Big Hill Christian Church

1150 Goggins Lane, Richmond, KY

Big Hill Bible Studies
28 February 2018
 
"Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you."   -   1 Peter 5:6-7  (NASB)
 
Are there times when you feel like there is no sense in trying to accomplish all you have to do?  You can't seem to please anyone and you just feel like giving up?  There are times we all have, or have had, and will have again when we just feel overwhelmed and totally defeated.  This verse has helped me several times in gaining strength and assurance.  When it feels like no one cares, everyone is judging you and you don't measure up, know that Jesus cares.  He cares because He loves you and wants what is best for you.  He loves you so much He gave His life for you and now fills you with the Holy Spirit - His presence in your heart and in your life to assure you that you are loved.  He knows your pain.  He knows what is going on in your head.  He knows your heart and it's intent.
 
So when those you depend on for your strength, your happiness, and your joy let you down, or attack you, or walk away, just remember He has promised to never forsake or leave you.  He has promised nothing can separate you from His love.  Quit trying to be something you are not and allow your pride to alienate you from God.  Realize you were made in His image and for His purpose.  He will provide in all aspects - He has given you everything you need to be what He created you to be.  Go to the Lord for your strength and direction.    
 
Stand Firm,
Jim
Big Hill Bible Studies
27 February 2018
 
"I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."   -   Philippians 3:14  (NASB)
 
This passage is special to me because I consulted it often during a time of transition.  After 30 years of pursuing the wrong goals, I thankfully committed my life to the Lord.  I left Kentucky Christian College in the mid 70's believing I could serve God and pursue a business career.  Now, I am not saying that isn't possible to do, but it wasn't for me.  God gives us all different talents and abilities, but He does call us to the same thing - a life of service to Him.  I spent too many years not giving Him my all.  I was sidetracked by the world.  I had convinced my self I could live worldly and still be in a relationship with Him.  And I did.  That was not the relationship He had called me to.  I was not using the talents given to me for the purpose He had intended.  I came to the realization of where I was, begged His forgiveness, and committed myself to give Him the time I have left to "press on toward the goal."  I did not know how God was going to use me or what was going to be my path, but I was sure He would lead and provide.  I never looked back.  I questioned, prayed, sought wise counsel, and dove in.  There is no way I could have scripted a better path.  When I would wonder what was going on, I would pull this verse up and find strength.  I hope it may do the same for you when you wonder what He is doing in your life.  Consider where you are.  Is it in His will?  Are you pressing on, or are you being sidetracked.  Consider the call He has placed on your life and realize Jesus will provide all you need to reach it.  Be faithful, be obedient, and don't ever look back.     
 
Stand Firm,
Jim
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Big Hill Bible Studies
26 February 2018
 
Let's call this week "commitment week."  I want to share 5 different verses that bring a picture of commitment to the relationship you have with the Lord.  What I ask of you is to share your favorite verses and what they mean to you and your relationship with Him.  1 Thessalonians tells us, "Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing."   Let's get started.
 
"But for me, to live is Christ and to die is gain."   -   Philippians 1:21  (NASB)
This verse has a special meaning for me.  I fought it for a long time due to my selfishness.  I had believed the "But for me, to live is Christ . . ." part of the verse was no problem.  I believed, "Christ is first in my life because I am living for Him."  My problem was the second part to the verse, " . . .and to die is gain."   You see, I love my life.  I love my wife.  God has truly blessed me with health, Holly, a great family, and a fantastic church.  I have a lot to live for.  When I would think about it, my heart would break to realize I probably wouldn't be there to make sure my kids grow in the Lord and my grandkids become godly parents.  I didn't want to be separated from Holly.  I didn't want to quit preaching at Big Hill.  There is just too much here that I enjoy - I didn't want to have to let go of all my blessings.  But I know that the time will come when I'm done and life here ends.
 
Then one day it hit me.  I'm really not living for God.  I love Him and appreciate all He has given me, but I was living for me.  Where did all these blessings come from?  Not from me.  Who provided my health, wife, family, and church?  Not me.  Who gave me the life I have and all these blessings?  Again - it wasn't me or anything I had done, or even deserved.  Doesn't it make sense that the One Who provides continues to care for and provide for His own?  If He is able to bring about my life and all that it involves, doesn't it hold true that His promises are solid?  The One Who creates also controls.  My initial, selfish, first reading of this passage took on a new meaning to me.  There is no worry here.  The love I have for Holly, our kids, and the church, pales in comparison to His love for us.  So my worries were replaced with faith.  I believe many of us are in the same place I was.  We believe the Lord loves us and blesses us, but we are worried about what lies ahead.  We don't want to give up what we have.  C.S. Lewis compares it to children who "play in the street content to make mud pies while they are promised a day on the beach."  Didn't He say He is preparing a place for us, and we will be with Him.  He will wipe away all our tears and there will be no more sadness, sickness or pain.  That in itself is wonderful.  But He promises more - much, much more.  I believe that's why it's called Heaven.  The separation we will experience is temporary.  The life that is so much better is eternal.  Paul continues in Philippians 1:23 to say that our life with Christ, "is very much better."  I don't how that can be, but I do believe He is able.  So it will be.  
 
Stand Firm,
​Jim​
Big Hill Bible Studies
24 February 2018
 
Do you know someone who is suffering through difficult times?  Perhaps that "someone" is you.  Tomorrow the sermon is going to be "What's the Thorn in Your Flesh?" and the Scripture Text will be 2 Corinthians 12.   Grab your Bible and invite a friend or two that is struggling to come worship with us.  Let's see how Paul handled his "thorn" and what we can do about ours.  Please pray for the service.
 
Also - don't forget tomorrow is our "Pancake Breakfast."  This will take the place of Sunday School at 10am and promises to be a great time of fellowship. See ya for breakfast in the morning!!
  
Stand Firm,
Jim
Big Hill Bible Studies
23 February 2018
 
Yesterday I noticed a couple things that I'd like to share with you.  Most of you know Billy Graham passed away at 99 years of age.  I read that he preached the gospel to more people than any other preacher. 
 
Another headline informed us of the loss of life in Parkland Florida from a high school shooting.  Parents and students were talking with legislators and the President in an attempt to address the need to stop the mass murdering of students.
 
As I read both accounts, a thought occurred to me.  It was said that Billy Graham preached to over 10 million people in his lifetime.  How many of those 10 million accepted Christ from hearing the gospel through him is something we will never know this side of heaven.  I also wondered how many children would still be alive today had the gospel been received by those who heard him when he began his ministry in 1947.  For over 70 years he pleaded with people to accept Christ.  He told them how much God loved them and wanted them to have eternal life with Him.  If we as a nation had accepted Christ, the sanctity of life would be preserved and the children of the 40's and 50's who are now the leaders today would have a different outlook.  The outlook, I believe, would be different because the families would be Christ centered.  This would result in the love of Christ being seen not only in families, but in the schools, and the workplace, and the government, and throughout the nation today. 
 
Here's my bottom line.  If one man can reach 10 million people for the Lord, how many can we touch?  I believe the problems we face today are not a matter of legislation but a matter of the heart.  Our answers don't lie in the hands of man but in the hands of God.  Until we have the love of Christ in our hearts we will continue to face the problems we do.  Until we learn to love our neighbor as ourselves we are destined to follow the selfishness of the world.  Those of you my age remember the pledge to the flag and the morning devotions we participated in each school day.  I see a direct correlation in the Lord being taken out of school and the cheapening of life.  I suggest we pray for the children and the schools.  We stand firm and strong for the Lord in our families and churches.  We take the gospel wherever we go and let others see Christ in us.  We volunteer to help where needed.  We answer God's call on our lives.
 
Billy Graham was quoted as saying he hope he heard he Lord say, "Well done, good and faithful servant."  I pray we hear it too. 
 
Stand Firm,
Jim