The Messenger: Rev. Dr. George B. Moody
Text: Isaiah 43:16-21
God can do a “new thing” in your life regardless of your situation. Many of us depend on our own knowledge and abilities to get us through difficult situations; however, there will come a time in our lives when we must recognize wisdom comes by the fire. When you reach that point when you realize that you cannot walk through the fire alone, you must take up your cross and follow Jesus. Remember that God says that “You can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13
It is important to know that whatever you are going through, God wants you to “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and rivers in the de-sert.” (Isaiah 43:18-19)
The rivers and deserts are metaphors/images of what we go through in our lives. You will know that God is making a way for you through the wilderness if you are redeemed and born again. When you put your mind to it, the rivers will not overflow you and all fear is gone no matter what desert you are on. You may be in the fire, but you shall not be burned. And it is not because of who you are, but because of who He is.
Wisdom comes by the fire. You must take up your cross and bear your burdens. God is doing new things in your life. Do not resist Him, and do not be afraid.
Invite God to do a new thing in your life today!
The Messenger: Rev. Albert Gaither, Associate Pastor
Scripture: Job 1:13-22
In his day, Job was considered a man of great riches
He had it all, and he lost it all. His dearest possession his wife, his sons & daughters, health, property were taken from him. Job became so angry that he cursed the day he was born, wished he had died during child birth, and prayed that he would immediately cease to exist. However, “In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.” (Job 1:22) He displayed no anger toward God; instead, he got on his knees and praised God.
Many of us have experienced pain that rocked the very foundation on which we live. We must ask ourselves, “Did we react with anger and charge God for our suffer-ing or were we like Job praising and worshiping God on the spot regardless of our circumstances?” We need to be more like Job and see the hand of God in every-thing.
When we pray and worship the Lord, the Holy Spirit helps us to see things from a new lens. A good and positive prayer confuses the enemy. All Job lost, God replaced. In spite of the pain and suffering we endure, we must give God praise. It may take a while, but God will give us the strength to endure any circumstance if we daily praise Him. Learning to appreciate God in the good times will give us the strength and faith we need to withstand any heartbreaking and seemingly unbearable situation that comes our way.
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.” (Job 1:22)
The Messenger: Pastor Davis
Text: Jeremiah 17:1-18 Message:
Today, when we take a look back at our church’s history, our involvement in the community, and our outreach to the children in the area, we have to ask ourselves an important question – “What happened?”
In the text, Jeremiah paints a beautiful word picture to describe people who lead lives of faithfulness to God.
“. . .blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green.” (vv.7-8)
The scripture says that people are like trees and have some of the same characteristics. For example, they both stand for something, have their own individual purpose, there are good ones and some that are not so good, and there are no two that look alike. There are some that bear good fruit and others that bear bad fruit, and some that bear no fruit at all. How you behave as a tree depends on how deep your roots go because they are trying to reach water. People go deep for knowledge and substance in God. On the other hand, some people are like bushes. They’re like tumble weeds. They get blown around when storms and trouble come their way. Trees that are planted deep down in the soil with strong roots don’t get blown or dry up and fade away. People with strong, deep roots also continue to grow and stretch themselves as far as they can and don’t bend when hard times come their way.
If we have deep roots in God, we will bear good fruit even in the midst of a drought. We must not give up. We must sink down into the water and reach higher than we have ever reached before!
The Messenger: Pastor Davis
Text: Genesis 45:1-8
In the text, Joseph was loved by his parents and hated by his brothers who plotted against him and sold him into slavery. He was knocked down again and again. There came a time when there was a famine in Canaan, and his brothers came to Egypt for grain. Joseph revealed his identity, forgave his brothers and reunited with his family. He said to his brothers, “And now do not be distressed, or angry with yourselves, because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life . . . It was not you who sent me here, but God.” (vv. 3-5, 8).
Joseph’s story mirrors our own lives and reminds us that if we just trust in God, it is possible to forgive, even when we do not feel forgiving. For Joseph, everything centered on God. He kept his eye on God and never waivered because he knew that God was always in control and nothing just happens. The steps of a good person are ordered by God. Life can be chaotic or confusing, but we must remember that our lives have been orchestrated by God. God is always in control. Each of us has a covenant with God, and what God said He would do, He will do.
There are times in life when we have something that means the world to us, and we lose it. Things happen that do not make sense, and we want to believe that the pain has a purpose and is not all for nothing. During those times, we must get up, keep moving despite the pain and count our blessings thanking God for all that He has done. We just have to believe and know that there is, indeed, a light at the end of the tunnel. Nothing just happens. God knows where we are in life, all of our secrets, and all of our pain. God is still in charge. When things go wrong, stop and acknowledge that God is deal-ing with them. Make up your mind today that God is still in control!
The Messenger: Rev. Dr. George B. Moody
Text: 1 Corinthians 1-13
In 1 Corinthians, Paul tried to warn believers to be careful of how they lived. He wanted to correct the immorality and divisions among them by encouraging them to become more aware of their weaknesses and strengths. He wanted to bring their focus back to where it should be—on Christ. Paul said to them, “And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.” (1 Corinthians 1-13)
If we truly love God, He will give us the strength to love others like He would, even when they make it difficult to love them. Power without love is nothing. Paul drove those who loved the Lord toward a deeper faith with Him. He described various characteristics of love to the believers in the church of Corinth:
- Love is patient and kind.
- Love is not jealous or boastful.
- Love is not rude/does not demand its own way.
- Love does not record past wrongs. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)
The most powerful way that you can be filled with the Holy Spirit is to identify what is going on inside of you and recognize where you are weak and where you are strong. If God has laid His hands on you, stop making excuses and serve Him the way you should. Let the world know that you are His and He is yours. Love Him and keep His Word. His Word will give the gift of healing, mercy, giving, teaching, understanding, and the spirit of wisdom. Jesus said unto him, “If a man loves me, he will keep my word: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our home with him.” (John 14:23) Love Him and keep His Word. Love never fails!
The Messenger: Pastor Davis | Text: Luke 3:15-17, 21-22
In the text, Jesus marked the beginning of his ministry, his divine assignment, with his baptism by John the Baptist. He wanted to be a savior to the Jews who were marginalized, oppressed, and pushed aside and asking how long they would have to wait for a savior. After Jesus was baptized by John and while he was praying, the Holy Spirit descended and a voice from heaven claimed Jesus as the Beloved Son.
Thousands of years later, God raised up another prophet, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., to help change the behavior of an oppressive government with a Divine Mission of peace. Dr. King was committed to his vision and his dream to “Lift our nation from the quick sands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. . .and make justice a reality for all of God’s children.” He believed that no matter how hard things seem to be (i.e., bombs, threats), we must always remember that God is in charge and that He believes in you and knows all that you are going through.
Pastor Davis believes that this is also Ezion-Mount Carmel’s charge as we move forward to be spiritually committed to our church and being servants of the Lord. As Dr. King said, “God did not bring us together to leave us alone.” He has work for us to do in our church and in our community. Our charge is to stand in memory of a prophet that God sent to us. We must love each other, forgive our enemies, love them anyhow, and love each other. According to Dr. King, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?”
“Been working for Jesus a long time, and I’m not tired yet”
The Messenger: Pastor Davis
Text: Luke 3:15-17, 21-22
Jesus marks the beginning of his divine assignment, his ministry, with his baptism by John the Baptist. (Matthew 3: 13-15)
What are the prerequisites for a divine assignment/mission/purpose:
- Be pure in heart and without sin: John the Baptist called people to repentance. He told them to turn away and be baptized – turn away from their sins to face a new direction. God has a plan, and He has miracles that he wants to do through you, but you have to be on the road to Sanctification/Holiness. God’s sanctifying grace shapes us more and more into the likeness of Christ. One cannot be in holiness and still be on the other side. The process of being holy is not easy, but it can be done.
- Be Spiritually Committed: Have a made-up mind to Follow and GO… and be obedient. Jesus was commit-ted even though he had moments of doubt and trepidation. But He finished his Divine Assignment – He finished his mission!
- Be Totally Submitted.: There are many who would rather be served than to serve. God is saying: “I am looking for someone who is willing to give themselves away to me.” If God calls you, God will equip you! God is just waiting on you to walk the road of Holiness, be Spiritually Committed and be Totally Submitted, and He will see you through to the com-pletion of your Divine Assignment/Your Mission
Pastor Davis is asking you to be committed to the mission and vision of our church in 2019. This is an exciting time to be a part of what God is doing! Do not be afraid of the task ahead. Though trials be great and the way seems hard, it is in the will of God. Say to your-self:
“I expect. . .the supernatural intervention of God! I expect a miracle!”
The Messenger: Pastor Davis
Text: Matthew 2:1-12
The Magi came from the east to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? King Herod sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.” On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. The Magi had a mind-changing experience after they saw Jesus and left a different way. (Matthew 2:1-12)
Luke 5:37 tells the story of old and new wine skins. “And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the new wine will burst the skins; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined.” In other words, when you get ready to do something new, do not attach it to something that is old lest you ruin the integrity of both things.
As we enter 2019, God wants us to seize the opportunity to see every day as an opportunity to experience God. We should not walk into the new year with the same mindset and attitude of last year. How do we change our mindset and be blessed?
- Recognize that you need to change your ways.
- Make a vow to follow Jesus Christ every day.
- Let God’s will be your will; spend time with God.
- Stop seeking counsel from people who do not know God.
- Study, read the bible and have faith.
- Stop being self-centered; it’s about God not about you.
- Seize the opportunity; stop doing the same things over and over, expecting to get a different result.
Let’s all try something new! Seize the moment! Embrace the new things that God has in store for us, and walk by faith! “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” (Romans 12:2) T
The Messenger: Pastor Davis The Message:
Text: Ecclesiastes 3:1
We do not live a life of random events. We serve a God of seasons, and every aspect of our lives is like a season. There is a reason for the seasons and a purpose for the process. You may not understand today or the next day, but eventually God will reveal why you went through what you went through. God has it under control. “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1)
Sometimes, we get into things and do not know how to get out of it. We have to learn how to number our days and decide “what stuff to worry about and what stuff not to worry about.” We may never fully under-stand what God has planned for us, but our attitude toward life changes when we learn to see good times and bad times as opportunities to grow closer to our Heavenly Father. As we go through the seasons of life, the valleys of despair and the mountain tops, we must put our trust in God. Knowing that God is in control should bring us hope. When we face rough times, we’ve just stepped into a new season. There is a purpose for the process. We just have to get back in God’s rhythm, get back in step with God, and He will help us overcome every obstacle.
When we have the right rhythm and get in step with God, we recognize and appreciate that each season prepares us for the next season. We become more loving, more thankful and more hopeful.
Do you feel the music? Are you in rhythm?
Scripture: Revelation 1:4-8
“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”
God is absolutely the beginning and absolutely the end. Everything that is originates ultimately in Him. And everything will somehow end with Him. Before Him, there was nothing. The name of God used most often in the Hebrew Bible has two meanings:
- Yahweh (Lord, Jehovah) – God is the first and the beginning – doing for us what we cannot do for ourselves
- Adonai (Ruler, commander, and master) – Emphasizes that God is in charge of His creations and His people
God ordained everything in this world in five days. However, when He created man, He did not “speak out” as He did for his other creations. Instead, He “formed“ man and gave us freewill to obey Him. Unfortunately, egocentrism or self-centeredness, has invaded our church community. Everything is directed to our own personal needs and interests. We are disobedient, disloyal, fickle, creations of God. We forget that before Him there was nothing. Even though we disobey Him, there is always a blessing still waiting for us. We need to praise Him, magnify Him and glorify His name, and not get caught up in what God’s done for us, but who God is. True knowledge of God’s goodness, greatness, and grandeur begins with humility.
We must always honor His goodness, greatness, and grandeur!