Pastor’s Pen

Twelve year old Jesus-Scolded by His Mother-WWJD

We have arrived at the post-nativity stories of Jesus in Luke’s Gospel.  The first twelve years of Jesus’ life are summed up in Luke 2:40 “…the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom. And the favor of God was upon Him.”  We see in the verses following (2:41-52) the only story of Jesus during his first three decades of living.  This is the only glimpse we have of Jesus until He turned thirty years old.   These are important truths to show us who the twelve year old Jesus knew He was to be.  The young Jesus knew who He was.  He was not struggling with who He was.  This is such an important transition Scripture that prepares us for the Jesus that is coming next that we learn in the rest of the Luke’s Gospel.  The feel good baby Jesus is about to be replaced by the Jesus that demands to be Lord as an adult.  We see here that at twelve years old Jesus is perfectly at peace with who He was, the Son of God.


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Righteous – Devout – Watching – Filled – A great testimony!

God loves it when His people live holy and righteous lives in the ordinary, mundane routine days, months and years that we live.  This week as we pick back up in Luke 2, we meet Simeon.  A man that shows up in the story of the Gospel and then leaves as quickly as he arrives.  We do not know much about him but he is righteous, devout, watching for the Messiah and the Holy Spirit was upon him (Luke 2:25).  That would be a tremendous testimony to have as a believer.  Do you know what devout means?  Devout means committed, fervent, heartfelt.  We don’t know Simeon’s occupation because it does not matter.  It does not matter if he was a tent maker, shepherd, carpenter, or fill in the blank.  What matters to God is that he was righteous, devout, watching for the Messiah and used by the Holy Spirit.  This kind of life was counter-cultural to the society that he lived in.  It was even counter-cultural for those in Israel.  He was most likely a senior adult.  Simeon was a very important witness to recognize and affirm that Jesus was the Messiah.  The Senior Citizen Simeon was used by God at affirm Jesus as the Son of God.  Simeon had a great task given to him that he worked hard to fulfill even late in his life.
 

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We are the Household of God

Have you thought recently about being a steward and a servant in the Household of God?  You and me are part of a local church called GCT that God looks down on as His household.  What an amazing thought and metaphor for how God views his local church.  Think of what God’s household would be like.  But first put aside any thoughts that deal with the structure or the building.  That is not what God is trying to convey to us.  He is wanting you to understand that HIs household is made of people and relationships – sweet relationships, there is comfort in His household because there is an unconditional acceptance grace and forgiveness.  There is security, provision, power, boldness, excitement, purpose, hope and love in God’s household.  God’s household is made up of loving stewards and servants that love one another and care for one another as the Father of the household cares for us.
 
GCT Household of God, listen carefully, we are the household of God whether we move into the 210 building or meet in the woods in the Holly Shelter Game Land.  So, as we move forward this week into our new place of meeting as the Household of God let us do so with the understanding that we are what makes the Household of God not the physical structure.   Let us also move forward into this wonderful building, which is a great provision of our Heavenly Father, with joy and delight in His perfect provision.
 
This Sunday the 210 building will be full of God’s Household and should be a place that is an amazing sensory experience!  Why? Because the Household of God has moved into this place!  The joy and hope of believers will be preeminent.  There will be an experience of heavenly fellowship from every brother and sister in Christ.  We will delight in the prayerful interaction with the Father of our Household, our Heavenly Father.  We will enjoy and cherish the Spirit of God as He interacts with each one of us intimately.  There will be an exuberance of praises unto the Lord.  There will be the continual flow of the Word of God spoken, read and taught.  All of this is can be summed up by what Paul declares is the purpose of the Household for God – “through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 3:10).
 
This Sunday we are taking a break from the Gospel of Luke, as we move into the 210 building, to discuss how great it is to be part of the HOUSEHOLD OF GOD displaying the MANIFOLD WISDOM OF GOD.
 
I really look forward to meeting together this Sunday at 10am as the Household of God. – Steve
 
Don’t forget we meet at 10am at our new location.  180 Hwy 210, Hampstead.
 
Also, please continue to pray as the Household of God for Luke Roberts and Fred Long who are both still in the hospital.

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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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