“Temple Stones”

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

And the temple, when it was being built, was built with stone finished at the quarry, so that no hammer or chisel or any iron tool was heard in the temple while it was being built. (1 Kings 6:7)
What is a temple? A temple is where a “god” dwells. Zeus had his temple. So did Apollo. Yahweh, the One True God, also has His temple. Solomon was the one who built that first temple.
Does God have a temple today? Of course He does. You may be aware that the Bible tells us that our physical bodies are “temples”. That’s because the Holy Spirit dwells in us (1Cor. 6:19). Did you know that when we as a church are gathered together, that we too are a “temple”? That’s what Paul meant when he wrote to the Corinthians in the third chapter (1Cor. 3:16). Peter tells us that we are “living stones” being built into a temple (1Pe. 2:5).
I think we can learn something by the way that Solomon built his temple. The foundation and structure of the temple were built out of large, costly stones (1Ki. 5:17). These stones were cut and finished away from the site of the eventual temple. It’s only after these stones where shaped that they were assembled into a temple.
What’s my point? The weightiest and strongest parts of that spiritual “you” are not what’s made in public where others see you as we gather as a church. The best parts are made by what you fashion while away from watching eyes. Are you investing time daily with God in secret? Make sure your highest priority is your quiet time with God. That’s how the best temples are built.

“Restraint or Retaliation”

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

[2Sa 16:12 NKJV] 12 “It may be that the LORD will look on my affliction, and that the LORD will repay me with good for his cursing this day.”

For four verses the bible speaks about the curses Shimei calls down on David. David is in a vulnerable place, on the run, and publicly humiliated by his son Absalom’s attempt to take his throne. Abishai one of David’s most loyal and fierce commanders offers to take off Shimei’s head. In this story of David’s restraint and grace I see three things that help us choose restraint over retaliation.


First vs.11 David asks the question, what if the “Lord has ordered him,” to rebuke David. This posture of humility comes from David’s awareness of his own sinful nature. Jesus would teach his disciples (Matt 7:5) to “take the plank” out of their own eye first. As hard as it is, we must be willing to ask the question is there something God is showing me in this?


Second vs.12 tells us that David had faith that by choosing Grace God might use it for good someday. Having experienced God’s mercy in his own life David is conscious that his response mattered to God. Jesus tells a story in Matt 18:21-35 highlighting the importance that we are called to forgive because we have been forgiven.


Three chapters later In Ch 19, Absalom is dead, and those who betrayed the king would have expected the same fate. David receives the apology of Shimea and rejects the advice to kill this man who cursed him. Little did David know how these acts of grace would one day save the nation. The book of Esther tells the story of how God saved his people from annihilation. God uses Esther & Mordecai in powerful way.

In Esther ch 2:5 when the genealogy of Mordecai is given, we learn that he is a descendant of Shimei, the Benjaminite. David had no way of knowing that his choice to walk in grace would result generations later in the saving of all of his people. In a culture that is filled with revenge and retaliation may we like David choose restraint. May we be willing to look at the “plank in our own eye”, that God wants to honor a gracious response, and that someday in the future seeds of grace may produce an unexpected harvest.

“God is good, we will taste and see…”

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

The Psalms remind us of the BIG truths that we can orient our entire lives around. In the hustle and bustle of busyness, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that God is for us and that God is good.

Psalms 34 “The angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him and delivers them. Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him! Oh, fear the Lord, you His saints! There is no want to those who fear Him.”

In the pain of loss, we know that Jesus encamps around us. When we are surrounded on every side, we can be certain that God will deliver us. We get to taste and see His goodness-He promises that He is with us. We get to be blessed when we trust in Him. We get to see the goodness of the Lord God in the land of the living! Keep holding on to Him and His promises. You will not be disappointed.

Sending HUGE hugs,

Pastor Daniel Grant

“Listening to the Voice of God”

This week’s Pastor to Person is 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, how he ambushed him on the way when he came up from Egypt. Now go and attack Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and do not spare them. 1Samuel 15
Samuel makes it clear for Saul, God the one who chose you as king is giving you these instructions, 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 fear the people and obeyed their voice.
Saul was in the obligation to listen to God’s voice, not to anybody else. When Saul decided to ignore God’s voice, he sinned against him. God had rejected Saul for ignoring his voice and preferred to listen the voices of other people. Saul will not hear God’s voice anymore because God will not speak to him again. How many times God speak to us and we choose to ignore his voice and prefer to listen to other 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 at to him.

“Speak Lord”

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

Now the Lord came and stood and called as at other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel answered, “Speak, for Your servant hears.” (1 Samuel 3:10)
It came in a day when people were not hearing things from God. Those in spiritual leadership were abusing their positions, and there was really no one willing to hear from God. So God began calling the name of a small three year old boy named Samuel. Samuel was confused the first time he heard God’s voice, but with some instruction from Eli, Samuel learned how to respond.
Samuel’s response had three elements to it. He started with a reply that acknowledged that God was trying to get his attention. He replied with the simple word “Speak”. It’s a little like cell phone call when there’s a bad connection. Once you get a good connection you let the other person know they can go ahead and talk.
Secondly, Samuel’s response contained humility and submission to God. He let God know that he, Samuel, was just a servant. Samuel wasn’t in charge, God was in charge. Samuel was willing to yield to God’s direction.
Thirdly, Samuel responded that he wasn’t just yielded, he was listening. Suppose you finally get that cell phone call connected, and then you end up doing all the talking. Samuel was ready to listen.
Is God tugging on your heart? Do you recognize His ring tone? Ask God to speak to you. Yield your heart to Him. Be ready to listen to all He has to say.

“Power of a Promise”

This weeks Pastor to Person was written by Pastor Caleb Beller.

[Act 23:11 NIV] 11 The following night the Lord stood near Paul and said, “Take courage! As you have testified about me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome.”
This verse sets off a nearly 3-year adventure of one the most harrowing and challenging seasons of Paul’s ministry. It all starts with a promise. “You must also testify in Rome.”
Amazing how quickly we see the promise tested! Verse 13 tells us that more than 40 men had taken an oath to assassinate Paul. These men plotted an elaborate attempt kill Paul and extinguish the promise God had given.
Do you ever feel like there are forces working against the promise of God on your life? No matter how overwhelming, cunning, or determined Paul’s enemies were; they were no match for the power of promise of God.
As the rest of the chapters will reveal Paul will be tried, imprisoned, shipwrecked and snakebit all seemingly to delay or destroy the promise of God. Chapter 28 records the fulfillment of the promise as Paul finally arrives in Rome. Two things we can take away from this promise for today. 1. God is faithful to complete what He promises. Nothing the enemy tries can stop what God has declared He will do. 2. Just because God has given you a promise doesn’t mean it will be easy, fast, or fun but it will be fulfilling. Each delay and difficulty resulted in an opportunity for God to work in and through Paul’s life.
Are you frustrated because a promise isn’t happening when or how you though it might? You can trust in the promise because you can trust the promise giver. Take inventory of the promises you have been given in the gospel today. He who began a good work in you is faithful to complete it!

“Last Admonition: Don’t Turn Left or Right”

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

Joshua was an old man by the time the Israelites were established in the land that God had promised them. He had military victory everywhere he went, God was with him.At age 110 he had this to say to Israel:Josh 23:6 “Therefore be very courageous to keep and to do all that is written in the Book of the Law of Moses, lest you turn aside from it to the right hand or to the left,”This is one of the very last things he will instruct them to do: Keep obeying God’s word. He commands them to be courageous, to take a stand and take the land. He uses the phrase lest you ‘turn to the left of the right.’He recognized that our human nature naturally veers off course, but thatGod’s word and his command will keep us on track.Just like a compass that points North, keep reading the words of God, keep obeying the commands that you may have the life that God desires for you.Beloved, courageously obey God’s word, and know that we are standing with you!!

Sending hugs,

Daniel

Keeping Our Promises

This weeks Pastor to Person is written by Pastor Franklin Garcia.

Joshua 9:1-27

The Israelites made a treaty without consulting God, and it turned out to be a bad one. The people of Israel wanted to go back on their decision, but they made a treaty in the name of the Lord. They want to undo the treaty, but the leaders say, “we can’t do that.  If we go back on our word, then God’s wrath will be on us.  If we want any claim on his mercy and grace, we must stay true to our promise.”

Maybe you made a decision without consulting God, maybe you took a new job and promised the company that you’d stay with it for a certain length of time, maybe you formally signed a business contract, maybe you said your marriage vows “before God and witnesses,” then in order for God’s mercy and grace to continue in your life, you must stay true to your promise. You cannot go back on your word, even if the decision was a wrong one. 

Wonderfully, as you keep your word, as you stay true to your promise, God’s mercy and grace will still work to bring good to your life.  If you are faithful to your word, the God who loves you will use that difficult situation to bring you even closer to him.  Even though it may have been a wrong decision, as you honor God and keep his name supreme, he’ll find a way to protect you in that situation and draw you even closer to him.

Praise

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

—we hear them speaking in our own tongues the wonderful works of God.” (Acts 2:11)
It was the Day of Pentecost and the Holy Spirit had come upon the disciples. Miraculously and unexpected they all began to speak in tongues. What were they saying, each in a language they had not learned? The foreign pilgrims gathered in Jerusalem for the feast all heard them giving praise to God in their own languages.
I think I have been unusually blessed to have been a part of many wonderful times of worship to God. Singing with 50,000 other people at Angel Stadium (“How great is Our God…”). Chapel services in seminary singing at the top of my lungs with 800 other men who had come to learn and serve God (“O For A Thousand Tongues to Sing…”). A conference at Twin Peaks with 300 other Calvary Pastors (“We Exalt Thee”). Last Sunday in a Junior High School gymnasium (“Isn’t The Name”). Or a small group Bible Study in the living room of our condo (“Tenderly He Touches Me”). Each of those experiences had something in common with that Day of Pentecost. The Holy Spirit filled us and we gave honor to our great God.
Today, will you take time to yield to the Holy Spirit and respond in praise to our amazing King? Let me end with a few more words from Charles Wesley (1739) – “Jesus! The name that charms our fears, that bids our sorrows cease, ‘tis music in the sinner’s ears, ‘tis life and health and peace.”

“Jesus is Praying for You.”

This weeks Pastor to Person was written by Pastor Caleb Beller.

[Jhn 17:20 NIV] 20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message,
Jesus’ prayer here in John 17, is one of the great treasures of scripture. Jesus would soon be betrayed, falsely accused, beaten and ultimately crucified. Yet with the weight of all this pending who does He pray for?
Nearly 60% of this prayer Jesus prays for His disciples, and almost 25% of His prayer is for you and me! How amazing is it that 2,000 years ago, as Jesus was preparing for the cross, we were on His heart! Jesus emphasizes two things for us who, “believe in Jesus, through the disciples’ message.”
The first in unity. Four times Jesus is going to refer to “oneness” or “unity.” The idea is that we are no longer a fractured piece of broken humanity, but that we are now whole in Christ. The image-of-God fully restored through the work of Jesus and the Spirit in us! Jesus says that this unity will reflect His love to the world.
Secondly Jesus expresses His desire for us to one day be with Him. To see Jesus as He truly is and to experience the glory of Heaven.
Let us His prayer fill your heart and mind today! May the unity of Christ in you and you in Him unleash an even greater revelation of His love. May the hope of heaven fill you with excitement and motivate you to share His love with the world around you!

-Caleb