Belmont Baptist Church

Author Archives: James Gwaltney

The Triumphal Entry of Jesus

Recorded on Apr 5, 2020

Triumphal Entry Of Jesus

Good Evening Belmont Family. Let's have church!

Posted by Belmont Baptist Church, Tampa, FL on Sunday, April 5, 2020

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Palm Sunday – Above and Beyond

Recorded on Apr 5, 2020

Palm Sunday – Above and Beyond

Good Morning! Let's praise God together.

Posted by Belmont Baptist Church, Tampa, FL on Sunday, April 5, 2020

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Jesus’s Christ Love For Us

5 April 2020

Brothers and Sisters, I pray everyone is doing well, staying safe, staying healthy, and praying without ceasing.  People around the world are scared for many reasons right now and do not know what will be happening from day to day.  May I say that only God knows, and He is in control. 

We are coming up on Palm Sunday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday (Resurrection Day).  It is a great time to share the love of God and Jesus Christ with you.  You, in return, will share with others.  I’d like to share a few thoughts about Jesus Christ’s love and some scriptures to help ease your worry and bring some comfort to you. 

What is the love of Christ?
The phrase “love of Christ,” as opposed to “love for Christ,” refers to the love that He has toward mankind. His love can be briefly stated as His willingness to act in our best interest, especially in meeting our greatest need, even though it cost Him everything and even though we were the least worthy of such love.

Though Christ Jesus, being God in nature, existed from the beginning of time with God the Father (John 1:1) and the Holy Spirit, He willingly left His throne (John 1:1-14) to become a man, that He might pay the penalty for our sin so that we would not have to pay for it for all eternity in the lake of fire (Revelation 20:11-15).

Because mankind’s sin has been paid for by our sinless Savior, Jesus Christ, God, who is just and holy, can now forgive our sins when we accept Christ Jesus’ payment as our own (Romans 3:21-26). Christ’s love is shown by His leaving His home in heaven, where He was worshiped and honored as He deserved.  He came to earth as a man where He was mocked, betrayed, beaten, and crucified on a cross to pay the penalty for our sin, rising again from the dead on the third day. He considered our need of a Savior from our sin and its penalty as more important than His own comfort and life (Philippians 2:3-8).

This love which He demonstrated toward us on the cross is just the beginning. When we place our trust in Him as our Savior, He makes us God’s children, co-heirs with Him! He comes to dwell within us through His Holy Spirit, promising that He will never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5-6).

What does the Bible say about love?
Well, the Bible has a great deal to say about love. In fact, the Bible says that “love is of God” and “God is love” (1 John 4:7-8); in other words, love is a fundamental characteristic of who God is. Everything God does is impelled and influenced by His love.

There is also a distinct word for the type of love that God displays. In the Greek, this word is agape, and it refers to a benevolent and charitable love that seeks the best for the loved one.

The Bible says that, since true love is part of God’s nature, God is the source of love. He is the initiator of a loving relationship with us. Any love we have for God is simply a response to His sacrificial love for us: “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins” (1 John 4:10). Our human understanding of love is flawed, weak, and incomplete, but the more we look at Jesus, the better we understand true love.

The Bible also says that our love for God is related to our obedience of Him: “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not burdensome” (1 John 5:3;  John 14:15). We serve God out of love for Him. And God’s love for us enables us to obey Him freely, without the burden of guilt or the fear of punishment.
1 John 4:18 says that “perfect love drives out fear” (this is again the word agape). The dismissal of the fear of condemnation is one of the main functions of God’s love. Jesus described Himself as the Savior: “God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him” (John 3:17).

I pray that you will always share the love of God and Jesus with everyone you know and come in contact with daily.   Be blessed, Brothers and Sisters.  Please stay focused in One Accord.  God is in control.

                                      Pastor Larry

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Corona Virus Letter #3

April 1, 2020

Hello Belmont Family.  I pray that everyone is staying safe, healthy and in prayer always.  I also pray that God will destroy this corona virus (COVID-19) and bring comfort and peace to us all soon.  

As we are all aware, the global spread of the corona virus, COVID-19, has become a central topic of discussion and concern for many of us. It has caused us to think about the things we take for granted and to rethink how we go about the practices of our daily lives. In the church, this pandemic has caused us to consider new ways to approach what have been longstanding practices and traditions.

Over the past few weeks, I have received a good number of emails, texts and phone calls from many people to include Belmont members, visitors and some pastors, asking for encouragement and advice. The questions I have received have ranged from whether to greet each other with handshakes, how to best conduct the Lord Supper, and whether we should cancel worship and encourage people to simply stay home and pray? And what about offerings?  What should we do if this pandemic last for several months?

The questions being asked are valid. The concerns regarding the corona virus are real. Real lives are being touched, and real lives are being lost, and real people for whom our Lord died are being affected by this pandemic. As the Pastor, I would encourage you to use your own wisdom in determining what would be best and most well-received in your own setting and stay safe and maintain good health practices. Care for those who are isolated. Make phone calls, send emails and texts to those unable to come to church.  I will continue preaching and teaching the name of Jesus.

I would also encourage you to stay well informed of what the health professionals are telling us and to stay in touch with what is happening and being recommended in your own communities.

At the same time, we do not want or need to live in fear. I am not afraid of the corona virus. I am not afraid of the possibility that it might infect someone in my own life, including myself. I am concerned and I want to be wise, but I am not afraid.

I have a long list of concerns related to the corona virus. I am concerned for the elderly who are the most at risk. I am concerned for the disenfranchised and for those on the streets who have no one and nowhere to turn. I am concerned for the loss of reason that seems to have overtaken so many in their own personal response to what is truly a communal concern. I am concerned that people are stockpiling supplies they do not need, so much so that those who do need them are not able to find them. I am concerned for our hospitals and our clinics and for the doctors and nurses and overcrowded emergency rooms that are all being stretched. I am concerned for our economy and for those whose lives will be impacted by the loss of jobs. I am concerned for a long list of things, for these and many more, but I am not afraid…neither should we, as a Church, be afraid.

Rather than live in fear, let us together approach this challenge in faith. We have an opportunity to model for our children and for families and for each other what a faith-filled and faithful response can be. Instead of living in panic and in fear, being reactionary and taking a self-centered response, we have a chance to remain rational and reasoned and to approach this pandemic in a spirit of trust.

COVID-19 does not appear to be ending soon. Chances are, before it goes away, it will hit even closer to home. It is in many of our cities. It is making its way into many churches. It may well enter some of our families and the lives of those we love. Be careful. Be cautious. Be wise and practical in what you do. But do not live in fear.

What I fear, more than COVID-19, is that we will forget who we are and to whom we belong. As a church, we need to take preventive measures and commit ourselves to prayer. We need to rely on the health professionals for advice and entrust our lives to Christ. We need to take full advantage of the resources we have been given and follow the best-practices of those who can give helpful and health-giving advice. And then we need to step back and stay centered and remember and remind each other that we belong to Christ.

I’d like to discuss a few items of interest to keep us all informed.

  –   If you have access to the Belmont website please review regularly for updates about the church calendar, sermons and Bible Study, etc.

  –    Be aware of and conform to the approved 30 days of social distancing guidelines as corona virus spreads.

  –  Contact the church office with any questions, issues, etc.

Let me encourage everyone to keep in mind that Satan will continue to throw those fiery darts at us.  Keep the Full Armor of God on and stay strong and focused. 

The apostle Paul says it well:

Philippians 4:6-7  (NKJV) 6” Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

We should be concerned. The corona virus is real. But we cannot and we will not be afraid. We are the Church and together, we belong to Christ.  I will keep everyone informed as I receive updates and will continue to seek the will of God through prayers.

Be blessed my brothers and sisters and know that God is in control and not Satan or man. 

Larry Smith

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Be Still and Know That I am God

Recorded on Mar 29, 2020

Be Still And Know That I am God

Be Still and Know that I am God. Psalms 46:1-11

Posted by Belmont Baptist Church, Tampa, FL on Sunday, March 29, 2020

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Surrounded By God’s Blessings

Recorded on Mar 29, 2020

Surrounded By God's Bleesings

Surrounded By God's Blessings Psalm 125:1-5

Posted by Belmont Baptist Church, Tampa, FL on Sunday, March 29, 2020

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Second COVID-19 Letter

March 23, 2020
Brothers and Sisters,
Praise the Lord in Jesus’ Name! I am praying for everyone and I know our God will provide all our needs. God is in control of this current situation that we all are dealing with in our life. Please understand that “safety, health and faith” are my utmost concern for everyone. 1 Peter 5:7 says: “Cast all your care upon Him. For He cares for you.”
The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is disrupting life as we have known it. It will take a lot of prayer and radical social distancing for us to flatten the curve. Distancing slows the spread of COVID-19. The virus spreads mainly through coughs and sneezes and close contact with others. You’ll help protect essential resources for the sickest patients with social distancing. (Source:
During this challenging time, we all need each other in various ways to include prayer, communication by calling to find out how someone is doing, sending cards, finding out if anyone needs help, contacting the church office (813-988-1501) for any updates or issues and starting a prayer chain for the emergencies.
I’d like to provide you an update to keep you informed of various events to include the services (Sunday mornings/evenings and Wednesday Prayer and Bible Study). The Communication Team is working very hard on a way to use the website and social media to get everyone plugged in to participate and be a part of the Adult and Youth Sunday School Classes taught by Teachers and the Pastor. This will allow everyone the capability to participate and communicate via your computer or cell phone with the weekly lessons.
The monthly calendar is being adjusted into two-week intervals due to this coronavirus pandemic, taking into consideration the local, state and county guidelines and policies.
The Church Office Staff will do all they can to get the latest updates out via Servant Keeper, mail or by other most convenient means to you. Therefore, they will be contacting you to ensure the church has the most current information.
Think about the following PRAYER that was sent to me recently. It says: “I will let my worries go. I will trust God completely. I am unconditionally loved. I will let God control my life. I will refuse to let anxiety to rule me. I do not need to fear anything. I will ask God to put my broken pieces together today. Thank you: LORD!
We are assured of God’s help. His word tells us in Isaiah 41:10 (NKJV) “Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you; Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”
Keep your faith and stay focused. God is always there and will never leave us. Be blessed!
Pastor Larry Smith

This entry was posted in COVID 19 Letters on by .

Covid-19 Letter

Dear Church Family,

It is a high priority to make our church a safe, secure place for you and your family to worship. Due to the ongoing concern about the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus), we believe it is prudent to exercise caution in a number of ways. 

The spread of illnesses like the flu and the coronavirus is something we take seriously. In addition to the safety measures we normally follow, we’re taking extra precautions during this time to help keep you and your family safe and healthy. These measures include the following procedures:

·  Sanitizing classrooms, bathrooms, and other high traffic areas before and after services.

·  Additionally, wiping down door handles, and other frequently touched surfaces.

I am closely following news from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) about best practices to help contain the spread of sickness. We will update our policies and procedures with the latest information and communicate with you as necessary.

Of course, we need your help too. Here’s what you can do to keep yourself and others safe and healthy:

·  If you need to cough or sneeze, cover your mouth with a sleeve or tissue.

·  Wash your hands often in warm water for a minimum of twenty seconds and encourage your entire family to do the same. Our volunteers will ask children to wash their hands if they visit the restroom while they’re in our care.

·  Use hand sanitizer often.

·  If you or your family members are experiencing, or have recently experienced, symptoms associated with the flu or the common cold (fever, persistent cough, headache, chills, or unexplained rash), we ask that you stay home from church.

Above all keep calm and take common-sense action to keep yourself and family healthy. While we will not take unnecessary risks, we must also remember that we are people of faith and trust God during these seasons of uncertainty. Our God is sovereign, our protector, and our healer. 

Brothers and Sisters, please stay focused and keep your faith.  Let Go and Let God take control of this situation.  Above all, please be in continuous prayer.


Larry Smith
Belmont Baptist Church

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God is in Control

Recorded on Mar 22, 2020

God Is In Control

God Is In Control!Here is the sermon from this morning.

Posted by Belmont Baptist Church, Tampa, FL on Sunday, March 22, 2020

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No Weapon Formed Against Us Shall Prosper

Recorded on Mar 15, 2020

No weapon formed against us shall prosper.

LIsten to Pastor Larry Smiths's Message "No Wepaon Formed Shall Prosper Against Us".

Posted by Belmont Baptist Church, Tampa, FL on Sunday, March 15, 2020

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