February 2017

On January 1, 2017, New Year’s Sunday, our church and St. Peter’s African Methodist Episcopal Church fellowshipped and worshipped together. Rev. William Jenkins, pastor of St. Peter’s AME Church, had extended an invitation to us earlier in December when they were having issues with their heating system. We accepted his invitation and were blessed beyond measure by their gracious hospitality and spirit. I was really proud of our church’s response and attendance.
This coming together of our two churches encouraged us to develop a stronger bond in the year 2017. Thus, with February being recognized as “African American History Month” and February 19th being recognized as “Brotherhood/Sisterhood Sunday,” we invited Pastor Jenkins and his congregation to come and worship with us. He and his church have accepted our invitation and looking forward to our time together.
February 14th is Valentine’s Day when we have the opportunity to express our deepest appreciation and love for one another. The greatest expression of love came from God and was manifested through Jesus Christ. “Greater love hath no man than this, that he would give up his life for a friend“(John 15:13)
John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him, would not perish but have everlasting life.”
God gave his son to show agape love, what will we give him to show our love?
Will you give God You?
This story is about a nine-year-old boy who lived in a rural town in Tennessee. His house was in a poor area of the community. A church there had a bus ministry that came knocking on his door one Saturday afternoon. The boy came to answer the door and greeted the bus pastor.
They went into the living room and sat down on an old couch with the foam and springs exposed. The bus pastor asked the boy, "Where do you go to church?" 
The young boy – surprised - his visitor by replying, "I've never been to church in my whole life." The bus pastor thought to himself about the fact that his church was less than three miles from the child's house. 
"Are you sure you have never been to church?" he asked again. 
"I'm sure I haven't," came his answer. 
Then the bus pastor said, "Well, son, more importantly than going to church, have you ever heard the greatest love story  ever told?"  I don’t know, came the reply.  Then he proceeded to share the Gospel with this little nine-year-old boy. The young lad's heart began to be tenderized – and at the end of the bus pastor's story, he asked if the boy wanted to receive this free gift of salvation from God and become His child.. The youngster exclaimed, "Oh yes, Please – Yes - I want Jesus in my heart" 
So the bus pastor and this boy got on their knees and the lad invited Jesus into his little heart and received the free gift of salvation. They both stood up and the bus pastor asked if he could pick him and his little brother up for church the next morning. "Sure," the nine-year-old replied. 
Keep in mind that this boy had never been to church before. The church was a real big one. The two children just sat there, clueless of what was going on. A few minutes into the service, these tall, stern looking men, walked down to the front of the church and picked up some wooden plates. One of the men prayed and the boy, with utter fascination, watched them walk up and down the aisles. He still didn't know what was going on.
All of a sudden, like a bolt of lightning, it hit the boy as to what was taking place. These people must be giving money to Jesus. He then reflected on the love story and the free gift of salvation he had received just yesterday…
He immediately searched his pockets, front and back, and couldn't find a thing to give Jesus. By this time the offering plate was being passed down his aisle. With a broken heart, he just grabbed the plate and held on to it. He finally let go and watched it pass on down the aisle.  Then he had an idea. This little-nine-year old boy, in front of God and everybody,  got up out of his seat. He walked about eight rows back, grabbed the usher by the coat and asked to hold the plate one more time. 
He took the plate, sat it on the carpeted church floor, and stepped into the center of it. As he stood there in the wooden offering plate, he lifted his little head up and said, "Jesus, I don't have anything to give you today, but just me. And so with tears running down his cheeks he said;   Jesus, I give you me!" 
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