Pastor’s Space

 
 



Ordering Your Life

There is no shortage of suggestions for how we can put our lives in order.  Turn to the news, YouTube, or the latest secular book and you will find countless ways to put your life in order.  While many of these suggestions might be helpful in the short term, they fail to give you anything other than various opinions rather than truth.

The Apostle John wanted Christians in the church to order their lives by something different than what the world suggested.  In 2 John 1:4 and 3 John 1:4, John points to the need to order one’s life by the Word of God.  In both verses, the elder John uses the expression “walking in the truth.”  For John, to hear that the Christians were practicing the truth of God’s Word in their daily lives brought him great joy.

Do you want your life to be in order?  John tells us that if we do we must put into practice the truths of God’s Word.  Faithfulness to God’s Word is the foundation of Christian living and puts our lives in order.

Blessings,

Pastor Steven



Because of Grace

As Christians, we have several words that we use so often that they can sometimes begin to lose their meaning to us.  One of these words is grace.  Grace is usually defined as God’s “unmerited favor.”  We do not deserve grace nor does God owe this goodness to us.

In addition to remembering what grace means, through God’s grace we have many abundant blessings.  Below is a list of various blessings that we have because of God’s grace.  Take some time to read and pray through them, and be reminded of all that the Lord graciously has done for those in Christ.

  • Salvation (Eph. 2:8)
  • Justification (Rom. 3:24; Titus 3:7)
  • Victory over sin (Rom. 5:20)
  • Gifts to serve (Rom. 12:6)
  • Power to testify (Rom. 12:3, 15:15; Col. 4:6)
  • Strength for service (2 Tim. 2:1; Heb. 12:28)
  • A spirit of generosity (2 Cor. 8:7)
  • Sweetness in singing (Col. 3:16)
  • Ability to stand (1 Pet. 5:12)
  • Strength in suffering (2 Cor. 12:9)
  • Overflowing grace (John 1:16)

*Adapted from Lehman Strauss, Galatians and Ephesians Devotional Commentary

 

Blessings,

 

Pastor Steven



Growing In Christ

This Sunday evening, June 28, we will begin a new sermon series entitled “Growing in the Knowledge of Christ.”  The series will be a study through 2 Peter.  Peter teaches us that if believers grow in the knowledge of Christ and in their faith, they will be protected from false teachers as they await Christ’s return and the New Heavens and Earth.

Below are some resources that you might find helpful as we begin this new study.

Video Summary = https://youtu.be/0dSdAjHDqhw

Written Summary/Overview = https://www.insight.org/resources/bible/the-general-epistles/second-peter

Devotional Book = https://www.todayintheword.org/siteassets/website_assets/pdf/tw_oct2016_final.pdf

 

Blessings,

Pastor Steven



Contentment

How do I find contentment in life?  This is a question we hear a lot these days.  If you were to look for answers to this question, you would find a wide range of suggestions.  However, most of them deal with changing your circumstances or the way you think.

 

The Bible has a lot to say about contentment.  The apostle Paul wrote about contentment on two separate occasions.  The first we find in Philippians 4:11.  Paul states that he had learned to be content and could rejoice in any circumstance in life.  How was he able to do this?  He says in Philippians 4:13 that it was Jesus who enabled him to live this way.  Paul also mentions being content in 1 Timothy 6:8 where he expresses a healthy detachment from materialism.

 

It is important to remember that Paul was writing his letter to the Philippians from a Roman prison.  Paul’s physical and financial circumstances were not the best, but he had a much greater gift of eternal worth, namely his Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Do you want to find contentment in life?  You will never find it in the things of this world as they will always change.  However, in Christ, we have all we can ever need and can rest in knowing that Christ never changes (Hebrew 13:8).     

 

Blessings,

Pastor Steven



What Is God Like?

What is God Like?  Beginning Wednesday, June 17 our Wednesday night Bible study will be on the Attributes of God.  While there are many opinions about who God is and is not, God’s Word helps us to better understand Him. 

To help with the study below is a short video summary on the Attributes of God.  I hope that you will find it helpful and encouraging to learn more about the Greatness of the One True God.

https://youtu.be/BJWn_c0n-3M

The Bible Study will be streamed at 7:15 pm on Facebook Live.  Also, you will be able to watch it on-demand on our YouTube page (www.youtube.com/user/NewHopesbcLancaster).

Blessings,

Pastor Steven



You Follow Me

In John 21:15-25, we find the conclusion of the gospel with an account of Peter’s restoration.  Peter had denied the Lord three times just as Jesus had said that Peter would (see John 13:36-38), so the Lord graciously restores Peter three times.  After telling Peter what kind of death he would experience one day, Jesus issues Peter a simple command to “follow me.”

Instead of focusing on the Lord‘s will for his life, Peter turned to compare himself to John.  In response, Jesus tells Peter that what happens to John is none of his concern.  Peter needed to focus on the task the Lord gave him and not compare himself to others.  The Lord’s plan for each believer is different, so Peter would gain nothing by getting distracted on the Lord’s plan for John’s life.

Like Peter, we too can become distracted by comparing ourselves to others rather than focusing our attention on the Lord and following him.  Rather than comparing ourselves to others, we should be spending time with the Lord asking what His will is for our own lives.

Our primary goal should be to grow in our walk with the Lord.  We can only do this when our focus is on him alone.   

Blessings,

Pastor Steven



God Hears

As we saw in my last post, names were very important in the Old Testament because they often gave identification or identity.  Throughout the Bible, God is given many names.  Each of these names helps to reveal something about God.  By reflecting on the names, we learn more about God.

When we first think of God, we might think of such things as His sovereignty, power, or perhaps His holiness. The name “Elohim Shama” reminds us of something else about our Great God.  The word “Elohim” means God and is first used in Genesis 1:1.  The Hebrew word “shama” means to listen or to hear.

In Exodus 2:24, we read that God “heard” the groaning of the Israelites who were in Egyptian slavery.  In turn, God remembered the covenant that He had made with His people and then acted to rescue His people by calling Moses to deliver them out of Egypt.

The name “Elohim Shama” reminds us that God is a caring and personal God who desires to hear His people (see Psalm 17:6; 1 John 5:14).  We can know with certainty that God is there for us when we have worries or concerns.  We never have to worry about God not hearing us whenever we call out to Him.

Do you have something on your heart?  Why not pray to the LORD who listens.

 

Blessings,

Pastor Steven



Lord God Almighty

“Lord God Almighty”

In the Old Testament, names were very important as they often gave identification or identity.  Throughout the Bible, God is given many names.  Each of these names helps reveal something about God.  By reflecting on the names, we learn more about God.

One name of God, “El Shaddai”, means Lord God Almighty and All-Sufficient One.  It is similar to the word used for mountain which depicts strength.  The first time it is used is in Genesis 17:1.  In the passage, God has told Abram that he and Sarai would have a son even though they were very old.  God referred to Himself as “El Shaddai” to remind Abram of His limitless power and ability.

Because God is the Almighty and All-Sufficient Lord, there is nothing that He is unable to do or provide for His people.  He is, therefore, the only source of all blessings, power, and provision for His people.

Whatever seemingly impossible situation you have in your life is not impossible with El Shaddai, the Lord God Almighty.

 

Blessings,

Pastor Steven

*Here are a few more uses of “El Shaddai” in Genesis (Gen 28:3; Gen 35:11; Gen 43:14; Gen 48:3)



Video – Pastor’s SPace #3

Check out the last episode of Pastor’s SPace video on our YouTube page (www.youtube.com/user/NewHopesbcLancaster). It is a brief message from Philippians 1:12. The message is under Pastor’s SPace.
 
Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube page to receive notifications when new videos are posted.


Jesus’ Post-Resurrection Appearances

Jesus’ Post-Resurrection Appearances

Who did Jesus appear to after his resurrection?  When did he appear to the disciples?  Who did he first appear to?  Jesus appeared to various people over a period of 40 days after his resurrection.  These firsthand accounts give powerful testimony to his victory over death. 

On Wednesday 04/15 and 4/22, we will be studying the post-resurrection appearances of Jesus.  We will be following them chronologically all the way to his ascension.  Below is the document that we will be using for our study.  Perhaps you will find it as a helpful tool.

PDF Download =  Jesus_Post_Resurrection_Appearances_SFP

Also, we will continue our study on the life of Samuel on 04/29.

Blessings,

Pastor Steven