Pastor Bill & Kathy Barton.

Pastor Bill & Kathy Barton.

Greetings!

Greetings from Pastor Bill,

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow

with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 15:13 NIV). 

So many people struggle with some form of pain such as failure, guilt, fear, anger, despair, financial stress, a physical disability, relational conflict, or the loss of a loved one.  As a result, hopelessness and depression is running rampant in our society today as people die from the inside out.  They give up as they feel like they are drowning with no way out. 

We need hope in this dark, sinful world. Fortunately, we have a God of HOPE!   We have a God who gives hope!!  He gave hope to Abraham in promising him a son in his old age and becoming a great nation.  He gave hope to the Israelites as he delivered them from the bondage of slavery in Egypt.  He gave hope to Joshua as he led the Israelites into the Promised Land. 

The word hope in Romans 15:13 links back to the word hope in the previous verse.  In verse 12, Paul quotes the Septuagint version of Isa. 11:10. The Root of Jesse will spring up, one who will arise to rule over the nations; in him the Gentiles will hope.” Him refers to Jesus Christ!  He is from the root of Jesse, a descendant of David.  In Jesus, the Gentiles, non-Jews, have found HOPE!  God gave us an assured hope in Jesus Christ!! He died for our sins. He rose from the dead. He invites you to receive Him, to believe in Him, to commit your life to follow Him, and you will find peace with God.  As you trust in Him, you will know is joy and peace. You will have the assured hope of life, abundant life in His Spirit and eternal life.

God through Jesus gives hope as He has given us His Holy Spirit as the Comforter. He speaks words of hope through the encouragement of others. The Lord gives hope as He speaks through his word, the Bible.

Thirty-three years ago, my father in law, my wife’s grandmother, and my dad all died within 7 weeks. I experienced depression.  Yet, in the fog, I sensed God’s Spirit speaking to me as I read 

I Peter 5:10, 11, And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 11 To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen (NIV).

As I came through the depression, the Lord did restore me and the experience made me stronger.  

We have a God of hope!!  He offers hope when we have failed, hope when life seems so overwhelming, and hope when grief seems unbearable.  He offers the hope for abundant life and hope for eternal life.  God has worked in this stolen, sinful world to such an extent so that we might have overflowing hope!  

First Baptist Church of Mount Vernon is not perfect, but we desire to be a light of hope, a place where individuals can find overflowing hope in Jesus Christ.  We are sinners saved by God’s amazing grace through Jesus Christ!!!  The God of Hope, the God of Love, the God of Truth, is transforming us and molding us to become the congregation that the He wants us to be!   

I pray the God of hope will turn your overload into overflow.  May He give you hope that motivates when discouragement is so overwhelming.  May you know God’s love and encouragement in the midst of despair.  May you trust in Him so that you will overflow with HOPE through the power of his Holy Spirit.   

Grace to you,

Pastor Bill