Just One

Pastors Blog with Bro Ed Stephenson

4-8-2020

We continue with the ‘social distancing’ at this time and I am sure this is a wise way to deal with our present health challenge. This has always been a way to deal with the outbreak of contagious diseases flu, measles, chickenpox, mumps or someone running a high fever. We all have spent our lives trying to stay away from catching what someone else may have and we have tried to protect our own families. The Coronavirus has presented the world, and America, with a real challenge and we should all try to avoid this dreaded virus and protect our families as best we can.

At the present time our worship services, and Wednesday night ministries, are all canceled until further notice. On our calendars this Sunday is ‘Easter Sunday’ and we all are disappointed that we cannot meet on this special day of celebration of the Resurrection. To be honest ‘Easter Sunday’ is a designated calendar date when in fact every Sunday is a designated day to celebrate THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS CHRIST! With that in mind I want us all to look forward to the first Sunday we are allowed to meet together and we will, as we do each Sunday, ‘CELEBRATE HIS RESURRECTION’ in a special way! 

While we wait for the day when we can open our doors, and come together as a church family, I encourage you, if possible, to join us for our live stream ‘Time of Worship’ each Sunday morning at 11:00am. If you can notify your local friends to join us and call friends in other states to join us. God has given us a way to continue to spread the “GOOD NEWS” even during a time of isolation. Let me say that you continue to amaze me with your faithfulness to give to the Lord’s church financially. Your faithful giving allows us to support the many ministries we support throughout our country and around the world, “THANK YOU!”

May I challenge all of us to let the ‘light of faith’ shine brightly during these days of darkness for so many. Try to keep things in perspective (viewpoint, evaluation) and don’t become a victim of fear (distress, anxiety, terror). Every day there are 156 million people who die in the world and every second of every day there are 258 babies born. Remember the Lord who saved you by grace, through faith, is in you through the ever abiding presence of the Holy Spirit that Jesus identified as the “Comforter”. Stay firm in faith and may we all remember, “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.” I John 4:4

SEE YOU THE NEXT SUNDAY WE CAN MEET TO WORSHIP – BRO. ED



4-1-2020

The talk of our day continues to be, “What will be the outcome of the Coronavirus?” There are many opinions, even among medical experts, and of course we who are just laymen in the medical field have our own. One thing we must agree on is that the enemy is real! Thousands, upon thousands, have this virus and thousands have died! As thousands more are tested the numbers will certainly increase and we will continue to wonder when will this all pass? The truth is, “It’s all in God’s hands.”
If we would read the Old Testaments we would notice that God called men to deliver His message, to His people, concerning difficult times such as famines, droughts and persecution that would come, even the invasion of other countries that would take them into captivity. The reason always seemed to be that God’s people had forgotten Him. God’s message to His people was that they would repent of their ways and return to Him! I really believe that we, who profess to be His children through the new birth in Jesus Christ, should search our hearts, and examine our lives, to see where God is in our list of priorities. As we dwell together in our homes, and our go, go, life has come to a stop, what is our Heavenly Father’s message to His children?
There was an occasion in the ministry of Elisha when he was in the city of Dothan that the King of Syria sent a mighty host to capture Elisha. During the night the host of Syria surrounded the city of Dothan. Early in the morning Elisha’s servant walked outside, and saw the enemy, and ran back inside and told Elisha that they were surrounded by the enemy. The servant asked the man of God, “What are we going to do?”
Elisha’s answer to his servant is God’s answer to us today, “Fear not for they that be with us are more than they that be with them. And Elisha prayed, and said, Lord, I pray thee, Open his eyes, that he may see, And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha….and God smote the army of Syria with blindness.” The army of Syria received their sight and were captured by Israel. But to their surprise Israel fed them and allowed them to return home.
II Kings 6
PLEASE PRAY FOR ALL THOSE WHO ARE LEADING IN THE FIGHT!
SEE YOU ON OUR NEXT AVAILABLE SUNDAY – BRO. ED


3-25-2020

One of the most remarkable moments in the lives of the Disciples of Christ happened on the Sea of Galilee. They were following the Lord’s directions to go to the other side of the Sea and in their journey a great storm came upon them. In the midst of the storm they saw something that they had never seen before and literally they were overcome with ‘fear’ (anxiety, distress, panic, alarm).

What they saw, in the midst of storm, was what appeared to be a man ‘walking on the water’ and they were trying to determine if this was a ‘spirit’ or a ‘real’ man. The storm itself was enough to cause ‘fear’ but the sight of either a ‘spirit’, or, the possibility this was a man walking on the water, was more than they were prepared to deal with!

It is ‘dark’ (3am-6am) and the storm is ‘great’, “the wind was contrary” (conflicting, disobedient, antagonistic, rebellious). May we all come to believe that, as Disciple of Christ, times can become ‘contrary’ and things may be more than we are prepared to deal with. We must realize that a ‘storm’, no matter how contrary, is no ‘big deal’ for our Lord, He just walks through them to get to His Disciples! When Jesus arrives He reassures His Disciples with these words, “Be of good cheer, it is I; be not afraid.”

Peter wanted to experience ‘walking on water’ and asked Jesus if could join Him on  His walk. Jesus said, “Come” and out of the boat went Peter and he walked on the water in the midst of the storm. Peter walked on the water as long as he kept his focus on Jesus, but when he became more aware of the storm, than Jesus, he began to sink. As the storm was overtaking Peter he cried out to Jesus and Jesus was right there to save him.

May we all keep our focus on Jesus, in the midst of these troubling days, and remember the words of Jesus, “…I am here, don’t be afraid”.

NOTE: stay informed by going to our website ‘springhillbaptistchurch.info’ and we are up and running with ‘on line giving’. On our website just click on ‘giving’.

SEE YOU ON OUR NEXT AVAILABLE SUNDAY!   – BRO. ED



3-18-2020

“Jesus Use Me”

Each day we are seeing new statistical reports concerning the Coronavirus and each day we are facing new decisions. Our normal routines are not normal any longer and we are called on to make adjustments for ourselves and our families.

 I encourage you to pray for those in the medical field who are trying to serve so many and are sacrificing their own health to take care of the sick. I encourage you to pray for our Gov’t leaders who are seeking knowledge, and wisdom, in leading us during these challenging days. Pray for those who are in medical research that God will give them an answer on how to treat this virus.

We are trying to follow the advice of medical experts who tell us we need to keep our distance from each other and not to gather in large groups of people. We have canceled Wednesday night services on March 18th and March 25th. We are also canceling our Sunday services on March 22nd. We will be hosting a time of worship at 11:00 a.m. Sunday for those who have ‘FACEBOOK’ platform. I would appreciate you sharing this information with as many of your friends as possible.   

This virus is especially dangerous for our Senior Saints and for those that have other preexisting medical conditions. If you can take time to check on our Senior Saints, or even run an errand for them, it would be greatly appreciated.

In this brief article I do want to encourage you in the Lord. We must deal with the reality of the moment but that doesn’t mean we have to live in ‘fear’. There are many moments in life when we must decide to live by ‘faith’ or ‘fear’. I want to live by faith because I know my Lord is faithful. I find myself praying each day as the disciples, “Lord increase my faith.”

King David prayed to his Lord at a critical time in his life because, “The joy of the Lord was his strength.” 

SEE YOU THE NEXT AVAILABLE SUNDAY – BRO. ED



3-11-2020

“Jesus Use Me”

Where am I in my spiritual development? How far have I advanced in the Lord’s plan for my life in His service? The Apostle Paul touched on these thoughts in his letter to the saints in the church at Philippi. He spoke of his own service to the Lord as an example to all of us.

“Not as though I had already attained (achieved, realize, accomplished), either were already perfect (unspoiled, mature, developed): but I follow after, if that I may apprehend (capture, catch, take into custody) that for which I am apprehended (captured) of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended (captured): but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching (to actively grasp, to extend) forth (forward, onward) unto those things which are before, I press (to be compelled, to pursue) toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”   Phil. 3:12-14

The Lord had designated Paul as His ‘special vessel’ to take the Gospel to the Gentile world and we are part of the harvest of Paul’s faithfulness to his assignment. Paul’s overwhelming passion, and energy, was to proclaim Jesus Christ and Him crucified. This passion to be that ‘special vessel’, for the proclaiming of Christ, took Paul all the way to Rome, as a prisoner, where he would finally be executed.

But notice Paul’s words to Timothy before he died, “for I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished (concluded, completed), my course, I have kept the faith.” II Tim. 4:6-7

May we all remember that we have proclaimed Jesus as our Lord and we should have a passion to know, and carry out, His will for our lives in His service.  Paul also told Timothy that a “good soldier must not get entangled (ensnared, trapped) with the affairs of this life.”

II Tim. 2:3-4

 

SEE YOU SUNDAY – BRO. ED



3-5-2020

“Jesus Use Me”

Who are these people who attend church and sing, pray, fellowship and study the Bible? Are they a group of spiritual elitist? The word ‘elitist’ means superior, snooty, exclusive and highbrow. The word would have certainly applied to the Pharisees, in the day of Christ, who considered themselves the only ones worthy of heaven and the blessings of God.

The Bible warns us not to think more highly of ourselves than we ought too. There is a real need among all of us to be objective about ourselves. The word ‘objective’ means to be unbiased, unprejudiced and fair. If a believer will be fair, unbiased and unprejudiced about themselves they will shout with joy over God’s unmerited love and grace.

The Apostle Paul looked upon himself as the ‘chief of sinners’ and his personal testimony was this, “For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the Church of God. “But by the grace of God I am what I am: and His grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain….” I Cor. 15:9-10

In Paul’s first letter to the members of the church at Corinth he reminded them of who they “were” before God’s grace was received, “Know ye not that he unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. NOW PLEASE NOTE And such ‘were’ some of you: bbut ye are washed, but ye are sanctified but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.” I Cor. 6:9-11

No, we are NOT ELITIST, but praise God we are sinners SAVED BY GRACE!

SEE YOU SUNDAY – BRO. ED



2-24-25

“For the love of money IS THE ROOT (core, cause, foundation) of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have ERRED (to blunder, to stumble, to go wrong, to go astray) from the faith, and have PIERCED (to stab, cut, impale and puncture) themselves with many SORROWS. But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.”  I Tim. 6:10-11

The state of Arkansas has made some decisions lately that have shocked me! This wonderful state has been a part of my life for over 50 years and the great people of this state continue to be the love of my heart. Those that have brought gambling into our state, marijuana disguised as a medical need and now seek the recreational use of marijuana, along with the continued promotion of alcohol, even in counties that have voted to remain ‘dry’, are doing so not because they love this state but because they love money!

We can ignore the Bible and decide to welcome more, and more, of the entertainment of the flesh, and the love of money, as guides to our society but we will pay a high price as a state. To make decisions according to the flesh, and the love of money, is to assure ourselves of future ‘sorrows’.

May I encourage all believers, “to flee these things” and commit ourselves to ‘Godliness’ which will do more to strengthen this great state than the ‘love of money’.

SEE YOU SUNDAY! – BRO. ED 



2-17-2020

Am I a disciple of Christ? A disciple is one who ‘follows’, ‘believes’, ‘supports, is a ‘student’ and is ‘devoted’. When I study the meaning of the word disciple I find the answer to my question gains some depth and weight. In reality being a disciple takes so much more than just saying, “Yes. I am a disciple of Christ.”

In Matthew 4 Jesus calls two brothers Peter, and Andrew, to be His disciples, “And He saith unto them, FOLLOW ME and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway (immediately, at once) left their nets and FOLLOWED HIM.” (Matt. 4:19-20)

Now the word ‘follow’ means to ‘track’, ‘monitor’, ‘shadow’ and to ‘keep your eye on’. The word is a verb which means that to ‘FOLLOW’ Christ, and learn to be a disciple, is a life that is active. Christ spent over three years training His disciples and it was three years of activity. Every day they would be actively learning, as ‘students’, how to become ‘fishers of men’. The lessons would be difficult, and challenging, and many times Christ would have to repeat the lesson. Some of us can identify with the original disciples because we are also slow learners.

A key to our discipleship is to remember that Christ said for us to ‘FOLLOW HIM’. Jesus didn’t tell Peter to follow John and later for Matthew to follow Mark. Each time the lesson Christ presented in discipleship the foundation was “FOLLOW ME”. The key lesson to learn in discipleship is who it is we are to ‘FOLLOW’! JESUS IS THE Master Teacher in Discipleship 101. It is Jesus that we are to be ‘tracking’, ‘monitoring’, ‘shadowing’ and ‘keeping our eyes on’!

IF YOU’RE TRACKING JESUS I’LL SEE YOU SUNDAY! 
 
BRO. ED


2-3-2020

“Jesus Use Me”

‘Just One’

I hope you had a great ‘Super’ Sunday! We have all been hyped about ‘Super’ Sunday for weeks. To ‘hype’ is to buildup, to excite, it also means ‘flimflam’ or ‘gobbledgook’ which means ‘nonsense’. I saw this week that over 7 billion dollars would be bet on the outcome of the football game. I was amazed that a thirty second commercial during the football game would cost 5.6 million dollars.  Let me share with you ‘Super’ Sunday! It started over two thousand years ago, on a Sunday morning, when One Man named Jesus walked out of the tomb in Jerusalem. The resurrection of Jesus sealed forever the defeat of the Devil and the penalty, and condemnation, of sin. To believers every Sunday is ‘Super’ Sunday!  This past ‘Super’ Sunday started for me in the foyer as a young lady approached me, with her parents, and said she wanted to talk to me about being saved. After presenting the plan of salvation this young lady and I knelt in my office, along with her parents, and she asked Jesus to save her! As we were huddled together, after her prayer, she looked at me, with a smile on her face, and told me, and her parents, that Jesus was in her heart. ‘Super’ Sunday!  Just a few moments later a young man, that I have known since  he was born, was standing at my office door in a nice suit with a big smile on his face. I called him by name and I asked how I could help him? He said, “Bro Ed, I want to tell you that I was saved this week at home .”  Sunday night, at the close of our worship service, I baptized three who had accepted Christ as their personal Savior!  With ‘NO HYPE’ it truly was ‘Super’ Sunday!

“SEE YOU SUNDAY” – BRO. ED



1-27-2020

The month of January has truly been exciting for the ministry of Springhill Baptist Church! The Lord has added 13 to our membership and we have been informed of decisions made by members concerning their personal service to the Lord. It is thrilling to witness lives being yielded to Christ and to see how Christ will use ‘Just One’.

There was an occasion, during the personal ministry of Christ, when a great multitude

had assembled in advance of Jesus arrival. Jesus was moved with compassion as He looked upon such a great number, the number of men was 5,000, and Jesus would give Himself to the needs of this great number for hours.

The disciples came to Jesus and said that He needed to dismiss the crowd for it was time for the evening meal. Their advice to Him was to tell everyone to go into the cities, and villages, and buy themselves some food. Jesus asked His disciples, “Where can we buy some food to feed them?” Philip answered and said to Jesus, “If we had eight months of salary we couldn’t feed this multitude.”

A key to this lesson is found in John 6:6, “…Jesus knew what He would do.” We all need to be assured that Jesus is the answer to the circumstances we are dealing with even if it seems out of touch for us.

Andrew told Jesus that all he knew about was one young lad who had brought his own meal which was ‘five barely loaves and two SMALL fishes’. Jesus had the crowd to be seated and blessed the meal and then had the disciples to distribute the food among the multitude. When everyone had been filled the fragments that were left filled twelve baskets.

This was certainly a Jesus moment! I challenge all of us not to overlook the lad! This young lad was ‘JUST ONE’ in a multitude but he was willing to give Jesus what he had! Little is much when God is in it and each ‘ONE’ of us will be amazed how Jesus can use what we have if we will give it to Him!

“SEE YOU SUNDAY!”

Bro. Ed