Welcome! Grace Bible Church is located at 15700 Leroy, Southgate, MI 48195, and we invite you to join us in Worship, Scriptural Bible teaching and fellowship. Our phone number is 734-282-0115 and Rev. Bill Connell is our Senior Pastor.
Here we have two great lessons—what to deprecate and what to supplicate. The happiest state of a Christian is the holiest state. Just as there is the most heat nearest to the sun, so there is the most happiness closest to Christ. No Christian enjoys comfort when his eyes are fixed on falsehood—he finds no satisfaction unless his soul is quickened in the ways of God.
The world may find happiness elsewhere, but he cannot. I do not blame ungodly men for rushing to their pleasures. Why should I? Let them have their fill. That is all they have to enjoy. A converted wife who despaired of her husband was always very kind to him, for she said, "I fear that this is the only world in which he will be happy, and therefore I have made up my mind to make him as happy as I can in it." Christians must seek their delights in a higher sphere than the tasteless trifles or sinful enjoyments of the world. Empty pursuits are dangerous to renewed souls.
We have heard of a philosopher who, while he looked up to the stars, fell into a pit; but how deeply do they fall who look down. Their fall is fatal. No Christian is safe when his soul is lazy, and his God is far from him. Every Christian is always safe as to the great matter of his standing in Christ, but he is not safe as regards his experience in holiness and communion with Jesus in this life.
Satan does not often attack a Christian who is living near to God. It is when the Christian departs from God, becomes spiritually starved, and tries to feed on lies that the devil discovers his moment of advantage. He may sometimes stand foot to foot with the child of God who is active in his Master's service, but the battle is generally brief. He who slips as he goes down into the Valley of Humiliation will find that with every false step he invites the devil's attack. O for grace to walk humbly with our God!
This devotional fits perfectly with the sermon we had yesterday by Tony Royals.
Gazing Into The Perfect Law
"One who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man shall be blessed in what he does" (James 1:25).
God blesses you when you obey His Word.
James 1:21-24 contrasts hearers of the Word and doers of the Word. Hearers don't respond to Scripture or benefit from its truths—though they may study it in depth. Doers receive it in humility and obey its commands. James 1:25 adds that they are blessed in what they do. That means there is blessing in the very act of obedience.
James calls Scripture "the perfect law, the law of liberty" (v. 25). It is "law" because it's God's obligatory behavioral code. Grace doesn't eliminate God's moral law—it gives us the spiritual resources to obey it, and forgiveness when we fail. That's how Jesus fulfills the law in us (cf. Matt. 5:17).
Scripture is "the perfect law" because it is complete, sufficient, comprehensive, and without error. Through it God meets every need and fulfills every desire of the human heart. In addition, it is "the law of liberty." That may sound paradoxical because we tend to think of law and freedom as opposites. But as you look intently into the Word, the Holy Spirit enables you to apply its principles to your life, thereby freeing you from the guilt and bondage of sin, and enabling you to live to God's glory. That's true freedom!
"Look intently" translates a Greek word that pictures bending down to examine something with care and precision. Stooping implies humility and a desire to see clearly what Scripture reveals about your own spiritual condition. It's an attitude as well as an action.
As you study Scripture, let this be your underlying attitude: "Lord, as I gaze intently into your Word, reveal the things in my life that need to be changed. Then grant me the grace to make those changes so I can live more fully to your glory."
"Blessed are you when men cast insults at you, and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely, on account of Me. Rejoice, and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you" (Matt. 5:11-12).
The sacrifices you make for Christ’s sake in this life will be abundantly compensated for in Heaven.
God's promise for those who are persecuted for His sake is that their reward in heaven will be great (Matt. 5:11). Jesus said, "Everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or farms for My name's sake, shall receive many times as much, and shall inherit eternal life" (Matt. 19:29).
Focusing on that promise instead of your present circumstances is how you can experience happiness amid suffering. That was Paul's great confidence even as he faced certain death. In 2 Timothy 4:8 he declares, "In the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing."
Another source of joy in trials is knowing that you share the fate of the prophets themselves (Matt. 5:12). Those godly men suffered untold hardships for proclaiming God's message. That's a noble group to be identified with!
One final word of encouragement from Matthew 5:11: persecution will not be incessant! Jesus said, "Blessed are you when. . . ." The Greek word translated "when" means "whenever." You won't always be persecuted, but whenever you are, you will be blessed. In addition, God will govern its intensity so you will be able to bear it (1 Cor. 10:13). He knows your human weaknesses and will supply the necessary grace and peace to get you through. That's why you can rejoice when otherwise you might be devastated and filled with grief.
If you are willing to make sacrifices now, you will receive incomparable rewards in the future. How shortsighted are those who protect themselves now by denying Christ or compromising His truth rather than sacrificing the present for the sake of eternal blessing and glory!
Suggestions for Prayer
Thank God for the example of the prophets and others who have suffered for Him.
The purpose of this yearly event is to focus prayer by believers on the nation itself. The “Seven Centers of Influence” of our nation which will receive prayer attention this year are: Government, Military, Media Arts, Business, Education, Church, and Family.
To respond to this year’s opportunity, we are scheduling two time periods at the church building for prayer. Each two-hour period will include prayer both for these “Centers of Influence” and for our church family.
You are welcome to come whichever hours you are available during these times.
We also recognize that some in our church family may have difficulty coming to the church building at all during these times. Because of that, if you would like to receive the printed material to assist with prayer which will be distributed at church, please make your request to Pastor Bill at firstname.lastname@example.org early in the week. Thank you.
Sunday, April 29: Missionaries Dan & Laurie Fuller from Thailand (A triple header: They join us for Sunday School,
Worship Service, and Multiple-Choice Dinner)
Please remember they'll be collecting eyeglasses to
take back to Thailand. If you have any unused eyeglasses,
bring them to church. There's a box in the foyer just for this purpose.
Thank you in advance!
National Day of Prayer
The National Day of Prayer is always held on the first Thursday of May. So, this year, the date is May 3.
The purpose of the event is to focus prayer by believers on the nation itself. The “Seven Centers of Influence” of our nation which will receive prayer attention this year are: Government, Military, Media Arts, Business, Education, Church, and Family.
To respond to this year’s opportunity, we are scheduling two time periods at the church building for prayer. Each two-hour period will include prayer both for these “Centers of Influence" and for our church family.
You are welcome to come whichever hours you are available during these times. The doors will be open from 1:30 to 3:30 PM, and from 6-8 PM. Printed materials will be available to assist with prayer focus.
We also recognize that some in our church family may have difficulty coming to the church building at all during these times. Because of that, if you would like to receive the printed material to assist with prayer which will be distributed at church, please make your request to Pastor Bill at email@example.com. Thank you.