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Tab-A-Letter (monthly newsletter)

February 2018

 

Got Faith? by Pastor Rob Benardo

Faith. I have it right? I mean, I turn on the light switch and I expect the light to come on. I turn the switch to start my car and expect it to start (most of the time). Is there something more? Indeed there is.  We read last month that; “the knowledge of what the scripture means when urging upon us the necessity of cultivating faith, is more essential than any other knowledge that can be acquired.” Since cultivating faith is so essential, let us first discover what the Bible says true faith is.

 

First of all, it is important to recognize that faith is a free gift and it is given to every person that has ever lived on the planet! Ephesians 2:8 says, “by grace are you saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God” and Romans 12:3 says that a “measure of faith is given to every man”. Regarding the first text, neither the grace or the faith are yours, they are both gifts from God. The Bible says in another place that God gives grace without measure and we can be sure that faith is also just as free and bountiful.

 

If you’re wondering about the quality of this faith, be sure that it is second to none. It is none other than the faith of Jesus – the faith that He is both the Author and the Finisher of (Hebrews 12:2). It is the faith that made Noah know that the flood was coming so he could prepare for it and the faith that delivered the children of Israel through the Red Sea. It is the faith that caused the walls of Jericho to fall and Daniel to be saved from the mouth of lions. Others were saved from the violence of fire and yet others had the dead raised to life again. This faith although not seen, had plenty of evidence of its existence.

 

That is the way faith is. Hebrews 11:1 says; “Now faith is the substance (confidence) of things hoped for, the evidence (conviction) of things not seen. It ought to be understood that true faith always rests upon a basis of solid fact. God never asks men to build on anything less than "a sure foundation"-one that has been "tried." "Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God;" and that Word upholdeth the universe. Whoever accepts that Word, and trusts it implicitly, builds upon certainty. {September 12, 1901 EJW, PTUK 579.2}

 

We can also know for sure that God is not trying to play “keep away” or “monkey in the middle” with this most precious gift for it is written: “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’ ” (that is, to bring Christ down) “or ‘Who will descend into the deep?’ ” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the Word of faith which we proclaim.” Romans 10:6-8 No, God has given to everyone the precious gift of faith that can move mountains and cause the sun to stand in its place. It is a faith that is ruled by principle and prevails even with the absence of feelings and even holds fast when our feelings are telling us otherwise.

 

So one quick example of how it works before we close. Abraham. The promise was that you will have a ton of children- kind of like the stars up in the heavens in number. And so after they wiped the tears of laughter from their eyes, the miracle happened and Isaac was born- the precious God promised and God given child. And then comes Mount Moriah. Take your son, your only son that you love and go offer him there for a burnt offering.

 

That which was arguably the most valued thing in Abraham’s life (that God gave him by promise) God now says,“I want you to offer him on the altar” that is kill him like the pagans do to which Abraham by his actions said, I trust you and your Word God”.   I don’t understand how you are going to solve my problem, but I trust you and your Word, for after all you said that “thy seed shall be as the stars of heaven” and “in Isaac shall your seed be called”.

 

I trust you God, because you have already brought Isaac from the dead- there was no way humanly possible that Sarah and I could have brought forth a child. And so if you brought him forth from the deadness of our old bodies, you can bring him to life again! And so it was settled, he leaves his servants at the base of the mountain and says, “stay here, I and the lad will go and WE will come back again”. SO up the mountain he goes with all the materials in hand and he ties him up and he raised the knife and was willing to take Isaac’s life BUT- God provides as the angel says, “not so fast” and out of nowhere a ram appears in the thicket. And so here is the exercise or cultivation of faith. “To trust in the Word of God only and to depend upon it alone- this is faith. Abraham would rather trust in God and His Word than to keep back that which was most precious in life to him. He would believe the impossible, because he knew the God who had already shown him that nothing was too hard for Him!

 

Friend of mine, do you know and cling to the Word of your precious Jesus? Is He worth more than life to you? Do you act from principle or from feeling in your life? Today God would have you learn how to exercise your faith, for this is “the science of the gospel.” His Word can never and will never fail you! Won’t you humbly trust Him with your life today?,  

 

 

OUR FATHER…by Lorrie Rietman

One of the sad parts of this winter has been that it’s been so cold and so we have barely been able to play outside! A couple weeks ago it did finally warm up so I bundled the kids up and outside we went! We went sledding and tramping about. Then I asked Lily if she wanted to make a snowman! Oh yes of course she did! However it ended up that I was the one who made the snowman. I had not made a snowman for years but I found great enjoyment in designing and building my snowman. In the end I do declare that he was a fine looking fella and had some branch arms, a gray hat, pebble eyes and a carrot nose. Lily thought he was splendid and even though she contributed probably one handful of snow, it was “her” snowman.

 

But you know, I didn’t mind. It was for her anyway and it made her day! Sadly the next day it kept warming up and by the end of the day Mr. Snowman had pretty much vanished. But a promise has been given that more snowmen can be built whenever we have enough snow again.

 

I think one of the most fun aspects of being a parent is the ability to make your child happy. We know them so well. The look of pure delight that spreads on their faces when we surprise them with a gift or experience just tailored for them is absolutely one of the greatest joys.

 

I don’t think it is any accident that God is called our Father. He delights in us even more than we delight in our children. And not only has He created this world for us, He has bought and paid for our salvation all on His own but gives us every single benefit without even a handful of our effort. Beyond the joys we can experience now all eternity is awaiting us. What an amazing Father we have!

 

 

PATHFINDER CLUB UPDATE...by Brad and Tracey Hall, Directors of the BC Pioneers Pathfinder Club

The pathfinders once again took part in helping our community. In January we volunteered at The Food Bank in Battle Creek. They had us sort and bag up potatoes to be passed out to those in need. Even though it was a dirty job, the pathfinders still found a way to laugh and enjoy their time with each other and  feeling good about helping someone else. We boxed up enough potatoes to feed more than 3,000 people in the two hours we were there. In January, a small group of our teen pathfinders headed to Camp Au Sable for the weekend. They got to enjoy Teen Snow Outing with several hundred other teen pathfinders from all over Michigan. We were blessed by Pastor Jermaine, who shared a moving message with us on "Being Still and hearing God". Our teens were challenged to change the world instead of being changed by the world. Please continue to pray for all of our young people, there is a real spiritual battle being played in their generation. God is still in control, your prayers can change things!

 

SACRED CONCERT SERIES 2018: The February 17th concert will be pianist Dr. Wen-Ting Ong and violinist Isabel Ong. They are internationally traveled, accomplished classical musicians. They were on Kid's Time as children and have since been on 3ABN and at GYC as adults. Isabel is pursuing a doctorate in Violin Performance and Dr. Ong works at the Boston Conservatory of Music and is also a ballet technique pianist.   March 31st we will end with musician and singer Dr. Buddy Houghtaling and friends. All concerts are FREE. 

 

ATTENTION LADIES!  Please join us on Monday, February 5 at 1:00 p.m. in the church’s dining room.  We will be cutting out material for wool mittens, knitting/crocheting, making Valentine’s Day cards and coloring.  We would also like to have ladies bring homemade treats with the recipes.  

 

OUR WORSHIP SERVICE has been posted on youtube.com since July (channel:  Battle Creek Seventh-day Adventist Tabernacle).  We have 33 subscribers and most Sabbaths have 11 viewers via livestream.  Thank you camera and audio team.