Pastor Corner
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August 26, 2016, 8:44 AM

Who are you pleasing...

"Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ." - Galatians 1:10 (NIV 2011)

This scripture may be one of the most volatile statements in the Bible.  Think about it.  If not understood properly, Paul sounds like he is telling his audience that he is not there to please them.  Well, in reality that IS part of it.  However, it is not the central issue.  If verse 10 is taken in context of verses 11-12, we see that Paul was clearly stating that he was setting the priority of the Gospel, which came from God, not man.  In fact, according to 1 Corinthians 9:19-22, there were times when Paul DID please men.  However, it was never at the expense of the Gospel.

In context of his words, his works, and his attitude, Paul makes it very clear that his priority is pleasing God.  Taken out of context, Paul's words seem difficult, but if we listen to everything said, it all makes perfect sense.  That seems like good advice for us today.  If we look and listen to the entire body of work (words, works, attititude, etc.), we would have a much better picture as to who a person is and who they are pleasing.  Come to think of it, we would do well to look at our own "body of work" to see who we are pleasing.

In Christ,

Bro. Grant




August 9, 2016, 10:49 AM

Look deeper...

"After removing Saul, he made David their king. God testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.'"  Acts 13:22 (NIV 2011)

This may be one of the most convicting verses in the Bible.  I say "one of the most" because there are many that simply cut to the chase and give no wiggle room, and this is one of them.  Many times, preachers are guilty of looking at this verse and only looking at the grace God gives David, using it as a verse of forgiveness and mercy.  While this is true (very true), it's much more than that.

This verse speaks of how God truly knew David.  God knew the sin that was within David, yet He chose David to be king.  God knew that David would strive to do His (God's) will, hence the phrase "do everything I want him to do." How did God know this, because God KNEW David.  God found David.  He sought out a man that would do His will.  He sought out a man that He could trust.  He found such a man.  In other words, God took an active role to know David.  He was not passive about it.  He did not wait until the time was right or the right man came along.  God was active in this pursuit to know David.

I was watching "So You Think You Can Dance - Next Generation" when a young lady had been told for years that she was too tall and lanky to dance. However, she danced beautifully for the judges with heart and spirit...the judges saw her heart, when others did not. How many of us are "active" to know people and build relationships?  How many simply use folks for the things we need?  How many of us make snap judgments according to one's appearance or status? Imagine if we truly went deeper than the surface with folks...God does.

In Christ,

Bro. Grant




July 24, 2016, 10:39 PM

They are from the Lord...

"Children are a heritage from the LORD, offspring a reward from him." - Psalm 127:3

It's been a while since I have been able to share my thoughts, but its for a good reason.  A reason that is related to the simple, but beautiful, truth of this verse.  I have had the privilege of working alongside Nicole at childrens' camp for the past 10 days.  While this has kept us busy, it was a "good kind of busy." I was able to see just how great it is to work with children who worship and study about God from several different churches.  I was blessed to meet some great leaders, as well as new friends in ministry.  While these children were not my "offspring," I truly believe that I was given a reward from Him by being around them.  

These past few days were a reminder to me just how much children play a role in our own worship of God.  Then, as I am in church this morning, Nick (our worship leader) reminds us of the pleasure of having children and youth in worship.  How great is it to worship a God that causes us to be on the same page, realizing the importance of having children among us.  It's not just our own that are a reward, it is "His children" that are a reward to all of us.

Remember what a blessing children are, as they are from the Lord.

In Christ,

Bro. Grant




July 10, 2016, 11:48 PM

Your neighbor is not the enemy...

"For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." - Ephesians 6:12  (NIV 2011)

I know that there has been a great deal to digest over the past week.  Many have taken the opportunity to spew more than their fair share of inappropriate words that have accomplished absolutely nothing.  Some have chosen to take actions that have brought even more opportunity for others to share their "words of wisdom."  Some have taken action that will forever change how we, as a society, interact with one another.  Some have chosen to ignore the entire thing and stick their head in the ground and hope that it goes away.  And, some have simply chosen to turn to the ONE that can actually do something about all this.

Ephesians reminds us of an important point that I believe is worth pointing out again and again.  "Our struggle is not against flesh and blood."  Whatever you want to think or do, consider this simple truth that God's word gives to us...our struggle is not against each other.  We do not have to keep beating each other up with our comments and our actions.  If we want to be mad at someone, let's be mad at the source of evil...the father of lies...Satan.  Let us focus on the common enemy who deceives all.  Is this a simplistic view of the world?  Maybe so, but it is a biblical view of how God created His people to believe.  It's not an easy view, otherwise God would not have also instructed us to "put on the full armor so that we can stand against the schemes of the devil."  It may be a simple view, but it's not always easy.  However, it's worth it as we follow the will of an Almight God watching over His children.  Imagine how God feels when He sees us beating one another up,,,that's not His will, but our will pushing through.  Your neighbor is NOT the enemy!

In Christ,

Bro. Grant

 




July 1, 2016, 9:17 AM

Keep running...

"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing."  - 2 Timothy 4:7-8 (NIV 2011)

This has been the Scripture for VBS this week.  How appropriate!  It has been a race to make sure everything is prepared, all the kids are where they need to be, and everything is cleaned up...just ask all the workers. Wait, that's not what the Scripture is talking about or is it? VBS? Some would say that "keeping the faith" is strictly continuing to believe in Jesus Christ and not wavering from that belief.  While that is wonderful, and we must do this, let me challenge you with the obvious...it is talking about so much more!

When Paul talks about the fact that he has "kept the faith," he also talks about fighting a good fight and finishing a race.  It is appropriate, then, to speak about the things that he has done to keep that faith solid.  He had been actively doing things for the kingdom.  In fact, he had been serving God in a battle of sorts. It was not fun at times.  In fact, it was difficult and life threatening.  When Paul states that he "kept the faith," it was very much an active life, full of service to the King.

So, in that regard, keeping the faith does mean working at VBS.  It also means all those other things you do as you serve in the Kingdom.  May you keep running!

In Christ,

Bro. Grant


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