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Back in November of 2007, Janjay (left) and her sister Tinsey gave their lives to Jesus. Ever since then, like all of Jesus’ true disciples, they have both been sharing Jesus with their friends.
This year Janjay invited her friend Sergio to church. There he met Pastor Roly who not only studied with Sergio but became his good friend. Because Janajay and Pastor Roly both shared God’s love with Sergio, he fell in love with Jesus and gave his life to Jesus in baptism today.
Sergio had declared years ago that he would only be baptized by a fellow Cuban, and only when he feared death. Sadly, this last year Sergio lost his father, and the sting of death led him to look into Jesus more intently. Also when he met Pastor Roly he discovered he was a fellow Cuban! Jesus made it so Sergio would be baptized exactly the way he said he would do it. It was not an easy road, but it is rewarding for Sergio to now be in the family of God and have the hope of the resurrection in Christ!
Or have you forgotten that when we were joined with Christ Jesus in baptism, we joined him in his death?For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives.
Since we have been united with him in his death, we will also be raised to life as he was. We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin. And since we died with Christ, we know we will also live with him. We are sure of this because Christ was raised from the dead, and he will never die again. Death no longer has any power over him.When he died, he died once to break the power of sin. But now that he lives, he lives for the glory of God. So you also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus. Romans 6:3-11 NLT
In this picture Isael (right) is praying with his friend William during a communion/footwashing ceremony we had at Tampa Adventist Academy. Years ago I began an after school Bible study at TAA, for whoever wanted to come, and Isael faithfully came for several years. Later he was in my 5th and 6th grade Bible class, where he also learned the Seventh-day Adventist fundamental beliefs, and how to give a chain referenced Bible study so he could share the hope we have in Jesus with his friends.
A couple of weeks ago, when I was at Tampa First for Alex’s baptism, Isael approached me and asked if he could be baptized in a couple of weeks.
Today I was proud to present Isael his own baptism certificate, which also included all of the Bible teachings we had been studying together for several years. Isael writes,
The reason I want to be baptized is because I know and understand the life that God wants for me. When you get baptized its like starting a new life Christ, and that’s what I want to do today.
For you were buried with Christ when you were baptized. And with him you were raised to new life because you trusted the mighty power of God, who raised Christ from the dead. Colossians 2:12 NLT
Thank you for supporting my ministry with your tax deductible contributions, which allow me to continue bringing people to Jesus so they can be trained and equipped to bring people to Jesus as well!
Plant City SDA Church
Bible Worker Fund
PO Box 5379
Plant City, FL
I am podcasting today from the beautiful Tampa Bay area
Their only suggestion was that we keep on helping the poor, which I have always been eager to do. Galatians 2:10 NLT
Do you remember Ingathering? I wish we still did this door to door, where we would collect donations for our community services, going door to door around Christmas time. Several times as a child, while ingathering, we would mention, “the poor” and the people we were talking to would joke, “Well I am poor. Will you help me?” As this week’s lesson talks about helping the poor, it may be a good idea to ask ourselves if we are poor or rich?
King David heard a story about oppression and became very angry about it, until Nathan told him, “You are that man!” Like King David, I have to admit, for years I thought I was among the poor that God’s justice would vindicate. After all, I have lost money to dishonest and greedy people, and I compared myself to those who had more. Then I realized there are many who consider me rich! With almost 7 billion people on the planet, there are only 1 billion cars. 1 This does not mean that 1 out of 7 people owns a car, because there are many people and companies who own many cars, meaning there are over 6 billion people who do not own a car. So if you own a car, even if its a 1980 Ford Pinto, you have something that over 6 billion earthlings do not have.
The other night when you got sick in the middle of the night and had to run to the toilet down the hall, you may not have realized what a luxury that midnight run was. Over two billion people don’t have a toilet to run to in the middle of the night. 2 So their experience with sickness may be a little different than yours. The other night I got a headache and my bones became a little achy, so I took a hot bath and presto! Headache disappeared and my bones felt brand new. Again, a hot bath would not be an option for billions of people. What a luxury!
I now realize when the Bible talks about the poor and rich, I am one of the rich people. That means when I read the passage below, I need to read it, thinking of myself as one of the rich people, instead of considering myself one of the poor people.
Look here, you rich people: Weep and groan with anguish because of all the terrible troubles ahead of you. Your wealth is rotting away, and your fine clothes are moth-eaten rags. Your gold and silver are corroded. The very wealth you were counting on will eat away your flesh like fire. This corroded treasure you have hoarded will testify against you on the day of judgment. For listen! Hear the cries of the field workers whom you have cheated of their pay. The cries of those who harvest your fields have reached the ears of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. You have spent your years on earth in luxury, satisfying your every desire. You have fattened yourselves for the day of slaughter. James 5:1-5 NLT
But how could I be holding back the wages of the workers in the field? I don’t even own a field. How about the gospel workers in God’s field? Do I return an honest tithe and offering? If not, then I am cheating the field workers of their wages just like James says. Do I give an honest tip to the waitress, barber, or the boy who carried my grocery bags to the car? If not, I am the cheater James is talking to. I could go on, but I think you get the point.
Withholding money which rightfully belongs to others is not the only form of oppression. How about when we snub someone from our social circle because they don’t conform to our beliefs or opinions? That is emotional oppression! How about when we sneer at the kid who just let the ball go in the other goal, costing our kid’s team the game? That’s emotional oppression. So you don’t have to be a millionaire to be oppressive.
No matter what my losses in life have been, I am still the rich person James is warning in James 5.
If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else? Romans 8:31-32 NLT
If I give my bread to someone who never pays me back that is okay. My Father will give me all the bread I need. If I love someone who never loves me back, that is okay. My Father gives me all the love I need. Whenever the Bible gives warnings to the rich, I know those warnings are for me personally. Nathan woke David up by saying, “You are that man!” When I read James 5 the Holy Spirit woke me up by saying, “You are that man!
Today at the Plant City Seventh-day Adventist Church, David gave all of Himself to Jesus, because Jesus gave all of Himself for David! Yesterday was David’s 12th birthday, and today was his spiritual birthday.
David (left, front row) has already been a big part of the Plant City SDA Church family. He is very active in Pathfinders, and always makes things fun for everybody. He is an ambassador for the church, as he is very welcoming and friendly when we are going door to door in the neighborhood or meeting at the church. David also regularly attends our Tuesday night Bible studies. He attended my baptism class a while back where we went over all of the Seventh-day Adventist beliefs in light of the cross. David had been contemplating baptism for some time, and decided to be baptized the day after his 12th birthday.
For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes. There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus. And now that you belong to Christ, you are the true children of Abraham. You are his heirs, and God’s promise to Abraham belongs to you. Galatians 3:26-29 NLT
Please don’t let another day go by before you give yourself to Jesus, as He gave all of Himself for you! I would love to help you make this decision. You may reach me at PlantCitySDAChurch@Gmail.com
Listen to this episode of my podcast, In Light of The Cross, by William Earnhardt, Forgiveness is not Saying it is Okay https://anchor.fm/william-earnhardt/episodes/Forgiveness-is-not-Saying-it-is-Okay-e2fufo
October 20, 2018 was a very special Sabbath at the Tampa First Seventh-day Adventist Church, as Alex gave all of himself in baptism to the one who gave all of Himself for him. Alex requested baptism studies as he wants to make God the foundation of the new home he will beginning soon with his fiancee Isalnde.
Alex and I enjoyed studying together at the church every Wednesday, though a couple of times my evenings were so packed with Bible study appointments, that Alex allowed me to eat by meeting me at Panera Bread or Olive Garden for our Bible study. Alex would often read ahead in the studies so he would be prepared with good questions and comments to stimulate our study of God’s Word.
Baptism is a commitment to follow in Jesus’ footsteps, and being committed to His Words for the long run.
Or have you forgotten that when we were joined with Christ Jesus in baptism, we joined him in his death? For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives. Since we have been united with him in his death, we will also be raised to life as he was. We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin. And since we died with Christ, we know we will also live with him. Romans 6:3-8 NLT
I presented Alex his baptism certificate, which contains the 28 fundamental beliefs of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
Don’t let another day go by without making your decision to give your life to Jesus, Who gave His life for you! He loves you so much! I would love to hear from you at PlantCitySDAChurch@Gmail.com
Thank you for supporting my ministry so I can keep leading people to Jesus!
P.O. Box 5379
Plant City, Fl 33563