Don’t Just Get Ready-BE Ready

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

In Matt 24 Christ answers the very important question of what will it look like for the end of the age? He walks them through the signs and symptoms of what the end looks like. Matt 24:42 “42 Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. Twice in this passage Jesus gives the apostles instructions that are SUPER relevant to us. He reminds us to watch and exhorts us to stay ready!

Matt 24:43-44 “But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into 44 Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” We are called to watch and to BE ready. It’s so very easy to get comfortable, relaxed and to think that Christ would NEVER come back in our day! That’s the same wrong-thinking of the people in Noah’s day – who had never seen a flood, were warned by Noah, and on the day it came didn’t enter the ark. Don’t just get ready beloved – stay ready!! This life is the warm-up lap for eternity, the full race is yet to come!!

“Faith; Quality or Quantity”

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

Mat 17:19 Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?”

“The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease for ever to be able to do it. –J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan. In the fairy tale, Peter Pan, we are told if we want to fly, we just need to think of a “happy thought.” If you google, “believe in yourself” you will find many a quote from sports figures, to politicians who will tell you basically the same thing, you just have to believe in yourself and anything is possible. While this sounds very exciting, in reality this is just not true. Standing on the edge of a cliff I can jump and really want to believe I can fly; the issue will not be the amount of my faith but the object of my faith.

Jesus had just returned from the mount of transfiguration with three of his disciples. The other nine had been waiting where Jesus had left them. While waiting a desperate father begged them to heal his troubled son. When Jesus arrived, we learn that the disciples were powerless to help. Jesus rebukes the demon and the boy is healed! Privately the disciples ask Jesus why they couldn’t heal the boy. Jesus tells them it is because of their, “unbelief”. The issue was not the size of their faith, Jesus said if only their faith was the size of a “mustard seed” they could move mountains.  We can infer from the story that the issue was not the amount of their faith but the object. “Why couldn’t we cast it out?” their focus was on their own power. Jesus tells them this kind only comes out through “prayer and fasting.” This speaks about a dependence on God, not self. Having faith in yourself can’t save you or others, but even a little faith in Jesus is enough to move mountains!

Fearless

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

“Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.” (Matthew 10:31)

I love the fact that the most repeated command in Scripture is “Don’t be afraid”.  I believe the reason this command is so common is because most of us live with so many fears.  Fear affects our decisions, traps us in inaction, drives our anger, and just makes life miserable.  Yet over and over God reminds us not to be afraid.  In Matthew 10, Jesus reminded us of our great value to God.  God keeps track of His creation, even the tiny sparrows.  God knows the number of hairs on our head.  Some of us feel like we’re worthless to God, but it’s just the opposite.  He values us greatly.  If He knows this much about us and values us so much, we don’t need to be afraid.

The context of the passage is something that a few of us are afraid of.  Jesus is telling His disciples about how He is sending them out into the world to share the gospel, to bring God’s love and forgiveness to a needy people.  Some of us find that task a little intimidating.  We’re afraid of offending people, or we might be afraid of how they will respond.  Yet despite these kinds of fears, Jesus gently reminds us that we are of great value to God, and don’t need to be afraid.

Don’t be afraid to share what God has done for you.

True Treasure

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

[Gen 6:8 NKJV] 8 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.

A man bought an old $4 painting at a flea market in Adamstown, Pennsylvania, in 1989, thinking the frame could be fixed and reused. When he removed the canvas, he saw a folded paper stuffed in it. He opened the document and couldn’t believe his eyes when he saw an original copy of the Declaration of Independence, dated 1776. Later that year, the manuscript was auctioned for $2,420,000.

As exciting as it would be to find a treasure hiding in our midst Noah found something much more precious. In the midst of a generation where everyone was doing what was right in their own eyes, Noah was looking for someone else.

Here in this dark chapter about the depravity of mankind we see the very first mention of “grace” in the bible. Noah didn’t have to earn it or buy it, he found it. Judgment was coming on the world. When Noah’s grandfather was born, he was given the name Methuselah which means “upon his death it shall come.” He was the longest living man recorded in the bible. God was patient in bringing the consequences He foretold. God was waiting for Noah.

   Have you discovered the treasure of the grace of God? Like Noah God wants you to find Him, know Him and experience His love. He always offers His grace before His judgment. Jesus said, Mat 7:7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” Like Noah, God wants to use you to impact the world before His judgment. We cannot stop the rain, but we can help build the boat!

Motive of the Heart

This weeks Pastor to Person was written by Pastor Daniel Grant.

Zechariah, the minor prophet, had a strong rebuke for the people of his day. The people wondered if they should fast and mourn as was their custom in the fifth and seventh months.  God challenged them to examine WHY they did what they were doing? God looks to the heart, to the motives, to the things that men don’t see. God evaluates those three things.

Was it wrong for them to mourn and fast – NO!! But their heart was not in it! It would be better for them to get their heart right with God and then take the right action!! Zec 7:12 “Yes, they made their hearts like flint, refusing to hear the law and the words which the Lord of hosts had sent by His Spirit through the former prophets. Thus great wrath came from the Lord of hosts.”

Beloved don’t resist the Lord! Don’t let your heart become hard by bitterness, by unforgiveness or even by ritually holding on to the way things have always been!! Ask God to soften your heart, ask God to FILL your heart with love, compassion and forgiveness. And know that I’m standing right there with you?

We Have Won

This week’s Pastor to Person was written by Pastor Caleb Beller.
[Nah 3:19 NIV] 19 Nothing can heal you; your wound is fatal. All who hear the news about you clap their hands at your fall, for who has not felt your endless cruelty?
Philipippides was a professional courier who was tasked with carrying news from city to city. Having previously run 150 miles over the course of 2 days, he was dispatched from the battlefield to Athens to announce the victory. After completing the 25 miles from Marathon to Athens he, announced, “we have won” and died of exhaustion after delivering the news.
The news of victory is, “good news.” This news from the prophet Nahum was a prophecy about the downfall of Nineveh. This message of judgment on Nineveh didn’t come from the middle of a battle but at the height of its power. Nineveh was the most powerful, ruthless, destructive empire in the world. Having taken Israel captive, it seemed like all hope would be lost. Nahum’s name means comfort. Here the Lord speaks a message of hope and comfort to God’s people. Nineveh will be destroyed. This empire will fall because God has declared it.
When Jesus died on the cross, He declared, “it is finished.” In so many ways this was a cry of victory and not defeat. On the cross our sin was paid for once and for all. The power of Satan was defeated once and for all. The power of death was defeated once and for all. Although at times it may seem like Nineveh, that Satan’s kingdom cannot be defeated. The destruction has been declared, and victory has been foretold. Are you living in the light of His victory? Did you know that Satan is a defeated foe? How far will we run to share the news of His victory and Satan’s defeat? We Have Won!

Bullseye

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

A desire accomplished is sweet to the soul, But it is an abomination to fools to depart from evil. (Proverbs 13:19)  

It’s a good thing to have goals in life.  The old adage is true that states, “If you aim at nothing, you’ll surely hit it”.  Goals are especially good when they are clearly planted by God in our lives. Many set goals, but not all reach them.  Sometimes it’s because we’re unwilling to pay the actual price that the goal demands. 

Serious goals will most likely require some sort of self-discipline.  If you have a goal of losing weight, you will need to learn to change the way you live – how you eat and how you exercise.  If your goal is to buy a house one day, you will need to learn the discipline of living within your means, budgeting, and saving money.  If your goal is stop an addictive behavior, there are more than a few steps you will need to learn.  You will need to learn to practice those steps on a weekly, daily, and even moment-by-moment basis. 

It sounds pretty harsh, but Solomon said that when I refuse to make the changes I need to in order to achieve my godly goal, I am a fool. Yet don’t let that stop you.  Don’t forget the goal. When your arrow hits the middle of that target, there is nothing sweeter. There is nothing like actually hitting your goal weight or being sober for a month, a year, or a lifetime.  Ready, aim, fire! 

Sowing & Reaping

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

What are you sowing spiritually, financially, relationally? The things that we put into the ground, are the very things that grow up, flower and bring fruit! Hosea was a prophet of the Lord who was given one of the most difficult assignments, and yet he was faithful to do all that God called him to do. “Sow for yourselves righteousness; Reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground, for it is time to seek the Lord, till He comes and rains righteousness on you.” Hosea 10:12

Are you sowing righteousness in your workplace, in your home, in your ministry?? If you sow righteousness, in due season you will reap the abundant harvest of mercy! Is there fallow(hard) ground in your life, mind and heart that needs to be turned over, worked on and soaked with the presence of God? Together let us seek the Lord. He is faithful and will rain down his righteousness, his love and his dependable way of life on us! Don’t turn to anxiety, despair or human coping mechanisms, trust the heavenly gardener and together let’s turn to Him in prayer.

Diet Challenge

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

So, the holiday season is upon us.  For most of us that means lots of eating and perhaps some time with family (not always a happy thing).  Food and fellowship.  Feasting and connection.

Daniel was a young man when he was taken with the other captives to Babylon.  Along with the other “recruits”, Daniel was prescribed a specific “Babylonian” diet.  For Daniel and his friends, there was something troubling about this Babylonian food.  So, Daniel went to his overseer and requested, “Please test your servants for ten days, and let them give us vegetables to eat and water to drink. (Daniel 1:12)

For ten days Daniel and his friends were allowed to shun the Babylonian diet and eat a healthy Jewish diet.  At the end of those ten days, Daniel and his friends were examined, and sure enough, they were much healthier than the other “trainees”.

Some of us might wish we had eaten more vegetables than we did pumpkin pie, but that’s not where I’m going with this.  The thought I’d like to suggest is whether or not people can tell that you are on a different spiritual diet than they are.  If someone got close enough to you, would they see something different in you?  Would I have the courage to say, “test me for ten days… and see if I’m not better off?”  Am I able to say, “Taste and see that the Lord is good!”

“LeMay Leaflets”

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

[Rev 14:6 NIV] 6 Then I saw another angel flying in midair, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth–to every nation, tribe, language and people.

Through much of World War II, Allied bombers would sometimes drop leaflets warning of impending bombing of a city. The leaflets often told civilians to evacuate, and sometimes encouraged them to push their leaders to surrender. In August 1945, leaflets were dropped on several Japanese cities (including, supposedly, Hiroshima and Nagasaki). The first round, known as the “LeMay leaflets,” were distributed before the bombing of Hiroshima.

These leaflets served as warning of the impending destruction. It gave people an opportunity to choose life and escape. Here we see similarly the grace and mercy of God on full display. Three warnings are unleashed for the world to see.

The first is the message of the gospel to every nation, tribe, language and people! What an amazing example of grace. Everyone everywhere receives an equal opportunity to make a choice about Jesus! The second warning is a prophecy about the collapse of the antichrist’s kingdom “Babylon”! The world is warned Babylon is a sinking ship! Vs.8 “Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the great”. The last warning is the eternal consequences of choosing to worship the beast. Vs.11 “there will be not rest day or night for those who worship the beast and his image,”

These warnings proceed the judgment. God in His grace has scattered us as leaflets in our cities and families! Do people hear and see the gospel in us? Are we sounding the alarm? Jesus has done his part; the question is will we? Who do you need to tell this week?