Larry’s Lines. . . .
By Larry Murphy, Executive Director
My favorite Bible story, after John 3:16, is Mark 2:1-12, the story of the paralytic. I have a sermon entitled “Jesus in the House” dealing with this miracle. I and thousands of other preachers use this title and it is not original to any of us. The sermons may be different but the title is from someone else.
In my sermon I deal with all the details of that story and how it applies to our Christian life. I have two favorite statements in the story. The first is in verse 5 when Jesus saw the faith of the four men lowering their friend down through the roof and He said to the paralytic, “Son, thy sins be forgiven.” My second favorite statement is in verse 12 when the people saw Jesus forgive the paralytic, rebuke the scribes, then heal the man, they said, in West Tennessee vernacular, “We ain’t never seen anything like this before.”
Now we know that the entire story is all about Jesus and His impact on the four friends who brought the paralytic to Him, Jesus saving and healing powers, and how Jesus can change the outlook of an entire crowd. I still have to think, though, of myself and ask if Jesus has seen my faith as he did of the four in verse 5 and, because of my faith, has He changed, healed or saved anyone?
A week or two past I was in New England on a vision/prayer trip with four others from our association. We met with New England Baptist Convention Strategist Tim Buehner and seven of the finest church planters I have ever been around. As we prayed with them and heard about their work, I wondered in New England was my faith strong enough to help them in their work. Did Jesus see anything in me to help in His Kingdom work?
In an area of the United States that was the original Bible belt, 97 percent have no spiritual relationship with Christ. When the believers of New England try to share the gospel with others, many times they are greeted by the comment, “I’m all set.” In other words , “I don’t need to talk with you about spiritual things.”
For God’s glory, I so much want to have that kind of faith that people see Him through me, and as they see that faith and understand that it is all Him and not me, they would realize that without Him they are not “all set!” Wouldn’t it be great to be used of God in such a way that when He was finished with us that others said, “We’ve never seen anything like that.” This is my prayer for New England.
I hope you will pray for Rhone Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, Maryland, New Hampshire and all the church planters in these six states. Maybe I could come and share with your church how you could play a part in reaching the lost of this famous historical part of our country. Let me encourage you, as I also speak to myself, that our faith has to be first strong here in West Tennessee before we can be effective some other place.
I am praying that here and in New England our faith will be seen and great things of God will take place, and we will see people saved, baptized, on the road to discipleship, churches revitalized, families and marriages saved and so much more. So much so that we all will say, “We ain’t never seen anything like this before!
Tuesday, May 16
First Baptist Church, Bemis
Reaching Kids in Your Zip is designed to equip church staff and volunteers with strategies for reaching unchurched kids and family members in their community. This training will benefit all children’s leaders regardless of the curriculum used.
Training topics include:
- Sharing the Gospel with Kids and Unchurched Family Members
- Starting a Backyard Kids Club
- Continuing the Connection: Follow-up strategies for unchurched families discovered through evangelistic outreach opportunities
Contact Vicki Hulsey (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.
Crockett County High School
Wednesday, May 17
Crockett County High School
Baptist Association Emphasis Week
Association Office Closed
The association office will be closed on Monday, May 29, to observe Memorial Day.
TENNESSEE TOUR with FRANKLIN GRAHAM
Friday, May 19 • 7:30 p.m.
Jackson Fairgrounds Park
800 S. Highland Avenue, Jackson, TN
Join Franklin Graham as he shares the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Featuring Jeremy Camp, special guests, fireworks, and more.
Chickasaw State Park Ministry
Each year from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend, churches from our association volunteer to conduct a Sunday morning worship service at Chickasaw State Park for campers. This is a wonderful opportunity for your Men’s Ministry, youth group, or individual laypeople to share Christ outside the walls of the church. Many campers return year after year, expressing their appreciation for this ministry. If your church is interested in leading a worship service at the park, call the associational office at 731-668-5690 or e-mail Katrina Porch at email@example.com.