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From One Beggar to Another!

Praise the Lord for the good turnout this afternoon as the Progress Baptist family reached out into the community with the “Good News” that Jesus saves! Because of the power of the printed page, hundreds of homes received a clear presentation of the gospel along with an invitation to visit with us at Progress Baptist. In addition, God gave ample opportunity for great conversations with others.

Too often, we make sharing our faith a difficult task. Certainly, Satan opposes us, and our flesh will get in the way, but just think about the privilege of telling someone that Jesus has the answer to the empty life they are living. And if they are without Christ, their life IS empty. If we’ll take enough time to listen (instead of doing all the talking!), most will even admit it.

Jesus REALLY is the “bread of life”, and we have the opportunity  of telling other starving beggars where and how we received the Bread that satisfies! What a shame it would be to hoard the tremendous blessings God has poured out on us, His children! Let’s keep telling other beggars where they can find some bread. There is more where that came from!

The Power of the Gospel!

Isaiah 55:11 “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.”

What an amazing privilege to see the Word of God and the gospel story touch the heart of an eleven-year-old boy tonight at the Hispanic ministry in Walland, TN. For the first seven weeks of Friday night services, we would have anywhere from eight to thirteen children and young people from a local trailer park, along with a family from an apartment complex 20 minutes away. This week due to family events, this young fellow, Saul, came by himself on the bus that went through his trailer park. When the van came from the apartments, the service started with some good songs about Calvary and the cross.

Tonight’s message was from I Corinthians 15 on the “point, person, and power” of the gospel. God’s presence and the convicting power of the Holy Ghost were evident! The two adults who have been so faithful to attend were visibly moved, and it seemed that one may come forward to receive Christ. Neither one moved, but after the service, Saul remained seated. When approached, he said he was “replaying the message in his mind!” After just a few minutes of counsel from the Word of God, this young boy stated that God was dealing with his heart and he wanted to know exactly what it meant to be saved. Then after a careful presentation of God’s plan of redemption, Saul bowed his head, confessed his need of Saviour, and trusted Jesus Christ to cleanse him and save his soul!

It is a joy to co-labor with the dear folks at Ridgeview Baptist, and I want to encourage our folks at Progress to continue to pray for this ministry. Also, please continue to pray for God to prepare hearts in our own county to receive the gospel as we prepare to launch a Hispanic outreach and begin services on Saturday, May 7.

Praise God for the Power of the Gospel!

21 Days of Prayer

On Sunday, April 10, the Progress Baptist Church family began twenty-one days of special prayer in preparation for our April evangelistic outreach. On Saturday, April 30, we will target the area in and around our church, primarily focusing on our specific zip code. While it is impossible to take the gospel to the wrong address, it is vital that we go in the power of the Holy Ghost.

Jude verse 20 commands us to pray, “in the Holy Ghost” before we begin “making a difference” or “pulling them out of the fire.” If the church family will saturate our area with prayer, we can see God go before us and prepare hearts to receive the gospel. What a blessing to see the 25-year-old young man walk the aisle and trust Christ at our Wednesday night service! That should be an appetizer, encouraging us to pray for more sinners to be saved! Let’s ask God to allow us to see more souls added daily to His church.

Surely God sent us a tremendous message last Tuesday night when Brother Wells preached on enlarging our coast! Let’s trust God to do that for Progress Baptist Church this spring!

Loving your brother

Psalm 133:1, 3 Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the LORD commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.

In a world full of economic chaos, broken homes, wars, and political wrangling, our love for our brothers in Christ is such an important part of our testimony to the unsaved around us. Jesus said in John 13:35, “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” So often, we believe that our lifestyle, music, clothing, and entertainment are all that matter when it comes to testimony. While these things are certainly important, and God’s Word has plenty to say about these topics, they really don’t amount to much without a self-sacrificing love for our own. Sadly, even our professed love for sinners is often negated by our ‘biting and devouring” of one another!

Here’s an idea: That brother who just gets under your skin? Pray for him every day and ask God to help you love him the way Jesus does. If we all do that, we can be sure of one thing. We will begin to enjoy more of that refreshing “dew of Hermon” so beautifully described in Psalm 133.

A time of revival

The Progress Baptist Church just completed three days of special services we hope will become a regular event in our yearly calendar. On Sunday, we “kicked off” these special services with great preaching from men in our church family. Bro. Allen Morgan, Bro. Larry Raynes, Bro. Justin Quales, and Bro. Breck Landreth preached in the Sunday morning and Sunday evening services, and all four men brought tremendous messages that fed our souls and gave us a greater desire to see God work and move in the special services planned for Monday and Tuesday.

On Monday night, the church family held the ordination service for our pastor, Bro. Doug Raynes. Pastor’s father, Larry Raynes, preached his charge, and Pastor James Jones, from Harriman, TN, brought the charge to the church family. Both men preached in the power of the Holy Spirit, and God honored the service with His presence. A special blessing to everyone in attendance, was the arrival and participation in the service of the Hispanic congregation God has given our pastor in Lancaster, SC, at Iglesia Bautista El Faro. These dear folks were joined by several Hispanics from the upstate of SC, and God used these fellow believers to minister to everyone who was at the service. After the service, the entire congregation was invited to a reception held in honor of 40 years of faithful ministry by Brother and Sister Larry Raynes. Brother Raynes was ordained on April 4, 1971, and the sweet fellowship and congratulations of all the dear friends who had come to the service were a great blessing to both he and his wife.

Severe storms tore through the area around midnight Monday night, and a small area right around our church lost power. By late afternoon on Tuesday, it was obvious that power would not be restored before service time, so the church family began to round up lanterns for the auditorium. After the song service, Bro. Larry Wells, from Newport, TN, began preaching on Jabez’s prayer recorded in I Chronicles chapter 4. God used the message in a powerful way, and as Brother Wells finished preaching, the altar was filled with folks calling on God. Then, Brother Alfred Willis’ grandsons, along with their cousin, were asked to sing right before Brother Willis came to preach the final message of the meeting. A sweet, sweet, spirit came over the service, and for the next couple of hours, God met with His people in a great and wonderful way! It would be impossible to describe everything God did, but all who know the Lord, knew that He was “at home” on this very special night. The absence of electrical power did not diminish the presence of God’s power, and this was a service folks would long remember!

Wednesday night prayer meeting turned out to be the sweet conclusion to the services that began on Sunday morning. After a message on, “Some Things I Have Learned By Experience,” God’s people once again began to testify to God’s goodness as well as to exhort and encourage one another. The service was concluded with altar prayer as the church thanked God for the rich blessings of the week.

Piedmont Women’s Center banquet

On Tuesday night, March 17, twenty-seven folks from Progress Baptist traveled to Greenville, SC, to attend the annual Piedmont Women’s Center banquet. At this event, the church family was introduced to the great need and opportunity in the areas of crisis pregnancy and abortion-recovery. Interestingly enough, several members shared how God had already been working on their hearts about this area of ministry.

It is the goal of our church family to reach out in our community to those who are hurting because of a crisis pregnancy and/or an abortion in their past. The power of the gospel can still change and heal, and it is our responsibility and privilege to share what our Saviour can do for those who will allow Him to work in their life.

If you may have everything by asking in His Name, and nothing without asking, I beg you to see how absolutely vital prayer is. ~Spurgeon