Pastor Corner
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June 15, 2016, 6:08 PM

Avoiding unbelief...

"And He did not do many miracles there because of their unbelief." - Matthew 13:58 (HCSB)

I have been contemplating, which has involved a great deal of prayer and study, the need for church revitalization for quite some time.  Before you say, "duh," listen carefully.  I'm not talking about churches in general, that is a given.  There is no doubt that churches need to take a long, hard look at what they do, and decide whether or not what they are doing is what they need to be doing.  However, that's not who I'm talking about.  I'm talking about us...our own...ourselves.  OUCH!  

It's easy to look at other churches and see what they are doing wrong or what they are doing that "gets under the skin" at bit. It's not so easy to take that same magnifying glass and turn it back on your own church and be honest with yourself.  Why is that? Sometimes it's because we hold on to tradition.  Sometimes it's because we hold on to things we just love to do because it's our passion,  Sometimes it's just because we are simply blind to what is going on around us.  This is why it is so important that a church evaluate what it is doing well and what needs to change.

I picked up the 40 day prayer guide, part of the church revitalization process, opened it and the very first day had the above verse, causing me to face the there an issue with unbelief?  Unblief can cause a roadblock to what Christ wants to do at this church.  If there is unblief in our hearts, then we need to repent of this and ask God to strengthen our faith, not in our abilities, but in Him.

In Christ,

Bro. Grant

June 1, 2016, 11:37 AM

Stay in touch...

"...and to the ends of the earth." Acts 1:8 (NIV 2011)

Most people really don't even have to hear the entire verse to know that the portion of Scripture mentioned above comes from Acts 1:8.  My question is, do you truly believe that we, the church, can be Christ's witnesses "to the ends of the earth?"  Personally, I do.  I'm seeing it happen daily.  How do you see it happen?  How you know that Christians are being effective, not just where you are located, but in lands you have never seen, lands you will never go?

I know a way.  The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) has made an easy way to be updated about the workings of the International Mission Board, the North American Mission Board, the Ethics and Religious Liberties Commission, and others; and, it began to day.  CLICK HERE to read the first edition of On Mission Today and see what God is doing with your support of the SBC.  You may never go beyond the borders of the United States, but that doesn't mean that God's word doesn't.  Stay in touch with what is happening and then pray!

In Christ,

Bro. Grant

May 12, 2016, 9:33 AM

God will be pleased...

" Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name.  And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased." - Heb. 13:15-16 (NIV 2011)

No doubt that we are to praise God through the name of Jesus.  In fact, this praise to be continuous and open.  In other words, there should be no shame or secrecy in who we follow.  We should offer up the sacrifice of praise with joy.  At the same time, however, we are to not forget something else that is very important...others.

Scripture is very clear that Christ is to be the center of our praise.  However, we have the ability to do for others while we are praising our Lord.  In fact, Hebrews 13:16 states that we should not "forget" or "neglect" to do good and to share with others.  In others words, we should be doing this anyway.  It ought to be something that we do in our daily lives.  Just because you are praising God, we can't forget to take care of those around us.  God is pleased with this type of sacrifice, as well as the profession of Christ.

We have a practical opportunity "to do good and to share with others" right now as many has suffered loss through a literal storm.  Imagine how much God can be praised through sacrifices during this time as we profess the name of Christ, do good for others, and share with others what we have.  In all this, God will be praised!  I encourage each of you to look for opportunities "to do good and to share" during this time...God will be pleased.

In Christ,

Bro. Grant

May 2, 2016, 8:54 AM

Heaven forbid there's no grace...

"So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace. And if by grace, then it cannot be based on works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace." - Romans 11:5-6 (NIV 2011)

Grace...a word that may be slowly disappearing from our culture.  The pendulum has been swinging back and forth for years, and I'm fearful that it has been at a price.  The "price" is that grace is sorely misunderstood and misused.  Society loves to swing the pedulum toward overuse of grace when it involves the idea that we must include all people in all activities at all times.  However, the pendulum has clearly swung the other way at times when society's beliefs have conflicted in the name of "tolerance."  Why do we struggle so much with this idea?

Paul attempted to explain this concept to the believers in Rome by pulling in the illustration of Elijah.  He reminded the believers that Elijah believed he was all alone.  However, God had provided a remnant, chosen by grace (because God chose to do so).  Paul likewise demonstrated that God had chosen to do the same during the New Testament time.  There was a remnant of God's chosen people because of grace...not based on works.  It was not because of what they had done (or NOT done).  Paul's next words are critical..."if it were, grace would no longer be grace."  It God had kept this remnant around because of what they had done, it would not have demonstrated grace.  In fact, grace would not have been required.  But, in fact, grace WAS required. It was grace that was important.

Imagine how Elijah felt when he found out that there were more of God's people than just him...encouraged.  Imagine how believers of Paul's time felt; Both the Jew and Gentile (if they understood grace)...encouraged.  Imagine how we can feel when we understand that there are others just like us...encouraged.  Isn't that better that thinking things have to be done in a certain way (works) or at a certain time (works).  I'm not giving a license for a "free-for-all."  However, we do need to look at the important of works versus grace. Heaven forbid there's no grace!

In Christ,

Bro. Grant  

April 11, 2016, 11:38 AM

Are we "PC" or "BC"...

"Peter and the other apostles replied: “We must obey God rather than human beings!" - Acts 5:29 (NIV 2011)

Peter and the other apostles had been given strict instructions to not teach in the name of Jesus.  However, according to Scripture, that is exactly what they were doing.  Evidently, they were bold about it, to the point that they were brought before the Sandhedrin and accused of breaking the law.  Accused by the religious leaders to the point that death was called for at that time.  Can you imagine the tension that existed?  This was not a simple matter of misunderstanding, but a matter of spiritual battle.

When Jesus' followers were brought before the Sanhedrin, I'm sure there must have been much speculation as to what there were going to say; especially with such a grave punishment on the line. I wonder if anyone would have expected the above response... "we must obey God rather than human beings."  Notice that it was not just Peter, but Peter and the other apostles.  They were together in this.  They would rather stand together in Christ, than to fall prey to the pressure of society and the Sanhedrin.

Today, we continue to have the same pressure, we just give it different names and titles.  Frankly, I'm sickened by the manner in which many have caved to the "Sanhedrin" and "pressures" of our time.  Many have chosen to be Politically Correct (PC) instead of Biblically Correct (BC).  Let me make myself extremely clear.  This is not about politics, it is about standing on what the bible teaches and not bending , not wavering, not making it sound different so that it meets the needs of a particular audience.  No, it's the simple fact that Christians are to put aside their personal issues, desires, and pride so that they can find what is left...the truth of God's word.  If we spend our time being "BC" then we don't have to dance around because we have a standard on which to stand...the standard is Christ.

This being said, this gives us no right to trample on those with which we disagree; on the contrary.  What this means is that we must fully incorporate the love of Christ into our lives.  We must learn to love ALL of God's creations, treating each other with respect and dignity, teaching truth in love in ALL situations.

Make a decision to be BC and throw out the idea of PC.

In Christ,

Bro. Grant

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