Bethany Church was blessed to have Elder Michael Gowens for their annual meeting Sept. 12-14. This was Elder Gowens first time to be at Bethany and he indicated he greatly enjoyed his visit and the kindness and hospitality of the members of Bethany. It was good to have his wife and family with him during the visit. I was not able to be present in any of the worship services but I understand that Elder Gowens was blessed with some timely messages, both practical and doctrinal.
Elder Gowens is blessed with a great gift and we appreciate him sharing his time with Bethany during the meeting. Thanks to Elder James Hall and Brother David Wise for handling most of the of the duties of the moderator during the meeting. We were blessed with many visitors during the meeting and for that we are grateful. Surely the light of the Lord once again gave its light in Zion. “Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God hath shined.” (Psalm 50:2).
We had a few that forgot the meeting was going on and that was to their detriment, having missed the blessing of worshiping with the saints. We are told that we are saved if we keep in memory what has been preached unto us. (I Cor. 15:1-2). We know our eternal salvation is not contingent on our memory because if it was, no man or woman would be saved. Keep in memory our blessed Lord and His commandments and what He has commanded us and be saved from lost blessings and errant pathways. Among other things, He has commanded us: “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” (Heb. 10:25). Remember it is not just during special meetings like the annual meeting that we experience the presence of the Lord. We can do this each time we gather together to worship the Lord.
Elder Gowens preached on Friday night Sept. 12 from John 16: 33 on the “Realism Of The Christian Faith” that comes through trials and tribulations. Saturday morning, Sept. 13 Elder Gowens preached about “Serving the Lord” from Romans 12:11. Saturday night he preached on the “Potter’s House from Jeremiah 18: 1-5 on the sovereignty of God. Sunday, Sept. 14 he preached on “Ephesians in Simple Pictures” covering the book of Ephesians.
We can pray that the Lord will pour out His Spirit upon us individually and also collectively. Jesus give us this lesson about prayer and the Holy Spirit: “If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” (Luke 11:11-13).
I enjoyed the visit with Elder Gowens and the prayer He offered on my behalf and others. May the Lord continue to bless His efforts to serve the Lord as well as myself and all the children of God scattered throughout the land.–Sept.20, 2014–Elder Larry Wise