Pastor Corner
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April 1, 2014, 12:00 AM

What's your favorite...

"I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead." - Philippians 3:10-11

Sunday, I shared my favorite Scripture with the congregation, which is the one I have given above.  Years ago, a dear friend wrote this verse in a book that he gave me.  He didn't actually write the verse, just the reference.  Of course, I had to go and look it up.  Once I looked it up, I began to wonder why he chose that verse.  Why that one among all the incredible verses he could have chosen? Honestly, I don't know if that was a favorite of his or he wrote that one specifically for me.  What I do know is that it caused me to go search out the meaning to this particular Scripture.

Once I found it and truly meditated on its meaning, I was in awe of its power.  It quickly became the Scripture on which I have based everything I do.  For me, it's all about knowing more about Christ and becoming closer to Him, even when it means understanding His sufferings...especially when it means understanding His sufferings.  Because of my understanding and view of this Scripture, I have seen God work things out in a whole new perspective.

I'm not suggesting that you take these verses as your own.  What I am suggesting is that you find Scripture that speaks to you in a way that you can hang on when life it tough.  Scripture that gives you true perspective.  Scripture that will get you through life.

In Christ,

Bro. Grant 




March 25, 2014, 12:00 AM

Standing on the promise...

"Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, according to the promise of life that is in Christ Jesus..." - 2 Timothy 1:1

So many times we rush through the beginning of a book or letter in the Bible to get to what we think is important, to get to the "meat" of God's Word.  We tend to skip right over the introduction because we think that it is the same for each letter, especially in the case of those authored by Paul.  After all, look at the number of epistles that he wrote...how many times can he introduce himself and his beloved friends, right?

Wrong...look at what we miss.  First, Paul takes a stand by identifying himself.  Not only does he identify himself by his name, but he identifies himself "with" Christ Jesus.  He does not hide who he is in who he believes.  Second, Paul takes a stand of humility.  He demonstrates the fact that it is by the strength (will) of God that he is able to take this stand.  He does not claim to have the strength to do this on his own.  Finally, he gives the reason that he takes this stand.  Simply put, he stands because of the promise Christ Jesus gives us in eternal life.  

Paul's introduction is not something that we should just skip over.  Look at the powerful testimony that he gives us in just a few short phrases.  I wonder if we could introduce ourselves to others like that.  We can when we are standing on the Promise of Jesus Christ!

In Christ,

Bro. Grant




March 18, 2014, 12:00 AM

His great faithfulness...

"The LORD did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples.  But it was because the LORD loved you and kept the oath he swore to your forefathers that he brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the land of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt. Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commands." - Deut. 7:7-9

Reading through the Bible is a great discipline for so many reasons.  It causes you to slow down and place your priorities, it obviously brings you closer to God in your daily walk, it brings to light passages that you may have forgotten or never seen before, it causes you to rethink some passages after you have experienced a new event in life, etc.  One great reason that is timeless is the fact that reading through the Bible reminds us of God's faithfulness.  No matter what we have done or been through, He remains faithful.

I don't know that this is any more true than in Deuteronomy.  Moses is reminding the Israelites as they are about to enter the "promised land" that they are to remain faithful to the true God as He has remained faithful to them.  In the midst of this, he reminds them that God chose them out of all the peoples of the earth...not because of their greatness, not because of their numbers, but because of His love for them and because He was faithful.  Isn't that still true today?  Isn't that still the same God?  God is still faithful and keeps His promises.  It is not our strength or our greatness that is impressive...it is Him.  Humble yourself before the Lord today and be thankful to be part of His great plan.

In Christ,

Bro. Grant




March 11, 2014, 12:00 AM

Just a touch of Spring...

"He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end." Ecc. 3:11

Just a touch of Spring is in the air...and isn't it beautiful. The last two days have been absolutely beautiful and I hope you have been able to get out and enjoy some of God's beautiful creation.  I was able to go for a bike ride with a friend yesterday and simply enjoy the outdoors for a little over an hour.  One of the things I told my riding buddy was that I really enjoyed this time of year because people began to come out of their home and into the world.  People are not cooped up in their homes, but are able to get out and enjoy the outdoors.  We saw folks sitting on their porches, mowing their laws, fixing fences, working in the pasture...simply doing things.

As beautiful as yesterday and today have been, it pales in comparison to what God has done and will do.  I am so grateful for these days, but like Ecclesiastes 3:11 says, we "cannot fathom what God has done from the beginning to end."  This is a great time of year to let others know of the eternity available (part of that "what God has done") through Christ as we are now able to get out and about.  Let others know of His love during this changing of the seasons.

In Christ, 

Bro. Grant

 



March 3, 2014, 12:00 AM

Love demonstrated...

"This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything."   1John 3:16-20

It is no coincidence that John 3:16 speaks of God's incredible love for us through His son Jesus Christ and then 1 John 3:16 then speaks of this same love once again.  Jesus' demonstration of love is really beyond compare.  One perfect sacrifice for all man...it just can't be matched!  However, what I like about 1 John 3:16-20 is that there is an expectation to try.  Don't get me wrong.  I'm not talking heresy.  But what I'm saying is that Christ gave us the perfect example of what true sacrifice is.  Not just sacrifice for our sins so that we can go to heaven.  That part we can never do for someone else.  Only Jesus can do that for us.  

What I'm saying is that Christ demonstrated how we can sacrifice for others.  We must give ourselves for others to the point that it hurts.  We need to be invested in the lives of others so that when others are hurting we hurt also.  "Let us not love with words or tongue but with actions..."  Let us demonstrate our love in actions even though that might take our precious time.  Let us demonstrate our love in actions even though that might take our precious material items.  Love folks until it hurts...sacrifice!

In Christ,

Bro. Grant


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