Friday, November 30, 2012

The Aroma of God

It is wonderful to be in the Christmas Season again, isn’t it? The Spirit just seems to be more apparent at this time of year, stoking our joy in ways that just aren’t duplicated at other times. All the sights, sounds, and yes, even smells of the season seem to underscore His presence.

Take a moment to think of some Christmas smells! Yep, that’s right, Christmas smells. Candy Cane. Christmas Tree. Hot Apple Cider. Even the brisk December air seems to have a particular smell. What about the smell of wrapping paper? Have you ever had the experience when a scent brings back memories of Christmas pasts? Perhaps they are of the people you were celebrating with, the places you went, and most likely, the emotions you felt. Aromas really do have a powerful way of eliciting a strong response in our minds and hearts.

It struck me recently that God prescribed a scent, an aroma that undoubtedly would be associated with Himself. In Exodus chapter 30, God is giving Moses instructions for the making of the Tabernacle and the long list of worship elements that would be necessary there. Two of those elements were the anointing oil and the incense, both of which had unique and specific recipes that were expressly prescribed to be only used for His worship. If anyone were to make these items for their own pleasure, they were to be cut off from the nation of Israel.

I imagined myself approaching the Tabernacle, or standing along a path as one of the priests who was consecrated with the sacred oil pass by. They would have the unique scent on them as a sign of their consecration and the fact that they had been prepared to be in God’s presence. That smell would represent the presence of God!

The beautiful thing to behold is that God has done something far more wonderful than create His own perfume to announce his presence in the world. He has redeemed a nation of priests through his Son’s atoning work on the cross who all have the aroma of God.

"For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life. And who is equal to such a task? Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, as those sent from God." - 2 Corinthians 2:15-17

So, as we go about our routines this year, let us all be aware that we are the aroma of God to the world, and, a pleasing aroma to God. Let our worship permeate the season, and indeed the whole world!

BCC, Childrens Pastor

Friday, November 16, 2012

All About Missions

All tithes and offerings given Sunday, December 2, will go to help fund Brevard Community's Missions Budget for 2013. These offerings will primarily be used for support of our International Missions partners. Funds given December 2, will also be the main source of our Lottie Moon offering which funds nearly 5000 Southern Baptist international missionaries. Our teams work directly with several of these missionaries in unreached areas of the world. Without their presence in these areas much of our team's work would be ineffective.

As we all know, these are challenging economic times. For the first time in the history of Brevard Community Church we are faced with the possibility of having to reduce our missions budget. Up until now we have always been able to increase  our missions giving each year. We ask that you give prayerfully on December 2, helping us to increase giving in 2013 rather than decrease it. 

The last three months BCC has sent teams to The Gambia, Thailand, India, and two closed countries. Wednesday night December 5th you will be able to hear reports from some of these teams. Come and celebrate the amazing things our Lord is doing through the folks you keep sending out. 

Reaching the Unreached Together,
Alan Perry
Missions Pastor 

Friday, November 9, 2012

Let's Go Make Disciples

Over the past several months our country has been concerned primarily with one pressing question: “Who is going to lead us into the next four years?” As citizens we had an important choice to make knowing that the consequences for choosing wrong could be disastrous. The thing that makes a decision like this hard is that by saying yes to one option you have to put to death a thousand others. A decision is the choice to pick one direction among many and trust that it is the best one. Decisions are a hard but necessary part of life. I’m proud of the fact that on Tuesday after all the issues were debated and the candidates were scrutinized we finally came to a decision about who we will follow as a country. Aren’t you thankful that we still live in a country that has the freedom to choose!
The same principle is true in our spiritual journey. We all have an important decision to make and the eternal consequences for choosing wrong are horrific. There are many candidates vying for our vote but ultimately we will be held accountable for which one we chose to follow.  As a Christ follower we are casting our vote of confidence to Jesus Christ. “Whoever receives his testimony sets his seal to this, that God is true”, therefore a Christian is one who believes God’s testimony about Himself through His Son Jesus Christ. By becoming His disciple we have made the choice to die to all the other candidates and follow Him as our Lord and Savior. We follow Him because we believe that He is who He claims to be whole heartedly. 
Therefore, as we move forward as citizens of the United States in the uncertain times we are in; let’s not forget that as Christians our ultimate leader is Christ.  After all, don’t we follow the one who has “all authority in heaven and earth” and who “sits at the right hand of the throne of God”?  Therefore let’s “fix our eyes on Jesus the author and perfecter of our faith” and confidently “press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” because “our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.” Don’t be so easily rattled by circumstances but tell yourself that it is “For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken.”

As we wait on Him let’s obey His commands and teach others to do the same. Let’s go make disciples. Let’s ask the people in our lives the question “Who is going to lead you into eternity?” Let’s tell them the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Let’s encourage them to look at the issues and scrutinize the claims of those who they may be following already. Let’s campaign for Jesus and urge them to cast their vote for Him because He is the only way to find forgiveness and reconciliation with God. He alone can give them the eternal life they long for. Let’s tell them before the trumpet sounds signaling that the polls are closed and it’s too late.

 Let’s also show the world what it looks like to love God and love others, to trust in God’s sovereignty, to pray for our leaders, to submit to God instituted authorities and, as much as it depends on us, to live at peace with all men as Christ taught us to do. Let’s not miss the great opportunity we have as Christians to truly be salt and light to our nation in the days ahead. “Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” 

Shannon Compton

Scriptures: John 3:33, Matthew 28:18, Hebrews 12:2, Philippians 3:14,20, Psalm 62:1-2, 1st Timothy 2:1, Romans 13:1, Romans 12:18 & Ephesians 3:20-21

Monday, November 5, 2012

Five Things to Remember Before You Vote!

I know some of you have voted early but this will still apply! 

John MacArthur gave some great wisdom in his book, Right Thinking in a World Gone Wrong.  I want to share with you five truths we must remember as we vote.

The first is that our commission is the gospel.  What God has called us to do is to share the good news about Jesus Christ's desire to reconcile the world to Himself.  Christianity must be consumed with winning people to Christ more than persuading voters.  Jesus told His disciples to go and make disciples of all the nations.  Proclaiming the gospel is the only thing that will change our world.

The second thing to remember is that our confidence is in God.  Our coins clearly state that “In God we trust.”  As Christ followers we trust that God is in control and that He is at work in our country.  (Romans 13:2)  No matter who wins the election, we must remember our confidence is in God.

The third thing to remember is we are charged to submit.  Jesus came into this world and submitted to the authority of government. (Matthew 22:21)  Submission first to the Lord is the key to submission to those with authority over us. (Romans 12:1-2)  As we submit to the Lord we should be exemplary citizens to this world.  Our lives should exalt this nation because we are living lives that honor our Heavenly Father.

The fourth thing to remember is no matter who wins we must pray for our leaders.  Paul commanded Timothy to pray for Nero who was a wicked emperor and the one who would put Paul to death. (I Timothy 2:1-2)  We are called to pray for leaders whether we like them or not! We must commit to pray for the salvation of our leaders and that they would lead us into ways of the Lord.  When our leaders do something wrong, our first response should be to pray for them instead of protest.

Finally we must remember that our citizenship is in heaven.  (Philippians 3:20-21)
That is where our Savior awaits us.  Heaven is where our names are written, where our treasure awaits us, where our hope lies and our family who have died in the Lord dwell.  This is not our home!

I am thankful that we live in a country that we have the freedom to vote for our leaders.  We as Christ followers must do our part in helping choose the best leaders possible based on biblical values. 

One final thing to remember:  No government, this side of heaven will be perfect, but one day when Jesus returns, He will set up a perfect government.  Until then, let’s carry out His mission, submit to and pray for our leaders until He returns. 

Just a reminder before we vote!

He is worth it!