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ALTAR CALL – Giving back to our Lord

Cheryl Harewood

ALTAR CALL – Giving back to our Lord

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“Let’s turn in our hymn books to No. 413.”
With that command, Reverend Robert Smith and the members of St Philip Independent Baptist Church lustily sang the words to I Was Sinking Deep In Sin.
This signalled the start of the morning service, which followed closely on the heels of the Sunday School hour.
Downstairs in the Junior Church, the sweet voices of children (under the guidance of Sister Rhoda, Smith’s wife), could be heard as they sang Rise, Shine, And Give God The Glory.
As if aiming to ensure every moment was spent in praise and reverence to God, another hymn broke forth upstairs. In sweet acappella I Remember When My Burdens Rolled Away and My Sins Are Gone were being sung.
It was a specialSunday for Smith and his congregation.
His parents, missionaries  Robert “Larry” and Estelle Smith, were visiting from the United States, and members were making plans to mark the church’s sixth anniversary. This apart, it was the Sunday morning following the onslaught of Tropical Storm Tomas, just hours earlier.
Thankfully, the church had both electricity and water. Only a little rain had seeped through the cracks of the wooden building – the old Industry High School building at Heddings, St Philip. And a few had braved the flood warning, which was in effect, to unite in worship.
The day’s message was on giving to the cause of evangelism, so as to win souls to the Kingdom.
Smith Senior took his text from Matthew Chapter 28, where Jesus, before leaving Earth, admonished his disciples to “go ye into all the world and make disciples of all nations; baptising them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and teaching them to observe all things”.
“As Christ spoke to his disciples then, so He is speaking to us now,” declared Smith.
“The first teaching is about personal evangelism, the second is about teaching as in Sunday School, and the third is mass teaching – preaching all over the world,” Smith added.
He said churches which were not not actively involved in world missions usually died. Then he sought to list six reasons why an individual should give to missions.
The first, he said, was to prove their love for God, just as God did when He gave His Son (John 3: 16).
“Our first response should be to give back to God and to His work. There are hundreds of people who would love to go around the world to preach the Word, but they need others to give,” he said.
He further added that it was scriptural to give to missions, and that “it takes money and men [those who are surrendered to God] to get the job of missions done”.
He said other reasons to give were because “it is a wise investment, and one’s money and heart should be in God’s work, not in laying up riches on Earth”.
He said God’s promise to pour out a blessing to those who tithe and give of their offerings was a promise God had kept in his own life throughout the years.
Following prayers and the rededication of lives at the altar, the close-knit congregation left armed with advice from Christ, who is The Bread of Life, as well as with loaves of home-baked bread, with the compliments of Sister Rhoda.
• To have your church featured in Altar Call, please contact Cheryl Harewood at 430-5494 or email [email protected]