Pastor’s Pen

Denying Self Remains Our Call Even During a Pandemic

Hey Church family: Living in these chaotic times can lead to lives that are obsessed with self and survival. Generally, in the USA we are obsessed with surviving and yet Jesus still calls us to “deny ourselves, take up your cross and follow Me (Luke 9:23).” Does Jesus’ command for us to deny ourselves, take up our cross daily and follow Him still pertain to times of world hardships and pandemic? Absolutely! Jesus gave His Apostles this command during the last year of His life on the way to the cross, while also knowing that the Apostles live’s would be required of them in the years to come. During these times of hardships and crisis is when Jesus’ call to live out self-denial is most needed. Whether you have quarantined yourself or not, as believers we stand called by Christ to deny ourselves, take our cross daily and follow Him. Sometimes denying self looks like being quarantined and sometimes it looks like not being quarantined. Both choices can be a denial of self. A pandemic does not release us from Christ’s imperative on us to work out our own self-denial.

Read more...

Have you noticed? Can you see it?

Church: If you find yourself besieged and maybe overwhelmed by COVID19 and its affects on people, governmental systems, the world economy and human institutions take a moment and be encouraged by enjoying God in His creation. Remember, God has given us His amazing creation to remind us of who He is and that He is in caring control.
 
Have you noticed the pink azaleas blooming? Have you noticed the red camellia buds? Have you noticed the grass greening? Have you noticed the yellow pollen falling? Have you noticed the powerful osprey’s arrival? Have you noticed the orange sunrises? Have you noticed the lengthening of the days? Have you noticed the live oak dropping its leaves and budding? Have you noticed the squirrel happily digging up the winter’s left over supply of acorns? Have you noticed the pink sunsets? Have you noticed the yellow daffodils? Have you noticed the dogwood blooms? Have you noticed the marsh grass starting to green? Have you noticed the wood ducks flying north? Have you noticed the bright moon running through its phases? Have you noticed Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, or Saturn in the night or morning darkness?

Read more...

None of this is meaningless!

Happy Friday Church Family: Well, things have escalated pretty quickly in the USA including our small, somewhat rural Pender County. As believers, we have the opportunity to live in fear and panic or to engage our faith that has been given to us by the King of this Kingdom, Jesus Christ. Recall the last several weeks as we have exposited Luke 7-8. Jesus shows us that He is the God over winds, evil spirits, blindness, sickness, plagues and death. Jesus is the same today as He was back in the New Testament times (Hebrews 13:8) when He was showing His Kingship over all creation including disease. So, Jesus has dominion over COVID-19 and He chooses not to restrain it… yet. Can your mind allow your faith to accept the fact that Jesus can stop this pandemic but chooses not to do so as of today?

Read more...

Do not fear; Only believe!

Wonderful Church: Here is some great news. Jesus heals. Jesus healed one person after another during the New Testament times. Jesus healed “many people of many diseases, and plagues and evil spirits and He bestowed sight to the blind” (Luke 7:21). Jesus was all about healing people. In Luke 8:40-56, we see Jesus heal a woman who had a twelve year old uterine hemorrhage. She had lived the last twelve years of her life isolated and defiled while dealing with a constant flow of blood coming from her body. In this scripture Jesus also healed a twelve year old little girl who had just passed away from a sickness. Jesus healed one person after another in His daily life walking this earth. Is that now over? Was all the healing that Jesus did just for the New Testament days?

Read more...

Why Demons… today? For God’s greatness to be seen more clearly everyday

Hey Church family: You know the story in Luke 8, about the man with the demon problem? Have you ever thought, why did the demons even exist for the man to have the demon problem? I think most of us would agree that Satan and his demons exist. They are real. They fight against God and His purposes. They are murderers, liars, and thieves as scripture tells us. Throughout scripture Satan and his helper demons tempt, separate, and isolate people for future destruction.
 
And yes, it is true God could take out at this very moment every demon that exists and their leader Satan with just a breath but He chooses not at this time. God is all-powerful and Satan is not. Satan is a created being and God is not. God made Satan and his demons and God can destroy them. The reason we know He could destroy Satan and his demons is because we know He will and when He does He will throw them in the lake of fire (Matthew 25:41).

Read more...

Having Faith vs. Engaging Faith

Hello Church Family:
Do you ever struggle with thoughts and feelings that this world is way too big, dark and dangerous and crazy out of control and that you are all alone to navigate all this mess that you cannot do anything about? Wow, just writing that sentence makes me anxious. That kind of thinking grows a root of unbelief that digs down deep into our heart and robs us of all other spiritual nourishment that Jesus Christ has for us. Our happy God wants us as believers to also be happy! We worship a God of hope who wants to fill us with all joy and peace in believing, so that by submitting to His power through the Holy Spirit we may abound in Hope (Romans 15:13). The only way that we can live happy lives is by engaging our faith in Jesus Christ as the Lord of all creation, believing that in Him “all things hold together” (Colossians 1:16-17). “All things” includes everything that may be bringing you panic, desperation, fear and anxiety. There is a difference in having faith and engaging that faith.

Read more...