“With Success Stay Humble”

This week’s Pastor to Person was written by Pastor Daniel Grant.
I love it when things go well. I am a HUGE fan of success, but there is always that temptation when things are going well, to be filled with godless Pride. We see this with one of Judah’s kings. He had just come back from a HUGE victory. He had walked in the will of the Lord and then got filled with himself and challenged Israel in the North. 2 Kings 14:8 Then Amaziah sent messengers to Jehoash the son of Jehoahaz, the son of Jehu, king of Israel, saying, “Come, let us face one another in battle.” And the humbling that Amaziah received was EPIC!
Pride is a killer. It kills joy, it slaughters success. It robs us of the God-given ability to focus on what God has for us, and always focuses us on what ISN’T ours. Beloved, don’t get suckered by pride. Hold on to what God has for you and rejoice with others. As you lift others up, God will lift you up in the right time and right way. James 4:6 “But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Grab ahold of the Grace of God that prevents Pride!!
Sending HUGE hugs,

“Trusting God For Your Provisions”

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

Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah: “Leave here, turn eastward and hide in the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan. 4 You will drink from the brook, and I have directed the ravens to supply you with food there.”  Sometime later the brook dried up because there had been no rain in the land. Then the word of the Lord came to him: “Go at once to Zarephath in the region of Sidon and stay there. I have directed a widow there to supply you with food.” 1 Kings 17.

The word of the Lord came to Elijah twice and sent him to a brook where he was going to drink water and the ravens were going to feed him. When the brook became dry the Lord sent him to the heart of the enemy’s territory, so a widow could take care of him.

It did not make sense the methods and places where Elijah was being sent. Ravens would not even provide for their offspring and widows would beg for food so they could feed their children. but he obeyed and trusted the word of the Lord.

God had a mission for Elijah and his mission was accompanied by provisions. God alone has the power to open the heavens and supply the needs of those who obey and trust in Him. If we choose to obey His word and trust Him, we will receive and experience His blessings.

“Finish the Temple”

This week’s Pastor to Person was written by Pastor Rich Cathers.
So that the priests could not continue ministering because of the cloud; for the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord. (1 Kings 8:11)

It took him seven years, but Solomon had finally finished building the Temple in Jerusalem. During the dedication ceremony, sacrifices were made, the people praised, and God showed up. Can you even imagine being a person in the crowd seeing such an amazing thing – God manifested His presence.
A temple is where a “god” lives. Of course, God is far bigger than the Temple in Jerusalem, but you get the idea. The Bible tells us that because of the Holy Spirit in us, our bodies are also a Temple (1Cor. 6:19). It’s where He dwells. The Bible also tells us that when we as believers gather as a church, we too are a Temple (1Cor. 3:16). It’s where He dwells. Best of all, the Bible tells us that God is “enthroned” in the praises of His people (Ps. 22:3). In other words, that’s the moment that He “shows up”, when we give Him praise. It’s where He dwells.
The other day I ran into someone that I hadn’t been around for awhile. I almost didn’t recognize him. When you read your Bible or walk into church, do you recognize God and His presence? Come and join the worshippers around God’s throne as we give Him honor and praise. You just might realize that God has been here all along. And perhaps you might realize afresh the great love that He has for you. Let’s finish the Temple. Let’s give Him praise. It’s where He dwells.

“Be Still”

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

[Psa 46:10 NKJV] 10 Be still, and know that I [am] God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!

Growing up in Southern California I remember doing earthquake drills in school. We were cognizant in buildings and unknown places where we should go, what we should do if the earth began to shake! Get under a desk, get in a doorway, get outside, all these options were preferable to, being still!

As the Psalmist describes the situations around him. He talks about the earth being moved, the mountains being carried into the sea, the waters roaring and nations raging. All these things illicit a sense of fear or confusion. It gives us the sense of the world being out of control.

Our natural tendency is to react! We want to run to, or from the problem. We want to fix or escape the turmoil. Yet, in the midst of the chaos the Psalmist declares that, God is our refuge and strength a very present help in trouble.  (:1)

The Psalmist’s word to us in the chaos is to be still. To stop, to stay, relax. It seems so counterintuitive to do “nothing”, but it is a command not to be lazy, but to be faith filled. To trust that God is able, and willing to meet us in the chaos and show us how He is working all of these things together for His good.

Today you might be in a position of wanting to act or re-act out of fear, confusion, or frustration. Let this word encourage you today, Be still and know. Rest first in the promises and presence of God. Let Him lead you, guide you, protect you and provide for you regardless of the circumstance. So that He will get the glory and we get the gift of seeing His great love!

“Don’t Despise”

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

There is a danger here I want to warn you about. It is a simple slide to ‘look upon’ another believer and to despise them in your heart. It begins by being uncharitable with your thoughts. It progresses as an emotive decision to go from “I disagree with them” to “disliking them.” The slides from there and slips into “despising them!”  

Watch out for the sinister slide from dislike to despising. Michal, David’s first wife made this mistake in 2 Sam 6:16 Now, as the ark of the Lord came into the City of David, Michal, Saul’s daughter, looked through a window and saw King David leaping and whirling before the Lord; and she despised him in her heart.” For those of you that remember how this story plays out, she confronts him, she despises him and she ends up living the rest of her life childless and mostly alone. Don’t get suckered into the enemy’s trap of disagree, dislike and then despise!!

Sending HUGE hugs,  

“Listening to the Voice of God”

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

Samuel also said to Saul, “The Lord sent me to anoint you king over His people, over Israel. Now therefore, listen the voice of the words of the Lord.  Thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘I will punish Amalek for what he did to Israel…  Now go and attack Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and do not spare them. 1 Samuel 15

Samuel makes it clear for Saul. God, the one who chose you as king, is giving you these instructions, so now listen to THE VOICE OF THE LORD, go to Amalek and kill them all. But Saul left King Amalek and some animals alive. Samuel asked him “Why then did you not obey the voice of the Lord?” And Saul responded, “Because I feared the people and obeyed their voice.”

Saul was obligated to listen to God’s voice, not to anybody else’s. When Saul decided to ignore God’s voice, he sinned against Him. God rejected Saul for ignoring His voice and instead listening to the voices of others. Saul will no longer hear God’s voice, because God will not speak to him again. How many times does God speak to us and we choose to ignore His voice, preferring to listen to other’s voices? Ignoring God’s voice will have consequences in our lives. If God is asking you to do something, do not fear what people might say. Instead, listen and obey His voice, and leave the results to Him.

“God Takes Care of Himself”

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

And when they arose early the next morning, there was Dagon, fallen on its face to the ground before the ark of the Lord. (1 Samuel 5:4)  

I think that sometimes we feel like we have to defend God.  I start thinking that if I don’t respond to this idiot and his arguments against God, who will?  The Israelites had found themselves in a battle, and they wanted to make sure their “god” won.  Yet to their surprise, God allowed the Philistines to win.  The Philistines even captured the “Ark” and put what they thought was the Israelite “god” into the temple of their god, Dagon.  Let me just say it didn’t work out too well for Dagon.  Israel found out that God was big enough to defend Himself.  

Sometimes we carry just a bit too much responsibility in things.  We think that if we don’t come up with that super closing argument, then the person we are sharing the gospel with won’t accept Jesus.  When it comes to dealing with sin in our life, we feel like we have to “white knuckle” it and fight the battle by ourselves.  We get to thinking that when we fail at temptation we just need to “try harder”. 

May I gently remind you that we serve a powerful God.  He is the Creator of the heavens and the earth.  He wants to be involved in our lives.  Sharing the gospel with a friend is important, but don’t forget the power isn’t in you to “convert” anyone.  God has built the power into the gospel message itself (Rom. 1:16).  God certainly wants us to find victory over sin, but He tells us it’s when we learn to walk in the power of the Holy Spirit that we learn how to win the battle (Gal. 5:16). 

Now don’t misunderstand me here.  I’m not saying that we don’t play a part in these things.  When it comes to sharing the gospel, people won’t be able to respond if we don’t tell them.  When it comes to living a life that pleases God, we have a responsibility to obey and act under the influence of the Holy Spirit. 

Just don’t forget where the real power is.  The real power is not in you.  It’s in God.  Take a step back today and make a choice to yield to Him.  Yield to His leading.  Yield to His power.  Then take a step forward to follow Him. 

“Failure Isn’t Final”

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

[Judges 16:21 NIV] 21 Then the Philistines seized him, gouged out his eyes and took him down to Gaza. Binding him with bronze shackles, they set him to grinding grain in the prison.

Samson started off with so much promise. Called by God, empowered by His Spirit! Samson’s story highlights the truth that a perfect God can use imperfect people to fulfill His perfect plan. We see Samson’s temper, lust, and pride; yet God still uses him to defeat the Philistines.

Samson had ruled Israel for 20 years, but he could not rule his heart! What started off as a desire for comfort, companionship, and escape destroyed him. Sin has now blinded, bound and humiliated him. Sin is deceptive like this. It promises to satisfy but how quickly it enslaves.

In the midst of this tragedy there is a lesson in grace, [Judges 16:22 NIV] “But the hair on his head began to grow again after it had been shaved.” When we humble ourselves before God our greatest weakness can still become the place of His greatest triumph! By God’s grace, He uses the consequences of Samson’s sin as a catalyst for his greatest victory! This is the amazing truth that the gospel brings to us. Failure isn’t final! God is able to take our weakness, failure, and tragedy, and use it as a triumph of Grace.

Maybe you have found yourself deceived and broken by sin in your life. Remember His grace is greater than your sin. If we will confess our sin, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sin and cleanse us from all unrighteousness! Like Samson, (vs 28) call out to God today, and let His power turn your tragedy to His triumph!

“Be Boldly Berean – Acts 17”

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

The Berean church is known for one especially important characteristic: a thirst for what is true and desire to verify it. They devoured the Scriptures, they were hungry for Truth and Righteousness. “These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so. 12 Therefore many of them believed, and also not a few of the Greeks, prominent women as well as men.” They did NOT believe everything that they heard but carefully verified what had been taught matched with the Scriptures.

Do as the beloved Berean church did. When you listen, when you read, as you consume News – match it up against the Scriptures and see if it is really true. Dive into the Scriptures FIRST, and then make sure that you consume that which is “true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” Be wise, study the Scriptures, and don’t be overwhelmed with things that aren’t true!!  Sending HUGE hugs.

“Make Yourself Available”

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

The twelve summoned the congregation of disciples and said, “It is not desirable that we should leave the word of God and serve tables. Therefore, brethren, seek out from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business; but we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” …. Then the word of God spread, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith. Acts 6:2-7

The apostles preached and taught the word of God, the church continued to grow and impact their community and it was fulfilling its mission, but this success was at risk. The physical needs of some people were not being met, and some complaints arose among the members. The apostles proposed that the congregation seek men who could oversee serving the tables; and they chose men of good testimony, men who made themselves available to serve. As a result, they were able to continue with their duty to teach and preach the Word and this caused the multiplication of disciples in the church.

Let me ask, would you make yourself available today? When we make ourselves available and share the work of the ministry, we are going to be able to impact our community as a church, because the leaders will be able to focus on the tasks assigned to them.