Ladies’ Bible Study 7.9.18

Tonight we enjoyed hot brownies with ice cream, berries, and cheese & crackers with coffee and tea. Then we continued our Bible study through Matthew with some talking points from Arthur Pink’s An Exposition on the Sermon on the Mount.

Matthew 5:3-7
“The first four [Beatitudes] may be regarded as describing the initial exercises of the heart in one who has been awakened by the Spirit, whereas the next four treat of the subsequent fruits. In the preceding verse [six] the soul is seen hungering and thirsting after Christ, and then filled by Him, whereas here [verse seven] we are shown the first effect and evidence of this. Having received mercy from the Lord, the saved sinner now exercises mercy unto others. It is not that God requires us to be merciful in order to obtain His mercy—that would be to overthrow the whole scheme of grace— but having been made the recipient of His wondrous grace, I cannot now but act graciously toward others.” pp. 29-30

Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.” Matthew 5:8

“That purity of heart does not mean sinlessness of life is clear from the inspired record of the history of all God’s saints. Noah got drunk [Genesis 9:20-21]; Abraham equivocated [twice! Genesis 12:10-20; Chapter 20]; Moses disobeyed God [Numbers 20:2-12]; Job cursed the day of his birth [Job 3:1-13] . . . Peter denied Christ [Matthew 26:33-34, 74-75].” p. 32

I John 1:8-10
Romans 7:21-25

“Ah, Christian reader, the truth is, one of the most conclusive evidences that we do possess a pure heart is to be conscious of and burdened with the impurity which still indwells us.” pp. 32-33

Psalm 51:6
I Samuel 16:7

The heart “includes the mind, conscience, affections, and will.” p. 33

“How is purity of heart effected? For by nature the heart of fallen man is totally deprived and corrupt, deceitful above all things and desperately wicked (Jeremiah 17:9). How can it be otherwise when each of us must make the humiliating confession, . . . (Psalm 51:5).? This purity of heart . . . has a far more comprehensive meaning and scope. The heart of the Christian is made pure by a fourfold operation of the Holy Spirit.
First, by imparting a holy nature at the new birth. [2 Corinthians 5:17] Second, by bestowing a saving faith which unites its possessor to a holy Christ {Ephesians 2:4-10]“God’s act of grace is the ground of salvation and faith is the means by which it becomes effective in a person’s life. In Paul’s thinking, faith can never be viewed as a meritorious work because in connection with justification he always contrasts faith with works of the law. Faith involves the abandonment of any attempt to justify one’s self and an openness to God which is willing to accept what He has done in Christ. The same applies here in regard to salvation. Faith is a human activity but a specific kind of activity, a response which allows salvation to become operative which receives what has already been accomplished by God in Christ.” Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society, Spring 1994, Vol 7 :12.

Third, by sprinkling him with the precious blood of Christ, which purges his conscience. [Hebrews 10:22]

Fourth, by a protracted process of sanctification so that we, through His aid, mortify the flesh and live unto God. [Romans 8:13, Galatians 5:16-26]

“Although faith is a gift, man has a part in it. Man has the choice to accept it or reject it.”— Pastor Bill

“The work of Divine grace in the soul is begun here, but it is only completed hereafter (Philippians 1:6). We are not wholly perfected, having received only ‘the first fruits of the Spirit’ Romans 8:23. Observe carefully the tense of the verb in Acts 15:9: it is not ‘purified their hearts by faith,’ but ‘purifying their hearts by faith’—a continuous experience. So again, ‘He saved us by the washing of regeneration and 9not ‘renewal’ but) renewing of the Holy Ghost’ (Titus 3:5). Consequently it is written ‘in many things we all stumble’ (James 3:2). Yet it is our bounden duty to use every legitimate means of purification: the daily denying of self, sincere confession of our sins, walking in the paths of righteousness.”
p. 33

“Spiritual purity may be defined as undivided affections, sincerity and genuineness, godly simplicity. It is the opposite of subtlety and duplicity, for genuine piety lays aside not only hatred and malice, but guile and hypocrisy. It is not sufficient to be pure in words and outward deportment: purity of desires, motives, intents, is what should, and in the main does, characterize the child of God.” p. 34

This reminded us of the sermon Pastor Bill preached last month entitled “God’s Weight Loss Program.”

“A ‘pure heart’ is one which has a pure Object before it, being attracted by ‘the beauty of holiness.’ It is one in which the fear of the Lord has been implanted and the love of God shed abroad, and therefore it hates what He hates and loves what He loves. The purer a heart be, the more conscious it becomes of, and the more it grieves over, indwelling filth.” p. 34

“The heaviest burden of a pure heart is the discovery that such an ocean of unclean waters still indwells him, constantly casting up mire and dirt, fouling all that he does.” p. 34

“Consider now the attendant blessing: the pure in heart ‘shall see God.’ . . .the promises attached to these Beatitudes have both a present and a future fulfillment . . . Corresponding to the fact that the Christian’s purity of heart is only in part in this life, but perfected in the life to come, is the experience [in I Corinthians 13:12]. To ‘see God’ is to be brought nigh to Him (for we cannot see an object which is a vast distance from us) . . .” p. 34

“The pure in heart possess spiritual discernment and with the eyes of their understanding they obtain clear views of the Divine character and perceive the excellency of His attributes. . . . That which pollutes the heart and beclouds the vision of a Christian is unjudged eveil, for when any sin is ‘allowed’ communion with God is broken, and can only be restored by genuine repentance and unsparing confession.” I John 1:7-10
pp. 34-35

Exhortations to heed:
Isaiah 1:16
II Corinthians 7:1
I Peter 3:15
Psalm 16:8

We WILL see God face to face and be with Him forever:
Psalm 17:15
Isaiah 65:17-25
Revelation 21:1-4

The Beacon Jul7 2018

We have a special miracle to share with you. We call it a miracle because we really believe God gave this rainbow to us! Our Wednesday evening Bible study has been focused on the book of Genesis for a while. On June 20, we studied Genesis Chapter Nine. Naturally, we covered rainbows as God’s sign to us that He keeps His promises. After our time of prayer, we dismissed, and some began to filter out. Suddenly we heard some teens shouting,

“RAINBOW!!!!   IT’S    A     R-A-I-N-B-O-W!!!!!”

These photos do not do justice the magnificent display of God’s faithfulness that He gave to us that evening. He also gave us a beautiful sunset to enjoy!
Thanks for praying for our planning meeting. We now have church events planned through January. 🙂

Please pray for VBS July 23-27!!!!

Here are photos from our Fantastic Friday Finale. The whole church came out for a cookout, campfire devotion and singalong. After some yummy s’mores, we went inside for the race. Then the kids and a few brave adults camped out and had breakfast together. It was a great night of fellowship and fun!

Thank you for your faithful prayers and continued support! If you would like to make a donation to our account, please mark your gift “Bill Reynolds, RI” and mail to North American Ministries, PO Box 5002, Antioch, TN, 37011-5002, or you can donate online. Thank you!

Thank you for your financial support of our ministry. We need support for our monthly salary and donations to help pay off the church loan. Words can’t express how grateful we are for your continued support of this work and for your faithful prayers and words of encouragement! If you’d like to have me visit, please call me at 401-743-7440.

A Rainbow for us! 6.20.18

Tonight, part of our Bible study (Genesis Chapter Nine) was about how God gave us the rainbow as a promise never to flood the earth again. As we left the church and started heading to the parking lot, we heard the kids exclaim “RAINBOW!!! It’s a RAIIIIIINBOOOOOW!!” Even though there was no rain, just a few clouds, there was a full rainbow over the church. It’s as if God was illustrating our lesson for us, giving us an amazing visual aid far better than any power point or flannelgraph. That was no coincidence! Wow, God is amazing!

Fantastic Friday Campout 6.15.18

What a wonderful time we had at our church cookout, campfire devotion & singalong, and Fantastic Friday campout. And wow, the exciting Pinewood Derby Race kept us on the edge of our seats! 21 cars (which the kids spent all year making) raced against each other on three tracks for a total of 85 races. Our tech people worked hard on this one! Praise the Lord for great fellowship and a great time!