Pastor’s Pen

God meets us where we are but He does not leave us there

Help Church Family:  We are going to pause at Luke 7, for the next several weeks to do a series on “How the Gospel Changes Us.”  I believe that understanding how the Gospel changes us is crucial to living lives that are not held hostage to a life dominated with sin and hopelessness.  God has created us for so much more!  He has come offering hope to all of us.  Jesus has come for us to have “life abundant” (John 10:10).  
 

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Need any post Dorian help? And Sunday – What is an elder and what do they do?

Hello Church Family:  Well praise the LORD that He has mercifully spared our Hampstead community from a Dorian disaster!  Thank you Lord for your perfect care!  I hope that all of you have come through without damage to family and home.  If you have damage please let me know with a private message.  We would love to help in any way that we can.  Also, please join me as we pray and seek to help those in the Bahamas who are suffering greatly.


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Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?

Hey Church Family:  Can you imagine being in the presence of Jesus when He asked the disciples at His Sermon on the Plain in Luke 6, this question, “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?” (Luke 6:46).  I am sure you could have heard a pin drop.

What would your answer be?  I believe this question from Jesus is also intended for us.  Jesus asks us today, “Why are you calling upon Me as your Lord, why are you calling upon Me to deliver to you My great benefits and yet you do not do what I have told you to do?”  That is a question from Jesus intended to create within us a desire to evaluate the fruit from our own lives and the lives of fellow believers for assurance and for repentance.


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One powerful reason to forgive

Hey Church Family:  Do you want the Lord to forgive you of your sins?  Then forgive everyone who has sinned against you, says Jesus. 

You know when you pray the Lord’s Prayer and you get to the part that says, “and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors” (Matthew 6:12)?  Have you ever paused for a moment and thought about what you are really asking?  As we pray the prayer that Jesus gave us as an example of how to pray, in Matthew 6, He is showing us the law of forgiveness.  He is calling His disciples to be disciples who forgive continuously.  The Lord wants us to understand that forgiveness of all of our many sins that we have committed against Him will be forgiven in the the exact same way that we forgive others who are sinning against us.  This is His promise to His disciples.  We can summarize Jesus’ point this way, if we do not forgive those who have sinned against us then we will not be forgiven.  Wow!  That law of forgiveness deserves pause for us to consider those in our lives who we are presently withholding forgiveness.  One of my favorite Puritans, Thomas Watson, said it this way, “A man can as well go to hell for not forgiving as for not believing.”  In Luke 6:37, where we will be this Sunday, Jesus simply says it this way, “forgive, and you will be forgiven.” 


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Our God listens – understands – acts – rescues

Hello Church Family:   We worship the One true God who listens to us in our time of greatest need and in times of not so great need.  Basically, our God hears us, He listens to us, He leans into us as we call out to Him.  He hears our cries.  Our God who listens also understands.  He understands the entire situation.  There are no surprises to our God.  And since our God listens and understands He also acts.  As believers, followers, lovers of the One true God, He has promised to listen, understand and to act on our behalf and for our good always in every situation no matter what.  That is a promise from God Himself.  Even when we are in life’s struggles when, as the Psalmist says, he feels like “the snares of death encompassed me; the pains of Sheol laid hold on me; I suffered distress and anguish” (Psalm 116:3).  Have you ever felt that way?
 

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Hey! Don’t Judge Me!

Hey GCT:

As you live in America today and watch people live out their own self-established standards of life and engage in a specific lifestyle, the worst thing that anybody could ever do at any given moment when interacting with them is “judge them.”  If you would ever hint that you disagree with their lifestyle you will get a quick response of condemnation towards your discernment. The American norm today is to set your own standards.  We live in our own self-established authority that sounds like this, “This is what I believe is right about my life.  I believe I can live like this because this is my standard.  So don’t judge me.”  


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