My Own Worst Enemy

 
Everyone has a favorite food. What’s yours?
Imagine being on a diet and not being able to eat your favorite food. It would be easy for a little while, but eventually you would hunger for it and think about it all the time. You might even go by the local burger place just to remember how much you miss those greasy cheeseburgers. You just feel drawn to the place and can’t seem to stop yourself. Inside, you might feel like there’s a battle going on. You want to do the right thing (like resist the greasy cheeseburger) but it’s so hard to resist the wrong things. You’re not alone. The apostle Paul felt the same way.
 
Romans 7:18-19 says,
 “And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway.” (NLT)
 
How did Paul feel?
What is your reaction to these verses?
When was the last time you felt this way? What were you struggling with?
Could we be struggling because we don’t want to give up our own desires? I once heard someone say, “If you are on an ice cream diet, don’t sit in front of the ice cream shop.” Sounds silly, but is that what we’re doing when it comes to temptation?
Are we feeding the wrong desires?
God wants us to always examine our motives. Sometimes, we can be our own worst enemy by putting ourselves in front of stuff we should not be around.


Truth or Error?

Have you ever had an argument with someone and were fully convinced how you were right—only later to realize the facts and data were against your argument and you were wrong? What did you do?
Read Matthew 22:23-33.
What do you see happening here (especially in verse 29)?
What was Jesus’ admonition in verse 29? Would He say this to you?
The Sadducees were experts in religion. They thought they had it all figured out. When these know-it-alls decided to show Jesus just how little He knew, they posed a hypothetical scenario to which there was no answer—it was a trick and a trap.
Have you ever faced a question you thought had no answer? What was it?
Jesus busted up their game. He told them they didn’t know the Scriptures, and consequently God’s nature, as well as they thought. Essentially, He said to them, “Look, you’ve failed to go to the Bible as your ultimate source of truth and let it make the final ruling. As a result, you’ve missed the truth.”
Is it easier to seek out answers or convince yourself you already know? Why?
The Bible is the ultimate authority and source of truth. 
 
Prayer: “Lord, I recognize the Bible as the source of ultimate truth and authority. Help me compare everything to its standard.” ~ Chris


Who Do You Say That I Am?

 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” ~ Matthew 16:13-16
To say that Jesus is Lord is to say that He is not only the Son of God, but that He is God in the flesh. Realizing this shows the fullness and depth of God’s love. That He would become a man and die for us! Knowing this changes our hearts and minds forever. Christ’s lordship also means that His words are truly God’s words, and must be trusted and obeyed. To say that we must trust and obey Christ does not mean that our salvation depends on us being perfect.  Rather, following Jesus as Lord is the attitude of complete surrender and obedience to Jesus Christ! So the question remains; “Who do you say that Jesus is?” For Peter and the rest of the disciples, the answer was clear! “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”~ Chris McDaniel


You Have A Place In The Church…

The Apostle Paul used the illustration of the physical body to drive home an important point: Every single person has a vital role to play in the body of Christ! That means God has a specific purpose for you to carry out in the local church, and it is up to you to fill that purpose, with God’s help! 1 Corinthians 12:12-27 explains why this is so important!

12 For as the body is one and has many parts, and all the parts of that body, though many, are one body—so also is Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and we were all made to drink of one Spirit. 14 So the body is not one part but many. 15 If the foot should say, “Because I’m not a hand, I don’t belong to the body,” in spite of this it still belongs to the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I’m not an eye, I don’t belong to the body,” in spite of this it still belongs to the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But now God has placed each one of the parts in one body just as He wanted.19 And if they were all the same part, where would the body be? 20 Now there are many parts, yet one body.

21 So the eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” Or again, the head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” 22 But even more, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are necessary. 23 And those parts of the body that we think to be less honorable, we clothe these with greater honor, and our unpresentable parts have a better presentation. 24 But our presentable parts have no need of clothing. Instead, God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the less honorable, 25 so that there would be no division in the body, but that the members would have the same concern for each other. 26 So if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.

27 Now you are the body of Christ, and individual members of it.
 
Three important points from this passage:
1. The church is made up of different people with different roles. 
2. No one person is more valuable than another.
3. We need one another to function as God intended.
 
God chooses to use various groups and spiritual gifts found throughout “His” church to shine a light on the person who unifies us, Jesus Christ!
Chris McDaniel
 


Follow Me

When Jesus called out to the disciples at the shore, “Follow me!” How did they, or could they know what that meant? The fullness of the phrase; the absolute cost they would pay. To become a disciple from a fisherman would have to be a metamorphosis of epic proportion! But after all, this is Jesus the Savior of the world!
Again, it must have been a paradox, “I will make you fishers of men!” What would that mean to a group of rough and tumble Galilean boys who had joined their fathers at sea?  For Andrew and Peter it must have been a huge sacrifice, I’m sure.  “We’ve found the Messiah, and He wants us to be His disciples…” Throughout the Gospels, though he never preaches to the multitudes, we can see Andrew doing whatever it takes takes to get some one to encounter Jesus! How did he do it? Simply, he brought people to Jesus!  “Come and see for yourself!” So they did! ~ Chris McDaniel
Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard John and followed Him.   He first found his own brother Simon and told him, “We have found the Messiah!” (which means “Anointed One”),  and he brought Simon to Jesus. ~ John 1:40-42 


Set Your Mind at Ease

Have you ever wondered  why do i do the things that I do? How do I need to focus my efforts on the way that I do them. I’m always wanting to be the best and see the most results. You notice the I in that previous phrase. My goal or verse that has inspired my life is from the incredible book of Colossians 3:17. It simply states that whatever I do whether in word or deed I do I do for the Lord Jesus Christ.I  love this verse, it keeps me aware of my surroundings at all times and continually lets me know that it’s not about me it’s about Jesus. I was reading in the last verses of Colossians and it sank in. A spiritual epiphany ,Paul is in prison and remarking about His love for the Church, amazing in itself, but he comes back and challenged me and my ministry right here and right now it says,

Colossians 1:26-29

This mystery has been kept in the dark for a long time, but now it’s out in the open. God wanted everyone, not just Jews, to know this rich and glorious secret inside and out, regardless of their background, regardless of their religious standing. The mystery in a nutshell is just this: Christ is in you, so therefore you can look forward to sharing in God’s glory. It’s that simple. That is the substance of our Message. We preach Christ, warning people not to add to the Message. We teach in a spirit of profound common sense so that we can bring each person to maturity. To be mature is to be basic. Christ! No more, no less. That’s what I’m working so hard at day after day, year after year, doing my best with the energy God so generously gives me.

May that be my mission here and yours. No more, no less Christ!!!!! Jay



Welcome Home

Sometimes life gets busy. I know with all the things that are constantly pulling at you , we sometimes forget about church. That’s why I want to say, “welcome home!”  At Harmony Baptist Church we don’t look at church as an obligation, but an opportunity. Our role as a church in this community is to Love the Lord and Love others. At our church it is NOT a popularity contest; it’s just a bunch of broken people trying to put the pieces back together again. 
We are a country church and we embrace that! We leave the busy life of our homes and town six miles away and embrace the solitude and refuge of the Harmony community. 
And that truly is what we have, community. We are all one body with many functions. And none is more important than the other. We are a unified and strong church that loves to be the hands and feet of Christ.  Philippians 2:2 embodies our goal of being one in Spirit and Purpose.  We would love for you to join us in this journey of life together. And once again, “welcome home!”  Jay