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From the Pastor's Desk

Greetings...
    First Baptist Church
        & Friends...
             
May 2024

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In Christ, our Heavenly Father has given us wonderful promises to turn to and be reminded that Heaven is on our side. The Bible teaches that Almighty God even assigns Heaven's angels and other Divine hosts to carry out God's will among us on earth. King David acknowledges this in Psalm 103:20-21 where in high praise David invites the angels and hosts to praise too:

"Bless the LORD, O you his angels, you mighty ones who do his bidding, obedient to his spoken

word. Bless the LORD, all his hosts, his ministers who do his will."

Psalm 91:11-12 explicitly states a promise of angelic protection for God's people:

"For He will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. On their hands

they will bear you up, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone."

These Promises and many, many more were ordained by God to be written down so that they'd be preserved for our knowledge. God's promises were preserved from oral tradition having been taught within the family unit and corporate worship and prayer. God made express covenant promises which are the bedrock of our faith and God continues to fulfill His Word among us right here at FBC. Just as in ancient times we are witnessing miracles and supernatural power at work both seen and unseen, blessing those who know the Lord as a refuge and fortress; our God in whom we trust.

Will you try reading a promise from the Bible every day? Even find just one that speaks to you personally and re-read that same promise for a week or so until is sinks into your spirit. Then, say a few words of prayer for the church based upon that Scripture promise. If even half of our church commits to lifting up a simple prayer for our church using a biblical promise, I believe God will honor our prayer of faith in His time, His way.

Learning God's promises can help overcome Bible boredom. You might find that a Scripture promise you read will challenge you or bring up a question. Feel free to ask me! I'll try to answer. We understand that not every single promise in the Old Testament can be applied to The Church but let's consider Psalm 91:11-12 above. Our church can stand on this promise because we are those 'who abide in the Almighty'. We are hidden in God in Christ. Do you believe that the Lord has assigned angels to protect you during your years? Not a boring concept at all! Does God have your attention? What's God's voice saying to you as this idea of angelic intervention brings up a memory? I have a vivid memory of angelic intervention on the highway at night, coming home from seminary!

Learning God's promises can help you pray against fear and doubt:

"[God/Lord/Jesus/Father...] I know what Psalm 91 says but the world is scary, people are not trustworthy and I don't feel protected. Please help my unbelief. Help me to trust in Your powerful promises of protection."

Praying biblical promises directs us to pray with "praise" and pray specifically.

Let's pray for FBC Westwood. "Thank you [God/Lord/Jesus/Father...] for assigning angels to protect our church during the past two centuries! Thank you for keeping our worship and other gatherings safe. Thank you for watching over everyone from toddlers through seniors and for protecting the grounds itself."

If you are on the internet you can look up a list of Bible promises or pray as you search The Book of Psalms or read through Jesus Christ's. Even if you struggle with doubt, keep reading one of God's promises every day. Read the ones here. May this practice lift all of our thoughts to God often each day as we become attuned to God's clear voice speaking to each of us. For those with a favorite promise Scripture; rad it, recite it, pray for us all!

Below is a promise from Jesus Christ if we persist in prayer and don't give up:

"Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find.

Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives.

Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.

Matthew 7:7-8 (New Living Translation)

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Peace to you,

Pastor Catherine

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