“To Know and To Make Known”

Merge Mission 2014

Romans 10:13-15, “13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. 14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! “

         Last week our Youth Group at Church went to our annual camp called, “Merge”. Merge is a camp where youth-camp and missions merge together into one huge week long ministry. This was the third year our youth have had the opportunity to go, and every year just gets better.

             Our mission site for the last year has been a trailer park that is in a rural area away from the city, and sort of just by itself surrounded by fields. There’s not a lot around it, but within the park itself there are many families that are blooming with children all around.

             Our mission in 2013 and again this year in 2014 was to go into this area and have BYBC ( Backyard Bible Clubs ) during this week to minister to the children and their parents. Each day we played games, ate snacks, made crafts, and most importantly shared the Good News of the Gospel with those we came in contact with. It was a huge blessing to have this opportunity!

             As we went out each day to our mission site I was reminded of these verses in Romans 10. First, we see the huge PROMISE that comes to us in Scripture. The PROMISE is that “whosoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”. This has got to be the most exciting promise in all of Scripture, because it provides hope to every human being that ever walks this earth. Then Paul asks some very THOUGHT PROVOKING QUESTIONS.  “How shall they call, how shall they believe, how shall they hear?” These questions show us just how important it is to GO and take the Gospel to those around us and those we must travel to. Paul answers his own questions when he says, “except they be sent”. This shows the necessity of PURPOSELY sending others out, and allowing yourself to be sent out too with PURPOSE. That purpose is to take the Good News out to people who are lost that they have the opportunity to hear the Word, believe on the Word, and be changed by the Word.

             The reason we must ask those questions that Paul asked is because we see the awesome promise in Scripture that the Lord saves those who genuinely put their faith and trust in Jesus and what He did at Calvary for every individual in this world. The reason we must go with purpose is because there is a world full of lost people dying and going to hell, unless we accept the mandate of the Great Commission and go share God’s justice, mercy and grace with them that they might come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.

             Are you a child of God? If so, this my friend is your responsibility too.

 Sincerely,

Bro. Bryan

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“The Treasure of a Great Dad”

James Morris Young

Psalm 103:13, “Just as a father has compassion on his children,
So the Lord has compassion on those who]fear Him. “

              This coming up Sunday is the day of the year that we will celebrate father’s because it will be Father’s Day. The picture above is an older picture of my dad. He couldn’t remember exactly how old he was, but he thinks it was somewhere around the time he graduated high school. As I thought about Father’s Day the above verse in Psalm 103 came to mind as I pondered thoughts about my earthly father given to me by my Heavenly Father.

             I have to say first of all that I sincerely believe I was blessed with the best dad any child could ever have. There are so many wonderful memories of my dad and I that there would be no way to recount them all in a short devotional blog such as this. However, I would like to point out a few things about my dad – and again, this doesn’t even scrape the surface.

             First of all, let me say that I would not be the man I am today without my dad in my life. My father has to be the hardest working man I have ever known in my life. He served the same company for forty-something years of his life until he retired just a couple of years ago. Through his work he taught me to do the best job you can, do what your supposed to do, and to be moral and ethical while doing that job. My dad was never one to pad his expense report, never abused sick days or time off, but instead he gave 110 percent every time he went to work. He is a man of honesty and integrity.

             Second, my dad has always been a great provider for our family. I remember times where my dad worked multiple jobs, and did everything he could do within his own power to provide the necessities and many times the wants that our family had. In fact, he spent many tireless nights refinishing furniture in his shop to keep the bills paid and to take care of “wants” like Christmas presents for his wife and children. He always has gone the extra mile to take care of his family.

             Third, I can remember as a little boy my dad taking us to church, teaching Sunday School, and reading Bible stories to us at night in the bed. My dad and mom planted the spiritual seeds early in my life in preparation for what God would do within me later on in life. I don’t think any of us knew what they were planting at the time, but God certainly blessed by watering the seeds in my life that they planted. For that, I am eternally grateful. That is a gift that no price-tag can be put on.

             Fourth, my dad has always showed genuine love for his wife, children, extended family, and others. The way he treated and treats my mother taught me how to be a good husband to my wife. The way he treated my sister and I taught me how to be a good dad. My dad disciplined me when I needed discipline. As a kid I never understood the words when he would say, “I’m spanking you because I love you.”, but later on in life those words would make perfect sense to me. The meaning of those words would come to life when I began to have children of my own. I can never remember being disciplined without hearing the words, “I love you, and this is why I’m doing this….”. He was firm when he needed to be, and gentle when times called for gentleness.

             So much more could be said about my dad whom I love more than words could ever express. I am so thankful to God for my dad. There are so many kids and adults in this world that have a poor experience of what a father is. Those people didn’t have the blessing of a good dad like my sister and I have had. My heart goes out to them, because having this type of dad is a REAL blessing. I have never doubted the love of my Heavenly Father, and I believe that has a lot to do with the fact that I have never doubted the love of my earthly father.

             Any man can father a child, but not every man who fathers a child will be a “dad”. If you have a good dad, then you will be able to see many of the characteristics of our Heavenly Father in him, and they will benefit you greatly in your faith. If you are not able to look back on the experience of having a good dad, I want to say to you that there is a Heavenly Father who loves you perfectly! I hope that I can take the things I have learned from both my Heavenly Father and my earthly father and be the kind of dad that my kids will look back on years down the road and say what a blessing their dad was to them.

 Sincerely,

Bro. Bryan

“The Power of Music” – Psalm 71:23

Music GuysPsalm 71:23, “My lips will shout for joy when I sing praises to You; And my soul, which You have redeemed”

Carter and Ivan

Last night  ( 6/1/2014 ) was a wonderful experience at Morris Memorial Baptist Church in Moscow, TN.  Gospel singer Ivan Parker, his son Josh, and their sound-man Mike came to be with the church and community to put on a Gospel concert. It was definitely one of the best Southern Gospel concerts I have been at. The guys that came to put on the concert were really good and talented, but it was the experience of worshipping God through the music that blessed me so immensely.

Josh and Bailey

             As I reflected on the music and the Gospel presentation through the Word of God it caused me to look at the verse listed above which is Psalm 71:23.  This Psalm was written towards the end of David’s life. If you read the whole Psalm you will see how David is showing Christians that even in the worst of times, and in the depth of the valley we have reason to praise Jehovah God. I would like to share with you three simple reminders about Christian music as I read Psalm 71:23  and studied it closer.

             First, our music should prepare us for worshipping God. God is worthy of ALL our worship and praise. The Psalmist said, “My lips will shout for joy when I sing praises to You”. This is a reminder that we are instructed in Scripture to “enter His courts with thanksgiving and praise” ( Psalm 100:4 ). The music we heard, participated with, and sang to last night was certainly music that prepared me to worship Jesus last night.

             Second, our music should remind us that we are His. Obviously, I am talking to those who have a personal relationship with Christ – those who have invited Him to come into their hearts and be Lord of their lives. There is one HUGE reason that the Psalmist is able to “shout for joy” and “sing praises” because the psalmist belongs to God. He has real joy because His joy is in God Himself. Remember, the Psalmist here is showing us through Psalm 71 that we can sing praises, we can shout for joy, we can triumph even in the valley of the shadow of death.  Just because my circumstances warrant me to be sorrowful doesn’t mean my soul cannot rejoice in the fact that I am held by the most powerful Anchor in all the world – God Himself.

             Third, our music should remind us of what He has done. The Psalmist said “he will shout for joy”. The Psalmist said, “he will sing praises”, but he also said, “and my soul, which You have redeemed”. Wow! Our music, as the music last night reminded us how God made a way for sinful man to be redeemed. God redeemed me at the age of 19 when He became Lord of my life, and my all! What does it mean when we say we can be redeemed? It means that God first made me as His creation, and then He bought me with a price. That price was by the blood of His Son Jesus Christ. Our music should remind us how God has redeemed us.

             What kind of music do you listen to? In all transparency I must tell you that I have liked all kinds of music growing up. However, I can tell you that the very best music you can listen to and participate in is that music which does those three things for your soul. It will be music that will; prepare you for worship, remind you that you are His, and remind you of His redeeming power. Music can be a powerful tool that can bring you down, or lift you up. Choose wisely and you will see the difference that Christ-honoring music will make in your life.

Sincerely,

Bro. Bryan