Oct 012017
 

Dear Church Family and Friends,

Today we are celebrating the Lord’s Supper as the body of Christ.  The Lord’s Supper is one of the ordinances that the church is commanded to observe, but it is often misunderstood.

The Lord’s Supper does not make you a Christian; it indicates that you are a Christian.  None of us is born as a Christian; we must be born again to be a Christian.  If you have never made a decision to surrender your life to Jesus Christ, then you should not take the Lord’s Supper.  In fact, it would be wrong for you to take the Lord’s Supper.  Here is why: The bread and the juice are symbols of the body and blood of Jesus Christ.  When we take them, we are claiming that we have received Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior and this is necessary to celebrate the Lord’s Supper appropriately.  The Bible states:  “Whoever eats the bread or drinks from the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner shall be guilty of the body and blood of the LORD,” (1 Corinthians 11:27).  So, what should we do to ensure that we are celebrating the Lord’s Supper appropriately?  The Bible tells us:  “Let a person examine himself; in this way let him eat the bread and drink the cup,” (1 Corinthians 11:28).

The Lord’s Supper is a glorious observance of the unity of the body of Christ.  Everyone who legitimately takes the Lord’s Supper has previously had the same general experiences with Jesus:  we have received Him as Lord and Savior, publicly declared Him as our Lord and Savior through our testimony and baptism, and have partaken of the Lord’s Supper to symbolize our union with Christ and His church.  If you have not received Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior and publicly declared Jesus as Lord and Savior, why not do it today?  “Behold, now is the acceptable time, behold, now is the day of salvation,” (2 Corinthians 6:2b)

May God continue to bless you through your communion with Christ.

Pastor George

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Sep 242017
 

Dear Church Family and Friends,

We are beginning a new sermon series today on prayer.  In this series, we will examine the model prayer that Jesus gave His disciples that we find in Luke 11.  You may remember that there were two separate occasions in which Jesus taught His disciples how to pray.  One of these moments occurred during His Sermon on the Mount and is found in the Gospel of Matthew.  The other incident occurred after Jesus had spent some time in prayer, and then was asked by one of His disciples to teach them to pray.  Both prayer models are similar, with slight differences.  The prayer model in Matthew was presented as part of a sermon; the prayer model in Luke was presented during an impromptu discipleship class.  The variety in the two prayer models shows that God does not desire specific words repeated from memory; He desires words that express our relationship with Him.

Jesus was a man of prayer during His incarnation.  The Bible regularly records Him taking time to pray.  We know from Scripture that He regularly prays for His followers:  “He is able to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always loves to make intercession for them,”  (Hebrews 7:25).

Your prayers express your theology – what you believe about God.  The first word, “Father,” expresses an important theological truth reflecting the impact of Jesus’ atoning work on our relationship to God.  Through His atoning death on the cross, Jesus brought about our reconciliation with God, making it possible for us to become God’s spiritual children.  Paul expanded on this theological truth when he wrote, “Brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh – for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die, but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For we all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.  For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, ‘Abba! Father!’” (Romans 8:12-15)

May your heavenly Father shine His love in and through your life.

Pastor George

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Sep 162017
 

Dear Church Family and Friends,

Today I will be sharing with you how you can keep your SHAPE (spiritual gifts, heart, abilities, personality, experiences) in shape.  Your spiritual shape workout functions best when you have three kinds of relationships with people.

  1. You need someone to mentor you in the Christian faith, and in the ministry to which you are called.
  2. You need some friends with which to do ministry together, as you were shaped to do.
  3. You need someone that you can mention in the Christian faith, and in the ministry to which you are called.

Let’s examine the need for these three relationships through the life of a young pastor named Timothy (2 Timothy 2:1-13).

  1. Timothy’s mentor was the apostle Paul.  Paul wrote two letters to Timothy that were inspired by the Holy Spirit and preserved in the canon of Scripture.  From these leters, we know that Paul viewed Timothy like a son.  He exhorted him as a father speaks to a son, “You, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 2:1).  We need mentors in our lives to give us godly wisdom and advice.  These mentors need to be people with more experience in ministry than we have.
  2. Timothy served alongside other believers.  Timothy worked side-by-side with the church members he pastored.  In Paul’s earlier letter, the Holy Spirit gave him instructions on the selection of fellow workers such as elders and deacons.
  3. Timothy was told by his mentor to find some men to mentor.  “The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also” (2 Timothy 2:2).  Christians of all ages need to be training and equipping people for ministry.  In whatever ministry you are currently serving, you should be preparing your successor.  It might be weeks, or it might be years before they follow in your footsteps, but you need to start training people to do what you do now.  Even if you do not step down for a long time, it is more fun to serve in a ministry with someone else.

May God bless you as you build your relationships in Christ.

Pastor George

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Sep 092017
 

Dear Church Family and Friends,

Today we are going to be taking a look at the connection between our life experiences and our commission to make disciples. We have all had a variety of experiences in life: some good, some bad, and some mediocre. God is sovereign, which means that He is in control. He has either caused or allowed these experiences to occur in your life.

The Bible states, “We know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28). This statement begins with two words, “we know.” This is not a guess; it is a fact that “God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God.” God is working in our experiences for good as we work with others “who are called according to His purpose.” This verse does not describe an individual’s efforts to achieve positive results. This verse speaks of Almighty God bringing us together and working out all our experiences for His kingdom purposes. God uses our life experiences to shape us for the ministry in which He is calling us to do. He does this while we serve Him together with fellow church members.

Let God show you how your experiences point to your ministry for making disciples at such a moment as this. Your experiences in school indicated the subjects or activities in which you excel – maybe you realized that you were good at science, or math, or writing, or public speaking. Your work experiences indicate your occupational skills – maybe you discovered that you are good at working with your hands, or that you are gifted at conducting research, or that you have leadership abilities. Why has God allowed you to experience what you have experienced in life? He is guiding you to serve Him in a certain area, and your experiences point to it. Find where the cross of Jesus intersects with your experiences in life and mark that spot – serve Him as He has equipped you to serve, for His kingdom and His glory.

May God bless you.

Pastor George

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Sep 032017
 

Dear Church Family and Friends,

Today we are going to talk about the personality that God has shaped for us.  We all are familiar with the word “personality,” but might have some difficult defining it.  Personality is made up of the characteristic patterns of a person’s mind, will and emotions that make that person unique.  Our personality is the reflection of our soul – it is the eternal part of us.

How is a Christian personality different than a non-Christian personality?  First of all, Christians experience a transformation of their personalities when they receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.  We are changed by the Living Word (Jesus) and the written Word (the Bible).  Secondly, Christians’ personalities are changed by the influence of the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit becomes our conscience.  The fruit of the Spirit help us to grow mature in Christ.  The gifts of the Spirit help us to minister in the name of Christ.  The presence of the Spirit guides us and helps us persevere as we serve Christ.  Thirdly, Christians’ personalities are changed by their loving relationship with their heavenly Father which features many life-changing moments including forgiveness from the eternal penalty of their sins, and their adoption as sons and daughters of Almighty God.

What happens when we try to serve the LORD in a way that conflicts with our personality?  Usually, we feel uncomfortable, and it takes extra effort.  Sometimes even with extra effort, we do a less than wonderful job when we do a ministry that conflicts with our personality.  We must try to match our personality and our ministry.

Remember that God has shaped your personality.  Some of your personality is influenced by your genetic structure that God has ordained for you.  Some of your personality is influenced by events that God either provided or allowed for you.  The Holy Spirit has transformed your personality in a number of ways.  In all this, God has shaped your personality for you to make disciples.  Be yourself as you serve the LORD according to how He has shaped you.

May God bless you.

Pastor George

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