Have you ever looked up the references to Moriah in the Bible? In Genesis Abraham is told to go into the land of Moriah to a certain mount (nameless) which God would show him. In Second Chronicles it is identified with Jerusalem. Do you ever think of that in relation to our congregation? The Genesis reference is one of the most challenging in the whole Bible. It talks of the sacrifice of something tat is precious to us and central to our life. Abraham is able to offer that sacrifice because of the level of trust he has for God. And God does not fail him!


Sometimes the Christian life requires sacrifice  and not just of money or time. It may require us to give up things we hold onto, things we believe, grudges we carry, hurt and sorrow we live with. As long as we hold onto them we can't fully experience Christ's love, grace, and will for us. And it is not easy. I shared the example last Sunday of the two lawyers who worked together even though they hated each other. When one became Christian he had to give up that hate  with great effort  and pray for, even love, his partner. That is hard work. It may not be hard like plowing a field or loading a truck or repairing an engine but it is hard nonetheless.


Steve Dabb's Sunday school class has been talking about some key issues in relationships. This week there was a question on his blackboard, What is prejudice? That is a question for all of us. It simply meets prejudging someone. Sometimes it is based on a prior experience with someone else who had similar characteristics: parents, or family, or education, or life work perhaps (lawyer, politician, pastor, used car salesman), or appearance (tall, slender, fat, short), or race (white, black, oriental), or language, or accent, or the car they drive, or even where they go to church. It can be anything that allows us to categorize, or even dismiss, someone else without getting to know them personally. Families, congregations, communities, nations (think red state  blue state), can be divided by prejudice; not to mention the world's peoples. 


Our ministerial group has talked about that a lot as we have grown to know each other better. As a result we have decided to offer a special series of services intended to bring us together and help us find those parts of our life that we have refused to give over to Jesus; those things we have not been able to sacrifice out of fear or distrust or anxiety or lack of faith. Following is a column Pastor Steve Wilson at First Baptist shared with his congregation and I want to share it with you.


February is called the Love Month. With that in mind, the local pastors in our area have planned a series of services to get the churches and community together for a time of worship and fellowship. We are entitling this exciting endeavor I Need You to Survive. We will be emphasizing how much each of us needs the Lord and each other as we seek to be everything God intends us to be.


God has been doing a good work of drawing the pastors in our area together in love and He has placed within our hearts a desire to see that happen in our churches, between our churches, and between all people in our community. So we are asking our community to join us at the Community Center on February 25-27 (7pm) for a lift your heart up to the Lord and open your heart to others service.


The title for these services comes from a Black Gospel song, I Need You to Survive. Since the song is new to me, it might be new to you as well. The words are powerful.


I Need You to Survive
(Written by David Frazier and Hezekiah Walker)
Verse 1
I need you, you need me;
We're all apart of God's body.
Stand with me, agree with me;
We're all apart of God's body.
Chorus
It is His will that every need be supplied;
You are important to me,
I need you to survive.
You are important to me,
I need you to survive
Verse 2
I pray for you, you pray for me;
I love you, I need you to survive.
I won't harm you with words from my mouth;
I love you, I need you to survive.


Will you join us? Will you clear your calendars for those three evenings (February 25-27, Sunday thru Tuesday) in order to be a part of God's move to bring His unity to the different areas of our life together? Will you pray for me as I will be preparing to speak at the Sunday evening session? Will you join church leaders and members as we come together on Saturday, February 17 (7pm) at South China Grove Church of God to pray for God to move with power and anointing in our I Need You to Survive services?
Will you?


In Christ's love and service, Pastor Joseph Tallent