Connecting Point – June 19, 2024

Today (June 19) is Juneteenth, which became a federal holiday several years ago. Here is the reason June 19 became our nation's newest federal holiday. On June 19, 1865, Gordon Granger, a Union General, arrived in Galveston, Texas, to inform enslaved African Americans of their freedom and that the Civil War had ended. They were still being treated as slaves as though the war for their freedom had ended two months earlier when Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered at Appomattox, Virginia. General Granger's announcement put into effect the Emancipation Proclamation, which had been issued nearly two and a half years earlier, on Jan. 1, 1863, by President Abraham Lincoln. Upon receiving the news from General Granger, the now freed former slaves in Galveston celebrated their freedom in many ways on that day. And throughout the years many African Americans have continued to celebrate Juneteenth, which is also known as "Emancipation Day" or "Freedom Day." Just as our nation for several hundred years has celebrated on Independence Day (July 4) our freedom from the tyranny of Great Britain, it is right and good to celebrate the abolishment of slavery back in 1865.

"I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave of sin. . . . But if the Son sets you free, you are truly free."

We should celebrate the endings of tyranny and abuse that have occurred in our nation, but we should also celebrate the "emancipation" or freedom that we experience when Jesus Christ comes into our lives and delivers us from the struggles and strongholds of our lives. Some of  my favorite Bible verses are found in John. Among them are John 8:31-32 where we find Jesus saying, "You are truly My disciples if you remain faithful to My teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." And Jesus went on to say in John 8:34 and 36, "I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave of sin. . . . But if the Son sets you free, you are truly free." We should be grateful for and celebrate God's forgiveness of our sins and becoming a member of His family, which occurs when we receive Jesus as our Savior. But we should also celebrate the freedom(s) that the Lord brings to our lives - freedom from addictions, from bitterness, from a critical spirit, from depression, from fear, from guilt, from hurt, from insecurity, from lust, from sorrow, from worry and from many other strongholds in our lives. So, what kinds of "slavery" has the Lord delivered you from? And do you celebrate the "freedom" that you have experienced in your life because of the presence and power of Jesus in your life?

My story (or testimony) is that when Jesus came into my life many years ago He delivered me from addictions to alcohol, drugs, immorality and pornography. But He's delivered me and thousands of other people in our Church from many other strongholds as well over the years. And the good news is that Jesus is still in the delivering business.

The good news is that Jesus is still in the delivering business.

This weekend world renowned author and Bible teacher Beth Moore is coming to Celebration Church again. She has her own story of the Lord bringing great freedom and healing to her life. But I'm thinking about the story of another great female Bible teacher named Kay Arthur, that many people in our Church have learned from over the years.Her Precept Bible Study classes are offered in tens of thousands of churches around our nation and many other churches around the world. Her testimony is recorded in her book, "Lord I Need Your Grace To Make It." Kay was a Church attendee as a young adult, but never truly committed her life to the Lord. Her husband was bi-polar, and because of his manic depression, she felt like she couldn't take it anymore, so she left him. She went into immorality and got involved with a married man. Her husband became so depressed that he threatened suicide. Kay was so crass and hardened that she said, "You go ahead and commit suicide. I can use the money." Well, her husband did what he'd threatened to do. He hung himself. After that tragedy Kay felt like such a failure as a wife and mother. One day as she was driving in her car with her two children, she shook her fist at God and said, "To hell with you God" Later on she said, "I didn't realize that that's exactly what Jesus did for me. He took all the hell for me when He died on the cross for me." When she said to God, "To hell with you," it was almost as if she heard Him say, "All right Kay, to heaven with you." Understanding for the first time the great love, forgiveness, mercy and grace of the Lord, Kay Arthur surrendered her life to Jesus, she was delivered from her strongholds, and she became a great Christian Bible teacher and author who has impacted the world for good and for God. What the Lord did in Kay Arthur's life, what He did in my life, and many other people's lives, He can do in your life as well. And when the Lord does bring you victory over various struggles and strongholds, be sure to stop and praise Him for your freedom like the former slaves did on that first Juneteenth day in our nation.

Visit your campus Facebook group to stay up-to-date with upcoming activities!

By the way, our Church offices are closed today because of the Juneteenth federal holiday. And most of our Campuses aren't having midweek services/activities because of the holiday. Check with your Campus to see if any activities are planned for today.

Beth Moore Celebration Church

The Living Proof Conference this Friday and Saturday at Celebration on Airline with world renowned speaker, Beth Moore, is sold out. But pray that all of the Women who attend will be greatly encouraged, equipped and empowered to be difference-makers in the world around us.

We've heard great testimonies from last week's Youth Camp, which was attended by over 100 teens and a number of adults from our Church family. The reports are that our teens really drew near to the Lord through their worship times, small group interaction, and personal Bible study times. If you had a teen who participated in Youth Camp, ask them about their experiences and celebrate with them what the Lord did in their life last week.And if you have teens that aren't involved in The Social, our Church's Youth Ministry, be sure to get them involved in the coming weeks so they can develop and/or deepen their walk with the Lord and become real disciples of Jesus and difference-makers in the world.

All In Baptism

110 people at Celebration Church have taken the step of baptism over the last couple of weeks, but many more need to take that important growth step in their lives. If you haven't been baptized by immersion and want to take that step in the coming weeks, notify one of our Staff or Leaders and they will help you get ready to be baptized soon. To learn more about "baptism by immersion" go to www.celebrationchurch.org/baptism or go to our Digital Worship Guide at webcc.info and click on the My Decision tab.

THE WAY OF THE WISE continues this Sunday at our Celebration Church Campuses. Be sure to invite some friends to come with you as we learn that Wise People Learn To Control Their Emotions.

Pastor Dennis

Gratefully yours,

Pastor Dennis Watson
Lead Pastor, Celebration Church
dennisw@celebrationchurch.org
dennis.watson.96

Scroll to Top