“Power of the Gospel”

This Pastor to Person was written by Pastor Caleb Beller.

[Act 13:44] “On the next Sabbath almost the whole city came together to hear the word of God.”

The book of Acts shows us a glimpse of how Paul preached the gospel. Paul’s message was so powerful the entire city came out to hear it, what did he say?

Pursue: 17 “The God of this people Israel chose our fathers…” Paul begins His message with God pursuing His people. Paul walks them through the history of God’s redemptive plan. How he brought them out of slavery, led them into the wilderness, and raised up a king after His own heart.

Promise:  23 “From this man’s seed, according to [the] promise…” Paul brings His message to the focus of a promise. Connecting God’s love from Genesis to the present, he reminds them of the promised “Seed” that God would send to deliver His people.

Person: 23… “God raised up for Israel a Savior–Jesus–…” Paul doesn’t shy away from preaching Jesus. The Gospel is about Someone, not just something. He first gives testimony from John the Baptist, then Paul lays out Jesus’ prophetic death and resurrection. Without this, there is no “good news!”

Permission: 39 “and by Him everyone who believes is justified…” Lastly Paul doesn’t just tell what Jesus did, but he invites everyone to partake. As powerful as the news is, it is our response to it that changes lives. Paul gives them permission to respond.

This Easter season may we be bold like Paul to share this eternity altering message in the places He leads us!

“A New Direction”

This weeks Pastor to Person was written by Pastor Rich Cathers.

“Yet there shall be a space between you and it, about two thousand cubits by measure. Do not come near it, that you may know the way by which you must go, for you have not passed this way before.” (Joshua 3:4)

It had been forty years since Israel had left Egypt, and they were about to cross that final barrier into their Promised Land.  They were about to cross the Jordan River.  God had led them various ways over the forty years. Their path had been directed by a cloud and by Moses, but those things were gone.  This was going to be different.  There was some uncertainty ahead.  They had never passed this way before.  This time their guidance would come from the object that represented God’s presence, the Ark of the Covenant.  Yet for this to work, they needed to give the Ark enough space so they could see where God was leading them.

Have you been in uncertain waters lately?  Do you find yourself thinking, “I’ve never been this way before”?  You have a God who desires to lead you.  Sometimes discerning God’s direction requires that we give things a little space, that we learn to “wait” and see where He’s leading us.

Put your focus on God.  You may not know where you are going, but He does. He even knows the right time to move.  Wait on Him.

“The GREAT Exchange- Blessings in Place of Curses”

This week’s Pastor to Person was written by Pastor Daniel Grant.

Deuteronomy 23:5 “Nevertheless the Lord your God would not listen to Balaam, but the Lord your God turned the curse into a blessing for you, because the Lord your God loves you.”  We serve a God who is able to take the curses, the very worst of what happens to us in this life and turn it into a blessing. Moses is reminding the Israelites of an underhanded attack that took place. Their enemies wanted to have them destroyed, cursed, and obliterated. As Balaam spoke, God took the curses, and instead turned them to blessings. Three times Balaam went up to curse Israel, and three times God filled Balaam’s mouth with blessings!!

What are the areas in your life that the enemy wants to use to curse and destroy you? What are the losses, challenges, difficulties, and deaths that our enemy wants to use to bring destruction in our lives? Hold those things up to God and let Him use them for good. I’m reminded of another verse, Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” He doesn’t promise that all things are good but that they can be worked together for good. Take that heartache and pour it out to God and you will be amazed at how God can and will use it for your good, AND the good of others. Don’t shy away from the dark and difficult things, those are the things God can and will use for good! Hold fast, stand strong, and know for certain that both God and we love you!!

“Humble”

This week’s Pastor to Person was written by Pastor Rich Cathers.


“After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded”. (John 13:5)

It’s the night before He dies. He knows He’s going to die. He knows just how painful and difficult the next 24 hours are going to be. He was not only facing a brutal Roman scourging, but the most humiliating and painful of deaths – crucifixion. In case that doesn’t seem bad enough to you, He will also be carrying the entire weight of the world’s sins upon His shoulders. So just how did the Son of Man act, knowing all that was ahead of Him?

He humbly served His disciples. He very carefully laid aside His garments and clothed himself with the garb of a slave. One by one He slowly made His way around the room of disciples, washing each man’s feet in His basin of water. On His last night He wasn’t displaying defiance. He wasn’t displaying awesome cosmic power. He was giving a vivid illustration of humble service. He was giving an example that He intended His followers to follow.

Truly loving others is not glamorous. Following your Master’s example won’t result in accolades and headlines. Humble service, despite our circumstances, is simply showing the world what Jesus is really like.

Justice For All

This week’s Pastor to Person was written by Pastor Caleb Beller.

[Num 31:1-2] 1 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying: 2 “Take vengeance on the Midianites for the children of Israel…

The doctrine of “just-war” has been the subject of many theological discussions. It is sometimes hard for us to reconcile these historical sections of the Bible that don’t align with our modern views. We must be careful when we read the Bible through our 2019 lenses. Though it is easy for our senses to be offended when thinking of modern stories of atrocities and genocides, there are three points that can help us see the importance of passages like this.

Number 1: God takes sin seriously and so should we. The Bible says the devil is like a roaring lion looking to whom he will devour. Sin will destroy your life, your family, your marriage. It must be dealt with like cancer. If you don’t take it seriously, it will kill you.

Number 2: This is a reminder that God will bring justice on a rebellious and prideful world. When God says, vengeance is mine sayeth the Lord (Deut 32 & Rom 12) it is a sobering reminder that He is a righteous Judge, not us.

Number 3: God poured out this judgment on Jesus so that we could be delivered from His wrath. There is no cheap grace, it cost God everything. We are grateful that although sin still must be dealt with, it is through the sword of the Spirit, and not man, that now conquers kingdoms and idols. Jesus, and not us, became like the “Midianites.” He endured the vengeance of God, so we could be free. This is the tool that He has given to us to advance His Kingdom. Let us be diligent and grateful to unleash the power of the Gospel this week!

“Forward”

This week’s Pastor to Person was written by Pastor Rich Cathers.

Then they told him and said: “We went to the land where you sent us. It truly flows with milk and honey, and this is its fruit. (Numbers 13:27)

I am not a fan of change.  I like to get up at the same time every day.  I like to follow the same morning routine.  I have my five favorite restaurants and at each restaurant I have my favorite thing I order.  But then again, I am getting quite old.  New stuff makes me uncomfortable.

The Israelites were in the process of one of the greatest changes in history.  Four hundred years of slavery were being exchanged for a new land and new freedom.  Yes, there was a promise of milk and honey, but there were also giants in that new land.  Rather than trusting God to take them into that new land and face their challenges, the Israelites chose forty years of grumbling and reminiscing about those good ol’ days in Egypt. So, which is it beloved?  Forward or backward?  Going backward may seem comfortable, like a well-worn slipper.  Everything is familiar as we dwell on our yesterdays. Going forward requires us to trust the One who is trying to lead us.  Forward is where the unseen promises are.  The future is coming beloved.  Will you face it moving forward, or get caught up as you drift backward?

“When a little means A LOT!!”

This week’s Pastor to Person is Pastor Daniel Grant.

Luke 16:10 “He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much.”

God is interested in the little things. He is interested in how we handle, manage, and deal with small matters. How do we deal with things belonging to others? Are we faithful in the little things? If God finds us faithful in the little things, then he will trust us with the BIG stuff, the really important stuff! Luke 16:11 “Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?

Your finances and your heart are intimately connected. Where is your heart today? Luke 16:14“Now the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, also heard all these things, and they derided [sneered at] Him.” God cares deeply for you and for people. Money is a tool that can be used for extraordinary good or evil! Set your sights on something MUCH higher than monetary gain, set your eyes on Jesus, and learn to be a giver like Jesus was, not a sneerer like the Pharisees!!

“Unclean”

This Pastor to Person was written by Pastor Rich Cathers.

“When any man has a discharge from his body, his discharge is unclean”. (Leviticus 15:2)

The concept of being “unclean” is pretty vague in the Scriptures. There are quite a few things that can make a person “unclean” (bodily discharges, foods, dead things). Uncleanness was a little like sin, but it wasn’t exactly sin.  I think one of the worst aspects of being “unclean” was the separation it incurred.  You were supposed to stay away from others lest they touch you and “catch” your uncleanness.

Now some of you might be thinking that the concept of being “unclean” sounds a little too superstitious for us modern enlightened people, yet to be honest we struggle with this concept all the time.

It might come as a result of some sin we’ve committed.  It might come because we’ve been hanging around people who are “unclean”. It might come because we feel like we don’t belong. 

Here’s the beauty of Jesus my friends.  He came to take away our “uncleanness”.  One day a man with leprosy (uber-unclean) came to Jesus and asked if Jesus was willing to make him “clean”.  Jesus reached out and did the unthinkable.  He touched the man, and the man was instantly cleansed (Luke 5:12-13).

When Jesus touches us, we become part of His family.  No longer outcasts, we now belong to the fellowship of the cleansed.

“Family Business”

This week’s Pastor to Person was written by Pastor Caleb Beller.

And He said to them, “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” (Luke 2:49)

Every parent knows the instant panic that sets in the moment you think your child is missing. I remember a moment where one of my children had wondered away for just a few seconds; your heart races, panic and adrenaline pulse. Mary and Joseph had gone a full day’s journey without realizing their son was not with them. Not finding him they anxiously returned to Jerusalem.

Mary exclaimed, 48 “Son, why have You done this to us? Look, your father and I have sought You anxiously.” You can sense the combination of relief and frustration. Jesus’ response, “I must be about My Father’s business,” must have encouraged his parents.

Letting go of my kids will probably be the hardest thing I do as a parent. I have to remember they are not really mine, they are His. My greatest job and joy as a parent are to connect them to their heavenly Father. This is both a humbling privilege and encouraging promise. The apostle John said (3 Jn 1:4) “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.” All of us have a heavenly Father who loves us with an everlasting love. God loves our kids even more than we do! Mary and Joseph serve as a great example of parents who loved their son enough to teach him about His heavenly Father. As parents we will give an account for what we do with these treasures.  May all of us be about our Father’s business!

“Light Production”

This weeks Pastor to Person was written by Pastor Rich Cathers.

“And you shall command the children of Israel that they bring you pure oil of pressed olives for the light, to cause the lamp to burn continually.”(Exodus 27:20)

Israel was to be a light to the world.  This idea was symbolized in the Tabernacle through the light of the Menorah. It’s instructive to think about how this lamp was to stay perpetually lit.

It starts with the crushing of the olives.  Olive oil is found in the seed of the fruit, not the flesh. To get the oil, the entire thing had to be ground and crushed.

Next came the pressing and the straining.  The ground paste was stacked on mats and then large stones were used to squeeze the oil out of the mess.  The liquid was strained to remove the chunks and make it “pure”.

Lastly, the oil needed to be brought to the Tabernacle.  It needed to be offered to the Lord for His lamp to be lit. Continual light required participation of the whole nation, not just a few. Is any of that a picture of your life, beloved?  Are you going through a period of crushing?  Are you being hard pressed?  Is there a sifting and straining going on in your life as God is trying to remove impurities?  Take the pure oil of a refined life and offer it to the Lord.  Let Him use your life to light up the darkness around you.