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December 30, 2020 7:00 am
Good evening to you again this evening from beacon Baptist Church come together to conduct a Wednesday night midweek service. Thank you for joining me.
It is the last Wednesday night of 2020 and been doing some thoughtful meditation of the past year trying to reconcile that with what Paul said in Philippians chapter 3, forgetting those things are behind and pressing on to the mark of the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus, and now we don't want to live in the past will have a past. In this 2020 is in the rearview mirror and I think it's good to revisit the past and think through the past and learn from the past pulses, forgetting those things are behind. I think what he's making reference to his anything that would hinder making progress in your relationship with Christ.
Forget those things lay those things aside because there's too many things said in the Scriptures that would remind us that the past is viable to us, where you learn from the past.
In the Old Testament. They were instructed to make stones of remembrance to remember God's dealings significant times of God's intervention, and interaction with them in the same for us. So I don't know what 2020 has been to you but it's been a challenging year in many respects, but God again has proved himself faithful to his people. He has sustained us.
He has provided for us.
He has raised us up, which were thankful to him in our hymnal 495. Guide me, O thou great Jehovah guide me, O thou great Jehovah, Pilgrim through this barren land. I am weak, but thou art mighty hold me with thy powerful hand bread of heaven, bread of heaven, feed me till I want no more feed me till I want no more open now the crystal fountain whence the healing stream doll flow. Let the fire and cloudy pillar lead me all my journey through strong deliverer, strong deliverer be they'll steal my strength and she be they'll still my strength and shield. William Williams, who penned these words is making reference to the wilderness. Turnings of the children of Israel and how God led them by pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. Let the fire and cloudy pillar lead me all my journey through we have something far more reliable and trustworthy, and it's the indwelling spirit of God, whose promise to lead us into all truth to be our comforter and to be our earthly companion all the days of our life and in the him concludes when I tread the verge of Jordan bid my anxious fears subside. Death of death and hell's destruction. Land me safe on Canaan side songs of praise and songs of praises I will ever give to the I will ever give to the no additional progress in our faith promise project but we are encouraged with where we are on this December 30 we received 78 cards are mission total stands at hundred and $51,430 in our building fund. Total 11,488 and we will no doubt receive some more cards before the project is done. Pray with us about this matter and thank you for your eager and generous participation. Lord willing, will be coming together for people present services coming Sunday, the first Sunday in 2021.
Pastor Barkman is due back vacation.
He and Marty are at Hilton Head time away of relaxing and exercising in regaining their strength from their recent bout with covert and we will live stream all the services Sunday morning Sunday night Wednesday night and and people present only on Sunday morning. I think that's all I will say in terms of announcements I want to read Psalm 100 verses three and four that's printed on your prayer sheet know that the Lord he is God.
Is he who has made us and not we ourselves. We are his people and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter into his gates with thanksgiving and into his courts with praise be thankful to him and bless his name. Let's review the request side of our prayer sheet. Barbara Coble is much improved from her recent battle with covert as is Carly and I has is Pastor Bob and Jane pastor B and Marty.
We were all down for time to time when we were all down together with it got us renewed our strength, which were thankful Tracy Airy had foot surgery on 18 December and is recovering annoyed appreciate your prayers Drew Guthrie as she battles cancer and is dealing also with coven Larry Hunter is us is a procedure scheduled for January 5. Exploratory surgery, possible tumor removal from his bladder when he had bladder cancer.
Number of years ago they told him was a strong possibility that it could return and it appears that that's what he's dealing with at this time but time will tell as he has this procedure scheduled for January 5. Alice Marley is recovering at home from a broken pelvis, Ruth Patterson had tested positive for Covidien. She is doing better cost of the tour talk to someone that knows of her present state she's improving our pope has a MRI scheduled think that was scheduled for yesterday, probably have to wait on the results of that in the knees having a breathing test in the early part of January.
John Spencer recovering from hernia surgery and Shirley Watkins is at home regaining strength from recent time in the hospital under others assume Lynch's sister-in-law Denise Keeler. She fell and broken vertebrae had surgery. She is recovering so would appreciate your prayers on her behalf. Jack Petrie has been readmitted to UNC hospital due to breathing difficulties. Special tour talk to him. I believe today and in his son and Jack was in good spirits, but just dealing with complications of growing old and breathing problems and dialysis issues so please uphold John. Some of us know Ms. Jack Petrie, Michael Philip E this is a cousin of Cheryl Ingle.
He is in ARMC with coven Darrell Preston is a cousin to Sue Lynch do for a liver transplant in January. Darrell Preston no updates that I have currently concerning the Edens or the Johnsons or the Snyders their needs are ongoing. So thank you for upholding them regularly in your prayers the latest concerning Stuart Waugh 17th of December. He traveled from South Africa back to Broadway is only there a few days sick had to return to South Africa a week later and got him in the hospital they drained some abscesses off of his liver buddies get a major issue with a artery that's blocked they cannot do surgery so was he improved with his health.
His plan is to return to Zimbabwe because his other issue which is a bigger issue is something the doctors cannot treat surgically so these feeling better regaining strength and so pray for them. The Vernon Stewart under sympathy. Dolly Ganesh is making us aware of a former coworker who passed away last Saturday Bill Disher, Bill Martin is a cousin is Cheryl Ingle's cousin's husband passed away on Monday. Coven Joyce McAllister and longtime friend of Dolly Ganesh passed away on Monday, complications from coven than Jane 01.
Former beacon member passed away on December 22, her husband passed away in March from cancer. Pray for their daughters, Terry Smith really king and their families, and then under salvation.
We've added what we have an added we thought were highlighting the name of Josh Boyd. This is the son of Thad and Angela Boyd got some pretty serious medical issues and he is in real need of the Lord under the cancer section. David Moxley friend of Nancy Verity had got some good news today that the cancer tumor that he has has shrunk the treatments he's received and there encouraged by that Betty Duncan another one of our sudden members is at home and she is dealing with severe back pain. Our government official. The week is Gibson Bill Alder Yvonne Maitland pray for her. So are request for the evening we go over a few missionary correspondences with you. This came on Tuesday of this week from the Hollis the church plant. Anthony says continues to grow as we stand on Christ's promise that he will build his church or weekly Bible studies, discipleship meetings, prayers and monthly worship services all went on with some adjustments as we continue to see the emerging of a new body of Christ and the spiritually barren land in our Bible studies. We are finishing up the book of Ephesians and in our worship service, we continue to work through the key passages of redemptive history.
Anthony is busy with the check Bible Institute piece taught several courses on Christian doctrine. The doctrine of God. The doctrine of man, the doctrine of sin. There's other brothers have also been teaching and he is working on curriculum for this coming year.
He says were hopeful and in prayer that the covert situation will improve so that we can have our annual Bible conference in June which they had to cancel this past June and he says if all goes well, Paul washer should be with us in there, in a busy reconstruction project on the home that they bought the new that when they bought it four years ago house.
Home is 100 years over so so they've had to tear down major section of it and are getting the permits and working through all the things necessary to do the renovation. Some prayer requests, he says continue to pray for our church planting efforts here pray for our daughter Rachel. She has been battling anemia is now the cause of the anemia had been misdiagnosed few years ago but now we hope that we are on the right track to help her pray for our reconstruction. That God would provide dependable workers and resources to complete it. Pray that would be able to have our annual conference and other large outreach and ministry events such as English camp. Pray for Anthony's family as they recover from coven's mom, dad, sister and sisters family all have an pray for the check Bible Institute students and faculty in this transitional year. Pray for humility, wisdom and unity among the leaders.
So that's an update from the Hollis in the Czech Republic, David Anderson sends us an update with capital commission as he labors there in Richmond, Virginia. He says let's see were thankful for another thrilling year of ministry in her Virginian leaders with the privilege of having a regular Bible study send wonderful gospel centered visits with our legislators during session, then the covert crisis.
It and the Lord provided extra time to work on his book he is writing a sequel to the other book that he wrote the great intercession pieces from July on word every available weekend was filled with opportunities to preach in churches and we were so thankful to observe a growing emphasis in their public prayers for their leaders. He says in spite of the virus between our actual M person attendance and the lifestream attendance at other churches throughout our state for our election Eve capital cookout in prayer walk. We had a greater participation than ever before. So that's good news.
He says would covet your prayers as we look forward to the legislative session in January, 20, 21 with the new regulations regarding coven.
Only the legislators and their legislative assistance are allowed in the general assembly building and the capital.
Such would primarily remove our access to those to whom we minister so we need your prayers.
At this time that the Lord will enable us to continue our Bible studies and minister to all of our leaders so his ministry is having to adjust to covert like everyone else and here's an update from Tim and Ruth Bixby. Francis came a week ago and they dealt with shutdowns and the other government making mandates and so on so forth. Says interestingly, we were able to officiate a wedding. During this time by zoom one of the members of our church was planning to be married on December for the couple's original plan was to rent a large hall for the ceremony and reception. Then the restrictions tightened to the point that in November the government was allowing only six people leaving the couple to meet at the mayor's office for weddings. However, a week before their wedding. The government loosened restrictions a little on worship services, so less than it's time a new plan was made in a few friends and church members prepared the different elements for the ceremony and decorated our church building for wedding and we had to have fewer than 30 people physically present but more than 100. Join by zoom, so that's interesting are some pictures there wedding. This is by the most significant update and that is concerning the building.
He says thank you for your prayers regarding the meeting with the owners of our church building I and another brother had a positive meeting with them because our finances are still uncertain and because they do not want to take any risks in a time when most businesses are suffering.
They asked us to turn over a large sum of money as a down payment that would be nonrefundable. Should we decide not to buy.
I quickly realized that the legal implications were beyond my abilities. We needed to pray not only for financing but for much wisdom and within a few days the Lord dramatically answered this request in two ways. First, a Christian businessman who grew up in Saar Salas accepted to become the point man and lead our committee through the next steps toward the purchase. He immediately took over the communication aspects with the proprietors and the lawyer to my immense relief. So that's of major answer to prayer enough. This is a little longer paragraph but try and follow the the providence of God in the arranging of the circumstances. He says the second way the Lord provided was by leading us to a Christian property lawyer in France since the time of Napoleon. All property sales have to go through a specialized property lawyer got it already given us a Christian architect to help us design the interior of her building and bring it up to code, but we didn't know of any lawyer, God was already working to answer our prayers last February when our family just happened to take a week away in a region with never visited before six hours from our home.
We were ignorant at the time that the country would be in lockdown just a few weeks later, we found a church within driving distance to attend a family in the church just happened to befriend us and invite us to their home.
There they shared with us how the church purchased a facility well Ruth just happened to think of this family and wondered if the experience they had gained might give them some ideas that would help us. They said that they said they did not feel qualified to advise us financially, but that they could give us the address of the Christian real estate lawyer that they had used this man lives about eight hours away from us in another direction. However, when the Christian businessman was now leading our team contacted this property lawyer immediately accepted to help us when he was asked how we could pay when when he was asked how we could pay.
He told us he would not accept any payment beyond the normal closing costs paid at the sale of the building.
Those are the government regulated fees that we would pay anyway. This means that God has given us to Christian man to lead us forward a highly qualified financial businessman and a property lawyer. No extra costs rejoice with us in this gracious provision providence and then they detail some gifts that came in some churches that have committed additional resources to help them in the purchase so that currently they stand at about having about half in hand was gonna required purchases building so there encouraged. He says were now more than halfway to our final goal, though there is still a long way to go. We are encouraged by these donations and see in them a sign of God's good care of us and an encouragement to pursue this purchase.
So cause for Thanksgiving and rejoicing with Tim and Ruth Bixby in their church planting efforts. There, let's have a word of prayer.
Then we'll get into the Scriptures. Father, we thank you for this Wednesday evening.
The last Wednesday of 2020. We thank you as we think back over the past and all that this year has brought to us how you have been with us how you have ordained and orchestrated all things for our good and your own glory. Rejoice in your incredible faithfulness to us. Indeed your mercies have been new to us every morning. Thank you father for the way you have raised us up. Those who been sick with covert many in our church have contracted the disease and were grateful for how you have intervened and led and directed and guided thanks for those who been protected from the virus and we would pray that that may continue. Lord, we thank you that we can be in partnership with some wonderful Christian servants.
We thank you for the Bixby's.
We thank you for the way you have provided this businessman who is the point man whose taking the responsibilities off the shoulders of Tim who by his own admission seemed as though he was in over his head. So thank you for that and then thank you for the way you have directed them to a lawyer Christian lawyer and we rejoice in the financial gifts that have come in the new commitments that have been made toward the purchase of this building and we pray that you would continue to provide for these needs and that we will be able to rejoice together in you bringing this to completion. We thank you for the hollow center for their unit unique way.
You have gifted Anthony and given him a love for his native country first family there encouragement that they've received is a small group of believers are have gathered and are growing in the grace and knowledge of Christ, we thank you for the Institute that Anthony's involved with. We pray that you will bless those efforts you would grant them additional students that you provide for the faculty give humility and wisdom as they've asked for that. We pray that you would supply the funds necessary to complete this renovation of the home in which they are living with her a family of seven. Pray for their daughter who has been dealing with issues of anemia. Thank you that there's been a new course considered. We pray that that might bring renewed health and strength to her and thank you for David Nunn, Julie Anderson, as they labor their enrichment, Virginia give wisdom to David is covert is going to greatly restrict his access to the legislators but help an Lord to retool and think of creative ways in order to carry on this ministry that you've entrusted to them.
Thank you for the way you have provided for them. We pray for our country and asked that you would lead and direct and guide give wisdom.
Give humility give us a God-fearing men and women who would be looking to you for direction and wisdom in the decisions that they are weighing and facing.
Thank you now is that we can look to the word of God for help on this last Wednesday night of 2020 we commit our Bible study time to you know in Christ's name. Amen. I'm in Isaiah chapter 35 Isaiah 35 I want to consider this a short chapter with you.
There's 10 verses and it and it is a prophecy of God's intention to transform this cursed world that is come under the curse of sin and God's intentions to redeem this world through the work of the Lord Jesus Christ. So let me read these 10 verses and then will consider some exposition, the wilderness and the wasteland shall be glad for them in the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose, it shall blossom abundantly and rejoice, even with joy and singing the glory of Lebanon shall be given to it. The excellence of Carmel and Sharon.
They shall see the glory of the Lord, the excellency of our God strengthen the weak hands and make firm. The feeble knees say to those who are fearful hearted, be strong and do not fear. Behold, your God will come with vengeance with the recompense of God, he will come and save you. Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened in the years of the death death shall be unstopped than the lame shall leap like a deer in the tongue of the dumb saying for waters shall burst forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert. The parched ground shall become a pool in the thirsty land springs of water in the habitation of jackals, where each lay there shall be grass with reeds and rushes a highway shall be there in a road and it should be called the highway of holiness. The unclean shall not pass over it, for it shall be for others. Whoever walks the road although a fool shall not go astray. No lion shall be there, nor shall any ravenous beast be up on it shall not be found there, but the redeemed, shall walk there and the ransomed of the Lord shall return and come to Zion with singing with everlasting joy on their heads, they shall obtain joy in glad and sorrow and sighing shall flee away when I'm*do not need to tell you that we live in a world that is constantly moaning under the weight of human sin and when Adam sinned in the garden, God cursed the garden and indeed the entire world. Despite the curse of God, the remains, yet a beauty. There is a remnant of the precursor glory. We still enjoy and it is a reminder of what yet will be God allowed a great deal of beauty to survive transformation of the earth to accursed desert is part of his just penalty for human sin was the beautiful garden of Eden and because of the curse of sin. It became a Desert Like Pl. in Romans chapter 8 is 19 to 23 makes it plain that creation all of creation is groaning under this curse. Every single moment it's locked in bondage unto decay but as we look here in Isaiah chapter 35. This chapter stands as a glorious prophecy of God's intention to transform this cursed world through Christ. Notice how the chapter begins the wilderness and the wasteland shall be glad for them in the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the roads shall blossom abundantly and rejoice, even with joy and singing the glory of Lebanon shall be given to at the excellence of Carmel and Sharon. They shall see the glory of the Lord, the excellency of our God. Chapter begins with the desert rejoicing and blossoming like a rose, singing praises, singing praise songs to the God of salvation. And again this is prophetic. This is a picture of the restored Earth that will come to be at the consummation the proclaimed the reclaimed earth.
The restored Earth will proclaim it every moment, the glory of God. Notice out goes on their anniversary strengthen the weak hands and make firm, the feeble knees say to those who are fearful hearted, be strong.
Do not fear. Behold, your God will come with vengeance. He will come and save you. God is promising a new order in which all the effects of sin and death will be removed forever, and in this new order.
What will be the condition of men. Notice what it says in verse five. Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped then the lame shall leap like a deer, and the tongue of the dumb saying for water shall burst forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert. The parched ground shall become a pool in the thirsty land springs of water in the habitations of jackals were each lay there shall be grass with reeds and rushes over life be like in the new order when the effects of the curse are reversed, and God comes and brings full redemption to humanity and to his creation: the new order that we know blind eyes will be no deaf ears that we know lame legs to be no mute tongues every single human being will function as God intended in the original creation. Joy will fill people's hearts as they look at a universe that has been redeemed from the curse water flowing once there was desert and how is this going to be how what will bring this about. Notice the language of verse four say to those who are fearful hearted, be strong.
Do not fear. Behold, your God will come with vengeance with the recompense of God, he will come and save you again this is a prophetic passage, Isaiah is looking forward to a time of transformation that had not yet occurred. In verse four points plainly to that transforming event and what is that he will come and save you.
It's a picture of the coming of Jesus Christ coming into events coming in his first Advent to atone for the sins of his people to lay his life down to justifies people to be resurrected in return to glory. And yet, then a second coming when he will come and restore to this earth. All of his redemptive purposes are God's, and he is come to save us in Christ and there is yet a new heaven and a new earth that is on God's redemptive timetable. We do not know when but it is a certainty. It is being prophesied here by Isaiah and Isaiah speaks there in verse four of the recompense of God of the vengeance of God. What he is referring to. There is that those who are in rebellion to God. Those who are rejecting him they will be winnowed out of God's glorious kingdom when he comes the second time, and only the redeemed will be there, but we're not there yet. We are not there yet.
We still groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for the redemption of our bodies and in the meantime, we must travel. We must travel. We are is the hymn writer said pilgrims guide me, O thou great Jehovah, Pilgrim through this barren land. We are pilgrims. This is not our home. We are looking for a city whose maker and builder is God.
The Old Testament is full of pictures and symbols. Sometimes we miss that you remember that God gave instructions in Exodus chapter 23 to the children of Israel, that they were three feast days that they were to remember they would remember the feast of Passover that commemorates her deliverance out of Egypt they were to remember the feast of the feast of booths, the feast of booze was a feast. It was a festival was a time where they were to remember their wanderings in the wilderness, they were to build booze and live in these rough booze for seven days to remind him of what life was like as they were sustained by God, the wilderness and we are traveling folks and no we live in a day. We have these wonderful devices on our automobiles sometimes are built right into the system into the instrument panel. Sometimes we have to plug them in and set them up on her – and are called a GPS, a global positioning system. They work from satellites and there is an extensive database that is contained in that device every highway, every Boulevard, every avenue, every street, every road every way. Every line, every bypass, etc. is in that device and then it has software that enables it to constantly evaluate where you are and the best directions from getting you from from where you are to where you need to go fascinating device and there's several ways of using that device and act and accessing information and that device one is simply to read screen as it navigates through it and if you don't want to hear that metallic voices talking to you. You commute down or if you want to leave it on. It will tell you three quarters of a mile. You need to begin exiting to the left or to the right and when you make a mistake and miss your turn. What is it tell you recalibrating recalibrating recalibrating and folks God is set every one of his children on the highway and there is a highway from where we are to where he has intended for us to get to and that is heaven and we have an internal GPS system is not a device that you purchase. It's the Holy Spirit of God who dwells within and he's the one who says this is the way walkie we find ourselves missing a turn. It is the Holy Spirit of God who directs us and puts us back on the straight and narrow way and follow that we can be thankful what you notice with me that there is a path that God is drawing our attention to in this chapter of Isaiah chapter 35 Highway and it is called the highway of holiness. Notice verse eight, a highway shall be there, and a road and it shall be called the highway of holiness. The unclean shall not pass over it, but it shall be for others. Whoever walks the road although a fool shall not go astray. No lion shall be there, nor shall any ravenous beast go up on it shall not be found there, but the redeemed, shall walk there and the ransomed of the Lord shall return and come design singing with everlasting joy on their heads, they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shelf.
I that's our prospect. We are marching to Zion. Notice the language there and who is it is traveling on this highway. It's the redeemed verse nine says the redeemed, shall walk there the ransomed of the Lord shall return and come to where come to Zion with singing with everlasting joy on their heads, they shall obtain joy and gladness then is good, part sorrow and sighing shelf will you that's the prospect that we have as believers. But there's this highway of holiness.
Isaiah chapter 30 in verse 21 says whether you turn to the right or to the left. Your ears will hear a voice behind you saying this is the way walkie and it see there are many patents, many detours and many road hazards in our way and those times when we turn right.
We should eternal after we go straight when we should've turned to the right or to the left. Isaiah 30 verse 21 says whether you turn to the right or to the left. Your ears will hear a voice behind you saying this is the way walk in it and what is the way Jesus said I am the way, I am the way, the truth and the life and it is the gift of the indwelling Holy Spirit. That is our navigation system.
Romans chapter 8 verses 13 and 14 teaches us that those who are led, but by the spirit they will are the ones who are putting sin to death, and moment by moment moment the spirit speaks to the heart of a child of God, saying, this is the way walk in it. Psalm 23 tells us, reminds us, the Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures. He what he leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul he what guides me in paths of righteousness for his namesake. So we have the promise of God to lead us to guide us to direct us as we make our way in this life of holiness. The highway of holiness.
What is it imply highway shall be there in a road and it shall be called the highway of holiness. It implies the need for The Pursuit of Happyness or the pursuit of holiness for the Bible says that without holiness no one shall see the Lord. It's only the redeemed.
It's only the child of God's only those who have been saved by grace, who are being sanctified by the Spirit of God who have any interest in pursuing a life of holiness.
They're the only ones are going to be found on this highway of holiness. The only ones interested in traveling this way. So we have the name of this highway and is the highway of holiness. Again, it implies the need for the pursuit of holiness were to be holy, even as God is holy God is light and what in him there is no darkness at all. Where to walk in the light as he is in the light and as we do, we have fellowship one with the other notice number two that this highway of holiness is an exclusive way. What I mean by that. Well what I mean by that is that only the righteous may travel on this what it says. The unclean shall not pass over it. The unclean the unholy the ungodly, they shall not pass over it. It shall be for others. This is an exclusive highway. The unclean cannot travel on the wicked. Cannot the unholy cannot because it is the highway of sanctification. Those who been justified by faith or those who are being led by the Spirit of God to progressively put on Christ and put away sin is the unclean shall not pass over it, but it shall be for others notices whoever walks the road although a full so what's he saying saying, even those who are on this highway have been placed on this highway who are progressing on this highway sometimes make foolish decisions. Although a full not fully wise, being foolish at times, shall not go astray, shall not go astray.
You see, because there's two ways. There's the Broadway the lead to destruction. And there's the narrow way that leads to life in your either on one or two of those highways and if you're on the straight and narrow way doesn't mean that you will always walk perfectly on the straight and narrow. Sometimes we can make decisions that are quite foolish, but if were on the straight and narrow. We shall not go astray wise that because he who has saved us is keeping us and he will keep us in the way. So this highway of holiness is not only an exclusive way. It is a protected and secure way will not wander off of it. We will not lose our way. No lion shall be there. Verse nine, nor shall any ravenous beast go up on it you will be devoured here you be protected. It is a secure way. It's only for the redeemed, the redeemed, shall walk there in the ransomed of the Lord shall return and come design singing. So the point is, all those who were on the highway of holiness.
Everyone who begins. That journey will most certainly finish that journey and end up in the glorious seven because the final destination of those traveling the holy way is Zion, the city of God were God and man will dwell together again.
Those feasts Old Testament feast days they were shadows and prophetic foretaste of the journey that all of the redeemed, must travel to enter the new Jerusalem, where they will have what everlasting joy full salvation, he says everlasting joy on their heads, they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away. So on this last Wednesday night. It's good to think about the past. Learn from the past, rejoice in those things that God did for us and did in us, but to be reminded of the future that is as certain as it can possibly be.
If we are God's children and we are making our way on this highway of holiness. Holiness is a subject that is fallen out of favor we don't hear much talk of holiness, but it must be part of our Christian lives. So that would be my challenge to you tonight as you think about the new year that you would be more diligent, more vigilant in your pursuit of holiness, not because God wants to restrict your joy and your enjoyment in this life, but he wants to maximize that Jesus said I've come that they might have life and have it what habit more abundantly. The abundant life life that overflows with joy as a life of holiness life of purity life in communion and fellowship with God's will is my challenge for us tonight. Let's rejoice that we have a God who cares enough about us to set us on the highway of holiness to give us this internal navigation system. The Holy Spirit of God's promise to lead us and guide us and direct us to convict us to bring us to repentance, to restore us the steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and though we fall. Yet he shall not be utterly cast down for what the Lord uphold him with his right hand. So let's so bow and pray together. Remember some of the requests that we have talked about already. This evening father, thank you for this wonderful prophetic passage in Isaiah 35.
We thank you for your purposes for us in Christ, we thank you that you begun a good work in us will continue until the day of Jesus Christ.
We thank you that there is a glorious heaven that awaits us free of sin, of strife, of sickness and of death. No more tears, no more disappointments. None of those things that plague us in this life.
What a day that will be. We thank you for those of our number who've gone on before us and are enjoying those things that we can only anticipate we pray, our God, that you would keep us in the way. Keep us pursuing you on this highway of holiness as we make our way through this treacherous and difficult life. We thank you father for the way you have shown yourself strong in behalf of those who have looked to you in believing faith. Thank you for restoring health to many of our people who have been down with coven. We pray for Tracy Aires healing of his foot.
Pray for Drew Drew Guthrie.
She battles cancer and is dealing with coven that you draw near to her that you would lead and direct and guide in her life filled her heart with joy and anticipation of what yet awaits her for her brother Larry Hunter as he faces this procedure on January 5.
Thank you for this brother. Thank you for his love for you is love for truth in his love for those folks that he has ministered to faithfully and facilities in our area. Strengthen him for this procedure for his dear wife who's been through surgery.
We thank you for her recovery. Pray for Alice Marley. She recovers from a fractured pelvis for our Pope sees dealing with COPD issues facing the this test on January 7.
We lift up John and Linda Spencer and ask you to draw near to them and encourage them and bring healing to job Shirley and Patty Watkins and Shirley is regaining her strength at home.
We pray for Sue Lynch's sister Denise Keeler who is fallen and broken vertebrae, or please bring healing to her body for dear Jack Petrie, pray that you did superintend his life. Give wisdom to the doctors and to his family as they seek to know what's best for his care and for Michael Philip E for Darrell Preston who are facing serious medical issues. We pray for Donna Eden's today ask you to encourage her and bring healing to her from this recent serious car accident that her and her daughter ran for Trevor to reship Johnson is there dealing with health issues and seeking your wisdom to know where to reengage in work commissions for Stuart Lavergne wall thank you that Stewart was able to get back to South Africa and receive medical treatment.
Pray for his ongoing recovery lien direct and guide his life. Pray for Mike Webster see faces: cancer battles without for those of lost loved ones.
Bill Disher and Bill Martin and Joyce McAllister and Jane Nolan folks who were dear loved by others. We ask you minister to these families for Josh Boyd work in this young man's heart and life. Give wisdom to the doctors as they run tests and determine how best to help him. Thank you that David Moxley is gotten a good report from his cancer that it is shrunken is very encouraging to us and we lift up Betty Duncan and Ruth Patterson to you and ask you to minister to them in their time of need Lord again. We've come to the end of nearly to the end. One more day in 2020 we bow to give you thanks for your grace that has kept us and has sustained us and has grown us and has taught us, Lord, you have been a faithful God to us.
Thank you for the way you've met the needs of our church. We look to you Lord for our our needs. As you know them to be in this new coming year. Keep assisting us. Thank you that make ounces remaking recovery from coven for Randy making progress as well watch over them as they return to Florida in the coming days. Lord again, we thank you that we can pray to you. We look to you with confidence in believing faith, rejoicing that the fervent prayer of a righteous man does indeed available much here us. Our father we pray through the merits of your son, our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ in his name we pray. Amen