Job-like Faith and Trust

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

Job was a man of integrity. He feared God, loved his family, carefully watched over his friends and community. He prospered exceedingly, abundantly, and that in itself was a GREAT test. Job never once put his trust in his flocks, his family, his standing in the community, his abundant wealth, or any of these things. Job’s one desire was to honor God above all, and it showed – everyone noticed Job.

Enter Satan. Satan detests Job’s faith and trust in God and will do anything to disrupt, destroy and steal that away from him. Satan asks for the authority to take away everything that Job has, his vast wealth, his flocks, his sons and daughters, and his relationships. God (who knows the end from the beginning) allows the tempter to take this from Job, and in the midst of the suffering, the pain, the anguish and the loss, Job chooses to worship God. Job 30:16 “Now my life is poured out before me and days of suffering have seized me.” Why did God allow such anguish and great suffering to take hold of Job?

Further on in chapter 30 Job says, “But when I hoped for good, evil came; when I looked for light, darkness came. I am churning within and cannot rest. Days of suffering confront me.” When we suffer and hurt we need to stretch out our hand to God, the God of all comfort. We must say, “I trust that even though it doesn’t make sense now, I am choosing to put my trust in the God who knows the end from the beginning. I trust Jesus. He won’t leave me or forsake me”. Hold on to Him with all that you are, don’t cease to worship and wait for the deliverance of the Lord!

The Better Way

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

The Corinthian church was a divided church. They were filled with petty little divisions, each group thinking they were better than the other. It was because of their divisions that Paul called them “carnal” and “immature. Throughout his letter Paul deals with some of the root causes of their divisions, but it’s not until he gets to chapter 13 that he stops and gives them the “more excellent way” to get along as a church. He speaks to them about the issue of “love”, the very thing that Jesus said would show the world that we belonged to Him (John 13:35).  With this in mind, Paul writes to the Corinthians:

“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.” (1 Corinthians 13:4–7 NLT)

Do you have any relationships that are in turmoil? What would happen if you tried putting some of these qualities of love to work? I know it sounds hard, but I know someone who not only knows how to love better than any other, He also promises to help you to learn to love like He does. Turn to Jesus.

Cleansing of the Gospel

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

1Co 6:11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.

Many Christians still struggle today with the idea of what sin or sins the gospel can forgive.

Paul lists 10 things in verses 9 & 10 that highlight a life and lifestyle apart from the gospel. In verse 11 we see that our past sinful identities do not have to be a life sentence. Paul says, “and such were some of you.”  Some in the church were defined by these things, but something happened. Paul lists 3 truths of the gospel that helped change their lives.

First this idea of washing implies something we do. The other two, “sanctified” and “justified” they could only receive. Like picking up the bar of soap and using it, Paul speaks about the power of Jesus’ blood to wash away our sin. Jesus’ blood is powerful enough to remove the stain of sin, but we must pick it up and wash ourselves with it for it to be effective.

The next point about being sanctified implies a change of purpose. I have been saved from my sin, but I am also saved for the work of the gospel. Jesus doesn’t just cleanse us, but He gives us a new purpose and power to live for Him.

Lastly Paul says we are “justified”, we could say “not guilty” but it is even more than that. The Bible says our sin was placed on Jesus; and His righteousness was also placed on me. As a Christian when God looks at you, He sees Jesus!

Like the Corinthians may our lives reflect the radical change that applying the Gospel can bring!

The Trouble With Unity

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

“…that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Romans 15:6)

Did you know that sometimes the hardest thing in the world is to get along with other Christians?  Well it’s true. While I want to give up on people and kick them to the curb, Jesus said others would know I’m His disciple by how I love others (John 13:35).

Sometimes the trouble comes by how we each handle life’s decisions.  When I’m serious about following God, and I believe God is leading me to turn right, I get upset with everyone turning left.  They must be wrong.  They must not be as close to God as I am.

Paul writes to the Romans that sometimes I need to learn to just let it go (Rom. 14:4).  Instead of living to please myself I need to learn to put others first.  Even Jesus didn’t live to please Himself (Rom. 15:2-3).  He lived to look to the good of others and to build them up.  I need to follow the One who set the example.

Getting along with others really isn’t something that comes naturally to us.  It’s something we need supernatural help with, and it’s something that God wants to help us with.  He is the God of patience and comfort (Rom. 15:5) and He wants to help me so I can have patience and give comfort to others.

This is what brings God glory.

The Return

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

“Now these are the people of the province who came back from the captivity, of those who had been carried away…to Babylon, and who returned to Jerusalem and Judah, everyone to his own city.” (Ezra 2:1)

Ezra 2 is one of those chapters that’s filled with names that are hard to pronounce. It’s tempting to skip all those names but take a moment with me and think about what this chapter was about.

The nation of Judah had been living in Babylon for seventy years.  When the door opened for the people to return to the land of Israel, there were relatively few who were willing to go back.  Worldly, pleasure-filled Babylon had become their home.  Their children and grandchildren had been born and raised in Babylon.  The thought of packing up an entire household and trekking hundreds of miles to a land of rubble was not exactly a trip to Disneyland.

The return was important on many levels.  It had been foretold by the prophets.  The rebuilding of the Temple and establishing of the nation was tied to the coming Messiah.  Most important, it was making a statement that they were no longer going to live according to the world’s standards but return to worship and serve God.

Take a moment to read these names.  These were brave people willing to take a stand.  They left Babylon. They returned to God.  Would your name have been on that list?  Are you willing to “return”?

Roman Grace and Godly Peace

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

Paul wrote a critical letter to the Roman church to encourage them and to correct them. He showed his love for them and his desire that they not only be connected, but be a spiritual blessing to one another.

Rom1:7 “To all who are in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”

If Paul was alive today and writing this letter to us, in Fullerton what would he have written? Full1:7 “To all who are in Fullerton, beloved of God, called to be saints: grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” I believe that He would remind us of who we are, we are Christ’s beloved, the ones that Christ has set his beautiful affection upon – beloved! I believe Paul would want all of us to hear the letter, to all of us who love God. I believe he would want to initially remind us of the undeserved grace of God that we all have residing in our hearts by the work of the Holy Spirit! That grace of God, which is His ‘charis’ to us, is significant in more than one way. It is the power of God in us, and it is the power of God to us! God’s undeserved gift is both salvation and a ministry that God does through us to a broken world. We are entirely dependent upon God for both!

Lastly Paul would want the peace of God to guard our hearts and minds as we whole-heartedly seek the Lord! The peace of God goes so far beyond what we can imagine, think or deserve! Beloved’s, hold on to the grace and the peace of God, and remember you are called to be the saints of the Most High King!

THE GOOD KING

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

[2Ch 10:14 NLT] 14 … He told the people, “My father laid heavy burdens on you, but I’m going to make them even heavier! My father beat you with whips, but I will beat you with scorpions!”

There are so many interesting pieces to this story that we can cover, but today I want to focus on one important principle

In Solomon’s day the wealth and affluence of the King was at its highest. Never before had anyone lived and expressed such luxury. The building of the temple and palaces seemed like a worthy investment. Now at the end of his reign, the people were ready for a reprieve. Rehoboam (Solomon’s son) has a choice to make, will he hear or ignore their cries for help. Sadly, Rehoboam ignores the pleas of the people and revolt begins. 

So many around the world feel this same frustration with those in power. People feel like the burdens of life are crushing them. They wish that those in power would see, hear and do something to make it better!

Enter Jesus! The most powerful king the world has ever known. Jesus said in [Mat 11:28 NLT]… “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” Jesus is the King who hears our cries and lifts our burdens. He is not seeking to take anything but our sin from us. Instead the gospel tells us He seeks to give us the wealth of His righteousness, peace, and contentment. Today let us reflect on our good and perfect King! Let us worship Him for how He is different than all of those earthly kings who fall short. He alone is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords; He has heard our cries and gives us true rest! Thank you King Jesus!

Good Routine

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

Direct my steps by Your word, And let no iniquity have dominion over me (Psalm 119:133).

I’m a bit of a routine guy.  I function best when I have a healthy routine going every morning.  The Psalmist gives us two things to consider adding to our daily routine.

Every day we face decisions.  Some decisions we overthink. I’m not sure God wants you to stress over whether you choose white or wheat bread on your sandwich, or which color shirt to wear in the morning. Other decisions require much more care and thought. It’s those decisions that we should be careful to measure against God’s Word. What career path do I choose? What kinds of friends do I surround myself with? How will I choose to spend the finances God has entrusted me with? These kinds of decisions will come easier if I’ve been spending time each day reading and listening to God’s Word.

When it comes to the role sin and bad habits play in my life, I find that I have a part to play.  Paul says I have a choice, and if I keep yielding to sin, I become its slave.  The Psalmist makes sin a subject of his routine prayer.  Don’t be afraid to bring up your sin before God.  Confession brings forgiveness, but don’t stop there. Ask God to be strong in those areas where you acknowledge you are weak. 

Decisions and habits are better with a healthy routine.

Saul’s Tragic End

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

Saul was appointed king over Israel. He was tall, wise, and strong. His kingship started by honoring the Lord and by keeping all that God desired. He rescued Jabesh Gilead, and he proved himself to be both a warrior and wise ruler. So how did things get so off track that in 1 Chron 10:1-6 we find out that he is stranded, wounded, and commits suicide? How did he get there? I’m reminded of that powerful Axiom, “It’s not how you start that matters but how you finish.” Saul had every starting advantage, he had the prophet Samuel, he had power and charisma, but his kingship ended up in divination and disaster.

Saul made several critical mistakes that we need to avoid – these mistakes caused the kingdom to be stripped away from his family and given to David.

1. Saul feared the reproach of his men over the command of God. 2. Saul stepped outside of what God wanted. 3. Saul disobeyed God’s direct orders. 4. Eventually Saul even turned to witchcraft to get answers.

Beloved, avoid small compromises! Avoid stepping outside of what God’s precious, life-giving Word tells us is good, pure and perfect!! If you are standing on God’s word, you stand secure. If you build on anything else, you are dangerously wasting your time. Saul lost his way, and then desperately harmed people on his way down. How can we avoid the same disaster that befell Saul? By simply obeying what God has called us to do! Stand strong together, stand on God’s word and heed His voice today.

Help

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

And so it was, when King Hezekiah heard it, that he tore his clothes, covered himself with sackcloth, and went into the house of the Lord. (2 Kings 19:1)
Hezekiah knew they were coming. The terrifying Assyrian army had been slowly making its way south through the land and was heading for Jerusalem. Hezekiah had prepared the city for the coming attack – digging an amazing tunnel through solid rock to bring water into the city and prepare for a long siege. Finally, the day came when the ruthless Assyrians were outside Jerusalem’s gate, demanding surrender.
It’s a good thing to be prepared for life’s difficult times. Yet to be honest, you can only prepare so much. The real test of the trial is what you’re going to do when it finally arrives.
Hezekiah handled his greatest test by seeking God. Covered in sackcloth and ashes, he wasn’t the picture of joy. He was the picture of grief. But in his grief, he sought God.
Sometimes God’s answers to your questions will come immediately, but sometimes they don’t. Sometimes the deliverance you’re looking for will come overnight, but sometimes it doesn’t.
The help you’re looking for isn’t in the deliverance. The help is in the seeking. Weep, if you must, but seek God. He is our help.