Pastor’s Space

 
 



The Seven Beatitudes of Revelation

The Seven “Beatitudes” Of Revelation

This Sunday evening we will return to our series in the book of Revelation.  We will be looking at the second of the seven churches in Revelation.  The second church is Smyrna (Rev. 2:8-11) and deals with the persecution of the church.

When we began the series I mentioned that Revelation uses “seven” many times.  For example, there are seven churches just as there are seven seals, bowls, etc.  One that can be overlooked is the seven “Beatitudes” in Revelation.  The first “beatitude” is in Revelation 1:3 and promises a blessing to those who read, hear, and keep what is written in the book.

Several of you have asked for a list of the seven “Beatitudes”.  Below is a list of them for you to reflect on.  May the Lord continue to bless you as we seek to not only read and hear His Word but to keep what is written in it.

Revelation 1:3 – Who read, hear, and keep what is written in the book.

Revelation 14:13 – Who die in Jesus.

Revelation 16:15 – Who watch and wait for Jesus.

Revelation 19:9 – Who are invited to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.

Revelation 20:6 – Who are in the first resurrection.

Revelation 22:7 – Who keep the words of this book.

Revelation 22:14 – Who have had their sins forgiven.

Look forward to seeing you all on Sunday.

The grace of the Lord be with you all until then.

Pastor Steven



185 Years – Celebrating God’s Faithfulness

This Sunday New Hope Baptist Church will be celebrating 185 years of serving Christ.  I was recently given a document that provides a brief history of New Hope.  One area that I continually thought of while reading the document was God’s faithfulness. 

This Sunday we will take time to pause and remember how faithful the Lord is to His people.  As we take time to celebrate this weekend, below are just a handful of verses that remind us of the Lord’s faithfulness.  Take a few minutes to reflect on these as we approach Sunday. 

Everyone is welcome to come join us this Sunday as we celebrate and gives thanks to the Lord for His faithfulness over the past 185 years.  I look forward to seeing you all on Sunday.

Blessings,

Pastor Steven

Deuteronomy 7:9 Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations,

Psalms 36:5 Your steadfast love, O LORD, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds.

Psalms 89:8 O LORD God of hosts, who is mighty as you are, O LORD,  with your faithfulness all around you?

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

Lamentations 3:22-23 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 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man.  God is faithful, and  he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure 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.



“More Joy In Christ”

In our modern culture, we are constantly bombarded with a wide variety of claims that we can find more joy in the things the world offers than in the Lord Jesus Christ.  All we have to do is turn on the TV, go on the internet, or visit the store, and we are told that the world’s pleasures will satisfy us.  Unfortunately, when we begin to believe this, it causes our hearts to drift away from the Lord.

In Psalm 4, David deals with a group of discontent people who are following him.  However, in the face of discontent, he expressed that true joy was found in the Lord alone.  The people were unsatisfied with David and asked him who could show them some good things.  David’s response was a prayer for the Lord to show favor to them, similar to Numbers 6:24 – 26.  He pointed the people to the Lord as the one who would show them “good things”. 

The joy and contentment the people found in the Lord would be greater than all the food the world had to offer.  This is similar to what Job says regarding how much he treasured the Lord’s words (Job 23:12).  Additionally, David could sleep, as the Lord “alone” was his peace.  True joy, peace, and contentment are only found in the Lord and not our circumstances, which can be fleeting.

While the world may try to lure us away with endless pleasures and materialism, there is undoubtedly more joy in Christ than all the world has to offer (Psalm 16:11).  May you take time in our hectic world to find the daily joy of Christ.

Blessings,

Pastor Steven
 


Revelation Sermon Outline

Revelation Series – Basic Outline

Several of you have asked for a copy of the Revelation outline that was used in the Sunday PM service.  The outline is below:

Please note that there are obviously various ways to outline the book, but this should help you gain a basic understanding of the structure of the book.

This Sunday (09/24) we will be looking at the “Vision of the Glorified Christ” in 1:9-20.  Afterwards, we will begin looking at the Seven Churches in Chapters 2 – 3.  I will preach one church per week so that we cover all seven.

May you be blessed just as the book promises during our time in it (Rev. 1:3). 

Pastor Steven
 
 

Revelation – Basic Outline

Prologue (1:1-3)

Opening Greeting To The Seven Churches (1:4-8)

Vision Of The Glorified Christ (1:9-20)

Letters To The Seven Churches (2-3)

Vision Of The Throne Room And Lamb (4-5)

The Judgments (Seals, Trumpets, Bowls, Babylon) (6-18)

The Final Victory Of The Lamb (19-22:5)

The Epilogue (22:6-21)



Daily Walking With Christ

Daily Walking With Christ
 

In recent sermons, I have mentioned the need for Christian’s to daily reflect on Jesus Christ.  This is something that will enable you to grow in Christlikeness.  It is hard to follow someone you do not know.  For several years, my practice has been to read the gospels constantly.  I always try to be reading one of the gospels.  This allows me to reflect on Jesus, who he is, how he responded to situations, etc.

Several people have asked me for suggestions on doing this.  Below is a list of ways and resources that may assist you in your walk with Jesus Christ.  The list is not exhaustive but has been a good source for me over the years.

Suggestions:

  1. Simply pick one of the four gospels and read it from beginning to end.  Nothing fancy, but the simplest and best approach.  If you are new to reading them, try Mark or John first.  If you read a little each day, you will be surprised how quickly you will finish them.  However, do not just read them, take time to pray and ponder what you are reading.
  2. One of the best resources for studying the gospels is to have a Harmony of the Gospels.  These are helpful on many fronts allowing you to study in detail the life of Christ. 
    1. The best is an older one by Robert L. Thomas – https://www.christianbook.com/nasb-harmony-of-the-gospels/robert-thomas/9780060635244/pd/063524X?event=ESRCQ
    2. HCSB Harmony of the Gospels.  This is a really good one, although it is hard to find in hard copy.  eBook is also available – https://www.christianbook.com/hcsb-harmony-of-the-gospels-ebook/steven-cox/9781433669842/pd/15353EB?event=ESRCG
    3. Holman Christian Standard Bible A Simplified Harmony of Gospels – This version makes for a great read streamlining all the text in a good readable flow.  eBook version is available to – https://www.christianbook.com/holman-christian-standard-simplified-harmony-gospels/9780805494235/pd/94235?event=ESRCQ
  3. While I do not recommend this in place of Scripture, the next few are supplemental suggestions.  These are good devotions on the life of Jesus.  https://www.amazon.com/Daily-Readings-Christ-Grace-Today/dp/0802456006
  4. If you drive a lot or like to listen to audiobooks, I have enjoyed this one a lot.  The Story of Jesus – https://www.amazon.com/Story-Jesus-NIV-Experience-Seamless/dp/B005J31840
  5. Finally, a great in depth study of Jesus and the Gospels.  Great resource – http://www.lifeway.com/Product/jesus-and-the-gospels-P005018309

“Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me” (John 15:4).

My prayer for you is that you will grow in Christ as you daily walk with Christ.

Blessings,

Pastor Steven



But This I Call to Mind

“But This I Call To Mind” (Lamentations 3:21 – 24)

Jeremiah prophesied during a dark time in Israel’s history that led to the Babylonian invasion and destruction of Solomon’s great temple.  The Lord warned the people of coming judgment, but the people refused to heed the warning.  As a result, they were taken away into captivity just as the Lord had promised they would for 70 years (Jeremiah 25:11 – 12; 29:10).    

Despite this terrible situation that led the nation into despair, the prophet reminds the exiles where they should look for hope.  Even though the situation was overwhelming, he “recalled to mind” that the Lord’s steadfast love would never cease.  The Hebrew word for “steadfast love” means “a loyal and committed love.”  God would not forget His people even during their time in exile.

Jeremiah’s hope came in remembering that the Lord’s loyal and committed love never comes to an end.  The Lord’s mercy for His people was renewed and refreshed every morning.  This caused the prophet to praise the Lord, leaving him at peace knowing the Lord was faithful.

Whatever difficult situation we may experience, the message of hope in Lamentations is centered on the Lord.  It is the Lord that is faithful to us, and so we can trust Him in every circumstance because His love never ceases.  It is limitless.  Let this be your mindset and then say like the prophet “therefore I will hope in Him.”

Pastor Steven



“Transformed By Grace” (2 Peter 1:1-2)

In our first post on 2 Peter, we looked at how Christians need to continue to grow in both the “grace” and “knowledge” of the Lord in order avoid false teaching (2 Peter 3:18).  Peter exhorts them to grow in their walk with the Lord, which reminds us that we too should not be static but progressing in our faith. 

Peter begins this letter by referring to himself as Simon Peter.  In John 1:42, Jesus changed Simon’s name to Peter, which means “rock”.  This is not who Peter was when he first meet Jesus; it was only in time that he was transformed into “the rock”.  It was only later in his life that he would be courageous, firm, and bold for Christ regardless of the cost.  After Jesus’ death, resurrection, and ascension, Peter would be a prominent member of the early church.  In spite of his earlier failures, in time he would grow into the person seen in 2 Peter.

As seen in the greeting, Peter describes himself as both a servant and apostle of Jesus.  A “servant” is one owned and directed by another.  In this case, Peter was a humble servant of the Lord.  Again, this was only something that he grew into over time.  We read about him boasting and bragging in the gospels, but here Peter has become a humble servant.   In addition, least we think he has no authority; Peter refers to himself as an apostle, which means one sent out with a message.

Peter goes on to state that he is writing this letter to those who also have obtained the same precious faith that he has.  Just like you and I today, these early Christians had a faith that resulted in the same privileges before God as Peter.  We too can have a faith like Peter “through the righteousness of God and of Jesus Christ.”

Peter closes out the greeting by praying that God would multiply both His grace and peace in their lives.  However, Peter adds that this comes through the knowledge of God the Father and Jesus Christ.  As they grew in the knowledge of the Lord, so too would they experience the peace that comes from a transformed life of grace.

The grace of the Lord brings about true, genuine transformation in a person’s life.  Just a brief look at Peter’s life shows this to be true.  The Lord wants to do the same for you and me.  He wants to transform us into the image of Jesus Christ (Romans 8:29).  As you commit to growing in your walk with the Lord, He will continue to transform you by His grace.  The outflow of His grace is peace.   

Check back again soon.  Next, we will look at how the Lord has given us all that we ever will need for life and godliness.

Blessings,      

Pastor Steven



“Grow In The Grace And Knowledge Of The Lord”

The Apostle Peter wrote 2 Peter to explain the importance that Christians know the truth in order to avoid false teaching.  At that time, many false teachers twisted the truths of Christianity.   For example, there were those who denied Christ (2 Peter 2:1) and spoke falsely because of greed (2:3).

2 Peter 3:17-18 provides a rich synopsis of the letter.  The believers already know the truth, which will protect them against the many false teachers of the day.  They are to remain firmly grounded in the Word of God.  However, they would need to continue to grow in both the “grace” and “knowledge” of the Lord in order to persevere until the Lord’s return.  Grace is God’s gift to believers at conversion, and Peter reminds them of their need to grow in grace.  In addition, Christians are to continue to grow in their knowledge of Jesus.  Growth is only accomplished through constant contact with Christ. 

Our walk with the Lord is one that should always be progressing (2 Peter 1:5-8).  No Christian ever finishes this process in this life.  The question this passage poses is “Are we growing in our walk with the Lord?”  My prayer for you is that the answer is “yes.”  If not, I pray you will commit yourself to growing in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ today.

Stay tuned.  Future post will explore this letter in more detail as we seek to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. 

To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity.  Amen.      

Pastor Steven