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Arbor Baptist Church Deacon Ministry

1137 North Merrimac Drive Extension, • Fitzgerald, GA 31750 • United States • (912) 423-3001/see/charmin/CM01354

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ACTIVE DEACONS Richard Rogers(Chair).(912)423-7932.Lord's Supper(Chair).12/31/98 Bobby Cobb.(912)423-4125.Pulpit.12/31/98 Johnny Burch.(912)423-2467.Audit.12/31/98 Wiley Vaughn.(912)423-9929.Evening Usher.12/31/98 Bill Jacobs(Sec).(912)423-4278.Morning Usher.12/31/98 Sammy Guy.(912)423-2334.Pulpit (Chair).12/31/99 Garlan McIntyre.(912)423-3589.Insurance(Chair).12/31/99 Lanier McEwen.(912)423-2706.Outreach.12/31/99 Dane Parker.(912)423-2239.Outreach.12/31/99 Edwin Branam.(912)423-7054.Properties.12/31/99 Alton Bailey.(912)468-7972.Baptism(Chair).12/31/00 Clyde Bailey.(912)423-4189.Evening Usher.12/31/00 John Bryant.(912)423-7485.Morning Usher(Chair)12/31/00 Tracy Parker(Vice-Chair).(912)423-9714.Audit.12/31/00 Tim Raynor.(912)423-4294.Social(Chair).12/31/00 INACTIVE DEACONS Gerald Hardin.(912)423-4733.Properties(Chair) Frank Deese.(912)423-2946.Insurance Wiley Evans.(912)423-7162.Properties Martin Paul.(912)423-3249.Pulpit J. C. Campbell.(912)423-4740.Insurance/Cemetery Danny Pate.(912)423-3300.Baptism Hubert Turner.(912)423-3571.Baptism Bob Strickland.(912)423-4552.Social Herb Smith.(912)423-2730.Cemetery(Chair)/Outreach(Chair) Clifton Arthur.(912)423-3741.Cemetery Elmer Dale.(912)423-7231.Social Tim Parker.(912)423-7048.Morning Usher Tommy White.(912)423-423-1131.Evening Usher (Chair) Carlton Sidwell.(912)423-3127/Audit(Chair) Gene Brown.(912)423-4140 Ralph Gaines.(912)423-3815 George Hardrick.(912)423-3066 Jimmy Herring.(912)423-7403 Gene Luke.(912)---.---- Howard Hukaby.423-3514 Albert Lee.423-5217 Greg Mercier.(423)423-5256 Alan Petrie.(912)423-5744 Ronny Cantrell.(912)423-9759


Eph. 1:3 ... "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ." We are here for a purpose, designed and equipped for a particular function. We must discern and develop these God-given abilities He invested in us at our birth. It is only when those gifts are being used properly that we will feel and know the value God sees in us. We were born to taste the grapes of blessing. Wile some spend their lifetime discussing the size of giants and problems, other winners dare to reach up for the grapes God promised. There are two important principles in tasting the grapes of God: (1) THE GRAPES ARE NOT FOR THE HOLY, THEY ARE FOR THE HUNGRY ... Many people feel they are not good enough to receive the benefits of God. But remember..,"They that be whole need not a physician"(Matt.9:12) The Pharisees never experienced the power and the glory of the Jesus relationship. It was the Samaritan woman at the well and Zacchaeus in the tree who were hungry for His touch, His blessing, nad His presence. Get up from your situation and start setting your success in motion today! (2) THE GRAPES ARE NOT PLACED WITHIN YOUR MOUTH, THEY ARE PLACED WITHIN YOUR REACH ... Nobody wakes up successful and happy. Many people think, "Well if God wanted me healthy, I'd be healthy. If God wanted me financially prosperous, I'd be that way. God is in control." What is God in control of? He controls the laws of the universe. He does not control our decisions (until we place ourselves within his will). Our decisions create and control the majority of our circumstances. We should stop assigning to the sovereignty of God the responsibility for all of our situations. We should use the mind and abilities He has given us to create new and better circumstances. Go after the job He created you for. Take care of the body He has given you. The grapes exist, but we must reach for them. SEVEN GATES TO THE GRAPES (1) GATE OF OBEDIENCE ...Deut. 28:1 says, "If thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the Lord thy God..." , which simply means doing what He told you to do. It means living up to the knowledge you have received. You can move into stages of perfection and maturity as God reveals Himself to you. Abraham is called a friend of God because he obeyed God. If God is drawing you, speaking to you, and dealing with you ... OBEY HIM !! God is standing by the windows of Heaven ready to pull them open and unload an avalanche of blessings if we will but obey Him. (Mal. 3:10) He said, "If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will , and it shall be done unto you." (John 15:7) Know the power of obedience. (2) GATE OF KNOWLEDGE ... (Hos. 4:6) God says, "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge..." What we do not know can destroy us. God wants us to know: information is God's business! Do you have the knowledge of the grapes God has provided ? Find out what the scriptures teach; know about the grapes you are reaching for. You were born to taste the grapes, and you need the knowledge that God did make them available and accessible to you. A lot of people have not because they do not know the grapes even exist. (3) GATE OF VISUALIZATION ... Visualize the grapes. If you cannot see the grapes in your mind, you will not see them in time. Your mind is a force that affects everything else in your life. The renewing of your mind is the secret of transformation (Romans 12:1-2). Visualize where God wants you to be , and then act as if you were already there. We don't go into a building and suggest to darkness, "Would you mind leaving, because if you leave we can have light." Instead, we bring in light, and the entrance of light forces the exit of darkness. (4) GATE OF FORGIVENESS ... which simply means the transferral of the right to judge and penalize. It means we give up our position on God's vengance team. Forgiveness does not flow to us until it flows through us. We may ask for forgiveness, beg God for forgiveness, offer Him "double tithe" , but nothing will happen until we permit GOD ALONE to PENALIZE somebody for doing us wrong. Forgiveness is the removal of information and the pain of it. There is no entry into heaven until we walk through the gate of forgiveness. There are no grapes of blessing, no grapes of reward, until we "remember ...not the former things" (Is. 43:18). (5) GATE OF PERSISTENCE ... simply make up your mind, regardless of how far the grapes appear from you, to push on for the blessing. Sometimes it will seem like they are a thousand miles away. Friends may try to discourage and disillusion you. They may not understand your dream, your goal. It will not fall into your lap. It will not be easy. But every man or woman who has ever achieved anything had to persist. They made up their mind to go after what they believed in. (6) GATE OF SOWING ... We cannot have grapes until we sow grapes. Whatever good thing I do for another, God is going to do for me (Eph. 6:8). If I want to taste grapes, I have to distribute grapes. I have to bless other people if I wanat God to bless me. (7) GATE OF PRAISE ... Praise is an act of the will. It is not something we have to feel in order for it to be real. It is not meditation; it is something that is heard. Praise is articulated sound and opinion. It is our recognition of Jesus as Lord of everything, that Jehovah is still on the throne. God is very comfortable with praise. In fact that is where He chooses to dwell (Ps. 22:3). God likes praise and He responds to it. Not only does God respond to praise ..., demons react to it. Praise is something we deliberately choose to do to acknowledge the power of God. Again, we were born to taste the grapes of God's blessing. The silver and gold are His. He gives us the power to get wealth. Everything that God has, everything that He is, He is willing to pour into us and through us. The grapes are not for the holy, they are for the hungry. They are not placed within our mouth; they are placed within our reach. Enter the gates and reach for the grapes. They are accessible. NOTE: THIS DEVOTIONAL IS A PARAPHRASE FROM A DEVOTIONAL CONTAINED WITHIN MIKE MURDOCK'S BOOK, ENTITLED "ONE MINUTE BUSINESSMAN'S DEVOTIONAL". PLEASE CONSULT HIS BOOK FOR A FULL TRANSCRIPT OF THIS TEXT.

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