Pastor Corner
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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

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

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