March 29, 2019

We are thankful for our pastoral staff here at Kerwin and it is always good to hear insight from each of them concerning God’s word. As we continue our Bible reading schedule for this year, Enjoy this devotion today from Frank Newsome, our youth pastor.

 

 

Jude 3
3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.

For those of you that are boxing fans, the name James “Buster” Douglas is a familiar one. May 30, 1987 Buster Douglas got his first shot at the IBF Heavyweight championship against Tony Tucker. Douglas was a boxer loaded with potential, but had just barely began to scratch the surface of what he really could accomplish. He finally got his shot in this match against Tucker. For 9 rounds Buster Douglas was up in points, he was winning the fight, he was on the verge of accomplishing a dream of his. Then came round 10, Tony Tucker landed blow after blow to Douglas in round 10. Douglas was hurt, and he did something truly unforgivable in the world of boxing, Buster Douglas by his own admission gave up. He stopped throwing punches, he stopped trying to move, and avoid the punches by Tucker, Buster Douglas stopped fighting, and he lost the match for the Heavyweight championship because the fight became too difficult for him, and he gave up. Fast forward to February 11, 1990 Buster got another title shot against the one and only “Iron” Mike Tyson. Mike Tyson was the best heavyweight boxer of his time, he had been labeled “The Baddest Man on the Planet.” This was a tune-up fight for Tyson because he was preparing to fight Evander Holyfield in the summer of 1990. Going into the fight Mike Tyson was 37-0 with 33 knockouts, this fight was predicted to be a first round knockout by Tyson. The fight began, and on this night there was no quit in Buster Douglas, there was no fear of an opponent that was favored by Vegas at 42-1 odds. He was focused, he had put in the hours training, and working, he was a man on a mission in this fight. Round 8 started and Tyson landed 2 uppercuts and knocked Douglas down. In the past this is where Douglas would have given up, stopped fighting, start thinking it’s too difficult. On this night there was no quit, no giving up by Douglas. He dug deep, harnessed every ounce of energy he could and fought, he fought hard, and smart, and in round 10 Douglas did something no other fighter had ever done, not only did he knock down Mike Tyson he knocked him out. In what is still to this day called the greatest upset in sports, James “Buster” Douglas defeated Mike Tyson and became the Heavyweight champion of the world.

You and I face an enemy, an opponent in our spiritual life that when we look at the tale of the tape we are outmatched in every way. On paper our spiritual battle with Satan is a mismatch of the greatest proportions. We, like Buster Douglas don’t stand a chance in this fight. Our Christian lives are about more than being saved, and getting a trip to Heaven. We were saved to fight, Buster Douglas was going to make a million dollars on this fight win or lose, but on this night it wasn’t about the money for Douglas, he wanted more. Here in this verse we are told to “earnestly contend for the faith.” Which Buster Douglas are you? Do you find yourself wanting to give up when the fight gets tough, do you want to throw in the towel and say well I’m going to Heaven, life is easier if I don’t try to fight Satan in this spiritual battle? My hope is that we will be the Buster Douglas who fought with purpose, with passion, with determination that I am going to shock the world and do the unthinkable. Oh, there’s one little detail I forgot to mention, we don’t even have to fight our own battle. Isn’t that a blessing? God has promised He will fight for us.

Deuteronomy 3:22
22 Ye shall not fear them: for the Lord your God he shall fight for you.

What you and I need to do is to make up our mind that we are going to keep fighting this battle with the help of God. Decide right now that we are going to “Earnestly contend.”

Frank Newsome

March 28, 2019

BIBLE READING: GALATIANS 6

We are thankful for our pastoral staff here at Kerwin and it is always good to hear insight from each of them concerning God’s word. As we continue our Bible reading schedule for this year, Enjoy this devotion today from Frank Newsome, our youth pastor.

Galatians 6:1
6 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.

As we move from Galatians 5 to Galatians 6, I want to go back to chapter 5 and talk about verses 19-26. In those verses we have the stark contrast between fulfilling the lust of the flesh, and walking in the Spirit. We have what is called the “Works of the flesh” and “The Fruit of the Spirit.” We all know someone who has chosen to live for themselves, and the flesh rather than living for God, and walking in the Spirit. I have been guilty of this in my own life (many times.) In chapter 5 we’re told that there is a choice to be made, follow after the lust of the flesh, or choose to surrender your will to God’s will and walk in the Spirit, both choices produce a fruit of some kind. In chapter 6 another choice is presented us. How do we as Christians respond to those that have chosen to fulfill the flesh rather than walk in the Spirit. I’ll be honest with you there have been times where I got the news that a fellow Christian would choose to do wrong and I chose to fulfill my own lust of the flesh, and I would talk about them, judge them, run there name in the ground, as we say. In many ways I am no better than them at that moment. That didn’t accomplish anything, if anything I proved my own spiritual immaturity.

A lot could be said about this verse, but I want to focus on the first word of the verse, Brethren. Of all the squabbles and arguments at the church of Galatia Paul injects this one word: Brethren! Pastor Hawtree tells us a lot that if you want to study a word go back to the first time it was mentioned in God’s Word, so I did that, and what I found was interesting.
Genesis 13:8
8 And Abram said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren.
We all know the story well, Abraham takes in his nephew Lot, and things become very tense between Lot’s men and Abraham’s men. This threatened to ruin the relationship between the two men, but Abraham took the lead, as the more spiritual man, he took the high road as we say sometimes. His focus was on restoration not on resolution. Look at Galatians 6:1 again, it doesn’t say we should correct a brother when they fall, it says to restore them. The word restore here in the Greek means: To mend (what has been broken or rent) to repair. Isn’t that what family is about? When everyone else casts you out, family should be there to pick up the pieces. If there should ever be a place we can go, when we have nowhere else to go it should be to family. Kerwin Baptist Church we are a family, we are brothers and sisters in Christ. Sometimes family makes a mess of things, family drives you crazy like nothing else can, but you’re family. Let’s be the type of family member that restores instead of rebukes, because the last part of that verse is very humbling “considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.” It’s only by the grace of God we aren’t the ones needing to be restored.

Frank Newsome

March 27, 2019

BIBLE READING: GALATIANS 5

We are thankful for our pastoral staff here at Kerwin and it is always good to hear insight from each of them concerning God’s word. As we continue our Bible reading schedule for this year, Enjoy this devotion today from Frank Newsome, our youth pastor.

Galatians 5:7 King James Version
7 Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?

So, I have a confession to make. One of my guilty pleasures is watching My 600 Pound Life, in fact I’m watching an episode while I am writing this devotional (real spiritual I know.) If you’re not familiar with the show it follows an individual who weighs in excess of 600 lbs for an entire year on their journey to lose weight, and adapt a more healthy lifestyle. The episode I am watching this evening is about a young woman named Maja (Maya) and her boyfriend named Christian, and three months into the process Maja has lost an incredible 102 lbs. She is doing very well in her attempt to become healthy. She’s following the diet very strictly, she’s working out four to five times a week, she’s going to counselling and therapy once a week to deal with the emotions attached to her unhealthy habits. I guess you could say Maja is doing very well in her journey. Then something happens, actually several things happen to Maja that change the course of the path that she is on. She has a huge fight with her mom, has some feelings resurface in her relationship with her father, and probably most devastating, her boyfriend Christian decides he doesn’t want to be in the relationship anymore. Long story short here Maja over the course of the next few weeks begins to gain all the weight back that she had lost, eventually dropping out of the program all together. I’ve seen several of these episodes, and I’ve never seen anyone as devoted to the process as Maja. I was thinking to myself “if anyone is going to succeed at this it’s going to be her, she is so dedicated.” So what happened? She allowed some feelings, some fight, some relationship to distract her from the goal that she set for herself, and eventually threw in the towel.

As I look at verse 7 in Galatians 5 I’m reminded that Paul has likened our Christian life to a race, and Paul says to the church at Galatia that you use to run this race well, you served the Lord with such passion and dedication, the truth of God’s word was something that you obeyed. In an effort to address what has happened Paul asks the question “who did hinder you?” There were some false teachers that the church had began to follow, and to listen to, and it had gotten them off course in the race of the Christian life. As I think about the application of this verse in my own life I began to think back, was there a time that I ran a better race for the Lord, was there a time where I was more dedicated, more obedient? I direct that question to you today. Has your race bogged down? Are you off course for the Lord? If the answer is at one time I ran a better race, I was more obedient, then let me ask you this question. Who or what hindered you? Working with teenagers on a weekly basis I know that peer pressure is a real temptation, but peer pressure is real for us adults as well. Is it some person that hindered you? Some relationship? Maybe it’s some secret, besetting sin, or maybe it’s a lack of faith in some area. I encourage you today, take some inventory of your race for the Lord, and if you’ve gotten off track somewhere determine to get back in the race. Determine to run without distraction, refusing to be hindered or tripped up. Just imagine what the Lord could do with us as a church if we all just made the decision to “Run Well?”

Frank Newsome

March 26, 2019

BIBLE READING: GALATIANS 4

We are thankful for our pastoral staff here at Kerwin and it is always good to hear insight from each of them concerning God’s word. As we continue our Bible reading schedule for this year, Enjoy this devotion today from David Fulp, our children’s pastor.

4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,
5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.
6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.
7 Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

In this chapter, we see that Paul is reminding the Galatians what they were saved from and how God set them free. They were no longer under the pressure of the law any more but saved by the Grace of God. The law no longer determined their fate, but Christ sacrifice set them free. This is, also, a great reminder for us as born-again children of God.

What we were saved from?
God saw the problem of a broken fellowship with Him, so He sent His only Son as a sacrifice to the world. Grace was then shown and provided. The law was in place, showing man that he could not keep it. Then showing he cannot retain righteousness. Man is then a slave under the law. But by Salvation, God redeems an individual, and he is free and adopted by God! How exciting to know that I am free by Christ sacrifice, and adopted by God!

How does this affect us?
Since we are free and adopted, we remain here on earth, while we wait for Christ’s return. He, in the meantime, sends the “Comforter” (John 14:26) or the Holy Spirit to lead and direct us. According to this passage, this is what connects us with God. Because of our salvation through Christ, our heart has been changed. Our cry and longing are for God. No longer are we bound to sin against the law as slave, but now have new hope in our Wonderful heavenly Father! Because the heart has changed, this will affect our actions. We aught to strive to do our best for Him and serve Him with a full and joyful heart! I hope this has been an encouragement and a challenge to pray and witness for those who do not have this gift of Salvation. Remember we are no longer bound by the law but set free and adopted by God!

David Fulp II
Children’s Pastor

March 25, 2019

BIBLE READING: GALATIANS 3

We are thankful for our pastoral staff here at Kerwin and it is always good to hear insight from each of them concerning God’s word. As we continue our Bible reading schedule for this year, Enjoy this devotion today from Jacob Jarriel , our assistant pastor.

Galatians 3:21-22 (KJV)
21 Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.
22 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.

It is amazing to me how many people believe their following the law will take them to heaven. Verse 21 says ”if there had been a law given which could given life”… they think they are living life. What life is there when living under the bondage of sin. They are unaware of the life that Jesus offers.
Imagine a horse kept in a barn it’s entire young life. Then as an adult taken to a pasture open for miles. Imagine the freedom of getting to go and run wherever it wants.

That is the freedom we have in Christ. We aren’t bound to the law to go to heaven. We are free to live life unchained by sin. Jesus gave us victory over sin.
As a teenager I looked at Christians and saw all the things I couldn’t do as a Christian. But now that I’m older I realize I was “missing out” on the pain and regret that comes from sin. Jesus Said..

John 10:10
10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
Lets live today in freedom, and look to help those who haven’t.

Jacob Jarriel

March 22, 2019

BIBLE READING: GALATIANS 2

20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

We know the verse, and we know the song. This verse is full of contrasts to give clarity. You may get clarity or confusion from this but for those that are interested, I would love for you to take an in-depth look at this famous verse. I have compiled a few statements from some different commentators to help you understand what all that Paul was saying.

“I am crucified with Christ”
Here in Paul’s own person he gives us an excellent description of the mysterious life of a believer.
1. He is crucified, and yet he lives;
2. The old man is crucified (Romans 6:6), but the new man is living;
3. He is dead to the world, and dead to the law, and yet alive to God and Christ;
4. Sin is mortified, and grace quickened.
5. He lives, and yet not he.
6. I live, and yet not I;
7. He lives in the exercise of grace; he has the comforts and the triumphs of grace; and yet that grace is not from himself, but from another. Believers see themselves living in a state of dependence.
8. He is crucified with Christ, and yet Christ lives in him; this results from his mystical union with Christ, by means of which he is interested in the death of Christ, so as by virtue of that to die unto sin; and yet interested in the life of Christ, so as by virtue of that to live unto God.
9. He lives in the flesh, and yet lives by faith; to outward appearance he lives as other people do, his natural life is supported as others are; yet he has a higher and nobler principle that supports and actuates him, that of faith in Christ, and especially as eyeing the wonders of his love in giving himself for him.
10. Hence it is that, though he lives in the flesh, yet he does not live after the flesh.
11. Those who have true faith live by that faith; and the great thing which faith fastens upon is Christ’s loving us and giving himself for us. The great evidence of Christ’s loving us is His giving himself for us; and this is that which we are chiefly concerned to mix faith with, in order to our living to him.