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The UNFATHOMABLE RICHES OF CHRIST JESUS

November 26, 2014

 

To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ, Ephesians 3:8

If you were with us yesterday, you know that this is day two of pondering these unfathomable riches we have in Jesus!

Romans 8:15 For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!”

Galatians 4:5-7…in order that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons, and if a son, then an heir  through God.

Romans 3:22…even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe…

1 Corinthians 1:30  But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus

2 Corinthians 5:21  He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

Hebrews 10:14 For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.

1 Peter 2:5…you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood…

1 Peter 2:9  But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;

Ephesians 2:18…for through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father.

Ephesians 1:18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,

1 Corinthians 3:9  For we are God’s fellow workers…

Ephesians 2:19  So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household,

Ephesians 5:8…for you were formerly darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of light.

Ephesians 4:30  And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

Colossians 2:10…and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority;

I’m speechless and in awe of our great Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!  He is the reason we can with joyful hearts celebrate this Thanksgiving, offering  Him all the praise, glory and thanksgiving we can give to Him who deserves it all!

The Dillard Family wishes each of you a beautiful, joy filled, Thanksgiving!

Personal Application: Pray over and claim each of these riches.

Home Application: Read them out loud and thank God for each and every one of them.

How will knowing these unfathomable riches you have in Christ Jesus change the way you celebrate this Thanksgiving?

Devotional written by Carla Dillard

Jesus

November 25, 2014

 

But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:57

This is truly my very favorite time of year!  It’s been such a privilege to talk about praising and thanking our Savior these last few days.  Now I want to spend time on the focus of our praise…JESUS. Jesus is our all in all. He is our Savior and Lord. He is our Creator and the Creator of the universe.  He is our righteousness.  He took our punishment and gave us His life.  Our life is found in Jesus. He is our Hope. He is Truth. He is Love. He is all we need and everything we need!

 To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ. Ephesians 3:8

I so relate to this verse as a Gentile and want today and tomorrow to share with you a small portion of the phenomenal list of the unfathomable riches we have in Christ Jesus.   https://bible.org/article/believer’s-unfathomable-riches-christ

Ephesians 1:3every spiritual blessing in Christ…

John 1:12 …as many as receive Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God

Colossians 3:12…as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved

1 Peter 2:4…but choice and precious in the sight of God

Romans 5:10…we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life

2 Corinthians 5:20  Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ

Romans 8:1  There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

Romans 6:8  Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him

Romans 6:14  For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law, but under grace.

Colossians 2:13   And when you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him.

1 John 3:2  Beloved, now we are children of God

2 Corinthians 6:18  “And I will be a father to you, And you shall be sons and daughters to Me,” Says the Lord Almighty.

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature;

Ephesians 2:10  For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

1 Corinthians 6:11  And such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and in the Spirit of our God.

Personal Application: Ponder this list of the riches you have received in Christ Jesus.

Home Application: Share this list with your family at dinner and discuss what each one means to you.

How will you start living as if you believed that these riches are yours in Christ Jesus?

Devotional written by Carla Dillard

The First Thanksgiving

November 24, 2014

 

Be joyful always, pray continually, and give thanks in all circumstances.1 Thessalonians 5:18

Today I want us to be reminded how our country’s first Thanksgiving began.  I believe it’s very important  for us as parents and grandparents  to make sure the children in our influence have a good understanding of why we celebrate this very important holiday.   Unfortunately our public schools and society in general down play the real reason this holiday came to be.  It is our job to make sure the next generation fully understands how very much we have to be thankful for!  The bottom line is this….there is nothing we have, nothing that we do, and nothing that we are, that we can take credit for….God provided everything we have and need, made us who we are, and deserves all the credit, praise and thanks!

Did you know that Thanksgiving was not just an isolated event we read about in history books, but instead a uniquely inspired Christian celebration — the culmination of a long journey of faith in which the Pilgrims had relied on God and trusted him through many adversities? If we want our children to truly know our country’s history we must share the truth of the story of Thanksgiving.  This insightful article came from the website Crosswalk .com

In the early 1600s, the Wampanoag (Wam-pa-NO-ag) Indians covered the coast of what we now call New England. They raised crops, living close to the ocean in summer for seafood, moving inland in winter to set up hunting camps. Their encounters with Europeans over the years were mostly friendly. One exception: In 1614 Captain Thomas Hunt captured several Wampanoag, along with a Patuxet named Squanto, to be sold into slavery in Spain. A Spanish monk purchased Squanto’s freedom, taught him English, and introduced him to Jesus Christ. In 1619, Squanto returned to his native land, only to find his tribe wiped out by an epidemic. Thereafter he made his home with the Wampanoag. Meanwhile, in 1608, a British group called the Separatists fled to Leyden, Holland. There they found religious freedom, but also poverty, grueling work hours and a secular culture that threatened to undo the values they had carefully instilled into their children. In 1620, they sold everything and indentured themselves for seven years to finance their journey to America.

On the Mayflower, the Separatists were joined by those seeking the new land for other reasons; these they called the Strangers. The two groups, 102 altogether, were called the Pilgrims. Their journey lasted nine weeks. In one of those “accidents” which change the course of history, the ship lost its course and landed far north of its destination at what we now call Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Once outside the territory covered by the King’s Charter, the Pilgrims became responsible for their own government, and so they wrote a set of laws called The Mayflower Compact. On December 21, 1620, they began their new life at the place they named Plymouth. It was a devastating winter — whipped with wind and sleet and snow. Half the Pilgrims died. Still the Separatists clung to their faith; not one chose to return to England with the Mayflower that spring. But spring brought unexpected relief w the help of a noble and generous Christian brother — Squanto. He taught them how to grow corn, use fertilizer, stalk deer and catch fish. William Bradford, the governor of Plymouth, wrote of Squanto that he was “a special instrument sent of God for good beyond their expectations.”

And so their first harvest was good. Governor Bradford proclaimed a day of thanksgiving to God and the Pilgrims invited their Indian friends. Chief Massasoit and 90 members of his tribe came, along with Squanto, bearing venison and wild turkeys for all to share. Together in harmony, the Pilgrims and the Indians feasted, played games, ran races and showed their prowess with bow and arrow and musket. How thankful were the Pilgrims? The first Thanksgiving took three whole days!

Personal Application: Thank God for His hand in the history of our nation so many years ago.

Home Application: Spend time sharing this true story with your family reminding them that God has had His hand on the United States of America and your family from the very beginning. Spend this Thanksgiving season in pure Thanksgiving to God!

How Thankful are YOU?

Devotional written by Carla Dillard

An Easy Choice

November 21, 2014

 

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Philippians 4:6

I will praise God’s name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving. Psalm 69:30

This is my very favorite time of year! I love Thanksgiving!

I love friends and family all gathered around the table together! I love the smells of all the amazing foods cooking in the kitchen!

I love pumpkin! I love the sweet spirit that is present in everyone!

I love that the whole reason for this holiday is to remind us to be THANKFUL!  Kind of sad isn’t it?  Do we really need a holiday to remind us to be thankful for all our abundant blessings?

Paul tells us in Philippians 4 that we are not to be anxious or worried about ANYTHING, but that in EVERYTHING we are to pray with THANKSGIVING!  Can you do that?  Can I? Guess it’s easy to be thankful when all is going well, but God really calls us to be thankful even when things aren’t going so well.

Wonder why that’ so important to Him? Could it be because He knows how much good it will do for us?  Of course we know He and He alone is worthy to be thanked, but have we thought about how thanking Him helps us?  For me, it reminds me of how much I have to be thankful for.  A wonderful husband, a beautiful family, an amazing church, a job I love and every possible need met on a ridiculously generous basis.  And every time I spend time Thanking Him I am filled with a sense of peace and blessing.  Of course the opposite is also true….when I’m complaining and griping, my spirit is troubled and worried….It should be an easy choice shouldn’t it?  Thank God for who He is and all He has blessed us with or gripe, complain and worry about the little we don’t have?

I believe we ‘ve been given a choice…..Which will you choose today?

Personal Application: Ask God to open your eyes to all of your many blessings and focus on them in thanksgiving to Him.

Home Application: Begin tonight at the dinner table going around the table sharing what each family member is most thankful for.  Make this a habit.

Which will you choose today?  Thanksgiving or griping?

Devotional written by Carla Dillard

Are You Breathing?

November 20, 2014

Praise the Lord, Praise God in His sanctuary; Praise Him in his mighty heavens.

Praise Him for His acts of power; Praise Him for His surpassing greatness.

Praise Him with the sounding of the trumpet, Praise Him with the harp and lyre,

Praise Him with timbrel and dancing, Praise Him with the strings and pipe,

Praise Him with the clash of cymbals, Praise Him with resounding cymbals.

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord.  Psalm 150

Why yes!  I’m breathing.  Why?  Because Psalm 150:6 clearly says “Let EVERYTHING that has breath praise the Lord.”

Sounds so simple but is truly so very profound!

Who do we praise?  The Lord of all the earth

Why do we praise Him?  Because there is NO ONE like HIM!

When do we praise Him?  Morning, noon and night

How do we praise Him?  With the sounding trumpet, with the harp and lyre, with timbrel and dancing, with strings and pipe, with clashing and resounding cymbals

I can’t speak for you, but I can’t live without my Lord!  From the morning my eyes open until they close at night, He is always on my mind.  Everything I am, everything I have, all that I get to do and am able to do, is because of Him!  He is My LORD!  HE IS my EVERYTHING!

And I know this….when I stop to praise Him and my focus is on Him, all the cares of the world fade away.  He is all I see, He is all I need, He is all I want.  My heart soars with joy when I praise Him.  He inhabits our praise!  What a beautiful reciprocal relationship!  When was the last time you truly praised Him? My challenge to you especially this season is to stop and take time to praise the Lord!  It will change your day.  It will change your perspective. It will change your life.

There is no one like our God   We will praise You, praise You

There’s no one like our God     We will sing, we will sing

There is no one like our God    We will praise You, praise You

Jesus, You are God, we will say

Lord of all the earth

We shout Your Name, shout Your Name Filling up the skies

With endless praise, endless praise

Yahweh, Yahweh  We love to shout Your Name, Oh Lord

Personal Application: Stop for a minute and think about your praise life.  When was the last time you simply spent time praising your Lord?  Praise Him right now.

Home Application: Make your home a house of praise!  Turn on your favorite praise music and sing at the top of your lungs.

What’s keeping you from praising the Lord?

Devotional written by Carla Dillard

Kodak Moments

November 19, 2014

“Even when I am old and gray do not forsake me, O God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your might to all who are to come” (Psalm 71:18).

The Psalmist declares the cry of his heart to bear significance in the lives of those who follow him. There is a profound acknowledgement that significance must be born through the continuing presence of God.  Occasionally God pulls back the curtain to allow us to see His hand moving in the lives of those we care for most deeply–our family. I have dubbed such moments as God’s Kodak moments. Snapshots of the affect of lives dedicated to Him.

Like many families I know, my family has members that follow after God’s heart fully and those over whom we seem to agonize before the Lord until Christ is formed in them. Learning to celebrate each step toward God in their lives is intoxicating. Recently I stood on the shore of the San Marcos River next to my 85-year-old father watching my eldest son baptize my grandson. My heart was overwhelmed as I realized all that God had done to bring us to this Kodak moment. Tears of joy flowed as together we recalled many faithful men and women that had been used by God to make this picture possible. I also am preparing prayerfully a frame that will hold the journeys home of those prodigals I long to see running to their heavenly Father’s embrace. It is a picture not yet fully developed but one by faith I will one day see. I rest in God’s promise , “That He who began a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.”

Personal Application: What are some of God’s Kodak moments in your life’s journey?.

Home Application: Share with each other some of the Kodak moments in your family’s spiritual journey. Share also some that you still await by faith to occur in the one’s you love. .

How are you allowing God to use you in creating the spiritual Kodak moments for the people you love?

Devotional written by Chuck Davis

Forever Focused

November 18, 2014

“Our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal”(IICorinthians 4:17-18).

Two words unexpectantly coexist in the purposes of God–troubles and glory. When confronted with troubles in our lives the focus is most usually on what is troubling us. This scripture reminds us that there are eternal hands at work in every difficulty we face. The apostle Paul encourages us to look deeper and discover how God can receive glory in and through that difficulty. Is he leading us to a place of deeper trust? Is there a redemptive purpose in it? It is difficult to see the hand of God at times and we are lead to simply trust Him in the midst of it confident He will accomplish His desired purpose.

Several members of our church have experienced traumatic physical events in recent weeks. Unexpected strokes, beginning the journey toward heart or liver transplants, embarking on the rollercoaster ride of chemo treatments  are but a few of the difficulties confronting people we love and know. As together we become encouragers on their difficult journey, we come not with hollow words but rather we share the presence of the one who is eternal. We may not have all the answers now but we can trust the Lord who is with us in the midst of the difficulty. We can rest assured that he can and will receive glory as we fix our eyes on Him.

Personal Application: What is troubling your heart today? In what ways is God asking you to focus on eternal things rather than temporary things?

Home Application: Share times when God has helped you to see his eternal purposes in the midst of your troubles.

How does focusing on the eternal purposes of God relieve the stress of a current temporary trouble?

Devotional written by Chuck Davis

Who Cares

November 17, 2014

“For I know no man like-minded who will naturally care for your state.” (Philippians 2:20)

Timothy was a young man who’s caring quotient was very high. Paul was imprisoned for the gospel and in the caring of his young disciple, Timothy, he found comfort. Timothy was likeminded. This meant he cared enough to know the heartbeat of the aging apostle. He was willing to listen and learn the truths of Christ displayed in his mentor’s life. I would imagine that someone that could find joy in sacrificing on the behalf of Christ would grab my full attentions as well. As a result Paul could commend his disciple, Timothy, to the Philippian people confident that it was Timothy’s natural inclination to care for their wellbeing. Timothy would go on to become one of the pastors of the Ephesian church. The Ephesian church had the Apostle Paul, the Apostle John , and Timothy as their legacy of leaders. Are you ready to join that church?

I have heard often that “caring” is something that we do well as a church. I attribute it largely to the fact that Bannockburn was born out of tragedy that cost the lives of members. Those who were left behind learned to care through the fires of adversity. In turn we we have learned the compassion and comfort that only Christ can give.  Such is the heartbeat of our Savior. To have a naturally caring heart is to take to heart the passion of Christ for others. Don’t let the apathy of the world dishearten you. Instead let the passion of Christ spur you on to love and good works. Don’t let caring become a thing of the past. May it never be said of us, “For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ’s”(Philippians 2:21).

Personal Application: In what ways do you express care for others in the church and in the world?

Home Application: What are some ways you can express the care and compassion of Christ to those in your home, neighborhood, and community. How can you team with others in this endeavor?

Could someone confidently commend you as a “caring” person?

Devotional written by Chuck Davis

Beginning With Nothing

November 14, 2014

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:3).

As a young youth pastor, one of my youth sponsors gave me a calligraphied copy of this verse. The word “nothing” was done in gold ink to make it stand out. The message was clear. My effectiveness as a pastor would forever be connected to my reliance on God’s resources. My talents and giftedness  would be insufficient for effectiveness in God’s work. This framed reminder remains in my office forty years later and is my focal point as I approach each day.

Beginning with the knowledge that apart from Him I have nothing valuable in my life, is the pathway to fruitfulness in God’s kingdom work. God is the source of all of who I am– my personality, my giftedness, my talents. He is the one who directs my path and causes me to know His shaping me through every experience and encounter of my journey here on planet earth. As I yield daily to His leading nothing lies beyond His shaping it for my good and His glory. The key is daily to remain fully connected to the Vine and draw my subsistence from Him alone.  I cherish this written reminder in my office every day. When tempted to rest in my own strength and resources I lose the energy and vitality intended to flow through me as His child. Beginning with a clear assessment of “nothing” is a great place to start.

Personal Application: Do you have something to remind you where your faith and effectiveness come from? Your spiritual fruit is an indicator of your connectedness to Him. Where do you observe God’s work in you?

Home Application: Discuss ways to remind yourself and each other of your need to fully depend on the Lord.

In what ways have you observed the difference in things done in your own strength and those things done in total reliance upon God?

Devotional written by Chuck Davis

Pastor Search Team Update (November 13, 2014)

November 13, 2014

Dear BBC Family,

As we continue to receive resumes from interested parties, and numerous recommendations from the church congregation, we have progressed towards directly soliciting potential candidates for the Senior Pastor position.

Thank you for the many notes of encouragement and your continued faithfulness and prayers.

This week, we ask that you please pray with us that we as a team will be given supernatural wisdom to discern the unique characteristics and traits most needed for God’s people at BBC.

  • “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you.” Ephesians 1:18
  • “Call to Me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.” Jeremiah 33:3

Additionally, we ask that you continue to lift up our committed church staff and pastors:

  • That they will continue to be gifted “sufficiently to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life” (2 Corinthians 3:6) and that,
  • “The ministry of the Spirit through them would bring righteousness. May they be constantly transformed into Your likeness with ever-increasing glory which comes from You, the Lord, who is the Spirit” (2 Corinthians 3:8, 18)

Thank you for praying with us. He hears and answers our pleas! Psalm 116:1

Should you have any questions, concerns, or encouragements, please feel free to drop us an email at pst@bbcfamily.com.

In Christ,
Pastor Search Team

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