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Monthly Archives : November 2016

Faith …. Hebrews 11:6 … November 27, 2016

     Without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. Hebrews 11:6 ESV

     Faith in God is not believing because you can see Him, but it is believing in God even though you cannot see Him, and with confidence, believing and trusting everything about Him to be true. Faith is not looking for Him hoping He exists; it is looking for Him knowing He exists. This is the kind of faith that pleases God because this is a child-like faith that simply trusts in Him as God. This faith believes the words of God from the past, in the present, and for the future.

 PAST:

     By faith we believe in the immaculate conception and virgin birth of Jesus, God’s only Son.  And the Angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus.”  Luke 1:30-31 ESV … And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy -the Son of God.” Luke 1:34-35 ESV …. For nothing will be impossible with God. And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be according to your word.” Luke 1:37-38 ESV

PRESENT:

     By faith, we believe that Jesus has commissioned us to tell the gospel of His coming and acknowledge that He is with us always.  Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.  Matthew 28:19-20  ESV

FUTURE:

     By faith we believe our future to be secure.  Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. John 14:1-3 ESV

     True faith in the past, present, and future concerning the things of God will determine how you live. You will live as shepherds seeing, as wise men seeking, and a sojourner traveling through. Faith teaches that this world is not your home because you have a Savior that has given you a heavenly citizenship. Our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. Philippians 3:20 ESV May I encourage you to live in faith, not only believing in thought, but in faith that causes you to believe with action – Faith that changes how you live because you realize you have a Savior. The Savior, Jesus, God’s only Son that became flesh and lived with us in the world. A Savior that became like us yet without sin, so that we might become like him in whom there is no condemnation.

Because of His Grace ~ Pastor David

Thankful … 2 Timothy 2:3-4 … November 19, 2016
Praise the Lord! Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!  Psalm 105:1 ESV 
 
     As Christians we have so much for which to be thankful;  if we lived a hundred lifetimes, we could only begin to to express our gratitude to God.  Wait.  We ARE going to live more than a hundred lifetimes;  WE are going to live for eternity.   We should practice each day doing what we will spend eternity doing.  Praising and thanking God for He is good!  While there are a multitude of things for which to praise Him and be thankful, let us focus on three.
 
First, I will praise and  thank Him for eyes to see. 
    Simeon, in Luke 2:30, said that he could die in peace because he  had seen the salvation of the Lord.  Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word: for my eyes have seen your salvation.  Luke 2:29-30 ESV   Salvation can only happen when a person sees the salvation of the Lord sent for them.  Think with me for  a moment. There were many people in the temple that day, but only Simeon is mentioned as the one who saw the Salvation of the Lord.  Are you a Christian? Then you are as one who has been given sight to see the Salvation of the Lord.  How many in the world today are just living day to day without the eyes to see the Savior?  As a Christian you are responsible to tell others of the Salvation you have seen and received from the Lord.  
 
Second, I will praise Him for ears to hear.   
      I am thankful that someone shared the Gospel with me at a young age, and I believed in the Good News of Jesus for my life.  I did not hear this with just physical hearing but, even as a child, with spiritual hearing.  No matter what the age, you will not hear unless someone brings the message of the gospel and the Holy Spirit opens your ears to hear. ….. How then will they call in him whom they have not believed?  And how are they to believe in him of whom they had not heard?  And how are they to hear without someone preaching?  Romans 10:14 ESV …. In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promise of the Holy Spirit.  Ephesians 1:13 ESV
 
Thirdly, I will praise Him for His love.
     I am thankful for His love.  But God shows his love for us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.   Romans 5:8 ESV   If people do not see themselves as sinners in need of a Savior or hear the message of the gospel, then His love will not impact their life.  God would not be anything more to them than just a gate keeper blocking hell gates for those who lived decent lives.  God is so much more!!!!!  He is the creator of the universe who chose rather than to destroy the world, to send His only Son to take the consequences of our sins upon Himself.   Not because we deserved it, but because he loved us.  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 ESV  
 
     Christians, we truly  have so much for which to be thankful.  Let us begin with these three mentioned above…. seeing, hearing, and basking in His love.  These three can take you to a deeper relationship with God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the indwelling Holy Spirit.  You will be blessed in doing so, as well as, being a blessing to others because of Him.   
 
 
 
Because of His Grace~ Pastor David
Soldiers …. 2 Timothy 2:3-4 … November 13, 2016

      Share in the suffering as a good soldiers of Christ Jesus.  No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him. 2 Timothy 2:4 ESV
 
    What does it mean to serve?  We refer to our service men and women as veterans who served our country, and for those individuals we are forever thankful.  The sacrifices made by them can only be appreciated, for we will never feel what they have felt in the call of service.    Note the first part of the word soldier in the verse above.… sold.   When a soldier serves his/her country, they are sold out to the cause, or they will never be good at what they have been called to commit themselves to.  The focus of the soldier must be upon their mission in order to accomplish it successfully.   As Christians we are referred to as soldiers of the cross.   Christians are active soldiers, never veterans, because there are no veterans in the Lord’s army.  We all are referred to as “in active duty”.   So as active duty soldiers in God’s army, how should we live as soldiers? 
 
WE SHARE SUFFERING:  One thing I am sure every soldier has at one time or another is suffering.  What does that suffering involve?   It involves longing at times to be home,  the loss of a fellow soldier,  the physical pain by stretching the body beyond its limits,  and emotional and mental challenges.  On this list could go and explained better by those who actually have experienced it as soldiers.   As a Christian soldier, have you ever thought that Jesus might have experienced the same such feelings, not just at his crucifixion, but in life?   We experience difficult times in life, but we do so remembering that Jesus has gone before us. We share in His sufferings by staying faithful to the upward call in Christ Jesus.  I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:14 ESV                           
 
WE DON’T ENTANGLE OURSELVES IN THE WORLD:   When in the battle, you want the person next to you to be focused on where they are;  you should do the same.   This is not a physical battle Christians are in but spiritual.   Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.  For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.  Ephesians 6: 11-13 ESV
 
WE DESIRE TO PLEASE GOD:  Praying to God for all people is pleasing to Him because it is the means by which we can battle for the souls of men.  First of all, then I urge that supplication, prayer, intercession, and thanksgiving be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high position, that we may lead a peaceful and quite life, godly and dignified in every way.  This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of truth. 1 Timothy 2:1-4 ESV   
     So march on Christian soldier singing the old hymn as you march…  “Onward Christian soldiers marching as to war with the cross of Jesus going on before..…”
 
 
Because of His Grace ~ Pastor David  
The Murderer Named Hate … 1 John 3:15 … November 6, 2016
Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. 1 John 3:15 ESV 
 
     Hate is a strong emotion and will destroy the life of the person who bears this emotion towards another christian brother.  The New Testament raises the bar, as followers of Christ, in how we are to live.  Jesus said, “Everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intents already committed adultery with her in his heart.”  Matthew 5:28 ESV  So adultery, in the teaching of Jesus, is  not just the physical act of  sin but a lustful though that happens in the heart.  In 1 John 3:15 murder is not just taking the physical life of another but has the same effect as murder.  It destroys the life and lives of others as well as gives question as to the presences  of Jesus in your life. These are only two such examples; but as you study the New Testament you will realize, we are called to more than just keeping rules; we are called to be like Jesus who knew no sin.  Living a life in Christ is living as a disciple/follower of His teaching and raising the bar in Biblical living and not just following rules.      
 
What Hate Is Not:  Hate is not having a disagreement or expressing different understanding of scriptures with another person.  I’ve had many discussions with other brothers concerning what I believe the scriptures teach concerning the security of the believer.  I believe that you cannot lose your salvation while they believe you can.  While discussing this topic, we did not persuade each other in our understanding of the scriptures, but we still consider each other brothers and enjoy times of fellowship.  The one thing we did agree upon;  Jesus is the only way of salvation and no one goes to heaven except through Him.  This cannot be interpreted any other way as Jesus Himself said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6 ESV  There are not many ways to heaven …. only one… JESUS.       
 
How Hate Is Expressed:   Hate can be express in unkind actions or words towards another.  This isn’t to say that every unkind action or word a person does/says means they harbor hate towards the other person, but  many times we describe this person’s actions as hateful.  When a Christian is hateful in their actions/words toward another, it is a gross representation of Jesus and how He would want us to live.  This also provides for the world excuses to doubt the truth of the Gospel.  This for sure does not echo the words of  Jesus when He said. “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”  John 13:35 ESV  
 
Jesus’s Teachings And  Examples Of Destroying Hate:  Jesus, experienced betrayal, desertion, lies, suffering, and so much more at the hands of men.  He did not retaliate or harbor any hateful thoughts.  Instead He gave us teachings and examples in how to overcome and live as light in such situations.  In His teaching He said, “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.” Luke 6:28 ESV ….. He taught us  to forgive,And when you stand praying, FORGIVE, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.” Mark 11:25 ESV …. By example, when being crucified he said,Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Luke 23: 34 ESV  Even today Jesus and God the Father is forgiving sins.  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9 ESV 
 
     Hate is not only as murdering someone else it is as murdering yourself.  It is as committing spiritual suicide.  It causes pain to all those who love you and the church as a whole. To hate is to harbor wrongs done to you or someone you love.  To forgive is to be set free from the power of sin and death that it brings.  Let me close with this passage from Colossians 3:12-15 ESV  Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.  And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.  And let the peace of  Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.
 
Because of His Grace ~ Pastor David            
 
Everyday is a God Day … Rejoice, Psalm 118:24, October 30 2016
This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. Psalms 118:24 ESV 
     God has made everyday therefore; everyday is a God day.  A day crafted by the hand of God for every person to live with the purpose of bringing Him glory.  I realize there are some days that seem better than others by earthly definitions, but every day is a day in which we should rejoice.  One reason I believe we are told to rejoice involves looking for the good in the day knowing that everything in life has purpose when designed by God.  If we are looking for the good in the day, it gives testimony of the fact you are trusting God in faith to be in charge of your days.  Let me give you some ways to help accomplish this in daily living. 
 
LIVE FOR TODAY:  Do not be anxious for tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for today is its own trouble. Matthew 6:34 ESV   What is the value of being anxious about life?  I have heard it said for as long as I can remember, “What good does it do to worry?”  These words are easier spoken than practiced.  We worry because we have fear which, in definition, is not trusting God.  Do not mistake feeling concern as not trusting God.  Many times that is what causes us to take necessary actions of seeking God’s presence and comfort.  Reflect with me back to the Garden of  Gethsemane.  Jesus did not agonize everyday during His three years of ministry about His coming crucifixion; (Do not be anxious for tomorrow)  however,  in the few hours before his trial and crucifixion, Jesus had a intimate conversation with His disciples and Father in Matthew 26.  Jesus said, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death” verse 38 ESV  “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me” verse 39  Jesus was experiencing strong feelings about his current situation as described in Luke 22:44 ESV And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.  Jesus gave the ultimate example of living in the day the Lord has made I believe that he was also able to endure the day because he knew it had purpose and trusted His Father in that purpose.  Looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.  Hebrews 12:2 ESV   Because of Jesus’s death on the cross and His resurrection from the dead, we have a Savior and King…..God’s plan all along.  
 
KNOW THAT LIFE HAPPENS … GOOD AND BAD:  We live in a fallen world, and bad things will happen to good and bad people. But for those who seek and love God, they can be encouraged because they live with a promise.   And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.  And we know that for those who love God ALL things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8: 27-28 ESV       
 
ALWAYS MAKE  JESUS YOUR FOCUS:   When our focus moves from Jesus to our surroundings, we will be swallowed up by the world and sink into despair. When Peter began to sink in the water after Jesus called Him out of the boat, it was because he took his eyes off Jesus.  But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord save me.” Matthew 14:30 ESV  To keep the faith, we must stay focused on Jesus.  
 
     In closing there was a man named Stephen full of the Spirit and living each day doing great thing for the Lord.  There were a group of men who did not believe Jesus to be the Messiah who conspired, lied, and stirred up a mob against him.  When this mob rose up against Stephen he looked to heaven and said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” Acts 7:56 ESV   Stephen lived in the day the Lord had made and even when bad was happening to him, he looked to heaven and kept Jesus as his focus.   May we remember to do the same in living each day as  Christians, For everyday is a God Day, let us rejoice and be glad in it. Psalms 118:24  
 
 
Because of His Grace ~ Pastor David   
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