Pastor Corner
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January 4, 2016, 4:59 PM

Because of who He is...

"This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else." - 2 Corinthians 9:12-13

This is always a great time of year for me as a pastor.  I absolutely love to see what churches can do together for the sake of God's kingdom. Each year Baptist churches focus on international missions in December, coming together for the sake of expanding the gospel; even unto the ends of the earth.  Many churches have speakers visit, bringing the message of hope back to the very churches that help support missions.  

I find it such a blessing that the missionaries that speak to the "home churches" are actually bringing just as much joy to these supporting churches as they are to the churches they serve in the missionary field; at least, I pray that this is the case...I know that it is for me.  As I listened to the missionaries we had visit this year, I heard that God was still at work, that God was still needed both here and across this world, that God was still making a difference.  That is exciting!

As this season of focus has come to a close, it has blessed my heart to know that FBC Hooks has surpasssed the goal set for Lottie Moon Christmas Offering.  I want to thank you on behalf of our missionaries that are on the field, serving our Lord daily.  Truly, without your support, they would not be able to be there.  Thank you for being a church that supports missionary work here at home AND across the world, so that EVERYONE is afforded the opportnity to hear the good news.  Thank you for giving simply "because of who He is!"

In Christ,

Bro. Grant

December 24, 2015, 4:35 PM

There is still time...

"All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 'The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means 'God with us.''" - Matthew 1:22-23 (NIV 2011)

Amazing is it not?  That Jesus' birth took place in order that prophecy could be fulfilled.  Really?  Is that the real reason that the Son of God had to be born in the manner that He was, to the parents that He was? Well, yes and no.  The short answer is yes.  Since God desired that it should be done this way, the answer is yes.  Since the prophesy was spoken in such a way, yes.  Since God does not change or lie, yes.

The more provocative answer is "no."  Jesus did not have to be born as it is written, to the parents as it is written.  Why is that?  Because, if God had not so desired it in the first place, then it never had to occur.  If God had not loved His creation (you and me) so much, then He never would have had to do anything of the sort.  He never would have had to have a plan.  There would have been no need for salvation.  We would not have needed saving because God would not have desired a relationship with us.  

But the fact of the matter is, God did and He does.  God does desire a relationship with each of us. He does care about us as individuals.  He cared so much that He made a way for each one of us to be saved through the fulfillment of prophecy...the birth of Jesus.

Praise God we have the opportunity to celebrate the birth of Jesus...even now, this very season.  It's not too late to give God glory through worship and praise.  Find a place to worship Him tonight (Christmas eve), this weekend, and the next.  He wants and deserves your praise. After all, He gave you the most precious present of all...His Son!

Merry Christmas!!

In Christ,

Bro. Grant

December 18, 2015, 10:18 AM

Time to praise together...

"May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God." - Romans 15:5-7 (NIV 2011)

It has been a couple of weeks since I've written.  That's usually a sign of laziness or being too busy; I'll claim the latter (it sounds better). As I was preparing for messages next week, I realized that Christmas eve is approaching, which means the year is fading fast.  It also means that some churches are preparing for a Christmas eve service.  We will be having one at 6:30pm and I know of at least one other church in town that will be having one as well.  I would encourage all who can to attend.  If you are in town, come share a few moments with church family, remembering why we celebrate this season.  Even if you don't regularly attend one of the churches holding the Christmas eve services, go anyway.  Hopefully, you have seen that when we encourage one another in the Lord, we are of one mind, one voice and we glorify God.

I know that it has been a few weeks, but just think back to the Thanksgiving Community Service.  Several churches, coming together to praise the Lord in one accord, glorifying His holy name.  What a sweet spirit we had that night.  Should we not have the same spirit every day, but especially in the season as we celebrate the birth of our Savior!

In Christ,

Bro. Grant

November 27, 2015, 7:56 PM

Are we giving Him our leftovers...

I don't know about you, but I am stuffed.  I knew it was going to be this way before it ever started.  Even as the day of Thanksgiving progressed, it got worse.  I knew I shouldn't eat, but I did it anyway.  Yip, I admit it...gluttony is a problem for me during this time.  Something I really need to work on...anyone else?

As I was thinking about this often overlooked sin, I began to take it just a little deeper. I don't know if I was just looking to justify my sin or truly looking for God in everything as I instruct everyone else to do in their lives, but going deeper none the less. The food we had at our house was delicious when it was initially placed on the table.  The aroma of each and every food was pleasing.  The experience of eating together made the food taste that much better. It wasn't just the food, but the experience of eating "together."  While I ate the leftovers later that day and again twice today, I realized that I was thinking of the experience again; not just the food, but the experience of having the family together.

So, here is the thought.  I know that we are instructed to give God our first fruits.  There is no arguement.  The Bible is clear.  However, the Bible is also clear to give Him everything we have.  He wants our minds, our souls, our bodies, and our strength.  In other words, He wants our leftovers also.  Every time, in every situation, give your leftovers to God as well.

In Christ,

Bro. Grant

November 16, 2015, 11:51 PM

Even now, praise...

"Praise the Lord, all you nations; extol him, all you peoples. For great is his love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord." - Psalm 117 (NIV)

This last Sunday I briefly mentioned psalms 117, 118, and 119; the shortest psalm, the middle of the Bible, and the longest psalm respectively. This was not the point of the sermon so this was mentioned in passing.  As I sat down to write today, I was reminded of that simple passing comment.  I wonder how often Psalm 117 gets overlooked simply because it is the shortest psalm.  After all, how much could we possibly get from such a short psalm? Quite a bit actually...

Look at the words of this gem.  ALL nations (peoples) should praise the Lord.  No one is immune from this.  How appropriate is this for the times that we are in?  Just look at the events of just this past week.  Isn't this a time when ALL nations should come to the throne of an Almighty God to praise Him?  Some may disagree, saying that tragedy is no time to "praise"God.  I would say it is the perfect time.  We are to praise God that we have someone to turn to, even in times of trouble...especially in times of trouble.  In fact, this psalm reminds us that His love is faithful and that He endures forever.  This means that He endures even in times like these.  

Please take this "tiny" psalm as a HUGE reminder of how great our God is and that He is still in control; even when everything around us appears out of hand.  Just as this psalm begins and ends with "praise the Lord," so should our days begin and end with "PRAISE."

In Christ,

Bro. Grant

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