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March 21, 2017, 8:49 AM

"Are you in a Lifegroup?"


G’day Mate!

A vibrant church is a body of believers on fire for Jesus Christ. A loving church family is followers of Jesus together, supporting one another and building each other up in the faith. A practical way to achieve these goals can begin and be met with regular and committed attendance in a Lifegroup. Formally titled Sunday school, it is now titled Lifegroup to better reflect what small groups are all about. A Lifegroup is more than just Bible teaching, it is walking the road of faith in Christ in close fellowship with other believers. I believe it is imperative for Christian maturity and spiritual health that every believer is a part of an active Lifegroup. This past Sunday morning we recorded 110 in Lifegroup which I believe is why Ashland Baptist Church is growing so close together as a family. In the near future we plan to expand Lifegroups outside of a Sunday morning, such as a Sunday evening or evenings through the week. These will be potentially hosted in member’s homes, while the material that is taught would be similar or the same as what is used on Sunday morning Lifegroup. The reason for additional Lifegroups outside of Sunday morning is to make it easier for members and visitors to become involved. Ashland Baptist Church welcomes all visitors to get connected in this way after perhaps an initial visit to the 10 am morning service. The Bible declares in Hebrews 13:1, “Keep on loving each other as brothers”. The apostle Paul writes in Romans 1:11-12, “I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong – that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith”. There is no sounder expression to these verses that growing together in a Lifegroup. In a Lifegroup we mutually build one another up in the faith and sharing the ups and downs of life. Remember, that even Jesus had a Lifegroup! Peter, James and John were the inner circle of disciples that were present at key times in the earthly ministry of Jesus. The theme for the coming week in my Lifegroup that I lead is titled, “Victorious Faith”, with the key phrase, “My faith in God makes me victorious”. Who doesn’t want to live a victorious life of faith in God? I know I do and I am confident that the teaching points on this theme this week will encourage everyone. The setting of the Lifegroup lesson will be Hebrews 11 which has encouraged many believers in times of persecution and suffering. The word “faith” occurs 27 times, while the expression “by faith” occurs 21 times in the chapter. Chapter 10 concluded with exhortations that the righteous “will live by faith” (Hebrews 10:38) and believers are described as “those who have faith and are saved” (v.39). Figures of the past who by faith pleased God and were approved by God are used to motivate believers and to encourage them to persevere. At the 10 am service this week I will continue with the Radical Revelation Message series. This week I will delve into another of the Minor Prophets from the Old Testament, namely Amos. The dominant theme is clearly stated in Amos 5:24, which calls for social justice as the indispensable expression of true piety. Amos was a vigorous spokesman for God’s justice and righteousness which included the prophecy that God was going to judge his unfaithful, disobedient, covenant-breaking people. I am so glad that in the Cross of Jesus Christ has dealt with the disease of sin! Can I get an Amen? And God for whom Amos speaks is God of more than merely Israel. He also uses one nation against another to carry out His purposes. God is the only Great King who rules the whole Universe! Whether you know Him or not you are welcome to join the loving family of ABC any Sunday you choose. However, I hope to see you this week! Want to join a LIFEGROUP...CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION.

Blessings in Christ,                                                                                               

Pastor Matt Goodsell                                                   

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March 7, 2017, 12:14 PM

"The Joy of Salvation"


G’day Mate!

Psalm 51 is one of my favorite Psalms written by King David. I believe I gravitate to the incredible message contained within its verses. For starters King David was far from perfect which I can relate to as a sinner. In fact he happened to be one of God’s followers who deliberately sinned against God over a period of time. The date of Psalm 51 equates to the events following God sending the prophet Nathan to confront David in his sin. The sin was David committing adultery with Bathsheba which included the murder of her husband in an indirect way. David through the entire sordid affair had broken many, if not all of the Ten Commandments. This confrontation through the prophet Nathan had humbled King David and brought him to his knees in confession and repentance. He begins in verse 1 by calling on God’s forgiving and merciful nature and character that he had come to know over the years. “Have mercy on me, O God”, David pleads. The word mercy is identified with compassion, in the sense of a willingness to forgive an offender. David understood completely that only God Himself could forgive him for what he had done. In verse 4 David writes, “Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight”. Sin is vertical, not horizontal! In other words, when you wrong someone by word or deed, you ultimately sin against God. David in the opening verses of this Psalm is calling on God’s revealed nature to show mercy and hence forgive him. David pens in verse 9, “hide your face from my sins”. God does more than that according to Psalm 103:12 which states, “As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.” That is exactly what the Father has accomplished through the sending of His One and only Son, Jesus the Messiah. Jesus paid the price at the Cross for our redemption and forgiveness. Only in Him is eternal life offered! Now David also calls on God’s unfailing love. This is the love God has for His covenant people. It is God’s love revealed through His many and precious promises. It is the very essence of God’s nature. A comforting passage for the believer in Christ is found in Romans 8:37-39, “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” David also calls on God’s great compassion to forgive and restore him to a right relationship with God. Compassion or pity is one of God’s virtues made evident through His mighty acts in history on behalf of his covenant people. In both Hebrew and Greek compassion is literally a “gut feeling” for the needs of others. The compassionate God is one of the essential marks of the Christian faith. So many verses can demonstrate this truth, but I will share Exodus 3:7 which reads, “The Lord said, I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering.” God cares for the hardships of His people. As a Christian, God is very concerned and cares about everything we go through in this life. Perhaps you need to be encouraged today in your walk with the Lord that He still cares for you deeply. Or perhaps you could be challenged today with a question, “When was the last time you felt compassion on another person and acted on it?” Another major aspect of this Psalm was David’s desire for restoration after forgiveness and the joy of salvation that follows forgiveness. In verse 12 he writes, “Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me”. I wonder sometimes why I am not the most joyful person I know considering God revealed Himself to me and I am saved. It might be that I leak and need a constant filling of the Holy Spirit in my life? Before you think too much… that’s goes for every believer. This is a brutal world and we need more of God in our lives to not only live but to thrive. I close with 1 Peter 1:8-9, “Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

Blessings in Christ, Pastor Matt Goodsell

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February 7, 2017, 8:23 AM

"Hope"


G’day Mate!

Everyone is invited and welcome to attend the 2016 Annual Valentine's Banquet on February 11th starting at 6:00 pm.  The meal will be lasagna with delicious sides and dessert. The youth of ABC will be hosting the evening through serving and providing entertainment. The cost is a reasonable $12.50 per plate. Childcare is also available for an additional $5 per family. Please call the church office to make your reservations at 573-657-4653. Please be encouraged as all proceeds will help pay for the Youth Summer Mission Trip to California, MO. This week I have a real burden to encourage the believer who is doing their best in the power of the Holy Spirit to walk a life of faith and obedience in Christ. Throughout Scripture there are many themes which of course the main theme concerns the Father sending His One and only Son Jesus the Christ to be the Savior of sinful humanity. All themes in Scripture intertwine around, in and through Christ. One such theme is Hope! Hope has always played a big role in the heart and mind of God’s people. For example the psalmist declares in Psalm 3:2-6, “Many are saying of me, “God will not deliver him.” But you, LORD, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high. I call out to the LORD, and he answers me from his holy mountain. I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the LORD sustains me. I will not fear though tens of thousands assail me on every side.” The confidence that the psalmist displayed in God is unshakable for his ultimate hope is founded in God alone. Perhaps through previous experience and/or an active and growing relationship with God, he nevertheless understands the God who holds him in the palm of His hand. As His children God definitely sustains us for we cannot take another breathe unless the Lord of Hosts wills it! We do well to live a life of no fear of those around us for it is God who fights for us. Psalm 147:11 states, “the LORD delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love.” We must as followers of Jesus always keep our spiritual eyes focused on Him and never forget for a moment the Love of God that has been poured into our hearts through the transforming power of the Cross. In the cultural chaos of this generation it is crucial that we do not lose heart, or lose hope in the truth that God’s love to the believer will never be taken away.

As Christians, God’s love is everywhere and especially in our hearts so that we can tackle whatever comes to us in this life. For everything in Life, “We have JESUS”! Can I get an Amen? The apostle Paul declares in Romans 5:5-6, “And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.” I believe it is crucial to our daily walk that we are constantly reminded of what Christ did for us while we were completely at odds with God. I believe God’s grace that has been showered on us is exactly the grace we need to show to others, especially those that are yet to be saved. You see, the lost don’t have hope in God; they tend to have hope in what they can accomplish or what mankind can accomplish. Please trust me when I state for the record that this kind of hope in any man is unfounded and a tragedy waiting to happen.

I encourage all believers to look to the truth of Scripture and if any man is advocating that content of truth then it might just be that God Himself is behind him. God can use a believer because the believer desires to serve God. God can also use one who is open to the truth and can recognize in some sense that God is at work before their personal salvation. God can also use someone who is lost to fulfill His own purpose and will. The bigger question remains… “What side of the fence are you on?” Are you born again? Do you Jesus in your heart?

If you are saved then you have hope and that hope is in God alone. Praise Jesus today! Job 6:8 says, “Oh, that I might have my request, that God would grant what I hope for.” I hope people come to know Christ more than anything else. On a specific issue today I hope Christians would stand up and show concern for the unborn for as a follower of Christ I believe ALL LIVES MATTER including the unborn!

Blessings and hope to see you soon,

Pastor Matt Goodsell

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January 31, 2017, 8:43 AM

"Saved by the Blood"


G’day Mate!

Please ORDER NOW…I would like to inform that on February 5th, Super Bowl Weekend, the men of the church, under the direction of Lonnell McKee, will prepare and cook full slabs of ribs for sale to the church and community. The ribs come dry or with sauce. The cost per slab is $18 if ordered in advance through the church office during office hours or $20 if ordered the day of the Super Bowl Game. To ensure you don’t miss out and to assist preparations for the day, please order in advance. All proceeds and donations go to fund the Men's Ministry of Ashland Baptist Church. This week I would like to begin with a meaningful verse of God’s Word that touched my heart from the very first time I ever heard it spoken. Jeremiah 20:9 says, “But I say, I will not mention him or speak anymore in his name, his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot”. Linking this verse with the New Testament also leads to an understanding of the incredible Word that God has placed in every believer. Acts 4:20 reads, “For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard”. What this verse explains is also the other side of the coin. If you have not come to know Christ as Savior and Lord then you don’t know God and you have nothing to say or share on the wonderful and powerful love of God. Also, having not been regenerated through the Spirit of God you don’t have the Word of God to proclaim. I guess a real problem with saved preachers is that they have so much of the Word of God in their heart that they cannot shut up when times up. LOL! Seriously though, if we love Jesus, we love the Father and we love the comfort and Presence of God the Holy Spirit. If we love God, we also love the Word of God, the Bible, and we have a deep desire to connect with God daily through His Word. If we love Jesus, then we love His bride the church, which if for any reason we attend a local church it is because we understand this truth. Christ died for His bride! Ephesians 5:25-27 states, “  Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her  to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.” It is impossible to keep a Christian quiet when it comes to their relationship to God for it will come out in some way; it will be revealed that the believer is a follower of Christ. I suppose it is easy for a preacher who shares every week but mostly I am preaching to the choir. It’s the other opportunities that I am afforded through the week on a one-to-one basis that I find the most exhilarating and scary! Sharing with one person, you must be succinct in your approach and what you inevitable share concerning salvation in Christ’s Cross. When preaching from a pulpit I might lose the attention of some for a while, but I cannot lose the attention of one, as I might not get them back. If you are deliberate in your witnessing efforts then I believe you would identify with my reasoning. In the climate and political landscape we find ourselves in today it is important that we do not get distracted when speaking with someone who is clearly lost. We must always share the gospel and if possible, use words! Last Sunday’s message I focused on the book of Ecclesiastes which contains so many nuggets of truth. My goal was to illuminate to everyone’s minds afresh the deep nature of God’s Word. The main theme of the book as the writer declares often… “Everything is meaningless”. The climax of the book centers on 12:13 which states, “Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter; fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man”. The point of ALL Scripture, Old and New Testament, is that only in a relationship to God does life have true, real and eternal meaning and purpose. We were created with eternity in our hearts and a longing for the truth. I proclaim that the truth is Christ Himself. “I am the Way, and the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). Share this glorious message this week and I hope to see you Sunday…

Blessings in Jesus

Pastor Matt Goodsell

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January 24, 2017, 8:43 AM

"Pro-Life"


G’day Mate!

Before I get to devotional this week, I would like to inform that on February 5th, Super Bowl Weekend, the men of the church, under the direction of Lonnell McKee, prepare and cook full slabs of ribs for sale to the church and community. The ribs come dry or with sauce. The cost per slab is $18 if ordered in advance through the church office during office hours or $20 if ordered the day of the Super Bowl Game. To ensure you don’t miss out and to assist preparations for the day, please order in advance. All proceeds and donations go to fund the Men's Ministry of Ashland Baptist Church. This past Sunday during sermon time in the sanctuary, Kid’s Rock met in the newly remodeled Kid’s Rock Room for the first time. This large dedicated kid’s area features well known Bible stories on every wall. All thanks goes to Andy Padovan, who is our Children’s Director for the many hours of dedicated artistry, creativity and labor. The Kid’s Rock Room stands out as a clear sign to visiting families with children and all visitors of any age that we at Ashland Baptist Church have a vision from God to reach the city of Ashland and the surrounding region with the gospel of Jesus Christ. We hope that children feel such a sense of, “welcome, we have a special place just for you” and that parents can feel confident that their children will be shown the truth through various means of communication. If you would like to view recent remodeling in the church then you are encouraged to drop in at any time during office hours and of course, any Sunday morning. All of us at ABC would be happy to show you around. You can also attain information and photos by visiting our website at www.ashlandbaptist.org. It was great this past Sunday to finally bring the message titled, “I’ll Be Back” because the Return of Jesus Christ is the day we all long for in our spirit. We hunger for the day where we no longer walk by faith, but instead walk by sight as God Himself is revealed in all His glory. If there has ever been a period in recent times that the church needs empowering, confidence and encouragement it is now. There is a spiritual battle that has been brewing for years and I believe in our generation the time to step up and stand for Biblical truth has arrived. It is NOW TIME to be on the offensive to work towards the overturning of Roe v. Wade. The funding and act of abortion as a choice must be ceased as it is our responsibility as followers of Christ to speak up for the unborn. Currently, at least 38 states have fetal homicide laws and at least 23 states have fetal homicide laws that apply to the earliest stages of pregnancy ("any state of gestation," "conception," "fertilization" or "post-fertilization"). This means that if a pregnant woman is murdered and her unborn baby also dies then the perpetrator is charged with two murders and not one. The law identifies the unborn as an already viable creation and a life indeed that must be defended. Why is it then ok in people’s minds that abortion be an acceptable course of action and specifically the ultimate choice of a woman, where a viable fetus is murdered? It is a life and we as Christians better start speaking up for the unborn for we are the only voice they have! We need to be active in doing everything we can to stop this massive genocide against the unborn. What a horrific tragedy to this point in our history. It MUST STOP! The Bible says in Jeremiah 1:5, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart”. The Psalmist declares in Psalm 139:14-15, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth”. Now I don’t for a moment expect any lost person, still in their sin to agree with Biblical truth and I also don’t expect our fallen world to comply but our complacently and inaction when we could do something is parallel to the teachings of Jesus where we are given a talent and do nothing with it. I definitely don’t want to be a wicked and lazy servant! Will you join me to protect and honor life? I hope to see you this Sunday at ABC…

Blessings in Jesus

Pastor Matt Goodsell

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