THE PASTOR'S VOICE
DECEMBER 11, 2016
Merry Christmas and a very Happy and Prosperous New Year!
If I had a thousand tongues I would not be able to praise God enough. 2017 is our year of Jubilee. I am anticipating another year of transformation.
To truly be transformed we must trust that God's plans and directives are for the betterment of the body. We must welcome the changes He would like initiated, embracing and receiving them with an open mind and heart. Then, we must evoke the changes He sees fit. We do this by being prayerful and faithful to Him in our individual and corporate worship and study times. We want to be in position to receive all that the Lord would bestow upon us going forward - we don't want to miss our blessings nor do we want to be a stumbling block!
Will you trust God to do what He has not done before? Will you take the shackles off of God and step into your destiny? Let me say that from where I sit we have so much to be praising God for, as He is already transforming our church before our very eyes. The ordination of Deacon Warren Norris and the consecration of Deaconess Sonya Norris and Deaconess Ellie Charley, the ordination of Rev. Ruthanne P Bracey-
Darby, the commissioning of Brother Dashawn Bristol and the licensing of Minister Troy Meade, our Women's ministry, Media ministry, the revitalization of our Youth ministry, and the Men of Valor, just to name a few, all give us reasons to explode with praise and thanksgiving.
Let me take this time to encourage all presidents to participate in the Leadership Training on December 17th from 8:00 am to 2:00 pm. During this training we will develop strategies and action plans to execute in the coming year of Jubilee. Planning and strategy is needed to propel our church further. Join me in prayer, commitment, and financial support as we prepare to hear the voice of GOD. Take time to pray for transformation. Take time to read about Jubilee.
Let me close by reminding you of what I said just a week ago: "God is shifting the atmosphere all around us. In order to be receptive to the many changes on the way, we must choose to be current and intentional about acting in that vein." I recall sharing with you during a sermon that God says, "Expect Me to and I will!" Now is the time for us to act on our faith, remembering the words of James 2:17: "Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone." It's time to go higher in our walk with the Lord. I challenge you to do something different no matter what season you are in and watch how God moves.
Keeping Your Eyes on The SON,
Dr. Larry Green Sr., Pastor
ADVENT SHOUTS HOPE, LOVE, JOY, AND PEACE
The days are shorter and the nights are longer. We get up in the dark and come home in the dark. Thank God for Advent! During this month, we can find a ray HOPE, LOVE, JOY, AND PEACE.
We all have bad days. You know those days when we just want to start over again. We want to crawl back into bed, pull the covers over our heads, and start over again. We all get discouraged and we all experience some form of depression every now and then.
We can thank God. He comes and provides JOY, unspeakable JOY. Joy that passes all UNDERSTANDING...
Now, I am not so naive to think that we will always be on the top of the world walking on the mountain, for there will be occasions that we must travel in the valley for a while. But neither am I so spiritually ignorant that am not aware that God has provided for us in times of those valley experiences:
- In this life we will have tribulation
- In this life we will have trouble
- In this life we will have difficulty
- In this life we will have trials
- Hard times
- The storm will rise
- The winds will blow
- The waves will crash against your life
- There will be discouragement
- Things won't go as planned
- Financial difficulties
- Dark days
- Uncertain times
But the thing that God has provided for us in the hard times of this life is JOY!!!!
Psalm 30:5 - For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.
Remember just a few Sundays ago I reminded you of the words from Isaiah 61:3 - To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.
Let me assure you He's given us joy for mourning. And he's given us "the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness." This is the reason I could preach for the third Sunday of Advent: "This Joy I Have, the World Didn't Give It to Me and the World Can't Take It Away."
What is Joy? Mr. Webster says: it is the emotion evoked by well-being, success or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires. Joy is a strong feeling of happiness; a manifestation of happiness through an outward rejoicing or excitement.
To the people who don't know Jesus, those definitions might be true. But to the Christian (someone who should know Jesus) something different applies as it relates to our JOY.
This outward rejoicing comes from an inward satisfaction that I know Jesus Christ. Nehemiah 8:10 - Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the LORD is your strength.
1 Pet 1:5 - Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:
1 Peter 4:12 - Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.
My friends in the mist of Joy, some find sorrow and sadness. The loss of a loved one, the break up of a marriage, having to deal with medical issues or mounting family tensions all may contribute to depression.
I want to ask you to reflect on the circumstances of the Apostle Paul writing from prison, feeling the isolation and pressure of roman cruelty Paul reminds the believers then and believers now that even in life's pressure times we have hope! The hope that comes from the love of God that reaches out to assure us that he is not absent or distant or unconcerned but near!
Duke University did a study on "peace of mind." Factors found to contribute greatly to emotional and mental stability are:
1. The absence of suspicion and resentment. Nursing a grudge was a major factor in unhappiness.
2. Not living in the past. An unwholesome preoccupation with old mistakes and failures leads to depression.
3. Not wasting time and energy fighting conditions you cannot change. Cooperate with life, instead of trying to run away from it.
4. Force yourself to stay involved with the living world. Resist the temptation to withdraw and become reclusive during periods of emotional stress.
5. Refuse to indulge in self-pity when life hands you a raw deal. Accept the fact that nobody gets through life without some sorrow and misfortune.
6. Cultivate the old-fashioned virtues-love, humor, compassion and loyalty
7. Do not expect too much of yourself. When there is too wide a gap between self-expectation and your ability to meet the goals you have set, feelings of inadequacy are inevitable.
8. Find something bigger than yourself to believe in. Self-centered egotistical people score lowest in any test for measuring happiness. I suggest turning to GOD.
During the month of January we have the privilege and opportunity to experience the benefits of First Fruits. The phrase First Fruits is an old agricultural term that has spiritual blessings attached. It refers to giving your best. In terms of agriculture, the first harvest is generally the best being that there hasn't been time for spoilage in the fields. The first fruit is also generally the best looking and sweetest tasting. Thus, indicating giving God our very best.
Scripture teaches us that God required the Israelites to offer the first fruits of their
harvest to Him. Exodus 34:26: "The first of the firstfruits of your land you shall
bring to the house of the LORD your God." This theme is repeated throughout
Scriptures. Whenever God's people made sacrifices to God, they were expected to
give of the very best.
God became angry at the Israelites when they offered Him leftovers. "And when you offer the blind as a sacrifice, Is it not evil? And when you offer the lame and sick, Is it not evil? Offer it then to your governor! Would he be pleased with you? Would he accept you favorably?" Says the LORD of hosts" Malachi 1:8. Such showed disrespect for God.
Deuteronomy 18:4 teaches that first fruits did not only apply to the vegetables but rather it also included new wine, oil, sheep and etc. For us our first fruits would be our financial compensations. In the past some at Timothy have just made a sacrificial contribution, others have given a week's salary while others have given double tithes. Whatever way you want to honor God during the month of January with your First Fruits please indicate this on your envelopes or visit our website's giving portal.
Timothy, remember your first of anything produced belongs to God because He granted you the ability to gain the produce. Hence, the first born among flocks or the first-born child was seen as belonging to God.
You might think that it would be hard to give God the first after all the work one goes through to gain a harvest, but God promised to amply reward one's generosity. "Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and try Me now in this," says the LORD of hosts, "If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it" Malachi 3:10.
Paula White states:
Because He wants to see you succeed, He has put a system into place based on the principle of "First Fruits." The Bible references first fruits, first things or devoted things no less than 32 times.
"Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the first fruits of all your increase" (Proverbs 3:9).
"When you come into the land which I gave you, and reap its harvest, then you shall bring a sheaf of the first fruits of your harvest to the priest" (Leviticus 23:9-10)
God claims the first fruits of anything! It rightfully belongs to Him in His divine order.
When we apply the Principle of First Fruits - First Things First - in our lives, we begin to see that all firsts should be given to the Lord: the first part of the day, the first day of the week (Sabbath), the first month of the year, and the first of our harvest - be it the wages for the first hour, the first day, the first week, or the month.
Let's celebrate the Lord with our FIRST FRUITS!
Worship With Us!
Sunday School | 9:30 a.m.
Worship Service | 11 a.m.
Weds. & Friday Prayer | Noon
We Enjoy Bible Study (W.E.B.S.)
Monday | 6-7 p.m. | Rev. Green
Tuesday | 6-7 p.m. | Min. Darby
Weds.| 7-8 p.m. | Deac. Grace
Pastor's Monday Night Bible Study
Teleconference class is from 6- 7 p.m. weekly.
Timothy Baptist Church
P.O. Box 190730
35 Highland St.
Roxbury, MA 02119
617 445 3820