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Posts By : Melissa Barker

Fathers Day …. My Two Dads .. No Three ….. June 18, 2017

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name Matthew 6: 9 ESV

     Last August I lost my second dad. I say my second dad because he was more than just my father in law. We became close over the years and had many long conversations about life and day to day events. I lost my first dad when I was twenty years old. He and I were best friends, and he has never been forgotten by me. Both men were influential in my life, and I have been so blessed to have the joy of experiencing them both. When my second dad died, I wrote the following tribute to them.

     My Two Dads…… Some men are fortunate to have one dad in life, but I’ve been blessed to have had two. I lost my first dad when I was twenty years old. He was my very best friend, and I still miss him to this day. He and I would talk long hours into the night, and we discussed many things. I could tell my dad anything … mistakes and failure I’d made, dreams and hopes I had, and he loved me even in my mistakes and encouraged me in my dreams. He was the best. I still love him so much that at times my heart secretly still hurts. Yesterday, I lost my second dad. My second dad came into my life when I married my wonderful wife Mary. Over the years I stopped referring to him as my father- in- law; I just called him “dad” and would introduce him as the same. He would say when introducing me: “This is my son- in- law, but I think of him as a son….” I was blessed. He was a man of great compassion for his family until he breathed his last breath. I learned many things from him over the years for which I am blessed and thankful . One evening he and I were talking and I told him I wish he could have met my dad. He paid me the greatest compliment he could have ever given me. He said, “I have met your dad because I met you.” Well, now I have had the influence of two dads that will forever be with me. If any one would ever say to me in the future, “You remind me of your dad,” I would have to reply, “Which one?” This hurt reminds me of when I lost my first dad, and it is a hurt that is felt more than seen. However, there is a part of me that smiles inside because my two dad’s have finally met. I love and miss them both but one day….. :o) We will all be together again because…. 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

   In actuality, I have three dads. Three because I have been adopted by the Heavenly Father that recognizes me as his adopted son/child. “For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father! Romans 8:15 ESV …… And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying,”Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God. Galatians 4:6-7 ESV There is strong meaning in calling Him “Abba Father.” It was the name by which Jesus addressed him in the moment of intense emotional agony in the garden before Calvary. (Mark14:36) While I want Christians to understand their personal relationship with God the the Father, I want to remind them that we should also view God the Father in reverence and respect. When Jesus’s disciples ask him to teach them to pray, which is talking to God, Jesus said to them, “When you pray, say:

“OUR FATHER” Oh how sweet to be able to address God as our Father. He who created the universe wants me to recognize myself as one of His children. See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called the children of God; 1 John 3:1

“IN HEAVEN” The place where God is going to bring all His children that we might worship Him forever. This was made possible by his sacrificial love and the giving of Jesus, His only Son, to die for our sins and take God’s wrath that was meant for us. Jesus spoke of this promise, “In my Fathers 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 14:2-3 ESV

“HALLOWED BE YOUR NAME” Luke 11:2 ESV This means we recognize the preciousness of the name of God. We have been commanded not to take His name in vain. “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.” Exodus 20:7 ESV In fact, if you study all the names the Bible uses in a descriptive nature of God, you will know how important his name, GOD, really is. It is almost indescribable, but God uses the meaning of these names by which he is described to help us to understand who He is. May we begin to comprehend this and sing out as the Psalmist did in Psalm 8:1 “O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!”

Happy Fathers Day, to my Heavenly Father who loves me beyond measure.

Because of His Grace ~ Pastor David

Jesus In Nehemiah …. Our Protective Wall, Rebuilt ….. June 11, 2017

     The walls around Jerusalem were destroyed because the people had sinned against God. Sin caused them to lose the protection of God and, in more than one case, to be taken into captivity. God, knowing the condition and vulnerability of His people, placed on Nehemiah’s heart the desire to rebuild the wall— a wall of protection that is just stones unless fortified by the power of God’s protection. Always remember, God will not have fellowship with sin; and when in willful sin against God, protection is lost. Through out the Bible we see this reoccurring theme. People begin well; but because of the tendency toward sin, they fall away from God and then His judgement. The wall around a city is for protection against the enemy for those living in the city. When we are in the will of God, by having Christ in our lives, we are surrounded by His protection. A spiritual wall, so to speak, protects us from our enemy who desires to destroy us. I heard it said many times over the years, “ For Satan to get to you he must go through God to do it.” That is a true statement if you are born again in Christ and living daily in his will. If God is not alive in your life, He is not there for Satan to go through. As people without a physical wall of protection would be vulnerable to their enemies, the person without Christ in their life is vulnerable to Satan. Also the Christian who willfully sins against God is in serious danger; for God does not have fellowship with sin. God is Holy and we should worship Him in Holiness. This means to live in love with His presence in our lives and to desire His presence more than anything else. You must remember that as a Christian you are the Bride of Christ, and to live in willful sin would be liken to having an affair with the world. Would you stay in fellowship with your spouse if they were having an affair? This should give you a visual picture and understanding as to why God removes the protection of relationship when you live in willful sin. As Nehemiah led in the rebuilding of the wall, remember it was built one stone at a time and each day the enemy began to take more notice of the wall and desired to stop the work. So it is as a Christian building a spiritual wall in relationship with God. Satan will take notice and want to stop the work. So what are some principles of building we can do in fortifying our lives in the protection of Christ?

HAVE A STRONG FOUNDATION

     Jesus said, “Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when the flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. Luke 6:47-48 ESV Peter was asked this question by Jesus in Matthew 16: 15-18 ESV, “Who do you say I am?” Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered him, Blessed are you , Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you- you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. As a Christian, you are the church, and if you are not building upon Jesus, then you are building on sinking sand.

USE THE RIGHT MATERIALS

     As your relationship with God grows, it does so because you are using the right materials to build the wall of His protection. The material needed…. HIS WORD!!!!!!! I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. Psalms 119:11 ESV … Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Colossians 3:16 ESV

LEAVE THE RESULTS TO GOD

     God completes the work in all our lives…… For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10 ESV ….. For it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. Philippians 2:13 ESV

Jesus is the wall of protection in the life of every Christian. He did not build this protection for us to go into hiding but rather to move with the confidence knowing that He is with us every step of the way. Jesus told us, Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole of creation.” Mark 16:15 ESV With the fact that Jesus is with us, we know that we are never alone. Jesus himself made this promise to us in the last part of verse 20 in Matthew 28, “I am with you ALWAYS, to the end of the age.” (ESV) Thank you, God, for your Son who saved/redeemed us, and the Holy Spirit which lives in us. This gives us the confidence in living for you and knowing we can walk successfully and purposefully a life displaying the truth of you. Many are the sorrows of the wicked, but steadfast love surrounds the one who trusts in the Lord. Psalms 32: 10 ESV As Christians, let the light of his love surrounding us make it evident to the world that we have experienced the Gospel. The gospel that Jesus saves!!!!!

Because of His Grace ~Pastor David

Jesus In Ezra …. The New Temple …. June 4, 2017

     Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.  1 Corinthians 6:19-20 ESV
 
     When the Jewish people disobeyed and were unfaithful to God, he allowed Nebuchadnezzar to take them captive. In this process, the Temple and Jerusalem were destroyed and laid in ruins for many years. After this captivity, God used three men to help rebuild all that was destroyed. Zerubbable rebuilt the Temple, Ezra led the people in the study of the Tora, or, law of God, attempting to restore the people in the ways of God, and Nehemiah led in the rebuilding of the walls. In the work of these three men, it is interesting to see a parallel of the building of lives that has been destroyed by Satan. It is through disobedience / sin that our lives are destroyed and lie in ruins. Adam and Eve, who, in God’s presence, once walked, were separated from Him, as are we, because of sin. Adam and Eve’s bodies, before sin, did not know suffering, nor experienced the destruction and pain that comes as a result of sin. This curse of destruction, suffering, and death continues, as we are all conceived in sin. All but one… he was conceived by the Holy Spirit ….. Jesus ….. the Son of God. Jesus came to rebuild the temple in our hearts, teach us the way to live, and surround us with Himself, that we might live victoriously under his protection. Let us evaluate exactly how this rebuilding takes place in the life of all who return to God.
 
OUR BODY~ GOD’S TEMPLE:
     In order for this Temple to be built in our hearts, we must first lay the foundation of Jesus in our life. There are popular teachings today saying there are many ways to God, but this is not true. Jesus, in his own words, speaking of himself, made this very clear. Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6 ESV  To believe there is another way to God is like saying, “Jesus, you really were not necessary, nor needed.” We must recognize and believe who Jesus Christ is to become a part of all that God is doing in restoring lives unto himself.  When asked by Jesus, “Who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Matthew 16:15-16 ESV ….. Jesus responded to Peter by saying, “And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Matthew 16:18 ESV  It is essential to believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God. If you do not believe this, then you are building on sinking sand, and Satan will bring you down. Another thought on this point: if you are not a Temple of the Holy Spirit, then whose Temple are you? Let that thought sink in, for you are a servant to either Satan or God. If you are a servant of God, it is because you were bought with a price. (vs:20)
 
GOD’S WAYS AND TEACHINGS:
     Jesus taught us how to walk in accordance with all that God wants us to do, and it all hinges on love. When asked what is the greatest commandment, Jesus replied, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: You shall love your neighbor as your self. There is no other commandment greater than these. Mark 12:30-31 ESV  Love is the motive in all that God does, and He wants us to do the same. Learn to love, and you learn the ways of God; EVERYTHING HINGES ON LOVE. (1 Corinthians chapter 13)
 
LIVE SURROUNDED BY GOD’S PROTECTION:
     If it is the love of God that redeems us through Jesus, and love is the way God instructs us to live, then it is in the confidence of God’s love that we live protected and secure in Christ. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.’ No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:35-39 ESV …… No one will ever be able to take us from His protecting hand. (John 10: 28-29)

The Temple in the Old Testament was the place for the people to experience the presence of God. This is why they wanted desperately to rebuild it, learn His ways, and live under his protection. God made it possible for us to live in His presence by being present in us; to learn of His ways by the Holy Spirit teaching us, and to know that He is faithful and will never leave us nor forsake us. With this blessed truth, may we live glorifying God in our bodies.

Because of His Grace ~ Pastor David

Jesus In 2 Chronicles .. Our King to Worship .. May 28, 2017

     Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him” Matthew 2:1-2 ESV
 
     Since we began our journey of Jesus in all the books of the Bible, we have seen one consistent theme. Man sometimes starts well, but he usually doesn’t end well, and sometimes there were even some who didn’t start well at all. One other theme also holds true through out our study …. God is faithful to all that he promised. While man continually fails, God remains faithful. That is encouraging because if all depended on our abilities, we would be doomed. I have often heard it asked, “If God is such a good God, why does he let so many bad things happen in the world?” To which I reply, “You are asking the wrong question.” The real question is, “Why are you here to even ask that question?” Based on that logic God would have destroyed Adam and Eve, and neither you nor I would be here to even ask that question. While God withholds His judgement that will come one day addressing all the evil in question, let us look at what He has done. He sent His Son Jesus to be the “King of kings and Lord of lords.” (Revelation 19:16) King David wanted to build the temple so that people would have a place they could worship near the presence of God, but David’s son, Solomon, actually built the temple and made this place of meeting between God and man. Then in remarkable power, King Jesus came and made it possible for the temple to be in our hearts. To all who go by the name Christian, King Jesus is the King who is worshiped in our hearts. So how do we worship?
 
REMEMBER THAT YOU ARE THE TEMPLE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
     Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 ESV …. I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Romans 12:1 ESV
 
LET WORSHIP BE INTENTIONAL
     Oh come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with song and praise! Psalm 95:1-2 ESV …. Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker! For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. Psalm 95:6-7 ESV
 
WORSHIP IN SPIRIT AND TRUTH
     But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father is Spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth. John 4:23-24 ESV
 
     In conclusion, let me address once more the fact that God has done something concerning the evil in the world. He sent Jesus; and if man would worship Jesus as King, following him faithfully, evil could not thrive. It is only when man refuses to worship God and honor Jesus, that evil continues. God also created you and me to be his hands, feet, and voice of this good news. Let us live as temples for the Spirit of God, proclaiming intentionally the good news with joyful singing and worshiping in Spirit and truth AND make known this gospel to the world. As I once heard and believe, Wise men still seek Him that they may worship him; he is born King of the Jews.
 
Because of His Grace ~ Pastor David

Jesus In 1 Chronicles … Our Restorer … May 21, 2017

     Sing to the Lord, all the earth! Tell of his salvation from day to day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among the peoples! For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised. 1Chronicles 16: 23-25 ESV
 
     From the beginning of time when man sinned, there was a need for a Savior. God, in his love, mercy, and grace, made a plan to restore us unto himself. When reading 1 Chronicles, it may seem difficult to understand the importance of going through the genealogy of every generation of God’s chosen people. We must remember; God is a God of order and promise. When the angel appeared to Mary and foretold the birth of Christ, it is important to remember, that from the line and throne of King David, Jesus would come. (Luke 1:32) The Bible teaches many will come, saying, “They are the Christ.” (Luke 21:8) Because God made a clear road map in the genealogies of His people, we can know for sure. Also through the history and failures of those who are listed in this genealogy, we see there was no one who was perfect enough to fulfill all that was needed to restore man to God. It is also encouraging to see how God uses us, in spite of our imperfections, to accomplish His perfect will. The perfect will of restoring us to relationship and worship of Him alone is needed. How is this restoration applied?
 
THE PERFECT SACRIFICE FOR SIN:
     When John the Baptist was baptizing and preaching by the Jordan, Jesus came to be baptized. When John saw him coming, this is what he said, “Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” John 1:29 ESV  The Lamb of God was God in the flesh, in order to be the perfect sacrifice needed to redeem/restore us unto himself. You were ransomed …… not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. 1 Peter 1:18-19 ESV  This was necessary, for we know that there is no forgiveness of sin without the shedding of blood. This also shows the seriousness of sin and death, for the only antidote for sin is blood. Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins. Hebrews 9:22 ESV  Jesus paid the price for our sins with his own blood on the cross.
 
CONFESSION AND BELIEVING:
     If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believes your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. Romans 10:9-10 ESV  There are many who think all they must do is live right and do good to experience restoration, but this would imply that they did not need a Savior as provided by God. It was asked by some religious individuals in the Bible, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” Jesus answered them,“This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” John 6: 28-29 ESV This is the first and greatest work a person can do. In doing so, you confess that there is salvation in no other. And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved Acts 4:12 ESV
 
     Let us never fail to make known how God has restored us through His Son Jesus. May we live daily 1 Chronicles 16: 23-25……. Sing to the Lord, all the earth! Tell of his salvation from day to day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among the peoples! For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised.
 
Because of His Grace ~ Pastor David

How Did Jesus Treat His Mother? … May 14, 2017

Honor your father and your MOTHER Exodus 20:12 & Ephesians 5:2
 
     We do not know much about the early life of Jesus. We know of his birth, when the wise men found him, when his family fled to Egypt and returned, and when at twelve years old he was found in the temple by his parents, and he commented to his mother, Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Fathers house? Luke 2:49 ESV We also know as he grew that Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man. Luke 2:52 ESV But what kind of son was he to his mother? Without a doubt he was perfect. Perfect because we know He was the perfect Lamb of God sent to redeem us from our sins. To have been anything less than perfect would have proven He was not the Son of God who was conceived by the Holy Spirit. There are three glimpses in scripture showing how Jesus honored and cared for his mother.
 
He Was Submissive
     And he went down with them and came to Nazareth and was submissive to them. And his mother treasured up all these things in her heart. Luke 2:51 ESV I cannot imagine what it must have been like to have been the mother of Jesus. Everyday as you watched him grow you remembered the words spoken to you by the angel Gabriel. “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you! Luke 1:28 ESV……. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son Of the Most High. Luke 1:32 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 1:36 ESV Everything had transpired just as the angel had said and now each day you were living in the amazement that you were watching the Son of God grow up in your house. He was perfect in every way. He was never disobedient and always submissive to whatever you asked him to do. He lived exactly the way he commanded every child to live- to be submissive, which shows honor towards your mother. Honor your father and your MOTHER. Exodus 20:12… Ephesians 5:2 ESV
 
He Honored His Mother As An Adult Child
     The second chapter of John tells the story of a wedding that Jesus, his disciples, and mother attended. A dilemma occurred while they were there; the host ran out of wine. How was it that Mary knew Jesus could fix it? What had she seen over the years that gave her this confidence? We don’t know, but she said to the servants at the wedding to “do whatever my Son tells you to do.” (vs5) Jesus honored his mother by making the water into wine. Not just any wine, but premium wine, better than what was available at the beginning of the wedding. Do you suppose the servants looked at Mary and then her Son and said thank you? Perhaps the bridegroom came over and thanked them profusely. But this is for sure; he honored his mother by doing what she knew he could do.
 
Jesus Cared For His Mother At His Death
     In the day when Jesus lived, widows and orphans had a very difficult life. (James 1:27) On the cross when Jesus was dying, He basically said to his disciple, “ Take care of my mother.” When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” Then he said to the disciple “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home. John 19:26-27 ESV
 
     Jesus has shown in every aspect of life how we are to live. Even how we should live in relation to our parents, and on this day, especially our mothers. So today we want to honor and bless all those mothers who gave us life. For the sacrifices which are never known by many children because moms just do what moms do. For all the things we may have taken for granted over the years. May we give you the honor that you are due, not just today, but everyday, just as I believe Jesus did for His mother. Thank you for loving, giving , and caring. You are a blessing that will influence generations until Jesus returns. May we never forget…. Happy Mother’s Day!!!!!
 
Because of His Grace ~ Pastor David

Jesus In 2 Kings … Our Perfect Prophet … May 7, 2017

     There were two prophets in 2 Kings, Elijah and Elisha, who walked with God and spoke to the people as instructed by God. They worked many miracles by the hand of God. One with leprosy was healed; life was breathed back into one who had died; food multiplied for a widow who needed to pay her debt; waters were healed; fire was called down from the heavens; and many other dramatic events surrounded them. Elijah was actually introduced in 1 Kings, and we can read the many things he did as God’s spokesman. Elijah ascended into heaven (2 Kings 2), and Elisha succeeded him as a prophet of God to His people. Elisha did not ascend into heaven but died and was buried. (2 Kings 13:14) These two men were greatly used by God to reveal his ways, instructions, and warnings to His people to worship God alone. Neither of these men could do what was needed to redeem man to God. These two prophets were not perfect men because they were conceived in sin just as every other person was on the face of the earth. However, there was one foretold and born who was not conceived in sin but by the Holy Spirit. Jesus, God’s only Son, was the one foretold by the prophets of old, who would take away the sins of the world. Jesus, being totally man yet totally God in the flesh, was the Perfect Prophet who came into the world, enabling us to be made right with God. Not only did Jesus perform many miracles and instruct us as to how we are to live before God, but He also restored and indwelt us by the Holy Spirit. In doing so Jesus made it possible to walk with God and have the relationship that was lost because of sin. What does the Perfect Prophet look like?
 
HE HAS NO SIN
     For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weakness, but one who in every respect has been temped as we are, yet without sin. Hebrews 4:15 ESV The priest in the Old Testament would go before God on behalf of His people offering blood sacrifices for their sins. These priests were not perfect men, but men set apart for this purpose. The Bible teaches there is no forgiveness of sin without the shedding of blood. (Hebrews 9:22) This should make one understand the seriousness of sin before a Holy God. Jesus was the perfect Lamb of God sent for the purpose of taking away our sins. John the Baptist introduces him by saying, “Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world.” John 1:29 ESV To be the perfect Lamb of God, He had to be sinless; and of course, He was, because He was God made flesh.
 
HE PERFECTS OUR FAITH
     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 God. Hebrews 12:2 ESV What is the perfect faith for us? It is the faith by which we are saved in grace. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God. Ephesians 2:8 ESV What makes faith perfect before God? It is the redeeming blood of the Lamb and the faith to believe He can save you from all your sins. Believing you can be forgiven of your sins is to recognize you are a sinner in need of saving grace, by faith which he perfects in us.
 
HE HAS PERFECT PATIENCE
     But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life. 1 Timothy 1:16 ESV Paul, before he was a believer, was blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent of Jesus; however, he received mercy because he acted in unbelief. Yet he received mercy by grace because Jesus had come to save sinners, which describes every one of us. That is just how much He loves us! (1 Timothy 1: 13-15)
 
     Today you may think you could never live the Christian life, so why try? You would be right in your thinking except for one thing. JESUS !!! He is the perfect Lamb of God who will work in you good works and accomplish what you can never do on your own. This is why so many become frustrated in the Christian walk. We try to be perfect; which is exactly what we are to be, but not by our abilities, but by the work of Jesus on the cross. When you believe and trust in Him as Savior, repent and ask forgiveness of your sins against Him, He forgives you and begins working (sanctification) a work in your life until that day when He will graduate you to heaven. Remember, as Christians, because of our Perfect Prophet, He will complete what He has begun. And I am sure of this, that he who has began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:6 ESV
 
Because of His Grace ~ Pastor David

Jesus In 2 Samuel … Eternal One … April 23, 2017

     And your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me. Your throne shall be established forever. 2 Samuel 7:16 ESV
 
     And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end. Luke 1: 31-33 ESV
 
     In an age of immediate gratification, is it hard to imagine eternity and waiting upon the Lord’s return? However, Christians are to do so because they believe that God is eternal. We are told how to do so in various scriptures in order to be a witnesses of all that we believe. If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. Colossians 3:1-2 ESV ….. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 1 Timothy 6: 11b -12 ESV …. These are just two of many passages instructing us how we are to live as Christians. We believe every knee will bow and every tongue confess that he is Lord, to the Glory of God. (Philippians 2:9-11 … Romans 14:11)
 
The Throne Established:
     But of the Son he says, Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom. Hebrews 1:8 ESV Revelation teaches of the throne of God and of worshipping day and night, acknowledging that he is forever. And whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to him who is seated on the throne, who lives forever and ever, the twenty -four elders fall down before him who is seated on the throne and worship him who lives forever and ever. They cast their crowns before the throne, saying, “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power,  for you created all things and by your will they existed and were created. Revelation 4:9-11 ESV
 
Jesus, the Son of The Most High Given the Throne:
     The sovereign God of the universe gave the throne to Jesus, his Son. God appointed David as king and promised his kingdom would carry on forever. (2 Samuel 7:16) God accomplished this promise through his only begotten Son. (Luke 1:31-33)

His Kingdom will Be Eternal:
     Pilate asked Jesus, “Are you King of the Jews?” John 18:33 ESV …. Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world.” John 18: 36a ESV Jesus was offered all the kingdoms of this world if he would worship Satan, but the kingdoms of this world were not that for which he came. (Luke 4:6-8) Paul, when going through many difficult times, knew where his final destination would be. The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom. 2 Timothy 4:18 ESV Paul could say that because he knew that Jesus’s kingdom was eternal. Could a dead king have spoken to him on the road to Damascus? Paul no doubt believed the lies that Jesus’s body was stolen by his followers, but no more. Not after the Damascus road. Paul probably would have sung the songs we sing today, had they been written. Songs such as, “The King is Coming,” “I Serve a Risen Savior,” or “Because He lives.”

Christian, we sing the songs to an everlasting / eternal King on a throne that will never end. Let us be grateful for a kingdom of which we are a part. Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe. Hebrews 12:28 ESV
 
Because of His Grace~ Pastor David

The Resurrection Of Jesus … Romans 6:9 … April 16, 2017

     We know that Christ being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. Romans 6:9 ESV
 
     I heard the question asked this week, “What is the greatest historical event in the history of the world?” I thought, the resurrection of course, at least for all those who believe. As I pondered that question through the rest of my week, I wondered; how many others believe this to be the greatest historical event of history? This one event literally changed and affected the whole world. There are those who do not believe the resurrection ever happened, and those who believe so strongly that they would die before they would renounce the resurrection. In fact, many have died refusing to deny the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus. If there were no resurrection, all that we believe and hope for in Jesus, would be for nothing. The resurrection defines who we are as Christians. Jesus, who was God in the flesh, came and lived among his creation for the purpose of redeeming us to himself. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost. Luke 19:10 ESV Jesus came to give us abundant life; abundant because it will have no end, and it is a life that is fill with the Holy Spirit. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. John 10:10 ESV The life found by Jesus will be abundant because in Christ we have our identity as Christians. We are not who we are because of what we do; we are who we are because of what Jesus has done and will yet do in us.

Jesus Conquered Death
We know that Christ being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. Romans 6:9 ESV  When they went to the tomb on resurrection morning, he was not there! But the angle said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay.” Matthew 28:5-6 ESV
 
Jesus, By Grace, Makes Believers Righteous
     For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the ABUNDANCE OF GRACE and THE FREE GIFT OF RIGHTEOUSNESS reign IN LIFE THROUGH the one man JESUS CHRIST. Romans 5:17 ESV Many attempt to work their way to heaven, but the work has already been done by Christ on the cross. How could a person ever imagine doing a greater work than the cross? If a person believed righteousness came as a result their works, it would be like saying the cross was not quite enough to accomplish my righteous redemption. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
 
Jesus Will Come Again
     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 14:2-3 ESV Do you believe this? Always remember, what you believe will determine how you live. As Christians we should live with anticipation that Jesus’s return could be at any moment. For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ. Titus 2:11-13 ESV
 
     Oh, the grace and mercy that I have experienced and received in my own life by Jesus is beyond exclamation. I can only imagine looking upon Jesus’s face one day. His face will one day be seen by all, as they pass into eternity. Will you be ready, by receiving all that has been made available to you by God through his Son Jesus? Jesus is absolutely the only way to God. Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6 ESV Jesus must be everything to you….. Savior, Master, Lord, Redeemer, King, and more than one could ever express, but would die trying to do so. In him we live and move and have our being. Acts17:28a ESV May this be the testimony of all who go by the name Christian, so that those who are lost and perishing may come to know Christ. But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. 2 Corinthians 2:15-16 ESV
 
Because of His Grace~ Pastor David

Jesus In 1 Samuel … Our King … Luke 1:31-33 … April 9, 2017

     And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name JESUS. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end. Luke 1:31-33 ESV
 
 
     A king, in Bible days, was one who had ultimate authority over those who were a part of his kingdom. When a king makes a decree or puts into place a law, then all in that kingdom must follow that law, or be subject to punishment as determined by that king. It would be easy to understand that if you had an evil king, you would suffer under his leadership; but if you had a good king, you would prosper. In 1 Samuel chapter 8, Samuel warned the Jewish people, who were desiring an earthly king, about the ways of an earthly king. They did not listen to the warnings of Samuel because they wanted to be like other nations (vs 20). Not much changed in the desire of the people from Samuel’s time to the time Jesus was born into the world. People still wanted a king to rule over them. Perceiving then that they were about to come and take him by force and make him king, Jesus withdrew again to the mountains by himself. John 6:20 ESV Jesus was already a king, just not of this world, which he made clear when he stood before Pilate. My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world. John 18:36 ESV Jesus is King! He is King over all creation, and has set in place a divine decree that all who become a part of his kingdom do so by being born into his kingdom. Jesus told Nicodemus, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” John 3:3 ESV Nicodemus asked how this was possible because he lacked understanding as to how a man might be born again. Today we can understand this, and how this is possible as explained in 1Peter 1:3 ESV: Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. The truth is that everyone belongs to one kingdom or the other – the kingdom of this world, which is under the strong influence of Satan, or the kingdom of God / Jesus, which is not of this world. This earthly kingdom is going to pass away, but the kingdom which is not of this world, will have no end. (Luke 1:31-33) Becoming a part of this kingdom is not the result of a physical birth, but a Spiritual birth, as stated above: being born again. Do you desire to make Jesus King of your life? Let me share with you where to start.
 
REPENT: John the Baptist preached it, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Matthew 3:2 ESV Jesus preached it, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” Mark 1:15 ESV Repenting is the change of direction and thought process in your life. It is being sorry for the sins you have committed against God, and it is the desire to follow Him the rest of your days in this earthly life.
 
BELIEVE THE GOSPEL: These are the words of Jesus in the last part of Mark 1:15. The gospel simply means good news. The good news is that Jesus came into the world, died in our place, and rose from the grave that we might have eternal life through him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. John 1:12-13 ESV 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
 
RECEIVE: Peter said to them, Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit Acts 2:38 ESV  The Holy Spirit seals us in Christ. In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire passion of it, to the praise of his glory. Ephesians 1:13 ESV  The difference between people who know about Jesus, and those know Jesus as Savior, is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. To know him as Savior is to have the Holy Spirit living in you. The Holy Spirit makes you a part of the kingdom of God in Christ Jesus. Jesus is your king, and you will follow as he decrees in your life. Do you live by the decrees given by King Jesus, or do you listen to the one of this world? No one can serve two kingdoms, for you will either be a part of God’s kingdom through Christ, or continue to live in the kingdom of darkness. There are only two kingdoms; of which one are you a part of today?
 
Because of His Grace ~ Pastor David

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