Welcome!

Welcome to the First Baptist Church of Adrian!

We are a community of people dedicated to follow Jesus in all that we do. If you’re looking for a church committed to loving God, loving each other, teaching his word, and worshiping him, then we invite you to come join us at any of our worship gatherings and activities for adults, youth, and children (see our About page and Activities page). Also, if you’re looking to learn more about Jesus and what it means to be his follower, I would love the chance to talk with you (also, see our About page for contact information, or see our Follow Jesus page).

Check out our site, read the blog posts below for news updates and devotional posts, and check out one of our worship gatherings!

~ Pastor Mike

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Be Merciful to Me, a Sinner (a meditation)

One of my favorite old hymns is Come, Ye Sinners, Poor and Needy. The last verse goes:

Let not conscience make you linger / Nor of fitness fondly dream
All the fitness He requireth / Is to feel your need of Him

It reminds us of the fact that we have nothing to offer God for our salvation. We are able to come to Jesus and find forgiveness of and freedom from sin only because he has acted and given to us fully by his grace.

Sadly, some people miss this truth and their thoughts go in other directions. One of these is the direction of self-righteousness and another is the direction of a soul crushed under the weight of never being good enough. The self-righteous person believes that he is somehow better than people around him, especially those he deems to be sinners.

Jesus gave an illustration of a Pharisee who fit this self-righteous mold in Luke 18:11-12. There in a prayer, the Pharisee says, “God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.”

The song above addresses those who crushed under the weight of feeling never good enough. “Fitness” is making oneself ready. If that is what we strive for, then we’ll never reach the goal. Left on our own, such thought indeed crushes.

But in Luke 18, Jesus offered a better way—the way of the person who feels their need of Him. Contrasted with the Pharisee is a tax collector standing far off, eyes to the ground, and beating his hand against his chest. This tax collector called out: “God, be merciful to me, a sinner!” (Luke 18:13)

Jesus said that this was the man who left the temple justified before God.

It is a simplicity of grace, yet one we fight against. Most of us would rather be in some way self-justified, feeling as if our goodness contributed something to our salvation. Yet, it doesn’t. And instead of this being a soul-crushing defeat, this should help us to realize the greatness of grace.

Some of us need to get over ourselves (Jesus talked about that in Luke 18:14). Some of us need to set our eyes more fully on what God has offered through Jesus. Then we will see our need for him. Then we will find true salvation in Jesus alone.

This post is part of our ongoing journey through the Bible as a church.

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Good Reads 08.24.16 (on: justice, God’s love, and prayer)

Here is a collection of good reads gathered from across the internet this past week. Enjoy!

On the greatness of God’s love for us: We Have Nothing to Offer the One Who Offers Us Everything by Jared C. Wilson

If you look to Jesus, the bread of life, and ask him to satisfy your hunger, he will not give you a stone. He will give you himself. Let us then stop begging for signs and start beholding Jesus. There is one great sign that you are loved more than you thought. It is the cross. And there is a still further sign that you will live in this love forever. It is the empty tomb. (click here to read more)

Why we sometimes have to wait to see justice: Grateful for the Wait by Randy Alcorn

Why doesn’t God simply reward each good and punish each evil as it happens? Because God’s justice is not a vending machine in which a coin of righteousness immediately produces reward or a coin of evil yields swift retribution. Scripture assures us justice is coming. Everything in God’s plan has a proper time; the gap between the present and that proper time tests and incubates our faith. When reward and punishment are immediate, no faith in God is required or cultivated. (click here to read more)

A series of posts on prayer:

On praying for the best and not just the good: Do You Pray Like a Nonbeliever? by John Piper

How then do they pray? Generally, they do not ask God to do bad things. They ask him to do good things without asking him to do the best thing. They pray as though God were the giver but not the gift. They pray for protection, and shelter, and food, and clothing, and health, and peace, and prosperity, and social justice, and comfort, and happiness. (click here to read more)

On what to pray for: God Doesn’t Need to be Convinced to Give You What You Need by Michael Kelley

We know that through the gospel, we are God’s beloved children. And we know that as a good Father, He does not provide for us reluctantly, but instead delights each day in giving us our daily bread, and doing more than we can even conceive. God does not need convincing. He already knows what we need, and He is going to give us just that. (click here to read more)

On how to pray well: 3 Keys To a Powerful Prayer Life by Tim Challies

The first key is a place of quiet, a place that is free, or as free as possible, from distractions. “With regard to many of us, the first of these, a quiet place, is well within our reach. But there are tens of thousands of our fellow-believers who find it generally impossible to withdraw into the desired seclusion of the secret place. A house-mother in a crowded tenement, an apprentice in city lodgings, a ploughman in his living quarters, a soldier in barracks, a boy living at school, these and many more may not be able always to command quiet and solitude. But, ‘your Father knoweth.’” Of course today we have distractions that may arise from the very devices we use to pray—the iPhone that houses our prayer app, for example—so we need to take special care that we “silence” our devices so they do not distract us. (click here to read more)

 

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Sunday 08.21.16 (pride and humility)

This Sunday we’ll take a look at what the prophet Obadiah says about pride and humility. Then on Sunday night, we’ll be in chapter 6 of the book I Will, “I Will Give Generously.” We hope to see you there!

Schedule
@945 Small Groups / Sunday School for all ages
@1045 Worship Gathering
@6pm I Will study in church’s library

Sermon Notes
Pride and Humility ~ Obadiah

  • Pride will deceive you, but humility reminds you of the Truth that is greater than yourself (3)
  • Pride gives you a false sense of security, but humility leads you to trust in the all-sovereign King (3-9)
  • Pride causes harm to others, but humility seeks to help others (10-14)
  • Pride brings God’s judgment upon you, but humility will help lead you to salvation (1-2, 15-21)
  • Ways to help you kill pride and live in humility…
    • Ponder the greatness of Jesus (Isaiah 6)
    • Pray for humility (Matthew 7:11)
    • Pray for others–especially those you would have a hard time treating well (Matthew 5:44-45)
    • Busy yourself with serving others, just as Jesus served us (Philippians 2:3-5)
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The Lion Has Roared (a meditation)

The lion has roared—so who isn’t frightened? The Sovereign Lord has spoken—so who can refuse to proclaim his message? ~ Amos 3:8

Part of the Christian faith is the belief that there is power in God’s word. When he speaks, things happen. This idea saturates the Bible from the opening chapters when God speaks creation into existence to the closing chapters where Jesus defeats the enemies of his people with the words of his mouth.

Through Isaiah, God said that his word will accomplish all that he intends and will not return empty (Isaiah 55:11). In Ezekiel 37, the prophetic message brings dry bones back to life. Paul wrote that all scripture was breathed out or inspired by God (2 Timothy 3:16). Hebrews 4:12 says that God’s word is “alive and powerful,” cutting into the very depths of a person. Peter wrote that the word of the gospel causes new, everlasting life (1 Peter 1:23-25).

When we truly believe this, it changes how we view the Bible. When we see the great power behind God’s word, we will:

1. Long to read it. Our hearts will seek out fellowship with God, the message that comes from his word. We will make it a part of our lives, longing to know the story of Jesus, and praying for the change that it creates in us. Through the word’s powerful work driven by the Holy Spirit within, we will experience the renewing of our hearts and minds to make us more like Jesus.

2. Long to hear it taught. Preaching and teaching have been a vital part of church life from the beginning. Paul told Timothy to give careful attention to the corporate reading of the word and then also to preach it (1 Timothy 4:13, 2 Timothy 4:2). Yes, the Spirit leads us in a deeper understanding of scripture each time we read it; but having someone help to guide us, remind us, and give us accountability in our understanding is also of great importance.

3. Long to share it. In the quote above, Amos envisioned God speaking being like the roar of a lion. It should cause people to stand up and take notice. But if God has so spoken, then surely we must also share what he has said. This was the experience of Peter and John. With the religious leaders of their day threatening them and telling them not to talk about Jesus, they replied, “We cannot stop telling about everything we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:20). So it should be with us.

God’s word changes his people. Experiencing its power will change how we view it and what we do with it.

This post is part of our ongoing journey through the Bible as a church.

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Good Reads 08.17.16 (on: humility, your life story, and more!)

Here is a collection of good reads gathered from across the internet this past week. Enjoy!

On Bible reading and confusing passages: The Bible Is So Confusing by Mike Leake

Are you using the difficulty of the Scriptures as a dodge for reading and obeying the parts which are clear? This is a word not only to the person who has a dusty Bible on his shelf but also the seminary student or pastor who spends his time trying to untangle difficult passages while neglecting to be captivated by the ones which any simple person could understand. Yep, the Bible is difficult in spots. But it’s clear enough for us to give our lives in obedience to the Lord. (click here to read more)

On scripture memory and Christian growth: The First 15 Bible Verses a Christian Needs to Memorize by Scott Slayton

I put together a list of passages for young or new Christians to memorize so they would grow in their understanding of the character of God, the work of Jesus, salvation by faith alone, and the basics of the Christian life. We need to focus on these issues early in the Christian life because if we just start learning Scripture’s commands without understanding who God has revealed himself to be and the heart of the Christian message we will develop an unhealthy view of what it means to live as a Christian. (click here to read more)

On God’s work in your life story: God Wrote Every Chapter in Your Story by Katrina Reyes

By God’s grace, I am learning that in these in-between chapters, character development takes place. He’s teaching me trust, patience, and how to wait on him through the unknown. Just like with fictional characters, unexpected twists and turns and trials come into our lives, many of them being entirely out of our control. But the author always knows how the story is going to end before the characters do. (click here to read more)

A book review on Jerry Bridges’ last book: The Blessing of Humility by Tim Challies

Bridges insists “A life of humility is not an option for a believer to choose or reject. It is a command of God.” To teach the beauty and value of humility as well as to start on down the path toward humility he turns to the Beatitudes saying, “these expressions of Christian character are a description of humility in action.” In other words, when Jesus taught how to live before God and before man, he was teaching how to live with humility. (click here to read more)

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The Father who gives the best (a meditation)

“You fathers—if your children ask for a fish, do you give them a snake instead? Or if they ask for an egg, do you give them a scorpion? Of course not! So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him.” ~Jesus, Luke 11:11-13

The Father-child relationship between God and his people is one of the most wonderful things we find in the Bible. It should cause us to stand in awe that the God who created everything would invite us to be part of his family and remove every barrier that would otherwise prevent us, if only we turn to Jesus, the true Son of God.

In Luke 11, Jesus uses this relationship to help explain to us prayer. Prayer is the primary act in which we talk to God. The Bible says so much about prayer that we know that God intends prayer to be more than a religious duty. Rather, he delights in and wants us to delight in this relationship-growing conversation.

Jesus illustrated prayer with a daily reality of our lives. He pointed at human fathers and said: If you, fallen as you are, can give good things to your children, how much better are the things the perfect Father gives? Yes, there are some bad fathers out there—abusive fathers and absentee fathers. But, for the most part, fathers desire to care for their children and seek to do good for their sons and daughters.

So if your son were to ask for a fish or your daughter for an egg, you would not respond by giving them something that would hurt them instead. This reality teaches us a few things about prayer to the perfect Father:

First, he will only give us what is good for us. James wrote that every good and perfect gift comes from above, from the Father of lights (James 1:17). Paul wrote that God takes the evil things that happen in the world and turns them ultimately for the good of his people (Romans 8:28). Even when we feel the momentary pain of the Father’s discipline, it is for our good.

Second, when we ask for something that is bad, the Father will give us according to what is good. This is more implied than explicit in the text. But what would happen if your son or daughter asked you for a venomous scorpion or poisonous snake? You would say no. Even if they begged and pleaded for it, you would still say no, because you know it would hurt them. This is why God doesn’t always answer our prayers by giving us exactly what we asked for. Sometimes instead of an egg, or fish, or bread, we’re asking for something that will hurt us. Sometimes we even think what we’re asking for will be good for us, but the God who knows all things past and present with perfection knows whether something will work for our good or bad. So, God will tell us no when we need to hear no, and he will tell us wait when we need to hear wait.

Third, the best thing God could give us is himself. The Bible teaches us that God is the greatest good, indeed he is the ultimate definer of what is good. The greatest good, then, and the greatest treasure we could have is God himself. And that is exactly what God offers us. God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit—the three persons of the one God, work together to bring us good. God the Father showed us his love by sending God the Son who willingly died in our place for our sins. God the Son then promised to pour out on his people God the Holy Spirit.

The Trinity working for us and in us, all for his glory. And Jesus said that God will give his Holy Spirit to those who ask. The Bible tells us that when we come to faith in Jesus, the Holy Spirit indwells us, changes us, gives us new life and new passions, and leads us to honor God in what we do. All of this, a gift of grace and love from the Father who longs to do good for his children.

So turn to Jesus, go to God often in prayer, and ask him for all the good that he wishes to show us.

This post is part of our ongoing journey through the Bible as a church.

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Sunday 08.14.16 (the Holy Spirit)

This Sunday we’ll take a look at Joel 2 and see how the prophecy about God pouring out his Spirit upon his people has been fulfilled, and what that means for us today. Sunday evening, we’ll take a look at chapter 5 in our I Will study. We hope to see you there!

Schedule
@945 Small Group / Sunday School for all ages
@1045 Worship Gathering
@6pm I Will study in church library

Sermon Notes
The Holy Spirit ~ Joel 2:28-32

  • The promise of the Spirit…
    • Limited among the people throughout the Old Testament
    • Universal among God’s people once he came
      • He would rest upon all without distinction (2:28-29)
      • He would give special abilities to all (2:28-29)
      • He would signify the time of salvation for all who call upon the Lord (2:32)
  • If you are a follower of Jesus, the Holy Spirit dwells within you and is at work in your life
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