The blog contains daily devotions and notes from the weekly messages.  We encourage you to review the notes during the sermon or through the week!  Most of the posts will have an audio and/or video link at the end of the notes.  From time to time the pastors will share other insights and devotions here.

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Seize the Moment – Day 256

Hymn: “O Come, All Ye Faithful”

 
When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” (ESV)

 

Tomorrow begins the Advent Season, so we will focus on the hymns of Christmas in the upcoming weeks.

 

John Francis Wade fled England because of the Jacobean rebellion. As a refugee, he needed to find a way to make a living. He started teaching music and copying music and hymns for private use, since everything had to be scripted by hand. He took the Latin text of Adeste Fideles and put it to music and published it in 1743. It quickly became prominent Christmas hymn of the Roman Catholic church, being brought back to England from France as English Catholics returned.

 

An Anglican minister named Rev. Frederick Oakeley, came across Wade’s Christmas carol while he was preaching at Margaret Street Chapel in London. In 1845, Oakeley translated the song to O Come, all Ye Faithful, Joyful and Triumphant!

 

Both of these men had a deep love for Christmas and for hymns, and though they lived a hundred years apart, they both wanted to proclaim the message to everyone…Come, joyful and triumphant, and the adore Him born the king of angels!

 

Decide today that you are going to WAKE UP every morning during this advent season and be determined to share the joy of the season and the message of love that came to us over 2000 years ago!

 

 

If you would like to receive a personal phone call today, all you have to do is dial the phone number below right now and one of us will call you soon.
 
 

YOUTUBE:

If you prefer a video, Pastor Ken reads his devotion on YouTube as well. Click HERE to visit the page.
Videos are posted about a week after the devotion appears in the blog.
 
 
If you would like to read the words to this hymn or hear the melody played, click on this link:
 
O Come, All Ye Faithful

 

O come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant,
O come ye, O come ye, to Bethlehem. Come
and behold him, born the King of angels;


Refrain: O come, let us adore him, O come,
let us adore him, O come, let us adore him,
Christ the Lord.
 
Sing, choirs of angels, sing in exultation; O
sing, all ye citizens of heaven above! Glory
to God, all glory in the highest.
Refrain.
 

Yea, Lord, we greet thee, born this happy
morning, Jesus, to thee be all glory given.
Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing.
Refrain.

 
 

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Seize the Moment – Day 255

Walking in the Promises of God!

Philippians 1

 

Good morning! This is Pastor Jerry Ingalls from New Castle First Baptist Church and today is Friday, November 27.

 

Today, we are kicking off our study of Paul’s letter to the Philippians.

 

Paul starts with a promise from God in Philippians 1:6: “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”

 

Paul moves to prayer in verses 9-11: “And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.”

 

Paul then gives us some perspective in verse 12: “I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel.”

 

Paul finally gives us the plan in verse 21: “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”

 

In life, all four of these elements are important to living the victorious life in Christ:

 

  • a promise to claim;
  • a prayer to pray;
  • the right perspective on circumstances; and
  • a plan to walk in.

 

Without one of these four elements you may find yourself overwhelmed by an anxious mind or fearful heart, aimless in your life, and buried in your circumstances. It is my desire to help you choose the better way—the way of the Spirit, which is the crucified life in Christ.

 

When we live by the promises of God we truly walk in union with Jesus Christ and experience God’s best for our lives. As Peter promised us in 2 Peter 1:4, “For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature.” This is God’s will for our lives!

 

Seize the moment and walk in the promises of God.

 
 

If you would like to receive a personal phone call today, all you have to do is dial the phone number below right now and one of us will call you soon.

 
 

YOUTUBE:

If you prefer a video, Pastor Jerry reads his devotion on YouTube as well. Click HERE to visit the page.
Videos are posted about a week after the devotion appears in the blog.

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Seize the Moment – Day 254

The Proactive Prayers and Petitions of Thanksgiving!

Ephesians 6

 

Good morning! This is Pastor Jerry Ingalls from New Castle First Baptist Church and today is Thursday, November 26. Happy Thanksgiving!

 

Paul teaches us in Ephesians 6:18, “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.”

 

What a beautiful passage! It is a partner passage to Philippians 4:6-7, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”

 

Both of these Scriptures exhort us to use prayer as an offensive, proactive weapon in the Spirit of God. We have been equipped to face any giant because we remember that the battle belongs to the Lord. We simply get to be witnesses to His faithfulness!  

 

Never forget that the context of Ephesians 6:18 is putting on the full armor of God.

 

So, how do we join with God in this battle for the hearts and minds of individuals, families, communities, and nations?

 

We have to make sure we are only using the weapons of the Spirit so that you can stand firm on the Rock of Jesus Christ:

 

  • Praying in the Spirit on all occasions;
  • Making petitions and requests in everything; and
  • Giving thanks to God in all of our prayers, petitions, and requests.

 

Let me summarize these in one statement: “The Proactive Prayers and Petitions of Thanksgiving are our greatest weapon!”

 

We so often forget that thankfulness is not a reactive emotional response to our circumstances, but, rather, our proactive awareness of God’s faithfulness in everything.

 

Seize the moment and pray in the Spirit on all occasions through the proactive prayers and petitions of thanksgiving! Your thanksgiving is your continual praise to God!  

 
 
 

If you would like to receive a personal phone call today, all you have to do is dial the phone number below right now and one of us will call you soon.

 
 

YOUTUBE:

If you prefer a video, Pastor Jerry reads his devotion on YouTube as well. Click HERE to visit the page.
Videos are posted about a week after the devotion appears in the blog.

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Seize the Moment – Day 253

Be a Wake-up Call!

Ephesians 5

 

Good morning! This is Pastor Jerry Ingalls from New Castle First Baptist Church and today is Wednesday, November 25.

 

Have you ever been asleep and someone turns on the light in the room? It definitely wakes you up!

 

Paul teaches us in Ephesians 5:8-14, “For at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light. This is why it is said, ‘Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.’”

 

Darkness is a lack of the true substance—light! Before Christ, we all were darkness. The Bible teaches us that before Jesus we were cut off from God—literally “dead in [our] transgressions”, but in Jesus we are the light of the world because we are now “alive with Christ” (Ephesians 2:4, 5).

 

Thank you Jesus for loving us so much that He would take our death (our darkness) for us so that we can share in His life (His light)—we are now the light to the world only because He is the light of the world (Matthew 5:14-16)! He is alive in us. We have gone from death to life!

 

Just like when the light is turned on in that dark room and you go from being asleep to suddenly awake, Christians are saved to be a wake up call to the world proclaiming, “wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”

 

Seize the moment and be a wake-up call to all you encounter! Shine!

 
 
 

If you would like to receive a personal phone call today, all you have to do is dial the phone number below right now and one of us will call you soon.

 
 

YOUTUBE:

If you prefer a video, Pastor Jerry reads his devotion on YouTube as well. Click HERE to visit the page.
Videos are posted about a week after the devotion appears in the blog.

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Seize the Moment – Day 252

Walk in a Manner Worthy!

Ephesians 4

 

Good morning! This is Pastor Jerry Ingalls from New Castle First Baptist Church and today is Tuesday, November 24.

 

Are you walking in a manner worthy of the calling of Jesus Christ?

 

Paul says in Ephesians 4:1-3, “I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”

 

The Koine Greek word translated “worthy” means “fitting or proper in corresponding to what should be expected—proper, properly, fitting, worthy of, correspond to.”

 

So, when Paul exhorts us to walk in a manner worthy of the calling, he is saying: ensure your life corresponds with the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

 

Do you live like someone who has been saved? When people see you, do they think of God’s grace—do they see Jesus?

 

Speaking of grace, a major emphasis of Paul’s writing is that we can’t do this on our own power, but under the authority, or power, of the Holy Spirit.

 

From Ephesians 4:1-3, Paul gives some criteria to know whether you are walking in a manner worthy of the new life we have been given by God’s grace through Jesus Christ:

  1. Humility
  2. Gentleness
  3. Patience
  4. Bearing with one another in love
  5. Eager to maintain unity of the Spirit
  6. Eager to maintain the bond of peace

 

Interestingly, there are some intersections between these criteria and Paul’s fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23.

 

So, how are you doing in your walk? Does your life demonstrate Monday-Saturday what you proclaim when you gather as His Church on Sundays? This is our faith and our witness.

 

Seize the moment and walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called.

 
 

If you would like to receive a personal phone call today, all you have to do is dial the phone number below right now and one of us will call you soon.

 
 

YOUTUBE:

If you prefer a video, Pastor Jerry reads his devotion on YouTube as well. Click HERE to visit the page.
Videos are posted about a week after the devotion appears in the blog.

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Seize the Moment – Day 251

Praying Big Prayers!

Ephesians 3

 

Good morning! This is Pastor Jerry Ingalls from New Castle First Baptist Church and today is Monday, November 23.

 

Paul prays big prayers for the congregation in Ephesus in Ephesians 3:14-21:

 

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.

 

Through Jesus Christ’s sacrificial death on the Cross of Calvary we are invited—commanded—to approach the throne of grace boldly, with confidence. We are to pray big prayers according to the revelation we have been given of our God.

 

I have heard many people say they don’t pray big prayers because they think God has more important things to take care. That kind of attitude shows our lack of understanding of God’s perfection and immensity, and that is why Paul prays for you to know how BIG God is—intimately and thoroughly. Paul prays for you to filled with all the fullness of God. These are big prayers; are you praying big prayers for your family, church, community, and world?

 

I’m praying big prayers for you and Jesus’ Church. Would you join me in prayer?

 

Seize the moment and pray God’s Word today. Pray the promises of God.

 
 
 

If you would like to receive a personal phone call today, all you have to do is dial the phone number below right now and one of us will call you soon.

 
 

YOUTUBE:

If you prefer a video, Pastor Jerry reads his devotion on YouTube as well. Click HERE to visit the page.
Videos are posted about a week after the devotion appears in the blog.

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Responding to Jesus by Giving Thanks – Week 4

A Table of Blessing

 
When you think about thanksgiving, it’s always easy to give thanks when things are going your way. 
 

A Little History:  The pilgrims did not have it easy on that first trip.  They landed in November near Plymouth Rock and had no time to prepare for winter.  They had to rely on whatever they could find by foraging and getting by on what they could find. 

 

So that first year 102 people foraged, tried to build shelters and stay healthy.  Even on the way over on the ships, because of storms and other things, they weren’t always able to eat well.  Once they were on land, several were dying of malnutrition and scurvy.  By the Spring only 44 survived. 

 

The ship called the Mayflower returned to England, but not one of the original pilgrims went back with it.  They were determined to stay.  One of their members was a former native American who helped them learn to plant and make a treaty with local tribes. 

Governor Bradford proclaimed a time of celebration after their first harvest. 

 

In the Old Testament there was a festival of thanksgiving called Sukkot, commonly knows as the Feast of Tabernacles or Festival of Booths.  It was a Jewish Autumn festival of double thanksgiving celebrated either on the fifteenth day of September or October and lasted for five days.
 
Can you imagine having Thanksgiving for five days?  Talk about blowing your diet!
 

In Psalm 9, David writes,

I will thank you, Lord, with all my heart;
    I will tell of all the marvelous things you have done.
I will be filled with joy because of you.
    I will sing praises to your name, O Most High.

 

And in Psalm 34,

I will praise the Lord at all times.
    I will constantly speak his praises.
I will boast only in the Lord;
    let all who are discouraged take heart.
Come, let us tell of the Lord’s greatness;
    let us exalt his name together.

I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me.
    freeing me from all my fears.

 

Testimony:  The Upchurch Family (5:36)

 

Kevin & Bree share about hosting a virtual Awesome Autumn online (18:30)
 

Psalm 66

Shout joyful praises to God, all the earth!
    Sing about the glory of his name!
    Tell the world how glorious he is.
Say to God, “How awesome are your deeds!
    Your enemies cringe before your mighty power.
Everything on earth will worship you;
    they will sing your praises,
    shouting your name in glorious songs.”

Come and see what our God has done,
    what awesome miracles he performs for people!

 

Give Thanks for all those around us! 

We do it all for Jesus! 

 
A Favorite Plaque: 
I do nothing for the applause of man, but I do everything for the applause of his nail scarred hands.

 

Thanking all those who work behind the scenes at our church.  (22:13)

We have been in this facility for almost 16 years. (31:34)
We began in a house in 1910 and now, for many of you, you are back in your house!

 

We don’t let the circumstances of life dictate what we will do… out hope is in God.

We have lost some of our saints this week.  (34:00)

But we celebrate!  We know where they are.

 

Prayer requests.

 

The Doxology: Prayer and singing the Doxology (36:26)
 
 

You can listen to the message here:

 

You can watch to the message HERE.

 

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Seize the Moment – Day 249

Hymn: “Come, Ye Thankful People, Come”

Psalm 92:1

 

“It is good to give thanks to the Lord, 

to sing praises to your name, O Most High” (ESV)

 

The first thanksgiving was decreed by Governor Bradford in 1621 in honor of the pilgrims’ harvest. But it wasn’t until 1941 that Congress passed a bill proclaiming the fourth Thursday of each November as Thanksgiving Day. And this hymn has become a tradition of this holiday. So what is the history of this hymn?

 

Henry Alford was born in 1810, and was raised by his Anglican clergy father and grandfather to have a special love for God’s Word. He became a renowned biblical scholar, earning his degree from Cambridge. He was later assigned to be the vicar of a small parish and connected well with the people there because he had a knack for explaining things in a way the simple people could understand.

 

He wrote this hymn to celebrate the beautiful harvest festival in the English countryside. He wanted everyone to join in, recognizing the glory of God’s breathtaking creation and lovingly responding to a faithful God with praise!

 

Wake up and recognize all that God has done in your life! Why? Because a thankful heart is pleasing to God!

 

“Come, ye thankful people, come!
Raise the song of harvest home.
All is safely gathered in, ere the winter storms begin;
God our maker doth provide, for our wants to be supplied.”

 

If you would like to receive a personal phone call today, all you have to do is dial the phone number below right now and one of us will call you soon.
 
 

YOUTUBE:

If you prefer a video, Pastor Ken reads his devotion on YouTube as well. Click HERE to visit the page.
Videos are posted about a week after the devotion appears in the blog.
 
 
If you would like to read the words to this hymn or hear the melody played, click on this link:
 
1
Come, ye thankful people, come,
raise the song of harvest home;
all is safely gathered in,
ere the winter storms begin.
God our Maker doth provide
for our wants to be supplied;
come to God’s own temple, come,
raise the song of harvest home.
2
All the world is God’s own field,
fruit as praise to God we yield;
wheat and tares together sown
are to joy or sorrow grown;
first the blade and then the ear,
then the full corn shall appear;
Lord of harvest, grant that we
wholesome grain and pure may be.
3
For the Lord our God shall come,
and shall take the harvest home;
from the field shall in that day
all offenses purge away,
giving angels charge at last
in the fire the tares to cast;
but the fruitful ears to store
in the garner evermore.
4
Even so, Lord, quickly come,
bring thy final harvest home;
gather thou thy people in,
free from sorrow, free from sin,
there, forever purified,
in thy presence to abide;
come, with all thine angels, come,
raise the glorious harvest home.
 
 

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Seize the Moment – Day 248

The Gift of Hope!

Ephesians 2

 

Good morning! This is Pastor Jerry Ingalls from New Castle First Baptist Church and today is Friday, November 20.
 

Early this morning, as I was spending time with the Lord, in His Word and in prayer, I received the sad news that our beloved sister in the Lord, Gay, passed away. Please join me in praying for her family and friends as we all grieve this loss. Also, please join me in praying for the family and friends of our beloved sister Vee Ann who passed away last week. I will be conducting her service tomorrow morning. While we grieve our losses, let us surround these families with faith, hope, and love.

 

We all need faith, hope, and love in these dark days so let us turn to God’s Word for the living hope—Jesus Christ.

 

Listen to Ephesians 2:4-9, “But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.”

 

The only hope that will never disappoint us is our hope in God’s love to us through faith in Jesus Christ. “But God”, those two words in Scripture change everything. Never forget those two words, no matter how difficult your trials and tribulations, “but God”…

 

Death – but God

Disease – but God

Depression – but God

Disappointment – but God

COVID-19 – but God

 

Seize the moment and rest in the promises of God for your life and the lives of your loved ones. Whatever giant you may be facing today, “but God”… This is the gift of hope!

 
 
 

If you would like to receive a personal phone call today, all you have to do is dial the phone number below right now and one of us will call you soon.

 
 

YOUTUBE:

If you prefer a video, Pastor Jerry reads his devotion on YouTube as well. Click HERE to visit the page.
Videos are posted about a week after the devotion appears in the blog.

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Seize the Moment – Day 247

Thankful to be Blessed!

Ephesians 1

 

Good morning! This is Pastor Jerry Ingalls from New Castle First Baptist Church and today is Thursday, November 19.

 

I’ve noticed that more and more people are using the word “Blessed!” to describe themselves, their families, and their situations.

 

Listen to how Paul starts off his letter to the Ephesians in 1:3, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.”

 

In the NIV, the first “blessed” is translated “Praise” as in “Praise be to the God and Father…” That should tell us something right away about this rich word.

 

It is true and right for a Christian to say they are blessed; for in Christ we have every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places. This is an amazing truth of God’s Word and one of the promises of God to us! Praise be to God who has done this and given this gift to us!

 

What does it mean to be blessed? It means that we are forgiven and adopted by the Father, redeemed through the shed blood of Jesus Christ, and sealed by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Please keep reading Ephesians 1:3-14 to learn more.

 

Jesus Christ has blessed us, brought us to God, by taking all the curses of God that we deserve for our sin onto Himself and has given us His relationship with God—His righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21). In Christ, God will never withhold any blessing from you because you rightfully and legally belong to Him as an adopted son with right of inheritance as one of His chosen people.

That is a Good Father. This is your heavenly blessing as a child of God!

 

Seize the moment and be thankful: you have been blessed to be a blessing!

 

Have a wonderful day!
 
 

If you would like to receive a personal phone call today, all you have to do is dial the phone number below right now and one of us will call you soon.

 
 

YOUTUBE:

If you prefer a video, Pastor Jerry reads his devotion on YouTube as well. Click HERE to visit the page.
Videos are posted about a week after the devotion appears in the blog.

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