North Anderson Baptist Church
Coming Home - Going Forward: God’s Mandate for North Anderson Baptist Church - Part 1
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  • North Anderson Baptist Church
    2308 N Main St, Anderson, SC 29621, United States
    Sunday 10:30 AM
When I first came to NABC in 1991 it was obvious that God had called us to focus on the mandate of His Word: The Great Commandment found in Luke 10:27 and The Great Commission found in Matthew 28:19-20.
1. Love God First

Today we are going to focus in on this first mandate from God, The Greatest Commandment. In a conversation with a lawyer of Israel Jesus asked the man what must be done by someone who wants to have eternal life. The man quickly quoted Moses from Deuteronomy and Leviticus. Jesus then said to him, “You have answered correctly. “Do this and you will live.” What was Jesus talking about? In Mark 12:28-31, Jesus is the one answering the question, asked by a lawyer, about the most important commandment, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” Jesus answered him by quoting the same verses from the Old Testament. But Jesus did add the first line of the “Shema,” “Hear, O Israel, The Lord our God, the Lord is one,” with the second part of the Shema, the commandment. These are the verses the Jews would quote, plus more, each day and night.

Why is this part of the Shema important to Christians? Because Jesus said that this commandment was the first of importance and we should do it. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” Have you followed it and continue to place the love you have for God above all else? In the past and most importantly today, we want to identify what is the one focus we should have here at NABC and there is no greater command to follow than this one. In 1 John 4:19 John says, “We love because He first loved us.” The reason anyone would love God is to realize that He loved us first and gave His Son for our sins.

For the Israelites they were to recognize that God loved them so much that He chose them out of all the nations to be His and had given them life and gave them a deliverer who brought them out of slavery from Egypt and led them to a new life in “The Promised Land.” Why would they not want to love God back? Our Deliverer is Jesus the Son of God who came to this world as a man so that we might be brought out of the slavery of sin into the marvelous light of God.

All our worship and service has sought to be and should continue to be, focused on God and His glory because of our love for Him. The scripture calls for us to love Him with all we are, heart, soul, strength and mind. That says with everything, with no exceptions, to be focused on God as our first love. If all our lives are first dedicated to loving God with all we are, then the church, the body of believers, will surely follow and all that is done is because we put God first, no matter what.

Lynda knows that my love is first to God before her and I know that her love is first to God before me. When this is settled in the family and all know that God is our first love, will live rightly before the Father and be blessed.

Years ago we chose to use a little phrase as the catch phrase or motto of North Anderson Baptist Church, “A Lighthouse Of God’s Love.” If we are going to love God first then it will show to all who see us and experience the fellowship of this body of believers. We will be a shining beacon in a dark world for those who come into contact with you or me, the church and the corporate body too.

That leads us into the second most important commandment Jesus declared, to “Love your neighbor as yourself.” At that same time in the past, we adopted the phrase “A Lighthouse of God’s Love” we added this little thought as an action statement for the church, “Love God, Love One Another, Love the Church and Love the Lost” I believe that God guided our hearts to this list of priorities.
2. Love One Another
You and I are to love God first and then one another. 1 John4:7-12 says,
All we do, we do because He first loved us by sending Jesus to die for us as our atoning sacrifice so that our sins might be forgiven. Then we see if we don’t love one another, God’s Word says we don’t love God. Our mandate is not only to love God but to love one another.

How can a person say he loves God but hates his brother? That man is a liar. (1 John 4:19-20) To be true to the commandments of Jesus we love one another.
Vertical love towards God and horizontal love towards one another is only possible when both are active.
3. Love the Church

God has always said the church is His bride and therefore we ought to love the church. There is so much in this concept that we won’t have time to discuss it completely but to say whatever you do for the church of Jesus Christ it is to be done because you love the church and you want to do it for His glory and not your own. Serving in the church is one way to declare your love for the church. We must be involved in what God’s Kingdom is doing through His church, right here at NABC.

There are other ways to declare your love for the Church Christ died for. One is to support the church with your tithes and offerings. Another way is to become faithful in your attendance. There are surveys that are taken that say people think they are faithful to church if they come at least once a month. Dear friends that is not faithfulness to God nor to His church. You are just gracing his church with your presence. Being faithful is being in Bible study and worship when God calls His people together. Hebrews 10:23-25 says,
4. Love the Lost

Let me finally say, using the last thought of “Love the Lost,” that evangelism is a priority for the church of Jesus Christ. To love the lost means “to seek and to save that which is lost,” (Luke 19:10) just like Jesus did. Over the years the church has sought to train our members to reach out to the lost and share the Gospel, their testimonies and the story of the love of God. We have used Faith, Evangelism Explosion, Share Jesus Without Fear, Four Spiritual Laws, Roman Road, People Sharing Jesus, Every Believer a Witness and so many others. We have had seminars and special conferences, bringing in people to speak, to help us learn how to witness to the lost of this world and those just next door to us. Many of you have witnessed through your teaching and leading others, be it adults or children, some of you have gone out witnessing door to door, others have personally shared your faith outside the walls of this church with friends, co-workers and even strangers and because of this there have been many souls who were lost who have come to know the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. We praise God for what He has done. Many of you are here today because someone has shared with you eternal life. Can we get a witness! If we had the time, today would be the day to have you stand and share how God transformed you, redeemed you, from being a sinner into a saved man, woman, boy or girl. We don’t want this evangelistic zeal to be just in the past but it is a challenge for each of us for today and for tomorrow as well.

Loving God and loving your neighbor as yourself is built upon the foundation of this church, Jesus Christ! There is not “church” without Christ and if this church fellowship does not love God first and love others second, then we are not the church God sent His Son to die for.
I am so thankful that this church, long before I got here, had been founded well, taught well and had lived before this community, testifying to the love of Jesus. It is our prayer that now and for years to come, until the Lord returns, that North Anderson Baptist Church will be that special “Lighthouse of the Lord God” shining His love into this community and the darkness of life, where Jesus can be seen as the Savior and Lord of anyone who will believe.

Isaiah saw God high and lifted up in all His holiness, he saw his sin before this holy God and confessed it and was cleansed. Then he heard the call from God, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And Isaiah listened to God’s voice and responded, “Here am I send me!”

Are you willing to go for our holy God, out of your love for Him and the lost, into our community and into the world to share God’s love and redemption for all people? He still calls for men and women, boys and girls to go for Him as a calling for one’s life. But regardless if God is not calling you for a vocation into His work, He is calling everyone to share His love with the lost. Is He calling you today? Make it public if He is!

Invitation

Dear friend if you are reading this by way of the internet please know that you are loved and cared for. If you have no relationship with God the Father through Jesus Christ His Son, then I invite you to trust Him by faith and receive Him as your personal Savior. Jesus Christ died on the cross for the sin of everyone in the world that they may have eternal life. All of us have sinned and all are guilty before Almighty God who made us to have fellowship with Him. But sin broke that ability to have a relationship and Jesus has restored the possibility to know God personally through His sacrifice. Please know that if you will seek God and turn from your sin and pray He will respond with His love and give to you a personal relationship through your belief in His Son and the sacrifice He made just for you. He will call for a change in your life too. He wants you to follow Him, not the world, not your own desires, but to follow Jesus. That brings a life change when you turn from sin and self and by faith believe in Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord. There is no Savior without Him being Lord of your life. Your willingness to change by following Him daily in your life will be the proof of your faith. When life throws its curves your way and you have found yourself broken by others or by the world let us introduce you to the only One who can help you…Jesus! You can write or call the office and we will follow up by contacting you. Office phone number is 864-225-2575 and the website address is www.northandersonbaptist.com and the physical address is 2308 N. Main St., Anderson, SC 29621. Dear friend if you are a believer and you have been touched by the Lord and you would like to talk to someone at the church just contact us in one of the ways you see above. If you are a believer and would like to talk about the church and your interest in being a part, please call and we can set up an appointment for you and get to know you. It would be a great pleasure to share our Lord’s love with you. This is a loving church and you are important to us, so please let us know what we can do for you in the Lord.Pastor Bill Rigsby

http://www.northandersonbaptist.com