Right Sacrifices

God’s Word says in Psalm 4:5, “Offer right sacrifices and trust in the Lord.” Most of us would agree and say, Amen to this verse. Take a closer look and underline the phrase “right sacrifices”.
How do we know what sacrifices are considered right in the eyes of the Lord?
We are instructed in what is right by Paul in Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy–meditate on these things. (NKJV)
Let’s give to God whatever is true, pure, noble, right, and good. Offer the most excellent praises. Lean and depend on Him.
Amen?
You are invited to Revival Services November 15-17
at Hopewell Baptist and FBC Osgood
Theme – Being the Church

Friday 6:00 at Hopewell – Pastor Steve Allen speaking
Saturday 6:00 at Osgood – Pastor Ty Choate speaking
Sunday Pulpit swap – (Pastor and Praise teams) Hopewell at 9 and Osgood at 9:30


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Know Your Pain

God knows your pain. The Psalmist shares this truth; The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. – Psalm 34:18

For his anger is but for a moment. His favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may stay for the night, but joy comes in the morning. – Psalms 30:5

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. – Psalm 147:3

Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer. – Psalm 61:1

Do not forget the fact that death is the consequence of sin that started in the Garden with Adam and Eve. Jesus died on the cross to release us from the sting of death, which is sin. “Where, O death is your victory? Where, O death is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. – 1 Corinthians 15:55-57.

But sin is ugly, and the suffering caused by sin is enormous. Sin is something to cry about. Forgiveness should cause us to rejoice.
Amen?

You are invited to Revival Services November 15-17
at Hopewell Baptist and FBC Osgood
Theme – Being the Church

Friday 6:00 at Hopewell – Pastor Steve Allen speaking
Saturday 6:00 at Osgood – Pastor Ty Choate speaking
Sunday Pulpit swap – (Pastor and Praise teams) Hopewell at 9 and Osgood at 9:30


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Watches Over

Through the Scripture, Jesus shows us His ability to grieve and feel loss. “When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come with her, also weeping, He was deeply moved in spirit, and was troubled, and said, ‘Where have you laid him?’ They said, ‘Lord, Come and see.’ Jesus wept. And so the Jews were saying, ‘Behold, how He loved Him!” (John 11:33-36).

Jesus knew that He would soon raise Lazarus from the dead, so why was He so disturbed by the events of that day? There was His great sense of compassion. He hurt to see others hurt. His emotions were pushed to the limit by witnessing the sorrow of Mary. Those with compassion are able to “weep with them that weep” and all Christians ought to have this ability (Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn Romans 12:15).

Jesus continues to watch with compassion over us today as well, as is shown by His standing at the right hand of God ready to receive Steven’s spirit as Steven was being murdered for his faith in Jesus (Acts 8:55,56).

Always remember this same Jesus watches over us as well. Amen?

You are invited to Revival Services November 15-17
at Hopewell Baptist and FBC Osgood
Theme – Being the Church

Friday 6:00 at Hopewell – Pastor Steve Allen speaking
Saturday 6:00 at Osgood – Pastor Ty Choate speaking
Sunday Pulpit swap – (Pastor and Praise teams) Hopewell at 9 and Osgood at 9:30


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Freedom

God sent Jesus to heal the broken hearted… Jesus proclaimed: The Spirit of the Lord is upon me; he has anointed me, and sent me out to preach the gospel to the poor, to restore the broken-hearted; Luke 4:18 His mission is revealed – bring the Good news, and along with it hope and vision. The prophesy is filled freeing the poor, weak, powerless, captive, blind, oppressed, and the brokenhearted through His power. With our brokenness and repentance comes obedience and faith.

Belief in Christ is critically important to help us come out of spiritual slavery, and even more so, to help us in staying out! We need to change our hearts, minds, actions, thoughts, tongues, and attitudes to have freedom from sin. Remember: Freedom has no value unless you remain free!

Jesus was reading a prophesy about Himself found in Isaiah 61:1-2. God promised and Jesus delivered! Amen?

You are invited to Revival Services November 15-17
at Hopewell Baptist and FBC Osgood
Theme – Being the Church

Friday 6:00 at Hopewell – Pastor Steve Allen speaking
Saturday 6:00 at Osgood – Pastor Ty Choate speaking
Sunday Pulpit swap – (Pastor and Praise teams) Hopewell at 9 and Osgood at 9:30


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Hope for the Lonely

Have you ever felt that something or someone was chosen over you? Sometimes we lose hope and feel alone. True hope can only come from God. Hope is defined by: The feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best. “Hope” in Scripture means “a strong and confident expectation.”
What does the Bible say about hope? It is mentioned 180 times – 34 times just in Psalms. Here are ten of my favorite on hope.
Psalm 9:18 -But God will never forget the needy; the hope of the afflicted will never perish.
Psalm 25:3 -No one who hopes in you will ever be put to shame, but shame will come on those who are treacherous without cause.
Psalm 25:5 – Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.
Psalm 33:18 – But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love,
Psalm 33:20 – We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield.
Psalm 37:34 – Hope in the LORD and keep his way. He will exalt you to inherit the land; when the wicked are destroyed, you will see it.
Psalm 42:5 – Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.
Psalm 62:5 – Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him.
Psalm 130:5 – I wait for the LORD, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope.
Psalm 130:7 – Put your hope in the LORD, for with the LORD is unfailing love and with him is full redemption.
Jesus will never leave you. He is our hope. Amen?
Pastor Ty Choate


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Questioning God

Do we have the right to question God’s plan? God has so many blessings for us if we’re obedient. We need to be still, listen, and think about what He has in store for us. God’s Word says in Jonah 4:4, “But the Lord replied, “Have you any right to be angry?””
If God is asking you this question, consider the words of this great song.
Have Thine own way Lord,
Thou art the potter, I am the clay,
Mold me and make me After Thy will,
While I am waiting, yielded and still.
Be in and follow God’s will for your life today and every day.
Amen?
Pastor Ty Choate


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Citizen Christian

This election has merited a lot of discussion. Problems with leaders and countries have been around for a long time. It’s time we think from our Christian hearts and not our earthly minds.The following is an excerpt from a booklet called Five Duties of a Christian Citizen published by BGEA and Cru.

Citizenship in a free country is a blessing from God. Our great system of self-government assures every Christian a voice in the affairs of the nation, and enables us to bring a heavenly perspective to the earthly realm. God wants us to do His will in government, just as in the church and in the home. But too often we have disobeyed our Lord. We have ceased to be the “salt of the earth” and the “light of the world,” as Christ has commanded us. As a result, the moral fiber of America is rotting away – and our priceless freedom is in grave jeopardy. – Bill Bright 1980
British statesman Edmund Burke said, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” America is one of the last strongholds of freedom on earth – and citizens who are dedicated to God are the only resource for the preservation of our freedoms, including the freedom to serve Him. We can be used by God to set this nation on a new course of righteousness for His glory.
Charles Finney, who helped introduce half a million Americans to Christ, wrote in 1835: “The time has come that Christians must vote for honest men and take consistent ground in politics, or the Lord will curse them… God cannot sustain this free and blessed country, which we love and pray for, unless the Church will take right ground. Politics are a part of religion in such a country as this, and Christians must do their duty to the country as part of their duty to God… God will bless or curse this nation according to the course Christians take in politics.” His words are no less true for us today. Our nation’s course is up to us.
“A Christian’s first duty is to God. It then follows, as a matter of course, that it is his duty to carry his Christian code of morals to the polls and vote them… If Christians should vote their duty to God at the polls, they would carry every election, and do it with ease… it would bring about a moral revolution that would be incalculably beneficent. It would save the country.” – Mark Twain 1905
Christian lawyer Michael Whitehead put it this way: “If America is to be saved, saved Americans must lead the way.”
May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.- 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17
May we apply Jesus to all aspects in our lives. Amen?
Pastor Ty Choate


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Being The Church

Where is the church? In Acts 2:40-42 we learn about the purposes of the church. “With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day. They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.”
Three Parts of “Being the Church”
1. The Church is to be active. (and not just on Sundays)
Filled with joy, the realization of “church” is outside the building: at work, school, with families, neighbors, and in the community… Acts 2:43-47
2. Be the church – not just sit in it. (the building)
When will we seize the opportunity given to us to be the hands and feet of Jesus? John 13:12-17 12When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. 13″You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘LORD,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14Now that I, your LORD and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.
3. The church is called to bring the hope of Christ into the world. The walls can’t but you can… 1 Peter 1:3 Praise be to the God and Father of our LORD Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and Romans 5:2-5 (In Christ) through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. 3Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
If you trust in Jesus as your Savior, then you are the church!
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13
Amen?


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Greatest Love

Recently I officiated a wedding. I have been blessed seeing the couple grow and mature in the Lord. It was an honor to participate in their wedding and lives. Paul loved the church, the bride of Christ. As he wrote to the church in Corinth, he did so as a Father loving his child with a great word from God.
There are many wonderful things that we can experience in this world, but three: faith, hope, and love come to the top. As I experience life (in other words “as I age”) I agree wholeheartedly with Paul’s summation of life.
You don’t have to get married to consider these words of love found in 1 Corinthians 13:
If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Praise God today for His great love offered so freely to us through Jesus. Amen?
Pastor Ty Choate


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Never Leave You

Are you tired, frightened, or grieving? Jesus gives us His comfort and promise in the Gospel of John:.

1 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4 You know the way to the place where I am going.” 5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” 6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.” – John 14:1-7

In His last words to us in Matthew 28:18-20 – 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Think about it!
God will never leave me, I am never alone.
God will never leave you, you are never alone.
Let’s embrace this beautiful truth today, and apply it to our lives.
Amen?


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Let’s Go

When a horse isn’t moving fast enough the rider must give it a “spur”! Isn’t it ironic that God’s Word says in Hebrews 10:24, “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.” Showing God’s love takes motivation sometimes.
First check to see how you are serving God and showing Jesus to the world around you. Then encourage other believers to do the same. The result could be world changing.
This week find three believers and “spur” them by praying for, encouraging, and telling them that you want to help them as they follow Christ.
Time that we all pick up the pace.
Amen?
Pastor Ty Choate


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Hands Up

Are you feeling burdened or overwhelmed these days? God’s Word says in Psalm 16:1, “Keep me safe, O God, for in you I take refuge.” That’s good counsel for all of us.
It’s built in to a child’s DNA to reach up when they feel lost or afraid. You see it wherever there are a group of children with their caregivers. Hands go up to be held and reassured. When a child is lifted up it gives them an entirely different perspective and view. Believers are called children of God. He will protect His children, comfort them, and give them a new perspective on life. It’s in our spiritual DNA, but some have just forgotten or repressed it. That leads to a sense of abandonment, fear, and loneliness.
Today and always go to the Father for protection, peace, and rest. Hands up!
Amen?
Pastor Ty Choate


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Walk Like Jesus

You can’t do the walk until you know the talk (the Bible!). God’s Word says in 1 John 2:6, “Whoever claims to live in Him must walk as Jesus did.” You cannot pattern your life after someone unless you know all about them.

Walking as Jesus did takes us back to WWJD? – What would Jesus do?
– You need to accept Jesus as your Savior and Lord.
– Lead a Spirit filled and directed life.
– Stay in communication constantly through prayer.
– Read, study, and meditate on His Word every day.
– Belong to a Bible believing and teaching church and small group.
Be Jesus’ hands and feet. The world needs you to show Him in your life.
Amen?
Pastor Ty Choate


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A Good Mystery

This week we are looking in Colossians 1:24-28 to see the attributes of how Paul models God’s heart to the world. The third thing that is required is to have the Heart of the message. We see this in verses 26-27: the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the Lord’s people.27 To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

The Message says it like this: The mystery in a nutshell is just this: Christ is in you, so therefore you can look forward to sharing in God’s glory. It’s that simple.

Six things we can learn about the mystery:
1. We have one faith in common in Christ Jesus.
2. Salvation has been fulfilled by Jesus Christ. There is nothing we need to do accept believe.
3. The blessings that come from our salvation are experienced by those who belong to Him by faith
4. The hope of glory is for all eternity, and eternal hope = present hope.
5. This relationship with Christ results in hope toward the possibilities of this life prior to Christ’s return.
6. God does not promise us worldly happiness but eternal hope and joy in our salvation.

Remember that Christ is in all believers – share His glory. Amen?
Pastor Ty Choate


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Together In Mission

In Colossians 1:24-28 we see the attributes of how Paul models God’s heart to the world. The second thing that is required is to have the Heart of a messenger. 25 I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness.

The Message says it like this: When I became a servant in this church, I experienced this suffering as a sheer gift, God’s way of helping me serve you, laying out the whole truth

The source of Paul’s calling is God’s commission* (with/together)
Our mission is within and with the church – to be able to share to the world the good news (by working together).

There are no Lone Rangers in God’s army, only team (God’s) players. We are on His mission together!

Make sure you are on the right team and you‘ll never lose! Amen?
Pastor Ty Choate


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Lacking

These days it seems that truth is relative and right and wrong have swapped places. Many people believe there is no God, or that they are their own God. Sad times indeed. The Bible is really clear on these issues. To ignore it doesn’t change the truth it contains. Ignorance of God’s law is not an excuse for disobedience.
God’s Word says in Hosea 4:6, “My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge”
The greatest knowledge one can have is in knowing Jesus Christ as Savior. True wisdom and guidance come from God through His Spirit and His Word.
The Apostle Paul wrote these great words; You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. – 2 Timothy 3:14-17
Sin is sin. Amen? Or Oh me?
Pastor Ty Choate


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When You’re Weary

God’s Word gives a hope and wisdom on just about every subject we’ll encounter in life. Matthew 11:28-30 is a very familiar verse for the tired and weary. Those that feel the crushing weight of this world and their sin. The Law (and the world) is full of expectations of perfection with no real power to achieve it. Jesus’ offer of forgiveness and God’s power leads us to rest, peace, forgiveness, and comfort. It doesn’t seem like a hard choice. But people turn their backs on God all the time.

Another way to say Jesus’ words: “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (Message)

I think I’ll hang out with Jesus. Amen?
Pastor Ty Choate


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Faith, Obedience, and Trust

We are all given a choice in life, and everyone will choose. Jesus is the Way to God, the Truth on all matters, and the abundant Life for today and all eternity. God’s Word says in Psalm 1:6, “For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish”.
God knows and guards His own, and it ends in glory. Evilness ends in destruction. What will you choose?
Paul writes, “For everyone who calls on the Lord will be saved”!
Jesus said, “No one comes to Father God except through Me (the Way)”.
We tell Satan to leave us alone by being obedient to God. Jesus said to the devil in Matthew 4:10, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.”
This is where having the right heart comes in to play again. To serve like Jesus served should be our goal.
When we have reached this level of maturity then our hearts and minds will be in the right place. Life may not be easier, but how to handle it will.
Amen?
Pastor Ty Choate


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In Hard Times

The Scriptures teach the need for balance in one’s life and attitudes. A good passage concerning proper balance is found in the Book of Ecclesiastes. It tells us that there is a time for everything under heaven; “A time to give birth, and a time to die; A time to plant, and a time to uproot what is planted. A time to kill, and a time to heal; A time to tear down, and a time to build up. A time to weep, and a time to laugh; A time to mourn, and a time to dance. A time to throw stones, and a time to gather stones; A time to embrace, and a time to shun embracing. A time to search, and a time to give up as lost; A time to keep, and a time to throw away. A time to tear apart, and a time to sew together; A time to be silent, and a time to speak. A time to love, and a time to hate; A time for war, and a time for peace.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-9).

Being a Christian does not mean a life without sorrow or troubles. It does not mean that expression of sorrow is a sign of weakness. It does mean that we, with the help of God, maintain a balanced perspective in all of life’s circumstances. Jesus will be with us during these hard times. Amen?


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God’s Trees

A friend of mine told me that the drought had been hard on trees. Many have died or diseased. It made me think of the first formal sermon I ever preached. It was titled, Be a Tree. I based it out of the first Psalm, and a lifetime of experience in seeking to be who the Lord wanted me to be. God’s Word in Psalm 1:3 says, “He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.”

As God’s “tree” we should be:
1. Straight (vertical focus and purity)
2. Strong (in the Lord, for He is our strength)
3. Supplying fruit (righteous living and sharing the Gospel)

A child of God should be like that tree: growing strong for the Lord, but you may be experiencing some “drought” in your life. Seek the Living Water who will replenish you. He said that if you seek Him with all your heart you will find Him. Look for healthy “trees” you’ll find Him there.

Amen?
Pastor Ty Choate


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