TRINITY CHAPEL INDEPENDENT BAPTIST CHURCH
March 2009 March 1, 2009
Volume 3 Issue 1 Trinity Chapel Independent Baptist Church 372 Old Hwy 25E Bean Station, TN 37708
Dallas Tharp Pastor Tommy Beckler Assistant Pastor
Sunday School...10:00 am Worship Services...11:00 am Sunday Evening…6:00 pm
Wednesday Evening...7:00 pm
In Like a Lion, Out Like a Lamb As a child, I used to hear that March goes in like a lion and out like a lamb. This statement can even be referred to the traits of a convicted then saved Christian. Often times a when a person becomes convicted in their heart they fight it inwardly and outwardly. They tend to be rude, hateful, and at times violent. Their demeanor shows anything but Christianity, when in all actuality, God is working on them, calling them, and touching them in such a manner that they are scared and running from it. Why would this be? Perhaps because it means that if they allow themselves to give in to God’s prompting, they will have to make some changes and will have to admit that they need Him. Or perhaps it may mean that they
will have to admit that God exists, which in today’s society often is accompanied with a separation of friends and family.
every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison” (Acts 8:3).
It wasn’t until he was on the road to Damascus that he Whatever the case may be, came to hear Christ call to too many times we run from him. “...Saul, Saul, why perthe conviction that is set in secutest thou me?...I am our hearts. Christ does not Jesus whom thou persecuthave to knock on our hearts est...” (Acts 9: 4-5) Saul folmore than once, therefore, if lowed Christ, became Paul, we do not answer His call and thus one of the most for salvation, we are taking important instruments for a chance of never knowing the early church. His grace and love as we are When witnessing to others, meant to. we need to be sure to let Paul himself was a lion be- them know that God does fore he became a follower of not expect them to change Christ. In Act Chapters 7 – before they become saved, 9, he was described as Saul, but that it is their salvation a murderer of Christians. that makes the changes. Upon consenting and seeing Therefore, upon Stephen’s stoning, he bereceiving God’s came convicted, though he gift, they go in was not aware that this was like a lion and what was happening. “As out like a lamb. for Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering into
Leading the Sheep into Thy Fold Not all of us are called to preach, pastor, or teach; but all of us are commanded to spread the Gospel. Therefore, we need to be more vigilant in getting the Word out. Each one of us has a gifting, a Godgiven talent which we can
utilize for witnessing tools. Some of us have the gift of gab, some of us are more literary in their wording, some of us communicate through action such as piano playing or athletics. Whatever the gift, use it to not only better yourself, but to witness to
others of the glory of God. Invite them to hear the word, give them a Bible, or just sit and talk to them and know that you are following Christ’s commandment.
M AR C H 2 00 9
V OLU M E 3 ISSU E 1
Confessions of a Mother Lion As a mother of three children, I have had the privilege of watching them grow into their different personalities. During their early years, each one required a flexibility of parenting skills and I would just ‘wing’ it as we went...learning as I went along for the ride. My daughter, the first born, would be the guinea pig, so by the time the third one came along, I was much wiser, and in most cases, much more lenient. I am not sure that this leniency was due to experience or exhaustion, or a combination of the two, but in any case, my husband and I have managed to squeak through their childhood virtually unscathed. We protected them, but gave them their freedom enough to be kids in a world that often wanted to smother them...we taught them to be independent and to stand for what they believed in...this soon backfired on us!
tion followed. Though my family has dealt with issues that most family have not, we are not that different than other families in the sense that the dynamics involving the parent/child relationship changed completely from their earlier stage of this bond. As they near adulthood, their level of understanding becomes more complex. They are seeking more independence, more autonomy from their parents as they are searching for the answers to life’s questions...guidance into which direction they should go for their future. Yet, when we, as parents, reach a hand in an effort to help steer them– to help them through their problems, and towards a happy and productive future, that hand often gets bit; much like an injured dog does when someone tries to calm it.
the big bad world around them; to protect them from all that may come at them.
I have come to the realization, through much prayer and with the wisdom of those that have gone down this path before me, that I must learn to give up my reign as a mother and give it wholly to God. Though this is extremely difficult, especially for a mother lion like myself. I pray that I can have the strength and fortitude to step back from the situations to which I see a proverbial cliff ahead and let God I have fallen into this trap. With my catch my children before they make oldest becoming an adult (though she is that plunge. legally an adult, she is technically still We entered the teen years about six a teenager), I have yet another stage of Praise God for your children and your years ago and have not ended this life to which I must become accustomed grand-children on a daily basis, for they are a precious gift given to us for reign of terror to date (if you look to. In my quest and desire to help closely, you’ll see grey hair on my them, to guide and steer them from the but a short time. This journey called motherhood, that is ever-changing, head, and my husband has lost his many pitfalls of self-destructive and has been one of many tests, many altogether. Haha). I used to look generally bad decisions, I have many forward to the teen years, as this was scars on my hands and heart. Though tears, many joys, many fears, and thankfully...many blessings. I believe when I felt they would be more enjoy- I know I appear to be ’controlling’ my the phrase that my good friend, able. Man, did I need to be careful children’s lives, it is through my and Lynne Beckler told me summed it up what I wished for! others’ experiences that I strive to best: “When they are young, children teach them to avoid such messes that In it’s conception, the teen years they may be heading towards. I know I step on your feet; when they are weren’t too bad; actually, they were older, they step on your heart.” How should step back and let them make almost fun. But as the trials and true. Though, I usually follow the their mistakes and learn and pay for tribulations entered, the drama, pain, those mistakes; but, it is the mother adage: “I can see why many species in frustration, and lack of communicathe wild eat their young”! lion in me that wants to strike out at
Precious Little Lamb Trinity Chapel has a new honorary inductee….on March 6, 2009, at 5:33 a.m., Jayden Dominick Williamson was born to Tonneka and Lonnie Williamson. He weighed 7 lbs, 10 oz, and was 20 inches long.
For those of you that are unfamiliar with God for him and hope to see a this precious little lamb, he is the grandson of Assistant Pastor, Tommy Beckler and Secretary/Treasurer, Lynne Beckler. He is also the great-granddaughter of Ms. Bonnie Kimbrough and nephew of Todd and Lane Beckler! Be sure to give congrats to all of the family for this newest honorary member of Trinity Chapel Independent Baptist Church. We praise
V OLU M E 3 ISSU E 1
M AR C H 2 00 9
The Spirit Of Prayer By Andrew Murray (Adapted from Discipleship Journal) The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of prayer. He is called in Zech. 12:10 "a spirit of grace and supplication." Twice in Paul's epistles there is a remarkable reference to Him in the matter of prayer: For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father." —Ro. 8:15 Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, "Abba, Father." —Gal. 4:6 Have you ever meditated on the words Abba, Father? In that name, our Savior offered His greatest prayer to the Father, accompanied by the total surrender and sacrifice of His life and love. The Holy Spirit is given for the express purpose of teaching us right from the very beginning of our Christian life to utter that word in childlike trust and surrender. In one of these passages, we read, "we cry." In the other, "the Spirit . . . calls." What a wonderful blending of the divine and human cooperation in prayer. What proof that God has done His utmost to make prayer as natural and effective as the cry of a child to an earthly father. . . . If we wish to understand this truth even more clearly, we can look at Ro. 8:26– 27: In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will. The Christian left to himself does not know how to pray or what he ought to pray for. But God has stooped to meet us in this helplessness of ours by giving us the Holy Spirit to pray for us. That operation of His Spirit is deeper than our thoughts or feelings, yet it is acknowledged and answered by God.
Confidence in the Spirit's Work Our first work, therefore, ought to be to come into God's presence, not with many words and thoughts, but in the confidence that the divine work of the Holy Spirit is being carried out within us. This confidence will encourage reverence and quietness. It will also enable us, in dependence on the help that the Spirit gives, to lay our desires and deepest needs before God. The supreme lesson for every prayer is first of all to commit to the leading of the Holy Spirit and, in total dependence on Him, to give Him first place. Through Him, your prayer will have value you cannot imagine. Through Him, you will learn to express your desires in the name of Christ. Think of it! In every prayer, the triune God takes a part: the Father who speaks, the Son in whose name we pray, and the Spirit who prays for us and in us. How important it is that we are in right relationship to the Holy Spirit and that we understand His work! Thus, the following truths about the Spirit's work in our lives demand serious consideration. 1. Let us firmly believe that the Spirit of God's Son, the Holy Spirit, is in us. Do not assume that you know this and have no need to reconsider it. It is a thought so important and so divine that it can gain entrance to our hearts and be retained there only by the Holy Spirit. "The Spirit bears witness with our spirit." Our position ought to be that of reckoning with full assurance of faith that our heart is His temple and that He dwells within us and rules the soul and body (Jn. 14:16–18, 1 Cor. 6:15–20). Let us thank God heartily that we have His Spirit in us to teach us to pray. Thanksgiving will draw our hearts toward God and keep us in fellowship with Him; it will take our attention from ourselves and give the Spirit room in our hearts. . . . 2. As we put this faith into practice with the certainty that the Spirit
dwells and works in us, there must also be an understanding of all that He desires to accomplish in us. The Spirit's work in prayer is closely connected with His other work. His first and greatest work is to reveal Christ in His omnipresent love and power. So in prayer, the Holy Spirit will constantly remind us of Christ, of His blood and His name, as the sure basis of our being heard. Then, as the Spirit of Holiness, he will teach us to recognize, hate, and be done with sin. He is the Spirit of light and wisdom, who leads us into the heavenly secret of God's overflowing grace. He is the Spirit of love and power, who teaches us to witness for Christ and to labor for souls. The more closely I associate all these blessings with the Spirit, the more I will be convinced of His deity and the more gladly I will commit myself to His guidance as I give myself to prayer. What a different life mine would be if I knew the Spirit as the Spirit of prayer! 3. The Spirit desires full possession of my life. We pray for more of the Spirit, and we pray well if alongside this prayer we hold the truth that the Spirit wants more of us. The Spirit would possess us entirely. Just as my soul has my whole body for its dwelling place and service, so the Holy Spirit would have my body and soul as His dwelling place, entirely under His control. The Spirit will make these words more and more the motto of our lives: "I seek you with my whole heart." The Spirit will cause us to recognize that what remains in us of double-mindedness is truly sinful. He will reveal Christ as the almighty deliverer from all sin, who is always near to defend us. He will help us to forget ourselves. He will make us willing to offer ourselves for training as intercessors to whom God can entrust the fulfillment of His plans. God, help us to know the Spirit and to revere Him as the Spirit of prayer.
M AR C H 2 00 9
V OLU M E 3 ISSU E 1
How To Develop Learners, Not Legalists By Jerry Bridges (Adapted from Discipleship Journal) When I was first introduced to the idea of discipleship, I was given a list of seven spiritual disciplines I should practice every day—things such as a daily quiet time, Scripture memorization, Bible study, and prayer. As overwhelming as that list was, I did manage to survive and am extremely grateful for the spiritual disciplines I learned in the process. But I soon came to believe that my day-to-day relationship with God depended on how faithfully I performed those disciplines. No one actually told me God's blessing on my life was based on my performance. Still, I had developed a vague but very real impression that God's smile or frown depended on what I did. The frequent challenge to "be faithful" in my quiet time, while intrinsically good, probably helped create this impression. Soon, I was passing on this legalistic attitude to those I was seeking to disciple. In recent years I've noticed an even stronger emphasis on discipleship by legalism. Not only do some people convey that God's smile or frown is dependent on a person's performance, they communicate by attitude and action that their own approval is based on a person's faithful performance of certain disciplines or attendance at certain Christian activities. The message is: People who don't do these things faithfully are not as "spiritual" or "committed" as those who do. However, it is not rules that effectively disciple a person, it is God's grace. As the Apostle Paul said, "For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say ‘No' to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-
controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age" (Titus 2:11–12). Note that Paul says it is the grace of God— not a regimen of rules and activities— that teaches or disciples us. If we want to disciple others in a biblical manner, we must disciple by the grace of God, not by legalism. But this poses a problem. Proclaim the Good News Too many people set grace and discipline (or discipleship) in opposition to one other. Just as there is a strong element of legalistic discipleship within evangelicalism, there is an equally strong element of teaching that any emphasis on spiritual disciplines is a negation of God's grace. How then can we apply Titus 2:11–12 in our discipling ministries? How can we disciple by grace? First, we must continue to teach the gospel to the people we are discipling. Our tendency is to proclaim this "good news" to people until they trust Christ; then we begin to teach them the demands of discipleship. But the gospel is the good news that God sent His Son into the world to die for all our sins—not just the sins we committed before we trusted Christ, but all our sins past, present, and future. What do I mean when I say we must continue to preach the gospel to Christians? A believer recently said to a friend of mine, "I'm a failure." In an effort to encourage, my friend told this person, "No, you're not a failure." While I appreciate my friend's compassion, I would suggest a different response to such a statement and the attitude of despair lying behind it. I would suggest that we say something like this: "That's right. You are a failure, and so am I. But that's why Jesus came.
He came to die for people who are failures." You see, this dear person needed to hear the gospel just as much that day as she did the day she trusted Christ as her Savior. Jesus came for spiritual failures not for the spiritually successful. He said, "‘It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous [the spiritually successful], but sinners [the spiritual failures] to repentance'" (Lk. 5:31– 32). We don't like to admit we're failures, but we really are! Jesus said we are to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, and mind, and to love our neighbor as ourselves (Mt. 22:37–38). By that standard, all of us are failures. None of us has even come close to loving God with all our hearts and our neighbors as ourselves. Merit Is Spelled G-R-A-C-E I believe the two greatest hindrances to discipleship are self-righteousness and guilt. Some people are not interested in pursuing true biblical discipleship because they are satisfied with their own performance. They have reduced the Christian life to measurable activities. Supposedly, they are the spiritually healthy Jesus spoke of who do not need the doctor (Lk. 5:31–32). Other believers are weighed down with guilt—often about the wrong things. They worry that they haven't succeeded in the spiritual disciplines as others seem to have done, or they've truly failed in a significant area of their lives and feel guilty about it. They haven't yet learned that Jesus died for those who have failed. The gospel strips us of self-
V OLU M E 3 ISSU E 1
righteousness and frees us from guilt. The gospel, reiterated every day, reminds the seemingly "successful" disciple that he really is a sinner because "no sinner, no Savior." It reminds the seemingly "unsuccessful" disciple that Jesus died for all his failures to practice the disciplines of discipleship. Once a person is able to put his failures into perspective, what next? We must help those we disciple realize that even their most diligent pursuit of spiritual disciplines never earns them one iota of favor from God. God's blessings come to us by His grace—through the merit of Jesus Christ. God's grace has been defined through the acrostic G-R-A-C-E, "God's Riches At Christ's Expense." This means that Jesus Christ has already merited for us every blessing and every answer to prayer we will ever receive. The practical outworking of this truth means that when I am "faithful" in my quiet time I do not earn God's blessing. Conversely, when I haven't been faithful I haven't forfeited God's blessing. This truth needs to be emphasized over and over, because we are all legalistic by nature. We don't have to be taught to relate to God on a performance basis; we do that naturally. Rather, we have to be taught over and over again that the only way we can truly relate to God is by His grace, through the merit of Jesus Christ. Why, then, should we be concerned with the practice of spiritual disciplines? The Way to Spiritual Health Although the spiritual disciplines do not earn God's favor, they are absolutely necessary for spiritual growth. An analogy I sometimes use is that of a child eating the nutritious food his mother has prepared. Eating the food doesn't earn his mother's approval (though she is undoubtedly pleased that he is eating it), but it is vitally necessary for his physical growth and health. In the same way, practicing spiritual disciplines does not earn
M AR C H 2 00 9
God's approval (though He is pleased), but they are vitally necessary for our spiritual growth. Exposure to the truths of God's Word through the teaching of others and our own personal study, consistent prayer, and the fellowship of other believers are some of the basic disciplines God has given us for our spiritual growth. We simply will not grow without consistency in these disciplines any more than a child will grow healthily apart from nutritious food. It is not an issue of God's approval or disapproval (and should not be a matter of our approval or disapproval). It is simply an issue of growth. Grace Does Not Equal Indulgence But suppose the person doesn't want to grow or, perhaps more accurately, doesn't want to pay the price of the spiritual disciplines necessary to grow. What do we do then? We do what Paul did. We admonish and teach (Col. 1:28). We warn them of the dangers of spiritual slothfulness. We teach them the true meaning and intent of the grace of God as portrayed, for example, in Titus 2:11–12. We point out that Jesus died, not just to rescue us from eternal damnation but "to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for Himself a people that are His very own, eager to do what is good" (Titus 2:14). All the while we are admonishing and teaching, we should do so with an attitude of total acceptance. We should never imply to those we are discipling that God's favor is dependent on their faithfulness; rather, it is based on the merit of Jesus Christ on their behalf. And we should certainly never indicate by our attitude or actions that our acceptance of them is based on their performance. But doesn't this teaching of God's unconditional love to us in Christ lead to a careless attitude on the part of some? Yes it does—sometimes even to the point of willful and flagrant disobedience. To these people we must emphasize that God's grace does
not negate the scriptural principles that "a man reaps what he sows" (Gal. 6:7), and "The Lord disciplines those He loves" (Heb. 12:6). God's unconditional love should never be equated with permissiveness and indulgence. Likewise, our love should be unconditional yet not permissive. It should be like Paul's love as expressed to the Corinthians, "For I wrote you out of great distress and anguish of heart and with many tears, not to grieve you but to let you know the depth of my love for you" (2 Cor. 2:4). In all of our discipling relationships, we must remember that we are only ministers of God. If God accepts a person by His grace, we must accept a person on the same basis, loving him unconditionally but not permissively. The foundation of our discipling should be the gospel, not the spiritual disciplines. Only a person who is firmly established in the gospel can handle the important disciplines of the Christian life without falling into legalism..
Prayer Requests Prayer requests are important to a Christian’s daily life. Below is a list of prayers that are requested to be remembered. If you have any that aren’t listed, please contact Jani Rogers for them to be added to the list. The lost...that they open their eyes and hearts to God’s plan of salvation. The church...that we always stay in God’s will. The church leaders...that they continue to be blessed. The nation...that we become a nation under God once again. The youth….that they seek the Lord’s guidance instead of their own desires. Those that are in pain emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually. Those that are struggling financially. Lane Beckler...as he is away in the military. The military...that God keep them safe. Lonnie and Tonneka Williamson and Jayden...that God keeps them safe and fills their needs. Todd Beckler...that he is able to find a job. Ted and Cindy Correll. The Beckler family...as they travel to South Carolina for Lane’s basic training graduation. Nancy Hance.
Right Hand Of Fellowship We have been blessed with many new faces at Trinity Chapel lately, but there can never be too many people in attendance. Seek and invite others to attend a service or two. Some, many, may not come, but don’t let that discourage you. God places people where He wants them and when He wants them to be there. Just know that you are doing what He asks of you...the seeds will be planted, and the vine will grow. Trinity Chapel has many things to look forward to, and though we may not know what these things are, the knowledge that we are a part of something great should be encouragement enough to keep us going. Remember, we are small, but powerful! Through God’s continued blessings and the preaching of His word...we will prevail!
Upcoming Events April: Business meeting. TBA: Baptism.
Verse of the Month “For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed themand shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their
This is the newsletter for the month of March for our church.