Pastor’s Pen

Jesus is the first born from the dead only if there are going to be others after Him who are resurrected from the dead like Him = Hope

Hello Church Family: If you were to write a letter to encourage a struggling people what would you write? If the people were being persecuted, their families were run from their homes, and some were even martyred for standing firm in their faith. How would you encourage them? This is why Jesus gave us His revelation. He desires us to remain steadfast, to persevere, filled with hope, without any compromise. He wants us to know that we will be victorious over anything that comes your way. The Revelation of Jesus Christ to John for the Church encourages the Church with a greater understanding of who He is and that we will be victorious in all things through Christ.

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Apocalypse Now

Hey Church Family: We will be stopping, for several months, our Sunday morning study of Luke to receive some timely encouragement from the book of Revelation. Revelation is a book of apocalyptic prophecy. What does that mean? It simply means that you have to read it differently than other genres that make up the other Bible books. The ancient meaning of the Greek word for “apocalypse” simply means to unveil, disclose, to show, to make visible. Jesus wanted His Church to know without a shadow of doubt that He and His Church are the winners of every battle that comes their way. Jesus’ Revelation showed John, through very vivid apocalyptic pictures, that in the midst of their bitter persecution, miserable suffering, martyrdom and false teaching, that God rules history and He conquers death, Hades, Satan, and Satan’s helpers. And that Christ is not the only one who conquers but His Church conquers with Him. The Book of Revelation is about VICTORY! The victory of Christ and His Church over Satan, the world and anything the world brings our way. As we start Revelation, don’t forget that promise from Jesus Christ, the Victor, the Conqueror.

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When Jesus says “Woe”, He means Woe – Luke 11:37-53

Hello Church Family: What makes Jesus perturbed? Angry? Upset? What do you think? This week in Luke 11, we get to see Jesus being angry and not sinning. What is making Jesus angry? He really does not like works-righteousness! He never hesitated to offend religious people who thought of themselves as self-righteous on account of their own petty works. Jesus always took the opportunity to confront those who considered themselves holy and acceptable to God because of their great ability to keep man-made rules. Jesus was not going to let self-righteous people be pridefully happy in their false sense of security through endless man-made rule keeping. This is the very reason the Son of God came to earth. He came to make us acceptable to God through His perfect righteousness. Jesus was not going to let spiritual hypocrisy just slide on by in the lives of these pseudo-holy people that flaunted their rule-keeping and led others in the same burdensome works salvation. These pseudo-holy leaders were keeping people from the truth of the Gospel. Jesus was not going to let that happen. So, what did He do? He sat down and had a meal with them and dropped some heavy Gospel truth on their plate about their absolute hypocrisy (Luke 11:37). I am sure that these occasions made for some great mealtime conversations.

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Are you still seeking a sign?

Hello Church Family: Have you ever found yourself seeking for a sign from God so that you can determine if He really is real? Do you ask God, show me a sign that Jesus really is Your Son? God, give me a sign that Jesus really is the sacrifice for my sins and the power of eternal life? God, how can I be guaranteed peace with You? God, can I really be assured of salvation because of the life of Jesus Christ?
 

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A Life “Swept and Put in Order” Without Christ is a Life to be Dominated by Spiritual Attacks

Hello Church: Do you struggle with a bad habit that does not please the Lord and impacts your life and relationships? Have you ever been dominated by an active, habitual, life-dominating sin? Do you want to escape these habits and sins? Our culture provides and encourages many opportunities for us to engage in to escape the pain and destruction of those habits. There are support groups, therapies, new friendships, clubs, sports, self-help books, classes at church and countless other opportunities to help overcome bad habits, bad thinking and other life-dominating sins. And yes, many of these opportunities work for millions of people. But are they all the same? Jesus Himself reminds us that if we neglect the root problem of these destructive sin habits we will end up worse off than before our lives were swept and put in order.

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Scorpions, Eggs and Shameless Audacious Prayer

Hello Church Family: Have you ever asked God for things that you have never received? Are you mad that you have never received what you have asked of Him? Have you ever said, “I asked God for this or that and I did not get it so I stopped asking.”
 
Jesus wants us to clearly understand from Luke 11, that to pray the way our Heavenly Father wants us to pray is to pray with shameless persistence! Jesus teaches that to be a person of prayer is to be one who perseveres in asking, perseveres in seeking and perseveres in knocking. We must accept that the Bible teaches that often God gives us what we need only after a long season of shameless persistent prayer. This does not mean that He is uncaring or insensitive to our wants, needs or desires. Instead, we know that whenever He decides to give us whatever we have been asking from Him it is because He loves us and His desire is always to give us good gifts at the best time for us to have them. We can be certain that our loving Heavenly Father only gives His children what is good for us and many times what is good for us is the time spent in shameless, persistent asking, seeking and knocking. God does respond to shameless, persisting prayer. In fact, Scripture is clear that many times we have not received this or that is because we did not persist in prayer like He calls us to do so (Luke 11:5-13; 18:1-8).

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