Pastor Corner
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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




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 question...is 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


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