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A Message From Our Pastor

Bulletin Article from 12-31-23

Well, we have done it. We have made it through another year with all of its ups and downs. But we should not be surprised by the events of life, even the difficult times, because Jesus instructs us in John 16:33 that “In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”


Today is not only the last day of the year, it is the last Sunday of 2023. We have had 365 days, 52 of them Sundays, in which  to show our faithfulness and devotion to our Lord. How have we done in the past year? Certainly, God was very good to us this year (He always is). He added some wonderful people to our number, and we look forward to serving Him with them in the year to come. But today we cannot do anything about 2023. It is done, over, kaput. However, we can as Paul stated reach “forth unto those things which are before.” Today not only marks the end of the past year, but it also marks the beginning of a new one. What will the new year bring? I have no idea, but this one thing I do know, that the God who was Lord over 2023 is Lord over 2024 and any year it comes to be, and if we are faithfully serving Him according to His Word we cannot go wrong.


 Whether they state them or not, most people have some goals or ideas in mind for the coming year. As the servants of the Living God we should never sit down and be satisfied with what we have done. Instead it should be our goal to do more, to show an even greater faith in and faithfulness to Him in the days to come. The Apostle Paul said in Philippians 3:13-14, “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”


As a church our goal for the coming year should be to be more of the type of church the Lord can bless. What does that mean? Among other things it means having a heart for the lost, having a heart for mission work, and having a heart that loves the Word of God. I also believe it means that in our “worship” services we will truly worship our Lord – not so much according to the pattern that we have learned from those who have gone before us but according to the leadership of God’s Spirit. Remember what Jesus told the Samaritan woman in John 4:24, “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” If we will allow Him, the Holy Spirit can and will direct our worship services. However, by mere “habitual worship” (“worship” that comes out of habit instead of heart, i.e. “going through the motions”) we can negate the leadership of the Spirit. Jesus asked some in Matthew 15:3, “Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?” We must allow the Holy Spirit to direct us as we come together to worship God!


I want us to have a wonderful year in the Lord in 2024, and I want us to have worship services that are (again) truly worshipful, that lift up Jesus and glorify God, and that are directed by His Spirit. And the way to do that is to commit and submit ourselves to Him in the coming year.

                                        Our Pastor


                                       Our pastor is Bro. James Harris. Bro. Harris is a native Texarkanian. He is a 1969 graduate of

                                         Texarkana, Texas High School, attended the Missionary Baptist Seminary in Little Rock, Arkansas,

                                         and pastored four churches in Arkansas before coming to Bethel in September of 2013.

We are streaming all of our services live on our Facebook page:
Bethel Baptist Church -- Texarkana:

Still preaching from the KJV!

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