Month: January 2016

Preparing for the Lord’s Supper

By Karen Polich

The new covenant is final. Gone are the old ways of ceremony and sacrificial offerings. Through Jesus Christ we are no longer bound to this. Jesus came as the fulfillment of God’s plan to reconcile His people. He served as the ultimate sacrifice.

And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. Hebrews 10:10

Sunday, Albuquerque’s First Baptist Church will spend time together honoring our Lord and Savior through the Lord’s Supper.

The Lord’s Supper represents what Jesus offered. We live in complete forgiveness of sin, once and for all, through Christ. We should approach the observance of the Lord’s Supper with reverence and worship. What greater gift than the gift of salvation? To be truly reconciled with God through Jesus Christ is the ultimate picture of grace.

It is a time of reflection. Where is your heart with God? Take an honest look at your relationship with your Lord. Are there things you need to lay at Christ’s feet? Forgiveness is free. There are no strings attached and no need to “earn” your way. Christ is there with outstretched arms, waiting for you.

I am the way, truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6

It is a time of worship. We serve a mighty God! Hidden in Christ, we stand before Him in perfection. (Colossians 3:1-4)  Having examined your heart, it is time to focus on what Christ has done for us and give Him the glory He deserves. Let your heart give thanks and praise to the One who sits at God’s right hand. Jesus is worthy of our praise.

The Lord’s Supper is a time for all believers to worship together, forgiven and free from the bondage of sin. In preparation for Sunday, spend time in prayer and read Hebrews 10:1-10.

For more information about worship service times, visit our website,


The Forgotten Great ONE – God in You

By Kevin Linthicum

 “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8

Christians in the world today have become impotent. Christians have become impotent because we have forgotten the promise given to us in Acts 1:8. What has happened to the courage that was displayed by first century Christians? What has happened to the Holy Spirit filled Christian willing to die for the cause of Christ? The power of the Holy Spirit in us enables us to overcome any obstacle in our path. However, our lives are lived in a timid fashion, fearing what others might think.

Does your life express the joy of the Holy Spirit?

Are you seeking the teaching of the Holy Spirit?

Do you sense the power of the Holy Spirit in your life?

What would happen if we took a firm stand for the Truth? What would happen if we began to embrace the power of the Holy Spirit within us, and lived our lives based on the power of the Holy Spirit? This tremendous power is within all believers. Our disobedience has so quenched the Holy Spirit. The valve within our souls is closed so tight, the Holy Spirit is not able to work within us. We need to pray specifically that the Holy Spirit would move freely in our lives.  Because we are not willing to speak up and proclaim the whole Gospel, lives are being lost on a daily basis. We should consider the following:

  1. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills. 1 Corinthians 12:11
  1. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law. Galatians 5:18
  1. But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. John 16:13

Is the Holy Spirit leading you to reach out to someone today? If so, I invite you to respond. The time for being timid and unresponsive has passed. We need to take active, aggressive, and ascending steps towards the Holy Spirit today.

Apart from the Holy Spirit, there are no great ones. Listen to Pastor Kevin Linthicum via podcast here.

Beyond The Walls

AFBC Staff

Everybody can be great, because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and your verbs agree to serve…You don’t have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve. You only need a heart full of grace and a soul generated by love. Martin Luther King  

Serving is not a new concept. This message is taught repeatedly in the Scriptures. Peter tells us in 1 Peter 4:10, “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.”

Albuquerque’s First Baptist Church takes serving seriously. Pastor Michael M. Cook often reminds the congregation of what we refer to as The Big Three: worship, participation in small groups and serving.

Aside from the biblical reasons for volunteering, here are four great reasons to volunteer in the community.

  1. Growth
    By volunteering with an ongoing program, volunteers see growth and change. Whether working with children who are learning to read or adults who are developing trust with their peers, volunteers can actually watch growth among their clients over time. This reinforces the volunteer’s own sense of worthiness and vitality in the program.

    2. Enrichment
    There’s nothing more fulfilling than realizing how much of an impact a volunteer can make. Volunteers working together to build a children’s playground or low-cost housing for needy families can later visit these sites and see how the project has enriched the neighborhood. Just a few hours of helping can turn into a lifetime of opportunity, which is one of the greatest benefits of volunteering.

    3. Learning
    Volunteer opportunities often allow people to try new activities or learn new skills. For example, when an accountant volunteers to help cook a holiday dinner at a homeless shelter, he walks away with not only a few cooking tips, but also knowledge of how to keep food at a safe temperature and how to serve large groups.

    4. Friendships
    When like-minded people get together, friendships are formed. After working on a volunteer project for a few weeks, it’s not uncommon for volunteers to exchange phone numbers or social media information. By giving just a few hours a week, lifetime friendships may be established.

Serving is not just important within the walls of the church but beyond the walls as well. There will be displays on the AFBC concourse Sunday January 24th and you will have an opportunity to speak first hand with representatives from faith-based organizations that are always looking for volunteers. Ask questions. Learn about ways that you can impact lives beyond the walls of our church.

Sharing information about volunteer opportunities will be representatives from:  The Gideons, Habitat for Humanity, Love, Inc., Baptist Convention of New Mexico, The Rock at NoonDay, Ronald McDonald House, and CareNet.

Join us on Sunday, January 24th and explore these opportunities.

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!” Isaiah 6:8








Phinehas: Zeal for God

By Robert Thomas

Tucked away in a small chapter in the book of Numbers is a powerful story, in which a man who had zeal for God made a very bold decision that would impress the Lord. In Numbers 25, Phinehas showed his obedience and ardent dedication to God’s honor by making a decision that would affect the history of God’s people.

But first, take a few steps back with me to Numbers 22 for the beginning of the story.

Balak was king of Moab, and Israel struck fear into his heart because Israel defeated every enemy they came across, by the power of their God. Balak heard Israel had made camp near his people, the Moabites.

Balak decided to hire a magician named Balaam. Balaam’s reputation was for cursing people, so maybe Balaam would be able to defeat Israel where no others could. However, Numbers chapters 22-24 tell us that regardless of how many times Balaam attempted to curse Israel, they were utterly protected by God. No attack would prosper.

Balaam shrewdly decided to entice Israel to engage in sin. Perhaps temptation would accomplish what no attack could. This is where we enter into the story in Numbers 25, as Israel enters into a sinful relationship with the daughters of Moab, joining in their sexual immorality and idol worship.

God sees His children disobeying His commands and disciplines them. The leaders of this rebellion were to be executed and a plague overcame Israel. Tens of thousands would die and the whole of Israel mourned outside the tent of meeting. To make matters worse, an Israelite man, flippantly disobeying God’s commands, paraded through the Israelite camp with his pagan girlfriend, showing complete disregard for God’s commands.

Phinehas, the son of Israel’s priest, watched these things play out. In the middle of a weeping congregation, Phinehas watched this Israelite man publicly ignore God and decided he could not sit by and allow this to happen. Wordlessly, Phinehas took a spear, followed the man to his tent, and stabbed both the man and the woman with a spear. At that moment, God’s anger toward Israel abated, because of the actions of one man who stood up and attacked sin head-on.

By acting against sin, Phinehas revealed his strong desire to protect God’s honor amongst his people. He understood the holiness of God. He chose to confront the sin, acknowledging that sin came with a great cost. As a result of Phinehas’ actions, God was pleased with Phinehas’ zeal. He decided to make a covenant with Phinehas, that his entire lineage would serve as priests in God’s temple forever, and the Priestly Covenant was established.

Even though Israel could not be attacked from the outside, they were vulnerable to their own temptation. But Phinehas’ zeal for God’s honor and glory is an example for Christians everywhere. His decision to end sin at the source was celebrated by God. This example is challenging for us today. I ask myself, how often am I caught blatantly welcoming sin into my heart? Even more importantly, do my actions show any regard for the holiness and greatness of the God of the universe?

Phinehas is one of the Bible’s many great heroes of faith, due to his passionate dedication to God’s honor.

This week, I challenge you to pray this prayer from Psalm 139:23-24: Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Listen to The Great Ones sermon series here.

Robert Thomas is a graduate of UNM, and is currently a student at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, pursuing a master’s degree in Christian Education. He leads the 5th and 6th grade Preteen ministry at AFBC, and works as a substitute teacher for Albuquerque Public Schools. In his spare time, he enjoys surfing the internet on his laptop, watching a movie with his friends, or hanging with his preteens at the church.

A New Thing

By LuAnn Edwards

What does the Lord want to do in your life this year?

Are you willing to move ahead in faith and take a step or two forward in your journey? I believe God wants to do a new thing in each of us. He is doing that in me.

A few months ago our evangelism pastor, Kevin Linthicum, asked each person in our small group to find one person we could reach out to with God’s love. I decided a young man I worked with would be my “one.” The following day, I learned he resigned. It didn’t take long before I knew who my new “one” would be. Within two months she, too, was gone.

I began to think, “Maybe ‘one’ isn’t what the Lord wants from me right now; ‘one’ is in my comfort zone.’’ I believe the Lord has called me to “more than one” because this is a stretch for me.

After praying for direction, the Lord led me to begin a ladies’ Bible study at work even though I am not comfortable talking in front of a group. As a former teacher, I have spoken to a class of teens, but I have never led an adult Bible study. He hand-picked a group of ladies and brought us together to grow, learn, and fellowship with one another. I believe God is doing great things within our group.

The Lord also directed me to join my church’s Malawi mission team. I am excited, as this will be my first mission trip.

When the team first met for a time of prayer, Kevin asked us to share our expectations in Malawi. I signed up one week before this and had not even thought about expectations. I was just trying to get used to the idea that I was going to travel to Africa and share the Gospel. I kept thinking, “How did this happen? Lord, what are you doing?”

Now after thoughtful consideration, I imagine my whole world will turn upside down. I am expecting to experience God as I have never experienced Him before. I am anticipating God will do a new thing in me.

Starting the Bible study and taking a mission trip to Africa are huge steps of faith for me. God is stretching me and teaching me to trust Him more. Is God stretching you and your faith? Is He wanting to do a new thing in you?

“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland” (Isaiah 43:19).

Moses – A Great Vessel

By Karen Polich

Have you ever thought about how the life of Moses can impact how we live?

Phynnly Masiku, shared Sunday’s message and gave us insight on Moses. There is much we can learn from Moses. Listen to The Great Ones sermon series via podcast here.

Moses was many things, most importantly, he was called by God.

A man of faith and friend of God. Moses knew the God he was serving and spent time investing in his relationship with Him.

A prophet. God spoke through Moses.

An investigator. Growing up in the palace, he was able to see things from a unique perspective. When he saw something, he looked deeper. From the treatment of the Hebrew people to the burning bush, Moses was attentive. He used his knowledge to intercede for the Hebrew people.

A humble man. He did not seek to glorify himself, but to honor God. He was willing to submit to God. This required patience, trust and courage.

A man who knew hardship. Moses had his share of difficulties. In the hardships, he encountered the power and glory of God. This is where much of his personal growth happened.

A man of obedience. Moses had excuses when God called him to lead the Israelites, but he listened to God and was willing. God gave him support through his brother. God did not call him to work alone.

A great leader. Moses was successful. He was focused on God, willing to obey and God’s plan never fails.

We serve the same mighty God as Moses!

What we can learn:

  • In hardship, seek God.
  • God will not call us without equipping us.
  • With faith, we can engage with God like never before.
  • Leadership and knowledge come when we seek God, study His Word and are willing to share what we learn.
  • God knows our hearts. He will provide us with the encouragement and support we need to fulfill His calling.
  • When we give God room in our hearts, we will learn who we are. Our blessings come from Him.
  • Sometimes our biggest weaknesses are what God uses. Our weaknesses showcase God’s power and can create the opportunity for a team of people to work together for His Kingdom.
  • God’s plan never fails.

Take the lessons from life of Moses and use them in your own life today. The Great Ones can teach us how to answer God’s call in our life. Moses was willing. Are you?

Phynnly Masiku is part of the team working with us in Malawi. To learn more about the Malawi Mission Project, click here.







A Place to Belong

By Karen Polich

Want to be a part of something that will change your life?

What about something that will also allow you to impact others? Join a small group and find out what it means to live life with other people who are invested in you. Make this the year you are intentional in how you give of yourself and your time.

It is an opportunity to spend more time in the Word, deepening your understanding of God and His plan for your life. Digging into the Word will lead to passionate discussions and personal growth.

Knowledge and discipleship are important, but a small group is more than a place to learn. Small groups are about people. People matter.  (A pillar at AFBC). A small group creates a place where you belong and can share life with others.

For where two or three are gathered in my name, there I am among them. Matthew 18:20

The foundation and center of any small group is God. What better way to experience God’s blessings than with a group of people you can count on? Small groups provide encouragement through difficulties, celebration in happy times and the power that comes from praying for one another.

Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11

Not only will you find a place to belong, you will have a real connection to people. Small groups grow together. You will be challenged and inspired. You will meet new people and discover that they learn from you. You will begin to see more about God’s call on your life.

This Sunday kicks off the start of the 2016 small groups at Albuquerque’s First Baptist church. Learn more and find the one for you here. We can’t wait to see you on Sunday.


By Trey Sullins

A few weeks ago I watched to see who would receive the title of the greatest in college football. The Heisman would go to the one competing at the highest level. I was fascinated by the videos of each player. Film reels did not just start in college, and were not just shots of the games played. Each player’s tape reflected years of playing, and hours and hours of practice time. Laboring in all types of weather, enduring the pain, and staying focused on the prize. The prize of greatness was at stake.

Most of us know we will never earn the right to strike the Heisman pose, but something in all of us craves some kind of greatness. For believers, that craving often comes when we meet or read about a person in their Christian walk that God is allowing to be part of His great plan. They are people used by God to give the gospel to many, or those trusted to go overseas in His name. We read the stories in the Bible of the true legends of faith, knowing what was done in the name of God by men like Abraham, Moses and Paul was nothing less than greatness. It also seems like that one thing that can rarely be attained…. The greatness for God.

In my study to see what the Bible would say about greatness I found myself with Stephen. Acts 6 starts the account we have of this man of greatness. In its briefness, we can see true keys to greatness.

First, those who are great for God make it clear from where their greatness comes. It is clear that Stephen is full of the Holy Spirit. Greatness cannot be achieved alone. No matter if it is greatness for God or greatness in football. When we choose to surrender our lives to God we are filled with the Holy Spirit; filled with His greatness. Never again will we be called to do anything on our own power.

Second, we see that those who are great spend a massive amount of time preparing. Stephen was a Jew, and God used him to speak to the Jews. He was ready for the role God had for him because he had prepared. Stephen spends all of chapter 7 in Acts reciting the ways God worked in the Old Testament. As he gave example after example, it clear Stephen knew the Scripture. He had learned the truth about God from the writings and teachings.

There is no short cut to greatness. God is able to use those who choose to take the time to prepare their hearts for Him. He uses those who take the time to know Him, and there is no way to know Him without knowing His Word.

Third, Stephen teaches us is that greatness doesn’t guarantee a happy ending. A believer who is great for God is not guaranteed an ideal outcome, just like winning the Heisman trophy doesn’t guarantee playing time at the next level or the ideal injury free career. Oh, we can know it will be exactly what God wants for us, but His will does not always line up with what the world would tell us is best.

The believer who finds His greatness in God has to hold on to the truth that God’s plan is perfect even if it doesn’t line up with ours. In Stephen’s case, it cost him his life.

Such a simple formula to write about, yet it often seems impossible. Like the three sitting on the front row, waiting for the chance to hold the Heisman trophy, those who run the race for the true prize are part of a slim crowd. These are the few that understand the prize at stake and what it takes to achieve the title when it is all said and done. “Well done, good and faithful Servant”. (Matthew 25:23)

Listen to The Great Ones sermon series here.