February Newsletter


Pastor’s Ponderings


“A Great Start to a Great Year” 

Pastor Brooks Monk

Thank you for your prayers for me and for Calvary Baptist Church. We have started the year on a high note. Two of our teens who were saved last year got baptized on the first Sunday of January. That same day a couple came to Christ during the service. Two weeks later they were baptized, and last Sunday a wonderful couple joined our church. We began the year with our theme: Renew, Restore, Refresh. Psalm 51:10 states, “Create in me a clean heart, O Lord, and renew a right spirit within me.” If your spirit is poor, if you come to church with a bad attitude, if you gripe and complain without ceasing, you need a right spirit renewed within you. Psalm 51:12b says, “Restore to me the joy of thy salvation.” How we need restoration today. The Psalmist told us to “serve the Lord with gladness, come before his presence with singing” (Psalm 100:2). If you come to church grumpy, if you can’t find anything good going on around you, if a smile rarely crosses your face, you need the joy of God’s salvation restored in your life. The third term, refresh, is found in Acts 3:19 where Peter told the people, “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.” O, how we need to experience God’s refreshing power, and we can if we just repent! ******************** I am excited to announce that online giving is now in place at Calvary. Page 7 of the newsletter has instructions how you can begin giving through our website, and soon through our church app. Next Sunday we should begin livestreaming our 11:00 AM service on our public Facebook page. We also will introduce a church app for your smart-phone or tablet in February. You can also go to our website and listen to recent sermons. Thanks, Evan, for the great work getting all of this in place! ******************** In the month of February, all of my Sunday morning messages will be from Ephesians 4:11-16. This passage contains a description of the church as God intended it to be. Paul states that the Lord gave gifts to the church in the form of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers. These leaders are supposed to equip the saints for the work of the ministry so the church can be built up. God wants us to be unified in our faith and grow to be more like Jesus Christ. If we do this, we won’t be susceptible to all the tricky and crafty teachers who would try to lead us astray. As the truth is spoken in love, we grow up in Jesus Christ. The whole body grows together with everyone doing their part, and we are all built up in love. That description is not a fairy tale. It is God’s design, and I believe that it will be accomplished as we progress with our discipleship program. I have not said much about it lately, and it is in its infancy stage. But as it grows, and more and more members of Calvary are led through a systematic discipleship program, I believe we will see an incredible transformation of both individual lives and the church as a whole. Please continue to pray that we all become true disciples of Jesus Christ, and that we are all equipped for the work of the ministry so that our body of believers is built up. ******************** I want to say a special thanks to all who supported Calvary financially in 2018. I often say before the offering that your giving allows us to take the gospel all over Cleburne and around the world. One of my favorite “promise” verses in the Bible is Philippians 4:19, “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” But we often miss the context of that verse. Paul made it clear beginning at verse 14, that this promise only applied to those who faithfully give to missions through their church. The great apostle even states that the Philippians were the only congregation that consistently gave to him financially. I pray that we will all see God’s supply in our lives as we faithfully give our tithes and offerings. ******************** I have asked from the beginning for you to pray for me and my family in five areas. Thank you for doing so, and please continue to plead with God that I would have: 1) Courage 2) Wisdom 3) Strength 4) Victory 5) Vision