September 10, 2009 Volume 2 – Issue 35
A Word from our Family Pastor:
The Unpleasant Guest
Have you ever accepted a dinner invitation that you knew would not be pleasant? Jesus did. He
politely accepted an invitation to dinner from a Pharisee only to be accused of being unclean because
he neglected to wash his hands before dinner (Luke 11:37-38)! Jesus, however, handled this impolite
Pharisee quite differently from what we might expect. Instead of taking offense at the Pharisee or
politely brushing off the Pharisees remark, Jesus launches full bore into a lesson on true spirituality.
Politeness is a prized virtue of our day. We want people to be polite to us and we teach our children to
be polite to others whether they see eye to eye with them or not. I suppose there is something noble
about being polite but Jesus often times was not very polite. When this Pharisee took offense at Jesus’
neglect to wash his hands, Jesus’ response was to tell the Pharisee—“inside you are full of greed and
wickedness” (Luke 11:39). This is the sort of conversation that would end the dinner party in most
So was Jesus being a jerk? Didn’t Jesus know that if he wanted to win this Pharisee to the Lord, that
he needed to befriend him first and politely eat dinner with him without too much controversy? Didn’t
Jesus know that this conversation would go better if he got to know the Pharisee a little before pointing
out his sin?
Jesus was no jerk. He just sounds like one because of our own misplaced values. You see Jesus
responded to the Pharisee so pointedly because Jesus valued truth over manners. If Jesus sounds like a
jerk to us, then perhaps what we value needs to be examined.
The flesh is not our friend. It does not have good intentions for us—sin and the devil have one hope in
mind for us—to destroy us and deceive us (John 10:10; Heb. 3:13), to ignore this reality is not polite,
to ignore this reality is foolishness. Jesus valued truth over our human understanding of politeness.
He could have eaten with this Pharisee in relative peace—they could have talked about the weather,
the economy, and their favorite hobbies and never broached any sensitive topics. Jesus, however,
loved people too much to merely talk about such safe things. Jesus is interested in the heart. Jesus
always talked with people about heart issues, even if it was unpleasant. Why? Because he counted
obedience to God more precious than the fleeting pleasures of sin.
This is clear in Jesus’ interaction with this Pharisee in Luke 11 as he says to the Pharisee and his house,
“You fools! Did not he who made the outside [of the cup] make the inside also? But give as alms
those things that are within, and behold, everything is clean for you.” Jesus sees the foolishness of
overlooking this Pharisee’s sad spiritual estate. Jesus isn’t into the business of keeping up appearances
and pretending like things are ok. The Pharisees, however, were skilled at keeping up appearances.
That is why Jesus’ words here are so piercing—he is saying you are worried about the outside of the
cup but God doesn’t care about the outside. What needs to be changed is not behavior or appearance
but the condition of your heart!
Jesus loved people too much to simply overlook their sin. Jesus loved people so much that he spoke
frankly and openly about sin. Certainly there is a place for manners in gospel ministry (1 Peter 3:15),
but do you love people enough to be honest with them about sin (Heb. 3:12-13)? Certainly we need to
be careful and take the log out of our eye, but do you love your brothers and sisters in Christ enough to
lovingly help them take the speck out of theirs (Mat. 7:5)? Do you work to keep up appearances or are
you longing for spiritual transformation of the heart? One way to test yourself is to honestly answer
these questions—do I live so as to please men or to please God? Do I love the truth enough to speak it
even when it hurts? Join me in praying that we would be men and women who value truth over
Announcements:• Family Meeting – This Sunday night is our Family Meeting. Please bring food AND drinks to
everyone to enjoy. We will be giving nominations for deacons and Titus 2 women’s ministry. We
will also vote on church clerk.• Community Groups - New Community Groups start Sunday, September 20. Sign up for the next
set of community groups on the back table in the church.• Ladies Bible Study - The study is Hoping for Something Better by Nancy Guthrie. Lisa Spence
will lead the morning group on Wednesdays at 8:45am. The night group will be led by Wanda
Parker at 6:30pm on Monday nights at her house starting September 14. Book cost is $10.19. Make
check payable to New Covenant.• Ladies True Woman Conference – March 25 – 27 in Chattanooga. Speaking will be Nancy LeighDeMoss, Mary Kassian, Dannah Gresh, and others. Worship leaders are Keith and Kristyn Getty.
Registration is open. The price is $129 plus hotel accommodations. Let Lisa Spence or Amy
Williams know if you are interested. Here’s a link: http://www.truewoman.com/?id=760
• Track Ministry – If you would like to help with the Track Ministry, please see Ron Champion.
Student Announcements:• Meeting – This Sunday we will be having a youth parent meeting this Sunday, September 13, after
the morning service. Lunch will be provided. Drew highly encourages parents to come.
• Pray for Gloria Childress’ brother, James Pierce, who is in kidney failure.
• Pray for Penny Roney, Steve Hellums’ sister. She has a tumor on her pituitary gland.• Pray for Kim Hellums’ mother, who suffered some burns while canning. She is in a great deal of
pain.• Pray for Jeff and Suzanne Davis as Suzanne is pregnant and considered high risk and is having
some major health issues.• Pray for Denise Bledsoe’s mother, Shirley McLendon, who is in congestive heart failure. Please
pray for Denise as she is trying to help her mother as much as possible.• Pray for Ruth Thompson, Wanda Parker’s mother. Pray for her husband, Dalton, as he cares for
• Pray for those with cancer: Linda Duran.
The Hixon Family will be traveling to FBC New Brocton this weekend. There is an Outdoor
Extravaganza on Saturday and a All-Family Revival Sunday through Wednesday. Please pray for God
to save souls and draw His children closer to Him and to each other. Pray for the Hixon’s as they
Anyone interested in going to Nicaragua with M.U.D. Ministries in February, please contact Eric
need to get a form emailed to you for this trip.
Volunteers for this week:
1’s and 2’s – See Regina
3’s and 4’s – See ReginaFood - Denise Bledsoe - Salty
Rory Colvin - Sweet
Last Sunday Stats – August 23, 2009:
Attendance: Worship Service - 48
Offering: General – $5,499.80
Missions – $2,250.00
New Covenant Baptist Church – www.DiscoverNewCovenant.com
104 W. Alabama Avenue, Suite A - Albertville, AL 35950
9:30am - Statement of Faith Class
10:30am - Worship Service
6:00pm – Community Groups
6:00pm – Children’s Activities
6:00pm – Student Activities
6:15pm – Adult Bible Study
Pastor – Brad Williams Family Pastor – Drew Dixon
Our mission and passion at New Covenant Baptist Church is to glorify God by becoming a community that
fosters the love of God with all of the heart, soul, mind and strength, and by learning to love one another as Christ
Jesus has loved us. The answer to every heart's need and the satisfaction of all our longing is found in Jesus Christ
our Lord, who is Himself the very image of Almighty God. We exist to adore Him, and to spread the knowledge
of His greatness to the ends of the earth.