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Lessons in Faith

Beacon Baptist / Gregory N. Barkman
The Truth Network Radio
December 9, 2020 7:00 am

Lessons in Faith

Beacon Baptist / Gregory N. Barkman

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December 9, 2020 7:00 am

Pastor Mike Karns gives church updates before speaking from Isaiah 37 beginning at 32-00.

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Good evening to you from the Auditorium of Beacon Baptist Church. Thank you Beacon Saints for joining us and others who perhaps are not a part of our church but have learned of our online ministry and have joined. I know some in my extended family in Florida and Pennsylvania from time to time have tuned in and benefited from our service. The prayer requests that are pertinent and known to us are foreign to them but they understand that and have tuned in really for the ministry of the word.

So thank you for joining us this evening. I have a couple of announcements just to make to give you an update where we are with our Faith Promise Program. We have received 66 cards through this past Sunday. We have been receiving. I looked over the last four years and the average over the last four years has been right at 100 cards. So at 66 we are at two-thirds. There's yet another third in terms of cards to be turned in and those cards represent commitments. So we are not done.

It's early December but just to give you an idea. We have earned at $110,010 in terms of financial commitments. So how encouraging that is in these days of COVID. Your stewardship is to be commended. Your commitment to Christ and His church and your commitment to worldwide missions is very evident and very encouraging. We are heavily committed to a large missionary family that are dependent upon us and others for their financial support and prayer support. So your initial commitment thus far speaks volumes to us and to them as to our ongoing commitment to the work of the gospel around the world.

So if you haven't returned a card, we trust that you have received cards. There are cards in the pews when you are here on a Sunday morning that you can fill out and put in the offering plate. But pray with us about these matters. We have another month or so before we gather as elders and deacons and bring some finalization to our missions budget.

So there is time but thank you for your response already and for where we stand. We are mindful of the spike in COVID and are sensitive to the governor and the restrictions that he has made and we are watching that very carefully. They are suggestions for the churches. They are not law. They are not mandated for the church.

But we are sensitive to what is going on. But with that being said, we are continuing to follow the pattern that we have been following with the people present Sunday morning service live streaming on Sunday night and live streaming here on Wednesday night. There will be one exception to that in the future and that is Sunday night, December 20. We are planning a Christmas program for people present. So if you just get that on your calendar, be praying about that. Christmas is coming and we usually have, that is really a highlight I think, at least in my mind during Advent season. It is our Lessons in Carol service.

We will not be doing that in that full display but we are planning a Christmas program for that Sunday night of December 20. So plan to be with us. Plan to be present here for that service.

And again, if you are not able to or not comfortable, you can still benefit from that via live stream. Luke 1 verses 30 and 31, Then the angel said to her, Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a son and shall call his name Jesus. At the beginning of our service, could I simply ask you, are you rejoicing in the mercy of God? Have you found favor with God? Has God set his affections upon you? Are you mindful of his love? Are you resting in Christ and Christ alone as your only hope of eternal salvation?

A.W. Tozer said, We please him most not by frantically trying to make ourselves good, but by throwing ourselves into his arms with all of our imperfections and believing that he understands everything and loves us still. That is a good reminder that we have a God that has come near to us, has left the heaven, the glories of heaven in the person of Jesus. He came and tabernacled among us. God has drawn nigh and we have this wonderful message of Emmanuel, God with us.

Glorious things of thee are spoken, Zion City of our God, he whose word cannot be broken formed thee for his own abode on the rock of ages founded. What can shake thy shore repose? With salvation's walls surrounded, thou mayest smile at all thy foes. See the streams of living waters springing from eternal love. Well supply thy sons and daughters and all fear of want remove.

Who can faint while such a river ever flows their thirst to assuage? Grace, which like the Lord the giver, never fails from age to age. Round each habitation hovering, see the cloud and fire appear for a glory and a covering showing that the Lord is near. Blessed inhabitants of Zion, washed in the Redeemer's blood, Jesus whom their souls rely on makes them kings and priests to God. Savior, if of Zion City I through grace a member am, let the world deride or pity I will glory in thy name.

Fading is the worldlings pleasure, all his boasted pomp and show. Solid joys and lasting treasure, none but Zion's children know. Bow with me as we pray and ask the Lord's blessing on our Wednesday night service. Father, we acknowledge our dependence upon you. We come in the blessed name of the Lord Jesus Christ, rejoicing that we are indeed accepted in the beloved. That you have received us because of our faith in your son and what he has done. We thank you for his person.

We thank you for his crosswork. And we rejoice, even as Paul said, blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in heavenly places in Christ. Father, thank you for how you have blessed us because of him. And we have entered into many of those blessings and yet there are manifestations and parts of those blessings that are yet reserved for us in heaven. And yet reserved for us in this life as we grow and mature and make progress in sanctification and holiness. Lord, thank you that you have begun a good work in us.

We'll continue it until the day of Jesus Christ. And thank you that you are working in us both to will and to do according to your good pleasure. Thank you for godly desires that you have planted in our hearts that are evidence of the presence of the divine nature. We believe that Christianity is not external. It's something that's deeply internal. It's transformative. It is God coming in. If any man be in Christ, he is a new creation. Old things pass away and behold, all things become new. So we thank you that we are new creatures in Christ Jesus. That we're not the person that we used to be.

Our desires have changed. The things we used to love we hate and the things we hated we love and we thank you that part of the things that we love are the people of God and the word of God and communion with you. And we love Advent season because it makes very conspicuous what you have done to rescue sinners. And we pray as people make their way in our towns and in our communities and hear the Christmas music and see the homes that are decorated and perceive the festivities that are going on in our plan that they will reflect and think about Him who came in lowliness and humility. Who did not give up his glory.

Who did not give up his divinity or his deity but was made in the likeness of men. We thank you for his humiliation. We thank you for his incarnation and we thank you our God even now that he is exalted at your right hand. That he is ruling and reigning and we thank you that he is there interceding for us.

Lord we thank you that we can pray to you and look to you in believing faith tonight and ask you to draw near to us. That you would come to us and Lord there are distractions all about us. There are external distractions in our homes. There are phone calls and there are people and there is activity around us and there are demands crying out to us. Help us to set those things aside.

And then there are those internal distractions where our minds wonder and think about those things that are causing us anxiety and worry and fear. Lord help us to cast all of our cares upon you knowing that you care for us. Bless our gathering this evening. Glorify your son. Strengthen our faith. Receive our worship as we offer it to you now. In Jesus name. Amen.

Let me go over to prayer requests with you. Our government official of the week is Gibsonville Mayor Leonard Williams. There are a couple of praises listed at the top of the prayer sheet and that is Marie Forbes. Cheryl Engle reports that she is doing better from shoulder surgery. Jonathan Wright is recovering from COVID. We're thankful for that. Under members, Dawn Burns is about three weeks into the six weeks that the doctors have told her to stay off of her foot.

She's getting around in one of those little scooters. But rather extensive foot surgery and yet being able to manage that pain with Tylenol for which we are thankful. So continue to remember Dawn. Marseille Councilman had eye surgery and endured five or six days on her back. That was the protocol for her to follow after the surgery. But she is now up and around and we thank the Lord for the apparent success of the surgery and for where she stands in that process. Thank you for praying for Drew Guthrie as she continues to battle with cancer. She's trusting the Lord. And yet the prognosis is not good for her, at least in terms of the cancer that's in her body. So please uphold her in prayer.

God will be very near to her and she'll know peace and joy in the midst of these things. Alice Marley is now at home. She had been at White Oak and recovering a bit there but has returned to her home. Liddy Norris has had the cast in her arm removed. The doctor has put on a brace. She's still dealing with a fair amount of pain.

So remember Liddy if you would. Greg Phillips, he's dealing with the issues related to a fire that disrupted his business there in Greenville. John Spencer is scheduled for hernia surgery on Friday, December 18. Shirley Watkins made a trip to the ER and they were able to give her some fluids and she's returned to her home and we're thankful for that. Under others, Alfred and Connie Ash is a sister and brother-in-law of Sue Elliott. They're struggling with health issues.

Alfred has ALS and continues to deteriorate. Connie has post polio. Stephanie Corbett is a friend of Jane Latour's. She has COVID, is quite sick and has many demands upon her with her family, particularly a severely autistic son who requires constant attention. And because of the COVID, she cannot have staff there to support her. She has an older son who's helping, but please remember Stephanie Corbett. And Mary Hicks is an aunt of Sue Elliott. She's been struggling with issues related to a heart attack she had this summer. She's 94.

Pray for her. Steve and Erin Lynch's brother, Harold, has some health issues. He's in ARMC and currently is not doing very well. Jack Petry has been in ICU, has been returned to a regular room.

He'll need to go to a rehab center before being able to go home and there's some possibility that that may not happen. Just entrusting Jack to the Lord and asking for wisdom for him and his daughter and son as they make plans for what's best for him. Pastor Latour talked to him today and he's just flat out wore out and tired and ready to go. He's up and down. Today he says, I'm done.

I'm ready to give up. Now tomorrow he may be of a different mind, but that's the situation going on with Jack. Thank you for loving this brother and praying for him. Under missionaries, I know you've been praying for Donna Edens. She was in a car accident with her daughter Rachel and toward the end of October was a serious car accident. She broke three ribs, had a punctured lung, multiple fractures in her pelvis. But she has recovered and returned to her home and is rehabbing there at home. So we're thankful for that.

But there's ongoing needs there. Stuart Waugh as he's recovering from surgery. A recent thing was an aneurysm that they repaired.

Mike Webster. Mike began, at least these were the plans on December 1 to begin chemotherapy treatments five days a week for five weeks. And also radiation. And after that regiment, after a month or so has passed, he'll have surgery. So Mike is dealing with colon cancer.

And then I would ask you to remember the Paul Snyder family. Paul had a difficult Thanksgiving. Had three or four days of depression. And he said it just comes on him without really any immediate cause. It's related to just the condition of his health. He was on medication. The doctors are concerned about that because the long term effects they believe can bring on dementia and Alzheimer's. So they've changed his medication.

He's scheduled to have an MRI on the 14th of December. So he's got a very supportive wife. Their daughter is doing better. She's doing well in school, doing better with sounds and things like that that were bothering her. Their son seems to be doing well.

So we're glad about that. But one of the agonizing things is his desire to get well in order to be able to return to the field. The people there, the Kauai people are asking, when are you coming back? When are you coming back?

And his only answer is when the Lord is ready for us to come back. So pray for them in these times and concerning these matters. Under cancer, you see Amy Freeman's mother's name highlighted, Naomi Williams. She's scheduled for a PET scan on the 22nd of December. And then Shirley Rocky, she's had consultations with the doctors, had biopsy, and they've determined that she does not have lung cancer. But she does have endometrial cancer, which has returned.

She had that some time back. And she'll begin taking chemotherapy treatments soon. So pray for her. She's a dear sister in the Lord and in need of our prayers. That's what we will bring to your attention tonight in terms of prayer requests. And I think I will let my mention of those missionaries, the Edens and the Sniders, and Mike Webster be our report for missions.

I'll add one more thing, and that is my rescue mission. I had a conversation with Tony Honeycutt a day or so before Thanksgiving, just to see how the telethon went, the radiothon, in lieu of a greater vision banquet. And it was moderately successful.

The mission's never done anything like that before. And he reached out to the churches and the individuals and the businesses that had sponsored the tables for the banquet in the past and asked them to consider giving a similar amount in lieu of sponsoring tables. And there was excellent response to that. So with that plus what was raised through the telethon, they came close to about half of what they typically would raise at a greater vision banquet without the expenses. So I think he told me somewhere in the $22,000, $23,000 range that they were able to raise. And that's a big help to the mission. At last count there were six men who had contracted COVID.

A good number of the men had left the mission. The resident's occupancy had been reduced to about 15 when I talked to him, just because of the COVID scare. So the health department's coming in and checking and testing. So he's hoping to get that behind him. But Jonathan Wright is one of those who had tested positive for COVID and has recovered. And in the process of fully recovering.

A.W. Pink has this to say about prayer. The omniscience of God is an encouragement to pray. There is no cause for fearing that the petitions of the righteous will not be heard, or that their sighs and tears shall escape the notice of God, since he knows the thoughts and the intents of the heart. There is no danger of the individual saint being overlooked amidst the multitude of supplicants who daily and hourly present their various petitions, for an infinite mind is as capable of paying the same attention to millions as if only one individual were seeking its attention.

I'll think about that. How many of us get befuddled when we're in a room and there's multiple conversations going on and we're trying to hear more than one person at a time. We don't have the capacity to do that. How great God is that he can entertain the requests, the prayers of millions of people and do so as if each person had his undivided attention.

Amazing. We have this, he says again, A.W. Pink, he says, so too the lack of appropriate language. Sometimes we don't know what to say.

We don't know how to frame our concerns. The inability to give expression to the deepest longing of the soul will not jeopardize our prayers, for it shall come to pass that before they call, I will answer, and while they are yet speaking, I will hear. A wonderful promise from Isaiah chapter 65 and verse 24. I heard the story, read the story, the account of George Mueller. He was on a ship and was being transported by the ship to an engagement. And the ship ran into dense fog. And the captain of the ship was standing on the deck and looking into the fog. The ship had stopped its momentum and George Mueller said to the man, I have got to get to this certain place by tomorrow.

And the captain says, it's impossible. Can't you see the fog? To which George Mueller was reported to have said to the man, no, my eyes are not on the fog.

My eyes are on a God who controls the weather. Let's go down below and pray. So Mueller and the captain went down below and prayed. And Mueller began and prayed and believed that God had heard him and God had intervened. And he put his hand on the shoulder of the captain and he says, no need for you to pray.

You don't believe. Let's go upstairs. Let's go back up on deck. And when they went back up on the deck, the fog had cleared.

Mueller said, I had not missed an appointment in 52 years and I wasn't about to. And when I read accounts like that, I don't know about you, when you read and come across biographies and read about these stories, do you long for that kind of power and prayer and ask, why don't we see more evidence of that? Perhaps it's because we're not as absolutely totally dependent upon God as we need to be. My mind goes back to Zimbabwe when Juma became very sick and they had no way to get him to the hospital. And even if they got him to the hospital, there wasn't anything that the doctors could do for him. And it was reported to us through the various people that were there that particular night that he was sick enough that they were concerned he might die. So what do you do when you have a loved one who's that sick, you can't get to a doctor, you never can't get to a hospital? Well, the church members, they got word out, they came and surrounded Juma's hut and they prayed, and this is what was reported to me, they prayed through most of the night.

And in the morning, Juma had improved remarkably. I think at times, God waits until things are that dire before he shows himself, because no one else can get the credit for that. It's all to his glory. And I think we're too resourceful, we're too independent, we have too many other things that we trust. Prayer is not the first recourse, unfortunately, in our lives. Listen to what John Piper says, he's talking about the church in general, he says, the church has not been spending its energy to go deep with the unfathomable God of the Bible. Against the overwhelming weight and seriousness of the Bible, much of the church is choosing at this very moment to become lighter and more shallow and entertainment oriented, and therefore has become irrelevant, while at the same time claiming to be so successful in being relevant. The truth is, the popular God of fun church is simply too small and too sociable to hold a hurricane in his hand. Well, George Muller believed that God controlled the weather, and may we be men and women of a similar mind. The last time I was here on a Wednesday night, we were considering the ways of God in dealing with the children of Israel, looking at the Old Testament in broad terms. That God was working in various ways, primarily to teach them to trust Him and trust Him exclusively. And that these two great lessons, one, that God was their deliverer, and number two, that God was their provider. And God showed Himself that He was their deliverer in the Red Sea. You recall the circumstances, the plagues that came in Egypt to finally convince Pharaoh to release the children of Israel who have been captive in Egypt for nearly 400 years. And as they left Egypt, they were pursued by Pharaoh and his army, and they came to the Red Sea.

An impossible situation, right, humanly speaking. The greatest army on the face of the earth, pursuing them with ill intentions, and the Red Sea before them. And this is what Moses said in Exodus chapter 14, verse 14.

The Lord will fight for you, you need only to be still. Well, that's good because there wasn't anything they could do. And you know the story. God walled the water up on the right and on the left and allowed them to cross on dry ground. And once they had crossed, the walls were removed and the waters of the Red Sea drowned Pharaoh and his army. And Exodus 14, verse 31, just 17 verses later, after Moses had told them to be still and watch the Lord, we have these words. And when the Israelites saw the great power the Lord displayed against the Egyptians, the people feared the Lord and put their trust in Him and in Moses, His servant. Now, they easily forgot the Lord, like us so often, how we tend to forget the promises of God and trust ourselves and not trust the Lord. We have these words in Deuteronomy chapter 1. And this is a recounting of God's deliverance of them and God's dealings with them and how God directed them to go up into the promised land. And He says, Nevertheless, you would not go up, but rebelled against the command of the Lord your God. And you complained in your tents and said, Because the Lord hates us, He has brought us out of the land of Egypt to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites to destroy us. Because the Lord hates us? He brought us out of Egypt?

Listen to what C.S. Lewis said while he was losing his wife to cancer. He said, I am not in danger of ceasing to believe in God. The real danger is to believe terrible things about God. The conclusion I dread is not so there's no God after all, but so this is what God is really like.

You see? His fear was that He would interpret God's dealings and misunderstand God, misrepresent God. And that's what they were guilty of. He goes on there in Deuteronomy 1 to recount how God had led them by a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night, how He provided food all the time they were in the wilderness, how He provided water out of the rock, how He preserved their shoes from wearing out. Verse 32 says, Yet for all of that you did not believe the Lord your God who went in the way before you to search out a place for you, to pitch your tents, to show you the way you should go in the fire by night and in the cloud by day. And the Lord heard the sound of your words and was angry and took an oath saying, Surely not one of these men of this evil generation shall see the good land of which I swore to give to your fathers. God took very seriously their unbelief. And I wonder, I believe He's no respecter of persons.

He's the same yesterday, today, and forever, the Lord Jesus is. And if God is that jealous for their exclusive trust, I think He is as jealous for our exclusive trust of Him. And you see, for the rest of Israel's history, God fought their self-reliance. And God will fight our self-reliance. He will work to frustrate us when we are trusting ourselves or any other thing. There's a hymn in our hymnal, Come Ye Sinners, Poor and Needy, and there's one stanza I want to draw your attention to. It says, Lo, the incarnate God ascended, pleads the merit of His blood, venture on Him, venture holy, let no other trust intrude. Let no other trust intrude.

None but Jesus, none but Jesus, none but Jesus can do helpless sinners good, can do helpless sinners good. We need to be that determined and vigilant that we let no other trust intrude. Because any other trust is dishonoring to God.

We're demonstrating that we don't trust Him. We're trusting some other person, some other thing, and God is not honored with that. Again and again, Israel was tempted to trust in other alliances.

They trusted Egypt, they trusted other nations. Now not always, there were times that they trusted the Lord and when they did, God honored their trust and their faith and showed Himself strong on their behalf. In 2 Chronicles 14 and verse 11, we have King Asa praying in the face of an army of over one million Cushites who had come against them. And this is what the king prayed, Lord, there is no one like you to help the powerless against the mighty. Help us, O Lord our God, for we rely on you and in your name we have come against this vast army. And God delivered Israel.

He responded to that. Also, in 2 Chronicles 20 and verse 12, King Jehoshaphat faced with a vast army of Moabites and Ammonites. And this is what he prayed. We have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you, 2 Chronicles 20 verse 12.

And what was the result? God delivered Israel. Then there is the situation with the Assyrians in the reign of King Hezekiah and I want to turn your attention to Isaiah chapter 37 because in Isaiah chapter 37 we have a prayer that Hezekiah prays. The Assyrians had sent their military general and he was intimidating, he was threatening. Listen to what he says to this military general, chapter 37 verse 4. It may be that the Lord your God will hear the words of Rabashak whom his master, the king of Assyria, has sent to reproach the living God and will rebuke the words which the Lord your God has heard.

Therefore, lift up your prayer for the remnant that is left. That's what Hezekiah is saying. Listen to what the field general says in chapter 36 verse 4. Thus says the great king, so he's speaking on behalf of the king of Assyria. Thus says the great king, the king of Assyria, what confidence is this in which you trust? He was mocking them. You're trusting your God?

Have you noticed all the other nations that were trusting their God? That they're lying in a heap of dust. So there was this intimidation. Letters were sent. And what does Hezekiah do? Hezekiah realizes he has no military match for this vast army. Isaiah 37 verse 14, Hezekiah received the letter, that was this intimidating letter, from the hand of the messengers and he read it. And Hezekiah went up to the house of the Lord and spread it before the Lord. Then Hezekiah prayed to the Lord saying, O Lord of hosts, God of Israel, the one who dwells between the cherubim, you are God.

You alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth, you have made heaven and earth. Incline your ear, O Lord, and hear. Open your eyes, O Lord, and see and hear all the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to reproach the living God.

Truly, Lord, the kings of Assyria have laid waste all the nations and their lands and have cast their gods into the fire, for they were not gods, but the work of men's hands, wood and stone, therefore they destroyed them. Now, therefore, O Lord our God, save us from his hand. Now what I want you to see is before he ever made the petition, ever cried out to the Lord for deliverance, he's acknowledging who God is, that he's the creator God, that he's the sovereign God, that he's the ruler of the world.

He's acknowledging that. And he's not only concerned for the deliverance of himself and his people, but he's interested in the honor of God, because listen to what he says. Now, therefore, O Lord our God, save us from his hand. That, or so that, all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you are the Lord.

You alone. And I believe that God works in the hearts of his people and brings difficulty and brings circumstances to bear and brings us at times in places where our backs are against the wall. We do not know where to turn. And God is intentional about that so that we will turn to him. And that when he delivers, that when he shows himself, he gets the glory.

And our faith is strengthened so that the next time we're not reluctant, we're not hesitant, we go to him because we've tested and tried and seen that the Lord is faithful. And God did. God sent one angel, not a host of angels, he sent one angel on a mission. And that one angel came and when that one angel finished his assignment, 185,000 Assyrian soldiers were dead.

And Israel's army hadn't lifted a finger. Their faith was strengthened. They believed in God.

But as human nature is, they had to keep learning that lesson over and over and over and over again, just like we do. So the question that remains for us to consider is what are you relying on? Where is your confidence? What are you trusting when you're sick?

We take advantage of doctors and hospitals and medicine, yes. But are we trusting the Lord? I believe God is interested in what he was interested in with them, their exclusive trust. Let no other trust intrude. Venture on him, venture on him.

Let no other trust intrude. And if we can keep this in mind, and again, I believe that God is primarily trying to teach us these two primary lessons. He is our deliverer. If he has delivered us from the penalty of sin and we're on our way to heaven, that is an anchor.

That is assurance. If God has done that for us, the ultimate deliverance, then we can trust him for any other deliverance that we might have. God is able to deliver in life and in death.

It's a win-win situation. When we're praying for a believer in Christ, they come to the end of their sojourn. Isn't it a deliverance from this world and all the difficulties of this life when God translates us immediately into his presence?

Yes. He is our deliverer. Temporal deliverance, salvation deliverance, and ultimate deliverance. But he's also our provider.

I think it's shameful at times how we fret and fume and worry about such temporal things. God is saying, look to me, trust me. Let no other trust intrude because he wants to show himself strong on our behalf. He's the omnipotent God. He's the all-powerful God. He's able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all we can ask or think. So God's interested in growing our faith, and he grows our faith by testing our faith, by putting us in places where, and unfortunately we have to learn the hard way, that those things that we are trusting in place of him will fail us. The arm of the flesh will fail us.

Paul says in Romans chapter 7, I know that is within me dwelleth no good thing. Jesus said, apart from me you can do a little thing, a few things, a number of things. No, you can do nothing.

You can do nothing. And therefore, we need to trust him. And I trust this brief devotion tonight will help us in that regard. Well, we need to pray. Let me find my prayer sheet, then I might be reminded of the needs that we have. Will you join me as we look to the Lord? Father, thank you for the gift of faith.

Thank you for the promise that you will work in us, both to will and to do according to your good pleasure. You will strengthen our faith. You will grow our faith. And even when our faith is weak, I think of Peter when you told Peter, because Satan desires to sift you as wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith would not fail. And when you return, strengthen your brothers.

Jesus told Peter it's not a matter of, that there was not, it wasn't in question whether his faith would fail, because Jesus prayed that his faith would not fail. So thank you that you're the one who sustains us. You're the one who keeps us. And you're the one who brings trials and circumstances and difficulties into our lives to grow our faith. And with that in mind, we think of those who are on our prayer sheet tonight who are in need. And Lord, may you work in their lives, and not just in a temporal way, but would you work in them in the inner man? Would you strengthen them in the inner person? Would you strengthen their faith?

Would you build up their faith that they might trust you more wholly, more completely? We pray for Dawn Burns in that regard. We thank you for Marseille and her improvement, how we intercede for our sister Drew Guthrie. Lord, draw near to her, encourage her, strengthen her, help her to know that she is in the Father's hands. Thank you for Lydia Norris and her improvement and relief, the pain that she's experiencing, if it would please you.

Help Brother Greg Phillips as he's dealing with all the issues related to the disruption of his business because of this recent fire. And may he get a fair and equitable settlement from the insurance companies as he's working diligently toward that end. Thank you that Shirley Watkins has returned home. Lord, help her faith to be strong and vibrant, even in a weakened body. We pray for John Spencer. Thank you for bringing him through knee surgery.

We pray that you do the same as he has hernia surgery on the 18th. Lord, the circumstances seem very dire for Stephanie Corbett, these circumstances, and yet you're God. Lord, show yourself strong there. Meet those needs. Encourage those with faith. Strengthen her and those who know her and love her. And for Sue Elliott's aunt, Mary Hicks, and for her sister and husband, Alfred and Connie, draw near to them and minister to them according to their needs. Lord, may Brother Jack Petry not be dreading the end of his life, but may he be anticipating what lies ahead for him. Help him, Lord, to trust you in these difficulties.

We thank you that Don Eden was spared in this traffic accident, as well as their daughter Rachel. We pray for her healing and recovery. We thank you for their years of ministry in Niger and for the fruit that is being born in that country for the gospel's sake. We lift up Stuart and Laverne and pray that you'll renew his strength and bring him to the place that they can return to Zimbabwe, even in the month of December, if it would please you. Mike Webster, who's facing five weeks of chemotherapy and radiation, followed by a surgery, Lord, give him endurance. Lord, may his faith not fail. May he maintain a vibrant faith, a growing faith.

It may be a wonderful testimony to his church and his family and those who are ministering to his physical needs. We pray for Shirley Rocky tonight. We pray that you would help her to endure the chemotherapy. Grant her the desires of her heart. She's a teacher at heart.

She wants to return to Alamein's Christian school. Lord, allow her to do that if it would please you. And arrest this cancer in her body and help her to bring glory and honor to you through the process. And how we bring Amy Freeman's mother to you and ask that you undertake for her and her husband, as they're in their latter years and dealing with a multiplicity of health issues now facing this PET scan on the 22nd. Help them to manifest faith and confidence and trust in you. We think of Betty Duncan who we learned this afternoon is suffering from a bacterial infection. Lord, intercede or intervene in her situation.

Encourage Pat. We pray that you would do for her what no one else can do. Lord, we look to you. We look to you for the salvation of our children and our grandchildren and our friends and our family members. We thank you for being reminded even this past Lord's Day as we gathered that nothing is impossible with you.

Those things that seem humanly impossible are not impossible in the realm of heaven. So thank you for our gathering tonight. Thank you for the Word of God that has come before us. Help us to embrace it. Help us to believe it.

Help us to profit from it. Dismiss us now this evening with your benediction of blessing. Watch over us and keep us. May we find ourselves walking with the Master, enjoying communion with Him, being light and salt in this dark and decaying world. We pray in Jesus' name. Amen.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-01-15 23:29:29 / 2024-01-15 23:46:06 / 17

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