“Path to Peace”

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

The work of righteousness will be peace, And the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance forever. (Isaiah 32:17)

Isaiah writes of a day when a coming king will make all things “right” (Is.32:1).  He will reign in “righteousness”.  We know this to be Jesus when He returns to set up His kingdom on earth.

The Hebrew word for “righteous” (tzedaqah) can carry the idea of honesty, justice, blameless behavior, and at its root is the idea of being right with God. Righteousness begins and ends with God.  We can’t become “righteous” without the sacrifice of Jesus (2Cor. 5:21), and ultimately God is the one who declares us to be “righteous”.

When you find this “righteousness” that comes by simply believing in Jesus (Rom. 5:1), you will find yourself at “peace” with God.  There is a settling and assurance that only comes from your relationship with Jesus.

Yet God’s desire for righteousness in your life goes beyond your initial faith in Christ.  God wants to work righteousness into your life, changing you from the inside out.  God has placed a spark in your heart that longs to follow Jesus more closely, to honor God more correctly, and shine the clean light of God to those around you.

Sometimes the trouble and anxiety we experience can be from our not paying attention to the Spirit of God, who is that spark that nudges you towards holiness.  There is a measure of peace, quietness, and assurance that comes from making “right” choices.  Yield afresh to Him today.  Say “yes” to God’s promptings towards what’s right. Stay on the path.

“Low Battery”

This week’s Pastor to Person was written by Pastor Caleb Beller.
[Phl 4:13 NKJV] 13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Ever since I was a chaplain, I have slept with my phone next to my bed. Like many of you, my nightly routine has me placing the phone on the charger, and then falling asleep. Every now and I again I wake up only to realize I didn’t put it on the charger correctly or somehow it didn’t charge!
We have all quoted this verse when trying to do difficult tasks, deal with difficult people, or endure difficult circumstances. Although some have tried to turn this verse into a “super-hero” prayer, Paul is talking about how we get through life when it feels like your battery is on empty!
In verse (12) Paul describes three difficult life circumstances. He talks about being spiritually (abased), physically (hungry), and emotionally (in-need) empty! However, in verse (11) Paul says that these things helped teach him the secret of contentment. That no matter how empty his “batteries” got he didn’t have to lose hope.
How could Paul in prison talk about being fully charged in all these draining circumstances. The secret was verse (13) When we are plugged in to the truth of who Jesus is and what He has done for us! When we are plugged into His love, grace, power, and promises Paul says we are running on His batteries!
Are you running on empty? How are you trying to recharge? Paul says that when we are plugged into Jesus God doesn’t promise to take us out, but He will get us through! Not only will His power get you through, but it will shine though you

“Confident in tribulations…because of FAITH”

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

Beloveds, there are going to be storms. By storms I don’t just mean the hurricane Ida that has slammed Louisiana. I mean that life, people and especially our spiritual enemy will deliberately target us. Jesus promised us that life would be tough but that he would be with us AND that he would send a counsellor to us that would be with us through all of this: His Holy Spirit?

Something that struck me in our daily reading was the confidence that Paul had in coming to God in the midst of these storms. Eph 3:12 “…in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him.” We have Jesus and have access to God, and to the very throne room of Grace – enter in!! The only way we have these amazing resources is through faith. Faith in Jesus gives us the confidence to pray just like Paul did. Take a minute and read Eph 3:14-20. Don’t pray for ease or comfort, pray for the LOVE of God, the will of God, the strengthening of God. AND “20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, 21 to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”

Standing with YOU – Sending HUGEST of hugs,

Daniel

“Boasting in our Weaknesses”

This week’s Pastor to Person was written by Pastor Franklin Garcia.


Boasting is necessary, though it is not beneficial…for if I do wish to boast I will not be foolish, for I will be speaking the truth; but I refrain from this, so that no one will credit me with more than he sees in me or hears from me…I will rather boast about my weakness, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me 2 Corinthians 12


Social media is a platform to stay in touch with others and let them know what we are up to, but sometimes we let our ego go without thinking and we start bragging about our abilities and accomplishments.


Paul was taken to heaven which he called paradise; this is the place where the throne of God is. He doesn’t know how these revelations came to him. But he knows God showed him inexpressible things that he was not permitted to repeat. He could truthfully brag about these things. But instead, he chose to brag about his weaknesses because now, he realized that his weakness was only making him stronger.

We are living in a proud age where only our abilities and accomplishments matter, but we should not brag about our abilities. They are God given so we should use them to glorify Him.

It is better to brag about our weaknesses and allow others to see God’s power in our lives, so He can be glorified.

“Overflowing Grace”

This week’s Pastor to Person was written by Pastor Rich Cathers.
Moreover, brethren, we make known to you the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia: that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded in the riches of their liberality. (2 Corinthians 8:1–2)

When Paul is writing about the “churches of Macedonia”, he’s probably talking about the church in Philippi. We believe that is where Paul was when he wrote to the Corinthians.
It was in Philippi where Paul cast a demon out of a young slave girl and ended up in jail with Silas. Beaten and locked in the stocks, they were singing and praising God at midnight when an earthquake hit, the prison doors flung open, and a Philippian jailer asked what he needed to do to be saved (Acts 16). The church in Philippi was well acquainted with persecution and difficulty. They were not a wealthy church, but they were a gracious church. They were gracious because they had tasted of the grace of Jesus, and they were overflowing in how they expressed grace to others. Their “grace” even showed up in how they gave financially to support Paul, even though they were poor.
When life it difficult, we can sometimes act like turtles and crawl into our shell for protection. Yet that is not how we have to act. When we have experienced the love and grace that God has for us, it ought to overflow us so much that we just can’t help but love and serve others. May your life reflect the grace that God has shown you.

“God of all Comfort”

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

[[2Co 1:3 NIV] 3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort,

Many of you know this is one of my ministry verses! It gives us such powerful insight in helping us navigate difficult circumstances.

The verse begins with shifting our focus. Rather than dwelling on the circumstances, Paul points us to who God is! He is (right now) the God of all comfort. Regardless of my present pain, we have this anchor. The proof for this is found as Paul describes God as “The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” God understands our pain because He came and experienced them. There is no greater example of how much God loves you than this truth demonstrated by Jesus, life, death, and resurrection! 

Paul doesn’t end with what God did; He points us to what God is still doing for us today! He is the God of all comfort, but He also comforts us right now in all our difficulties. I think Christians’ biggest struggle with this is our understanding of the term “comfort.” We think why isn’t God making me comfortable by taking me “out” of this circumstance? This is not the promise. God doesn’t promise to take us out… but He does promise to come in! The word for comfort is a combination of two words; to come alongside and to call out; So when Paul says that He comforts us (right now) he is describing Jesus’ present power to come into our darkness and difficulty. His presence changes our perspective.

Lastly, we see that seeing God for who He is, helps us see our circumstances and ourselves differently. It also helps us to see opportunities to help others who are also going through difficulty. Paul says God uses these moments (vs.4) to comfort others with the comfort we have received

Take a moment today and praise God for who He is! For what He has done! Then look at how He has come into those dark and difficult moments. Ask the Lord how He is calling and leading you to comfort others with the comfort you have received! 

“Others”

This week’s Pastor to Person was written by Pastor Daniel Grant.
Something that never ceases to amaze me about the life of Jesus in the Scriptures is the focuses on ‘Others.’ We see this time and again. Jesus thought of others. Jesus blessed and spent time with people that the World had cast out. The focus of the Christian life is not on self, on what I can get from every situation and every relationship, but centers around what I can give, and how I can serve. 1 Corinthians 10:24 “Don’t be concerned for your own good but for the good of others.”

I love that Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit adds two more thoughts here in 1 Corinthians 10:31 “So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” In all things we need to seek to glorify our Father in Heaven. Even the mundane and ordinary tasks can be done to give HIM glory! Then Paul says in  32b “I don’t just do what is best for me; I do what is best for others so that many may be saved.” Paul lived his life to bring others into the kingdom, and so we too need to do. We need to look to what is best for others, not just ourselves, we need to do all things with the heavenly mindset and carefully point people to Jesus!!

Sending HUGE hugs,
Daniel Grant

“Fish & Hook”

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

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. (Romans 12:1)  

Off the hook. We might use that phrase when someone owes a debt and then they find out they no longer have to pay it back.  They are “off the hook”.  We might use that phrase when someone breaks a law, or hurts another person, and then they find out that somehow, they are not going to have to face the consequences.  They are “off the hook”. 

So how would you respond if you were “off the hook”? Suppose your great debt was somehow paid.  Would you just blow it all off and get yourself back into more trouble?  Or would you take that forgiveness as a chance to start anew, and head in a better direction? 

Beloved, Jesus’ death on the cross for us has taken us “off the hook”.  He has paid our debt.  He has met the requirement of the Law.  He has forgiven our injury.  As a believer, I’m “off the hook”. I’ve been shown mercy. 

Here’s the real test of whether or not I understand the “mercy” of God.  Will I choose to go back to my old ways?  Will I keep hanging around the “hook”? God’s desire is that we respond to mercy with a commitment to follow Jesus.  It’s the reasonable thing to do. 

“Greater”

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

[2Ch 32:8 KJV] 8 With him [is] an arm of flesh; but with us [is] the LORD our God to help us, and to fight our battles. And the people rested themselves upon the words of Hezekiah king of Judah.

Hezekiah was facing an insurmountable force. The Assyrian’s had already conquered the North and set their eyes on Jerusalem. 2 Kings 18 tells us how Hezekiah initially tried to pay them off, but the Assyrian King didn’t just want their money, he wanted to show he was greater than Israel’s God!

Verse 20 mentions Hezekiah’s prayer and Isiah’s prophecy! God would defend the city and His people. (2 Ki 19:34) As Hezekiah spread out the threats of the enemy before the Lord, it became clear that no matter how great the size of the enemy, the “I AM” was greater!

It says the people “rested” in God’s promise! I love how God assures Hezekiah even though he started off on the wrong track! Another lesson we see is how Hezekiah trusted in God’s power but took steps to prepare for victory! He stopped up the water, fixed up the walls, and prepared the people (vs.3-6). Faith doesn’t mean we don’t do our part!

Are you facing an overwhelming situation right now? Have you tried every practical and human solution and it feels like it is getting worse? Take some time to write your biggest fears and take it to God. See how His power and promises are greater than our fears and greater than our foes. As we see the victory brought by the angel (21) let that remind you of the power and victory we have through Christ! Remember His promises and take the appropriate steps! Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world! (1 Jn 4:4b)

“Who Is Alongside You As You Go To War?”

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

Jehoshaphat was a man whom God blessed. 2 Chron 17:3 “Now the Lord was with Jehoshaphat, because he walked in the former ways of his father David; he did not seek the Baals, but sought the God of his father, and walked in His commandments and not according to the acts of Israel.” Jehoshaphat walked in the ways of the Lord and was so very blessed. God chose to bless him, and Jehoshaphat chose to walk in the LORD’s ways. This is what we NEED to do!

As things start to go well and his army grows – his wealth and fame expands. Yet he chooses to tie himself by marriage to Ahab’s family. Ahab was the exact opposite of Jehoshaphat. Ahab walked in the ways of the world: the most extreme forms of idolatry and murderous sin.

So why on Earth would godly Jehoshaphat marry into the family of Ahab? Why would he follow Ahab into war? The Scriptures do not tell us why – but they tell us that the war ends Ahab’s life. The Biblical warning here is to be careful whom you let have steering-influence in your life. Be led by the Spirit, let that steering influence ALWAYS be primarily God himself. Then surround yourself with humble and godly men and women. Keep close to the fellowship!

Sending HUGE hugs,