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.

Naaman and the gospel

This week’s Pastor to Person was written by Pastor Caleb Beller.
[2Ki 5:13 NKJV] …”My father, [if] the prophet had told you [to do] something great, would you not have done [it]? How much more then, when he says to you, ‘Wash, and be clean’?”
The story of Naaman and Elijah is a powerful picture of the gospel in many ways. A man with an incurable disease, desperate and willing to pay anything to change it. The Hebrew slave girl that plants the seed of hope, declaring that Elijah could heal him. The impotence of the world to do anything to help Naaman. Elijah’s simple instructions to go to the Jordan and wash seven times and be healed.
When Naaman comes seeking the cure, he comes ready to pay any price. We all want to participate somehow in our salvation. We desire to pay some price for our redemption. We long to feel justified by some act or payment for our sin. However, the cross stipulates that Jesus alone paid the ultimate price. We can add nothing; we can only receive in humble obedience this gift of grace. Naaman almost missed his healing because of his pride. Had it not been for his wise servants encouraging him to take the simple step of humble obedience Naaman would have stayed a leper.
The gospel may be simple… but it doesn’t mean it is easy. Go, wash, and be cleansed. These same words are there for anyone who would listen today. They require only humble obedience for the seeker. May we, like the slave girl, be willing to plant the seeds of hope even among our enemies. Most importantly may we like Naaman not miss out on Jesus’ healing because of our pride or religious expectations. Go, wash, and you shall be clean!

Lying Prophets

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

A prophet was sent north to confront King Jeroboam about the idolatry of the northern kingdom.  The prophet was told by God to give the message, come straight home, and not stop for any reason.

When the prophet reached King Jeroboam, the message was delivered, and even accompanied by some miraculous signs.  The King was indeed impressed and asked the prophet to stay, but being true to God’s command, the prophet refused.  On the way home, the prophet was met by an older prophet from the northern kingdom.  This man too asked the younger prophet to stay, and once again the younger prophet refused.  That’s when the older prophet decided to lie.  He said to him, “I too am a prophet as you are, and an angel spoke to me by the word of the Lord, saying, ‘Bring him back’” (1Kings 13:18). The younger prophet followed the older one home, had dinner, but because he had disobeyed God’s direct order, he was met by a lion on his way home and died.

Beloved, there are people who are out to deceive you.  The most pernicious of these lies come from those claiming to speak for God.  You and I are accountable to God to listen to the truth, and not the lie.  How do I know who is lying?  Keep your nose in the book that tells you the truth.  Keep reading your Bible and doing what it says.

“Clean in Thought, Word, and Deed”

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

In a world saturated by sin, constantly pouring out a narrative against God, godliness, and righteousness, how can we keep our heads, hearts, and hands clean? David struggled with this very thing in Psalm 51:10 “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” I echo David’s sentiment, and I believe that having a clean heart and clean conscience really is a work from God. We are also exhorted in 1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” How do we keep our way clean? 1) By asking God to create a clean heart in us! 2) By confessing our sins and forsaking them!! 3) By living according to His Holy Word!!! Then, and only then, will we find the steadfastness of the Lord. As we humble ourselves – His infinite strength meets our every challenge.

Further in Psalm 51 David wrestles with the awareness of his own brokenness. He calls his brokenness pleasing to God. How can brokenness be pleasing to God? Brokenness, openness, and humility are essential elements in our maturing with God! Psalms 51:17 “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart—These, O God, You will not despise.” When we are humble, God will mature and lift us up. When we are proud, God brings us down to save us! So, pray with me this week, for a contrite heart, for clean hands, and clean conscience that honors God with every feeling, thought, and action!

Heart of Kindness

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

Then the king said, “Is there not still someone of the house of Saul, to whom I may show the kindness of God?” (2 Samuel 9:3a)

David was not a typical new king.  He didn’t fit the mold of the guy replacing an old dynasty. The pattern of ancient history was for the new king to slaughter every known relative of the last king.  You never knew if some distant relative might think you took their rightful place and then plot to take your throne away from you.

But not David.

For years Saul had hunted David and had tried over and over to put him to death. Yet David never lifted a hand against Saul.  And now, after Saul’s death, David has a desire to show kindness to Saul’s family.  David found Saul’s crippled grandson and lavished him with wealth and honor.

Like the rest of the world, we can certainly find ourselves wanting to hold on to grudges and even the score with those who have hurt us.  We may try to guard ourselves from anyone with the faintest connection to those who have hurt us.

But not God. Think about how God has treated us.  Though we were once enemies, it was His kindness that drew us back and even saved us.  Oh that we may learn and cultivate this same heart of kindness.

“Power of the Gospel”

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

[1Sa 25:33 NKJV] 33 “And blessed [is] your advice and blessed [are] you, because you have kept me this day from coming to bloodshed and from avenging myself with my own hand.

We have all been in those moments of blinding anger. Whether driving on the freeway, or that one guy at work or home who really knows how to “push your buttons.” It is amazing how quickly our patience can turn into passion when we feel wronged by a “fool.”

David had been insulted by Nabal (whose name means fool). David was so offended by his attitude and actions he rallied his army to wipe out Nabal and all his servants. When our pride has been wounded, we can so quickly boil with righteous anger. The bible warns us about our anger… the book of James says, 1:20 “for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.”

Abigail rides in with grace and humility. She brings gifts and blessings to David. She reminds him of his calling and even prophesies about David’s life. Her gentle answer quenched the flames of David’s wrath and got David to see the bigger picture. Take a moment and thank the Lord for the people He has placed in your life to point you to wisdom. Maybe it is a parent, spouse, mentor, or loved one. Abigail is a wonderful picture of how the Spirit works in our life. He comes with grace and wisdom, warning us before we sin. Reminding us of what God has done and wants to do in our lives. Let’s remember to be grateful for the “Abigail’s” in our life!  And may we also be ready to give a gracious and gentle answer instead of fanning the fury that often rages around us. Let’s be like Abigail this week!