Pastor’s Pen

Fit for the Kingdom of God

Hey there Church Family: Can you imagine getting a letter from Jesus saying, “Hey, I know that you think that you are following Me, but you really are not following Me, this is what I need you to do to be My follower, one of My Disciples, fit for the Kingdom of God.” Would you listen? Would you make changes to be fit for the Kingdom of God?
 
This is exactly what happens to several people who wanted to be followers of Jesus in the end of Luke 9. The last verses of Luke chapter 9, are sprinkled with difficult and sometimes strange teachings of Jesus. These stories are for our understanding of Jesus’ requirements to be His disciples. What Jesus is saying in these verses is that Faith in Him as the Son of God incarnate, to take the sins of the world, results in following Him that looks like this. And then He gives several examples.
 
Let’s just look at just one today. This coming Sunday we will look at seven. Jesus wants us to understand that being His disciple means to see Him as the embodiment of the Kingdom of God. Jesus brought the Kingdom of God to earth so that He would reign in the hearts of men. What that means is that Jesus has been setting up His kingdom in the hearts of man until His return when His Kingdom will be fully realized. So, today King Jesus has a desire to reign in our hearts. When we make Him King of our hearts we are called His disciples. When Jesus is reigning in our hearts we let go of our own preferences and conditions to follow-ship. You know, conditions like, “I will follow you if…,” or “I will follow you but first…,” or I will follow you but maybe later when I let this sin go or break this relationship off…”or “I will follow you if only you will do this or that…,” and the list goes on with conditions we can make as potential disciples. In Luke 9:57-62, three men want to be disciples, “fit for the Kingdom of God” (Luke 9:62), but they all three had their own conditions to their obedience in following Jesus, and He said boldly, hit the road Jack, you are not fit for the Kingdom of God.

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Faithful Prayer brings Faithful Power – God’s power

Hello Church Family: If God said that the only way this pandemic would end and get things back to “normal” would be through prayer, how much effort would you make to pray with frequency and fervency?
 
How is your prayer life during these days of pandemic? Have you found yourself coming to the Lord more frequently and fervently or have you become dull and delayed in prayer? Or has there been no change in your prayerfulness? I pray that we as a church would come into God’s presence in prayer more fervently and frequently during these times.

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Remembering the Good in Good Friday – Good Friday Timeline

Church Family: We can feel conflicted about calling the day of Christ’s crucifixion, “good.” The fact that there had to be a day when Jesus Christ would take the judgment for our sin is not good at all. But the wonderful reality that our Lord Jesus Christ would freely, fully, and gladly give Himself for us on the cross, is never-to-be-surpassed in goodness. It is exemplary, unparalleled “good.” While on the Cross, Jesus cried out, “It is finished.” Church, there is nothing more to be done, concerning our salvation. Once and for all, perfectly and fully, we have been reconciled to God – That is really good! That is amazingly good! That is so good that “good” does not seem like a good enough word. Let’s strive today to keep the Good in Good Friday!

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Find God’s Glory in Every Story

Hello Church Family: During these days of pandemic and hardships are you looking for God today? Do you wake up in the morning seeking to discover the glory of God? The “Glory of God” can be something that is hard to wrap your mind around. But simply speaking, the Glory of God is a visible, tangible showing of Himself in power, strength, care, grace, mercy and love. There are many other ways He shows us His Glory but let us just start with looking for these. I really want to see this Glory every day. Let’s be a people who delight in seeking the Glory of God today. Seeking the Glory of God is a discipline that we are called to cultivate within us. When is the last time you have had a Glory of God sighting? Stop and look. As believers we are to be people who are captivated with discovering God’s Glory in everyday moments. Have you seen His glory recently?

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Denying Self Remains Our Call Even During a Pandemic

Hey Church family: Living in these chaotic times can lead to lives that are obsessed with self and survival. Generally, in the USA we are obsessed with surviving and yet Jesus still calls us to “deny ourselves, take up your cross and follow Me (Luke 9:23).” Does Jesus’ command for us to deny ourselves, take up our cross daily and follow Him still pertain to times of world hardships and pandemic? Absolutely! Jesus gave His Apostles this command during the last year of His life on the way to the cross, while also knowing that the Apostles live’s would be required of them in the years to come. During these times of hardships and crisis is when Jesus’ call to live out self-denial is most needed. Whether you have quarantined yourself or not, as believers we stand called by Christ to deny ourselves, take our cross daily and follow Him. Sometimes denying self looks like being quarantined and sometimes it looks like not being quarantined. Both choices can be a denial of self. A pandemic does not release us from Christ’s imperative on us to work out our own self-denial.

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Have you noticed? Can you see it?

Church: If you find yourself besieged and maybe overwhelmed by COVID19 and its affects on people, governmental systems, the world economy and human institutions take a moment and be encouraged by enjoying God in His creation. Remember, God has given us His amazing creation to remind us of who He is and that He is in caring control.
 
Have you noticed the pink azaleas blooming? Have you noticed the red camellia buds? Have you noticed the grass greening? Have you noticed the yellow pollen falling? Have you noticed the powerful osprey’s arrival? Have you noticed the orange sunrises? Have you noticed the lengthening of the days? Have you noticed the live oak dropping its leaves and budding? Have you noticed the squirrel happily digging up the winter’s left over supply of acorns? Have you noticed the pink sunsets? Have you noticed the yellow daffodils? Have you noticed the dogwood blooms? Have you noticed the marsh grass starting to green? Have you noticed the wood ducks flying north? Have you noticed the bright moon running through its phases? Have you noticed Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, or Saturn in the night or morning darkness?

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