Pastor’s Pen

Moving Forward in the Lord’s Provision – (our last Sunday at LST)

Good Morning GCT:  Last Sunday night we as a church came together for a time of concerted prayer concerning salvations, physical healings and for us as a body of Christ moving forward in 2019.  Since that time of prayer there have been several reports of great recovery of several who have been sick and in great pain.  Also, the Lord has given opportunities for conversation and relationship building with those in our lives that we love and desire for our Lord to give faith and salvation.  Finally, there has been a response from Allen Wooten for us to move forward occupying the 210 building.  So, let us pause and thank the Lord for Him being our loving Heavenly Father who loves to hear our prayers and loves for us to trust Him as He directs us down a path of faith that calls us to trust, trust, trust!  The foundation of this agreement with Allen Wooten is faith and trust in the Lord.  There are still many unknowns as to what the impact of the NCDOT will be and how that will impact the final purchasing contract.  


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Mercy!

Mercy!  As we continue on in Luke we get to the second song of the Nativity.  The second song was sung by Zechariah after his tongue was loosed from nine months of silence.  And what came out of the mouth of a man who was suffering in nine months of silence?  Praise and blessing to God.  Zechariah reminds us of the great mercy of God through his song.  We cannot dwell too much on the mercy of God.  To fully understand the tenderness of God’s mercy we must first look at the hopelessness of our situation that we were in as sinners.  We cannot come to an end of God’s mercy.  God is good and his goodness is perfect towards sinners in our misery, weakness and rebellion.  That goodness from God given to us as sinners comes forth in the powerful force of mercy.  Mercy forgives.  Mercy is gentle.  Mercy is kind.  Mercy covers all!  Mercy covers even that unspeakable shame that you really do not want to mention to your closest friend.  God has shown mercy and His name is JESUS!
 

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Does Your Soul Desire to Magnify the Lord?

As we move into another year as the GCT body of Christ we continue with the life-changing story of the nativity in Luke this Sunday. As you look at the nativity in Luke you see that Luke includes the four nativity songs sung by Mary, Zechariah, the angels, and Simeon. Only Luke writes about these four songs of worship. These are the first Christian hymns ever written. They are hymns of praise filled with joy and wonder of what God has done, is doing and will do.
 
So, why does Luke include these songs? My first thought is that God loves songs of praise being sung to Him. As we see throughout Scripture the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. Our Lord loves it when we sing praises to Him. This week we will be looking at thirteen year old Mary and how she gives us the perfect example of how to come before the Lord in worship. Like Mary, singing praises to the Lord must be our natural response to the gospel. What God has done in Christ demands praise! It is not simply enough to say what God has done for us. What He has done for us needs to be sung out of the fullness of our heart and soul as Mary did. The Gospel should produce a melody in our heart to sing to the Lord in gratitude. God commands us over fifty times in Scripture to sing praises to Him. Do you have a song of praise on your heart right now? Do you see your need for a Savior? Do you see His endless blessings in your life?
 
Here is a crazy thought. Jesus sang praises while on Earth. Think about that. Jesus sang praises. The night before His crucifixion he worshiped with His disciples through song. And Hebrews 2:12, tells us that even now He is singing about us before the heavenly congregation because He is our brother. What an amazing thought to ponder. Our Savior and Lord is singing praises over us because He is our brother. That makes me want to sing praises with great magnifying power as Mary did in Luke 1:46-47, My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior…
 
GCT, do you have the same desire to sing praises as Jesus does right now? When you sing are you singing with only an open mouth? Or are you singing like Mary with a soul that magnifies the Lord along with your spirit rejoicing in God your Savior? Let us be a people who worship with heart wholly excited to express praise to God who has saved us to the uttermost. Let us come to worship this Sunday and every Sunday with soul and heart desiring to magnify the Lord with our Spirit rejoicing in God as our Savior. I really look forward to worshiping with on Sunday.
 
Magnifying the Lord together, Steve

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Joy, Joy, Joy – Go tell it on the mountain, over the hills and everywhere that Jesus Christ is born!

The JOY of Scripture at Christmas time is overwhelming!  I pray that you are increasing your joy this Christmas through reading the world of God.  When you go through Scripture with the desire to find the truths of Christmas you will find the reasons for Jesus coming everywhere.  They start to jump off of every page.  Christmas is everywhere in the Bible.  The Son of God coming to Earth is the greatest truth to seek, behold and share.  As you look deeper and deeper into the story of Christmas you start to realize that words fall significantly short to describe this wonder of wonders.  Join with me and let Scripture increase your delight for Christmas and for telling others of this good news.  Here are seven scriptures that are Christmas JOY stimulants that also result in going and telling these truths from the mountain and over the hills and everywhere that Jesus Christ is born.  Take these seven truths of Scripture and consider who needs to hear these promises of this GREAT NEWS of Christmas.


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Rejoice! Rejoice!

Rejoice – Rejoice, Emanuel shall come to thee!  I hope that you have been enjoying Luke’s first chapter as much as I have.  The story of Mary and Gabriel is epic!  This story is one of profound mystery and amazing love.  Gabriel declares to a thirteen year old little girl, who has not even made it through puberty, that she has found favor and will bear a child, the Son of God!  This is the gateway to the path of humiliation of the Son of God which ends at the Cross.  Church, it is so very important for us to understand that the Gospel stands or falls upon the incarnation of the Son of God as Jesus Christ.  Our salvation is dependent upon Jesus being fully God and fully Man.


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“…He looked with favor upon me, to take away my disgrace among men. (1:25)”

Last week we began our journey through Luke’s Gospel of “exact truth (1:4)” of the good news of Jesus Christ so that “we may know with certainty (1:4)” that God has sent us a Savior, the promised Messiah. Luke begins the story of Jesus with John the Baptist. This great story of Zechariah and Elizabeth is one that brings great encouragement to my heart. This is a great story of God’s purposes being worked out of Zechariah and Elizabeth’s sufferings. They were both going through great persecution as priests in a highly secularized Israel who had not heard a single prophecy from God for over 400 years. They were also going through the disgrace as a Hebrew couple who could not have children.

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