OCTOBER MONTH 2012
HOW DO YOU SEE THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST
But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the Wisdom of God. (1st Cor 1:23-24)
It really does not matter how everyone views the Gospel but it does matter how those who call themselves sons and daughters of God see the Gospel. Often times the church is so concerned with its physical perception that it loses site of its responsibility to the Gospel. We are the keepers and proclaimers of God’s word, especially the Gospel of Jesus Christ. However it is impossible to proclaim what you don’t understand or what you see as foolishness. “How do you see the Gospel of Jesus Christ?” .
The Apostle Paul is advising the church at Corinth that the preaching and teaching of the Gospel is not viewed the same way by everyone. The Jews though they were keepers of the law did not accept the Gospel as the word of God so it was a stumbling block in their relationship with God. The Greeks because they considered themselves highly intelligent thought it foolishness to believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
The fact of the matter is that every believer must make the Gospel its passion, committing to believing and living according to the good news. Paul wrote that this gospel of Jesus Christ is unto the called is both the power and the wisdom of God.
Maybe you struggle with your knowledge of the Holy Bible, If so I believe you should begin with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. His story of redemption, restoration and resurrection. Do you know the Gospel story? Do you know that it begins in Genesis and continues in Revelations. Did you know that the Story has a beginning but no end? “How do you see the Gospel of Jesus Christ?”Pastor SP Courtney
WHEN WILL WE GIVE TOTAL PRAISE
“I will praise thee, O Lord, with my whole heart: I will show forth all thy marvelous works. I will be glad and rejoice in thee I will sing praise to thy name, O thou most High. (Psalm 9:1-2)KJV
We often set out to give God praise, whether in public or private worship, however I am not confident we ever set out to render total praise. Total praise is not about what we are doing it for but rather who we are rendering it to. Total praise is not just about what God has done but it also includes the faith in what he has promised being manifested in our tomorrow. After all that God has done, we should be ready and willing to believe in the possibilities of what He will do in our immediate, distant and eternal future. “When will we give Total Praise?”
The 9th number of Psalms is tied to a series of Psalms referred to as Messianic Psalms because they have some reference to the Jewish Remnant the Song of Man. However its opening is a description of Total Praise. First it is personal because the Psalmist says “I Will Praise”, then it is powerful, “with my whole heart” and finally public “I will show forth all thy marvelous works!” The Psalmist puts all of his heart into his personal praise, making it powerful and then he is willing to publicly demonstrate the goodness of His Lord by showing His works.
The 2nd verse binds the praise into a total package, by proclaiming that the psalmist praise is presented with joy. The fact that we don’t know why or what he is praising for, suggest that the psalmist praise is not only for what the Lord has done but in anticipation of what the Lord is going to do. Every believer should be committed to personal praise, when no one is around, powerful praise encompassing your mind, body and soul. A public praise while rejoicing how good God is. When will we give Total Praise?
Pastor SP Courtney
NOW UNTO HIM
Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy. (Jude 1:24 KJV)
All though only 1 chapter in length the letter ascribed to the Jude the half brother of Jesus is said to be a letter of exhortation to believers and a letter of attack on those who are enemies of God. It is a reassurance to believers that we are firmly planted in the capable hands of our Lord and a warning to them that oppose us that not only is He capable for restoring and delivering us but he is capable of destroying our enemies. Simply put this short passage let’s us know that we are not left to the feeble hands of man but rather we are in the all knowing, all power hands of God. It should feel good to read or say, “NOW UNTO HIM!” .
Jude suggests that first of all he is able to do all that he promised us he will do. He is able to save us from our sins, He is able to give us eternal life, and He is able to wash us in the blood of the lamb. His ability is not only to pick us up but it prevents us from falling. Not only will God keep us from falling into difficulty and despair in the future but he can also cover our sins and present us faultless before the presence of our God. When he presents us it is not with disappointment or disapproval but rather it is with exceeding Joy.
Once again , who he is causes him to present us not according to our circumstances or our purpose but rather he presents us according to His love. This is the nature of our God to have joy so he presents us with exceeding joy. God has created an environment of praise that only he can manifest in our lives. Who will you trust and who will you turn to in this season? My decision is made, (“NOW UNTO HIM!”)
Pastor SP Courtney
PASTOR'S 6TH YEAR ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION
It is a privilege and an honor to serve as the humble servant of the “House of Bread”. The Historic Bethlehem Baptist Church is a warm, loving and caring place where my family and I have been placed by the divine power and person, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We are grateful for the follow-ship, fellowship and faithful membership of this great church. Since our arrival, God has blessed us to see our church grow spiritually, numerically and financially. We have developed new ministries, and we have seen our praise and participation increased to the Glory of God.
I would like to thank my family for the love and support, for tolerating and tagging along as we traveled to and fro doing the will of the father. You have been faithful and it is a blessing to be your Pastor, husband and father. This year completes 6 years in this vineyard, yet we know God is not through with us yet. A special thanks to my wife Deadra, we will soon celebrate 18 years of a joyful and blessed marriage. Our daughters Natalie and Madison are becoming beautiful and exceptional young ladies who love God and are doing well in school and their many endeavors. We are so grateful to God for blessing us with these beautiful gifts from on high. Thank you to all of our friends and relatives near and far.
A special thanks to my Mother and siblings who from afar have given encouragement and support even when they are unable to physically be present. While the last year has been challenging and sometimes quite difficult, we are grateful that God saw fit to stretch us and strengthen us on our journey. Through our trials and tribulations we feel stronger because of our struggle.
As Pastor I wish to extend my heartfelt thanks and appreciation to the Board of Deacons, the Deaconess, the Ministry leaders and entire membership of Bethlehem, I pray that as we continue our journey we will embrace and explore our future through faith in God and love for one another. We also extend a special thanks to Pastor Robert Townsend and the Mt. Pisgah Baptist church for their love and support.
Pastor SP Courtney