Pastor’s Space

 
 



Bible Reading in the New Year

New Years is a time when many people come up with numerous resolutions for things they would like to do in the New Year.  Often times Christians will look to commit to reading the Bible more.  However, sometimes help is needed to maintain a good Bible reading schedule.

Below are a series of links that provide a wide variety of Bible reading plans.  Perhaps you will find one that works for you.

Back to the Bible = http://backtothebible.org/bible-reading-plans

Crossway = https://www.esv.org/resources/reading-plans/

Navigators = http://www.navigators.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/DJ-Book-at-a-Time-Bible-reading-plan.pdf

Blue Letter Bible Chronological Reading Plan = https://www.blueletterbible.org/assets/pdf/dbrp/1Yr_ChronologicalPlan.pdf

No matter what you use, I pray that you will seek to read your Bible every day in 2019.     

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly (Colossians 3:16 ESV)

Blessings,

Pastor Steven



“God With Us”

At Christmas time, we often hear the word, Immanuel. We hear people use it when they sing, and we read about it a variety of books and literature. But what does it mean? What does it have to do with Christmas? In our culture today, most people think of Christmas in terms of Santa, presents, and parties. So how does understanding what Immanuel means help us better understand the meaning of Christmas? Immanuel is a name (or title) that means “God with us”. For a word referred to so much, it is only found once in the New Testament. In Matthew 1:23, we read that a virgin will have a son and call his name Immanuel. Matthew is quoting a prophecy from Isaiah 7:14 made approximately 700 years beforehand. Isaiah speaks of a time in the future when a virgin will give birth to a son and his name will be called God with us (Immanuel). Matthew’s use of Immanuel as a title for Jesus shows two key things. First, it shows Jesus’ divinity as the Son of God. Second, that God came to us through the birth of Jesus Christ. In other words, Jesus reveals God to us (ex. John 1:18). These truths and many others are developed throughout the gospels. Lastly, Immanuel should remind us that God is faithful in fulfilling His promises. He might not always fulfill them the way or when we want, but the Lord is always faithful in keeping His promises. Merry Christmas, Pastor Steven



“Christmas Daily Readings”

If you are anything like me, I love Christmas for a variety of reasons. Some of those reasons are spending time with family and hearing many beloved Christmas hymns. However, one thing that can happen during this time of year is to become extremely busy. Often if we are not careful, the Christmas season will pass before we even know it. As a result, we will have overlooked the real reason for Christmas.
  In an effort to keep our eyes focused on the birth of our Lord Jesus, New Hope has put together a Christmas Bible reading plan. It provides daily Bible readings that relate to the birth of Christ. Printed copies of the reading plan are available in the church foyer. If you prefer an electronic version, you can download it here.
 
 
 
May the Lord bless your time in His Word as you reflect on the birth of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.  
 
“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:11 ESV) 
 
Merry Christmas,  
Pastor Steven


“Blameless At His Coming” (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24)

The Apostle Paul concludes his letter to the Thessalonians with a pastoral prayer of encouragement as he desires for the church’s holiness in light of the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. The church that Paul founded (see Acts 17) had learned to experience peace through the power of the gospel. Not only did they have eternal peace with God through Christ, but they were also at peace among themselves as a local church.   Paul goes on to express his desire for them to continue to be sanctified (set apart) completely to the Lord. He refers to their entire spirit, soul, and body, thus pointing to their entire being. Paul’s deep desire is that they progress in sanctification in light of the coming of the Lord. However, they need not worry about this process, because Paul points to the faithfulness of God in bringing about that which he already began in them. God was the source and sustainer of their sanctification process.   Today we wait for the coming of our Lord, but in the meantime, we need to be seeking holy lives just as Paul instructed the Thessalonians. Not just on Sunday morning, but in all that we do every day. We will never be perfect in this present life, but the God that brought us peace in salvation will continue to do this in our process of sanctification. Rest assured God will complete this in the future day of Christ Jesus (Philippians 1:6).   Come quickly, Lord Jesus. Amen.   Pastor Steven



Great is Thy Faithfulness

In 1923, Thomas O. Chisholm wrote the well-known hymn entitled “Great Is Thy Faithfulness”.  It is believed that he wrote this hymn to simply reflect that God is working in our lives even in the simplest of ways.  Chisholm had experienced God working in his own life during a time when his health was poor.  As he reflected on this time, he saw the many ways that the Lord had made provisions for him.

More often than not, the Lord provides for us daily in many seemingly small ways.  While He does provide for us in mighty ways sometimes, His faithfulness is seen as Chisholm states in the “simple things.”  When we take time to reflect on God’s faithfulness in the past, we cannot help but be assured of His faithfulness in the future.

Below are a few verses that speak of the Lord’s faithfulness.  Take some time to read and to pray through these verses.  Afterward, take time to thank Him for His great faithfulness in your own life.

Psalm 36:5 – “Your steadfast love, O LORD, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds.”

Psalm 119:90 – “Your faithfulness endures to all generations; you have established the earth, and it stands fast.”

Lamentations 3:21-23 – “But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”

1 Corinthians 1:9 – “God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.”

1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 – “Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.”

2 Thessalonians 3:3 – “But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one.”

Hebrews 10:23 – “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.”

Blessings,

Pastor Steven



“In Remembrance of Me” (Sept.)

We will be observing the Lord’s Supper on Sunday 09/30. This is always a great opportunity to take time to reflect on the Lord Jesus’ sacrifice as we await His return in glory. Below are a few scriptures from both the Old and New Testaments you can use to read and pray over to prepare your hearts. The sermon for the Lord’s Supper will be from Colossians 2:13-15. The passage speaks of Jesus’ death on the cross as having canceled the record of debt against us. All of our sin, Paul states, was nailed to the cross on Calvary.    

Old Testament Scriptures

Exodus 12 – The Israelites sacrificed a lamb and placed the blood on their door so that the angel of death would pass by their doors. Jesus Christ would be the ultimate sacrificial lamb, and this time God would provide the lamb.  

Isaiah 53:5 – That by his (e.g. Jesus/Messiah) wounds we are healed. This is the passage that Peter cites in 1 Peter 2:24.  

New Testament Scriptures Mark 14:12-25 – Jesus and his disciples observe the Passover meal and the institution of the Lord’s Supper occurs.  

1 Corinthians 11:23-34 – Provides the basic themes, instructions, and warnings concerning the Lord’s Supper.  
1 Peter 2:22-25 – That we might die to sin and then live to righteousness.   May the Lord bless you as you prepare your hearts to observe the Lord’s Supper.  
 
Pastor Steven


“The Prayers of Paul”

In the message Sunday from 2 Timothy 1:3-7, I mentioned the example that the Apostle Paul gives us related to prayer. Paul’s prayers are filled with many aspects such as thanks, praise, and intercession for others. Below is a list of four prayers of Paul’s that are helpful for cultivating a more rich prayer life. I encourage you to read and to meditate on them.

 

Ephesians 1:15-23

Ephesians 3:14-21

Philippians 1:9-11

Colossians 1:9-14

If you are interested in studying Paul’s prayers, there is a great book by D.A. Carson entitled “Praying with Paul: A Call to Spiritual Reformation.” It is available both as an eBook and in print form.

 

Blessings,

 

Pastor Steven



“2 Timothy – Bible Project Video”

This Sunday, 08/19/2018, we will begin a new sermon series from 2 Timothy entitled “Guarding the Gospel of our Lord”. This is the last letter that the Apostle Paul wrote before he was martyred. The letter was written to his beloved child in the faith, Timothy.

The Bible Project has a great video that summarizes 2 Timothy. I encourage you to take some time to watch the video.

Link to video = https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=urlvnxCaL00&ab_channel=TheBibleProject

May you be blessed by our time in 2 Timothy.

Blessings,

Pastor Steven



“Megiddo”

As part of our on-going sermon series in Revelation, this past Sunday during our PM Service I preached on Armageddon. The passage was Revelation 16:12-21 with Armageddon being referenced as part of the sixth bowl of God’s wrath in the tribulation period. Essentially, the sixth bowl is poured out and dries up the great river Euphrates enabling the kings from the east to pass through it.

 

One item that we spent a good deal of time on was the phrase “Armageddon”. This word comes from the Greek word – Har-magedon. Revelation 16:16 is the only place in the New Testament were this exact phrase is used. For those interested, below is a great article that discusses the various aspects of Megiddo. It also includes some great pictures from the valley of Jezreel.

 

http://www.biblearchaeology.org/post/2014/11/05/Megiddo-The-Place-of-Battles.aspx#Article    

Blessings,

 

Pastor Steven



“Into Exile”

In our Jeremiah series, one topic that is important to understanding the book is the Babylonian exile. In fact, this plays a vital role in not only the book of Jeremiah but also the Old Testament. Below is a good article that should help you to understand the Jewish exile.

 

https://www.gotquestions.net/Printer/Babylonian-captivity-exile-PF.html

 

Blessings,

 

Pastor Steven