Relevance and Preference or Reverence and Prescription: The Posture of True Worship

From the Pastor's Desk

One of the quickest ways to get “Christians” arguing with one another, causing one another, and ultimately writing one another off is to talk about worship style. One person believes he may worship in whatever way seems best to him, while another only wants to worship by singing hymns, and others still meet in the middle with a praise band, or choir. Some calk this issue up to nothing more than the popular cliché, “to each their own”, but really they don’t believe that. This is exemplified in the truthfulness of the opening statement, namely that fighting and name-calling begin when one’s preferred worship style is condemned. What is it that should determine the way we worship? Relevance or reverence? Preference or prescription?

The first thing to establish is Christ’s rule and ownership over the Church. Acts 20:28 tells us very plainly the Church is not independent of God, but…

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Seeing The Big Picture

From the Pastor's Desk

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When I was in college, I had the privilege of spending 6 months overseas engaging and evangelizing unreached peoples: Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims and people following various earth religions. It was my first experience with anyone outside of western North Carolina; in fact traveling for this trip was my first time even riding in an airplane! During this time my faith grew beyond measure, I experienced God in His Word like I never had before, and I shared the gospel with people who had never heard.

One of the most profound things I learned however was when I arrived back to my hometown in NC. While it was in fact true, I found it to be an ugly truth plaguing the American Church, specifically rural church in the southern United States. What was it? The idea that the world is only as big as one’s backyard; the idea that the church…

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Dealing With Doubt 

From the Pastor's Desk

This past week, at Smith Chapel Church, we addressed the nature of the new birth as we examined John 3:1-15. It is vitally important to note that the discourse given by Jesus concerning the new birth was directly related to false faith. We noted this connection in the language between the end of John 2, and the opening of John 3.

Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many believed in his name when they saw the signs that he was doing. But Jesus on his part did not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people and needed no one to bear witness about man, for he himself knew what was in man.” John 2:23-25

“Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know…

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Rejoicing in the Midst of Suffering

From the Pastor's Desk

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Over the past several weeks, I have spoken with several of our members, I have heard multiple prayer requests and I have seen tears flowing down suffering faces. People have lost loved ones, people have found out they have illnesses, some have wayward children and family members, many have issues with their spouses and marriages and all of these things reveal a single reality: there is real suffering among us.

When we are in the midst of suffering, our first response, and often the attitude that grows if our suffering lasts longer than a few days, is to abandon the possibility of joy and doubt the goodness of God. If it is true that the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever, how is this possible in the midst of suffering?

In Romans 5, the Apostle Paul begins with some of the most joyful words…

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Abide in Me

What does it mean to abide? Some thought to consider following yesterday’s message.

From the Pastor's Desk

This past Lord’s Day morning, we were brought face to face with the great reality of coming to Jesus; namely that one must not come to Him for stuff. We saw this exemplified by the disciples who had left John upon hearing, “Behold, the Lamb of God”, and followed Jesus. As Jesus turns and sees them following, He asks them, “What are you seeking?”. They answer simply, “Rabbi, where are you staying?”. As we examined this exchange, we learned they were in reality asking, “Where is it that you abide, because we want to abide with you.” Their motive for following was simple, to know Jesus by abiding with Him. In fact, one of those who heard John and followed Jesus was Andrew, who found his brother and shared with him, “We have found the Messiah”. The pattern is clear: hear who He is, come with the motivation of knowing…

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Evangelism: The Christian Responsibility, The Christian Privilege

From the Pastor's Desk

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Here is a simple outline based on this week’s bible study:

“And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”                  Matthew 28:18-20

  1. Why do a study on Evangelism? –
    1. The glory of God and the fullness of joy- Isaiah 43:6-7; Colossians 1:16; Revelation 4:11; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20; Psalm 16:11
    2. Obedience to the Great Commission; the Christian responsibility –  Matthew 28:18-20; Romans 10:13-14
    3. The purpose of salvation; the call to a divine privilege – John 15:16; John 20:21; 2 Corinthians 5:18-20
    4. The World’s greatest need-  2 Thessalonians 1:7-9; John 3:36;  …

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It is finished… Now what?

From the Pastor's Desk

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What a glorious reality to wake up to this morning: Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. It is my prayer that this has captivated your hearts since yesterday morning. Hopefully in the busyness of Sunday afternoons you were able to find some time to rest and meditate upon the seriousness of your sin, and the greatness of the Lamb who alone has power to take away sin. Remember He does this by taking sin away from us, and upon Himself.

“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

We were also able to rejoice in the truth that He not only takes something away from us, but He also gives us something, namely His Spirit. In fact, He baptizes…

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Revival 2014

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Upcoming at Smith Chapel!

Mark your calendar for these upcoming events:

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2014 Vacation Bible School! June 22nd-26th

IncrediWorld-logo_COLOR_FINALWhat: Vacation Bible School
When: Sunday, June 22, 6:30-8:00PM; Monday – Thursday 6:30-8:30PM
Where: at Union Grove Christian Church Fellowship Hall
Who: Open to all ages, there will be classes available for everyone.
Why: Because VBS is tons of fun!
How: Register on Sunday night. There will be fun and games and snacks available.

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