Pastor Corner
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May 13, 2014, 12:00 AM

Have confidence...

"The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want."

For many folks, there is no need to give the remain portion of the Scripture or even give the reference for the know the entire psalm by just hearing a portion of it.  Psalm 23 is one of the most quoted, if not the most quoted psalms in the Bible.  Much like John 3:16, many non-Christians could probably quote some of this psalm simply because they have heard it so many times.

Unfortunately, we usually hear this psalm at the time of someone's burial.  It's unfortunate, not just because someone has passed from this life onto the next, but because this psalm has to do with so much more than the trial of death.  This psalm is about trust and confidence.  If we really look at this psalm, we ought to be reading it each and every day of our lives; putting our trust and confidence in God every day.  

Wake up and sing unto the matter what happens today, I trust that you will allow me to dwell in your presence.  That means that you, Lord, will love me, provide for me, protect me, and that you have saved me from my iniquities.  Even to the point that I can go right into the face of my enemies...that's confidence.  Is it appropriate that this psalm is spoken at funerals, absolutely.  However, this is a psalm for the living, not the dead.  Put your trust and confidence in the Lord...right now!

In Christ, 

Bro. Grant

May 5, 2014, 12:00 AM

Training with one heart...

"May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ." - Romans 15:5-6

This past weekend was blessing, as are most, but let me tell you why.  Now some of you that attended service last night will (at least I hope you will) remember me talking about this, but stay with me.  Two of our members and I attended a disaster relief training on Saturday.  We had the opportunity to train in areas of interests (communications, chaplaincy, feeding, laundry/shower, clean-up, water purification, etc.) and then we came together for a general training in the afternoon.  In between the two sessions, we had a great lunch.  

I will be the first to admit that some of the training was redundant.  At times I felt that I had heard this from 10 different people, but then I realized there were only two trainings, I had only heard it twice. I lost focus.  I forgot my purpose of being there.  You see, we were there to help other people.  We were there so that we would be prepared to help those that were going through a disaster.  However, we were also there to make sure that EVERYONE got the same information and that EVERYONE was on the same page.  Hence, why we probably had so much of the redundancy.

Do you ever feel like that in church?  Be honest. Have you heard a message or Sunday School lesson and thought...good grief, not this one again! Two things: 1) maybe someone there needs to hear it for the 1st time, or 2) maybe, just maybe, you don't know it as well as you think you know it!  Our purpose on Saturday was to make sure that when we are called out in a disaster situation that we know what we are doing and that we do it correctly in the name of Jesus Christ.  Guess what, the teaching that we receive in the church and through the Word is done in order that we know what we are doing and that we do it correctly in the name of Jesus Christ EVERY DAY!!!

In Christ, 

Bro. Grant

April 28, 2014, 12:00 AM

Don't flee, stand firm...

"4 My heart is in anguish within me; the terrors of death assail me.                                                                                                                                            5 Fear and trembling have beset me; horror has overwhelmed me.                                                                                                                                            6 I said, 'Oh, that I had the wings of a dove! I would fly away and be at rest--                                                                                                                          7 I would flee far away and stay in the desert; Selah                                                                                                                                                                      8 I would hurry to my place of shelter, far from the tempest and storm.'" - Psalm 55:4-8

 I know that I'm probably the only one that ever has this problem, but do you ever want to get away? Yes, just like the Southwest Airline commercial! Evidently, David had those moments as well.  There were times in his life that he was is such fear he felt the only way to fix the problem was to flee.  Look at the passage above.  Look at the way in which David describes his situation.  In verse 5, he is overwhelmed, maybe to the point of being paralyzed.  I imagine some of use can identify with this.  We are in fear to the point that we can't move.  The storms of life cause us to feel like there is nothing we can where we can go.  

Isn't it nice to know that the king of Israel, a warrior, the anointed of God has the same fears as you and I.  But, while David sounds as if he wants to flee in the beginning of this Psalm, it is near the end of this Psalm that the best advice is given.  In verse 22, David writes, "Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall."  He doesn't recommend that we flee.  Quite the opposite, we should stand tall and depend on God...He will sustain us.  Don't flee, STAND FIRM!!

In Christ, 

Bro. Grant

April 22, 2014, 12:00 AM

Do not be afraid...

"If the LORD is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us. Only do not rebel against the LORD. And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will swallow them up. Their protection is gone, but the LORD is with us. Do not be afraid of them." - Numbers 13:8-9

The crowd was weeping, even wailing at what the Lord had done.  They thought that there was absolutely not hope.  Some were even wishing that they had never left their homes back in Egypt.  Surely they would have been better off back in slavery, being told what to do, when to do it, and how to do it.  Surely being stranded at the very entrance of this new land was not what God had intended.  

No, it wasn't.  God did not intend for theses people to be stranded at the entrance to this new land.  It was His intention for them to go in.  Caleb and Joshua understood this and spoke these words above.  Caleb and Joshua understood that all things were possible with God that was with them.  They had to follow God, not rebel against God, but follow Him.  Amazing isn't it! That just TWO out of thousands, possibly a million people knew what it took to succeed in a new place, in unfamiliar territory.  

Why is it so difficult to trust God in new circumstances?  Why is it so difficult to put our faith in the God that created us?  Because we want to hold on to what we THINK we have control over.  Because we listen to the "many" that think they have control. Newsflash...we (and "they") are not in control! It's time that we acknowledge that God is in control and move forward.  Do not be afraid...He is with us!

In Christ,

Bro. Grant

April 15, 2014, 12:00 AM

Leave them wanting more...

"Do you hear what these children are saying?" they asked him. "Yes," replied Jesus, "have you never read," `From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise' ?" And he left them and went out of the city to Bethany, where he spent the night. - Mattew 21:16-17

So many times, I fail to mention something on Sunday that I really wanted to point out, or if I did, I didn't make as bid a deal out of it as I would have liked to.  Well, guess what?  This passed Sunday was one of those times.  For those of you that did not worship with us on Palm Sunday, I preached from Matthew 21:1-17, one account of Jesus' entrance into Jerusalem.  It must have been amazing, but one thing that Jesus did that was so subtle and just flat out masterful is found in the very last part of the above Scripture...He left them and went out of the city.

By leaving them and not staying in the city, don't you know that Jesus left many people wondering..."what just hit us?"  They had to digest what just transpired.  Surely it was too much to take in all at once.  Jesus would return early the next day and begin again, but that night I'm sure there was talk in the town.  How masterful!  

We should take His lead.  Speak of our Savior and give folks the goodness of Christ so that they can digest what they have heard, leaving them to crave even more.  Don't beat them up so that they despise the very Lord we are wanting them to know.  Return the next "day" (whenever that may be) showing them God's love yet again...leaving them wanting even more.

In Christ,

Bro. Grant

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