Bradenton-Sarasota Congregation Online Service
January 3, 2021
Music: Jesus Name above All Names by Terry MacAlmon
Looking back 2020, I remember opening the newspaper and being reminded that this world has become a scary place. When watching TV and seeing the news, which was full of gloom and doom. Hospital ERs jammed with patients with Covid-19. I also remember the ugly politics around the Presidential election. The huge BLM demonstrations and riotous looting in the major cities.
Today the only safe place is in the presence of our God. It is there that the Word of God reminds us that any place is safer because he is with us. Regardless of danger God is fully engaged and in control. The Living Word’s presence assures you and I that Christ always goes before us.
We are now three days into the Year of our Lord “2021” and we need some good news, something that is encouraging, uplifting, and something that will bless us and encourage us as we move into this New Year.
The Word of God Lives Among us and it is timeless and always there. I have referenced Isaiah Chapter 43 as a focus point for today’s message. Isaiah was preaching to a discouraged people whose lives had been re-arranged, controlled and dominated by government rule and economic suppression. They, like us, needed some – GOOD NEWS!!!!!
Music: “How Great is our God” by Chris Tomlin
“Do not remember the past events, pay no attention to things of old. Look, I am about to do something new; even now it is coming. Do you not see it? Indeed, I will make a way in the wilderness, rivers, and desert. The animals of the field will honor me. Because I provided water in the deserts and wilderness for drinking. Therefore, my chosen people will declare my Praise.” (Isaiah 43: 18-21)
If I took a poll of American Church members today I would probably find that people are using the Word of God as a touch stone for Saving Grace or would I find those folks in mental distress and fear for their personal safety.
The people of Isaiah’s time lived in two worlds, the World of Sight or the World of Faith. Which to believe in? Did they believe that God would be true to his word? That God would do what he said he would do? That God was going to do a new thing in their lives?
Music: “Turn your Eyes upon Jesus” by Alan Jackson
Today the world is flat in that we see all, tell all, and again as in Isaiah’s time, we live in two worlds. The World of Sight and the World of Reality. It is a world of danger, a collapsing economy, deteriorating world relationships, Covid-19, and world fears. That is the world around us here in 2021.
We also live in the World of Church and the World of Faith. Now is the time for worship, study, praise, and preaching. It is a World of Faith where if we listen to the Word of God, encourage one another in fellowship with Our GOD we will find the “Peace of Christ”! Zoom meetings will always be the new NORMAL. God wants us to do a new thing in our lives. Pursue that Path, however narrow and crooked in which we can walk with Love Reverence. Remember God Loves You.
Whatever happens in 2021 always remember “Ask and you Shall Receive” the fullest portion of Christ in your life. For God promises to do new and great things in your life. The Word of God is as near as your own Ears, simply pray and he will respond. Jesus, tell others about him – then be amazed as his Light Shines and the Kingdom arrives in full splendor!!!!
“There are many lives waiting to hear the redeeming words of the gospel or to be lifted from hopelessness by the hands of loving servants. But they will be lost to you without the generous response of disciples who share from their own bounty that others may know the joys of the kingdom” – D&C 162:7a
May the peace of Christ always be with you and may THE LIVING WORD bless and keep you in his illuminating light. Go in peace and spread the Word to all you know and meet!!!
In His Mighty Love – Jim Brougher
This service was prepared by Jim Brougher.