Shallowford Free Will Baptist
Monday, October 23, 2017
For the Glory of Christ Alone
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                                                                                                                                                                                      October 10, 2017

 

Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God

~John 13:3

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                I read this passage last night in my family altar time, and this verse spoke to me. The context of this passage has Jesus girding Himself as a servant, kneeling down, and washing His disciples’ feet. Such an act of loving, humble service ought to motivate us to even deeper levels of selfless service, but there is even more richness to the account when you really pay attention to the verses. Whenever I’ve read this passage in the past, I have sped through verses 2 & 3 seem to interrupt the flow of the narrative account of Jesus’ washing their feet. I’ve done so not wanting to lose the audience’s attention in what often seemed to be an interruption of thought rather than an embellishment of the activities. Well, last night I heard it and listened in a way that I had not before. And, oh, what richness I have missed in speeding through this verse. Let me explain to you what I mean.

                The Gospel of John gives us the accounts of Jesus’ miracles that we might believe in Him as the Son of God. What is included there is included for our benefit – that we might believe (John 20:30-31). But within that narrative, we see the sovereignty of God clearly established. There were multiples times when the religious leaders sought to kill Jesus during His earthly ministry, but each time He slipped from their grasp (Luke 4:28-30; John 10:31). The reason was simple. In God’s sovereign decision, His time had not yet come (John 7:6). Until now… Now His hour was upon Him. Now was the time decided in eternity past when the Lord Jesus Christ would assume His role as the sacrificial Lamb of God, slain for the sins of the entire world. He was ready to die. And this makes these passages some of the most heart-wrenching, poignant verses in the Bible. And yet I don’t see Jesus being forlorn or anxious. I see Him embracing His destiny with calm assurance. The Lord is ready to face down whatever the enemy might throw at Him, and He does it with grace and dignity. How can that be? Verse 3 gives us some insight.

                First, Jesus knew that the Father had given all things into His hands. This speaks of the power and authority that the Lord possessed at that very moment. Truthfully did He tell Peter that He could call down more than twelve legions of angels and prevent His death (Matt. 26:53). He possessed that right by virtue of who He was, and yet His will embraced God’s plan for Him for a higher purpose. Whatever was lost in that moment of defeat would be far more repaid in the days to follow. All things had been given into His hands. The Lord Jesus was already more than a conqueror!

                Might we be able to hold to the same things? Now, let’s be clear, as if we need the reminder – WE ARE NOT JESUS! So some of the specific promises made to Him are not ours to claim, but they ARE ours to enjoy by virtue of our union with Him through faith. That is why Paul proclaims that you and are “heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:17). I would encourage you to read the rest of Romans 8 and see how those precious promises work themselves out in the children of God. It’s pretty powerful stuff! You and I are recipients of the blessings of God because of what the Lord Jesus Christ was willing to do for us. The question is, “Will we allow that privilege to shape how we live and how we serve?” Jesus did; we ought to as well.

                Secondly, Jesus knows whose He is. He knows where He has come from. This is not John’s way of saying that Jesus had no awareness of His divine heritage before this moment. There are too many passages to the contrary for us to affirm such nonsense. Jesus knew full well whose He was, and it greatly impacted the reality of what He would do. Come what may, the Lord trusted the heart of His loving Father with every facet of His being and life. God knows those who are His (2 Tim. 2:19). Are we His? If we believe in the Lord Jesus Christ we are! And so we throw ourselves upon the sovereign heart of God. Whatever comes our way is not a cosmic accident or coincidence, but falls totally under the umbrella of God’s will and purpose. Those things might not seem it at the time. No pain feels good at the time, but God’s providential watchcare over our lives can produce some really amazing things if we allow it (Heb. 12:11). Do you know WHOSE you are? Do you know and believe that God is willing and able to work out the details of your life if you live in faith and obedience? Jesus did. And He most certainly is our example in this!

                Thirdly, Jesus knows where He is going. He knows that He is going to God again! There is a commentary teaching in Mormonism that claims that the beauty of Paradise is so great that if we could catch but a glimpse of it, we’d kill ourselves just to get there. I totally disagree with Mormonism theologically and otherwise, but I don’t disagree with the concept of how beautiful the afterlife will be. As I prepare the funeral message for Miss LaVerne Huda, I am again blessed to consider our heavenly home. This dear lady, as much of a blessing as she was to me personally, struggled with a body and mind that was failing her. How can I grieve that in a moment those ailments were swallowed up in the perfect, incorruptible immortality the Lord promises to His children? How can any of us for too long be content in this world when we consider the beauty that God has in store in Revelation 21-22? Jesus had been there. He’d emptied Himself of all that splendor and privilege, but soon it would be His again forever. And even more, it would be available to us too! And so He was willing to face the adversity knowing the outcome was secure and immensely blessed. And we should too!

                These are practical conclusions about this verse. They’re practical because they’re what Jesus held to here in the waning moments of His life. What if we could live everyday knowing what is ours, knowing whose we are, and knowing where we’re going? If the prospect and reality of our blessed rebirth were constantly before our eyes, I don’t think many of the things we worry and fret about would ever touch us. Not that bad things wouldn’t come our way at times. But, my goodness, look what we have in store for us! But it also affects us practically in another way. I’m reminded that Jesus washed the feet of His disciples…of all 12 of them…even of Judas Iscariot who would betray Him. Judas wouldn’t respond to the Lord’s love, but the Lord’s display of service for His life was clear in this act of washing His feet. And how could Jesus look at the one who would hurt Him the most…and still tenderly wash his feet? Because He knew what was His, whose He was, and where He was going. It affected His life in practical ways. Enemies and betrayers wouldn’t set Him off of the path of life and peace. Jesus held too strongly to these spiritual realities to let anything come before them.

                Here is my challenge for you this week. Take at least one of these concepts (what we have, whose we are, where we’re going) and meditate on it as much as you can. Don’t rush on to another without trying to squeeze every bit of spiritual nutrition from the one you choose. Are you struggling materially or physically? Think on what you have! Are you doubting God’s love and providence in your life? Think on whose you are! Are you in danger of quitting and stopping? Think on where you’re going. Sufficient for each and every battle are these thoughts. I pray that you will consider them and be blessed in them this week! May the blessings of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your hearts now and always!!

                I will be starting a tag at the end of each entry called the “Scripture Challenge.” This will be a piece of obscure trivia for you that might help you dig a little deeper into God’s Word. It’s just for fun, but it just might yield a blessing to you in the search. Correct answers will be awarded by the Lord in heaven! Hope you enjoy it!

 

 ~Bro. Benjamin

SCRIPTURE CHALLENGE

Who was the 2nd oldest man in the Scriptures?                  

 

Previous Postings                                                                           This Week's Sermons
October 10
October 3                                                              October 15 (AM) - "The Most Important Victory" - Luke 10:17-20
September 19
September 5
                                                                October 15 (PM) - "Who Did It?" - Matthew 21:28-32
August 29
August 22                                                                                      October 18 (WED) - Acts 3:1-10
August 15                                                                                          
August 8                                                                                       
October 11 (WED) - Acts 2:46-47
July 25                                                                                                             
July 18                                                        
July 4
                                                                                                          
June 27                                                                                           
June 6                                                             
May 23                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                                             
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If you need a copy of any sermon from the past, email Bro. Benjamin with the date and title of the message listed below.
We will be happy to send you a CD of the sermon. Additionally sermons are available through the "Multimedia" Page
 

October 15 (AM) "The Most Important Victory"--Luke 10:17-20
October 15 (PM) "Who Did It?"--Matthew 21:28-32
October 8 (AM) "The Whole Armor of God, Part 2"--Ephesians 6:14-18
October 1 (AM) "The Whole Armor of God, Part 1"--Ephesians 6:14-18
October 1 (PM) "In Him"--Ephesians 1:7-8

September 24 (AM) "Uphold God's Man"--Exodus 17:8-13 [Rev. David Amburgey]
September 24 (PM) "The Call"--Mark 1:16-19 [Bro. Johnny Amburgey]
September 17 (AM) "Know Your Enemy"--Ephesians 6:10-13
September 17 (PM) "First Things First"--Ephesians 1:1-6
September 10 (AM) "An Army of One"--2 Samuel 23:11-12
September 10 (PM) "Refresh My Heart"--Philemon 20-25
September 3 (AM) "When Satan Touches You"--Job 1:6-12, Job 2:1-8, Luke 22:31-32, 2 Corinthians 12:7-10

August 27 (AM) "He Really, Really Does Love Us"--1 John 4:9-11
August 27 (PM) "Put It on My Tab"--Philemon 17-19
August 13 (AM) "Godliness with Contentment"--1 Timothy 6:6-10
August 13 (PM) "A Brand New Man"--Philemon 12-16
August 6 (AM) "Calling All Sinners"--Matthew 9:9-13
August 6 (PM) "For Love's Sake"--Philemon 8-11

July 30 (AM) "Good Things Are Coming!"--Acts 3:17-21
July 30 (PM) "Accolades to Pursue"--Philemon 1-7
July 23 (AM) "Our 'Lot' in Life"--Genesis 19:1-29
July 16 (AM) "A Gospel You Can Trust"--2 Peter 1:16-21
July 16 (PM) "Take Heed"--Colossians 4:16-18
July 9 (AM) "Look Ahead"--Isaiah 43:18-19
July 2 (AM) "As Close As His Hands"--Isaiah 49:14-18

June 25 (AM) "Who is the REAL Lord of the Sabbath?"--Luke 6:1-5
June 25 (PM) "Paul's Supporting Cast"--Colossians 4:7-15
June 18 (AM) "Will the REAL Family of God Please Stand Up?"--Matthew 12:46-50
June 11 (AM) "When Opportunity Knocks"--Romans 12:17-21
June 11 (PM) "Watch Your Mouth!"--Colossians 4:2-6
June 4 (AM) "Walking in the Midst of Storms"--Matthew 14:22-33
June 4 (PM) "New Relationships for the New Man, Part #2"--Colossians 3:22-4:1

May 28 (AM) "Remember"--Luke 24:13-35
May 21 (AM) "The Effect Calvary Had"--John 19:16-20 [Bro. Larry Morelock]*
May 14 (AM) "Hope for the Future"--Genesis 3:20
May 7 (AM) "What We've Got, We Give"--Acts 3:1-10
May 7 (PM) "New Relationships for the New Man, Part #1"--Colossians 3:18-4:1

April 30 (AM) "God First"--Haggai 1:1-15
April 23 (AM) "Sheep Among Wolves"--Matthew 10:16-26
April 16 (AM) "Look Unto Jesus"--Hebrews 12:1-3
April 9 (AM) "But the Gift of God Is Eternal Life"--Romans 6:23
April 9 (PM) "Six Absolutes for the Christian's Life, Part 3"--Colossians 3:12-17
*April 2 (AM) "Forsaken"--Mark 15:33-34 [Bro. David Amburgey]
April 2 (PM) "Elements of Revival"--Ezekiel 37:1-10 [Bro. Louis Durbin]

March 26 (AM) "One Way or the Other"--Matthew 7:13-14
March 26 (PM) "Six Absolutes for the Christian's Life, Part 2"--Colossians 3:12-17
March 19 (AM) "The Only Cure for the Human Condition"--Luke 5:27-32
March 19 (PM) "Six Absolutes for the Christian's Life, Part 1"--Colossians 3:12-17
March 12 (AM) "He Really Does Care for You"--Matthew 10:29-31
March 12 (PM) "Put On the New Man"--Colossians 3:10-11
March 5 (AM) "The Keys to Salvation: Repentance & Faith, Part 2"--Mark 1:14-15; Galatians 3:5-9
March 5 (PM) "Put Off the Old You"--Colossians 3:8-9

February 26 (AM) "The Keys to Salvation: Repentance & Faith, Part 1"--Mark 1:14-15; Psalm 51:1-9
February 26 (PM) "Put Them Out of YOUR Misery"--Colossians 3:5-7
February 19 (AM) "Sufficient Grace"--2 Corinthians 12:1-10
February 19 (PM) "Look Up!"--Colossians 3:1-4
February 12 (AM) "We're ALL Part of Something Bigger"--1 Corinthians 12:12-27
February 5 (PM) "Free Really Does Mean Free"--Colossians 2:20-23

January 22 (AM) "Are You All In OR Not At All?"--John 6:60-71
January 22 (PM) "Christ: the True Substance of Our Life & Worship"--Colossians 2:16-19
January 15 (AM) "Practical Implications of Our Justification by Faith"--Romans 5:1-5
January 8 (AM) "Know Who You Are"--Philippians 2:12-18
January 1 (AM) "Just One"--John 1:40-51

*Recording Unavailable

 
Click here for a list of available sermons from 2016!
Click here for a list of available sermons from 2015!
Click here for a list of available sermons from 2014!

Click here for a list of available sermons from 2013!
Click here for a list of available sermons from 2012!
Click here for a list of available sermons from 2011! 

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About Our Pastor
 
 
Bro. Benjamin Miller began his ministry at Shallowford Free Will Baptist Church in August, 2011. Prior to pastoring our church, Bro. Benjamin pastored at New Home FWB in Colquitt, GA. He received his B.A. in History from Welch College (formerly Free Will Baptist Bible College) in Nashville, TN. He then received his M.A. in Biblical Studies from Lipscomb University, a Church of Christ graduate school in Nashville. Bro. Benjamin enjoys spending time with his family, reading, and fellowshipping with the people of the church. He is a HUGE Braves fan! Our pastor has dedicated himself to becoming a student of the Word and to preaching the Word with passion, integrity, and real-life applications.
 
Bro. Benjamin married Jara in June 2002. She is a special educator at Mount Bethel Elementary School here in Marietta. She is a tremendous part of his life and quite active in our church. 
 
They had their first son, Thomas, in June 2008. Thomas was born prematurely, and is a testimony to God's amazing grace and provision. He is now a 3rd grader, and does well in school. His greatest ability is to reach out to those in his class in concern and in love.
 
Bro. Benjamin and Sis. Jara welcomed Nathanael in March, 2014. His name means "given by God" and he is absolute reminder of God's ability to bless individuals beyond measure.
 
We hope you'll take the opportunity to get to know our pastoral family!