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Getting Out of the Ark

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Annually at the Historic First Baptist Church of Williamsburg, we take the month of January to reflect and refocus on what God requires of us as Stewards. This year the theme was "Get Out of the Ark". This will recap a few points from each of the powerful messages delivered this month,  all of which are available for your listening pleasure on our website. 

Pastor Davis kicked the month off with “Get Out of the Boat" reminding us to not be afraid and focus on Jesus.  We should share our time, talents and treasures to uplift others.  We should seek the Kingdom of God above all other things, and  if we abide in Jesus Christ all things are possible when we believe in him. As believers we should Walk by Faith and Not by Sight then we will be able to experience God’s miracles!

How to Get out of the Ark”---We must plant and sow good seeds.  Pruning and repotting our seeds in fertile ground is often required to achieve maximum growth.  To grow, we must study God’s word.  We must become Good Soil in order for the Word of God and the Holy Spirit to grow within, enabling us to share our good fruits with others.  We must be deemed as Good soil by God in order to be blessed to be a blessing.  The formula for Stewardship Success is Good soil + Good seed = a Good Steward with much fruit and a great harvest.

Get Out of the Ark of contention, jealousy, complacency, and dissension, Stewardship Style!  We do this by studying God’s word, evangelizing, sharing our talents, and treasures, while remembering that everything we have belongs to God.  He has blessed us and is trusting us to be good stewards over those blessings.  Stewardship is a matter of the heart—“Where your treasure is, there  is your heart also".  Bad fruit + Bad heart =  Bad stewardship ; Good Fruit + Good Heart =  Good Stewardship.  

Finally, our Brother in Christ , Pastor Travis Simone, from Williamsburg Chapel, stated that God has called us to Go and be mobile explorers for Christ.  As we abide in him and his word, we will be compelled to venture into new and different territories that do more to build the Kingdom. As we GO on this Holy Spirit led exploration it will become our map to Discipleship, leading us away from what is predictable, our preferences and our pride to a life filled with Kingdom living.  Now, Let's Get out of the Ark together and become Stewardship In Action.

Posted by Nathan Hill

Watch Out the Devil is Mad

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The Book of Revelation is an apocalyptic book wrapped in mystery. It is a vivid account of  the war in Heaven between angels  led by the Archangel Michael against the angels led by "the dragon" or the devil. The Bible warns us about seducing spirits in the world, especially in the church.  Any doctrine that contradicts the Word of God, as believers we must reject it. The seducing doctrine of demons has heavily penetrated our culture. It is with great sadness that this doctrine appears to be penetrating some local, state, and national branches of government.

The talk of nationalism has fanned the flames of white supremacy and divisiveness. Instead of being the United States of America, we are becoming the Divided States of America. Our secular and sacred leaders should be on alert for all enemies, both foreign and domestic, who pose a threat to our national and individual security. What greater threat can there be than an enemy who divides us? The demons of hell are crafty and cunning. The hatred, vitriol, and acts of violence are the direct results of the  demons doctrine. Please note that these demons are angry (Revelation 12:12) because humans have replaced them as God's caretakers of the earth and they know that their time is limited.

Unless we study and understand who they are and their goals, we will be victims of the deception in the nation and the postmodern church. As believers, Our methods of counter attack should be to draw near to God and he will draw near to us, study God’s word to build up our inner man, and finally put on the whole armour of God so that you will be able to stand against the wiles of the devil (Ephesians 6:11-18),  If we do this, we too will have the victory over the devil and his angels.

What do you think about demons in our land? Can they be dislodged? If so, how do we evict them from our own lives and our nation?

What Would Jesus Do?

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Today we live in a society that is full of opportunities aimed at satisfying every area of life. Some of these opportunities can be good and some not so good.  The truth of the matter is that with so many individual options, it can lead us to a very self-centered approach for living. When we become self-centered, we also become weak in our ability to be compassionate.  A lack of compassion means “having no feelings or showing no sympathy and concern for others”.   At times this can be very challenging and appear to be unfair, but fear not this is not a new spiritual dilemma.  It was the same dilemma that Cain faced in his desire for his offerings to God to be more recognized than those of his brother Able (Genesis 4:1-16). The same dilemma arose for the two brothers in the Parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32).  One son wanted his inheritance from his father immediately, in order to live a wasteful life.  The other son honored his Father daily, and saw to his needs.  However, he became angry when his Father welcomed his brother home with a Hollywood type of reception after he had been away partying and depleting his inheritance.  They were both self-centered in their actions but from different perspectives.  As believers in  Jesus Christ we have been shown the ultimate example of selflessness.  God sent his only son, Jesus the Christ who lived a sinless life, to die for us who were born into sin, to redeem the sinful (us) in order that we be seen as righteous in the eyes of God.  This was truly because of God’s grace and his mercy.  We should  always remember, just as the Father of the Prodigal Son welcomed his child home, our Father in Heaven celebrates when we return home to him.

Whenever we are struggling in our day-to-day activities to balance living in the world but not being of the “world”,  the key is to act and respond differently than the world.  Paul, Timothy and Silas left us with excellent guidance on how to do this in  1 Thessalonians 5:12 - 28.  First we should show appreciation for those who diligently labor among us and have charge over us spiritually.  We should esteem them very highly in love because of their work.  We should live in peace with one another as well as admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, and be patient with everyone.  No one should ever repay evil for evil, but always seek to do good towards all people.  We should always rejoice, pray without ceasing and in everything give thanks, because this is God’s will for us in Christ Jesus. Do not quench the Spirit or despise prophetic utterances, But examine everything carefully; holding fast to that which is good and abstain from all forms of evil.  We are to pray for one another, having faith in God and greeting each other with a holy kiss.  When we do these things consistently, God will sanctify us preserving our spirit, soul and body, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

But until such time, May the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you and you rest in him.