White Rock Baptist Church Blog

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Thoughts

Posted Monday, April 09, 2018

09Apr

Self-awareness is good, but sometimes self-awareness isn’t good enough. Awareness of what GOD sees is even better.
Sermon: "From one spiritual knucklehead to another"

Rev. Sedrick Jones
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Verse for Reflection

Posted Tuesday, April 03, 2018

03Apr

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

Ephesians 6:10-12
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Thoughts

Posted Tuesday, April 03, 2018

03Apr

"Jesus, on the cross, is teaching us to suffer and sacrifice for others" Meditation: The Seven Last Words of Christ 

Reverend Donna Jones
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The Gist of the Church School Lesson

Posted Saturday, March 31, 2018

31Mar

The Lord Will Provide Read: Genesis 22.1-24

Isaac said to his father Abraham, “Father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” He said, “The fire and the wood are here, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” Abraham said, “God himself will provide the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.”

Genesis 22.7-8 (NRSV)

The Lord called Abram out of Haran and made a covenant with him. God promised him a land, many descendants, renown, protection, blessings and a destiny involving all nations (Genesis 12.1-3). Twenty-five years or so later, Isaac was born, as promised (Genesis 21.1-3). This birth should have been the pinnacle of Abraham’s story. Instead, in Genesis 22, we have the puzzling, and troubling, story of Abraham’ sacrifice of Isaac. Why would God fulfill the promise then ask Abraham to give it up?

What an ordeal. Abraham received a message from God to sacrifice his son, Isaac. (Normally, human sacrifice would have been unacceptable, so this must be some sort of test.) Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled the donkey, gathered wood, the knife, two servants and his son and set out for Mount Moriah. (The Scripture does not tell us if Abraham woke his wife, Sarah, to inform her of his destination and his intent; do you think he left without stirring her?) Abraham and Isaac walked the final distance to the mount alone. Isaac asked his father about the lamb for sacrifice and Abraham replied, “God will provide the sacrifice.” When they arrived at the site, Abraham secured his son to the altar and raised his hand, without hesitation, to offer up Isaac. But an angel of the Lord stayed his hand. Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me (Genesis 22:12).

This was a test of Abraham’s faith. And he passed, exceedingly so. Abraham exhibited not only his obedience to God but also his trust. His detailed actions demonstrated that he was totally prepared to sacrifice his son until God provided a substitute. Abraham also showed how much his faith had grown since his call. No doubt, he loved Isaac but his confidence was in God the giver, not Isaac, the gift. Abraham believed and he renamed that spot Jehovah jireh, “the Lord will provide” (Genesis 22.14).


Reverend Steven B. Lawrence

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The Gist of the Church School Lesson

Posted Tuesday, March 27, 2018

27Mar

A Good Fight of Faith Read: First Timothy 6:11-21

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and in their eagerness to be rich some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pains. But as for you, man of God, shun all this; pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, gentleness.

First Timothy 6.10-11 (NRSV)

The letters to Timothy and Titus are called Pastoral Epistles. They contain encouragement and instructions from the Apostle Paul to his (young?) associates—Timothy in Ephesus and Titus in Crete. Technically, these men were not pastors but rather Paul’s representatives with authority to act in the churches on his behalf. Perhaps more than any other New Testament epistles, these books remind us that what for us is holy scripture, was at one point merely personal correspondence from a mentor to his students.

In Ephesus, Timothy was beset by some who think that godliness is a means of gain (First Timothy 6.5). Greek teachers always charged for their instruction, why not Christians? Even though Paul reminded Timothy we brought nothing into the world, so that we can take nothing out of it; some were not content with food and clothing; they had a desire for possessions (v. 7). This passage is one of the strongest rebukes against covetousness in the scriptures. The Apostle confessed that the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and in their eagerness to be rich some have wandered away from the faith (v. 10). And so Paul’s advice to Timothy was simple and straightforward: shun all this and pursue righteousness. (v. 11). Paul was conceding that some temptations are so insidious, so subtle, that the only way to resist them is to get away from them. It is also important not only to run from something but to run toward something else. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, gentleness (v. 11). These items are not new (Galatians 5.22-23). They are the attitudes and behaviors a believer employs to fight the good fight of the faith (v. 12). Here Paul uses one of his favorite analogies and compares living the Christian life with the energy and intense discipline of a trained athlete.

Paul’s personal instructions still have weight and truth today. In an era where the Christian faith has been tied so closely to material gain, we do well to remember such lures are not easy to resist. We have to fight the good fight of faith

Reverend Steven B. Lawrence

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Thoughts

Posted Sunday, March 25, 2018

25Mar

Our GOD is the one who will love us to life, will gently lead us, the one who will leave the others to come find us. Our GOD loves us so much that he was willing to go to the ends of the earth, through death to come and get us. He loves us to life.

Sermon: "Hear He Comes" - Rev. Donna Jones
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Verse for Reflection

Posted Saturday, March 24, 2018

24Mar

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:38-39
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Verse for Reflection

Posted Friday, March 23, 2018

23Mar

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:38-39
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The Gist of the Church School Lesson

Posted Wednesday, March 21, 2018

21Mar

Faithful Disciples Read: Acts 9.36-43

So Peter got up and went with them; and when he arrived, they took him to the room upstairs. All the widows stood beside him, weeping and showing tunics and other clothing that Dorcas had made while she was with them. Peter put all of them outside, and then he knelt down and prayed. He turned to the body and said, “Tabitha, get up.” Then she opened her eyes, and seeing Peter, she sat up.

Acts 9.39-40 (NRSV)

Luke wrote the Acts of the Apostles, the second volume to his gospel, to record the birth and growth of the early church. He also wanted to show that the ministry of Jesus was continuing through the ministry of his disciples. In this lesson, we follow Peter as he travels to an unexpected place and serves an unexpected people.

After the death of Stephen (Acts 7.54-60), the other Hellenist Jews (Acts 6.1) were persecuted and forced out of Jerusalem. Philip (not the apostle, but the Hellenist “deacon” in Acts 6.5) went to Samaria where his preaching and healing was well received. The Samaritan accepted the word of God; when the news reached Jerusalem the apostles sent Peter and John to investigate. Sure enough, when Peter and John prayed for the Samaritans and laid hands on them, they received the Holy Spirit. The apostles returned to Jerusalem, proclaiming the word as they went. Peter stopped at Lydda and healed Aeneas a man paralyzed for eight years. It happened that in nearby Joppa, a faithful, young woman named Tabitha had just died. Tabitha was also called Dorcas. (Her double name, one Hebrew and one Greek, showed she was known by both Jews and Gentiles). Peter was asked to come quickly; the saints in Joppa hoped for a miracle. Peter was greeted in Joppa by the widows who had been greatly blessed by the kind service of Dorcas. Peter cleared the room (like Jesus, Mark 5.38-41), took the hand of the young woman and prayed. By the power of Jesus Christ, Tabitha rose up and was restored to that church.

No doubt Tabitha became a believer through the preaching of Philip in Samaria (Joppa is in Samaria). She was a beloved minister to the widows there. It is ironic that Peter, who refused to serve the Hellenist widows in Jerusalem (Acts 6.1), did a service for them in Joppa by raising Tabitha. In a foreign territory, Peter discovered a faithful disciple.

Reverend Steven B. Lawrence

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The Gist of the Church School Lesson

Posted Wednesday, March 21, 2018

21Mar

Faithful Disciples Read: Acts 9.36-43

So Peter got up and went with them; and when he arrived, they took him to the room upstairs. All the widows stood beside him, weeping and showing tunics and other clothing that Dorcas had made while she was with them. Peter put all of them outside, and then he knelt down and prayed. He turned to the body and said, “Tabitha, get up.” Then she opened her eyes, and seeing Peter, she sat up.

Acts 9.39-40 (NRSV)

Luke wrote the Acts of the Apostles, the second volume to his gospel, to record the birth and growth of the early church. He also wanted to show that the ministry of Jesus was continuing through the ministry of his disciples. In this lesson, we follow Peter as he travels to an unexpected place and serves an unexpected people.

After the death of Stephen (Acts 7.54-60), the other Hellenist Jews (Acts 6.1) were persecuted and forced out of Jerusalem. Philip (not the apostle, but the Hellenist “deacon” in Acts 6.5) went to Samaria where his preaching and healing was well received. The Samaritan accepted the word of God; when the news reached Jerusalem the apostles sent Peter and John to investigate. Sure enough, when Peter and John prayed for the Samaritans and laid hands on them, they received the Holy Spirit. The apostles returned to Jerusalem, proclaiming the word as they went. Peter stopped at Lydda and healed Aeneas a man paralyzed for eight years. It happened that in nearby Joppa, a faithful, young woman named Tabitha had just died. Tabitha was also called Dorcas. (Her double name, one Hebrew and one Greek, showed she was known by both Jews and Gentiles). Peter was asked to come quickly; the saints in Joppa hoped for a miracle. Peter was greeted in Joppa by the widows who had been greatly blessed by the kind service of Dorcas. Peter cleared the room (like Jesus, Mark 5.38-41), took the hand of the young woman and prayed. By the power of Jesus Christ, Tabitha rose up and was restored to that church.

No doubt Tabitha became a believer through the preaching of Philip in Samaria (Joppa is in Samaria). She was a beloved minister to the widows there. It is ironic that Peter, who refused to serve the Hellenist widows in Jerusalem (Acts 6.1), did a service for them in Joppa by raising Tabitha. In a foreign territory, Peter discovered a faithful disciple.

Reverend Steven B. Lawrence