Pastor Corner
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November 16, 2016, 11:30 AM

Doing Good...

"For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." - Ephesians 2:10 (NIV 2011)

Time and time again I have seen God go before me and prepare a path of work that needs to be done.  I'm grateful that He does this, as this makes things much easier for me and those around me.  According to Ephesians 2:10, in the context of how we are saved (by grace through faith), I find it incredibly important that God teaches us the importance of doing good works.  However, just as important is doing the good works that "he has prepared."

Many of us are probably doing "good things" but are wasting our time.  Now how is that possible?  If it "good" how could it be wasting time?  You might be wasting time in several ways. Maybe it wasn't what God wanted you to be working on at that particular time, or maybe at all.  Or, maybe the "good thing" you are doing is only good in your eyes and not good in the eyes of the Lord.  Evaluate your work according to God's word, not your desires.  Or, maybe the "good thing" is only good according to the world.  Do I need to go any further?  

We were created to do good works...those works, IN PARTICULAR, that God has prepared.  I know it is difficult to discern these works at times, and even harder to follow through with these works.  However, God will reward your perseverance and diligence.  This being said, I would like to thank all those who participated in our one day mission on the 12th.  This may have been the most ambitious, in regards to projects, for a one-day event.  However, you demonstrated God's love through hard work, kind words, service to each other (including great food)...all the while "doing good."  Thank you!!

In Christ,

Bro. Grant 

October 27, 2016, 8:43 AM

Getting rooted in God...

"...if you waste your time in overactive energies instead of getting into soak on the great fundamental truths of God's Redemption, you will snap  when the strain comes; but if this time of soaking before God is being spent in getting rooted and grounded in God on the unpractical line, you will remain true to Him whatever happens." - Oswald Chambers, My Upmost For His Highest

The above quote was part of my devotional time this past week in connection with John 18:36, "My Kingdom is not of this world."  As I was reading, I couldn't help by think about how often we get caught up in the busyness of life and lose focus on what is important.  Because we are so concerned about what is happening or what might happen, we miss what has already happened...the fact that Christ has died for our sins and was raised from the dead for all eternity.

To many folks in our fast paced world, that last statement sounds irrelevant to our world.  Those words only apply to a time long ago or are part of a make believe story.  That's exactly what Satan wants us to think.  He wants us to get so busy that we don't have time to really sit down and think through what such a simple statement truly means to us today.  If we stay busy, then we won't realize the fundamental truths of God's Redemption.  If Christ died for my sins and is now alive, there I have eternal life; I have a God that loves me; I have a God that cares about what is going on even now; I have a God that actually knows what is going on; I have a God that understands the strains in life even when I don't; I have a God that sees a bigger picture than I do...and on and on and on.

As a nation, we must understand the same fundamental truths.  Even as we approach an important time in our country's history, God knows exactly what is transpiring.  He understands fully the ramifications of our decisions.  But guess what, He will not be caught off guard.  He will not be surprised.  But, He will still be in control.  Therefore, let us not "waste our time in overactive energies" but, instead spend this time "getting rooted and grounded in God" as we will need Him, no matter the outcome.

In Christ,

Bro. Grant

October 12, 2016, 11:12 AM

You have it for others...

"We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us." - Romans 12:6 (NIV 2011)

The last two weeks have been different.  Several things have happened, some good, some bad, basically life has happened.  So you may ask, what's so different about that?  Glad you asked.  Well, the last two weeks I have walked up to my office door on Wednesday morning to find a simple piece of paper taped to my door.  These pieces of paper have not changed the events that have taken place in our family, church, school, etc.  However, these pieces of paper have caused things to be different.  Why?  You see, these pieces of paper have had encouraging words printed upon them...scripture that has reminded me that God is with me.  I have not forgotten this truth, but it's great to be reminded that it is a "reality" not just words that we read.  The other great part of these pieces of paper have been the hand written words that have reminded me that someone is praying for name, just someone.  Powerful!

Romans 12:6 state that we are given different gifts.  In fact, later in verse 8, encourgement is mentioned as one of those specific gifts.  What I want to stress, however, is that "we have" or literally "having" means that there is no doubt about whether or not each of us have gifts.  The question is whether or not we choose to use them.  In reality, using your gift shouldn't be a question either, especially in the context of what Paul is writing. Each of us has a tremendous impact as we use our gifts that God has given us...but we have to be willing to use those gifts.  And, just as I have shown above, it can be something small that has a huge impact to someone else.  SInce you "have it," consider how you can use your gifts TODAY to help those around you.

In Christ,

Bro. Grant

September 28, 2016, 8:31 AM

We see you...

"So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner.  Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God." - 2 Timothy 1:8 (NIV 2011)

This morning I had the privilege to speak at "See you at the Pole" at the High School.  We had approximately 40 high school students attend a 7am event...AWESOME!  As I spoke to them, with the above verse as my basis, I shared that we are not to be ashamed of the gospel, that's a given.  After all, wasn't that why were at the pole, to proclaim our faith in Christ and pray for our nation, our community, our leaders, etc.  However, let me share a couple additional points found in this verse that I shared with the students.

First, Paul wrote "or of me his prisoner."  Paul didn't want Timothy to be ashamed of Paul, himself.  We are to conduct ourselves in a manner, as believers, that is not shameful, nor are we to be ashamed of our fellow believers.  It takes a great deal of courage for our students to stand up for what is do the right thing in all circumstances.  Forty of them began their day by doing the right thing today, but to continue throughout this day and the rest of their days will be difficult...pray for them.

Second, Paul wrote that Timothy should "join with me in suffering"  by the "power of God."  Neither the students nor anyone else can do this thing called "life" alone.  We should join in the life of a believer together, standing strong with one another and with the power of God.  No, life of a believer is not easy.  No, it is not easy to do the right thing every time.  However, standing together and in the strength of God's is possible.  

I told the students this morning, now that you stood here this morning, I know who you are and where you stand.  I see you and I can stand with you.  More importantly, we (each of us) can see you and stand with you.

In Christ,

Bro. Grant

September 14, 2016, 8:46 AM

Don't be distracted...

"But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the Spirit you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough." - 2 Cor. 11:3-4 (NIV 2011)

Oh, how easily we are distracted by life.  It seems none of us are immune from this.  Our cause for distraction may be different, but, really, we all have the same end result...distraction. As I was reading my devotional this morning (which included 2 Cor. 11:3) I received 3 texts and thought of at least 3 things that I needed to add to my "to do" list just for today.  Needless to say, distraction is an issue for me if not for anyone else.  I found it ironic to be reading THIS passage.

As it often does, my devotional time flowed over into a deeper look into the scripture surrounding the passage given to me for that day.  As I looked at the context of v.3, I noticed that it's not just the simple distractions of the day, but more.  It's the distractions of decision, the distractions of thinking every little thing has to mean something.  When Paul speaks about the "sincere and pure devotion to Christ," he is not concerned necessarily about their moral departure from Christ only, but their intellectual departure as well.  He wants them to not be led astray by their thinking.  If something else comes along, don't be distracted by it.  I want to take it a step further and state that we must not get in the habit of thinking that every little thing means something.  Not everything HAS to mean something.  Life is not a mathematical equation where both sides have to equal and every letter has a value or meaning.  Oswald Chambers wrote, "In intellectual matter you can think things out, but in spiritual matters you will thing yourself int cotton wool."  Don't overthink things, just obey when it comes life, especially when trying to find God's will in our lives.  Remember, our God is not a God of confusion!

In Christ,

Bro. Grant

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