Christ frees us to live by the Spirit's guidance.
Galatians 5:16-17 NASB95
But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.  For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.
Paul says Christ has set us free to walk (live) by the guidance of the Holy Spirit (Gal 5:1, 16). The adage says, "You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make him drink." Satan always tries to lead us to the creek of sinful desires. He can lead, but we do not have to drink. Once we are saved, the Holy Spirit lives in us. The Holy Spirit always warns our conscience not to drink from Satan's contaminated creek.
The next time you thirst for the desires of the fresh, check the creek for immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which [the Holy Spirit] forewarns you, just as Paul warned the Galatian Christians because those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19–21, NASB95).
Lord Jesus, thank You for freeing me to follow the Holy Spirit's guidance. Thank God, I may be led to the creek of sinful desires, but I do not have to drink. Today, I will freely sip on the fruit juice of the Holy Spirit. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control will satisfy my thirst (Gal 5:22–23). Now that I belong to Christ, I have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. I will live by the Holy Spirit's guidance so I do not become boastful, challenging, and envying others (Gal 5:24–26). In Jesus' name, amen.
Upcoming EventsWorship Service - Sunday, February 5th at 10 am - Special Music – Bobby Ray Marsh and Scott Auman Special Offering - Sunday, Feb. 5th. Funds needed to provide security protection for the church van and the mower building. Note on your check and envelope "Van Security". Place the special offering in the tithe buckets. Hope for Appalachia: we will be packing 50 hope boxes for Kentucky Kids. Emmaus Baptist Church will be delivering them. Bible Study: The next “Eschatology: Things to Come” Bible study will be on February 1, 2023 and February 15, 2023 at 6:30 pm in the Fellowship Hall. Rev. James Estes leads the Bible study. Hope for Warmth (Quilting) will start back on Thursday, February 9th at 1 pm in the Fellowship Hall. All are welcome
Upcoming EventsWorship Service - Sunday, January 22nd at 10 am - Special Music – Bobby Ray Marsh and Scott Auman HSBC business meeting on January 25, 2023, at 6:30 p.m. We will review the 2023 budget and church finances. Hope for Appalachia: we will be packing 50 hope boxes for Kentucky Kids. Emmaus Baptist Church will be delivering them. Bible Study: The next “Eschatology: Things to Come” Bible study will be on February 1, 2023, at 6:30 pm in the Fellowship Hall. Rev. James Estes leads the Bible study.
Finally, think of excellence.
Philippians 4:8 NASB95
Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.
Paul has been teaching the Philippians the virtues believers should practice. Standing firm in faith in Christ, living in harmony with other believers, rejoicing in the Lord, and developing a gentle spirit should be on the mind of all believers because Jesus is near. Jesus is present with us, and Jesus is coming soon to take us to our heavenly (Philippians 4:1–5). Paul says, finally, think of practicing these excellent virtues because Christ observes all we do.
Paul says God rewards excellence. Truth, honor, right living, purity, love, and a good reputation were all cherished virtues of the Greek worldview. Paul says to the believer living in peace is more than an idea. As believers, we should think about and practice the excellence of living in harmony. The peace of God will guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus (4:7). The peace of God supernaturally removes anxiety by guarding our hearts and minds against dishonesty, deception, unrighteousness, unpure motives, sinful lifestyles, and ungodly reputations. Paul says to think about excellence, pray for practicing excellence, and that God will reward us with peace.
Father God, guard my heart and mind in Christ Jesus. Help me dwell on all that You regard as excellence. Lord, keep me from a critical attitude that causes conflict. Help me live in harmony, and promote truth with a gentle spirit. Please help me be a team player who helps advance the gospel of peace. Lord Jesus, I desire to practice the things I have learned, heard, and seen that You call excellence. When You return for me, I want you to find me standing firm in faith with an excellent reputation for practicing truth, honor, right living, purity, and love, whose mind is guarded by the peace of God (4:8; 7; 9). In Jesus' name, amen.
Praise the Lord for His lovingkindness.
Psalm 145:18-19 NASB95
The LORD is near to all who call upon Him, To all who call upon Him in truth.  He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He will also hear their cry and will save them.
Psalm 145 is the last Psalm of King David. Psalm 145 introduces the last five praise psalms of the book. David says to the Lord, "One generation shall praise Your work to another, and shall declare Your mighty acts. Like David, we should introduce God's lovingkindness to the next generation.
David uses many words to praise the Lord's goodness and gracious generosity (ESV Study Bible). Like David, we should Extol the Lord—tell how great God is (145:1). We should bless the Lord—speak of the Lord's generosity (145:1, 2, 10, 21). We should praise the Lord— glorify the Lord for holy character and attributes (145:2, 3, 21). We should commend the Lord—declare God's mighty act by speaking highly of the Lord (145:4, 6). Like David, we praise the Lord by meditating on, talking about, pouring forth, singing aloud about, and giving thanks for God's goodness and generosity.
Dear good and generous heavenly God, today, I will tell someone how I came to faith in Christ and how my life changed. I will praise Your name forever and ever (145:2). I will meditate on and then declare to others: ''The LORD is righteous in all His ways And kind in all His deeds. The LORD is near to all who call upon Him, To all who call upon Him in truth. He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He will also hear their cry and will save them. The LORD keeps all who love Him, But all the wicked He will destroy. My mouth will speak the praise of the LORD, And all flesh will bless His holy name forever and ever (145:18–21). Thank You, Jesus, for revealing the goodness and generosity of God to me so that I can praise the name of the Lord forever and forever to the next generation. In Jesus' name, amen.
Upcoming EventsWorship Service - Sunday, January 15th at 10 am - Special Music – Rivenbark Ministries Small-Group Bible Study on “Eschatology: Things to Come” will meet on January 18th at 6:30 pm - Presented by Rev. James Estes
God's help makes us great.
Psalm 18:35-36 NASB95
"You have also given me the shield of Your salvation, And Your right hand upholds me; And Your gentleness makes me great.  You enlarge my steps under me, And my feet have not slipped."
Psalm 18 repeats 2 Samuel 22. King David, in old age, recounts how God's help has made him great and victorious over his enemies. Verses 35–36 give us military metaphors for how God saves us from our enemies, so we freely serve at God's pleasure. David praises God for helping him live rightly and victoriously in God's sight. David was not perfect, but when he cried to God for help, God always saved David.
God is the shield that saves us from our enemies. As a shield between David and his military enemy's assaults, Jesus Christ stands between us and our enemy's attacks. When our old habits, ungodly attitudes, temptations, etc., confront us, Jesus protects us from making bad decisions and ungodly behavior. We ask, and God helps us (Psalm 18:6).
God's right hand describes God's strength and help. When we are having one of those days where everything is going wrong, everyone seems to be working against us, and old temptations we thought we had defeated emerge, pray for God to lift us above our trouble. With a strong right hand, David said God had always raised him out of trouble.
God's gentle help made David great. David said God is his lamp, and the Lord illuminates his darkness (18:28). David accredits God with all his military victories. Look back through your life, and recount how all your spiritual and physical victories result from God's gentle patience and help. God helps us live rightly before Him when we ask.
David says God gave him a broad path to stand and fight his enemies. God gives us the Bible, the Holy Spirit, prayer, and other Christians to resist temptation, defeat old habits, and plan a spiritual strategy to please God today freely.
Whatever you face today, pray Psalm 18:1–3 (NASB95:
Dear gracious heavenly Father, "I love You, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised, And I am saved from my enemies." Thank You, Lord, for gently making me great over my enemies. In Jesus' name, amen.
Upcoming EventsWorship Service - Sunday, December 25th at 10 am - Special Music – HSBC Choir Small-Group Bible Study on “Eschatology: Things to Come” will not meet in November but will resume on January 4th at 6:30 pm - Presented by Rev. James Estes You are invited to join HSBC’s Christmas Choir. We will be singing “Away in the Manger,” “Joy to the World,” and “Silent Night.” We will have choir practice 12-21-22 at 6:30 p.m. Choir practice will be in the sanctuary.
Upcoming EventsWorship Service - Sunday, December 18th at 10 am - Special Music – Bobby Ray Marsh and Scott Auman Small-Group Bible Study on “Eschatology: Things to Come” will not meet in November but will resume on January 4th at 6:30 pm - Presented by Rev. James Estes You are invited to join HSBC’s Christmas Choir. We will be singing “Away in the Manger,” “Joy to the World,” and “Silent Night.” We will have choir practice 12-21-22 at 6:30 p.m. Choir practice will be in the sanctuary.
Upcoming EventsWorship Service - Sunday, December 11th at 10 am - Special Music – Whitman Gore Small-Group Bible Study on “Eschatology: Things to Come” will not meet in November but will resume on January 4th at 6:30 pm - Presented by Rev. James Estes Christmas Music Special December 10, 2022, at 5 p.m. Open Arms, Hunt Springs, and neighboring churches will unite to sing Christmas Carols. If you want to sing in the choir, be at Hunt springs at 3:30 p.m. We will have refreshments and fellowship after the service. HSBC Christmas Lunch on December 11, 2022. We will celebrate Christmas with food and fellowship after the worship service. We have a gift for the children. Please plan to join us. We need a head count to prepare the meal. Please sign up in the Information Center so we can give the caterer an estimate.