Category Archives: Here's What You Missed…

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The Awesome Power of Prayer

Prayer and Fasting Day

Speaker: Pastor Larry Bailey, Executive Secretary for the Northeastern Conference of Seventh-day Adventists

Scripture Reading: 2 Chronicles 7: 13, 14

Many people, including Christians, underestimate the awesome power of prayer. Do you know the ABCs of prayer? We must Ask, Believe, then Claim it. How can we utter our requests to Christ and lack the faith that he will answer our prayers?

We tend to pray when we’re in despair, but what about when things are going well. Should we not say a prayer of thanksgiving or praise?

Over the last year, we have witnessed the signs of the times. Earthquakes and tsunamis in regions we never would have imagined; the mysterious deaths of animals; the economic crisis; and civil unrest in the Middle East. Experts are trying to identify the solution to these problems, but there is no need if you will solve the underlying problem–the lack of spirituality.

In the Bible, there are stories of countless miracles that were performed by Christ throughout his ministry here on Earth. He raised Lazarus from the dead. He healed the incurable. He parted the Red Sea so that the Israelites can escape bondage from Egypt. He caused the blind to see and the lame to walk. They all had faith that he could heal them. Let us not forget the woman with the issue of blood for 12 years, who tried so many remedies, but none worked. She knew if she just touched the hem of his garment, she would be healed. What did Jesus say in Luke 8: 48? “Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace.”

If we had not relied on our own understanding, and instead turned to Christ where would we be? He knows our needs before we even tell him. We must always seek his counsel. Place your faith and trust in him first.  We may face great obstacles in our lives, but through prayer and faith, we can overcome.

What is your addiction?

When you think of the word, “addiction,” what words or phrases comes to mind? One could say captivity, chained, slavery, can’t live without.

Did you know that most Americans suffer from one or more addictions? Did you know that the majority of them don’t even know they’re addicted?

Sex, drugs, and alcohol are the usual culprits, but there are other addictions that exist such as gambling, shopping, food consumption, loved ones, and even sin. An addiction is the condition of being abnormally dependent on some habit.

There are three ways to get addicted: your flesh, your eyes, and your lifestyle. When Jesus fasted and prayed for 40 days and nights in the wilderness, what do you think happened? In Matthew 4, Jesus was tempted to satisfy his hunger by turning the stones into bread (flesh). He was then tempted to throw himself down from a pinnacle of the temple, to prove that the angels watching him would catch him –keeping him from harm (eyes). Lastly, he was shown all of the kingdoms around the world he would inherit if he were to worship the devil (lifestyle).  Thankfully, Christ chose to stand firm, resist temptation, and follow the Lord thy God.

Addiction is a choice, but genetics may also have a role to play. We have to be mindful that moderation and temperance is the key to leading a Christian lifestyle.

The only addiction we ought to have is Jesus Christ. He gave us life, he sustains us, and it is only he who can free us from the things or people in our lives who have tried to keep us in bondage.

“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” John 8:36 NIV

Today we ask, what is your addiction?

Here’s the link to the lesson on addiction in its entirety.

10 Things God Wants from Single People

For Singles Ministries’ Weekend, we were blessed to have Bro. Garry Graham on Friday February 18th to discuss just a few of the things God expects from His children, more specifically the men.

10-Get your education. You can’t rely solely on your talent. Getting just a Bachelor’s degree isn’t going to be enough. Go for your master’s degree or higher. If you’re deficient in something, get help to improve it.

9-Marry for love, not money. It’s not always going to be a consensus on whom you choose to marry. If you marry for money, what happens once it’s all gone.

8-Every female cannot be your woman. People come into your life for a reason. You can’t date every woman you see. She may prepare you for the next woman or introduce you to your wife. You are there to learn something from that person, that you will take to the next level. Ask God to reveal His plan to you.

7-Define your relationships. Differentiate your relationship with individuals. Don’t get the lines blurred. Rank people where they are.

6-Set your standards for yourself high. You should exceed the standards you expect for others. Don’t lower your standards, open your horizons. Be motivated to push forward.

5-Your culture is an asset. Don’t be ashamed of your culture, but remember what’s appropriate in the workplace and at home.

4-Date around. Never stay in one place. Visit other churches, interview for other jobs even if you aren’t looking for a new position, form new relationships. Explore so that you can discover your strengths and weaknesses.

3-Dedicate yourself to your ministry, cause, and career. God something for all of us to do. We all play a role in the ministry of the kingdom. We can’t all be leaders–doctors or lawyers. We must identify our purpose in order to fulfill it.

2-Time and attendance. Be on time. Enough with the excuses.

1-Commit to Christ. Consecrate yourself in him everyday through devotion, family worship, and how you conduct yourself daily. Read Steps to Christ. Take time to commune with God.

Singleness is not a curse, but a blessing

On Friday May 14,  the Singles Ministries Departments of Hebron and Rogers Avenue SDA Churches presented a forum on singlehood. We were truly blessed and hope you will be too. Here’s a synopsis. Enjoy!

What does it mean to be single? Who is considered to be a single person? Well it’s really simple. Anyone who is not married, is single. If you’re widowed, divorced, dating/courting, or engaged…you’re single.

In today’s society, our youth between the ages of 12-35 are active on the dating scene. They’re the ones who are socializing and networking in search of that perfect man or woman. In order to get to know someone of interest in the opposite sex, one must date. Then what is the definition of dating and should Christians partake in this activity?

Dating is arranging a social outing with another person, creating an opportunity to get acquainted. What happens on a date is decided by the two parties involved. Unfortunately, the word “date” has an entirely new meaning compared to 10 or even 20 years ago. Back in the days, a date would end when she is walked to her front door and maybe a kiss on the cheek. Nowadays, a date ends in bed.

What is the difference between dating and courting? Dating is when you get to know the person or persons you have an interest in. Courting, however, is when you have chosen to spend time with one particular person with the intention of marriage.

Most of us don’t court, we date. Why? That all depends on the person. Many of us don’t fully understand the difference between the two words. The lines tend to get blurred resulting in total confusion and heartache. Then there are those who date for all the wrong reasons. I hate being single. I want a man or woman. I’m lonely. I’m getting old.

We have gotten so comfortable with the standards given to us by the world, that we have completely ignored the plans God has for us. God never intended for us to date. He wanted us to court. Why date around when God has already hand-picked our perfect mate?

Trust in God, don’t worry about relationships. When the time is right, everything will fall into place.

Source: www.hebronfrenchsda.wordpress.com

What’s In a Touch?

International Women’s Day of Prayer

Speaker: Eunice Senior-Baker, Northeastern Conference of SDA

Scripture Reading: Luke 8:40-48

As women, we must reclaim our responsibility as prayer warriors. We must pray for the church, pray for each other, pray for our young people, pray for those who don’t know the Lord. When women pray, great things happen.

One concern of the devil is to keep perople from praying. He doesn’t care about prayerless religion or prayerless work. He laughs at our toil, mocks at our wisdom, but trembles when we pray. So let us continue in prayer.

In Luke 40, we read the story of the ruler of a synagogue who came to Jesus, pleading for Him to heal his only daughter. Jesus never turns down someone’s cry for help. He was on an emergency call. So He headed to Jairus’ house. The crowd also followed Him. As He headed to the house to stand by the girl’s bedside, a women suffering from an issue of blood for 12 years snuck into the crowd and touched His garment.

We don’t know her name. She is referred to as the woman with an incurable issue of blood. She was so stigmatized that no one cared to learn her name. She was identified by her issue and not by the contributions she offered nor her value. She lived under the  Levitical laws, during which it was important for a woman to be identified by family or position in the community. Due to her issue, she was a social outcast for 12 years, excommunicated from the temple and synagogue, considered impure. She was divorced from her husband and abandoned by her family.

For 12 years she sought help and healing from physicians who were stumped. She suffered alone with this illness. She lost all hope and was in despair. She heard that Jesus was in town and had heard of all the miracles He had done. He cast out demons, made the lame to walk, the dumb to speak,  and calmed the seas. She knew that He was the great physician and the only one who could help her. This was her only chance she thought. So she made her way through the crowd thinking that she only had to touch the hem of His garment and that would be enough. It was now or never and she had nothing else to lose, because she had already lost everything.

In one touch, she concentrated all of her faith and instantly her illness gave place to good health. We must all touch Jesus for ourselves. Jesus recognized the touch and halted, turning to ask who touched Him. Jesus was surrounded by a crowd so any one of them could have touched Him, Peter thought. This touch was different and Jesus knew it, because He felt virtue leave Him. Jesus knows the difference between a touch of need from a touch of greed.

This woman was treated by the church and the people as nothing or nobody. Jesus sought the person who touched Him and fearfully she spoke up in fron of the many who had abandoned her in her time of need. Jesus, however, called her His daughter. She was somebody, the daughter of the Prince of Peace.

Jesus is never too pre-occupied to not recognize the cry, quest, and need of a single, solitary soul. There is a certain sensitivity which Jesus has towards the needs of each of us. No one is ever hidden from Him.

Why didn’t Jesus let the woman stay hidden? The Son of God knew who touched Him. That’s not why He asked the question. There’s a lesson behind it. If she remained hidden, the good of the action would fail her. She needed to know who healed her and not how or people would want Jesus’ clothes. Matthew 5:34 says, “And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.” Healing didn’t come from His clothes. She shouldn’t be misled. Touching Christ or His clothes didn’t bring healing, because there were many in the crowd who interacted with Him. They were also sick, but not healed. She couldn’t think that her touch could work a miracle. Jesus wanted to recognize her faith. Her touch was different, not a casual t ouch, but a conscious, deliberate, voluntary, dependent, saving, pre-meditated touch of faith.

Hers was a touch motivated by faith and faith always stop Jesus in His tracks. It gets His attention every time. God wants us to have a personal relationship with Him. We must know the Savior, if we must experience personal salvation. We must not be satisfied with being a part of the crowd. We may be near Jesus in a thousand crowds and yet not once in contact with Him. We are too c omfortable with surrounding Him as a crowd, but never truly knowing Him, or purposefully touching Him.

Jesus loves you so much that He made a way for you to be saved. That is why He died for you.  He loves us too much to let us die. Jesus is still here for you. He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

The Patience of the Saints

Speaker: Elder Arnold Burton

Scripture Reading: Revelation 14:12

“Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” Revelation 14:12

We often experience pain in our lives and doubtfully ask questions regarding the presence of God. We find it difficult to comprehend that during our efforts towards the route of perfection comes so much imperfection. When the enemy sees that we make provisions and efforts to please the Father, he begins to make plans to attack us in any way possible.  Ephesians 6:12 states, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” This spiritual warfare does in fact exist.  As humans we cannot control the power of evil spiritual forces, however, God’s power is able to do all things! We must remain in consistent communication with the omnipotent one, in order to resist and cast out spiritual wickedness. Only believing that He can do all things will not get the job done, because faith without works is dead! (James 2:17).

“The devil has placed a virus on this earth called sin and he wants to infect us all.” (Elder Arnold Burton) He wants to hinder us from receiving the gift of salvation that Jesus, the ultimate sacrifice for our sins, has promised to those who truly love him.  But daily we must” study, pray, and testify”, building characters in Christ that will help us to stand against the wiles of the devil. (Eph. 6:11).Jesus has promised that those who endure and stand firm to the end will be saved and receive the crown of life. (Matt 24:13) The endurance may be painful, but “there is no pain or hurt that Jesus can’t feel.” The savior did it all with the help of the loving Father, and just life him, we too can overcome, for we are more than conquerors. 

The patience of the saints according to Revelations 14:12 states, “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” Those who endure to the end, who believe in God‘s word, in His laws, who act accordingly to righteousness of Christ, and who hold on to the faith of Jesus, which is the victory that overcomes this world, will inherit the kingdom!

Christ never promised that our Christian race wouldn’t be difficult, but he did promise that while we strive to make it to the finish line he would be our help and guide, and most importantly, that he would be waiting for us to complete the race. Although trials and tribulations that we face may seem as stumbling blocks, our all-knowing God has placed us in circumstances in our lives so that we may not learn to panic, but to endure, progress, and prevail. Though we endure, we must first finish the race. We will not earn the trophy of eternal life if our mission is not accomplished.

 “If you are faithful, what Jesus has done for you will make you say that Heaven is cheap enough! No matter how difficult your situation is right now, you must not and you cannot let go of this great faith!”

The Book Opener

Speaker: Pastor Jenks Brutus, Friendship SDA Church in Elmira, NY

Scripture Reading: Revelation 5

1And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals. 2And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof? 3And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon. 4And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon. 5And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.

Are you saved? Have you turned your life over to God? Will your name be written in the Book of Life? As the final days of Earth pass us by and the time of probation nears its end, we ought to begin to ask ourselves these questions. Can you confidentally say that your relationship with God is right?

For those of us who were raised in the church, this message is not strange to us. We have heard the same message over and over. For those who have been raised out of the church, now is the time to really listen. The second coming of Jesus Christ is near. Sadly, many of you have not sealed your decision with Christ because of fear. You must give up certain things, attitudes, behavior. As a true Christian, you must undergo a complete transformation. However, you fail to realize that this change is a gradual process, it doesn’t happen overnight.You must first make the decision and have both the faith and desire to change before you can truly accept the message.

Change takes place before and not after you get into the baptismal water. Many of us go into the water hoping that our lives will be turned around from that very instant. No, your life actually becomes more challenging as a Christian, but with the strength of Christ you will endure and overcome every obstacle thrown your way.

Nothing can touch you without first having receive permission from God. Before it comes to you, it must go through the righteousness of God. So by the time it reaches you, it becomes a little thing. Just like the ozone layer protects the Earth from objects of space, Jesus is our spiritual layer to ensure that we do not endure more than we can bear. Jesus always take the brunt of our trials.

We can’t give up sin before coming to Christ. That’s what makes it difficult. Only Jesus can help us overcome. There are hundreds if not thousands of men and women who have yet to come to this realization. When you confess your sins and surrender to Christ, you will get your peace. That confession is your relinquishment of the very sins that would have barred you from entering into His eternal Kingdom.

In order to live a Christian life, we must surrender our will daily. Proclaim today that you want Jesus to live in you and He will help you transform into a new creature.

6And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.  7And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne. 8And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints. 9And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; 10And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth. 11And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; 12Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.13And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.14And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever.