Church Activity

Smith strikes a cord with “Until I See You Again”

The biggest mistake we make in life is taking one another for granted.

Every day brings the same routine. Wake, work, eat, play, sleep. We tend to do so with the same people in our lives every day, from the family that lives beneath the roof of our house, to the friends we work with at the office.

We build relationships, bonds, and share common backgrounds which build our acquaintances into lifelong friendships. Again, we wake, work, eat, play, sleep. This process continues indefinitely, to the point that our ongoing assumption is that tomorrow we will once again wake, work, eat, and play with those we love most.

If we have something that needs to be done, or that needs to be said, we often think that we can say or do what needs to be done tomorrow. Then, our lives are interrupted. The Lord suddenly calls one of our loved ones home, and suddenly we are reminded of all the things we wish we had said, we wish we had done, and though we know that our loved one is in the presence of Christ, and we will soon be reunited with them, we still have that void left in our lives by their absence. Such is Godly sorrow.

It’s that experience that Heather Smith taps into in her song, “Until I See You Again.” The song begins by reaching out to her friend, whom she dearly misses, then progresses through a series of memories with that friend, before offering a ray of hope at the end of the chorus, saying, “Now the hardest part’s not saying, ‘goodbye.’ It’s how long until I see you again.” Indeed the separation hurts, but the hope is in the reunion at the end.

Anyone who has experienced a loss like this will be able to connect with the song, and also draw comfort, knowing that we will be reunited with those we love someday.

If you live close to Early, TX, you can hear Heather sing in person at 6 p.m. Saturday, May 11, 2019, at our worship center at 599 Sunrise Dr. Admission is free.

Life Point Welcomes ICMA Award-Nominated Heather Smith, and Russell Smith, in Concert May 11

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Life Point Baptist Church is excited to welcome ICMA Artist Heather Smith, in concert at 6 p.m. Saturday, May 11, at 599 Sunrise Drive in Early. Smith’s breakout single, “Lion of Judah” rocketed up the Christian Country charts in 2018, and her latest single, “This is My Prayer, Lord” has cracked the Top-100 at #65.

Expect a night of blessings and encouragement as Heather sings her hits, songs written from her own personal experiences, and as she shares her experiences with the Lord. Her husband Russell will also share his incredible testimony.

Admission is free, and we won’t even collect an offering. This night is purely for your encouragement, enjoyment, and blessing. Come and be inspired.

New Venue Announced for Annual Sunrise Service

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The Early Visitors and Event Center will be the site of the 8th Annual Community Sunrise Service on Easter Sunday, Pastor Leland Acker announced Monday via Facebook. Life Point Baptist Church first sponsored the Community Sunrise Service in 2011. The service, which features Gospel singing, and preaching, will begin at 7 a.m. Sunday, April 21, at the newly built Early Visitors and Event Center. The entire Early and Brownwood communities are invited.

The Early Visitors and Event Center is located on Garmon Drive (Hwy 84/183 East), at the corner of Live Oak Rd., in Early. The Sunrise Service will be held in the courtyard in the back of the facility (pictured above). The sun will rise to the left of the pavilion, allowing those in attendance to experience the sunrise on the Lord’s day. The event center building will also be open that day, allowing access to restroom facility, and shelter from inclement weather.

Come join us for a moving worship experience, celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ on Easter Sunday. Enjoy good Gospel singing, and a Gospel message from Pastor Acker.

For a map to the Early Visitors and Event Center, click here.

Contact us for more information:

Let’s Go Fishing

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Photo by Nick Santarone on Pexels.com

If I were to invite you to go fishing with me, what would you expect?

You would probably expect a relaxing afternoon on the local lake in a small boat, holding a fishing pole, and making casual conversation while waiting for the fish to bite. And why wouldn’t you? Living in America, all we’ve seen of fishing is canes, poles, lines, tackle and bait. Fishing in America is recreation. (Unless, of course, you work on a shrimp boat on the Gulf Coast.)

So, when we read that Jesus told His disciples that He would make them “fishers of men,” we tend to envision fishing poles, spoon lures and minnows.

In the Bible, Peter was a fisherman. Popular tradition holds that he was an expert fisherman, and had honed his craft well, building a great fishing business that he walked away from upon becoming a disciple of Jesus. However, if you were to travel back in time, and hand Peter a rod and reel, he would look at you like you were crazy. Peter had never seen such.

Fishing for Peter, and the other disciples so employed before following Jesus, involved the casting of nets in order to draw in as many fish as possible. This was not recreation to them, this was survival. It was how they gathered food, not only for their families, but also to sell for necessary provisions. Fishing was work. Fishing was business. Fishing was absolutely necessary for survival.

The casting of nets not only enabled Peter and his colleagues the ability to draw out as many fish as possible, but it also required a team effort. You never see the disciples fishing alone. In fact, in many cases, it took two boats to cast and draw a net. There are fish in that sea. We need the food. Therefore, we are going to draw out as many as we can.

With the modern American approach to fishing involving a rod and reel, many get the wrong idea when Jesus said, “Come, and I will make you fishers of men.” Some church leaders have taught that this means that the church should use bait to lure unsuspecting sinners in the door, then hit them with the surprise Gospel. Others have advocated that this means “finding the right fishing hole.” As a result, Christianity’s evangelistic efforts have suffered. As a whole, Christianity is not reaching as many as it has in the past, and new converts are not being properly discipled.

However, if we apply the imagery of casting a net, and drawing it back out of the water, we get a more beautiful picture of what Christ was referring to when He called His disciples to be “fishers of men.” Instead of targeting outreach to certain “fishing holes,” or trying to find the right “bait,” we should instead cast a wide “net,” reaching as many people as possible, regardless of location, demographic, or socioeconomic status.

In essence, our evangelistic efforts should be an all-out effort to reach every individual in our communities. This is accomplished when the membership of the church takes on the responsibility of personal evangelism, and when the church openly promotes, propagates and teaches the Gospel. When the church commits itself to its message, the Gospel, and relentlessly communicates that message, people will be reached and lives will be changed.

The mission of Life Point Baptist Church is to cast as wide of a net as possible, reaching as many as possible with the Gospel. This we will do, if we follow the example of the disciples, and follow Jesus as we continue to learn from Him.

The Concept of Prayer Service

48423434_608600369559694_43192085209153536_o (1)Scripture says that “The effectual fervent prayers of a righteous man availeth much.” At Life Point Baptist Church, we not only believe that prayer changes lives, heals the sick, and transforms us as believers, we have seen it happen. Over the past five years, we have seen two cancer patients turn up cancer free after intense prayer was lifted up on their behalf. These are healings that can only be explained by God’s miraculous response. This is not that televangelist “lay hands on the sick” and heal, “only if they have healing faith” approach. There is no show here. There are no theatrics. Just simple, sincere prayer, and quietly trusting God to answer.

Over the past few years, we have seen a man who was in his final days recover and return home. We have seen patients with failing kidneys see their kidney function restored. In each of these cases, the patients sought medical care as we prayed. We trust doctors, too. In each case, healing occurred for which the doctor had little explanation.

Healing does not occur in all cases. Sometimes God, in His divine will, simply tells us, “My grace is sufficient for you.”

We have seen God provide for financial needs. And most importantly, we have seen God move in the lives of our loved ones. We have seen lives changed, souls saved, faith made complete.

For these reasons, and because scripture commands us, we pray.

Wednesday nights, Life Point meets at 6 p.m. for Prayer Service. We begin with a hymn, a congregational prayer, a message from the Bible, then we lift up our prayer requests, and then we all pray, simultaneously, individually, before reuniting in prayer to close out the service. The entire service lasts less than an hour.

So if you have a need in your life, one for which you want God to intervene on your behalf, pray. And, if you be so inclined, some join us, that we may pray with you. Then, we will all trust God together for the answer.

May God bless you. See you Wednesday.

Life Point to host Community Sunrise Service on Easter Sunday

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The 6th Annual Community Easter Sunrise Service will be held at 7 a.m. Sunday, April 1, at the Margaret and Stuart Coleman Plaza at the Depot Center, which is located next to the Adams Street Community Center in Downtown Brownwood.

Life Point Baptist Church (formerly Grace Pointe Missionary Baptist Church) has hosted the Easter Sunrise Service since 2011.

“The Community Easter Sunrise Service began when our church saw the need for a central place for Christians to come together and celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ on Easter Sunday,” said Pastor Leland Acker. “There is just something special about being outdoors as the sun rises on the day that we celebrate the Lord’s resurrection. It gives you the feeling of a new day, a new hope, and blesses you with a unique experience that can’t really be described.”

Acker said the resurrection is the foundational doctrine of Christianity.

“Christianity is built on the idea of redemption, new life, and eternal life,” Acker said. “The Bible teaches that we have all gone astray, we have all lost our way, and we have all sinned against God. Sin leads to destruction and eternal condemnation, but Jesus Christ loved us so much that He gave His life on the cross, taking the divine consequences of our sin upon Himself.

“The Bible teaches that He was buried, but that He rose again the third day, where He conquered death, thus opening the gates of Heaven so that all that repent and believe in Him will be given eternal life.”

Acker went on to say that because Christ rose from the grave, He lives, is seated at the right hand of the throne of God, and advocates for His believers daily.

Acker will bring a special message at the Community Easter Sunrise Service at 7 a.m. Sunday, April 1. Bro. Waymon Childress will lead the group in Gospel singing as the sun rises.

Life Point Baptist Church was founded in 2008 in Brownwood, Texas. The church currently meets for Sunday School at 10 am every Sunday, and morning worship at 11 am every Sunday, at the Early Small Business Incubator Facility (also known as the Early Chamber of Commerce) at 104 E. Industrial Dr. in Early. Life Point’s worship center is being built on Sunrise Drive in Early, with completion expected this summer. 

Smiling through the pain

1554446_10202778076678833_64181163_nLet’s be real. Sometimes life just stinks. Pain is real. Problems continue to pile up, and you get to the point where you are sick and tired of being sick and tired.

When life stinks, it can be hard to find comfort. No one understands your pain, and the trite little phrases like “too blessed to be stressed” only compound the agony. How are you supposed to just “speak victory” into your child’s cancer diagnosis, your wife’s passing, or the foreclosure of your home.

Yet, society expects us to just put on a smile and fake it through the day. “Fake it till you make it.” However, when the day ends, you’re right back at home, face to face with your problems.

Pain and suffering, grief and bereavement are not foreign to the Christian experience. In fact they are a real part of the Christian’s life. Christians face problems, feel pain, and experience periods of hopelessness. You’re human.

When the Apostle Peter authored his first epistle, he was looking at thousands of Christians who had been displaced by severe persecution. Roman Emperor Nero had allegedly set Rome on fire, then blamed Christians for the devastation before burning many of them alive.

He made sport of Christians by drafting them to be gladiators. He fed them to the lions. He executed them in ways he found entertaining. Imagine having your wife kidnapped from your home, and brutally murdered by being tied to the horns of a bull for the entertainment of Roman nobility. This is what 1st Century Christians faced.

Can you imagine the pain and grief that one would naturally experience under those circumstances.

Peter, under inspiration of the Holy Spirit, could not sit idly by and just watch this persecution happen. And he wasn’t in a position to mount a successful civil rights movement. The best Peter could offer would be a word from the Lord to the persecuted saints. Thus, we have 1 Peter.

In reading 1 Peter, you will notice that he directs your attention away from the things happening in the world, and toward the coming Kingdom of God. His words of hope center around the fact that Christians have been redeemed by God, and He is coming to put an end to the suffering and usher in an eternity of peace and prosperity. If you know Jesus as your savior, you will see that day, regardless of what happens here. If you die, Christ will resurrect you from the dead so that you will see that day.

In chapter 1, Peter reminds us of how God chose us for this redemption, and how He purchased this salvation through Christ dying on the cross. He then encourages us to stay faithful and to trust the Lord even through those hard times. In Chapter 2, he points out how Christ suffered for us, pointing out that God isn’t allowing us to go through anything He Himself hasn’t endured.

There are no magic words to make the pain go away. What scripture does accomplish is reminding us of what God has done for us, giving us a purpose for our experience, and encouraging us to make a difference in the world around us.

If you would like to know more, join us for Bible study Wednesdays at 6 p.m. at our office at the Early Chamber of Commerce, 104 E Industrial Dr., Early, TX 76802. If you’re unable to make it, consider reading 1 Peter on your own. It would make a good devotional for those experiencing hard times.

Thrice Denied

Matthew 26:69-75 records Peter’s denial of Jesus Christ before two young women and a group of people who stood outside the house where Jesus stood trial before the chief priests and scribes of Israel.

It’s easy to be critical of Peter for this sin against the Lord, and his spiritual weakness in this unimaginable moment. After all, Peter had walked and talked with Jesus for more than three years, had seen first-hand the miracles Christ performed, and had even seen Jesus in His glorified state talking with Moses and Elijah. Jesus had even warned him, and foretold this moment.

Yet, here stood Peter, the only disciple willing to take up arms to defend Jesus, huddling with the masses outside the house where Jesus stood trial, trying to blend in. Here stood Peter, denying that he even knew Jesus.

It’s easy to criticize Peter for this, being 2,000 years removed from the arrest, trials, and crucifixion of Christ. It’s easy to wonder how a man who personally witnessed Jesus do so much could suddenly turn his back to the Lord. It’s easy, because we get to review this incident 2,000 years later, in the comfort of climate controlled offices, studies, living rooms and bedrooms, while looking at the screens of our laptops, smart phones and tablets.

I tend to have compassion on Peter, mainly because I see a lot of myself in Peter. He was rash, prone to sudden decisions and outbursts, and he tended to live in the “here and now.” Peter “lived in the real world” and often placed practicality over spirituality. If I am to be honest, I am guilty of the same things.

When Peter stood outside as they put Jesus on trial, no doubt he was scared, disillusioned, and confused. So, as he tried to make sense of things, people inquired about Jesus, and in order to buy peace so he could return to his thoughts, he denied Christ.

Peter could’ve spoke up, could’ve preached the Gospel, could’ve told the people that what they were about to witness would be their salvation, but he didn’t. Out of convenience and fear, he remained silent, and denied Christ.

Are we ever guilty of the same thing? Do we ever fail to speak up for Christ out of convenience or fear? Do we ever give blessing to things the Lord wouldn’t bless, all to buy peace or favor? Do we ever deny Christ by our words or actions?

The good news for us, and for Peter, is that the Lord forgives and offers redemption. Just as Peter denied Christ three times, Jesus offered Peter three opportunities to proclaim his love for the Lord in John 21. Just as we often fail to speak up for the Lord, or to represent Him well, He often gives us second and third chances to do just that- to speak and to represent for Him.

Sunday, we’ll study this passage during morning worship. Sunday School at 10, morning worship at 11, and we meet at the Early Chamber of Commerce, 104 E. Industrial, Early, TX 76802.

Your Personal Invitation to Sunrise Service

 

The Community Sunrise Service is just that… a community-wide Easter Sunrise Service. If your church is not holding a sunrise service, and you still want to be blessed by this beautiful tradition, then please come worship with us.

The Community Sunrise Service will be at 7 a.m. Sunday, April 16, at the Depot Pavilion (where the above video was filmed) in downtown Brownwood. Come, and be blessed.

If There Is No Resurrection, Then Why Bother?

That is the point of 1 Corinthians 15, as written by the Apostle Paul under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Paul wrote:

But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. (1 Corinthians 15:13-20)

The Apostle Paul was addressing a skeptical doctrine that was infiltrating the Corinthian church that there is no resurrection of the dead. In essence, the doctrine taught that, once you are dead, then you return to dust, never to rise again.

Paul’s objection to this heresy addressed the following key points:

  1. If there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. This leads to the logical conclusion…
  2. If Christ is not risen, then Christianity is pointless. (Paul used the word, “vain,” meaning empty.) The premise of the Christian faith is that Christ rescued us from the judgment of God by taking that judgment upon Himself, dying on the cross, and then rising again to new life, conquering the grave and making eternal salvation possible to all those who believe.
    1. If there is no resurrection, then there’s no judgment of God, hence no need for Christ to die.
    2. If there is no resurrection, then Christ did not rise again, thus the grave still holds the final victory over us, and we have no hope for an eternity in Heaven beyond this life.
    3. If that’s the case, then we are stuck in the here and now, with no hope for deliverance. This is as good as it gets. That being the case, “We are men most miserable.”
  3. But, Paul reminds us that Christ did rise from the grave, so there is deliverance from God’s judgment, deliverance from death, and the hope of eternal life in His perfect Kingdom for all who believe.

The importance of the resurrection to the Christian faith is so paramount, that the Apostle Paul tied belief in the resurrection of Jesus Christ to the salvation of the believers (Romans 10:9-10).

This Sunday, we commemorate and celebrate the single most important event in Christian, and world, history. We celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

The Community Sunrise Service will be held at 7 am Sunday morning at the Depot Pavilion in downtown Brownwood. Come worship with us, and be a part of a truly moving experience.