St Mark

Church of Christ
Disciples of Christ

The Deacons Bench

June 1, 2016

Seeking God in His Word and hearing the Voice of God is not a juxtaposition.  If we seek God in His Word we learn, we glean, we gain knowledge and an understanding of who God is; His will, plan and instruction for us to live by; His unconditional love and His mercies granted us.  Hearing the Voice of God comes with a sincere desire and committment to His will and through much prayer.  If you know His Word you will know how he speaks.  You will know His Voice when He speaks in the midst of the storms of life or in the still quiet of the night.  Do you want God to speak to you? Get to know Him.  Keep speaking to Him in prayer.  Develop a relationship with God.  Hold conversations with Him no matter how one-sided the conservation may seem.  Study His Word and when He speaks to you (He is always speaking to us) you will recognize His Voice!

God Bless

Deacon Junius N. Shealy, Jr.

December 16, 2008

Left home a 6 AM walked to St. Mark and back.  I was thinking  about how Peter was called to walk from the boat out to Jesus, who was walking on the water. I thought about how we are sailing along all happy-go-lucky and we answer the call of Jesus to come out to him from whatever we are involved.  Confidently we go to Him.  Then we look back, lose our focus and begin to sink. But God is able to sustain us and Jesus reaches out takes hold of us.  Once we regain our focus, we are able to achieve success in our endeavors. However, this is only when we understand and believe that Jesus Christ is with us.  Always supporting and sustaining us.  Jesus said, “lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.  Jesus also said,  We should observe all things whatsoever He has commanded us.

December 10, 2014

I appeal to you in the words of the Apostle Paul, “So then, my brothers and sisters, because of God's great mercy to us I appeal to you: offer yourselves as a living sacrifice to God, dedicated to his service and pleasing to him. This is the true worship that you should offer. Do not conform yourselves to the standards of this world, but let God transform you inwardly by a complete change of your mind. Then you will be able to know the will of God — what is good and is pleasing to him and is perfect.

Love must be completely sincere. Hate what is evil, hold on to what is good. Love one another warmly as Christian brothers and sisters, and be eager to show respect for one another. Work hard and do not be lazy. Serve the Lord with a heart full of devotion. Let your hope keep you joyful, be patient in your troubles, and pray at all times. 

Ask God to bless those who persecute you — yes, ask him to bless, not to curse. Be happy with those who are happy, weep with those who weep. Have the same concern for everyone. Do not be proud, but accept humble duties. Do not think of yourselves as wise.

 If someone has done you wrong, do not repay him with a wrong. Try to do what everyone considers to be good. Do everything possible on your part to live in peace with everybody. Never take revenge, my friends, but instead let God's anger do it. For the scripture says, “I will take revenge, I will pay back, says the Lord.” Instead, as the scripture says: “If your enemies are hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty, give them a drink; for by doing this you will make them burn with shame.” Do not let evil defeat you; instead, conquer evil with good.”

 Let us conduct ourselves properly, as people who live in the light of day - no fighting or jealousy. But take up the weapons of the Lord Jesus Christ, and stop paying attention to our sinful nature and satisfying its desires.

God Bless,

Deacon Junius N. Shealy, Jr.  (Scriptures from the Good News Bible)


Only Believe!

Are you a believer? The question is not about how much you believe nor about how long you have believed; is it about how strong your belief is or whether you have doubts. No!  It is simply do you believe.  Read the following scriptures. 

Mark 5:36 As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, he saith unto the ruler of the synagogue, “Be not afraid, only believe.”

Mark 9:23-24  Jesus said to him, “If you can believe,[a] all things are possible to him who believes.” Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!”

Mark 16:15-16  And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.”

John 14:12-14 “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.”

John 20:29 Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

Romans 10:9-10  Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.

Romans 10:14 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?

Believing is not an end unto itself because there is so much room for growth, it is a beginning, and entry into a newness of life, a new kind of life, a life of following and working to become like our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 

Brothers and Sisters, if you have not accepted Christ because you think you do not believe strongly enough or you have some doubt.  Hear the words of Jesus in your heart: “If you can believe! All things are possible for one who believes.”  Then say, I believe, Lord, help my unbelief.

Come; join us on our Christian journey as we at St Mark help believers grow in the wisdom of the Word of God.  God bless and keep you is our prayer.





There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear:

 1 John 4:18

Hello,

   On my recent journey to the 24th Biennial Session of the General Assembly of the Church of Christ, Disciples of Christ, International, I was scanning the radio dial for National Public Radio, when I chanced upon a story being read that caught my attention. 

   I was immediately drawn into the story about a girl named Much-Afraid, her relatives called the Fearings , and a Chief Shepherd.  As I listened I was mesmerized by the situation in which Much-Afraid found herself.  She lived in the village of Much-Trembling, within the Valley of Humiliation.  Much-Afraid had friends and fellow workers, Mercy and Peace, who tended flocks in the service of the Chief Shepherd.  The story was about how Much-Afraid escapes, guided by the twins, Sorrow and Suffering, to the High Places where perfect love casteth out fear.

   The story was intriguing.  The reader was only in the first chapter of the book, however, almost immediately, I realized the story was about the Christian journey. It caused me to reflect upon my life and the lives of many of the people I know as Christians. 

   The Book, “Hinds’ Feet on High Places” by Hannah Hurdard , written in 1955 takes its title from Habakkuk 3:19, "The Lord God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds' feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places."  Ms. Hurdard spent her life as a missionary, spending time in India and 50 years in Israel.

   On our Christian journey, from salvation to the arms of a loving and caring Father, we too face many fears: fear of obstacles, fear of torments, and fear of persecutions.  Our Chief Shepherd, Jesus Christ represents unfathomable Love.  1 John 4:16 (NIV) states: “And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.”  This is the Love that cast out all fear; that conquers every obstacle; relieves every torment; and overcomes every persecution. 

 

   We Christians experience the pain of sorrow and suffering as we travel through life.  However, when we begin to truly love, we experience sorrow and suffering in a different way.  This is the Christians’ journey from salvation to maturity where we learn to lean and depend on God, trusting Him in all things.   Jesus Christ, our Chief Shepherd, is our lead and guide, our teacher, our waymaker.     

     He maketh my feet like hinds' feet, and setteth me upon my high places.              

                                            Psalms18:33
 
 

                              Follow Him to the High Places!

God bless you!

Deacon Junius N. Shealy, Jr.


 

 

Rise up and Build



“Then they said, ‘Let us start building!’ So they committed themselves to the common good.”


Hello,

As you read in the Book of Nehemiah there  were many challenges facing Nehemiah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem as they worked to rebuild the walls around the city. These  challenges came from without, Sanballat and Tobiah and the Arabs and the Ammonites and the Ashdodites, and from within, Judah said, ‘The strength of the burden-bearers is failing, and there is too much rubbish, so that we are unable to work on the wall.’, and there was a great outcry of the people and of their wives against their Jewish kin.


Nehemiah had sought and asked God for His hand of protection from those who would prevent the rebuilding, from those who wanted to make him afraid.  Nehemiah  received letters from King Artaxerxes and the king granted him what he asked, for the gracious hand of God was upon him.


Today as we build, we may find opposition, challenges to the vision God has given Pastor Smith for this congregation, this church(buildings and grounds).  Bishop Smith has lain before God in prayer.  Let us join Pastor in prayer.  God is gracious and merciful to those who seek his face.  Opposition, barriers, are falling and will continue to fall. 


Be strong and of a good courage.  Fear not.  Complete the work on your portion of the wall.  How can I? You may ask.  By pledging to sacrifice and completing your pledge.  Five hundred and four dollars ($504.00) above your tithes and offering this year.  Can you do this ?  I say yes!  Sacrifice something in your life to make this happen.  Do the math $504/12 = $42 per month.  $42/4= $10.50 per week.


I encourage you to commit yourself to this building project.  Take ownership.  The church is a place for all of us.  $10.50 per week above what you are giving now.  What is there to fear about giving $10.50 per week?


One of the reasons God calls us to give sacrificially is that it strengthens our faith and helps us grow spiritually. If we merely give out of our excess we don’t give God the opportunity to prove his faithfulness. That’s like lifting a very light weight. It won’t strengthen your muscles. But when we give sacrificially, when we give to the point of it hurting a bit, we exercise our faith we learn to trust in God by giving him a chance to prove himself trustworthy.


Give God a chance to prove Himself in your life.

God bless and keep you is my prayer.

 

 

 

 

 

Wisdom

The Book of Proverbs beginning at verse two of chapter one reads as follows : To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding; To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity; To give subtilty to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion. A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels: To understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings. James 1:5 of the King James Bible "Authorized Version", Pure Cambridge Edition  states: If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

My question to you reader is this, Why do we, men and women, go lacking of the wisdom that God freely gives us just for the asking?  Is it because we don’t know what God has promised?  Is it that we are too proud? Too full of worldly wisdom?  Too sure of ourselves? Arrogant?  Full of pride?  Think about this. 

When you are confronted with a mystery, just can’t seem to get a grasp of a situation, don’t know how to handle this or that, you are perplexed.  Pray, ask God to give you the wisdom to clearly discern, better understand, whatever it is.  Remember wisdom is yours for the asking.  God has promised! Be patient, lean not unto your own understanding.  Look to God with faith, standing on His promise.

 

The last verse of Proverbs Chapter one reads:

But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.

 

God bless you.

 

 

 

 

                               

                                     Standing on the Promises

 

Have you been tried with the temptation to rely upon the things which are seen, instead or resting alone upon the invisible hand of God. 

 

We, sisters and brothers, often look to one another for help and counsel, and fail to rely upon our Heavenly Father.  As children of God, anxious about our daily needs and desires, we should study and learn the Word of God.

 

We lean to our own peculiar understanding and when things go awry, we question why.  Clearly the Word of God tells us in Proverbs 3:5 to "trust in the Lord with all thine heart: and lean not unto thine own understanding." The prescription for our success is written in God's Word.  "He has given us His very great and precious promises..." 2nd Peter 1:4.  He has said "I will never leave you, nor forsake you."  You should trust in Jesus and only in Jesus for your salvation.  Why are you troubled? 

 

It is written, "Cast your burdens upon the Lord".  "Be careful for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication make known your wants unto God."  Do you trust God for things of the world?  I wish you would.   If you cannot trust God for worldly things, how do you trust him for spiritual things?   Can you trust him for your soul's redemption, and not rely on him for a few lesser mercies?  Is God not enough for your needs, or is his all-sufficiency too narrow for your wants?  Do you want another eye beside that of him who sees every secret thing?  Is His heart faint?  Is His arm weary?  If so, seek another god; but if He is infinite, omnipotent, faithful, true, and all-wise, why do you look and seek another confidence?  Why do you look the world over to find another foundation, when God is the solid foundation.  God is strong enough to bear all the weight which you can ever build upon?

 

Brothers and sisters in Christ, do not mix your cola with water, do not alloy the gold of your faith with the impurity of human confidence.  Wait only upon God, and let your expectation be of Him.  Let God be your lead, guide, and director.  Let the sandy foundation of earthly trust be the choice of fools, but, you do like one who understands that storms will come, build your abiding place upon the solid foundation, the Rock of Ages.

 

Here are a few of the promises of God.  Look them up and be encouraged:

 

Joshua 1:8                     1  John 4:4               

Jeremiah 29:1                1 John 12:46            

John1:12                        John 14:27         

Luke 6:38                       Proverbs 46:1          

Psalms 46:1                    Psalms 32:8             

1 Corinthians 2:9            Matthew 11:28-29

Isaiah 40 29-31               Philippians 4:19       

Romans 8:37-39

 


 

God's Will 

 

A few weeks ago I attended a family reunion and one of my younger cousins spoke words of encouragement to the family.  The young man, an attorney by trade, told a story of a case in which he was involved during our last reunion.  As a result, he had been unable to attend.   He spoke about family unity and the power of prayer, and  about how he knew that through the prayers of the family, his firm had prevailed in the legal matter.  He began to talk about his client’s will, and how, by prevailing in the lawsuit, the client’s will (the legal document) would provide for his family’s future.  The client had been killed in the accident that resulted in the lawsuit.  

Then he spoke about the legal definition of a will and testament.  He stated that a will and testament are the same.  Then he began on to talk about God’s will for us.  The Bible, the Old and New Testaments are simply the will of God for mankind.  God has promised in His will to provide for us, to take care of us, because we are His children.  We have Our Heavenly Father’s written will.  To reap the benefits of His will, we must live in accordance with his instructions. 


 

Do you see the Bible as God’s will for you?   Have you examined the scriptures to find exactly what  His will provides for you.  What is in the will?  Below is a sampling, however, there is so much more in store for those who continue to search His will.

 

 

Psalm 121:7-8
The LORD will keep you from all harm— he will watch over your life; the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.


 

James 1:12
Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.


 

Deuteronomy 28:12

The LORD will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands.


 

Isaiah 30:18

The Lord God is waiting to show you how kind he is and to have pity on you.  The Lord always does right; he blesses those who trust him.


 

Matthew 11:28

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.

If you are tired from carrying heavy burdens, come to me and I will give you rest.

 

 

Psalm 46:1

God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble.


 

Luke 6:38

Give and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap


 

1 John 2:25

And this is what he promises us--even eternal life.

 

Jeremiah 29:12                                                                                                                                       Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.

Isaiah 65:24  

Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear.

 

Proverbs 2:5   

For the Lord gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.


 

 

Isaiah 46:4

Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you. "

 

Proverbs 9:11                     

For through me your days will be many, and years will be added to your life.

Proclaim Jesus as Lord and Savior and claim your inheritance.  It is there for those who love God and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.   

May the grace of God and the peace which passes all understanding be with you now and always!


Deacon Junius Shealy

September 2, 2009

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