January Newsletter

Pastor’s Ponderings

Where Are We Headed?

Pastor Brooks Monk

Many reading this have already thought of their resolutions for the new year. I’ve jokingly said that last year I resolved to lose 30 pounds, and I only have 40 more to go. I knew a man who would not do New Year’s Resolutions based on Ecclesiastes 5:4-5. “4When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed. 5Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay.” I have never looked on New Year’s Resolutions as vows to God, but simply goals to attempt. However you feel about New Year’s Resolutions, we all look forward to the coming year with hopes it will be better than 2018. Some of you had a bad year last year. Uncertainty, death, trials, or hardships came your way. Others will look back on 2018 as the best year yet. But what lies ahead for Calvary Baptist Church? The obvious answer is, “Only the Lord knows!” I’ve been asked on occasion, “What is your vision for the church?” I may get in trouble for this answer, but my vision for this church is not important. On the other hand, God’s vision for this church is vitally important. Best of all, He has already given it! The first Sunday will be Vision Sunday. On that Sunday and several Sundays that follow we will look into Scripture to see the church that God intends us to be. We will see who we should be, based on the Lord’s opinion not any man’s opinion! ******************** We had a good laugh about our church sign recently. Knowing that I was on the series “Our Savior Is,” Bro. Matthew put this on the sign. The Lord Is Coming Christmas Sunday 10 AM That sounded a little like we were predicting the Lord would come on December 23. I asked him to change it, and it then read: Sermon Title The Lord Is Coming Christmas Sunday 10 AM I didn’t want people to think I was going to preach that the Lord was returning on the 23rd, so he changed it one more time. Christmas Sunday 10 AM Sermon Title The Lord Is Coming ******************** Just a reminder that the final two Sundays of December we will have a combined morning service at 10:00AM. We will not have Sunday School or evening services either week. We will see you there! ******************** I write this after preaching from Isaiah, chapter 7, on December 19. The chapter is famous for verse 14. But I want to concentrate on the rest of the story for right now. The southern kingdom of Judah had a wicked king named Ahaz in charge. Two kingdoms to his north, Syria and Israel, had joined forces to fight against the much larger nation of Assyria. When they approached Ahaz about joining them in the fight, he refused. So rather than attacking Assyria, Syria and Israel attacked Judah (I know, this is all pretty confusing, so I’ll cut to the chase). God sent Isaiah to Ahaz and told him, “Fear not, neither be fainthearted.” Syria and Israel threatened to defeat Judah and replace Ahaz as king. But the Lord said, “It shall not stand, neither shall it come to pass.” The Lord clearly tells Ahaz not to worry. To use a common phrase today, God tells the king of Judah, “Don’t worry, I’ve got this.” Unfortunately Ahaz doesn’t believe Jehovah, so Isaiah, speaking for the Lord, says, “If ye will not believe, surely ye shall not be established.” The opposite could also be said. “If you believe, you will be established.” Did you know we are told the same thing in the New Testament? Jesus said, “If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.” But the author of Hebrew wrote, “without faith it is impossible to please him.” Faith makes everything possible, but doubt makes everything impossible. Will we truly trust God in 2019? Your life will go nowhere unless you do. He has promised to be there for you. He has promised never to leave you. He has promised to supply all your need. Believe Him, and you will be established! ******************** 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