I Can’t Get No Satisfaction by Dennis Garcia

Fearing the LORD leads to life, and one who does so will live satisfied;  he will not be afflicted by calamity. (Proverbs 19:23, NET)

In 1965 the English rock band, The Rolling Stones, released the song “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”. While the song itself is dealing with relationship issues and commercialism, the concept of an unsatisfied life has resonated with millions over the years. Historically, people have looked for satisfaction in a number of sources: fame, fortune, relationships, success, materialism, religion and just about anything else you could possibly imagine. However, chasing satisfaction in these things has been less then satisfying.

Solomon, known as the wisest man of his time, has a lot to say on the subject. In addition to being wise, Solomon was also extremely powerful and wealthy. Yet, none of that was satisfying to him. In Ecclesiastes 1:14 he wrote, “I reflected on everything that is accomplished by man on earth, and I concluded: Everything he has accomplished is futile – like chasing the wind!”

Many today live an unfulfilled life because they are too often looking for satisfaction in all the wrong places. They quickly discover, like Solomon, that all these pursuits are futile like chasing the wind. So they move from one thing to another in hopes that a newer car, bigger house, promotion, new family, or even religious devotion will fill the gaping hole in their lives. It never does.

Solomon, in the book of Proverbs, gives us the key to finding that elusive and mythical satisfaction. In Proverbs 19:23 he says the key to living a satisfied life is to fear the Lord. To fear the Lord is different than to be afraid of God. For those of us that have trusted Jesus as our Savior, it is the type of fear (awe and reverence) that a child has for their father. As one author wrote, “As children, the fear of discipline from our parents no doubt prevented some evil actions. The same should be true in our relationship with God. We should fear His discipline, and therefore seek to live our lives in such a way that pleases Him.”

Living a godly life, in awe and reverence of our powerful and mighty father, is the road that leads to satisfaction. While Solomon doesn’t promise an easy life, he says that we will not be afflicted when difficulty comes. Trust God, seek to live a life that pleases him, and then you will know the ultimate satisfaction of life.

Student Ministry – September 2016

School is again upon us, and our students are getting back into the swing of things.  Some were excited to go back to school and others were not so much…  With the Lives Ablaze Student Conference happening soon and school activities picking up, I ask that you support all of our students as they participate in athletics, Future Farmers of America, Mirage, and the many other extracurricular activities they are participating in. As adults, we sometimes forget, in the midst of our busyness, how busy and stressful the lives of our young men and women can be.  Please pray for our students as they strive to be a light in their schools.

Growth Group Highlights

The vision of The People Church | First Baptist Moriarty is to Build Community, Give Hope, and Make Disciples. Our Growth Groups serve as a key resource for Making Disciples by creating an environment for discipleship and leadership development to take place.  This happens by focusing on six different areas: fellowship, teaching, prayer, ministry, accountability, and multiplication.

Each month we will highlight a different Growth Group to allow you to get to know others in the church and maybe learn about ministries that you may be unfamiliar with. This month we are highlighting the Perkins Growth Group.

Group Leader:  Tom Perkins

  1. How long have you been leading this Growth Group? 8 or 9 years.
  1. When and where do you meet? Sunday mornings at 9:15 a.m. at The People Church in the northwest corner of the church building
  1. Who is the “typical” member of your group? We have no restrictions but the group was started for “young” parents with school-age children.
  1. What curriculum are you studying? Currently, we are studying the D-Life Bible Study designed to cover the New Testament in one year.  Each week we read 5 chapters with overall questions.  One passage is focused on with 4 different members leading:  prayer/praise time, passage paraphrase, passage reading, and Bible study facilitation (questions).
  1. What fellowship and mission activities have you had in the past six months?
  • Backpack program for Moriarty schools-gathered food for kids who go hungry on the weekend
  • Inlow Camp-helped de-winterize the camp for summer season and built blessing bags to give people broken down (stranded travelers) on the side of the roads
  • Helped disaster relief people feed animals displaced by the Dog Head Wildfire
  • Super bowl party/fellowship
  • Bar-B-Que at Shiloh’s
  1. What fellowship and mission activities are scheduled for the next few months?
  • Some type of gift/thank project for law enforcement
  • Christmas party fellowship
  • Potentially provide firewood for needy
  1. What are some other interesting facts about your group?
  • Our care group was blessed enough to be able to multiply into two groups.
  • Many special relationships have been developed within the group.
  • Many dynamic/unique personalities have been exposed over time.
  • Multiple marriages, births, and potential adoptions have been celebrated within the group.
  • One of our main goals is to provide an environment where people can express serious and critical feelings and issues while knowing nothing leaves the room.

Passion Surrender by Ryne Swann

What are some things that you are passionate about? Maybe it’s your spouse. Maybe it’s your kids. Maybe it’s your career. Maybe it’s your reputation. We all have things that spark a passion deep within us that make us say, “This matters greatly to me.” Our passion drives us to think, act and live a certain way. This leads me to the next question. I would say that being passionate is beneficial, but what are you doing with your passions?

It is easy to let our human nature take the passions in our lives and then use them for our gain. But that can be dangerous. We think we know what will be best for our family and friends, but a lot of the time, without the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we will only end up hurting those around us for our own satisfaction. Think about your passion again. What are you doing that shows you are passionate about that? And who is it affecting?

We have to think about who our actions will impact for good or bad since everything we do will impact those around us. The question is, “Are our actions going to be drawing people closer to the Creator, or pushing them deeper into their sin?”

If you are passionate about art, what kind of art are you creating? I’m not saying that all artists who claim Jesus as their Lord have to paint, sculpt, sing about, or draw crosses all day. But every art work should reflect the creativity that God has put in us. If you are passionate about your wife, we should look to the ultimate example of how to love her, and that can be found in Jesus’ love for the church. (Hosea is a great human parallel of that love.) If you are passionate about really good cupcakes, then use that passion to show people how each person is a special creation made by the hand of the ultimate maker of life.

Whatever your passion is, my challenge to you is simple. Ask yourself why you are passionate about this. Once God shows you why He has put that passion in you, then ask yourself, “How can I help the kingdom of God while using this passion?” If you don’t have a passion that you can think of, then your first step is to ask God to reveal your passion to you. Maybe it will be building community, or brewing coffee, or stopping human trafficking, or improving education. But whatever your passion is, use the fire that God has put inside you to be effective in His Kingdom. We must surrender our passions in order to be used in a manner greater than we can imagine.

Tension by Dennis Garcia

A few weeks ago I was visiting with a man who had served in and retired from the military.  He expressed to me that he struggles with the tension between his love of country and protecting Americans from radical Islam and his obligation to the gospel as it concerns the entry of Muslims in the United States.  Tension.  In a conversation with another person, we discussed our anger towards people who harm children and how hard it is to “love our enemies” like Jesus commanded.  Tension.

Many of us like things to be black and white, right and wrong.  We don’t like the “grey space”.  We like to keep things simple.  However, as followers of Christ, we live in a grey space.  You see, we are citizens of two worlds, two kingdoms; the Kingdom of Heaven and the Kingdom of Earth.  Paul writes in Philippians 3:20, “But our citizenship is in heaven.”  This concept is based on the very words of Jesus who said on numerous occasions that we are not of this world.

As citizens of two kingdoms we will live with a constant tension that exists when we are pulled in two different directions.  We live with the tension between safety and comfort but with a mandate to be a light in dark places.  We live with the tension between a constitutional right to speak our minds about temporary things and a gospel responsibility to share the eternal message of the Cross.  We live with the tension between hating evil and sin and loving unconditionally.  This tension is only resolved when we realize that we are first and foremost citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven.  Everything must be viewed through this lens.

This means that while opening up the borders of our country to Muslim refugees may also be opening ourselves up for terrorist attacks, we also have an opportunity to share the Gospel with people who otherwise would have never heard.  In most Muslim communities it is illegal for a Muslim to convert to Christianity and would result in prison or death.  Likewise, it is difficult and dangerous to send missionaries into these regions for the same reasons.  However, we now have Muslims coming to us in record numbers.  They are coming to a place where we are free to praise and proclaim the name of Jesus.  We are free to openly share our faith.  They now have access to the Gospel that most would have never had if they remained in their home countries.  God is bringing the world to us!

Does this mean we throw open our boarders and have a free for all?  No.  In Matthew 10, Jesus is preparing to send out the twelve disciples to share the gospel.  Among His instructions, Jesus gives this warning, “I am sending you out like sheep surrounded by wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.”  We are sheep among wolves.  We are living in dangerous times.  That shouldn’t keep us from doing what we have been called to do.  However, we are also told not to be naive. We should be as wise as serpents but as gentle as doves.  We must constantly be on guard for attacks from the enemy (Satan).  We must be discerning with those we associate with.  We must consider both the safety of the innocent and the advancement of the Gospel.  But the Gospel must come first.

The tension between our two worlds will continue to grow.  It will become more and more difficult for followers of Christ to live out our faith.  The world in which we live will continue to grow antagonistic towards Christianity.  This doesn’t mean we should run and hide.  It means we must embrace the tension, and with wisdom and discernment we must advance the Kingdom of God.