Preaching at Bethel-Franklin
at 10AM this Sunday. First in a 4 part series about Bethel. Here’s the
January schedule at Bethel’s Brentwood and Franklin congregations:

Jan  4   Who We Are
Jan 11  Why We Exist
Jan 18  What We Do
Jan 25  How To Get Involved

My topic Sunday: Who We Are
My simple answer: We are BETHEL
But what is Bethel?

The 1st time Bethel is mentioned in the Bible – Gen 12:8
From there he went on toward the hills east of Bethel and pitched his
tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. There he built an
altar to the Lord and called on the name of the Lord

1. Bethel is a place of consecration and dedicationAbram built an altar

2. Bethel is a place of prayerAbram called on the name of the Lord

Eventually
a famine hits the land, stocks crash and Abram heads to Egypt to get
better health coverage. In order to save his neck (not-so-honest) Abe
claims Sarah is his sister, and she is taken as one of Pharaoh’s
mistresses. The Lord threatened Pharaoh’s life, so he decided to return
Sarah to the Great Man of God.

Abram returned from Egypt a “very wealthy” man (Gen 13:2) – with a bad testimony and a messed up marriage.

God
did not call Abram to Egypt. He went any way, b/c he could make more
money. This is the only part of Abe’s journey that he did not build an
altar to the Lord. And it is the only time where God did not speak to
him or appear to him. It is possible to be out of God’s will and
experience “prosperity” and be in God’s will and experience trials.

After a season of “prosperity” with no altars, no calling out to God and no hearing from God – Abram returned to Bethel.

3. Bethel is a place to return to the Lord – After being away from God, Abram returned to where he had first build an altar (Gen 13:1-4)

I believe God has called all the Bethel congregations in Middle Tennessee to be places where 1000’s of people

– Dedicate their lives to the Lord
– Cry out God in prayer
– Return to God’s will

All for now. Hope to see you Sunday @ Bethel-Franklin.