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A Word from Mike…

 

                For those of you, old like me, remember the Sonny and Cher hit... “Drums keep pounding a rhythm to the brain La de da de de, la de da de da. And the beat goes on…” The song rehearses the flow of life; some things stay the same, and some things are influenced by the latest trends. In both cases, people are powerfully influenced by the drumbeat of society. Indeed, the beat goes on as a confused society grasps for meaning to life and even tries to dictate the politically correct meaning to life, or has decided that there is no meaning and simply goes through the motions of living. Strangely enough, this can even affect genuine followers of Christ, and it may be making some of us tired of feeling adrift in a God-resisting world. If we don’t stay honed-in on the revealed truth of God, we will lose sight of our purpose in the day-to-day grind, and the worst part of it is that it can happen to us and we don’t even know that it’s happened.

             There are many drums pounding out continual noise, but how do we discern which drum provides the right cadence? As Christians, we have concluded that the Bible is our guide to knowing and following God. Space will not allow for me to develop all the reasons why we believe the Bible, but, suffice it to say here, some of us believe it to be the only original written source material for knowing God. We have arrived at this conclusion because of certain historical observations and affirmations, and because of the compelling inward testimony of the Spirit of God. The Bible not only tells us some things about God, existence, and meaning for life, it also tells us practical ways to live which honor the God that created us with purpose, and helps us make the most of, and even enjoy our earthly journey. Talk about peace and fulfillment! There is nothing like knowing we are on the path that God has laid out for us, and it doesn’t hurt to have the grand expectation of heaven as our ultimate landing place! So, in the months ahead, I want to look at the second half of the book of Ephesians as we consider some practical tips for living life to its fullest.

             In Ephesians 1-3, Paul provides some heady theological explanations as to how and why God has revealed His own glory by acting on the behalf of people who have rebelled against Him, and who are ‘dead in their trespasses and sins’ (2:1). Then, in the balance of the book (chs. 4-6) he appeals for a practical application of these theological truths.

He begins this practical section by saying to the Ephesians, “Therefore…walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called…” (4:1). These, like all believers in Christ,  have been called or brought into a relationship with God, which includes living in a way compatible with that relationship. A worthy walk, or lifestyle is one that measures up to a given standard. In other words, Paul is saying, because of what God has provided for you, live in a way that matches the standard that God set when he called you. Paul will tell us that our life with God has expectations and parameters, and that we are not left to our own devices in determining how we should live and relate to Him and to people. Paul’s description of such a life includes humility, gentleness combined with patience, and developing relationships toward people with a tolerant attitude of love (v2-4). Not only that, but we are to be diligent to seek and maintain unity among ourselves as we live and function together through the Spirit’s empowering.

             Notice that the appeal is to a surrendered life that seeks the will of God and thinks more of others than of ourselves. This does not suggest that we are to ignore sin or tolerate all beliefs or actions from others, but it does say we are to develop a lifestyle that is much less self-centered. How would that affect us personally, our families, our churches, our work, our friends, and those who are not our friends, if we exchanged what is natural to what is God-desired? It would change things, as well as others; but most of all, it would change us from the inside out. We will hear much more from Paul about these things in the articles to come (or if you want to read more, read the entire book of Ephesians.)

Without a doubt, what I’ve described is another message and lifestyle that is much different from the worldly madness that can be so overwhelming, and I urge us all to listen carefully to the quiet beat of God and walk closely to the cadence of the Holy Spirit as He illuminates biblical truths for our lives. And the beat goes on!

 

" We are called to live a surrendered life that seeks the will of God and thinks more of others than of ourselves "

 

Mike Manning        
Director / A.M., Harmony Baptist Association
2001 S Cherry St. Pine Bluff, AR 71601
501-581-9776 cell  -  870-534-1021 office  -  870-534-4625 fax

 

Harmony Baptist Association 's 100th Annual Meeting

 

             Harmony Baptist Association will celebrate our 100th Annual Meeting on October 23rd at White Hall First Baptist Church. If you would like to volunteer to be part of a Celebration Team which will plan this meeting, please contact Linda at the association office or Moderator Paul Williams at White Hall First Baptist Church. We want to rejoice in looking back and seeing what God has done for us and looking forward to seeing how we can join Him in advancing the Kingdom!!!

 

MISSION GROUPS COMING TO HBA

These mission groups will do ministry around our association. If you have VBS, BACKYARD BIBLE CLUBS, construction or ministry projects, contact Harvey Hibner or Brother Mike

 

BLOCK PARTY

Do you need to host a block party for your church to reach the neighborhood?

Contact Bro Harvey Hibner to schedule a date for him to bring the block party trailer to your location

 

 

 

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