Weekly Writings

I Stand In Awe

By Scott Eaton

August 14/2020

They who dwell in the ends of the earth stand in awe of Your signs; You make the dawn and the sunset shout for joy. Psalm 65:8

I never get tired of visiting Niagara Falls. To get the best view, you really need to see it from the Canadian side. However, if you really want to see it up close, take the boat tour called “The Maid of the Mist”. The boat will take you right up into the basin of the Horseshoe Falls. Once you are there, you are surrounded by the incredible force of one of God’s awesome creations. I have had many opportunities to experience this thrill, and each time I have a sense of awe and wonder of how great our God really is! Niagara Falls is known as “one of the natural wonders of the world”, but we know who created it!


Lately our church staff has been watching a series of videos by pastor Paul Tripp. In these videos Paul has been stressing the dangers of loosing our awe of God. When this happens, we tend to be far less grateful for the grace and mercy that He has richly lavished upon us.


Romans 12:1 tells us that “in view of of God’s mercy, we should offer ourselves as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God, our true and proper worship”. How we view God shapes how we live our lives. When we are truly grateful for His grace and mercy, we will find that our lives are pleasing to Him.


The later part of Romans 12:1 speaks of worship. Louie Gigleo has said that “worship is our response both personal and corporate, to God for who He is, and what He has done; expressed in and by the things we say and the way we live.”


In Exodus chapter 15 we find a song of Moses and the nation of Israel. It’s a song of praise to God for delivering them from the hands of Pharoah and his army.


Verse 11 says “Who is like You, O Lord, among the gods? Who is like You, majestic in holiness, awesome in glorious deeds, doing wonders?” There is no doubt that this verse conveys the sense of awe that was felt in the hearts of those singing the praises of God that day.


At times, we allow the pressures of life to rob us of our sense of awe of God. If that’s where you’re at right now, why not simply ask God to give you a fresh encounter of His presence and to restore to you the joy of your salvation in Jesus?


We need to be in a continual state of awe and wonder of who our God is and what He has done.


Today, reflect on all the ways God has blessed and enriched your life. Give Him all the praise as you stand in awe of Him. He is a great God! There is no God like our God!


I stand, I stand in awe of You. I stand, I stand in awe of You.

Holy God to whom all praise is due. I stand in awe of You

(Don Moen)


Fear God

By Josh Moyers

July 31, 2020

Over the last few weeks, the staff of First Baptist Church Ellijay have been participating in a Bible study / training titled “Dangerous Calling: Confronting the Unique Challenges of Pastoral Ministry” by Paul David Tripp. This past Tuesday the focus of the lesson was on what we in ministry fear. Dr. Tripp stated the four greatest fears ministers face are as follows:


1. Fear of Yourself

2. Fear of Others

3. Fear of Circumstances

4. Fear of the Future


I am sure that one doesn’t have to be in ministry to experience these same fears. We could all probably list other fears that we may have as well. I have read in business books that some fear failure while others fear success. We could list out all of the phobias we can think of and what we will soon realize is that we are a people that are consumed with fear. We fear that we will be found out and that people will realize that we don’t actually know what we are doing. We fear that people will discover who we really are, broken. We fear others’ opinions of us. We fear the pain we may go through or the pain a loved one may have to endure. We fear the death of a loved one. We fear the unknown. We are consumed with our thoughts and consumed with fear. What should we fear? Is there something or SOMEONE we should fear over and above the fears of life? The answer is yes.


Proverbs 19:23 - The fear of the Lord leads to life and whoever has it rests satisfied; he will not be visited by harm.

Proverbs 14:27 - The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, that one may turn away from the snares of death.

Psalm 33:8 - Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him!

Ecclesiastes 12:13 - The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.

Proverbs 8:13 - The fear of the Lord is hatred of evil.


If we are able to refocus our hearts and minds on God and realize His sovereignty in our lives, fear of all else will slowly fade away. As Christians, we do not fear God because of his wrath alone we fear Him and revere Him because of our unworthiness in receiving His grace. God is in a category all on His own. In “The Chronicles of Narnia” series, C.S. Lewis wrote, “Aslan is a lion- the Lion, the great Lion." "Ooh" said Susan. "I'd thought he was a man. Is he-quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion"..."Safe?" said Mr Beaver ..."Who said anything about safe? 'Course he isn't safe. But he's good. He's the King, I tell you.” God as our King is the focus our fear should be set towards, not future, not circumstances, not others, and certainly not ourselves. Consider the following passages on refocusing our attention on God and godly things.


Colossians 3:2 - Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.

Matthew 6:33 - But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Philippians 4:8 - Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Trust in the Unknown

By Alice Holt

July 24, 2020

As they walk away after being pronounced husband and wife she giggles with glee. He lovingly looks at her and says, “See, I told you it would all be fine!” She radiantly throws her head back and laughs out loud. You see, obstacles had come left and right, nothing seemed to be working right. No one could fix it. The situation simply was what it was, and it was a big obstacle. The question of the hour was “What do we do now?” “We will find the answer and we are not giving up,” he said. She knew his words were true, but it is hard to trust the unknown; especially when she thought she had her dream all in line.


I’m reminded of the verses in Matthew 6:25-34, spoken by Jesus, as He explains why fear of the unknown has no place in our lives:


“If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers - most of which are never even seen - don’t you think He’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do His best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way He works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how He works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.” Matthew 6:30-34 MSG


She could have crumbled to the floor and lay there sobbing the day they shut down the state. She could have sat paralyzed as each phone call from different venders told her they would not be open to help her. Even when it felt the world was against her, she knew one thing to be true; God created them to be together to glorify Him through marriage. If God made them for this, why would He stop now? So even though they wept, and stomped their feet a little, they both sat before God and trusted the unknown. Then, God showed off!


No matter our situation, our trust in God with the unknown dictates how we respond to life. I like how the Message says to “Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions.” I’m not a tea drinker, forgive me and I am still a southerner, but I know the importance of allowing a tea bag to steep. The water gradually changes as the tea releases. The longer the tea bag sits in the water the richer the color and taste. This is how our trust in God matures. The more we are “steeped” in God our reactions to situations will be more like Him instead of like the craziness of the world.


Don’t allow this world to take away the richness of God in you. Allow yourself time to soak in every bit of Him. Stomp your foot a little at the world and turn to God for the answers. And don’t forget, He is Immanuel. God with us!


Christ Will Hold Me Fast

By Scott Eaton

July 17, 2020

Psalm 139:9-10 ... If I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.


On the side of my refrigerator is a picture of me as a baby with my Mom and Dad. I’m sitting on my Dad’s knee as he holds me. Now, I don’t have this picture there to remind myself that I was a beautiful baby. This picture is a reminder to me of how God so richly blessed me with a loving Mom and Dad who cared for me and raised me. They made sacrifices for me so that I could follow God’s plan for my life. They were also there for me and I knew that I could depend on them.


As I reflect on my upbringing, I can’t help but think of the marvelous way that God in His infinite grace has shown His love and care by sending us Jesus. No matter what we go through in life, God has proven Himself to be faithful. As believers in Jesus Christ, we are held fast by His grip. We can count on Him!


In the early 1900’s Robert Harkness was a pianist for a music team for evangelist R.A. Torrey. After a series of revival meetings in Toronto, Robert met someone who gave their life to Christ.

This new believer expressed his concern of not being able to “hold out” in his walk with Christ. After this conversation, Robert wrote a friend, lyricist Ada Habershon, asking her to write some words that would reflect this thought. During a revival in Philadelphia, Robert took the lyrics that were sent to him and wrote the music to “He will Hold Me Fast”. The song was very successful in revival meetings up until the mid 1900’s. Recently, the lyrics have been reborn as worship leader Matt Merker has written a new tune for this old song. (HymnologyArchive.com) Here’s a sample of the lyrics that Ada Habershon wrote:


Those He saves are His delight

Christ will hold me fast

Precious in His holy sight

He will hold me fast

He'll not let my soul be lost

His Promises shall last

Bought by Him at such a cost

He will hold me fast


Chorus:

He will hold me fast

He will hold me fast

For my Savior loves me so

He will hold me fast


Remember this, you are precious in God’s sight! He loves you too much to let you go!


Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of His glory with great joy. – Jude 24