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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

Sunday Morning Schedule
9:45am ~ Small Groups / Sunday School
10:45 am ~ Worship Gathering

Good Reads 05.24.17 (on: battling depression, spiritual gifts, and more!)

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

On the Old Testament: Seven Ways the Old Testament Deepens Our Love for Jesus by David Murray

One of the ways that children sometimes try to deepen their relationship with their parents is to travel back to where their father or mother grew up. They might visit historical societies, read archives, and gather newspaper stories and artifacts from old friends. Doing so, they build a bigger and better picture of their father or mother and experience a deeper sense of connection with them and love for them.

In a similar way, Christians go back to the Old Testament to build a bigger and better picture of Jesus Christ. By connecting with his past, we connect better with him and deepen our love for him. The Old Testament connects us with Jesus’ past in the following ways: (click here to read more)

On dealing with personal darkness and depression: What Do You Do When You’re in the Pit? by Godwin Sathianathan

Well, that’s all very true.  But last I checked we are all still human!  The Bible never calls us to be anything other than human.  And in our humanity, we hurt. To express this hurt to God isn’t necessarily sinful communication; it can come from a very deep place of trust in our Father’s tender care.  Kids who scrape a knee and then bury their tearful faces in mamma’s lap communicate profound trust in mamma.  Likewise, God’s children run to their Father when they hurt too.  This is child-like trust, not godless defiance. (click here to read more)

On loving your church: Love the One You’re With by Jon Bloom

The earthly church has always been a motley crew. It’s never been ideal. The New Testament exists because churches, to differing degrees, have always been a mess — a glorious mess of saints still polluted by remaining sin, affected by defective genes, brains, and bodies, and influenced by life-shaping pasts.

This mess rarely looks glorious to us up close. It looks like a lot of sin and a lot of blood, sweat, and tears invested into a lot of futility. It often looks like something we’d rather escape than join.

But this is the way it’s supposed to be. Because the mess is what draws out the one thing that advances the church’s mission more than anything else. And this one thing is why we must not, for selfish reasons, leave the church. (click here to read more)

On Spiritual gifts: The Only Spiritual Gifts Test You’ll Ever Need by Stephen Altrogge

As I skimmed it, I thought, Is this spiritual gifts test really necessary? Is figuring out my God-given gifts really this complex? 

Thankfully, I don’t think things need to be so difficult. In fact, I think determining your spiritual gifts is incredibly simple.

God wants you to know your gifts. He’s not hiding them from you. You don’t have to embark on a lengthy, soul-searching journey culminating in transcendent mystical revelation.

Figuring out your spiritual gifts requires only two questions… (click here to read more)

Child of God

And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.” ~ Mark 1:11 (ESV)

One way to look at life is as a series of events in which we try to figure out who we are. Though in some ways we remain the same, in many ways we become different people throughout the stages of life. The adult version of you is vastly different than the teenage or toddler version of you, though you’re still you.

Yet, through all the changes and stages of life, at the core we long for affirmation and belonging.

Before Jesus began his ministry, the Father spoke to him of both affirmation and belonging. Mark’s account to follow of Jesus’ temptation by Satan is brief and leaves out these details, but Matthew and Luke tell us that Satan struck at the identity of Jesus and sought to counter the Father’s voice. “If you are the Son of God,” Satan would say.

All the more reason that we see the Father’s words given to Jesus at this point in the gospel story. He tells Jesus, “You are my beloved Son,” or: You are my dear child and I love you deeply; and, “With you I am well pleased,” or: I am happy with who you are as a person.

These are the same affirmations we long to hear as well. We seek them from our earthly parents, how much more do we seek them from our Heavenly Father?

It does not, however, take much reflection on our part to realize just how undeserving we are of hearing those words from the Father. Yes, Jesus deserved them, because he never rebelled and always did the Father’s good will. But we rebel and fall short of God’s goodness each day.

Yet, it is precisely here that we find grace. Jared Wilson wrote, “You are a great sinner, yes. But you have a great Savior. Child of God, you are a child of God. And he will never, ever, ever leave you or forsake you” (The Imperfect Disciple).

One of my favorite summaries of the gospel story is 2 Corinthians 5:21, where Paul says of Jesus: “For our sake the Father made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” Jesus became our sin that we could become God’s righteousness. This means that he took on all our rebellion and gave us all his perfection, so that if we belong to Jesus, then when the Father said, “You are my beloved Son, with you I am well pleased,” he spoke these words over us as well.

This glorious truth frees us. We don’t have to figure out how to live in order to please God. God already made us his children, pleasing in his sight. We seek to live a life honoring to our Father, through our Savior, because he is pleased with us. We don’t lay aside our sin and pick up God’s holiness in order to earn his favor, we do so because we have his favor.

So, as Wilson said, if you belong to Jesus, then you are a child of God.

New posts in this series will appear most Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays.

Mark 1_11

Sunday 05.21.17 (living to die well)

This Sunday in our study through Ecclesiastes, we’ll take a look at 3:16-4:3 and how we learn to live well so one day we might die well. Then on Sunday evening, we’ll have a special “ask anything” session–come ready with questions about the Bible, theology, and faith and we will do our best to answer what we can. We hope to see you there!

Schedule
@945 Small Groups / Sunday School for all ages
@1045 Worship Gathering
@6pm “Ask Anything” evening in church library

Sermon Notes
Living to Die Well ~ Ecclesiastes 3:16-4:3

  • The corruption of sin
    • Sin brings injustice (3:16)
    • Sin brings oppression (4:1)
    • Sin brings death (3:17-21)
    • Sin brings despair (4:2-3)
  • The universality of death (3:17-21)
  • The certainty of judgment (3:17)
  • The hope of life: Jesus enables us to live well to die well (John 11:25-26, Romans 6:23)
    • We live by faith (Ephesians 2:1-8, Colossians 2:13-14)
    • We face death with faith (2 Corinthians 5:1-10, 1 John 4:9-18)
    • We love others and honor their lives: acting in kindness and not oppression, with justice and not injustice (Isaiah 1:17, Matthew 25:34-40, James 1:27)
    • We live in joy throughout our days (Ecclesiastes 3:22)

Its His Story

And John preached, “After me comes he who is mightier than I, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. I have baptized you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” ~ Mark 1:7-8

Today we begin a new devotional series though the gospel of Mark. Of the four gospels, Mark’s is the shortest and most fast paced, often using the term immediately not as a brief passage of time but as a quick transition from one account to the next.

Mark began his gospel with a quote from Isaiah about the messenger who would “prepare the way of the Lord.” He then described John the baptizer and his ministry to prepare people’s hearts for Jesus coming on the scene. Though John was popular and many went to see him, his attitude was one of humility. He knew his role in the grand story of Scripture—he was not the point, Jesus was.

He also knew that Jesus’ work would be far greater than his. Whereas he called people to repentance and baptism, Jesus offered something greater. Though Jesus also called people to repent (1:15) and be baptized (Matthew 28:18-20), Jesus would do something John could not: baptize people with the Holy Spirit.

Two of the first things that happen when we come to Jesus are: 1) Jesus fills us with the Holy Spirit, securing our new spiritual life, gifting us to serve others, and assuring us our place among God’s family; and 2) We begin to realize that our life’s story is not primarily about us but about Jesus.

Though John had a one-of-a-kind role in the world’s history, we are like him in that we need to humble ourselves under the exalted Jesus and we need to see ourselves as part of something bigger.

As Jesus fills us with the Spirit, may we make our life story all about Jesus. May we live to make his name famous. And may we serve others in such a way that they see us clearly pointing them to our Savior-King.

 

New posts in this series will appear most Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays.

Good Reads 05.17.17 (on Christian living, prayer, and more!)

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

On our dreams vs. our reality: Embrace the Life You Have by Vaneetha Rendall Risner

Finally, I am called to embrace the life I have. Embrace it as I would a beloved friend. Wholeheartedly. With joyful acceptance, not grudging obedience. Embracing means gladly receiving and even welcoming whatever the Lord gives me, even when it wasn’t in my plans. It means being fully present, living in the now, finding joy in the moment, and not longing for what’s past. (click here to read more)

On parenting: How Should Parents Respond to Their Children’s Sexual Sin by Russell Moore

It’s good for parents to feel burdened about their kids’ sin. There are far too many parents, including evangelical parents, who assume sexual sin is just part of growing up, particularly when it comes to boys. That’s not true. This is a sin against God, and a genuinely Christian response to such sin needs to begin with feeling the true weight of this sin.

Having said that, parents should also not be excessively shocked. We shouldn’t communicate to our children, “I can’t believe what you did,’ or even worse, “I can’t believe you did this to us.” Too many parents take their children’s sin personally, because they expect their child to always make the right moral decision in challenging moments. There is no sin except what is common to man, and while there are extreme sins, your child will not invent any sin. (click here to read more)

On men and prayer: Men, Lead Out in Prayer by Casey Lewis

Prayer is what the church and country need. It especially needs men who are willing to lead spiritually, and specifically, to lead in the area of prayer. Men, we can’t abdicate our responsibility any longer to the women in the church. We must lead as God has called us to lead.

I am sure other pastors in other times have said this but I am going to say it now in our time. Men, if we want our country and community to change, if we want to see people come to Jesus, we have to be spiritual leaders who are leading out in prayer. (click here to read more)

On living faithful to Jesus: Stop Being on Fire for Jesus by David Appelt

And that’s the rub. Yes, if I am living my life in obedience to Jesus, in worship of him, and striving to grow in His grace, then I will have the positivity that often comes along with it.

But by no means does the bible tell us to gauge our spiritual lives solely (or even primarily) based on our feelings. It’s a reality in the bible that we will go through seasons of pain, doubt, failure, feebleness, and loss. Not every second of our lives will be exhilarating, news-worthy, record-breaking happiness, and excitement. Most of the Christian life is radically ordinary. (click here to read more)

Put Away Your Idols

“Now therefore fear the Lord and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord.” ~ Joshua 24:14

Toward the end of his life, Joshua called together the leaders of the tribes of Israel and issued them a final challenge. He told them to put away the gods their ancestors had served in Egypt and to follow his example in serving the Lord alone. This came with a warning from Joshua that if they failed to serve the Lord fully and turned back to their idolatry, then they would experience God’s judgment (a reality we see again and again throughout the book of Judges, as well as the people’s exile from the land many years later).

This speaks to our hearts as well. We all come to Jesus with various idols in tow. For us in western cultures, these are not so much trinkets of wood, rock, or gold that we place on our mantles for homage. Yet these are things in our lives that hinder full devotion to Jesus.

In The Imperfect Disciple, Jared Wilson provides a good diagnostic question to determine the idols of our hearts:

This is how you know what your god really is; this is how you know what’s really the treasure of your heart. What is it that you wouldn’t give up for Jesus? You’d give up everything in the world but this one thing. Well, that’s what you worship.

In another book, Gods at War, Kyle Idleman details nine potential idols. Three are in the “temple of pleasure”—food, sex, and entertainment; three in the “temple of power”—success, money, and achievement; and three in the “temple of love”—romance, family, and self.

When Jesus calls us to follow him, he calls us to put away all our idols and worship him alone. He calls us to lay down our very lives to pick up the self-denying sacrifice of our own crosses and follow after him (Luke 9:23). This isn’t easy, but it’s necessary.

The good news is that God gives us grace and the power of his Spirit to actually lay down our idols. The more we focus on God, his greatness, his glory, and the salvation he offers through Jesus, the less our hearts cling to the idols of our past. When Jesus is Lord over our hearts and priorities, it keeps our desires and needs in their proper place and prevents them from growing into hopeless idols.

This concludes our devotional series through Joshua. Look for a new series coming soon!

Monday Update (05.15.17)

We had a busy week last week with not much time to keep the blog up to date. Tomorrow we’ll get back to it with the conclusion of our devotional series in Joshua and a new series to begin soon.

We’ve also completed some updates to the church website with this new look and the addition of a “recent sermons” page. We upload our sermons to SoundCloud. Typically, the four most recent sermons will be available. You can listen to them here: fbcadrian.com/sermons/ or here: soundcloud.com.