BVCC continues to suspend non-ministry events and Kids Connect until further notice.

Happy Birthday!

Acts 2.1-15, 36-38, 41
When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language. And they were amazed and astonished, saying, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language? Parthians and Medes and Elamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians—we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God.” And all were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” But others mocking said, “They are filled with new wine.” But Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them: “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and give ear to my words. For these people are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day.
Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.” Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.

At this time of year we celebrate the birth of the church universal and the birth of our local church. The birth of the church universal is on the day of Pentecost when God the Holy Spirit came on all believers after God the Son Jesus Christ had ascended to the right hand of God the Father in heaven. Pentecost is fifty days after Passover. Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice for our sins on the cross as the Lamb of God at Passover. Jesus appeared to over 500 witnesses in his resurrected body. Jesus promised the coming of the Holy Spirit (see John 14.15-31; 16.1-15), and the world noticed as recorded in Acts 2. I would encourage you to read all about it.
Our local church, Bella Vista Community Church, was chartered in 1974. We usually celebrate our church anniversary (birthday) on the first Sunday in June. How fitting that we will also celebrate as we gather for worship this weekend after about three months apart regarding COVID-19 concerns! Of course, we don’t have to show up at the church building to be at church because we as believers are the church. 
Wherever you are, as a follower of Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit is with you. Do you see evidence of the Holy Spirit in your life—the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5.22-23)—love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control? Do you abide in Christ (John 15) and pay attention to the ways the Holy Spirit helps you understand the Bible, live a Christian lifestyle, convict you of your sin, and share your faith with others? You’ve probably heard the saying, “You’re the only Bible some people will ever read.” What that means is people notice the way you live your life and how you respond to difficult situations. What you do and say matter. Many people may never read the Bible, but they do know you and see how you live your life. Do you ask the Holy Spirit to help you make decisions every day? He is also our comforter and counselor. The Holy Spirit is at work in sanctification—helping us to become more like Christ. We have a personal relationship with God—it is a two-way relationship. We must depend on the Holy Spirit in order to produce the fruit of the Spirit. 
In keeping with a birthday, every Christian receives a spiritual gift from the Holy Spirit, perhaps a few gifts, but no Christian has all the gifts. Are you using your spiritual gift to build up the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12-14)?
Whether we will see you this weekend or you plan to continue worshiping God from home at this time, happy birthday, church!