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On Shouting Ground

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It was such a joy to gather with the church this past Sunday for Bible Study and Worship. The Lord has impressed on me in this New Year to encourage the church. There is so much in the world that Satan uses to discourage believers; it’s important to remember who we are and what we are about.

The message this week from 1 Peter chapter 1 is a reminder to the children of God just how precious we are to God.

  • We are His children and just pilgrims passing through this world, headed toward our heavenly home.
  • We have been chosen by God to be adopted into His family by faith in Jesus Christ.
  • We are saved by the blood of Jesus and have received the confident expectation of a glorious future because of the resurrection of Christ from the dead.
  • We serve a living Savior who has purchased for us a great inheritance that is reserved in heaven just waiting to be revealed when we see our Savior face to face.
  • We are the children of God who are kept by the power of God and our ultimate salvation will occur when Christ comes to take His church home. 

The Old Testament prophets spoke of the grace that we would receive as God inspired them to write about it. This grace that has made it possible for our sins to be forgiven and to receive the indwelling presence of God Himself living within us as the Holy Spirit--even the angels don’t understand this.

How blessed we are and how imperative it is that we live and act as children of God. We have the power within us to impact the world one person at a time. May we stay focused on our Savior and press on as a church serving our Lord and fulfilling the Great Commission. 

Focused On the Future

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We have ushered in a New Year, and it was a joy to gather at church last Sunday morning for our first worship service of 2017. The weather was rainy but the Spirit among the fellowship of believers who gathered was great. We witnessed a baptism, had a family join our church, and had a young man give his life to Christ and receive salvation--what an awesome time!

I asked the church (and myself) to consider the challenge the Apostle Paul presented to the church at Philipi 2,000 years ago.  In the third chapter of Philippians, Paul encouraged the believers in the Church of Philipi to keep pressing on in their walk with Christ. He further encouraged them to forget the things of the past, which were behind, and reach forward to what was ahead.

We all have things in our pasts that we should have done differently or done better. We probably all have regrets that we didn’t serve the Lord as faithfully or as passionately as we should have last year. Paul admitted that he himself had not attained perfection in His walk with Christ, but he was focused on knowing Christ more intimately and experiencing Christ more fully in the days ahead.  

Paul had put off the things in his life that kept him from walking closely with the Lord. Paul counted the things of the world and the things that appealed to his flesh as rubbish, and he wanted to live a more simple life focused on knowing Christ and experiencing fellowship with Him.

As pastor I want to experience the power of God and please Him by obeying His Word. I want my life to be more grounded and intentional to be the pastor this church deserves. Pray for me this year to be anointed and accept the challenge to press on toward the heavenly call God has placed on my life.

Our challenge as a church is to follow Christ and obey His commands. To do this we must be focused on the prize that will be ours in the end when we are promoted to heaven. Until then, may we press on in our service for our Lord, demonstrating our love for Him through our love for others.

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