Pastor’s Pen

Are you a “I have to see it to believe it” or a “I will believe it to see it” kind of person?

What does God call His children to do over and over again throughout the story of redemption in Scripture?  Does He call us to a “believe me and I will show you” faith or an “I will show you first so that you can believe” kind of faith?  Well, I believe that time and time again He calls us to believe Him first and then He moves forward with us in our faith and makes His promises yes and absolutely realized.  Our Father in heaven loves for us to trust Him.  This entire story of redemption from Genesis to Revelation is God saying “ Trust Me!”  His daily word to us in whatever situation we find ourselves in is, “Trust Me.”  God is worthy to be trusted.  God id saying “believe me and I will show you…”

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Are you in spiritual or physical poverty, captivity, blindness, or oppression? Jesus is your freedom – your release.

Hey GCT!  If you showed up one day and saw that Jesus was preaching at your place of worship what do you think he would be preaching about?  This week we have Jesus’ first documented sermon in the New Testament that He spoke back in His home town of Nazareth to a packed house.  At this point Jesus had a great, encouraging, glorified ministry of teaching respected by all but that was about to change.
 
In Luke 4:17, Jesus picks up the Old Testament scroll of Isaiah and reads a reference in chapter 61, about the Old Testament Jubilee year that Israel was commanded to enjoy every fifty years.  The Old Testament year of Jubilee was also called “the year of the Lord’s favor.”  During the Jubilee year you would rest from all of your own labors and your own efforts to allow God’s goodness to lead you and feed you.  It was a year that joyfully all the captives and the oppressed would be set free, you would with great joy redeem what was lost and you would sacrificially help others redeem what they had lost.  It was a great year of Jubilee!!

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Satan always comes back with a vengeful counter-attack – are you ready?

Joyful beautiful warm day GCT!  This Sunday we are looking at Satan’s second and third vengeful tactics to tempt Jesus to embrace the path of abundance without pain and suffering by giving up the path of pain and suffering that His loving heavenly Father has lovingly led Him into.
 
That is our temptation each and every day as we as believers fix our eyes on the pains of suffering instead of trusting the hand of God that is lovingly leading us into strengthening and Christ-likeness.  
 
How often are we tempted to stop waiting on the Lord to fulfill our physical desires (pleasure, ease, money, fulfillment, recognition, etc) in the midst of suffering instead of waiting on the Lord to finish His work on us spiritually in the midst of suffering?  Do we short circuit God’s work on us by trying to alleviate the suffering?
 

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Are you being tempted or tested?

Beautiful Friday GCT!  Do you desire the Holy Spirit to escort you out into a Spiritual Wilderness or even a physical wilderness?  What if you knew that that wilderness was intended to strengthen you and sanctify you?  Would you enter your wilderness with victory on your mind or defeat?  What would you take with you to insure your success? Think about the perfect, sinless Jesus perfectly controlled by the Holy Spirit, saturated by the Holy Spirit, consumed by obeying His Father in heaven and then that Holy Spirit drives Jesus out into the wilderness to be tempted by Satan and tested by God His Father.  No, God does not tempt, however He does test!  The same greek word in Luke 4:2 for “tempt” is also translated “to test.”  The Devil says, “I am going to tempt Jesus to get Him to sin and therefore destroy Him and His work.”  God the Father in the same wilderness experience through the work of the Holy Spirit says “I am going to strengthen Jesus by enabling Him to pass this difficult test successfully preparing Him for an even greater work.”
 

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6 Ways the devil seeks to destroy you spiritually every day

Hey there GCT!  For the first time, as we study the Gospel of Luke, we are introduced to the devil.  Do you really believe in the supernatural being of evil in these days of such science and secularism?  A 2009 Barna study says that a majority of “Christians” do not believe in Satan.  Well, we know for sure that Jesus believed in Satan and his demonic helpers.  Jesus did battle with the spiritual forces of darkness and the devil himself throughout all of His life and ministry.  He spoke about supernatural frequently and so did the apostles throughout the New Testament.  Plus, look around us and you will see empirical evidence for the existence of evil.  
 

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The Son of God became a Man to enable Men to Become the Sons of God…

Hey GCT:  I hope that you have been able to spend some time in the Gospel of Luke this week reading the exciting list of Jesus’ genealogy  That really is some intense reading (3:23-38).  But pause and take a second to look who is in the family tree of Jesus on HIs mother Mary’s side.  Most of this list of 77 names are men representing families whose names do not appear anywhere in Scripture.  We really know nothing about them except that they have suffered the consequences of sin which is death.  They are no longer living.  Luke wants everybody to understand that this list really is a big line of sinners in the family tree of Jesus.  They are people just like us.  They had joys and sorrows, celebrations and sufferings, ambitions and calamities.  Some of the ones we do know about were idolaters, liars, cheaters, thieves, fornicators, adulterers, murderers and more.  But look whose name is at the very deepest root of the family tree in Luke 3:38.  
 

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