Pastor Corner
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October 27, 2014, 12:00 AM

Out of the norm...

"Moses answered the people, "Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still." - Exodus 14:13-14

Moses was in a fix yet again with the Israelites.  I would not want his job!  God had brought His people through trial after trial and yet, they could not seem to understand how powerful God WAS and IS!  Here they were at the Red Sea with the Egyptian army closing fast and crying out to God...what are we going to do...we are going to die!  Look at what Moses told them, "Do not be afraid. Stand firm...the LORD will still."  Strong words in the middle of a stressful time.  I must admit, however, that many will look at "stand firm" and "be still" and think that these cannot co-exist.  Stand firm means to take action and not budge, while be still has the connotation of passivity.  Yes, regarding the meaning of "stand firm" but "be still" couldn't be further from the truth.  There is nothing passive about being in the middle of a battle and being still in the Lord.  Trusting that He has your back, that He will fight this battle.

This type of thinking is completely out of the norm for our society.  But, then again, thinking outside the norm is what it is going to take to win.  The Israelites won their freedom that day at the Red Sea in an very "out of the norm" manner.  It will take an "out of the norm" victory for us to win over evil in this world.  We will have to stand firm and allow God to go before us, being still in His presence.

I would like to encourage us to do something out of the norm next Sunday night.  We will attempt to have a webcast for the Sunday evening service beginning at 6:00pm in conjunction with many churches standing in unity for religious freedom.  I know it's "out of the norm" but I believe that's what it will take to help us understand that we are in this together and that the Lord will go before us.  Pray during this week for those that will present and participate in this event.  To learn more about this, click here.

In Christ, 

Bro. Grant

October 20, 2014, 12:00 AM

Grown in confidence...

"For you have been my hope, O Sovereign LORD, my confidence since my youth. From birth I have relied on you; you brought me forth from my mother's womb. I will ever praise you." - Psalm 71:5-6

Psalm 71 is a beautiful psalm describing a personal relationship with God.  The paslmist is demonstrating how much confidence he has in the Almighty.  But notice that is not just about how "much" confidence, but also how "long."  The psalmist claims to have relied on God since his youth, no, since birth.  Has he realy relied on God since his birth?  He has come to a point in his life that he realizes that there is no way he could have made it to his current situation were it not for the grace and mercy of God.  So, yes, he has relied on God since birth.  Was it in the same manner as it is when he is writing this psalm, no!  Nevertheless, he relied on God.  Even through his youth, he had confidence. Maybe during this time in his life he gained more knowledge about God and then the way he relied on God changed, hence the difference in wording...confidence.  As he grew, so did his confidence.  

I see two lessons, if not more, in this.  First, how important is it that we have children and youth in this church? How important is it that we reach this generation for Christ and do whatever it takes to make sure that they know who Christ is?  How important is it that they have confidence in a Sovereign LORD?  Second, should we not be continuing to grow in our confidence?  Should we not be petitioning God the same way that this psalmist was petitioning God... "But as for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more." (Psalm 71:14) Demonstrating growth in ourselves as we inspire growth in others.

In Christ, 

Bro. Grant

October 13, 2014, 12:00 AM

Drawing all to Him...

"But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself." - John 12:32

Beautiful words spoken by our Lord. Jesus knew that His time was coming and that nothing was more important than His gift of eternal life.  In these words, He lets his audience, including us, know that through His death and resurrection He is able to draw ALL nations, ethnicities, races, genders, and people of any status unto Him.  It is the bond that draws everyone together.

Yesterday, our church experienced something a little unusual.  We had the blessing of having representatives of the Christian Motorcycle Association give the message.  The above verse is the one their specific chapter (Yeshua Riders) has chosen as a focal verse.  Out of so many verses in the Bible, why this one?  Look at what it is matter the race, gender, or status, Jesus is the common bond.  We experienced that verse yesterday.  We had the privilege of hearing how some of them had traveled half way across the world with the intention of sharing Christ through the Jesus film, but had the opportunity to also serve medical needs, worship needs, and deliver 22 motorcycles to pastors so that their jobs could be done a little more easily.  All because of Christ...Christ is the common bond.

Missionaries come in all shapes and sizes.  They reach people across the world, across the nation, and across the street.  The fact of the matter is that the people that visited our church yesterday were able to do what they did because they made themselves available through their interest in motorcycles and Christ.  In order to reach across the street, we simply have to make ourselves available through our interest in ______________ and Christ.  You may be the only one that has the ability to reach out.  You may be the only one that has that common interest with someone.  Use that common interest to share Christ, drawing ALL men to Him!

In Christ, 

Bro. Grant

October 6, 2014, 12:00 AM

Even the pagans know...

"It was reported to the king of Assyria: "The people you deported and resettled in the towns of Samaria do not know what the god of that country requires. He has sent lions among them, which are killing them off, because the people do not know what he requires." 2Kings 17:26

When the Northern Kingdom of Israel was sent into exile, the King of Assyria sent people back into their nation.  It was his goal to create a people that would bow down to him and his nation.  In doing this, he was sending people into a foreign land; a land where they did not know the customs, rituals, dangers, etc.  Word got back to the king that those he sent were dying because they did not know the ways.  However, look more closely as to the reason the messengers felt the people were dying...the people did not know "what the god of that country" required.  The Assyrians, pagan as they were, understood that death came upon these people because they did not understand what God required of them.  Did they truly believe that it was God Almighty, probably not, they were pagans.  However, the fact that they understood the cause of death could be due to not doing what God required is intriguing, because that was exactly why the northern kingdom had been exiled.

Realize that many people do not choose to follow Jesus Christ in a daily walk.  They have read about Him, they have heard about Him, but choose not to follow Him.  However, it does not mean that they do not believe He is real.  If we are not careful, that is what we do.  We know he is real, but we don't do what is required.  Remember to follow His commands, the greatest of which is "to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.  This is the first and greatest commandment." (Matthew 22:37-38).

In Christ,

Bro. Grant

October 1, 2014, 12:00 AM

Even when resting...

"Jacob's well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about the sixth hour." - John 4:6

Just a short thought today, but I think it is one that has hit me square between the eyes.  In this passage, Jesus was on his way to Galilee from Judea.  The Scripture informs us that Jesus was tired, so he sat down at the well around noon.  Isn't nice to know that even our Lord got tired.  Our Lord had a human body that wore down and needed rest.  Should we not do the same?  Yet we don't follow this advice!

What I find even more interesting, however, is what is not in this Scripture, but what follows.  In the follow verses, the story of the woman at the well is told.  The story of how Jesus, tired as He was, took the time to tell a lost soul about the "living water" He had to offer.  It did not matter how tired He was, He had time and energy to tell her how she could have eternal life.  Because of this, others would soon know of this same eternal life.  

Imagine if Jesus had thought to Himself, "I'm so tired that I can't even talk to this woman."  Imagine if He had not taken the time to give her what she needed most.  What do we do when we are tired and we have the opportunity to save a life?

In Christ,

Bro. Grant

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