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      1. Join us a for our Guest Speaker tomorrow morning!
        1. Greetings from the Bethel Search Team, We have good news to share with you all. First, thank you for entrusting/empowering this team to search for a new Senior Pastor for Bethel. It may have looked at times like we were just calmly floating on top of the water but I can guarantee that our legs were working like crazy under the surface. Our efforts have brought forth fruit, we have a Candidate. We will be hosting a Senior Pastor Candidate weekend July 17-19. This weekend will include an all church social on Saturday evening at Spring Lake Park, where members will be able to meet the Candidate and his wife. Our Candidate will then be leading both of the worship times on Sunday morning. On Sunday afternoon we will meet as a body of Members of Bethel Baptist Church and vote on extending a call to our candidate. Please mark your calendars for July 17-19. We will have more specific information coming out in the coming weeks with times for each event. And we will be emailing/mailing out an information sheet about our Candidate. We will also put a copy in your mailbox at church. Thank you, and please continue to pray! Andy Meyers Mark Lindahl Jenni Rorick Carol Edwards Craig Peterson Logan Bryant Molly Jentges
          1. BIBLE WORD STUDY-LOVE (Kermit Rice)

            Bible Word Study

            LOVE

            2 Peter 1:5–7 (NIV) — 5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. 

            Peter listed seven characteristics of the godly life, but we must not think of them as seven beads on a string or even seven stages of development. The word translated “add” really means “to supply generously.” In other words, we develop one quality as we exercise another quality. These graces relate to each other the way the branch relates to the trunk and the twigs to the branch. Like the “fruit of the Spirit” (Gal. 5:22–23), these qualities grow out of life and out of a vital relationship with Jesus Christ. It is not enough for the Christian to “let go and let God,” as though spiritual growth were God’s work alone. Literally, Peter wrote, “Make every effort to bring alongside.” The Father and the child must work together.

            But there is more to Christian growth than brotherly love; we must also have the sacrificial love that our Lord displayed when He went to the cross. The kind of love (“charity”) spoken of in 2 Peter 1:7 is agape love, the kind of love that God shows toward lost sinners. This is the love that is described in 1 Corinthians 13, the love that the Holy Spirit produces in our hearts as we walk in the Spirit (Rom. 5:5; Gal. 5:22). When we have brotherly love, we love because of our likenesses to others; but with agape love, we love in spite of the differences we have.

            It is impossible for fallen human nature to manufacture these seven qualities of Christian character. They must be produced by the Spirit of God. To be sure, there are unsaved people who possess amazing self-control and endurance, but these virtues point to them and not to the Lord. They get the glory. When God produces the beautiful nature of His Son in a Christian, it is God who receives the praise and glory.

            Because we have the divine nature, we can grow spiritually and develop this kind of Christian character. It is through the power of God and the precious promises of God that this growth takes place. The divine “genetic structure” is already there: God wants us to be “conformed to the image of His Son” (Rom. 8:29). The life within will reproduce that image if we but diligently cooperate with God and use the means He has lavishly given us.

            And the amazing thing is this: as the image of Christ is reproduced in us, the process does not destroy our own personalities. We still remain uniquely ourselves!

            Hebrew:

             אַהֲבָה, אַהֲבָה [ʾahabah /a·hab·aw/] n f. 40 occurrences; AV translates as “love” 40 times. 1 love. 1a human love for human object. 1a1 of man toward man. 1a2 of man toward himself. 1a3 between man and woman. 1a4 sexual desire. 2 God’s love to His people.

            אַהֲבָה (ʾǎ·hǎḇā(h)): n.fem.;  love, i.e., a state or condition of strong affection for another based on relationship (Ge 29:20; 1Sa 20:17; 2Sa 1:26; 13:15; 1Ki 10:9; 11:2; Ps 109:4, 5; Pr 5:19; 10:12; 15:17; 17:9; 27:5; Ecc 9:1, 6; SS 2:4, 5, 7; 3:5, 10; 5:8; 7:7[EB 6]; 8:4, 6, 7; Isa 63:9; Jer 2:2, 33; 31:3; Hos 11:4; Zep 3:17+), note: this relationship can be familial, as a friend, properly romantic, or based in covenant.

             אָהַב (ʾā·hǎḇ): v.; love, i.e., have an affection based on a close relationship, sometimes in comparison to other persons with a lesser relationship (Ge 22:2; 24:67; 25:28; Est 2:17), note: this relationship can be familial, proper romance, or attraction;) be loved (Dt 21:15,16; Ne 13:26; Hos 3:1+);  like, i.e., have a desire for an object based in desirability, with a focus on a preference of one thing over another (Ge 27:4).

            LOVE = Unselfish, loyal, and benevolent intention and commitment toward another. The concept of the love of God is deeply rooted in the Bible. The Hebrew term chesed refers to covenant love. Jehovah is the God who remembers and keeps His covenants in spite of the treachery of people. His faithfulness in keeping His promises proves His love for Israel and all humanity.

            Another word, ahavah, can be used of human love towards oneself, another person of the opposite sex, or another person in general. It is used of God’s love towards Jeremiah in Jer. 31:3, “I have loved you with an everlasting love [ahavah]; therefore, I have drawn you with lovingkindness [chesed]” (NASB).

            LOYAL LOVE n. = An unfailing kind of love, kindness, or goodness, often used of God’s love that is related to faithfulness to his covenant.

            Greek:

             φιλέω [phileo /fil·eh·o/] v. 25 occurrences; AV translates as “love” 22 times, and “kiss” three times. 1 to love. 1a to approve of. 1b to like. 1c sanction. 1d to treat affectionately or kindly, to welcome, befriend. 2 to show signs of love. 2a to kiss. 3 to be fond of doing.

            προσφιλής [prosphiles /pros·fee·lace/] adj. AV translates as “lovely” once. 1 acceptable, pleasing.

            To causing pleasure or delight, pleasing, agreeable, lovely, amiable. Phil 4:8.

            εὐ-φῐλής, ές, (φιλέω) well-loved.

            II. act. loving well.

            φιλήδονος (philēdonos), loving pleasure.

            In NT times three words for love were used by the Greek-speaking world. The first is eros, referring to erotic or sexual love. This word is not used in the NT or in the Septuagint. It was commonly used in Greek literature of the time.

            The word phileo (and its cognates) refers to tender affection, such as toward a friend or family member. It is very common in the NT and extrabiblical literature. It is used to express God the Father’s love for Jesus (John 5:20), God’s love for an individual believer (John 16:27), and of Jesus’ love for a disciple (John 20:2). The word phileo is never used for a person’s love toward God. In fact, the context of John 21:15–17 seems to suggest that Jesus desired a stronger love from Peter.

            The word agapao (and its cognate agape) is rarely used in extrabiblical Greek. It was used by believers to denote the special unconditional love of God and is used interchangeably with phileo to designate God the Father’s love for Jesus (John 3:35), God the Father’s love for an individual believer (John 14:21), and of Christ’s love for a disciple (John 13:23).

            Biblical love = has God as its object, true motivator, and source. Love is a fruit of the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:22) and is not directed toward the world or the things of the world (the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, or the pride of life—1 John 2:15–16). The ultimate example of God’s love is the Lord Jesus Christ, who said, “I give you a new commandment: that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you should also love one another” (John 13:34 HCSB; cp. 15:12).

            The definitive statement on love in Paul occurs in 1 Cor. 13. Rhetorical ability, preaching, knowledge, mountain-moving faith, charity towards the poor, or even martyrdom are nothing without agape.

                  First Corinthians 13:4–8a lists several characteristics of this love. 

                   First, it is long-suffering [makrothumia] (v. 4). This is a fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22). It refers to a quality that does not seek revenge but suffers wrong in order to act redemptively.

            Second, love is kind (translated gracious, virtuous, useful, manageable, mild, pleasant, benevolent—the opposite of harsh, hard, sharp, or bitter). Third, love is not envious (covetous), does not jealously desire what it does not possess.

            Fourth, love does not promote itself; it is not puffed up (1 Cor. 8:1). Paul says in Phil. 2:3, “In humility consider others as more important than yourselves” (HCSB).

            Fifth, love does not behave itself in an unbecoming fashion. Believers are to avoid even the appearance of evil (1 Thess. 5:22).

            Sixth, love does not seek its own things. Paul once sent Timothy because “I have no one else like-minded who will genuinely care about your interests; all seek their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ” (Phil. 2:20–21 HCSB).

            Seventh, love is not easily provoked (irritated, exasperated, or made angry). When Jesus was hit, He did not retaliate but said, “If I have spoken wrongly, … give evidence about the wrong; but if rightly, why do you hit Me?” (John 18:23 HCSB).

            Eighth, love believes the best about people; it “thinketh no evil” (KJV), “does not keep a record of wrongs” (HCSB). In other words, love overlooks insult or wrong (Prov. 17:9; 19:11; cp. Eph. 5:11).



            Yes, love indeed is light from heaven,

            A spark of that immortal fire

            With angels shared, by God given,

            To lift from earth our low desire.

            Devotion wafts the mind above,


            But heaven itself descends in love;

            A feeling from the Godhead caught,

            To wean from self each sordid thought;

            A ray of him who formed the whole;

            A glory circling round the soul!



            1. Please pray.

              Prayer request from HelpsIntl Team and me, for Chris Rather, the wife of our teammate, Kevin Rather. Chris collapsed in the parking lot at work...bleeding on the brain...very bad prognosis. --- Dan Karvonen
              1. Just received the sorrowful news from husband, Kevin Rather (Hartford, Wisconsin) that Chris passed away... am praying for him, his children and grandkids, and for Chris's elderly father who lives in Kevin's home. What a Friend we have in Jesus and He is pouring our loving comfort to us all.
              2. Thankyou… we are lifting up in prayer those that are ministering, consoling our Brother Kevin Rather... truly he is distraught and in need of our prayers. Thankyou.