Pastor’s Pen

How to respond to those who are throwing hate your way

Hey GCT:  Do you have your own personal, individual enemy?  I am not talking about enemies of the USA.  I am talking about a specific person whom you are at odds with.  An enemy is usually someone who you are at enmity with.  There is hostility in the relationship and many times even hatred.  There is a quarrelsome and contentious spirit where neither person wants to be around the other and there is a quickness to take offense to most anything that is spoken or accomplished.  Do you have an enemy?  How did this person become your enemy?  How does the world tell us to respond to our enemy?  The world says return evil with evil and return good with good.  How does Jesus tell us to respond to our enemies?  Jesus says, give evil all the good you can possibly give even to the point of sacrificially loving that enemy who throws at you unending evil.  Jesus says, love your enemies.


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Speaking in a Tongue – Known Language or Unknown – Private Use or Public Use – For Building You Up or the Church – For Believer or Unbeliever – For the Apostles or for Today?

Hey GCT:  Have you ever looked deeply into Scripture, putting aside your own traditions, and sought out what are the biblical tongues of the Bible?  We cannot do an exhaustive study in this email but here is a synopsis.  There seems to be two types of tongues in the Bible.  When your Bible uses the word “tongues,” it means, literally, languages. The Greek word (glossa) that’s translated “tongues” in the English translation actually means languages – and so there are various languages in this world, right?  How many tongues of different nations are there in this world?  There are roughly 6,500 spoken languages in the world today. About 2,000 of those languages have fewer than 1,000 people speaking that language.  The most popular language in the world is Mandarin Chinese. There are 1,213,000,000 people in the world that speak that language.


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Haters are going to hate… because of Jesus.

GCT:  Well we have a arrived at another one of Jesus’ teachings that is absolutely counter-cultural to not only our society but also our American Christian thinking. Jesus tells us, “Blessed are you when people hate you and when they exclude you and revile you and spurn your name as evil, on account of the Son of Man! (Luke 6:22). So, this scripture produces some convicting questions for all of us: Am I being hated by people because of my whole-hearted desire to love and obey Jesus Christ? Am I being excluded from people, places, groups because of my whole-hearted desire to love and obey Jesus Christ? Am I being insulted (revile) by neighbors because of my whole-hearted desire to love and obey Jesus Christ? Am I being rejected (spurn) by anybody because of my whole-hearted desire to love and obey Jesus Christ?


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Deep satisfaction and joy of the soul comes to those who weep over their sins…

Great news GCT:  God’s blessing is promised upon HIs people.  He seeks to bless us everyday with lives filled with a complete deep satisfaction that only comes through lives devoted to Him.  He calls us to listen and obey and enjoy the blessing of deep satisfaction no matter your circumstances, trials or hardships.  As you look throughout the entire story of the Bible we are reminded that His blessing to His children is conditional upon our obeying and listening to Him.  Samuel reminds us in 1 Samuel 15:22-23, Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams. 23 For rebellion is as the sin of divination, and presumption is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, he has also rejected you from being king.”

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The wonderful promise of complete satisfaction and how to keep it

Happy Friday GCT:  Throughout Scripture you can trace basically everywhere that our loving heavenly Father wants us to be blessed.  The words for “blessed” in the Hebrew and Greek are so much greater than what our one syllable word really communicates.  God is wanting us to take hold of the eternal truth that He wants us to be completely satisfied in Him knowing that He has promised us great blessings in Him.  Our Father promises us blessings and He does not break His promises.  And because He is God and He has promised great eternal blessings, He then also has the authority to put boundaries on those blessings.  He says, I love you and I will bless you abundantly as long as you do this and do that.  He says, hey, if you do that and that over there you will not be blessed.  This is evidenced all through the Old Testament with God calling His people to obey His law and delight in His law and dwell on it day and night and so they will be blessed.  That is everywhere.  There is story after story of Israel refusing to obey and God removing His blessing from them.  His promises to walk with them remained but the blessing was removed as they lived in disobedience.   Now in Luke 6, just like His Father, Jesus does the same thing with the establishment of His Church, the Apostles and the disciples.  Jesus gives us the beatitudes.  Jesus says this is how you will be blessed, deeply satisfied and joy-filled in Me.  Also, this is how you will be miserable, “Woe to you!”  Woe, communicates, “horror!”  Woe communicates “How terrible!”  Here is the beginning of His list of “blessings” and “woes” from Luke 6:20-26.


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Once upon a time there were 12 nobodies from nowhere who made themselves available…

Hey GCT:  Sometimes you really cannot believe what God has done in the history of redemption until you read it from Scripture over and over again.  Then while reading the Holy Spirit reveals truth.  Many times when that happens we have to deprogram our traditional thinking of what we think about God or how we think He is working and submit to the truth of Scripture.  So often we make our own truth and fully believe it.  We bank on it and it really is not the truth.  We go down the path of believing a lie.  That is why over and over again the Lord calls us back to Scripture to make sure we are getting this story of redemption and restoration correct.  This week is one of those weeks where we need to strive to get God’s story right and return to Scripture over and over again.


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