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January 5, 2018, 8:49 AM

Ephesians 1:3-10 The Blessings found in Christ

Church Family,

Praise the Lord for sunshine and melting ice. As we get ready to celebrate the life of Vera Richardson this morning, let me offer some great words of encouragement.

Ephesians 1:3-10 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places4even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love 5he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, 6to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. 7In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace8which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight 9making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.

I want to pick my words carefully here, God has not called us to become something. God has called us to be what He has already made us in and through Jesus. We are to be perfected in the sense that we don’t just say we are holy, but we live it.

Look at v3. The Father has blessed us with every spiritual blessing already. Those blessings include:

V4 being holy and blameless before Him.

V5 adoption into the family of God

V6 Praise

V7 Redemption

V7 Forgiveness

V7 Grace abounding

V8 wisdom and insight

V9 knowledge and understanding of the mysteries of God- mainly, that God Himself would come die for our sins, be buried, and on the 3rd day be raised from the dead

V9-10 Christ gives us Purpose

What are you lacking today? What is it that you desire to have and are beating yourself up over? Look to Jesus. Through Him the Father has already given you all that you need. Stop trying to become someone different. Learn to be who God has already made you.

Reminders:

  1. Funeral this morning for Vera Richardson at 11am.
  2. We have a Baptismal service this Sunday morning. Please be praying and bring your worship with you to church this Sunday.

Love, Serve, Go

Brian Winburn

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January 3, 2018, 11:11 AM

Ephesians 1:1-2 By the will of God

Church Family,

Tonight, we will not have services due to the weather. Please keep warm and pray for those who have to be out in this weather.

At least for this week and hopefully longer I am going to try and use our devotional email to walk through a book of the bible. I really like to read more than a few verses each day, but I feel like we may gain more this way.

Ephesians 1:1-2 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints who are in Ephesus, and are faithful in Christ Jesus: 2Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

I used to think that Paul was bragging with his introductions. Look at me, I’m an apostle, but now I realize that Paul is really bragging on God. His identity is in Jesus and who Jesus called him to be. His authority is also given by the One that called him. All that Paul is, is a result of God’s will. Do you see your job/calling correctly as being that of the will of God? By God’s will, grace was extended to save you. By God’s will, grace called you to be a teacher, banker, carpenter, preacher, etc.

V2 is too good to not mention. Grace, unmerited favor, must precede peace. You can’t have peace with God unless you’ve experienced the grace of God. Unless your sin has been dealt with, you can’t have peace with God.

2 things:

  1. Embrace God’s will and calling on your life. Don’t stop aspiring for more, but take some time to thank God for the life that He has given you. Be satisfied with God.
  2. If you are seeking peace with God, you first must experience the Grace of God.

Reminders:

  1. No church tonight.
  2. We are having a baptismal service this Sunday. Begin your new year with a bang and come worship with us. Praying that God will bring more from eternal death to life this year.
  3. On this day 9 years ago we moved into the parsonage at High Point Baptist. Our first Sunday was January 4th. We are so thankful for God’s will.

Love, Serve, Go

Brian Winburn

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December 29, 2017, 9:44 AM

3 steps we will be taking as a church this year

Church Family,

During the last email I mentioned what I believe are some of things the Lord is leading our church to focus on for this year.

  1. A deeper focus on small groups
  2. Making Disciples at home and around the world.
  3. Prayer, lots of prayer.

This morning I want to mention some basic steps for how we are going to do this and our ultimate reason for why.

  1. To develop stronger small groups we are going to continue Reaching, Teaching, and Ministering to others. This includes a nasty word, accountability. We want to develop a culture that expects others to walk along side of us as we serve Christ.
  2. We are going to practice making every conversation into an opportunity to present the gospel.
  3. We are going to intentionally ask publicly, what is best versus what is good? With this question we will be required to pray for faith to accomplish what’s best and for peace. Any time there is movement there is friction. We need to pray as God continues to change us to be more like Him.

 

Why are we doing all of this?

2 Corinthians 5:20 20Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 

In everything that we do as a body of Christ, we want to be used by God to appeal to the lost to be reconciled to God. As an ambassador we are representing Christ. We want to tell the world that if they want to see an example of Jesus, then look to us.

Reminders:

  1. We will not have night services this Sunday.
  2. January 22nd we are hosting the Associational meeting. Matt Hess, Toronto Church Planter, will be here to speak to the association. Matt is also bringing his mission coordinator, Scott Ridenour
  3. January 24th Matt Hess will be with us to meet just our church and spend time with us. Come and learn more about our partnership with Matt to reach the world for Christ.
  4. June 24th- 30th we are going to Toronto for a mission trip.
  5. Be in prayer as to how God can use us to reach Conway and the surrounding areas for Christ this year.

Big Question: Can you share how God used the church, an event, or person to impact you and/or your family this year?

Love, Serve, Go

Brian Winburn

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December 27, 2017, 9:07 AM

If the Lord wills...

Church Family,

I hope and trust that everyone had a great Christmas. I want to encourage you to take some time to enjoy this time of year, but I also know that a new year quickly approaches.

This is also the time of year for new year’s resolutions, vision casting, making goals, etc. All those things can be very beneficial, but let me also give this warning from the book of James.

James 4:13-17 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— 14yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. 15Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.16As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. 17So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.

Sadly, I read where a woman claiming to be a believer told a family who’s daughter was sick, that the sickness would leave immediately. This woman claimed the power of God and by her command, the sickness would leave. No mention of the will of God, but rather what she was claiming and casting out. When the daughter died, I wonder what the family thought of God and of this woman. What arrogance on her part! The Bible is not against planning or praying, in fact, the Bible is very much for both of these. We must remember at all times though, that we are living for the glory of God and His will. Not ours.

With that being said, Lord willing, here is what I believe God is calling our church to do this year.(Friday we may discuss some of the steps to accomplish these goals).

  1. A deeper focus on small groups
    1. This includes Sunday school, Discipleship training, Bible studies, men and women’s group, etc.
    2. We want to create a culture of living for Jesus together through relationships.
  2. Making Disciples at home and around the world.
    1. We want to create a culture of sharing the gospel. How can we turn every conversation into one that shares the gospel?
    2. Mission Conway: How can we reach our neighborhood? Our city?
    3. Toronto Church plant and beyond
  3. Prayer, lots of prayer.
    1. We want to create a culture where our church house is a house of prayer.

Reminders:

  1. A special thank you to the Choir for leading us in worship this past Sunday. We are so thankful for our special program leaders and those that participated.
  2. We will not have night services this Sunday.
  3. January 22nd we are hosting the Associational meeting. Matt Hess, Toronto Church Planter, will be here to speak to the association. Matt is also bringing his mission coordinator, Scott Ridenour
  4. January 24th Matt Hess will be with us to meet just our church and spend time with us. Come and learn more about our partnership with Matt to reach the world for Christ.
  5. June 24th- 30th we are going to Toronto for a mission trip.
  6. Be in prayer as to how God can use us to reach Conway and the surrounding areas for Christ this year.

Big Question: With the new year beginning, is there a book of the bible that you would like for me to go through as part of our Monday, Wednesday, and Friday email devotional? Are there any changes that you would like to see made to make the email/devotional better?

Love, Serve, Go

Brian Winburn

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December 22, 2017, 9:10 AM

Christmas: Manger

Church Family,

There are so many great stories that we hear and read about during the holiday season. I read of one from a school near Charleston. The teacher and his 12 homeroom students developed a bond that included watching Duke basketball games together. The students decided to pool their money together and buy the teacher 2 tickets to a Duke home game. At $300 a piece they aren’t cheap. Many around our area are preparing to pay a high price to go and cheer on their favorite team in their bowl game. The point I am trying to make isn’t about the amount of money, but rather that it is difficult for many to have access to what they want to see in person. To see our mayor, I am sure it will take a phone call and a good reason. To see our governor, it would take a great reason and knowing the right people. To see our president, it would take an invitation from him. To spend time with these important figures is near impossible.

Our last place to visit this week is the manger. It is a smelly, dingy, and unimpressive place to visit someone of influence. Yet, this is where God sent His only Son to be born. A place that all of creation is welcomed. Somewhere that anyone could go to. That includes me and you. Not only are we welcomed to come and see Jesus, we are invited to spend eternity with Jesus. Each day, including during our devotion time, we hope to walk and talk with Jesus.

Luke 2:6-7 And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. 7And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

As we wrap up our journey this week from Egypt to Bethlehem to the Manger, I hope that you will find room in your life for Jesus. Realize that you exist to come and worship Him. To know Him and make Him known.

Reminders:

  1. This Sunday after Sunday school our Adult Choir will be leading us in worship during the 11am service. Please invite others.
  2. Choir please be at church at 9:30am to practice before Sunday school.
  3. We will not have night services this Sunday or next Sunday.
  4. January 22nd we are hosting the Associational meeting. Matt Hess, Toronto Church Planter, will be here to speak to the association.
  5. January 24th Matt Hess will be with us to meet just our church and spend time with us. Come and learn more about our partnership with Matt to reach the world for Christ.
  6. June 24th- 30th we are going to Toronto for a mission trip.
  7. Be in prayer as to how God can use us to reach Conway and the surrounding areas for Christ this year.

Finally, a big thank you to the Brotherhood for cooking this past Weds for the Christmas party, to Joni Jordan for bringing Santa Claus, to Kendal Lowry for the wonderful pictures, to all those who prepared desserts, and everyone who helped make this a wonderful Christmas time.

Love, Serve, Go

Brian Winburn


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