hillsdaleDear “Heart of a Shepherd” reader,

I thought I might take the liberty of posting on this blog a letter of greeting that I wrote for Hillsdale Baptist Church’s bulletin for this Sunday, January 10, 2016.   The emphasis of our preaching this January is on the Word of God with a focused study on Psalm 119.   The following is my brief letter to the church.

We are now more than halfway through the second decade of the 21st century and find our nation and world in turmoil.  Far from the utopia liberals and agnostics predicted in the early 20th century, our world appears to be on the precipice of a cataclysmic meltdown spiritually, economically and politically.  The War on Terrorism is far from over and the militant, apocalyptic Islamic ideology that is driving a barbarous march of bloodshed across the Middle East and Europe is now a very real threat to our families and communities.

The mistrust of politicians and government is at an all time high and a vacuum of leaders with integrity and vision is frightening.  Living in a world filled with uncertainty and despair, it is easy to become discouraged and depressed; however, God’s people hold the key to hope and certainty…the enduring promises of God’s Word.

Bible and Oil Lamp1 Peter 1:23, 25 – “Being born again…by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. 25  But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.

My friend, I cannot overemphasize how important it is for us to be “People of the Word!”  We are commanded to be disciplined students of God’s Word (2 Timothy 2:15) who refuse to trifle in foolish philosophies and false teachings.  Sadly, far too many church members are facing the bleakness of a world in spiritual darkness and lack even an elementary knowledge of Bible truth to light the way.  It is my prayer our brief study of Psalm 119 this month will stir you to be avid students of the Word of God.

With love and a shepherd’s heart,

Pastor Travis D. Smith