Pastor Corner
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March 29, 2017, 8:38 AM

What we can do...

Have you ever felt like there is nothing you can do?  Like you don't have the qualifications to help someone? Do me a favor and just read Shannon's story.  Her story is similar to more people than you can possibly imagine; people that you know.  Yet, all it took was someone reaching out to be a friend.  Someone being persistent in God's love.

We are placing emphasis on the Annie Armstrong Easter Offerring this month in support of our North American Missionaries. In many situations, their work focuses on relationships just like that of Shannon's situation.  What I would also like us to see is that we are those missionaries as well.  Just like Jessica and Joshua, we have the ability to reach out to those in our own community that may be needing a place to heal, a place to fit in, a place to be loved.  THAT...we can do!

In Christ,

Bro. Grant




February 20, 2017, 10:31 AM

Receive and give...

“But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect.” – 1 Cor. 15:10a

Paul was in the middle of sharing the gospel with his audience. Then, he took a moment to express a humble, yet important part of his ministry.  The verse noted above expresses a sentiment that is all too often forgotten.  Maybe, that’s why Paul felt it important to include at this point.

Paul states that it is by God’s grace that he is included as an apostle.  Why? Because, he recalls all that he has done, all that he has been a part of, and all that he is compared to the glory of his Lord and Savior.  He understands where he is and from where he has come.  There is an old proverb that many, if not all of us know: “There to but for the grace of God go I.”  Unfortunately, many of us use it like this, “Glad I didn’t wind up like that.”  Instead, it should be more like, “It is by God’s grace that this didn’t happen to me, as I have made that same mistake or one similar to it.”  Compassion is brought out in the second interpretation, but not in the first.

Secondly, Paul stated that God’s grace “was not without effect.”  This means that there was evidence in Paul’s life of God’s grace.  Paul lived a life that demonstrated grace by giving grace to others.  He didn’t forget that he had received grace himself, therefore, he showed grace to others.  This is an area, that many of us forget as well.  We keep the grace to ourselves, forgetting to share it without others.  Grace is meant to be given away.  Receive it and give it.  It’s a gift meant to be given a way!

In Christ,

Bro. Grant 




January 19, 2017, 2:25 PM

He is not going to plead...

"Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me."  Isaiah 6:8

Ever read a verse or portion of the Bible for "first time" eventhough you haver read it several times before?  How many times have we read this verse? Yet, just a few days ago I got the sence that I had read it for the first time as I felt I had been missing a simple yet import point.  So many times I had read this as the call of Isaiah, but it is so much more.

The way that it is written has Isaiah standing by, hearing a conversation.  He hears the thought, or need, expressed about workers going out in the name of the Lord.  Think about it for just a momment and picture Isaiah standing up in response to a request that he has overheard. He simply hears a need and states, "send me."  God did not coerce or plead with him, yet Isaiah answered the call to go for God.  

Oswald Chambers wrote, "The call of God is not for the special few, it is for everyone.  Whether or not I hear God's call depends upon the state of my ears."  Are we listening for God to call so that we can answer, saying, "here am I, send me.?"  I hope we are, because He will not beg and plead.  He may simple go on to the next person who is listening.

In Christ,

Bro. Grant

 




January 2, 2017, 11:13 PM

Of what are you not ashamed...

"For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile." - Romans 1:16 (NIV 2011)

Having watched a great deal of football games over the holidays, I have seen my fair shair of "interesting fans."  I'm sure you have seen the same ones.  What causes some of these people to do these things...painted faces, bare bellies, crazy hair, interesting clothing, etc.? They love their team.  They are not ashamed of their team.  Granted, some of them are not ashamed only because their team is doing well this time.  However, some would do it just because they love their team; no matter the score...even if their team goes scoreless.  Truly, they are not ashamed.

These fans have something that we, as believers, should take to heart.  They believe that their team has a chance even when the odds are stacked against them.  Why? Because they believe in their team.  They believe that their team is the best, even when they aren't.  Why? Because they believe in their team.  Truly, they are not ashamed of their team.

What would happen if we took that attitude to the Gospel?  Then, that would be exactly what we are being told to do in Romans 1:16.  We are not to be ashamed of the Gospel...ever.  No matter the odds; no matter whether we think we are doing good; no matter we believe things are going right...ever.  We are not to be ashamed of the Gospel. Why?  Because it has the power of God behind it, not us.  It is not our power but God's power that drives this.

Why are we unashamed of a team that does us nothing but provide us, at most, a temporary joy when they win?  We should be unashamed of a Gospel that gives us hope of eternal life.  And, if we are not ashamed, we should share it with someone else. After all, we have no problems sharing who our favorite team is!

In Christ, 

Bro. Grant




December 6, 2016, 8:55 AM

Pray for the workers...

"Then he said to his disciples, 'The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.'" - Matthew 9:37-38 (NIV 2011)

How many times have these words been used as a platform to pray for or send missionaries? While I'm not complaining, as I see that this is completely appropriate, I do think that we might be missing the full thrust of this Scripture.  Let me share just a couple of thoughts as to why I feel this way.

First, many times, unknowingly maybe, we limit the idea of "workers" to those that are sent, literally those that are going away.  We overlook the workers that stay in the community, our own church workers.  Consequently, there is a lack of appreciation at times for the incredible labor that goes on behind the scene and throughout the community.

Second, for both missionaries far and near (including local church workers) we forget to continue to pray for them.  We take this Scripture to mean that we need to pray for people to step and work for the Lord.  Once the numbers are there, we step back and say "thank you Lord," and stop praying.  Sure, we are to ask the Lord to send out workers, but we need to CONTINUE to pray for those workers.  Our task of praying does not stop with the "sending."  In fact, I would submit that it is only beginning.  This goes for our missionaries abroad and our workers here at home...they need our prayers.

We are in the middle of Lottie Moon Week of Prayer of International Missions.  Every day you have the privilege to pray for a missionary family simply by following this link https://www.imb.org/lottie-moon-christmas-offering-week-prayer/. Each missionary has asked for specific prayers as they continue their work.  Will you CONTINUE to pray, even after they have been sent?

In Christ,

Bro. Grant


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