Jerry and Linda Abercrombie were celebrating their 52nd wedding anniversary as we gathered for Sunday morning worship at Mill Creek Baptist Church. Doug Cory greeted the congregation and visitors and opened our service with prayer.
Rick Lett taught the adult Sunday School lesson, “Integrity Established,” a study of Daniel 1:8-21. The lesson reminds us that believers can live with integrity when tempted to compromise. “Believers who refuse to compromise God’s standards will be justified and will find knowledge and understanding when they trust God.”
Linda read Zachariah 13:9 and shared a devotional “of greater value than gold”. A story of forging and reshaping what was useless to become valuable. She also shared a poem, “I Wonder,” from an old Albert E. Brumley songbook.
Mitchell Lett asked for God’s blessing on the offertory and he and Tyrel Lett served as ushers. With Susan Cory on piano, Karen Gardner led the congregation in singing hymns of praise, including “The Old Rugged Cross.”
Shoal Creek Baptist Association missions director Allen Brock replaced Brother Mark as chair. He began by talking about the difficult year it had been for his family and for many. Even still, God proves himself steadfast in our trials. As he spoke of the divided churches today, he reminded us that there is unity in Christ and division is satanic. “Even Adam and Eve separated from each other and from Christ. Loving one another shows the unity of Christ.”
The scripture for Sunday’s message, “Keep the main as the main”, was taken from Luke 10:38-42. Allen looked at Mary and Martha, their encounter with Jesus Christ, and examined their priorities. “Good things can distract us from the things of God and from obeying Him. Unexpected distractions will occur. Satan uses two tools: distraction and discouragement to lead us away from God.” As Allen looked at the priorities of Mary, Martha, and Jesus in Scripture, he began by asking what is our priority?
Allen told us that Martha’s priority was hospitality. “She was ordered and expected to take care of those who came to her. Jesus came to Mary, but [Martha] was so distracted by the preparations for hospitality that it became her priority and not Jesus. She was so busy with something that she forgot Jesus was there. Even though we receive Jesus as Martha, we get distracted for all kinds of reasons and forget that He is King, our Lord and Saviour. Jesus was never distracted in his travels to forget Martha and Mary. Martha was so distracted that she never heard anything Jesus said. Jesus did not rebuke her actions, he rebuked her attitude. Priorities kept her from hearing Jesus.”
As Allen was talking about Mary, he told us that Scripture tells us that Mary’s priority centered on listening to Jesus. Verse 39 tells us that she sat at Jesus’ feet and heard his word. “She was in a position of discipleship with her Master. Mary’s priority was Jesus. A disciple imitates the life of Christ. We are disciples of Christ and we must study and learn this image and life of Jesus which we must imitate. How did Jesus pray, live and make disciples? This is how we should imitate the life of Jesus. Although Martha complained that Mary was not helping her, Mary continually listened to Jesus. It was her priority and she refused to be distracted.
Allen told us that Jesus’ priority was to obey God even when he endured a grueling crucifixion. “Jesus must be our priority individually and in the church. How do we do this? When we do what He wants us to do. Knowing and learning the word of God should be a priority. The gospel of Jesus is the only thing that matters, through the taking away of our sins through the salvation and crucifixion of Christ.”
In conclusion, Allen told us that Satan wants to distract us and uses political parties, governments, disease, denominations, religious issues among other things that are happening in our lives to distract us from God. “We are distracted by things that matter to us but do not concern our eternity. The world we live in is like a raging sea of wicked sins. Reach out to those who die in sin and need Christ Your priority should be Jesus Take him out into the world to those who need him Make Jesus your priority so others can see him too.
Our invitational anthem was “Kneel at the Cross”, and Steve Mason gave the blessing.
We invite you to worship with us next Sunday as we will have special guest speakers to share their personal testimonies. Worship begins at 11 a.m. and Sunday school at 10 a.m. Mill Creek is located 3 1/2 miles east of Noel, just off Highway 90. Everyone is welcome.
The opinions expressed are those of the author.