Pastor’s Space


No Divisions Among You

“No Divisions Among You” 1 Corinthians 1:10-17
We live in a time in our nation’s history where division seems to be the norm.  Divisions can easily be seen in such places as the political world.  As a result, I believe our hearts are so accustomed to divisions that we are indifferent toward them.  Unfortunately, divisions are nothing new whether in a country or in a local church.  We see this was an enormous problem in the Corinthian church.
In 1 Corinthians 1:10-17, Paul addresses the issue of division which was one of a multitude of issues that were facing the church in Corinth.  In Greek, the word division gives the picture of something being torn.  Essentially, the church was divided (i.e. being torn) because each person had their preferred pastor/leader.  Some followed Paul while others Apollos.  As a result, these divisions were causing the church to experience many tragic consequences.  For example, Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 3:1-9 that these divisions were causing their spiritual growth to stop.
Although divisions may be commonplace in the secular world, they should never exist in the church.  What is the solution?  One answer is in the letter to the Corinthians as found in chapter 13.  Paul states that the greatest spiritual gift is “agape” love.  Agape is the type of love that seeks for what is best for others rather than self (1 Corinthians 13:5).  It describes God’s love.
Only when a church has unity can it fulfill its purpose and bring glory to God.  When we seek our own ways and cause divisions, we will experience consequences and fail in bringing glory to God.  Why not seek agape today in your life and in the church? 
Pastor Steven

Until He Comes

“Until He Comes”
We will be observing the Lord’s Supper on Sunday 09/29.  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. 
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 53:10 – Jesus’ death would fulfill the Father’s will.  Through this, many would be counted righteous (53:11).
New Testament Scriptures
Mark 14:12-25 – Jesus and his disciples observe the Passover meal and the institution of the Lord’s Supper occurs.
Colossians 2:13-15 – Jesus death on the cross canceled the record of debt against us.
1 Corinthians 11:23-34 – Provides the basic themes, instructions, and warnings concerning the Lord’s Supper.
May the Lord bless you as you prepare your hearts to observe the Lord’s Supper.
Pastor Steven

Daniel Extras 6

Currently, our Sunday evening sermon series is on the book of Daniel.  Below are some extra resources related to the sermon entitled “Prophecies of the Nations” which was on Daniel 11:1-35.  In this sermon, we looked at the prophecies that we can look at today and see their historical fulfillment.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
  1. Who’s Who in Daniel 11?
Great article that provides a detailed summary of “Who’s Who” in Daniel 11. 
  1. A great article dealing with many details related to Daniel 11.  

  1. Daniel Commentary that I referenced that provides an excellent chart on Daniel 11.
Daniel 11 provides enormous evidence for the accuracy of God’s Word.
Pastor Steven

The Promise Keeper

The meaning of the word promise often varies among people.  This is largely due to the fact that promises are not kept as well as they were in previous generations.  Decades ago, a person could promise you something by simply giving you their word.  Unfortunately today we are probably more familiar with “broken promises” than promises kept.  The need to be careful with vows we make (i.e. promises) is perhaps best summoned up in Ecclesiastes 5:5 “It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay.”
While we all fail or break our promises to others sometimes, there is One who never does.  The Bible tells us that one thing we can always trust in is that the LORD will always keep His promises.  Prior to Joshua’s death, he stated,“and you know in all your hearts and in all your souls that not one word of all the good words which the LORD your God spoke concerning you has failed; all have been fulfilled for you, not one of them has failed.”
The fact that the LORD is a promise keeper should encourage us each day.  We know that despite all that goes on in life that the LORD will always keep His promises.  The Bible is filled with His promises, so God’s people must know them so they can rest in them.  Why not spend some time each day reading and thanking the LORD for them?
Pastor Steven

Jude Extra

Over the past few Sunday evenings, we have been studying the short letter of Jude.  One aspect of the letter that we have looked at is the comparisons between 2 Peter and Jude.  This past Sunday I displayed a chart to use for comparing the two.  Several people have asked for it so I am including it below.  
Jude 2 Peter
4 2:1
6 2:4
7 2:6
8 2:10
9 2:11
10 2:12
11 2:15
12 2:17
13 2:17
16 2:18
17 2 Peter 3:2
18 2 Peter 3:3
“Keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life.” (Jude 21)
Pastor Steven

Pleasing Him

“Pleasing Him – John 8:29”  
All too often we do things that please ourselves.  We might even be tempted to please other people to gain their favor.  Much of this line of thinking comes from our sin natures as well as worldly influence.  However, followers of Jesus Christ are supposed to be different.  In fact, we are to model our lives after the very One who redeemed our lives.
In the gospels, we quickly and repeatedly see Jesus’ desire to please the Father alone.  For example, in John 8:29 Jesus states that “I always do the things that are pleasing to him.”  Jesus was completely consumed with a desire to please God and to fulfill His will.  This is miraculous for several reasons, but especially since one of the Father’s desires was for him to provide salvation through his sacrificial death (John 8:28).
Part of doing what pleases God is spending time with Him each day.  When we do this we better understand what He has for us to do in this life.  In our society today, we have many things that distract and pull us away from time alone with the LORD. 
Why not pray to Him today asking that your heart’s desire be to know Him and to do what pleases Him?  Then, stay focused on His will which will always please Him.  


Pastor Steven

Moving Too Slowly

Today, we live in a culture that has grown accustomed to quick sound bites, short videos, and one-minute solutions.  With the advancement in technology, we do not have to wait on many things that used to require us to.  This has led to what we often hear called the “culture of instant gratification”, etc. 
The Bible teaches and encourages us, however, that there is also a need to be patient and wait on the Lord (Psalm 27:14).  Waiting on the Lord is something we all encounter at different points in life.  There are times while waiting on the Lord that it appears He is moving slowly.  However, we know that God works in His own time and way, all for His purposes and glory. 
Waiting on the Lord requires that we trust Him and not rush ahead.  Two key words with regards to waiting on the Lord are “trust” and “patience.”  The Bible is filled with examples of people that missed out on the Lord’s best by rushing ahead of God (ex. Abraham and Sarah in Genesis 16).
If you are waiting on the Lord today, or any time in the future, read and pray through the following verses.  Then, rest in knowing that it only appears God is moving too slowly.  In reality, He is moving everything exactly in accordance with His perfect timing.
Psalm 37:34; Proverbs 20:22; Isaiah 25:9; Lamentations 3:25-26; Hebrews 6:15.  
Pastor Steven

Daniel Extras – Part 5

Currently, our Sunday evening sermon series is on the book of Daniel.  Below are some extra resources related to the next two messages on the Seventy Weeks of Daniel.

  1. What is meant by the Seventy Weeks of Daniel?
  1. A great article dealing with options to calculate the 70 Weeks?
  1. This is helpful in looking at ten key things related to the 70 weeks.
  1. Brief summary videos.
Pastor Steven

Passover and the Lord’s Supper

This past Sunday we had the great privilege of observing the Lord’s Supper.  Our scripture was from 1 Corinthians 5:7-8 where Paul speaks of Christ Jesus as our Passover.  We looked at a few parallels between Passover and the Lord’s Supper during the message.  Several people have asked for the chart that we used, so I am providing it below.

Exodus 12 – Passover Jesus
12:1-2 – Feast marked a new year and beginning for the people 2 Cor. 5:17 – Believer is a New Creation.  Old life replaced with a new life in Christ.
12:5 – A spotless male lamb was sacrificed. 1 Peter 1:19 – Jesus was with Lamb slain without blemish.
12:7,12, 22 – The blood from the sacrificed lamb was placed on the door post.  The blood covering spared them from God’s judgment.
John 1:29; Rom. 3:25 – Jesus blood covers (justifies) us and removes sin.
*Hebrews 10:1-18 – Jesus was the final sacrifice.
12:14 – Passover was kept to remember what God had done for the people. Luke 22:19 – Lord’s Supper done to remember what the Lord had done for them.
Finally, you might find these two articles helpful as well.
Pastor Steven

Every Thought

“Every Thought” (2 Corinthians 10:5)
What we think about throughout each day is important.  In time, these thoughts will come out in both our words and actions.  When our minds begin to become saturated with carnal and worldly thinking, it will come out in what we do and say.  This idea is similar to what Jesus stated in Matthew 12:34.  There, he states that what comes out of the mouth flows from our hearts. 
In 2 Corinthians 10, Paul transitions from writing in a warm and loving way to defending himself and his ministry against opponents (see also 2 Corinthians 11:13, too).  Rather than resorting to human forms of warfare, Paul states that Christians should choose to use spiritual weapons (Ephesians 6:10-18).  These weapons are primarily the Word of God and prayer.
In 2 Corinthians 10:5, one specific area that Paul mentions that we choose to have control over is our thinking.  We must not allow carnal or worldly thinking such as lust, greed, anger, revenge, etc. to take over.  Instead, we must choose to stop thinking these types of thoughts and submit all of our thoughts over to Christ’s total control.
When a wrong type of thinking comes to your mind, prayer and bringing to mind scripture will help you overcome the wrong thinking.  We do not have enough strength in ourselves to overcome sinful thoughts.  See Psalm 139:23, Proverbs 4:23, Romans 12:2, Ephesians 4:22-32, and Philippians 4:8 the next time you need to bring a thought under Christ’s control.
Pastor Steven