Branch News

October 2016

19
Oct

Revival with Ronnie Tullos

First Baptist Church of Branch is excited to host Ronnie Tullos in a Fall Revival on October 23rd – 26th. We will have services at 11 am and 6:30 pm on Sunday and then at 6:30 pm on Monday – Wednesday. We would love to have you join us for powerful messages from God’s Word as we seek Him together. We believe that God is speaking to every generation and that His Word is more relevant today than ever. We invite you and your family to join us for each service. A nursery will be provided.

Ronnie heads up a ministry in the inner city of Memphis. They have seen thousands put their faith in Christ over the years.

Worship will be led by Tom McCone and his worship team from First Baptist Church of Greenwood. Tom is fired up and ready to worship with us and we are looking forward to an exciting week. Area churches and pastors are invited to join us as we ask God to send revival.

“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14, AV)

14
Oct

A Day of Prayer and Fasting – October 15th

Our church has set aside time during the day on Saturday, Oct. 15th for fasting and prayer. We would be honored if you would join us.

Too many times I begin to pray without adequately preparing my heart to pray. I want to remind you as we approach a very special day of prayer and fasting tomorrow that we each need to prepare ourselves so that we can effectively intercede for others. It isn’t selfish to begin your time of prayer by praying about your own needs. It is vitally important. Just make sure that you begin with a heart filled with praise, a desire to be right with God, and a hunger for Him and not just what He can do for you. So here is one model of how we can prepare our hearts:

A = Adoration – spend time just praising God and worshiping Him. Don’t ask for anything at this point. “Hallowed be thy name…”

C = Confession – ask God to forgive your sins.  “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us…”

T = Thanksgiving – Thank God for forgiving you and accept His forgiveness. Thank Him for salvation. Thank Him for life and breath and all things!

S = Supplication – Ask God to meet the needs within your family, friends, church family, coworkers, neighborhood, classmates, etc. Pour out your heart for people who are hurting and in need.

I want to encourage you to pray and fast with others from our church family tomorrow, Saturday, Oct. 15th. I am suggesting a fast from 6:00 am until 6:00 pm, 12 hours in which we do not eat so that we will be reminded to pray. Now, if tomorrow is not a good day for you to do this then do it on Monday or Thursday or whenever works for you. If 12 hours isn’t right for you then do 24 or 36 or 8 or what you can do. If you want to fast from food but still drink juice or coffee (I usually drink just water) that is fine. Do it in the way that God leads you. If you would rather fast from your smartphone, tablet, computer, television, music, movies, books, football, entertainment, etc., that is fine. Do it in the way that will help  you to focus on God in prayer. I just hope you will join me in fervent prayer for a nation that has lost its way.

As you begin your fast, start with some specific requests that you are going to be praying for (for example):

  1. Praying for lost family members to be saved
  2. Praying for revival and awakening in our nation
  3. Praying for our Fall Revival and true revival within our church

I wouldn’t make a long list. Make it short enough that it is easy to remember. Prepare for your time of fasting by making your list today. This list will guide you and help you to be focused. It will keep you on track and it will be much easier to remember why you are doing this. Finally, don’t lose heart if it doesn’t go as well or as easily as you hoped. There are no style points involved. Just do it.

10
Oct

“Even So, Come, Lord Jesus!”

“Even So, Come, Lord Jesus”

Beginning at six months out, we counted down the days. We couldn’t wait for our wedding day!

We talked every day and spent as much time with each other as we could. No one had to urge us to spend time on the phone or to sit and talk about our future. We were so excited about every part of it.

Susie and I knew that the day of our wedding was going to be special. It was. We truly believed that God had brought us together and we were so in love. The days passed slowly but they passed. We finally made it – July 7, 1984.

Our families gathered. To be fair, some of our family was thrilled while others were convinced we were making a huge mistake.

The moment came and our pastor, Bro. Garland Hobbs, led the men to take their place on stage. The bridal march began and every eye turned to the door at the rear of the auditorium. Susie came down that aisle and she was beautiful. Her dad didn’t glare at me too much but I wasn’t paying much attention to him anyway.

The songs, the vows, and the pronouncement were over in just a few beats of the heart. We were one. It was a sweet beginning to one of the greatest blessings God has ever given to me. I am so thankful.

But there is another day coming. Really it is one that every Christian should be counting down. It is the day of Christ’s return.

It is another love story. But this one has some elements and wrinkles that we might not expect.

This love story is between God and all of us who know Him as Lord and Savior. It is between Christ and His church, the Bride of Christ. The day is certain and it is coming but it hasn’t been announced. Jesus Himself said that only the Father knew the day and the hour.

In fitting with a Jewish wedding ceremony, the Lord Jesus will begin the festivities. He will return for His bride and the trumpets will sound. There will be a glorious moment when we realize – the day is here! What we have heard about for so long and waited for is finally here!

Wait, what’s that? You’re not anxiously waiting for this day?

Actually, I understand. I’m sitting here writing this and looking out the window of my study. The maple tree directly outside and the fields beyond are a beautiful reminder of how special God’s creation is. Plus, I’m busy. I’m getting ready to go out to the fair and work the evangelism booth for a while and then go to the leader’s supper meeting for the Acts 1:8 mission day tomorrow.

Our culture has wired us to being so busy that we have little time to sit and contemplate the wonders of heaven. And then it also messes with all of our plans that we have made – fishing trip next week, revival a few weeks after that – we have a lot on the calendar. Surely the Lord won’t be returning this month, will He?

But that is the beauty of it all. Jesus is returning. It’s the next great event in the prophetic calendar that God has on His wall. When He returns we will go home to be with Him forever. When He returns He will make all things right in His universe. When He returns He will take us home to a heaven that is more real and more beautiful and more amazing than anything on this planet we call earth.

Every one of our loved ones and friends who have died in Jesus will be there with us to celebrate! Best of all we will be with HIM. That’s it. That’s enough.

Our day is coming. We don’t know when. But we know that it could be soon. It could be today.

“Lord, will this be the day that you come for me?”

Even so, Lord, come.

Your Pastor,

Bro. Tim Hobbs

“For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” (1 Thessalonians 4:16–18, AV)

10
Oct

What Jesus Sees

What Jesus Sees

Jesus looked at people who were lost and saw something that they couldn’t see. He looked at the woman at the well and saw a woman whose life and mistake and sin could be redeemed. He saw beyond her past. He saw a future that was totally different from what she had known.

He looked at a religious expert, Nicodemus. He wasn’t impressed by religiosity, still isn’t. He saw a man who was depending on his religion to get him to heaven and cared enough about him to tell him he would never get there on the path he was on. Nicodemus was a teacher of the Jews but Jesus saw only that he was a lost man who needed a new birth.

Jesus looked at the rich young ruler and saw a man who was rich. He had everything. On top of that he was religious. He had tried to convince himself that keeping all those rules was enough. But it didn’t work. He found himself staring straight into Jesus’ eyes as he asked him what he had to do to get eternal life. Jesus looked at this young man and loved him. He loved him enough to tell him the truth – he had allowed his money to become his idol. He worshiped it. He lived for it. He walked away from Jesus because he couldn’t see giving it away in order to follow Jesus. Jesus was sad as he watched the young man turn and walk away.

Jesus looked at Peter and saw beyond the impetuous, quick to speak-slow to listen fisherman and saw a leader of men. He saw in Peter what could be when Peter turned his all over to Jesus.

No one wants to think that their life is without meaning and without hope and without a future. Everyone wants their life to count. No one wants to live and die in obscurity, unloved and unremembered.

But the real question is, what does Jesus see when He looks at your life?

Does He see your sin? Your mistakes? Your failures? Sure He does.

But He also sees what could be in your life. He looks at your past and knows that there is nothing there that cannot be forgiven and overcome. That’s why He went to the cross.

So what are you waiting for? “Get up. Take up your bed and go home.”

“Take heart. Get up. He is calling you.”

“Child, arise.”

“Young man, I say to you, arise.”

Jesus sees what you could be. What are you waiting for? Open your heart. Surrender your life. Give it to Him. He will take it and do far more with it than you ever could. And that is the secret to success and a life well lived. It’s not in what you have. It’s not in how many toys you have. It’s in knowing Jesus Christ.

Praying for you,

Bro. Tim Hobbs

P.S. You may be down and out or you may be up and out. But if you’re still “out” you need to turn to Jesus. He loves you. He invites you to experience life the way it was intended to be lived.

“Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28, HCSB)