Pastor Corner
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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 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

February 26, 2014, 12:00 AM

Attention to detail...


I don't even have to give a specific reference, do I? Many of you are already going...ugh!  That's right, Leviticus! In reading through the Bible this year, I have just spent the last 10 days in Leviticus.  Many folks, including myself, spend very little time in this book.  In fact it may be one of least "preached" books, along with Numbers (which is where I'm at for the next 14 days.  We tend to skip over both of these books because of their repetitive nature.  It simply makes for a very dry read.

But, let me lead you down a different path for just a second.  Yes, there is a great deal of detail in both of these books.  Yes, both of them are extremely repetitive.  However, look at the extreme detail.  Look at the lengths to which our God went to make sure that His message got through.  He wanted to make sure that every little detail was taken care of, right down to where His people camped (Numbers 2).  We love physicians that are detail oriented, or event planners that take care of every little detail.  How about a God that ensures that each and every detail is written down so that future generations know exactly what to do?  That's a God that cares.  That is not a God that is off in the distance and doesn't know who you are.  That's a God that is in the details.  Don't skip over His details!!

In Christ,

Bro. Grant

February 17, 2014, 12:00 AM

Did someone say distraction...

"Then Samuel took a suckling lamb and offered it up as a whole burnt offering to the LORD. He cried out to the LORD on Israel's behalf, and the LORD answered him. While Samuel was sacrificing the burnt offering, the Philistines drew near to engage Israel in battle. But that day the LORD thundered with loud thunder against the Philistines and threw them into such a panic that they were routed before the Israelites. The men of Israel rushed out of Mizpah and pursued the Philistines, slaughtering them along the way to a point below Beth Car." 1 Sam. 7:9-11

If you had the opportunity to worship with our family last night, this verse needs no further explanation.  For those that couldn't, let me explain.  Just before evening service, I heard a strange sound coming from our utility room where the fire pump, risers, etc. are housed.  Of course,  I think I have time to peak my head in and take care of it and so the distraction begins.  A few men of the church and myself begin to problem solve and get this feeling that something is about to happen.  Sure enough, just about the time I begin to preach...full blown alarm.  I let the congregation know that nothing is wrong and the kids have already evacuated the building, but we can't get the alarm to shut off...a simple thing, or at least it should be!

It becomes obvious that it is going to take longer than normal to get this problem solved, so I let our church family know of our choices: 1) hang out and we will resume, or 2) I understand if you feel you need to go on home.  After what seemed an eternity to me, we got the alarm shut off, the kids went back to the activities (huge thanks to our children's workers...huge thanks) and I come back into the sanctuary to find singing.  Thank you Lord!  Just as Samuel went on about what was important...worshiping God.  Staying through the distractions of the moment, our folks understood that all was good and continued to worship the Lord.  

We heard God's word through song, through message and through prayer last night as we were not distracted by the happenings of life.  Gotta love how God works sometimes, don't you!

In Christ,

Bro. Grant

February 10, 2014, 12:00 AM

Digging crumbs...

"You want something but don't get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures." James 4:2-3 (NIV)

Reading this morning, I came across this quote..."Compared to what God wants to do, we're digging for crumbs in the carpet when He has hot loaves baking in the ovens of heaven!"  WOW! I may steal that as part of a sermon title one day.  But, what a true and powerful statement.  While we think we know the answers and try to find God in the oddest places and in the oddest ways (and sometimes flat out wrong ways), God is waiting to bless us in powerful ways.  However, just like the Scripture says in James, we have not asked OR if we have asked , our motives are wrong.  We find ourselves asking God to reign down on us to fulfill our pleasures instead of His.

We have to get to a place in life where we understand that this life is not about us.  It can be, and should be, so much more.  Through the power of God, we have the ability to worship the God of the universe that desires a relationship with us.  Through His power, we have the ability to continue that relationship for all eternity through Jesus Christ.  Through His power, we have the ability to reconcile with those who have offended us and those we have offended.  Through his power, we have the ability to do so much...but it is never about us.  It is always about Him.  Now, with that mindset, just ask Him.

In Christ,

Bro. Grant

February 4, 2014, 12:00 AM

Remember the youth...

Nothing really amazing this week...not that it ever is!  But I'm asking those that read these posts to take time to pray for our youth.  A few adults that work with the youth in our church met this past Sunday to discuss the future of our youth program.  I am excited to know that our church cares about the youth and understands that both the future of this church and this community depend upon these young people.

What we need NOW is the prayers and support of the rest of the church and community.  It will take the support of each person to ensure that what we do actually works.  As young people step into the doors of this church, they must feel like they belong, like this is a home to them.  This must be a place that they can feel safe.  This can only happen if the church family is open to youth ministry.  We must not look down upon them because of their youth (1 Timothy 4:12), but instead encourage them so that they will encourage others. 

Just image if every youth were in a church each Sunday, hearing the Word of God.  What a difference that would make to our community.  It begins with our prayers and our support.

In Christ, 

Bro. Grant

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