“Modern Day Miracle”

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

[Eze 37:12 NKJV]…’Thus says the Lord GOD: “Behold, O My people, I will open your graves and cause you to come up from your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel.

On May 14, 1948, in Tel Aviv, David Ben-Gurion proclaimed the State of Israel, establishing the first Jewish state in 2,000 years! Only one other time in history had a people and nation been so defeated and dispersed and yet return. The Jewish exile & return from Babylon happened just as God said it would. Although that 70 years must have seemed like a lifetime, this prophecy from Ezekiel would span roughly 2,500 years of Jewish History!

The rebirth of Israel is arguably the greatest modern-day miracle of our generation However more than a miracle it was to be a sign

Jesus in His teaching to His disciples about His return said this. Mat 24:33 Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door.

The establishing of Israel back in the land is a fulfillment of Ezekiel 37! It reminds us that God says what He means and means what He says! It is also a reminder that we are to be preparing for Jesus return! As we look at these signs let us remember like Noah, we can’t stop the rain, but we can build the boat! Let us live in the light of prophecy, remembering Jesus words Mat 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

“The Throne”

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

And every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, I heard saying: “Blessing and honor and glory and power Be to Him who sits on the throne, And to the Lamb, forever and ever!” (Revelation 5:13)

We often think of the book of Revelation solely in terms of prophecy and the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.  Those are certainly a large part of the book, but the focus of the book is really about one Person.  It is all about Jesus Christ.  The book starts with a vision of Jesus and ends with an invitation to follow Him.

A large part of the book focuses on what we call the “Tribulation” period, when God begins the process of bringing judgment to the earth.  Yet just before we see all these difficult things unfolding, we get a glimpse of things in heaven.  You might expect that with such turmoil and tragedy around the corner that heaven might be in chaos.  Yet it is not.  Instead there is a singular focus on God’s throne and the universal worship that breaks out.

Your life right now may be facing uncertainty.  You may be facing more difficulties than you could have ever imagined.  Beloved, put your eyes on heaven.  God is not surprised at your circumstances.  He’s still on the throne, and He wants to carry you through.

“Blessed Assurance”

This week’s Pastor to Person was written by Pastor Caleb Beller.
[1Jo 5:13 NKJV] 13 These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may [continue to] believe in the name of the Son of God.

The last few days have been very unsettling. States too close to call, legal challenges, recounts, the election results have us in this emotional ping-pong match between fear & joy. Like the fourth quarter of a championship game, every potential “make” or “miss” has you on the edge of your seat. Maybe you are feeling this way right now. However, in the midst of the many things we do not yet know, John reminds us of something that we as Christians should know.
John says that He wrote these things so that we can know (today) for sure that we have eternal life! This is one of the key distinctions of Biblical Christianity. There is an assurance, a present confidence, in our hope of heaven. This is evidenced not just in the writings of scripture, but in the many Christians who suffered going to their death; confident in the hope of heaven.
There are some who think faith is about “insurance” or something we have “just-in-case,” but our faith is about assurance, a faith rooted in facts. Just as we are confident in the sun coming up tomorrow, we can be confident in the truth about Jesus and His promise of eternal life!
Let God’s Word today fan the flame of faith for your Soul. Let us not let the things we don’t know; get in the way of things we do know! Live today with the blessed assurance of heaven not because of what we do, but because of what He has done! Let us rejoice today! “Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!”

“Prescription for Peace…Gracious Humility”

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

If you are like me and are aching for a little peace, I would strongly recommend that you read the fifth chapter of 1 Peter. My desire is that God would establish, strengthen and settle me, but that comes only when I have submitted to Him and taken on the humility that God desires! 1 Peter 5-7 “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.” Therefore, humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, 7 casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.

We can cast our cares upon Him, and we can know that He truly does care for us! He holds us in the palm of His hand, but He desires that we stay humble. Peter in this chapter acknowledges that the people of God had suffered, but his exhortation to them was to receive God’s heavenly grace and not elevate themselves in PRIDE. He tells them that if they exalt themselves that God himself will oppose them! It has been a rough year (that feels like a decade), and we are not through it yet! So, stay humble, hold fast to the Scriptures and to the leading of the Holy Spirit, and know that the grace of our LORD will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus:-)

“V-Day”

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

[James 4:6 NKJV] 6 But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.”

September 2, 1945 General Douglas MacArthur accepted the Japanese surrender from General Yoshijiro Umezu abord the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay. President Truman declared September 2 as the official V-J day. In newspapers across the world that day hundreds of soldiers and civilians were rejoicing together.

The word for “resist” literally means “opposite-of”, or “against.” Many see pride as a barrier with our relationship with people, but James tells us that what it really does is put us at war with God!

There are multiple commands in this chapter, resist, draw, cleanse, purify, lament, weep, but winning the war of pride is not about trying harder or self-control. James 4:7 says, therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. The key to our victory with pride is surrender!

It is our surrender to Jesus and the work of the gospel that is the catalyst for the grace and peace that follows. It is not until we accept the defeat of our own effort, strength, and righteousness that we can resist the devil. Our pride is really a war of independence from God’s love. When we surrender to the cross all of these other things (resisting, cleansing, humbling) become possible.

James 4:10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up. God promises that our surrender brings real victory. Do you need grace? Do you need power to resist the devil? Surrender to the truth of the gospel! Let us turn to the cross, and away from self-righteousness. Rejoice in His victory and know that you are loved, forgiven, & new!

Chaff or Wheat

This week’s P2P was written by Pastor Rich Cathers.

“The prophet who has a dream, let him tell a dream; And he who has My word, let him speak My word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat?” says the Lord. (Jeremiah 23:28)

We live in a world that is filled with voices.  We hear voices from TV, Facebook, paperbacks, politicians, and pastors.  It seems that just about everyone has an opinion on something and it will be the end of the world if we don’t pay attention to them.

The prophet Jeremiah lived in a day like that.  In fact, he lived in a day when his nation was going to be coming to an end.  There did not seem to be a shortage of self-styled “prophets” who had something to say.  Some claimed their authority from their dreams.

Do you know what “chaff” is?  It is that thin husk or skin that surrounds a seed.  It is that red skin around the peanut when you crack open the shell at the ballpark.  The process of winnowing removes the chaff from the wheat kernel.  The chaff is worthless.  It just sticks in the back of your throat.  It’s the kernel that has value.

My dear friends, could I encourage you to renew your commitment to reading and studying God’s Word?  God’s Word has the nutrition your soul needs.  It has the answers to the questions you are looking for.  It will always point you to God, and not the silly idols of this world.  Go for the good stuff.

“24”

This P2P was written by Pastor Caleb Beller.
[Heb 3:13 NKJV] 13 but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.

Years ago, one of my favorite shows to watch was “24.” It featured a government agent who sought to thwart a world-ending plot over the span of 24 hours. Each episode of the season was set in one of the “hours” of the day. It always amazed me how many twists and turns you could fit into 24 hours.
Here the writer of Hebrews is telling us the importance of how we use our 24 hours. While it is true that we all need to be on guard for the deceitfulness of sin, what I find interesting is that the bible implores us to come alongside each other.
The idea that sin is deceitful reminds me that I might not be able to recognize it. Like Eve, there is a combination of internal and external pressure that can make us lose sight of truth. “Did God really say?”, “Is He keeping something from me?”, “Would my life really be better if I had _?” We all know the power sin has to distract and destroy, but how do we guard against it?
We are encouraged to do two things. One to “exhort” – which means to come alongside. The other is to do it “today”, literally right now. We have all been given 24 hours today. We are all capable of being deceived. We guard against it by coming alongside each other. We need each other! We need the support, encouragement, and truth that comes from our Christian brothers and sisters, especially during this time of isolation and frustration. I help guard my heart and your heart when I choose daily to reach out to my brothers and sisters in Christ! Who is the Spirit putting on your heart to reach out to today? Who is reaching out to you?

“Persistent, Powerful, Proclamation”

This P2P was written by Pastor Daniel Grant.

Are you feeling blue? Having a hard month, week or WHOLE YEAR? You are not alone!! Paul was writing to encourage young Timothy to stay focused in season and out of season. Paul had been abandoned(v10), forgotten, and even betrayed(v14). Paul was experiencing a lot of the very same emotions that we are right now and he penned this amazing encouragement: 2 Timothy 4:2 “proclaim the message; be persistent whether the time is favorable or unfavorable; convince, rebuke, and encourage, with the utmost patience in teaching.”(NRSV)

Proclaim the message. Let your emotions, your words and especially your actions reinforce the Gospel. Be ready (not get ready), persist in a state of readiness for action. Put love into action. Love your neighbor, love your family, love your enemy!

Convince, rebuke, and encourage and do it all with the patience and longsuffering of the Lord Jesus! Encourage one another, stand strong together and know that you are NOT standing alone! We stand on the bedrock of God’s Holy Word, and its faithful teaching. We stand by the strength and provision of the Holy Spirit!

“Imperfect People; Perfect Plan”

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

[Isa 48:15 NLT] 15 “I have said it: I am calling Cyrus! I will send him on this errand and will help him succeed.

Many have argued that these prophecies regarding Cyrus in the book of Isaiah are some of the greatest in the bible. Isaiah wrote roughly 150 years before Cyrus was even born. These verses calling him out by name, identifying what he would do and how he would do it, set a gold standard for the trustworthiness of scripture.

In the midst of our current political crisis and the fear on both sides regarding the outcome, it is encouraging to me that God already knows who wins. It is also encouraging to me that regardless of who wins God is able to use him as a tool in His prophetic plans.

Cyrus was not a perfect man. He was not a Jew; he was not educated in the God of the Bible or His promises. However, God saw how Cyrus fit into His prophetic plan. God would raise up Cyrus to defeat Babylon and release the Jews back to Jerusalem. God is able to use imperfect people to fulfill His perfect plans! We as Christians must remember that regardless of who is sitting in the White House, God is sitting on the throne!

So, what are we to do while we wait for God’s plan to unfold? [Isa 48:17b NIV] …”I am the LORD your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go. While we wait for God’s plan to unfold, our job is to walk in the revealed Word of God. There is peace in our obedience. (:18) As Christians the world needs to see our faith not in who gets elected, but in the One who will work all these things together for His good! May we serve as ambassadors of peace in the Kingdom of God, as we walk by faith in His Word. 

“Look Up”

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

Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. (1 Thessalonians 4:17)

When I’m out walking in the morning, I’ve noticed that some of the people I pass never look up. As I pass them, I wait to see if they will look up so I can say “hi”, but some never do. They only look at their feet.

Now I confess that I can spend too much time looking at my feet. I find that when I’m always looking down, I lose my sense of where I’m at and where I’m going.

We have a reason to look up friends.  Jesus is coming back and soon we’ll be with Him.  Remembering that helps me realize that I have purpose and direction in this “walk” called life.  When I’m looking up at Jesus, even though times are tough, I can endure.  Even when people are difficult, I can be patient.  Even if the temptations around me are growing, I can flee to Jesus.

I can do this because I have hope.  I’ve got my eyes on Jesus.

Look up beloved. Look up and realize that Jesus is coming soon. Let this hope give you guidance and keep you moving forward.

I wonder if I got my eyes off my feet more, I might even look up to see someone I should say “hi” to.