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Pastor's Points - January

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Dear Church Family,

I am so thankful to God for allowing us to be together this past Sunday as we considered God’s leading for our church!  I believe with my whole heart that God is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us!! (Ephesians 3:20).  But we must believe and be people of faith. You see belief and faith are interwoven for followers of Jesus.  They go together and you cannot separate the two.  The act of walking by faith and not by sight is a demonstration of our belief.  In Jon Blooms book, “Not by Sight, A Fresh Look at Old Stories of Walking by Faith” he shares in the forward the following words…

“WHAT DOES JESUS REALLY want from you? So much needs to be said. But boiled down to one sentence it’s this: “Believe in God; believe also in me” (John 14:1). That’s why when the apostle John wrote his gospel, he used some form of the word “believe” eighty-five times in twenty-one chapters. What he remembered Jesus emphasizing in his teaching and preaching was believing. Whether or not you believe in Jesus is the most important issue of your life because “whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him” (John 3:36). You see, “without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him” (Heb. 11:6). But believing in Jesus is very difficult. It’s difficult because “the whole world lies in the power of the evil one” (1 John 5:19), and he works with all his might to blind "the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God” (2 Cor. 4:4). And he is constantly trying to lead believers astray (Matt. 24:24). Because of this, it is crucial that followers of Jesus learn to “walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Cor. 5:7). In other words, we must learn to trust God’s promises more than we trust our perceptions.”

As a church family we have a wonderful opportunity to believe and live by faith as we trust God to lead us forward into the future that He has prepared for us. We must resist the attempts of Satan to get us to go astray.  We must be people who believe and demonstrate that belief by walking by faith and not by sight!!

I do not know all the details along the journey that God has us on, but I know that my God does, and He will be faithful to us as we believe in Him.  Let us just make up our mind to trust the promises of God more than we trust in   ourselves.

Let’s believe and walk by faith and not by sight!!

I love you and I love being your pastor!

 

Posted by Alan Scott with

Spare Change - January

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Typically, I am a person that looks forward.  I try not to look back too much; however, I think it’s a good practice once a year to reflect on the previous year.  Primarily to see what God has taught me in the last 12 months.

This past year for me has been a year of transition.  I traded administrative duties at church for children’s ministry.  That seems like an odd trade, but it has been amazing! I have cherished every minute of it.  I love partnering with parents in their child coming to know and love Jesus. I also relish getting to work with some amazing people in the children’s ministry.  I fully believe we have the best, most loving volunteers. It has been a very fulfilling year of  ministry. I hope to see God continue to do even more in our children’s ministry in 2020.

Amid the transition God has really worked on my heart.  If you don’t know me very well, I can be a little high strung, type A, control freak…you get the idea.  I like things to go a certain way, not just my things but everything! This past year God really worked on my heart in this area.  He taught me through the circumstances of ministry, and life, that I can’t control everything and shouldn’t even try. To make matters worse I usually worry about how things are going to go, playing out scenarios in my mind.  This robs my life of joy. I can’t get peace about anything when I am spending my time fretting. Worry began to consume my life to the point I became convicted about it.

I believe that excessive worry is a faithless act and borders on a sinful behavior.   Worry is, simply put, a lack of trust in the Lord. It all came together for me when I was reading Matthew 6:25-33.  One of the key verses is a rhetorical question that Jesus asks in verse 27. He said, “And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?” The answer, of course, is that you can’t add any time to your life by worrying. In fact, worry doesn’t add anything to your life, rather it is a thief. It wastes time, steals joy, and keeps us from trusting the Lord.  Jesus’ prescription to rid your life of worry is faith! We must learn to trust the Lord instead of worry.

Faithlessness is often a problem for believers.  We know that we should trust God; however, we find it difficult to live out.  I’m not sure if it is because we think we can control every aspect of our life or we just think God doesn’t care, but the reality is both are untrue.  The answer to worry, whatever the reason is the same -- trust the Lord. Paul and Peter give encouragement on this subject.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”   Philippians 4:6-7 “…casting all your anxieties on [Jesus], because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7

Instead of worrying we must look to Jesus for help.  First, we must realize that this type of anguish gets us nothing, rather it causes us harm.  It also is unnecessary when we have a loving Heavenly Father that has a plan. Worry says to God that we don’t trust His plan, instead we have a better one. I am certain that God’s plan is infinitely more superior to ours.  So instead of worrying we need to just trust the Lord. We should work hard, control what we can, live our lives for Him and leave the rest up to Him.

The Lord has given me so much peace this year with this type of thinking.  Of course, I still struggle. This is a battle that will most likely never be over; however, I do know where to go when I am tempted to worry.  I go straight to my loving Savior. I take all my fears and worry and trade them for His peace. I pray you can do the same in 2020!

 

Posted by Bryan Gotcher with

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