Devotional for March 28, 2020

Devotional for March 28, 2020
Pastor Bill Pursley, EBCWF

Well, our power was out for several hours this morning and as I sat there in the dark waiting on the sun to rise or the electricity to come back on whichever came first. Which by the way was the sun. I realized God has given us another day to live. So I went and read the creation story.
Genesis 1:1-5 New International Version (NIV)

1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. 3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.

God was before time began. In fact He started time as we humans know it. He is still in charge of all things He created.

As we look down the barrel of the corona virus, we can’t forget who is mightier than this sickness. Let’s pray That His will be done, because we know what God’s great will is.

Jesus modeled a prayer that takes our mind’s eye off of the physical & the unknown, and He places our focus on what never changes & from where our hope comes.

Matthew 6:9-13
9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. 10 Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heave. 11 Give us this day our daily bread.12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

The model prayer isn’t a magical formula to immediately give us victory, but it Instead puts the burden of our life on the shoulders of the One who created it,Jesus.

In the Lord’s prayer we also are praying for sustenance, mercy, & help. Jesus is taking all of our worldly views, & putting them on Father God.

Q- Who do we rely on for food?
I’m telling you, with all the restaurants closing up some fear for starvation But They’re not the one’s who feed us.
God is the One who made the way for us to eat.
If That way closes up, God will make another.

John 16:33
33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

  • For anyone who’s saved by Jesus, He will keep those in whom he has! He has never failed & never will!

So, let me close now with a memo from God.

From: God

To: All His Children

I am God.

Today, I will be handling all of your problems. Please remember that I do not need your help.

If life happens to deliver a situation to you that you cannot handle, do not attempt to resolve it. Kindly put it in the SFGTD (something for God to do) box. ALL situations will be resolved in My time, not yours.Once the matter is placed into the box, do not hold onto it by worrying about it. Instead, focus on all the wonderful things that are present in your life now.

Let’s put stress aside & let God carry us through.

Love in the name of Jesus

Pastor Bill

Devotional for March 27, 2020

Devotional for March 27, 2020

Youth Pastor Jeff Hughes, EBCWF

Have you ever had a bad day?  Of course you have, we all have.  When that happens, what do you do?  How do you handle it?  Next time your day goes downhill, here is what you do.  Cover yourself in the grace of God.  Soak your day in His love.  Immerse your mind in His mercy.

Remember, Christ has already paid your debts and settled your accounts.  The Bible says, “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.” – 1 Peter 2:24 ESV.  Christ died for our sins, in our place, so we would not have to suffer the punishment we deserve.

When you lose your temper, Christ intervenes and says, “I paid for that”.  When Satan reminds you of your past, your Savior speaks up and says, “My death covered that”.  As you continue to sin, Jesus stands before Heaven, points to the cross, and says “My blood was spilled for every sin and sinner”.

What a gift He has given you.  All you have to do is accept it and follow Him.  It’s like winning the lottery without ever having to buy a ticket!  Once you accept Christ, your soul is secure and your salvation is guaranteed.  Your name is written in the only book that matters.  What more do you need?

Do you understand how great this news is?  You may flunk the quiz, but you’ve already aced the final.  No matter how many problems you face today, you know that they won’t matter tomorrow.  God has already taken care of it!

This world is temporary.  The problems of this world are temporary.  God’s love, grace, and mercy are eternal!

As we continue to navigate through these troubled times please do not forget that God is still with us.  He has not gone anywhere.  He is still in control!

Keep being the Church and spreading the Good News!

Love you guys!

Bro. Jeff Hughes

Devotional for March 26, 2020

Devotional for March 26, 2020

Do you know the story of Joshua and how the wall of Jericho fell down after the Israelite’s marched around it once a day for six days, then 7 times on the seventh day? Why not just walk around Jericho one time?

I think it was because God was testing their faith. God was teaching them that waiting time is not wasted time. Isaiah 28:16 says, “He that believes shall not make haste.”

God is never in a hurry like we are. We get upset when we miss an elevator door! God is also never late. He knows what He is doing. Do you know what our problem is? We’ve been around Jericho six times and we’re ready to quit.

We need to say what King David said in Psalm 62:5: “My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from Him.” Waiting time is not wasted time.”

God is still teaching us to wait on Him. That’s how He is working in our lives.Whether we’ve walked the wall once or six times we need to remain faithful that God will, in His time, complete what He has started.

You can trust Jesus to save you, strengthen you, and keep working in your life until He takes you home to Heaven.

Put your trust in Jesus Christ, and keep trusting the Lord through every struggle you face. This to shall pass.

Because He lives I serve,

Pastor Bill

Devotional for March 25, 2020

Devotional for March 25, 2020
Youth Pastor Jeff Hughes, EBCWF

The world is a busy place. We are always in a hurry but if this pandemic has taught us anything over the past few days it’s that we need to slow down. Jesus understands the craziness of life because people booked his calendar with demands. They brought him more than just sick bodies and searching souls. They brought him agendas, itineraries, and unsolicited advice. They do the same with us. Just look behind you. The demanding world is one step back trying to tell us where to spend our time and how to live our life.

We need to slow down, take a breath, and hit the pause button. We need to follow the example of Jesus. Luke 4:42 (ESV) says “And when it was day, he departed and went into a desolate place.” Jesus was seeking peace to think, ponder, and pray. He had to get up early just to get some time alone. If Jesus needed quiet time, how much more is this true for us?

Don’t become so busy that life turns into a flurry of activity leaving no room for time alone with God. No matter how much you have to do, you should always have time for prayer.

However, we need to keep in mind that our battle with prayer is not entirely our fault. Satan seeks to interrupt our prayers and time with God. Why? Because he knows what happens when we talk to God. “For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.” 2 Corinthians 10:4 (ESV). Satan does not stutter or stumble when we live of the world but the walls of hell shake when a faithful heart prays to God. You see, God’s weapons are much more powerful than ours and the devil knows it!

Satan flees when we move forward in prayer. “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” – James 4:7-8 (ESV).

So, let’s do it! Pray, pray often, and pray without ceasing! Take time out of your busy day to pause and recharge by praying and praising God.

God rested after 6 days of work and the world didn’t collapse. What makes us think that it will if we do?

Devotional for March 24, 2020

Devotional for March 24

Pastor Bill Burlsey, EBCWF

My friends, this morning I want to share with you some good news. The gospel is this…we are sinful, but Christ has taken the punishment for you. The penalty of our wrong-doing was placed on Him. It is by His stripes we are healed. He loved us so much, and wanted to restore the relationship between sinful man and Holy God so much, that He offered His own life as a substitute for ours.

This past week, I was reading over some “less preached on” books of the Old Testament. There the LORD brought to my attention a 3:16 verse. Not John 3:16, but Zephaniah 3:16. God tells us…

“Do not fear; Zion, let not your hands be weak.

17The Lord your God in your midst,

The Mighty One, will save;

He will rejoice over you with gladness,

He will quiet you with His love,

He will rejoice over you with singing.”

(Zephaniah 3:16-17)

People often asked me why I get excited or emotional when I preach sometimes. I can’t help it. When I think of how unworthy I am, but God still chose to die for me so that I could stand forgiven, that makes me excited. When I think of the love that He showed this poor sinner, that’s enough to make me happy.

My friends, if we chose to confess our sins, believe on the sacrifice of Jesus, having went to the cross for our sins, died for our sins, took the punishment for sin for us, poured his blood out to forgive us, and rose again from the dead. If we believe this and daily do our best to live what we believe, we have pressed the reset button. Now we are born again.

As a minister, I can see the good in everyone, but I don’t know your heart. Only God knows that. I want to tell you this simple truth. For those that are partially committed or have never made a commitment to follow Christ, I want to tell you before its too late. You need to get serious with the LORD. You are not promised a tomorrow. You need to know today where you’ll be tomorrow. If today was your last day, do you know for certain that heaven awaits you?

There is a way you can know. The Bible tells us to repent. That means that we know we’ve done wrong, confess it to Christ, and stop living the wrong way.

The good thing for believers is that God’s love for us never changes (Deuteronomy 7:9). It never diminishes; it never goes away (Psalm 37:28). If you have lost your spark with Jesus Christ, know that it’s easy to fall right back in love. When you pause to understand why your faith has struggled, and make an action plan on how to get back into the faith, you will soon find yourself a stronger Christian than ever before.

The Bible tells us…

“For the Lord your God is a compassionate God; He will not fail you nor destroy you nor forget the covenant with your fathers which He swore to them.(Deuteronomy 4:31)

“I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
(Matthew 28:20)

God isn’t mad at you. God is mad about you! No one will ever love you more than the Creator who made you. God the Father created you, Jesus the Son died for you, and God’s Spirit wants to live in you. He wants nothing more than for fellowship to be restored with you. So where are you spiritually today? Do you need a reset? Do you need to restart your relationship with Him? Has your fire for Him slowly died, well today is the day to restart it.

My friends in this life,we are all outside the presence of God until we have Christ in our life. We all have a need in this life that only Jesus can fix. The Bible tells us that we all have a sin problem. Unless we confess Jesus, we’ll never make it into the presence of God.

I pray today that God touches your life and you feel His presence greater today than yesterday.

Until next time, God bless you and yours real good.

Pastor Bill

Devotional for March 23, 2020

Devotional for Monday, March 23
Youth Pastor Jeff Hughes, EBCWF

One thing is obvious, the world needs Jesus now more than ever. Our last two devotionals have focused on one common theme: Do not be afraid because God is in control! This one is no different! God is with us ALWAYS, even through adversity.

In the book of Acts, Peter and John were arrested and jailed after preaching the Gospel of Christ because the Sadducees did not believe in the resurrection of the dead. After their arrest, Peter and John were called to stand before the council and explain themselves. Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, continued to preach boldly the message of Jesus to them.

The focal passage for us today is verse Acts 4:13: “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus.”

Knowing that Peter and John were unschooled, the council was amazed at what being with Jesus had done for them. A changed life convinces people of Christ’s power. One of your greatest testimonies is the difference others see in your life and attitudes since you have believed in Christ.

Peter and John had lingered long and delightfully in the presence of the resurrected King, awakening with Him and walking with Him. Since they had done that, silence was no longer an option. In verse 20, they said “for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard. “

In times of trouble, instead of living in fear, we are to remain bold and provide hope. We are the Church! We are called to spread the Good News of Christ. People are searching and JESUS IS THE ANSWER!

We may sometimes be afraid to share our faith in Christ because people may feel uncomfortable or reject us. But Peter and John’s excitement for the Lord was so strong that they could not keep quiet, even when threatened. If your courage to witness for God has weakened, pray that your boldness may increase. Remember Jesus’ promise, “So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 10:32

So, how can we prepare ourselves? It’s simple! We are to imitate the disciples and linger long and often in the presence of Christ.

We are to:
• Meditate on His grace
• Ponder His love
• Memorize His words
• Gaze into His face
• Talk to Him

Courage comes as we live with Jesus. As we meditate on Christ’s life, we find strength for our own.

So, if you find yourself feeling fearful about tomorrow, do like the disciples and spend time with Jesus: talk to Him, read His words, and reflect on His life and love for you. He has power and strength like no other, and He is more than willing to share it with you.

Pray for comfort and healing through these difficult times. Also, pray for boldness that others will see Jesus in you and the lost will be saved!

Stay strong Church! God’s got this!
Love you guys!

Bro. Jeff

Devotional for March 22, 2020

Devotional for March 22, 2020
Pastor Bill Pursley, EBCWF

PREFACE: As we get though this difficult time, Brother Jeff Hughes and I felt it was necessary to keep our congregation, and those visiting this page, engaged and encouraged while we are unable to open our physical doors. We will be posting frequent devotionals to this page reminding the devil, once again, that the building is just a building and that WE ARE THE CHURCH!

My sermon his morning was titled “Forsaken by God.” Although I will not be preaching it, I feel there are some great thoughts we could absorb from it.

Many folks may feel forsaken today. Maybe by God or by family or friends.

Mathew 27:45-46 are a couple of verses that talk of a time when Jesus himself had felt betrayed or forsaken.

45 From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land. 46 About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).

My friends God was in control then and He is in control right now. It is becoming apparent that there are many things this world that we have absolutely no control over. One week ago life was somewhat normal. We met for our midweek service with no clue that within a few days we would be faced with the decision whether or not to cancel church services indefinitely. There is global chaos due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Fear has gripped our land, many businesses have closed their doors, the stock market is unstable. the economy may be headed for another recession. and to top it off our national debt is over 23 trillion dollars.

Even before the current situation we had numerous problems: Social security is going bankrupt, wages are stagnant, and healthcare is unaffordable.Our service men and women are in harms way all over the world.

There are wars and rumors of more wars. Mass shootings are commonplace, our country is becoming increasingly divided; we live in a world filled with trouble, turmoil, difficulty and uncertainty. Things are bad and seem to be getting worse.

I would like to remind you Who is in control. It is not the republican or democrat party. Nor is it the governor, the congress, the Supreme Court or even the President. God Almighty is, always has been and always will be in control! When you are tempted to fear remember that your Heavenly Father is supreme in authority!

1) He is Omniscient – He knows all.

2) He is Omnipotent – He is all powerful.

3) He is Omnipresent – He is everywhere at all times.

God is the supreme authority in History, and, He is the supreme authority in our lives.

God is still in control today and He still has a sovereign plan. God has a sovereign plan for this world. God has a sovereign plan for the Bride of Christ. God has a sovereign plan for the future. God has a sovereign plan for eternity. God has a sovereign plan for this church. And God has a sovereign plan for you as an individual.

God even has a plan for us in the midst of this pandemic. Even if we are unable to assemble together as we normally would, God still expects us to BE THE CHURCH. There is a work for us to do in times such as these.

Join me in prayer each day and pray that God will keep us strong as individuals and as a church in these days ahead.

Love you all and God bless,
Pastor Bill

Devotional for March 21, 2020

Devotional for Saturday, March 21
Youth Pastor Jeff Hughes, EBCWF

PREFACE: As we get though this difficult time, Brother Bill and I felt it was necessary to keep our congregation, and those visiting this page, engaged and encouraged while we are unable to open our physical doors. We will be posting frequent devotionals to this page reminding the devil, once again, that the building is just a building and that WE ARE THE CHURCH!

Fear, it seems, has taken the world by storm. But what if I told you that your life didn’t have to be touched by fear? What if faith, not fear, was your first reaction to stress and adversity like the latest COVID-19 pandemic? GOD instructs us many times throughout His Word not to be afraid and He reminds us over and over again that He is in control, OF EVERYTHING!

One story that comes to my mind is when Jesus calmed the storm (Matthew 8:23-27, ESV):

23 And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. 24 And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. 25 And they went and woke him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing.” 26 And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. 27 And the men marveled, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?”

Although the disciples had witnessed many miracles, they panicked in this storm. As experienced sailors, they knew its danger, what they did not know was that Christ could control the forces of nature.

We often encounter storms in our life where we feel like God can’t or won’t work. We have to stop that way of thinking! When we truly understand who God is, we will realize that he controls both the storms of nature and the storms of the trouble heart.

Jesus’ power that calmed the storm can also help us deal with the problems we face. Jesus is willing to help if we only ask him. It’s time for the world to return to God and return to Prayer! We should never discount His power even in terrible trials.

When you become a Christian, it doesn’t mean nothing bad will ever happen to you. Sometimes it seems just the opposite! So what is Jesus saying when he asks why you are afraid? He is reminding you that no matter what you are up against, you’ll walk through it together. Wow, YOU + CHRIST, what an unbeatable combination!

As we close, remember this: There is nothing in front of you that is bigger than the CHRIST IN YOU!

Message From Our Pastor – COVID 19

The Word of God tells us to obey those who have authority over us. Hebrews 13:17 New International Version (NIV)

17 “Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you.”

In accordance with Governor Abbott’s Executive order, and although he did not mention churches, it is with a heavy heart that after much prayer, consideration and counsel, out of an abundance of precaution, I have determined that Emmanuel Baptist Church will suspend all activities until at least April 5th, 2020.

Let us all join in prayer that an end to this crisis will come soon. Stay safe, care for your families and yourself. May God bless us all.

Bro. Bill Purlsey