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Pastor's Point - June 2024

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Dear Church Family,

Recently I have been considering the importance of peace in one’s life. There are so many things in this world that will try to rob you of living in peace. For those who trust Christ, we have no reason we cannot live in the spiritual realities of having “peace with God” which enables us to live in the “peace of God.” But we must live the reality of those truths in our daily lives. If you are anything like me, I struggle to faithfully live in the reality of the peace that I have provided by my Savior. Recently I preached on the Good Shepherd found in John 10. It was so helpful to me to consider my Savior as the Good Shepherd who knows me and cares for me, despite my struggles, worries, fears, and failures.

Psalm 23 is so personal and so encouraging to consider as we live our daily lives. Charles Spurgeon once said… “We have all things and abound; not because I have a good store of money in the bank, not because I have skill and wit with which to win my bread, but because the Lord is my shepherd.”

It is our Good Shepherd who we are to depend, and trust upon. He leads us His sheep, and we are to simply follow. We all know that this is the wise choice in our lives. But then we find ourselves looking at life with all its unknowns and fears and we start looking at our circumstances instead of our Good Shepherd. And if I am honest that is not only unwise, but also immature on my part. As we are informed by scripture, we of course should heed its truth and walk in it in our lives. We can understand that, but the reality is that we do not always do that. We know we have a Good Shepherd, but we allow our thoughts and feelings to get away from us and we find ourselves not following Him. I pray to continue to grow in my faith so that my thoughts and feelings are informed and led by my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd. I came across this extended quote by R.C. Sproul that I found helpful as we consider living in spiritual maturity as we follow our Savior:

“Maturity is, in large part, that process by which we grow in our ability not just to have our feelings match our thoughts, but to have both match reality. We do not allow our feelings to run amok, to seize the reins, to paint our reality. Instead, we instruct our wayward feelings with the truths of God’s Word. When I am afraid, I will call myself to trust in Him. I will recall to mind the innumerable deliverances by which He has rescued me and those who have gone before me. I will meditate on His promise that He loves me, that He will never leave me nor forsake me. I will sing of His grace flowing out of the side of my Redeemer. I will hide in the shadow of the wings of these truths - He is able, and He is for me.

Maturity, however, isn’t something I always have. It is something I work toward, something I mature into. It’s a process, not a destination. The fiery darts of the serpent come at us from all directions. Economic uncertainty, health scares, power grabs, relational strains, devious plots, besetting sins. To enter the fray, first I must be girded with the belt of truth. I must guard my heart with the breastplate of the righteousness of Christ. Then I will walk into the valley, into the darkness, into the battle, my feet shod in the gospel of peace. Then I will follow in His steps, for the Sower leads us.”

And I would add that meditating on the truths of Psalm 23 about my relationship with my Good Shepherd helps me to live in a way where my feelings and thoughts match the reality of my life as I follow Him every step of the way.

I love you and I love being your pastor!

Posted by Alan Scott with

Family Ministry Moments - June 2024

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Discipleship is an important topic, especially in conjunction with raising our children. Recently we finished our AWANA year on May 15th.  AWANA is our children’s discipleship program where we teach children the Word of God.  It is a great program, but it has its limitations.  AWANA is only successful if the church and parents take the mandate to disciple children seriously. Discipleship only happens when loving parents and caring adults teach God’s Word to children so their lives can be changed by it.  As parents, and as a church, we must make discipleship a priority. I recently read a Family Life article and thought I would share some of the insights from it (https://www.familylife.com/articles/topics/parenting/foundations/spiritual-development/4-reasons-you-should-intentionally-disciple-your-children/).

4 Reasons We Should Prioritize Discipleship in Our Homes and Church?

1. We are Commanded to Disciple Our Children
There is no better example of this than in Mark 10. People were bringing their children to Jesus and the disciples thought it was a waste of Jesus' time, but He rebuked them and said, “Let the children come to me.” (Mark 10:14-15) Discipleship helps provide an avenue for children to experience Jesus.  We are helping to bring the children to Jesus when we show them God’s Word and we share the gospel with them. Paul takes it one step further in Ephesians 6:4, “...bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” We are commanded to bring our children up in the instruction of the Lord.  Where will they learn it if not from us?  We must be vigilant in teaching them the truth from God’s Word.

2. Your Child will be Discipled by Someone
The reality is someone will disciple your child.  It will either be by you or the world. Culture backed by Satan has no qualms about teaching your children to think and do what they deem as right. Much of what the world wants to teach your child is contrary to God’s Word, especially in the moral arena. We must realize that our children are vessels that will be filled with something.  As a Christian, I want to fill my children with God’s Word. We must take this call seriously.  At our church we use AWANA, it is a tool to help aid in discipleship. The system or program doesn’t really matter so long as it points to God’s Word and seeks to instill that Word in the children. Considering the way the world is going they will need it; there is no sign of our culture letting up any time soon.  However, discipleship is not just for our children, we need it as well.

3. You Need to Grow in Your Faith as Well
Discipleship is not easy.  When my son and I sit down and do the weekly AWANA study together, sometimes he doesn’t want to do it, and sometimes neither do I, but we do it and through that process we both grow. Discipleship can be mundane sometimes, just like working out.  You don’t go to the gym because you see immediate results but over time you build muscle and get stronger.  The same is true in your faith. Sometimes it seems like nothing is happening, but if you persevere and keep trusting the Lord you will grow in your faith. This is true for our children, but it is also true for us – we adults need to grow in our faith as well.  If we commit ourselves to learning and implementing God’s Word in our lives, we will all grow. This is the only way to grow, and it is the only way to fulfill the Great Commission.

4. We Need True Christ Followers to Fulfill the Great Commission
In Matthew 28:18-20 Jesus gave His followers their mission.  They are to go all over the world and make disciples. We need families and churches to rally around this calling.  We need to be making disciples and it starts with our families. Remember this world is not getting any better, we need people who will stand up for the truth of God’s Word in every facet of life. We need Christians in every job, every place, and every country committed to the Great Commission. Children are meant to be trained up in the Lord and shot into the world to make an impact for the Kingdom (Psalm 127:3-4).  This is our calling as parents and as a church; to raise our children in the Lord to make disciples so they can make a difference in this world.

Posted by Bryan Gotcher with

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