Bethany Baptist Church had the semi-annual business meeting, Wednesday, evening. One item for discussion was the need for a new bus or van. It was agreed that the church would start a “Bus fund” to be used for that purpose. It was also agreed to purchase a transmitter and receivers to help persons who have trouble hearing the services.
The ladies continued their Bible study on the “Power of a Praying Life,” Thursday, morning. The Teen Girls will begin their new season of Bible studies on Monday afternoons at 3:30. The Jubilee Singers began working on the Easter music, Sunday afternoon.
Next Sunday, January 22, Jim and Bonita Bunton will present their burden for the Jewish community in St. Louis. There will be lunch at noon with a service following at 1:00 p.m. There will not be a service Sunday night.
Norma Stillings sang a special song, Sunday morning. Pastor Bob Sorensen brought a message from James 1:26-27 on, “One hundred percent religion.”
James had quite a lot to say about how our outward “religion” gives proof of our inward faith. Religion is not to be confused with salvation. Salvation is what God does on the inside. Religion is devotion and service based on a set of beliefs. What is on the inside will work out in our lives.
Is your religion the right religion, is it pure? It can be tested three ways. How you speak with your tongue, how you spend your time, and how you separate yourself from temptation.
If you have the Holy Spirit working on the inside, you will learn to bridle your tongue. We know that we are judged by how we walk and talk. We know these reveal the condition of the heart. We also know that of all the members of the body the tongue has the most potential for harm. It is said that the tongue is the most difficult member to control, and in it is the power of death and life. At no time should we be guilty of gossip, abusive language, bragging, lying, or any other poisonous speech. Our words come from our hearts. Let our hearts then be pure and the words coming out of it will be pure.
How we spend our time also reveals what we love. Are we unselfish with our time and treasure? Do we help those in need? Do we visit the fatherless and widows. To “visit” means to inspect to see their condition and to attempt to relieve them in their trouble. We must not forget that those who do not know the Lord are “Fatherless.” Their plight is the most fearful in the world, for without Jesus they are lost and on the way to hell. We are to love as Jesus did and try to save the lost.
How do we separate ourselves from temptations to keep unspotted from the world? Stay busy serving the Lord reaching out to others. Listen for the leading of the Holy Spirit, he will tell you what is right. Learn from the scriptures to obey it. Labor with the saints of God having the same convictions about spiritual matters.
If our religion can meet those tests, we can glorify our Father in heaven.