Pastor’s Space

 
 



“In Time of Need” (Hebrews 4:14 -16)

Mercy and Grace are common terms used throughout Scripture. Mercy is often seen as God not punishing people for their sins even though they deserve it, whereas grace is God giving people kindness even though they don’t deserve it. The author of Hebrews uses these terms in relation to Jesus Christ being our High Priest and our approaching God’s throne.

In calling Jesus our High Priest, the author reminds us that we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with us. Instead, even though Jesus was tempted during his time on earth, he did so without committing any sin (1 John 3:5). Christians can be comforted by the fact that the Lord is willing and able to be compassionate to us having experienced the same temptations and problems that we do. As a result, we are called to approach (draw near) God’s throne in complete confidence.

The throne of grace is a comforting place that we can freely approach and expect to receive both mercy and grace. What is so encouraging about this is that during the difficulties we experience in this life the Lord offers to us help.

We will doubtlessly experience times of difficulty in this life. However, we need to daily remind ourselves that the Lord is always there during our times of need. As we come before His throne in prayer, we know that what we will find there is both mercy and grace.

Blessings,

Pastor Steven



Seven Words From The Cross

“Seven Words From The Cross”

 

This Sunday, March 25, at 6:00 PM we will be having a special evening service. Along with having some excellent worship music, we will also be taking time to reflect on “Seven Words From the Cross”. These are typically referred to as the seven last words of Jesus Christ as he is being crucified.  

 

I have listed them below for your reference.  

 

  • Luke 23:34 – Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.
  • Luke 23:43 – Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.
  • John 19:25-27 – Woman, behold, your son! Behold, your mother!
  • Matthew 27:45-49 – Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani? My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
  • John 19:28 – I Thirst.
  • John 19:30 – It is Finished.
  • Luke 23:46 – Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.

 

We would love to have you join us for this special service on Palm Sunday. Everyone is welcome.

 

Blessings,

 

Pastor Steven



“Sorrow Will Turn To Joy” Gospel of John

On Sunday, March 18, we will begin a short Easter sermon series. The series will consist of three messages from the Gospel of John as indicated below.

 

03/18 – John 16:16-24 “Sorrow Will Turn To Joy”

03/25 – John 19:16b-30 “Sorrow At Golgotha”

04/01 – John 20:1-10 “Joy At the Tomb”

 

The first message takes place on Thursday evening during the week of Passover. Jesus tells the disciples that they will soon experience great sorrow, but later their sorrow will turn to joy. The second message occurs on what we often call “Good Friday”. This message deals with Jesus on the cross. The final message will be at our Easter Sunrise service. In this message, we will see the discovery of the empty tomb.

 

We would love to have you join us for this special series as we approach the joy of Easter morning. As always, the sermon series will be accompanied by some great Easter music.

 

Blessings,

 

Pastor Steven



Final Days of Jesus Christ

“The Final Days of Jesus Christ”

 

Before too long spring will be here and that means Easter will be here before you know it. Several people told me that they found my “Christmas reading suggestions” helpful. To help prepare your hearts and minds for Easter, below are a few suggestions for readings as we approach Easter.

 

  1. The Word of God – Scripture readings should always top of any reading list. Check out the following link for a great harmony of the events of Easter from the four gospels. https://www.esv.org/resources/esv-global-study-bible/chart_40_04/

 

  1. “The Final Days of Jesus” is at the top of my list. This is one of the best biblical sources for Easter reading that you will find. One of my professors from seminary co-wrote this book, and it always encourages my soul. https://www.amazon.com/Final-Days-Jesus-Important-Person/dp/1433535106

 

  1. Crossway videos based on “The Final Days of Jesus” book = https://www.crossway.org/articles/series/the-final-days-of-jesus/

 

  1. John Phillips’ “The View from Mount Calvary” is an excellent read anytime, but makes for a great read at Easter. https://www.amazon.com/View-Mount-Calvary-Portraits-Throughout-ebook/dp/B0083UBKRG/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

 

  1. Lee Strobel’s “The Case for Easter” is a fascinating read from the author of “The Case for Christ”. https://www.amazon.com/Case-Easter-20-Pack-Lee-Strobel/dp/0310254736/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1519147733&sr=1-1

 

  1. John Stott’s The Cross of Christ is a classic read. https://www.amazon.com/Cross-Christ-John-Stott/dp/083083320X

 

May you take time to reflect and rejoice in the crucified and risen Savior, Jesus Christ.

 

Blessings,

 

Pastor Steven



Everything is The Lord’s -Part 2

In a previous blog post (January 14), we observed how Scripture teaches that everything is the Lord’s because He is the Creator of all things. Everything that we have is provided to us by God. If all things are God’s, then we are stewards of everything He has provided us. A steward is someone entrusted with managing something.

As disciples of Jesus Christ, we are to be good stewards of the time, talents, and resources that the Lord has provided to us. When we give monetarily for the right reasons, we demonstrate our heart’s attitude that God will faithfully provide for our needs.

 

In Mark 12:41 – 44, Jesus was sitting in the temple looking at the people who were putting money in the treasury. A contrast is quickly drawn between the large portions from some and that of the small amount from one widow. The amount she provided was two copper coins (a fraction of a penny today). Amazingly, Jesus stated that she had given the most! It wasn’t the amount, but rather her gift reflected that she fully trusted the Lord to provide for her needs.

 

Giving provides us with a genuine litmus test as to how much faith we have that the Lord will provide for us. Reflecting on giving should cause us to take the time to praise the Lord for His continual provision for our church and us.

 

Blessings,

 

Pastor Steven



Praying the Names and Attributes of God

Recently I preached a message from 1 John that dealt with the attribute that God is love (1 John 4:7-10). God’s love is one of many attributes that Scripture uses to describe Him. Awhile back, I came across a helpful tool used to pray and reflect on God’s names and attributes. It helped remind me of His character, and the greatness of God. When doing this, we take the focus off ourselves and place it on the Lord. This will naturally lead to a desire in the heart to worship the Lord.

 

The below link will take you to a 30-day prayer calendar that describes the names and many attributes of God. You can download and/or print it for your personal use.

 

https://www.navigators.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Praying-the-Names-of-God-The-Navigators.pdf

 

May the Lord bless you as you simply take time to enjoy the greatness of our Lord.

 

Blessings,

 

Pastor Steven



“Everything Is The Lord’s – Part 1”

Scripture teaches that everything on earth is the Lord’s because He is the Creator of all things (see Psalm 24:1; Isaiah 45:18). Paul refers to this in 1 Corinthians 10:26 where he indicates that both the earth and everything in it is the Lord’s. As a result, everything that we have is provided to us by God. The house we live in, the food we eat, are all things that are ultimately from God.

 

If all things are God’s, then we are stewards of everything He has provided us. In the Bible, a steward is someone entrusted with managing something. This is typically seen in managing something like a household. In Luke 12:42, Jesus tells of a faithful manager who takes care of what he has been given responsibility for. This is contrasted with the unfaithful manager who doesn’t take care of what he has.

 

As followers of Christ, we are to be good stewards of the time and resources that the Lord has provided us. James 4:14 reminds us that we are like a mist that vanishes after a little while. Jesus teaches us that we are responsible for how we use our talents (Matthew 25:14 – 30). As a result, we need to manage the time the Lord has given us, determined to use it for His glory rather than always indulging in the flesh.

 

Let us pray and consider if we are spending our time wisely, seeking to use the time to grow spiritually in our relationship with the Lord.  

 

Pastor Steven



Bible Reading in 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

Lifeway = http://www.lifeway.com/Read-The-Bible/Readers/c/N-1z0zf8aZ1z1244x?intcmp=RTB-Overview-Nav-BibleReadingPlan-20170218

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

No matter what you use, I pray that you will seek to read your Bible every day in 2018.  

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

Blessings,

Pastor Steven



Christmas Hymns – Gospel of Luke

“Christmas Hymns – Gospel of Luke”

 

During the Christmas season, I always enjoy listening to various Christmas hymns. Hymns like “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” and “Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus” are filled with rich meaning as you hear and read the lyrics. The Bible also has several hymns of praise in relation to the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

 

The Gospels of Matthew and Luke give us the account of the birth of Jesus. Both provide us with many unique details that help us better understand the birth of Christ. One unique thing that Luke includes is four poetic hymns in the birth narratives of Jesus and John the Baptist. If you are looking for something different to read this Christmas, I would suggest that you read and study these four hymns.

 

Gospel of Luke

Mary’s Magnificat (Luke 1:46-55)

Zechariah’s Benedictus (1:68-79)

Angels’ hymn to the shepherds (2:14)

Simeon’s Nunc Dimittis (2:29-32)

 

If you take time to read, pray, study, and reflect on them, you will be greatly blessed this Christmas.

 

Merry Christmas.

 

Pastor Steven



Leaving the Splendor of Heaven

“Leaving the Splendor of Heaven” (2 Corinthians 8:9)

 

There are many reasons why I enjoy Christmas time. One of those is that it allows time to reflect on various aspects of Jesus Christ. For example, Christmas provides a great opportunity to look at the pre-existence of Jesus Christ. When I say pre-existence, I am referring to the fact that before Jesus was born, that he existed as the second Person of the triune God.

 

There are many Scriptures that remind us of Jesus’ pre-existence with the Father prior to his birth (ex. John 1:2-3; 17:5; Philippians 2:5-11; Colossians 1:16-17). In Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, he provides them with the example of Christ’s incarnation as a reflection of grace showing its true love for wayward humanity. Paul uses the term the “grace” of Jesus Christ as the means by which he gave up his own heavenly glory to meet humanity’s greatest need. Humanity’s greatest need, of course, is forgiveness of sin.

 

In 2 Corinthians 8:9, Paul reminds the Corinthians that Jesus was “rich” in his pre-existence with God, but for the sake of the lost became “poor” to accomplish salvation. Christ would assume the role of a servant to fulfill the Father’s will. Jesus left the splendor of heaven to take on the form of a man in order to atone for the sins of mankind on the cross (2 Corinthians 5:21).

 

As we approach Christmas, my prayer is that we not take lightly the first coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord came and faced humiliation and rejection to bring our redemption. It was through his humility that salvation came to us.

 

Take time this Christmas to reflect on Christ daily. Because on Christmas day was born the only Savior of the world, and his name is Jesus Christ the Lord.

 

Blessings,

 

Pastor Steven