Shallowford Free Will Baptist
Thursday, June 21, 2018
For the Glory of Christ Alone
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Pastor's Page

 
                                                                                                                                                                                   June 12, 2018

 

So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

~Psalm 90:12

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                We have reached a milestone in the Miller household this week. We have our first 16 year old child. Confused look? Yeah, we’ve seen it before. I had someone ask me once if I had any children. I said, “Yes, our daughter was born 9 days before we got married.” I loved seeing that perplexed look on as folks try and figure out about the preacher having his first child out of wedlock. It helps (and a look of relief comes across their faces) when I tell them that our first child was born with 4 legs and a tail. Our little girl Chloe will turn 16 years old on June 13th. She has given me and mama such great joy over the years of our marriage. I cannot imagine what life will be like without her. She truly has been the best dog and a real gift from the Lord.

                But she is 16 – not 112! Many folks try and measure the lifespan of a dog by giving them some equivalent of 7 human years for every dog year. But that’s not the case. The truth is that animals just do not live as long as we do. No matter what cutesy math we might use to make ourselves feel better, the age of our little girl is still 16. There is no formula which magically extends her lifespan beyond the actual years ticked off the calendar. And it is the case for us – no matter how much we might try, our lifespan will only be the number of years that we’ve actually live. Cram as much or as little as you want into those years, and they will still only be what they are.

                But let’s assume that Chloe really IS 112 years old. She would only have lived about 2% of the time that the world has been in existence (assuming a creation around 4000 BC). Methuselah, the Bible’s oldest man, died at 969 years old!! But that still is only 16% of the entirety of creation. Our lives are but a blip on the radar of actual time, and in God’s eternal time we don’t even really measure. What is 969 years up against eternity? Not even a grain of sand upon the world’s largest beach. Does that make you feel small and insignificant? Well, to borrow from Louie Giglio, you ARE small...but the time of your life is not insignificant. The time you live here determines what your eternal destiny will be. That makes the life we live pretty significant in my opinion.

                My grandfather Lamar Miller was one of the greatest men I believe that God ever created. He was a hard-working man who loved his family and fought for his country. He could make the best cinnamon rolls of anyone in the world! And his apple fritters were famous in our state denomination. I could not even recall the number of times I’ve spent in the passenger side of his truck going to Williams’ Feed Store to get corn for the hogs. I’ve seen him out there working in the garden or the yards in the heat of the hottest days. PawPaw went through multiple surgeries, but he always endured and came back as strong as ever. There are very few people who has had as much of an earthly impact as he had upon me. When we lost him last year, we lost a great man. There in the Colquitt City cemetery you can go and see the headstone where his tabernacle was laid to rest. It includes the following inscription: March 23, 1931 – November 22, 2017. But it is not the two dates that mean the most; it was the dash in between (the “meantime” living) that leaves us with so many warm and cherished memories. And it is the dash in your inscription that makes all of the difference to your eternal soul and to those you leave behind.

                The Psalmist prays to God: “Lord, teach us to number our days.” Let us not take the time of our sojourn here upon this earth for granted. None of us know when our final day on this earth will be, but all of us ought to be aware that it is coming. And it is closer as I write this entry than it was when I opened my eyes yesterday. Every second marches us closer to the dénouement of our life’s story. And so the Psalmist understands his own frailty in his prayer life. “Help me to know that my days are numbered. Help me to realize how short my life actually is.” We would do well to pray this and live this out every moment we have left. You will not always have the chance to do and say what you have the chance to do and say right now. Why not take advantage of the moment? You’re not guaranteed that you will be around tomorrow to receive God’s grace. Why not seize the day today and turn to Him? Every beat of our heart brings us a step closer to our eternal destiny. They flesh out the hash mark that divides our birth from our death. Let today be the best day that you can make it! Do something that will bring a smile to people’s faces when they remember you.

                Why ought we number our days? So that we might gain a heart of wisdom. Wisdom is not simply intellect. Instead it is the application of God’s revealed principles for living to the everyday activities of our lives. Wisdom is living out the commands of God in every relationship, in every venue, in every deed, and in every thought. Why is that important? Because living for God NOW means that we will secure our eternal peace with Him FOREVER! There can be no greater incentive for holiness and righteousness than that. I know it is self-centered, but it is one of the few times I believe that sentiment is allowable. I really, really don’t want to go to Hell! So, Lord, teach me to live in such a way that I gain a heart of wisdom.

                But there is more than eternity, though that is certainly the main thing. Living out God’s wise principles in daily walk with Him helps to establish and solidify our relationships. God tells us how to be a better parent, how to act as children, how be a better spouse, how to be a better worker, how to interact with wealth, how to treat animals and nature, how to avoid dangers, how to enjoy His creation…and so, so many more things. When you and I live out God’s principles each day, there is an inescapable attraction to your life. People might not understand everything that you do, but they will be drawn to you. And what’s even better, they will be drawn to the Lord through you. Living life in obedience to God’s commands is a life that is blessed (albeit not always easy), happy, and at peace. What more could you ever hope for or aspire to than that?

                So what will you do with the day God has given you today? Will you live for Him and bless the lives of those around you? Or will you take the day for granted and live for yourself? If the time of your departure were at hand, what would the content of your “meantime” living be? What will you be most known for? And most importantly where would you spend your eternity? These are questions that we must ask now…before it is too late. It is not my intent to make you feel dread about the uncertainty of your future. Fear holds no dominion over a life that is lived for the Lord. Instead, I want to encourage you to live today as if it were your last. I encourage you to make those choices and to have those conversations. I encourage lots of hugs and laughs and “I love yous” both in word and in gesture. You will never regret living for the Lord. There are fruits of blessings that your heart will never contain. Give this day, and every day, to Him!

                Blessings!

 

 

~Bro. Benjamin

 

SCRIPTURE CHALLENGE

What does the Bible say is the average lifespan of a man?


 

Previous Postings                                                                  This Week's Sermons
June 19
June 12
June 5                                                                                               June 17 (AM)
May 22                                                                                 "To the Least of These - Joseph"
May 15                                                                                           Matthew 1:18-25
May 8                                                                                      
May 1                                                                                                    

April 24                                                                                
April 17                                                                                                                            
April 10                                                                                      
March 27                                                                                         June 13 (WED)
March 20                                                                                          Acts 11:15-26
March 14                                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
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If you need a copy of any sermon from the past, email Bro. Benjamin with the date and title of the message listed below.
We will be happy to send you a CD of the sermon. Additionally sermons are available through the "Multimedia" Page


June 10 (AM) "To the Least of These: Mary"--Luke 1:26-38
June 10 (PM) "Leading Captivity Captive"--Ephesians 4:7-10
June 3 (AM) "With Us in the Fires"--Daniel 3:13-30
June 3 (PM) "One in Christ"--Ephesians 4:1-6
 
May 20 (AM) "New Testament Christians"--1 John 2:12-17 - Rev. Ronald Wallace
May 20 (AM) "More Than We Could Ever Imagine"--Ephesians 3:20-21
May 13 (AM) "Moms After God's Own Heart"--Hosea 11:1-11
May 6 (AM) "Great Grace for the Least of These"--Matthew 9:9-13
May 6 (PM) "Becoming the Church"--Ephesians 3:14-19

April 29 (AM) "When You're Tempted to Worry"--Psalm 37:1-9
April 22 (AM) "Can You See His Face?"--Luke 22:54-62
April 22 (PM) "Grace Is Worth It All!"--Ephesians 3:8-13
April 15 (AM) "What's It Really About?"--Mark 3:1-6
April 15 (PM) "The Way Is Open!"--Ephesians 3:1-7
April 8 (AM) "Is Salvation Fair?"--Matthew 20:1-16
April 8 (PM) "The Greatest in the Kingdom"--Matthew 20:20-28
April 1 (AM) "The Resurrection & the Life"--John 11:1-44
April 1 (PM) "Today in Paradise"--Luke 23:39-43
 
March 25 (AM) "It Is Finished"--John 19:29-30
March 18 (AM)
"Father, Forgive Them"--Luke 23:32-38
March 18 (PM) "I Thirst"--John 19:28-29
March 11 (AM)
"Forsaken for Us"--Mark 15:34
March 11 (PM)
"We Are the Church"--Ephesians 19-22
March 4 (AM) "If It Be Possible..."--Matthew 26:36-47
March 4 (PM) "The Peace of Christ"--Ephesians 2:14-18

February 25 (PM) "Remember Who You Were"--Ephesians 2:11-13
February 11 (AM) "Faith Is a Family Affair"--Deuteronomy 6:1-9
February 11 (PM) "There Are NO Inactive Church Members"--Ephesians 2:8-10
February 4 (AM) "The Glory of Christ"--Matthew 17:1-8
February 4 (PM) "Prepositional Christianity"--Ephesians 2:8-10
 
January 28 (AM) "Lord of All Creation"--Psalm 102:25-28
January 28 (PM) "Great Reasons to Be Thankful"--Ephesians 2:1-7
January 21 (AM) "I See the Lord"--Isaiah 6:1-6
January 21 (PM) "All in All"--Ephesians 1:22-23
January 14 (AM) "Let's Make 2018 All About Him"--Proverbs 3:5-6
January 14 (PM) "What Paul Prays For, Part 2"--Ephesians 1:15-21
January 7 (AM) "Time to Start Over"--2 Corinthians 5:14-21
January 7 (PM) "What Paul Prays For"--Ephesians 1:15-21
 
Click here for a list of available sermons from 2017!
Click
here for a list of available sermons from 2016!
Click
here for a list of available sermons from 2015!
Click here for a list of available sermons from 2014!

Click here for a list of available sermons from 2013!
Click
here for a list of available sermons from 2012!
Click
here for a list of available sermons from 2011! 

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About Our Pastor
 
 
Bro. Benjamin Miller began his ministry at Shallowford Free Will Baptist Church in August, 2011. Prior to pastoring our church, Bro. Benjamin pastored at New Home FWB in Colquitt, GA. He received his B.A. in History from Welch College (formerly Free Will Baptist Bible College) in Nashville, TN. He then received his M.A. in Biblical Studies from Lipscomb University, a Church of Christ graduate school in Nashville. Bro. Benjamin enjoys spending time with his family, reading, and fellowshipping with the people of the church. He is a HUGE Braves fan! Our pastor has dedicated himself to becoming a student of the Word and to preaching the Word with passion, integrity, and real-life applications.
 
Bro. Benjamin married Jara in June 2002. She is a special educator at Mount Bethel Elementary School here in Marietta. She is a tremendous part of his life and quite active in our church. 
 
They had their first son, Thomas, in June 2008. Thomas was born prematurely, and is a testimony to God's amazing grace and provision. He is now a 3rd grader, and does well in school. His greatest ability is to reach out to those in his class in concern and in love.
 
Bro. Benjamin and Sis. Jara welcomed Nathanael in March, 2014. His name means "given by God" and he is absolute reminder of God's ability to bless individuals beyond measure.
 
We hope you'll take the opportunity to get to know our pastoral family!