What occupies your mind? Reasonable concerns we may have about the political unrest and tension in our country, can occupy our every waking thought. And even invade our minds when we are sleeping. Or trying to sleep. I get that.
We are told in Colossians 3 to “set our minds on things above, not on earthly things” (see 3:1-3). In the section of Scripture that reminds us to pray for those in authority, it says, “This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth” (see 1 Timothy 2:1-4).
One of the issues facing us as a church in these times is the question, “What is going to occupy us?” That question is not unique to the day in which we live, but it seems more pressing than ever. What is going to occupy us? The church only has so much energy and resources. Over the years, I have seen Christians passionate to change social issues, fund political endeavors, and fight for our rights as Americans. I am not suggesting that those causes are not important. There is a place for speaking against sin, injustice, and to defend the cause of the weak and helpless.
What should occupy us? The souls of lost men and women, young and old. What should occupy us? Cultivating forever friends. What should occupy us? Building up of the church so that in unity and power we make an eternal difference in the Lakes Region and beyond.
If Jesus is our all in all and is our life, then the starting place is to be occupied with Him. Every time I say “Yes” to how I will spend my time, energy, and resource is a “Yes” to Jesus. What I choose to get involved in this week, or choose to read or listen to, or set my mind on, should be a “yes” to Jesus.
Church, stay occupied with Jesus. For me, that has meant turn the music off in the car and instead pray (with my eyes open of course). Or more intentionally practice Philippians 4:8, “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things.” Frankly, too many things that have occupied my mind lately could not pass through the filtering system of Philippians 4:8.
One way to help us stay focused on the right things in a world turned upside down is to stay connected to each other around God’s Word. If you are not part of a community group, you can sign-up this Sunday or contact Tim Whitman.
Also, for the month of February, there will be Sunday School classes offered at 9:00. With the one service format for this season, it opens Sunday mornings for some focused Bible teaching. Even if we return to two services in February, these classes will be offered. More details to come.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13).
Blessings, Pastor Brian
Have To or Want To?
1 John 5:1-5
Link to This Sunday Worship Service
New Sermon Series
A Bright Spot in a Dark World
A study in the Book of Daniel
Begins February 7th
EBC Sunday Study
We’re excited to offer two four-week adult studies this February. Each study will meet at EBC, Sunday morning from 9-10:15 AM. See below for a detailed description of each study.
Take The World, But Give Me Jesus
With Adam Hayes
Overexposure is one of the greatest threats to peace in the modern church. With access to every corner of the world and into the living rooms of so many individuals, church members often willingly put themselves in the way of fear and envy. While this feels like a modern problem, the heart of the matter is ancient. This class will be an opportunity to turn your attention away from all that’s robbing you and others of peace and reconnect you with your God who promises to protect and provide.
Objectives for this study:
· Address the temptations of fear and envy that stir when we dwell on the world’s prosperity and progress apart from God.
· Replace rumination with God’s eternal promises, so that we can live our calling confidently; trusting that He is our strength and portion forever.
With Susan Lyle
The Living Grace Class is a discipleship growth experience intended for people who struggle with mental and emotional challenges (e.g., anxiety, panic, depression, and/or other diagnoses). As a group, we will explore biblical truths, scientific research, and practical tools to cultivate healthy hearts and minds. Topics include identity in Christ, renewing your mind, managing stress, and relaxation and joy.
Objectives for this study:
· To better know and understand who we are in Christ specifically as it relates to our mental and emotional struggles.
· To help build individual resilience in navigating mental and emotional challenges.
· To cultivate a safe and supportive network of individuals with mental and emotional challenges.
Community Group signups begin this Sunday January 17th. Sign up in the back of the sanctuary or contact Tim Whitman at firstname.lastname@example.org
Just a reminder we are asking that you please wear a mask when entering or leaving the building. You may remove the mask once seated. We have designated a section in the back right of the sanctuary for those who prefer to wear a mask throughout the service.
Signs will be posted on the designated seats, please leave these seats available for those who choose to wear a mask during the entire service.
Change in Service
Reminder, for the time being we are offering one in person service at 10:45 am.
Our livestream will also be at 10:45 am as well. Nursery will be provided from birth to age 5.
In the event of bad weather that would potentially impact services at Evangelical Baptist Church, the following will be taken into consideration: the current weather in Laconia, the timing of the weather event, and whether roads/walkways/parking areas are/will be cleared
A decision would be made by 7:30 am to cancel one or more of our services. Events in the afternoon or evening would be dealt with separately. EBC will notify of cancellation using the following: WMUR TV, Church website news feed: www.laconiachurch.com, Email (weekly epistle email list) and EBC’s public and private Facebook page