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

 

2020 Youth Camp Dates Announced

ATTENTION Students & Parents:

Dates for 2020 Summer Youth Camp are June 22-26 @ Camp Chaparral!!! Mark your calendars!

More information coming soon!!!

Camp Pastor Daniel “Tiny” Dominguez

Camp Worship Stomptown Revival

VBS July 29-Aug 2

Vacation Bible School for ages 3 – 5th grade will be Monday, July 29, thru Friday, August 2, from 6:00pm-8:45pm.  Don’t miss this awesome event!!!

GA’s Swim Party

GA’s will be having a swim party on Wednesday, July 11, from 5:30pm-7:30pm at Susan Robertson’s house.

See Cheryl Dodson for more information.