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 193

The Solid Rock

 
Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock.”

 

Even though Edward Mote’s parents were hostile towards religion, he became a Christian through the influence of the cabinetmaker for whom he was apprenticing. He grew up to become a skilled cabinetmaker himself with a successful business.
 
No matter how busy he was, he always found time to worship God. One day in 1863, he felt inspired on his way to work to write down a verse that God had laid on his heart. Before the day was finished, he had completed four verses, starting with the words, “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.” His friend, William Bradbury, helped him put music to this beloved hymn.

 

Won’t you seize the moment today, and declare with a loud voice the words of this hymn so that all will know on whom you put your hope and trust?

 
 
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.
 
 
Text for hymn devotional:
If you would like to read the words to this hymn or hear the melody played, click on this link:
(You can slow down the tempo by clicking on the settings symbol.  I suggest a tempo or 80)

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Seize the Moment – Day 192

Walk Simply in Faith!

1 Corinthians 8

 

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

 

A quick leadership update: our local and state health partners have moved Indiana into Stage 5, starting tomorrow. The new executive order is called, “Stage Five – The New Normal During A Global Pandemic.” The “new normal” requires social distancing and the use of face masks when you are not socially distanced. I pray for the mental and emotional well-being of people as they read the executive order. May the peace of Christ rule your heart and mind.

 

For the last seven months, we have worked very hard to innovate ways to never stop our ministries at FBC. With that said, we know that Stage 5 is what some people have been waiting for to return to the public gathering of worship on Sunday morning. It’s time to come back.

 

The doors open at 9 for children, youth, and adult classes. The worship service begins at 10:30 and I am planning a message called, “The Rule of God’s Peace!” from Colossians 3:15-16. It will be a very accurate and timely message. I hope to see you there.

 

I join with the Apostle Paul in exhorting the mature Christians in our fellowship to not let their great learning to cause the simple and weak in our fellowship to stumble in what they hear and see from us—whether in person or on social media. As Paul said in 1 Corinthians 8:11-12, “And so by your knowledge this weak person is destroyed, the brother for whom Christ died. Thus, sinning against your brothers and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ.”

 

Seize the moment and walk simply and intentionally in your faith. Your life is for the sake of others and not for yourself! Never forget who you represent—Jesus Christ, crucified, risen, and coming again. Focus your eyes on Him!

 

 
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 191

Experiencing Contentment!

1 Corinthians 7

 

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

 

Today is my 46th birthday and I want to thank my mom for doing all the hard work! Today, I am thanking God for the birthday gift of contentment. Contentment is very different from complacency and they should not be confused with one another.

 

Contentment is defined as “the state of being mentally or emotionally satisfied” (dictionary). 

 

We are called to this mental and emotional state by Jesus Christ in Matthew 6:25-33 and the Apostle Paul in Philippians 4:12-13, as well as the author of Hebrews in Hebrews 13:5-6.

 

Contentment is more than an emotional or mental state; it is a way of life! First Corinthians 7 can be summarized with a faithful admonition from Paul to each of us in 1 Corinthians 7:17, “Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him. This is my rule in all the churches.”

 

A “rule” speaks to a way of life. Paul calls Christians to a deep abiding trust in the Lord. We are to find our identity and our provision in Him and not in what we do. Whereas, humanism calls our society to a trust in ourselves and our identity in our ability to provide for our own wants and needs. The prevailing humanistic philosophy of our culture is summarized by the saying, “He who dies with the most toys wins!” This saying gives to the person who adheres to it an inability to feel secure in who they are or content in what they have.

 

Seize the moment and live faithfully to Jesus and the relationships He has entrusted to you. Find your identity in Him and your daily bread as from Him. Being faithful to Jesus in your daily life is the key to experiencing contentment and a simple summary of 1 Corinthians 7. Contentment is experienced when you keep your eyes on Him.

 
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.
 

Have a wonderful day!

 

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 190

Freedom From Binging!

1 Corinthians 6

 

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

Have you spent any quiet time with God lately?

 

To binge is “to indulge in an activity… to excess” (dictionary). This term is popularly used for how many people do media consumption—watching countless hours of shows at a time to complete whole seasons in short order; we call this “binge-watching.”

 

I had someone say to me recently that there is less than 5 seconds between one show ending and the next beginning. Why? Because they know that the average attention span of their younger viewing audience is that of a goldfish, which is about 9 seconds. They want to grab you before something else gets your attention.

 

Paul addresses the entire church in a multi-chapter dialogue about church discipline and the damaging effects of sin, but the principles he give us apply to how we personally live our lives. Listen to one of these principles from 1 Corinthians 6:12, “‘All things are lawful for me,’ but not all things are helpful. ‘All things are lawful for me,’ but I will not be dominated by anything.”

 

Paul addresses food and sex in these verses. Why is Paul dealing with such personal issues in our lives? Because God cares about our sensuality and what is competing for our attention. He cares about what we binge on because, as Paul teaches us in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, our bodies are the Temple of the Holy Spirit.

 

What dominates your mind’s thoughts, your heart’s desires, and your body’s neediness? I encourage you to take 15 minutes today, turn off all gadgets and sounds and just listen to where your mind goes, to what your heart feels, and what your soul yearns for. What is distracting you from focusing on God’s Word and Spirit?

 

Seize the moment and be quiet before God. Invite God into these places. Be free from that which seeks to dominate and distract you from 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 189

With You in Spirit!

1 Corinthians 5

 

Good morning! This is Pastor Jerry Ingalls from New Castle First Baptist Church and today is Tuesday, September 22.

 

I miss seeing so many of the people I used to see on a regular basis a little over six months ago. As social creatures, it is a challenge to maintain the strength of community when our paths are not physically crossing on a normal basis.

 

Paul knew this and wrote a lot of letters to the churches he once gathered with physically. He reached into their world even though he couldn’t be physically present. He stated in 1 Corinthians 5:3, “Even though I am not physically present, I am with you in spirit.”

 

That is the reason why Pastor Ken and I are doing these daily phone calls to you every day for 189 days and counting, and why Delora is sending out so many emails to you from the church. That is our modern day equivalent of attempting the same thing to each of you. We desire to be together—to remain united in the Word and Spirit. We are still a community, even if our paths aren’t physically crossing on a normal basis.

 

Seize the moment and reach out to your church family today and let us know what is going on in your life.

 

As we enter the fall of 2020 and school has begun and many activities are starting to pick back up, I truly hope you will let us know how you are doing. Send us an email or card, text us, write a letter, make a phone call… If you are not returning to the church gathering because you do not yet feel safe, we understand and are as patient as you need us to be. But if there are other reasons you are not returning to the church gathering, we want to know and learn from you what is going on in your life. We want to be with you in spirit until we can be physically present once again.

 
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.
 

Have a wonderful day!

 

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 188

The Aim of Apprenticeship is Love!

1 Corinthians 4

 

Good morning! This is Pastor Jerry Ingalls from New Castle First Baptist Church and today is Monday, September 21.

 

If you want to become a master electrician, you must start as an apprentice. Every student needs a teacher. We all must learn from someone!

 

Paul explains his heart for this truth in 1 Corinthians 4:14-17, “I do not write these things to make you ashamed, but to admonish you as my beloved children. For though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers. For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel. I urge you, then, be imitators of me. That is why I sent you Timothy, my beloved and faithful child in the Lord, to remind you of my ways in Christ, as I teach them everywhere in every church.”

 

Jesus’ call to be a disciple is a call to apprenticeship—to submit one’s life to God by becoming like our Master Teacher Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit.

 

To what aim? LOVE! 

 

But, let’s be honest: we need someone to learn from on how to do this God’s way. Yes, of course, we are called to follow Jesus and not man, agreed, but we need someone to show us what following Jesus looks like. It has always been this way, even from the very beginning of the church.

 

Every apprentice needs a master teacher. Here’s how to choose a good one:

 

  1. LOVE! You will know by their love for God through their personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
  2. LOVE! You will know by their love for the Word of God and how they are humbly learning to obey all that Jesus teaches through the presence and power of the Holy Spirit.
  3. LOVE! You will know by their love for you and people; not just church people, but the people they encounter.

 

Who are you learning from?

 

Seize the moment and faithfully obey the Lord by loving others well  (F.O.L.L.O.W.).

 
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 the Presence of Jesus – Week 2

Truly Follow!

Philippians 2:1-5

 

“Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and compassionate?  Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose.  Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.  Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.                   

Philippians 2:1-5

 

Last week, as Jerry was preaching on knowing the difference between the Omnipresence of God and the manifest presence of God and why we need to gather, the Lord spoke this scripture to me. I knew that I would be sharing today, focusing on responding to the presence of God by following Jesus. As I was reading through the passage, I did not see the word ‘follow’ appear even once, no matter what translation I read (NIV, ESV, NLT, KJV, NASB). So, I was like, “Okay, God…how does this show us how to follow?” I prayed over it , thought about it, even talked with Jerry about it, and then it hit me during the closing prayer of our Elder’s meeting…it could be an acrostic…a group of words who’s first letters make up the word you want to remember. And this is what I felt the Holy Spirit give to me:

            F – Faithfully

            O – Obeying the

            L – Lord by

            L – Loving

            O – Others

            W – Well

 

Faithfully (meaning full of faith, being consistent or resolute, in a manner that is true to the facts or the original) Obeying (submitting to the authority of) the Lord (Jesus Christ, whom you invited into your life to be your Savior), which means your follow His commands by Loving Others Well.

 

If you look back at today’s scriptures, Paul was telling the Philippians there are conditional clauses in being a true follower of Christ. Let’s examine those together!

 

I. The IF Clauses…  if these things are present in our life

 
A. If there is any encouragement
 
~Testimonies of God’s provisions

Imagine how much that would change Facebook and Instagram if we flooded it with testimonies, rather than rants and raves of how we were done wrong that day.

Testimony of God whispering to us and getting us up early in the morning to spend time with Him (a quiet time on the porch, a walk in the woods, a drive down a country road)

~A scripture that has spoken to you

This is why it is important to start the day in God’s Word

Later in the day you find God brings that scripture back to your remembrance and you are either able to share it with someone or it encourages you in that moment.

~Finding a renewed joy in Jesus.
 

      “Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon. Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank him for all he has done.”                                                                                                          

Philippians 4:4-9

 

B. If there is any comfort from His love
 

~Finding peace in the storm

Recognizing that He is the Rock and has us hidden in the cleft of the Rock!

~Feeling the presence of the Holy Spirit wrapping His arms around you, assuring you of God’s presence with His peace and mercy

During a loved one’s surgery

C. If there is any fellowship
 

~Realizing His presence in your day to day situations.

ILLUS:  Sitting on the front porch this past Tuesday after date night and watching the sunset.

~Finding encouragement in gathering together with other believers. There is joy in the gathering, being together with the family, whether it is blood relationship, or through the blood of Jesus relationship
 
D. If your hearts are tender and compassionate

 

~Being moved by the Holy Spirit to do something for someone

Send a card, make a phone call, drop something off on their porch, give them a ‘Pentecostal handshake’

~Giving of your time, treasures or talents without the expectations of getting something in return.

Seeing a need and meeting that need by helping them move, or clean up their yard, or helping put in a hot water heater or buying the food of the person behind you in the drive thru.

 
 

II. THEN prove it…let others and the world see the evidence.

 
A. Agree with each other wholeheartedly
 
~Are we expected to always agree on everything?
 
No! Christians can have differing opinions and disagree with each other about some things. To be like-minded is not suggesting for us to be marching in lockstep. But rather, to be good listeners and hear the heart of the one we are working with so that God will be glorified in all we do! We should not focus on the differences, but instead, find the common ground to see God’s plan fulfilled.

 

“I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.”      

Romans 15:13

 

It is God’s desire to see us not only restored in relationship with Him, but also with one another, bringing healing over past hurts.

 

B. Love one another
 
~Meme from FB:
 
“Some of y’all need to stop running around with a mouth full of scripture and a heart full of hate.” Just like oil and water, these two do not mix!  Love has to be our first response! Yes, the Word of God is a sword, but we need to know who the true enemy is and how we are to use it.

 

“Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”                                                         

John 13:35 (NLT)

 

C. Work together in unity
 

~Henry County 500 met on 8/30/2020. 440 people in person, many more met virtually, for a time of prayer, worship and reconciliation. From this, a group has formed and are planning to continually meet to help bring about peace and unity, not only across racial boundaries, but denominational and non-church groups, agreeing that it not for a political agenda, but for the glory of God.

 

~Opportunity to serve a fellow pastor and his church. Two Sundays of filling the pulpit at First Assembly of God.

 

Charles Stanley wrote:

“The joyful unity of believers in Christ offers a powerful testimony to the world that the gospel of love we preach is real, unique, powerful, and welcoming to whomever will believe in the Lord Jesus. It is only through the gospel that people from every nation, race, language group, and socioeconomic level find forgiveness and peace and can join together in harmony.”

 

III. How are we to do this?

 
A. Don’t be selfish and try to impress

 

“If you are wise and understand God’s ways, prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom.  But if you are bitterly jealous and there is selfish ambition in your heart, don’t cover up the truth with boasting and lying.  For jealousy and selfishness are not God’s kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and demonic.  For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind.”                                                                                                                                            

 James 3:13-16

 
B. Don’t think of only what you want

 

“But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere.”     

 James 3:17

 
C. Don’t forget to consider others ahead of yourself.

 

“Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.”  

Romans 12:10

 

“But you must be careful so that your freedom does not cause others with a weaker conscience to stumble… So, if what I eat causes another believer to sin, I will never eat meat again as long as I live—for I don’t want to cause another believer to stumble.”  

1 Cor. 8:9,13

 

“Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.”  

Ephesians 4:2

 

 

Conclusion:

 

Why? Because of verse 5: “You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.”  This is a call to have attitudes like Christ—loving and accepting one another despite our differences. In fact, God delights in our diversity; he made every person unique. But we should all be like-minded in our obedience to Christ and in our care for others. Our attitude demonstrates the position of our heart. Jesus did not use His position to bully someone into submitting. He did not use His rightful power and authority as a trump card.

 

“But Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers in this world lord it over their people, and officials flaunt their authority over those under them.  But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must become your slave.  For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.” 

Matthew 20:25-28

 

So we are called to truly follow Jesus by faithfully obeying the Lord by loving others well.

 

 

 


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Seize the Moment – Day 186

Come Behold the Wondrous Mystery

  
And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.”

 

This modern day hymn was created thru the collaboration of Matt Boswell, Matt Papa and Michael Bleeker, desiring to bring the church to a place of seeing the beauty and glory of the Lord and the change it brings in our lives.
 
“I remember working on each verse trying our best to fight to communicate the ‘mystery’ of the glory…the paradox of it.”
 
While rich in deep theology, you are brought to a place of making this song your own…asking God to reveal Himself to you as you reflect on each aspect of the wonderful gift that God gave us through His Son, Jesus…His birth, His life, His death and His resurrection. To fully understand that “For God so loved the world, He gave…” and He offered this free gift so that we might be restored to Him and have life and have it more abundantly.

 

Seize the moment today and reflect on these words: 

            What a foretaste of deliverance, How unwavering our hope

            Christ in power resurrected as we will be when He comes.

 

 

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.
 
Text for hymn devotionals:
If you would like to read the words to this hymn click on this link:
https://www.mattpapa.com/come-behold-the-wondrous-mystery-lyrics
If you would like to hear the song on YouTube, lick on this link:
 

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Seize the Moment – Day 185

God’s Fellow Workers!

1 Corinthians 3

 

Good morning! This is Pastor Jerry Ingalls from New Castle First Baptist Church and today is Friday, September 18.

 

Did you know that we are all in this together and not a single one of us is more important than another? We may have different gift, callings, and responsibilities that we must stand before God to be held accountable for, but we each have great potential to make an eternal impact on our communities.

 

Listen to Paul in 1 Corinthians 3:3-9, “For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way? For when one says, ‘I follow Paul,’ and another, ‘I follow Apollos,’ are you not being merely human? What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each. I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor. For we are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s field, God’s building.”

 

This passage is for more than just the leaders of the church—it is for all of us! It is always about God and what God is doing through His people. We are called to be one unified body. We are God’s fellow workers!

 

This means we are called to follow the example of Jesus Christ: Are you sacrificial in your love and forgiveness to others? Are you serving people in the name of Jesus Christ?

 

Seize the moment and walk in step with the Spirit and you will find yourself in step with God’s people. Remember, it is agreement with the Head of the Church—Jesus Christ—that causes the members of the Body to walk in alignment with one another. Regardless of whether or not we agree with one another on a myriad of other issues, let us be God’s fellow workers! For His glory!

 
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 184

The Goodness of the Mystery!

1 Corinthians 2

 

Good morning! This is Pastor Jerry Ingalls from New Castle First Baptist Church and today is Thursday, September 17.

 

Do you like a good mystery? 

 

I enjoy a good suspenseful mystery novel. One of my favorite story tellers is a Christian author named Ted Dekker. The thing about reading a great author is that you learn their style and start finding the meaning behind the mystery; you can more easily see the insights along the way; and find the small details that seem insignificant at first, but you learn to recognize them as keys to another layer of the story that has not yet been revealed.

 

The bottom line is that you start looking for the mystery everywhere because you believe the mystery is good!

 

The Apostle Paul speaks of the mystery of God throughout 1 Corinthians 2. Verse 7 overtly explains, “but we speak God’s wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God predestined before the ages to our glory.”

 

Though there is much mystery in our lives and in what is happening in the world today and how God can possibly use it all for His purposes and to His glory, let me share with you the greatest mystery of all: you can know personally the ultimate Storyteller! The more you spend time getting to know Jesus Christ and listen over and over again to Him, through His Word, the more your mind and heart are opened to the small details that seems insignificant at first, but we learn are keys to another layer of the story that is still unfolding in us and through us. 

 

Seize the moment and spend time with the great Storyteller. His mystery is good so trust Him with your story, so that every detail points to His Story! To God be the Glory!

 

 
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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