ended the encounter with a commandment. The text says that the devil departed, but only for a season. Perhaps you have encountered unsuspecting attacks, unexplainable obstacles at times when you thought you were about to get your breakthrough. Perhaps you have just won a spiritual battle where you overcame a sin, or you experienced a new level of faith. Yet instead of celebrating and basting in the moment, you are attacked by a new challenge, a new devil. Paul wrote in 1st Thessalonians 1:3 that he sent to know their faith, his concern was that the tempter may temp them.

You will face temptation from the tempter but if your faith is rooted and grounded in Jesus it will not matter the devil that you face. Yes, our enemy is real, but our God is righteous and he desires to carry us from one season to the next with authority at every level over every devil. "What Devils are you facing this season?"

Pastor SP Courtney