On October 4, Berea Baptist Church will celebrate ministering to the Palm Harbor area for 53 years! In that time the church has seen members come and go, we have had three pastors, and have moved from a house by Lake Tarpon to the beautiful facilities we enjoy today. What has not changed is our fundamental mission to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, and mind; to love our neighbors as ourselves, and to obey the command of the Lord to “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen” Matthew 28:19-20.
We have identified our responsibility as believers and members of Berea Baptist Church in four statements: Love God Supremely, Strengthen Others Graciously, Serve Christ Selflessly, and Share the Gospel Passionately. I would like to challenge us as a church body to take these four statements and make them an integral part of our everyday lives. At the end of each day we should ask ourselves: Who have I strengthened today and how? How have I shown my love for God today? How have I served Christ today and with what attitude? And, have I shared the gospel with anyone today?
If we love God with our heart, soul, and mind, and our neighbors as ourselves, we will, through the power of God in our lives,fulfill our mission as a church and reach our community for Him. Jesus told His disciples in John 13:34-35, “A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” By this standard, would your neighbors in the Palm Harbor area know that we are disciples of Jesus Christ?”
I Corinthians 13 is known as the “love chapter” of the Bible. It is perfect love that God desires be displayed by each of His children. This kind of love is impossible humanly speaking, but when we are in Christ and He lives in us, then God will display His love through us.
Look at I Corinthians 13:4-8 and put your name in each blank.
Jesus in __________ is patient. Jesus in __________ is kind. Jesus in __________ does not envy. Jesus in __________ does not boast. Jesus in __________ is not proud. Jesus in __________ is not rude. Jesus in __________ is not self-seeking. Jesus in __________ is not easily angered. Jesus in __________ keeps no record of wrongs. Jesus in __________ does not delight in evil, but rejoices with truth. Jesus in __________ always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres. Jesus in __________ never fails.
~submitted by Steve Armstrong