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PASTOR’S PEN 04-11-2017
EASTER SUNDAY IS THE MOST TRIUMPHANT DAY IN THE YEAR FOR THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH.
IT IS THE DAY THAT WE CELEBRATE THE RESURRECTION OF OUR LORD AND SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST.
THE DAY THAT WE CELEBRATE HIS BODILY RESURRECTION FROM THE GRAVE.
THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS CHRIST BY THE POWER OF GOD IS A FUNDAMENTAL EVENT UPON WHICH THE CHRISTIAN FAITH REST.
THE TRIUMPH OF JESUS CHRIST OVER THE POWER OF DEATH, HELL, AND THE GRAVE VALIDATES THE GOSPEL AND THE DEITY OF JESUS AS THE CHRIST.
EASTER SYMBOLIZES THE BLESSED HOPE IN OUR HEARTS THAT WAS PROMISED BY OUR LORD.
SO EVERY DAY SHOULD BE A DAY IN WHICH TO CELEBRATE THE TRUTH OF THE EMPTY TOMB AND OUR RISEN LORD.
“I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.” Revelation 1:18 (NKJV)
PASTOR’S PEN 01-05-2017 by RC James
WHAT NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS HAVE YOU MADE?
WELL MAY BE YOU HAVE BROKEN SO MANY OF THE NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS YOU MADE IN THE PAST THAT YOU DON’T EVEN BOTHER TO MAKE THEM ANYMORE.
BUT WE MAKE RESOLUTIONS BECAUSE WE WANT TO BRING CHANGE TO BEAR ON OUR CIRCUMSTANCES. WE WANT TO IMPROVE OURSELVES AND OUR QUALITY OF LIFE. THEREFORE MOST OF OUR NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS ARE SOMEWHAT SELF CENTERED.
BUT WHAT WOULD A SET OF NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS LOOK LIKE FOR YOU AND YOUR CHURCH?
WHAT IF THESE RESOLUTIONS CAME FROM THE BIBLE?
WELL HERE ARE JUST A FEW TO GET YOU STARTED ON A LIST OF RESOLUTIONS NOT JUST FOR THIS NEW YEAR BUT FOR A LIFE TIME.
1- PRAY MORE.
2- READ THE BIBLE DAILY
3- FORSAKE ANY AND ALL SINFUL HABITS AND ACTIONS.
4- PUT YOUR SPIRITUAL GIFTS TO WORK.
5- BECOME MORE EVANGELISTIC.
6- BASE ALL OF YOUR DECISIONS ON BIBLICAL PRINCIPLES.
7- KEEP YOUR FOCUS ON THE LORD JESUS CHRIST.
I AM CONFIDENT THAT IF YOU PRIORITIZE YOU LIFE AROUND THESES AS WELL AS OTHER BIBLICAL PRINCIPLES YOU LIFE WILL TAKE ON NEW MEANING IN THIS YEAR NOT ONLY TO YOU BUT TO THOSE AROUND YOU.
PASTOR’S PEN 09-21-2016 RC James/Pastor
“BROKENNESS AND RECOVERY.”
BROKENNESS AND RECOVERY GO HAND IN HAND.
YOU SEE BEFORE ANY RECOVERY CAN BEGIN A PERSON MUST FIRST REALIZE THEY ARE BROKEN.
NOW WHEN WE SPEAK OF “RECOVERY” WE HAVE A TENDENCY TO THINK ABOUT RECOVERING FROM AN ILLNESS OR FROM A DRUG OR ALCOHOL ADDICTION.
AND RIGHTLY SO BECAUSE THERE IS SO MUCH SICKNESS IN THE WORLD AND WE ARE CONSTANTLY SURROUNDED BY THE TRAGEDIES ARISING FROM DRUG AND ALCOHOL ADDICTION.
BUT SPIRITUAL BROKENNESS IS EVEN MORE WIDESPREAD AND MORE TRAGIC. AND GOD HAS A LOT TO SAY ABOUT “SPIRITUAL BROKENNESS AND RECOVERY” IN HIS WORD.
ISAIAH 57:18 SPEAKS ABOUT THE BROKENNESS OF GOD’S PEOPLE AND HIS DESIRE TO RESTORE THEM.
AND I SUBMIT TO YOU THAT REGARDLESS OF HOW BROKEN OUR LIVES OR THIS NATION MAY BE GOD WANTS TO HEAL AND RESTORE US.
YES, IT IS GOD’S DESIRE TO HEAL OUR BROKENNESS AND RESTORE US.
BUT WE MUST RECOGNIZE THAT WE ARE BROKEN AND THEN CONFESS IT TO GOD ASKING HIM TO RESTORE US.
WE MUST CARRY IT TO THE LORD IN PRAYER.
“I have seen his ways, and will heal him; I will also lead him, And restore comforts to him And to his mourners.” Isaiah 57:18 (NKJV)
NOW THE SETTING WE HAVE HERE IS ONE THAT WE SEE OVER AND OVER AGAIN IN SCRIPTURE AS WELL AS ONE THAT WE EXPERIENCE IN OUR OWN TIMES.
GOD’S PEOPLE HAD TURNED AWAY FROM FOLLOWING HIM AND SOUGHT TO GO THEIR OWN WAY IN FOLLOWING AFTER THE PEOPLE THAT SURROUNDED THEM AND THE GODS OF THIS WORLD.
MAN THAT SURE SOUNDS A LOT LIKE WHERE WE ARE TODAY.
FOLLOWING AFTER THE WORLDLY PEOPLE AROUND US AND WORSHIPPING OTHER GODS RATHER THAN THE ONE TRUE LIVING HOLY GOD.
IN THE FIRST 39 CHAPTERS OF ISAIAH GOD DENOUNCES THE SINS OF HIS PEOPLE AND CALLS FOR THEIR RETURN TO FOLLOWING AFTER HIM.
AND FROM CHAPTER 40 ON THROUGH THE REST OF THE BOOK WE FIND GOD DESIRING TO HEAL, RECOVER, AND RESTORE HIS PEOPLE FROM THEIR BROKENNESS.
NOW I SUBMIT TO YOU TODAY THAT EVEN IN THE WICKED FALLEN STATE THAT THIS WORLD IS IN GOD STILL WANTS TO HEAL, RECOVER, AND RESTORE US FROM OUR BROKENNESS.
AND I WANT US TO TAKE TO HEART THE FACT THAT:
1- NOTHING IS TOO HARD FOR THE LORD
2- NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE WITH THE LORD
3- NOTHING IS EVER SO BROKEN THAT THE LORD CANNOT HEAL
THESE VERSES OF SCRIPTURE DEAL WITH OUR SITUATION, OUR BROKENNESS AND ALSO GOD’S DESIRE TO HEAL US AND RESTORE US FROM ANY BLOW OF LIFE, FROM ANY ADDICTION, FROM ANY PROBLEM THAT WE HAVE OR ANY PROBLEM WE MAY ENCOUNTER.
HEALING, RESTORATION, AND RECOVERY IS WHAT GOD IS SPEAKING ABOUT IN THE VERSES FROM ISAIAH.
NOW WE COULD GO BACK AND READ ABOUT ALL OF THE THINGS THAT WERE WRONG IN THE HEARTS AND LIVES OF THE PEOPLE IN THE DAY OF ISAIAH.
BUT I WANT US TO THINK ABOUT OUR HURTS AND OUR SORROWS. ABOUT WHAT IS WRONG, OUT OF SINK, AND AMISS IN OUR LIVES.
AND LIKE GOD WAS WILLING TO HEAL, RECOVER, AND RESTORE THE PEOPLE OF ISAIAH’S DAY EVEN KNOWING WHAT THEY HAD DONE HE STANDS READ TO DO THE SAME FOR ALL OF US TODAY.
LOOK WITH ME NOW AT VERSE 18 AND OUR FIRST POINT:
Isaiah 57:18 (NKJV)  I have seen his ways, and will heal him; I will also lead him, And restore comforts to him And to his mourners.
PASTOR’S PEN 06-30-2016
ONE OF THE FORGOTTEN, IF NOT DISMISSED, TRUTHS FROM GOD’S WORD IS THAT THIS WORLD IS ON A COLLISION COURSE WITH GOD.
WHILE IT IS TRUE THAT GOD IS A GOD OF LOVE, GRACE, AND MERCY, WE MUST CONTINUE TO REMIND PEOPLE THAT GOD IS ALSO A GOD OF JUSTICE AND JUDGMENT.
AS THE CHURCH WE MUST CONTINUE TO REMIND THOSE AROUND US THAT “THE DAY OF THE LORD” IS COMING.
IN VIEW OF ALL THE TERRIBLE AND HORRIFIC THINGS THAT WE SEE HAPPENING THE WORLD OVER DAY AFTER DAY IT IS EASY TO GET THE IDEA THAT THE FORCES OF EVIL HAVE THE UPPER HAND.
BUT THAT IS NOT THE CASE AT ALL — GOD IS STILL IN CONTROL. AND EVEN THOUGH MANY BAD THINGS ARE HAPPENING GOD STILL RULES.
BUT THE DAY IS COMING WHEN GOD WILL JUDGE AND DESTROY ALL SIN AND EVIL.
THE STORY OF THE END TIME EVENTS SERVE TO REMIND US THAT A GREAT DAY IS COMING WHEN EVIL (I.E. SIN, SELFISHNESS, SELF-ECONOMY, PERSECUTION OF THE SAINTS AND MORE) WILL BE DEALT WITH BY JEHOVAH GOD SO “THE DAY OF THE LORD” SERVES AS BOTH AN ENCOURAGEMENT FOR THE CHILDREN OF GOD WHO WALK WITH AND LIVE FOR GOD AND IT SERVES AS A WARNING FOR THOSE WHO REJECT OR RENOUNCE GOD.
SO LET’S BE SURE THAT WE CONTINUE TO PREACH AND TEACH NOT ONLY THE LOVE, MERCY, AND GRACE OF GOD BUT ALSO THAT HE IS A GOD OF JUSTICE AND JUDGMENT.
“Blow the trumpet in Zion, And sound an alarm in My holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble; For the day of the LORD is coming, For it is at hand:” Joel 2:1 (NKJV)
NOTES FOR PASTOR’S PEN [02-20-15]
MUCH OF JESUS’ TEACHING HAD TO DO WITH KINGDOM LIVING. THE WAY WE ARE TO LIVE IN THIS WORLD AS THE “CHILDREN OF GOD.”ONCE WE HAVE BEEN BORN INTO THE FAMILY OF GOD THROUGH FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST WE ARE CHANGED PEOPLE.
WE ARE CHANGED IN THE FACT THAT THE HOLY SPIRIT OF GOD HAS COME INTO OUR HEARTS TO LIVE AND REIGN FOREVER.WE ARE CHANGED IN THE FACT THAT THE HOLY SPIRIT BEGINS TO CHANGE US FROM THE INSIDE OUT REDIRECTING OUR PRIORITIES.
WE ARE CHANGED IN THE FACT THAT NO LONGER ARE WE TO LIVE FOR OURSELVES BUT FOR CHRIST.WE ARE CHANGED IN THE FACT THAT WE ARE NO LONG THE SAME OLD PERSON BUT IN CHRIST WE ARE NEW CREATIONS.WE ARE RADICALLY CHANGED NOT BECAUSE OF OURSELVES BUT BECAUSE OF CHRIST WHO LIVES IN US.
HOWEVER; EVEN AFTER THIS GREAT CHANGE WE CONTINUE TO DO SOME OF THE SAME OLD THINGS WE DID IN THE PAST; WE CONTINUE TO HAVE SOME OF THE SAME OLD DESIRES WE HAD IN THE PAST; AND WE OFTEN TIMES HAVE SOME OF THE SAME OLD THOUGHTS WE USE TO THINK. THIS IS SOMETHING THAT FOR THE MOST PART IS MISUNDERSTOOD BY MANY PEOPLE INCLUDING MANY OF THE CHILDREN OF GOD. IT IS SEEN AS INCOMPATIBLE WITH BEING A CHRISTIAN AND HYPOCRITICAL.
YOU SEE SOMEHOW WE SEEM TO THINK THAT WHEN WE ARE BORN AGAIN THAT GOD AUTOMATICALLY CHANGES EVERYTHING ABOUT US IN THAT VERY INSTANCE. BUT THAT IS NOT THE CASE AT ALL. AT THE MOMENT OF CONVERSION WE ARE FORGIVEN AND SAVED FOREVER.AT CONVERSION THE HOLY SPIRIT COMES TO LIVE IN OUR HEARTS FOREVER.AT THE MOMENT OF CONVERSION GOD GIVES US ALL THAT IS NECESSARY FOR US TO BECOME ALL HE WOULD HAVE US TO BE IN CHRIST.BUT EVEN THOUGH EVERYTHING IS THERE TO MAKE US ALL GOD WOULD HAVE US TO BE;
AT THE TIME OF CONVERSION WE ARE STILL FAR FROM WHAT GOD WOULD HAVE US TO BE.FORGIVEN? OH YES. —
SAVED? OH YES. — CHANGED IN MANY WAYS? OH YES. “MATURE IN CHRIST? OH NO.”SO THROUGHOUT THE BIBLE THE REDEEMED CHILDREN OF GOD ARE CONSTANTLY ADMONISHED TO “GROW IN GRACE IN THE LORD” AND “TO MATURE IN CHRIST-LIKENESS.”
“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and SaviorJesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever.”
1 Peter 3:18
The Apostle John wrote in 1 John 4:7-8,
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.”
I was reminded a couple of weeks ago in Haiti of just how much I am loved by God. Through the kind acts of my Haitian brothers and sisters as well as through the love that was felt from my new found Christian friends from Dublin, GA; God’s love was revealed in my life. All of this reminded me to live my life like I am loved, because I am. Christians, the world desperately needs to see and feel the love of Christ.
Be intentional today to show the love of God to someone. After all….”love is of God.” So live like you are loved!
By Vance Colley
The Way, the Truth and The Way
“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.’”
Years ago I was traveling through Atlanta with my family during rush hour traffic, and I found myself in six lanes of traffic, running close to 80 mph, with my exit coming up fast. The only problem was, I was hung up in the flow of traffic going to a place that I did not want to go, and I missed my exit. It is not that I did not know where I was supposed to be going, all though my wife would tell you differently, I simply could not figure out how to cross three lanes of traffic to get to my exit. I knew where I needed to be, but I got caught up in the flow.
We read in the Gospel of John chapter fourteen verse six, that Thomas had a similar problem. Jesus was informing the disciples that He must go away. He was going to prepare a place for them, so that, “where He was, there they could be also.” Thomas, being the doubter that he was, was trying to figure out how this was going to be possible. Thomas said, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?” And then Jesus gave Him some great news, news that would change Thomas’ life forever. He said to him, “Thomas, I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
Looking back at my interstate experience in Atlanta, I would have to admit that a Toyota Corolla, with a four cylinder engine screaming like a Siamese cat hung in vacuum cleaner, was somewhat exhilarating. Did I feel like Mario Andretti? Yes! But as much fun as it was, it was carrying me further and further from my destination. Jesus died on the cross for everyone’s sins, so that through faith in Him, we could be saved. His desire is that everyone’s eternal destination will be heaven, but it is a choice we all have to make. So the question is this…..where are you heading? If you stay on the road that you are on, what will be your destination?
Maybe you need to pull over and reassess your travel plans. In case you did not know, God allows U-turns.