Welcome Cody Hamilton, Youth Minister
Cody Hamilton is 26 years old and is a recent graduate of Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Since his graduation in May 2021, he has been assisting in planting a church in Missouri.
Jesus called twelve disciples to follow after him. Simon/Peter, Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Mathew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, Simon the zealot, Thaddeus (aka Judas the son of James), and Judas Iscariot. If ever there was a ragtag group, it was this one. You have fishermen, a tax collector, an insurrectionist, and more. These were not great men of prominence in their communities. Each one of them was just an “average Joe.” And yet the Lord hand picked these men to follow him. And it was through these men that the entire world was turned on its head.
Now, you and I are not the same as the Twelve that Jesus selected. However, we are disciples of Jesus. And when we look at the Twelve, we ought to find great encouragement. If Jesus could take men like that and use them for his purposes and glory, then certainly he can use you or I. You don’t have to be a pastor to serve the Lord. You don’t have to have amazing skills or be impressive in a certain field. Rather, pursue ordinary faithfulness. Use the knowledge, skills, and traits that the Lord has blessed you with to serve Him.
One of my favorite examples of ordinary faithfulness is Arthur Guinness. He was just an ordinary man. He worked hard and honed his skill of brewing beer. He worked as unto the Lord and was faithful with what the Lord had given him. He mastered his craft, taught his sons the same craft, raised his family in the fear of Christ, and through all this changed Ireland for the better. Arthur is directly responsible for Sunday School being established in Ireland. One of his grandsons would go into the ministry and for numerous generations there was always a Guinness in vocational ministry. How did all this happen? Ordinary faithfulness.
So, whatever you do, whether its making beer like Arthur or something else, do it as unto the Lord. Make much of Jesus whether you are a stay-at-home mom, a teacher, a mechanic, or anything else. If Jesus could use a fisherman to stand up on the day of Pentecost to preach the gospel, what could he use you for?
Do You Still Love?
Imagine that you are standing on a sidewalk, and you see a child crossing the street. The child is in the middle of the road and there is a Mack semi-truck heading straight for him. What do you do? Well perhaps you call out to the child if the truck is a decent way off to say that the road is not a safe place for them to be. But if the truck is not that far away then most anybody would spring to action and snatch the child out of harm’s way. You would have to be a monster to just sit there and do nothing, right?
If we would tell someone to get out of the road for a truck, how much more important is it to tell them about Jesus? If you seriously believe that Jesus Christ is the only way to be reconciled to God and that apart from Him there is eternal damnation, how much do you have to hate somebody to not tell them about Jesus? And I’ve heard all types of excuses for it. “It’s not my place.” “I don’t want to ruin my relationship with my family.” “I don’t have the gift of evangelism.” At the end of the day these are just excuses for unfaithfulness. It is your place to tell people about Jesus (Mat. 28:19-20). You should be willing to tell your family about Jesus even if it ruins your relationship with them (Mat 10:37). You may not have the gift of evangelism, but that does not exclude you from telling people about Christ.
My fear is that there could be people who have come to FBC longer than I’ve been alive and never told a single person about the salvation that is found in Christ alone. And if that is the case then I have great concern for these people. Because the Apostle Paul says, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Phil 1:21). We throw this verse around far too often without understanding the full weight of it. Death is gain for Paul because to live for him is Christ. So, to put it bluntly, if to live is not Christ for you then it calls into serious question whether or not death would be gain.
So go forward in life and be ready to tell people about Jesus and how He is mighty to save. And if you find yourself reading this article today and are cut to the heart for any number of reasons, know this. Jesus is gracious and merciful. He is able to forgive to the utmost. Repent of your sins and turn to Christ. And if for the first time in all your life, go and tell somebody about your dear friend, Jesus.
The Cost of Being Pro-life
I’m sure by now most of you have heard of the news from the Supreme Court that was leaked concerning the draft opinion to overturn Roe Vs Wade. While there is cause for concern about the information being leaked, we must turn our attention elsewhere. We must seriously consider the ramifications of what will be the role of the Church if Roe is truly overturned.
If Roe is truly overturned, then we will indeed sing praises to God. However, the overturning of Roe is not the end. One of the arguments that the pro-abortion peoples use is the quality of life for unwanted children. While this argument cannot be used for the murder of children in the womb, it is still something to consider. If abortion is outlawed in many states and more children are being born, then the likelihood of parentless children is bound to rise. The question is, what will the Church do about it?
It is easy to be pro-life when it costs you nothing more than placing a banner in your front yard or putting a sticker on your truck. But James tells us that true religion, in part, consists of caring for orphans (James 1:27). Will the Church follow through with action to show that it does indeed value and cherish each life? If so, what will that look like? Let me suggest a few ways that I think follow through would look like.
The first would be the support and expansion of Baptist Children’s Homes across our nation. Southern Baptists have always sought to care for children, and these times are no different. If Roe is truly done away with in the days ahead, then Southern Baptist will have the opportunity and responsibility to step up and put our theology into action. We will need to support and help what we already have in place to care for children, as well as do what is necessary to care for more. For us here at FBCBC it might look like financial support of our Baptists homes in Texas, or even volunteering at the nearest one.
Another way to follow through would be to prayerfully consider adoption. And I seriously mean to prayerfully consider this. You might have just sent your last kid to college, or maybe you are enjoying retirement. Could you financially support another child? Would you be willing to care for a child that is not your own as your own? Are you willing to love as Jesus loves? You see, Jesus gave of himself until there was nothing left. He healed the sick, fed the hungry, and cared for the least of all men. In the end He gave His life. Would you be willing to lay aside your preferences, pleasures, and comforts for the sake of loving a child in the name of Jesus? Not everyone can do this, but can you?
It will cost to truly be pro-life. It will take more than a bumper sticker or a sign. It will require action. So let us not simply be hearers of the word and affirm the dignity and value of every life. Let us be doers and care for orphans and children.
June 27th- July 1st will be our summer camp at ETBE. I am excited about this one. Camp is a great opportunity to spend multiple days with the students, tell them about the love of Christ, and build relationships with them. (Total camp cost is $225. A deposit of $50 is needed by May 23rd.
Sunday Morning Bible Study, 9:15 am
Sunday Evening Classes (when in session), 5:30 pm
Wednesday Worship, 6:30 pm