Highland Park Baptist Church
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Jesus in the Suburbs – Part 1

June 18th, 2013 | Posted by bvosler in Derrick - (Comments Off on Jesus in the Suburbs – Part 1)

A year and half ago my wife and I were discussing moving our family from the suburbs of Farmington Hills into the city of Detroit. We even talked with friends about moving as well. We were enthralled with the idea of pouring into people’s lives in the “City.” I had this vision of ministry at HPBC coupled with ministry out of our house in the city of Detroit. We were both excited about this and started to pursue this endeavor in prayer.

After spending months of prayer over this, God abruptly changed my point of view and gave me a spiritual kick in the pants. Here we were a young family ready to do anything for the Lord and move…. yet God just began to break my heart over the lostness of the neighborhood I was already living in. We had formed some great relationships with the 6-7 families around us. We have poured into them, showed them Jesus, and loved on them.

God renewed my calling to people! Not to a place, not to a particular social stratosphere, not to something “new” and possibly dangerous, but to PEOPLE! We had built into the lives of some very lost families. They trust us completely and confide in us. They know we are genuine, even mentioning to us they have never experienced a “Christian” family like us. I even had one of my neighbors say, “I have a great wife, great kids, plenty of money in the bank, and yet I don’t have happiness….. I want what you and your family have.” And here I was ready to walk away from these relationships for something new, something that was kind of the cool thing to do at my age. God really changed my heart.

Let me remind all of us, Jesus Christ came to die for everyone (1 John 2:2). Yes, everyone, the poor, the oppressed, the middle class, and the rich. They ALL need Jesus. No matter where you might be located, remember God has you there for a reason…. Ministry! Tell others about Jesus and live out the Gospel in front of them. Win them to Christ or at the least show them Jesus in your life.

Take your calling as a child of God seriously. Love on those around you and make Jesus known. If you have not developed relationships with the people around you, I challenge you to do that. Your opportunity to shine Jesus light is great. People want to be friends with authentic, trustworthy people. Be that person to your neighbors. Show them Jesus!

Derrick Jackson

Music & Worship

* There is another important scriptural truth to this story that I will write about in my next blog. 

God Will Help You

June 3rd, 2013 | Posted by bvosler in Derrick - (Comments Off on God Will Help You)

In my sermon from a couple weeks ago I asked some tough questions that every believer should ask themselves regarding their faith. I want to follow that sermon up with a couple of practical things to help us in the process of keeping from sin and magnifying Jesus.

1. Believers CAN avoid sin, because God is within them.
The third Person of the Trinity the Holy Spirit lives inside of you. He is there to help you in your walk. To remind you of the teachings of Jesus (Jn. 14:26), to put conviction into your heart before you make a wrong choice (Jn.14:15), and not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear and provide a way out so that you can stand up under it (1 Cor. 10:13). So be encouraged! The more you deepen your relationship with the Triune God of the universe the more you will be prepared for sin and the enemy.
2.  We CANNOT do it on our own.
As much as we would like to think we are in control we are not. We balance our checkbooks, make financial decisions, choose our profession, choose our schools, set grounds rules for the family, and sometimes we feel like we are in control. You may be right. You may be empowered by these things, but do not think for a second that the God who created and freely gave us money, jobs, education, and a family is not in ultimate control (1 Chron. 29:11)
That is good news church! If we have given our lives over to Christ there will be a dependency on the Lord in all things. If we are dependent on Him for our eternal future, how much more should we be dependent on Him right now. If we try to be in control of our lives, we will fail. Ultimately because that is not why we were created. We were created to be dependent on God. Pray, fast, give, read the Word, and recognize He is Lord of all!
I leave you with a great quote:
Any battle for victory, power, and deliverence – from ourselves and from sin – which is not based constantly upon the gazing and the beholding of the Lord Jesus, with the heart and life lifted up to Him, is doomed to failure. 
May the God of grace grant you peace and assurance,
Derrick Jackson

Favoritism Dishonors God…. Seriously

October 22nd, 2012 | Posted by bvosler in Derrick - (1 Comments)

I wonder why it is we choose to show favoritism to some? In my study time this
past week I stumbled upon the realization (something that I kind of knew) that favoritism
really upsets God. I was reading James 2:1-13 and was blasted with a new understanding
that this is a really BIG deal. Don’t believe me? Go take a read…
After studying this passage something else came to me. Treating people
differently based on our preferences dishonors God and it is also selfish. Ask yourself
these questions:
– Why do we look down on people who have less than we do?
– Why do we focus on the flaws of those around us?
– Why do we gossip about people who are having troubles?
– Why do we highlight negative things about each other?
– Why do we sometimes cut, and bite, and tear at each other?

The overwhelming answer…….. to exalt ourselves. An easy way to look tall is to
squash everyone around you. Think about the conversations you had this week. Did you
spend more time exalting God or exalting yourself? God is not exalted by words that
despise, words that oppress, words that exalt you. God is exalted as we honor all of our
brothers and sisters equally for who they are in Christ.

So this IS a really big deal when we show preference to people. When we choose to not
talk to Believers in the Body of Christ. We must understand that without God’s gift of
salvation, we are every bit as offensive in God’s eyes as anyone else. As the person(s)
who sits across the aisle from you that you chose not to speak too, or as the people who
sit in front of you but dress differently than you, worship differently than you, and look
differently than you.

James calls us, in light of God’s mercy shown to us, to show NO partiality and honor
them. I don’t know about you but I am amazed at how Christ continues to make new
those who belong to Him. In light of Calvary and the very Words of Scripture let’s be
completely united in Spirit and purpose as we magnify the name of Jesus together and
show honor for one another.

Derrick Jackson
Music & Worship

Speak with your life!

May 10th, 2012 | Posted by bvosler in Derrick - (Comments Off on Speak with your life!)
An idiom that has dominated American Christianity since the eighties reads: It is easy to talk the talk, but can you walk the walk. This is something we have heard and been challenged to do our whole Christian life. Something that delineates between “Jesus Freaks” and “Jesus Believers.” Walking the walk is actually really hard to do, but something required of those who profess Jesus to be Lord of their life. I implore you to DO more than you TALK. To be imitators of Christ is no small feat, however we are challenged to try (Eph. 5:1-2). Through the power of the Holy Spirit, one can be empowered to give there ALL in trying. I have found in my evangelism opportunities, people are much more interested in how I live, than what I say. In fact, how I live gives credibility to what I say. How I live gives meaning and power to scriptural truth that I proclaim from my mouth. You want people to know Christ and experience His love….. stop only talking and LIVE OUT THE GOSPEL:
1 John 2:4-6
The man who says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But if anyone obeys his word, God’s love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.
In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
Derrick Jackson
Music & Worship