Mercy Shown By Love Part 9

Luke 6:27-36 (HCSB) from Biblegateway.com

27-“But I say to you who listen: Love your enemies, do what is good to those who hate you, 28-bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29-If anyone hits you on the cheek, offer the other also. And if anyone takes away your coat, don’t hold back your shirt either. 30-Give to everyone who asks you, and from one who takes your things, don’t ask for them back. 31-Just as you want others to do for you, do the same for them. 32-If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. 33-If you do what is good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. 34-And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners to be repaid in full. 35-But love your enemies, do what is good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is gracious to the ungrateful and evil. 36-Be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful. Luke 6:27-36 (HCSB)

Notes:
35-But love your enemies, do what is good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is gracious to the ungrateful and evil.

This verse is like a summary of how we should live our lives. We should love everyone, do our best not to sin, follow God’s commands, help others and expect NOTHING in return. Don’t do things to get a “you owe me one!” Just give as God lays on your heart. If you do these things you will be rewarded. It may not be here on Earth….it may be in heaven. But, you will get your reward. God is gracious to all. I challenge you to show God’s grace, love, and mercy to others even the ones who have hurt you. Forgive as God has forgiven you.

Have a great weekend. See ya Monday.

Be blessed and be a blessing,
~M

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Priorities…What’s Really Important?

Welcome Back Readers!! I hope you had a blessed Thanksgiving and spent some time thanking God for all He is and all He does!

How many of you went to those Black Friday (well, really Thursday) sales? Did you buy a newspaper to look at all the sales ads? Did you spend time comparing prices, writing out what you wanted to get, looked at maps, and planned our your shopping adventure? I admit I ventured out and went to Wal-Mart with my sweet 6 year old son. But, all this planning got me thinking….What if we, as Christians, would get that excited about going to church and sharing the gospel with others? Do we read our Bible and plan out our day according to God’s Holy Word, the Bible? Or those times, you miss Sunday School because you weren’t prepared? Or missed church because just wanted to sleep in?

Mr. Webster defines a priority as a noun meaning “a thing that is regarded as more important than another.” During our shopping trip our priority was to get the stuff we wanted and make it out alive! 🙂 The Bible teaches us that we must focus on things NOT of this world, but fix our eyes on Jesus!! Hebrews 12:2 reminds us, “keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that lay before Him endured a cross and despised the shame and has sat down at the right hand of God’s throne.”

Romans 12:2 reminds us, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

Please take some time to reflect on the Love of Christ and remember the “Black Friday” He endured on the cross for our sins. Remember Jesus is the Reason for the Season!!!

Be a blessing,
~M

“Blessings God’s Way”

“Blessings God’s Way”
Luke 6:20-23 (NLT) from Biblegateway.com
20-Then Jesus turned to his disciples and said, “God blesses you who are poor, for the Kingdom of God is yours. 21-God blesses you who are hungry now, for you will be satisfied. God blesses you who weep now, for in due time you will laugh. 22-What blessings await you when people hate you and exclude you and mock you and curse you as evil because you follow the Son of Man. 23-When that happens, be happy! Yes, leap for joy! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, their ancestors treated the ancient prophets that same way.

These 4 verses are a reminder to all Believers that God will cherish you forever.

Notes from Verse 20:
Then Jesus turned to his disciples and said,“God blesses you who are poor for the Kingdom of God is yours.”

Wealth and riches mean nothing to God. After all He owns everything. He created mankind and He sees everything. He tells us that we are blessed not by our pocket book, but by Him and Him Alone. If you want to go to Heaven, then put God first and get saved.

Notes from Verse: 21:
God blesses you who are hungry now for you will be satisfied. God blesses you who weep now for in due time you will laugh.

Have you ever said this phrase: “I’m so hungry I could eat ___________?”
Just as God gave us the desire to eat physical food, He also implanted a desire within all Believers to want, crave, and hunger for Spiritual Food. The unbelievers want, crave, and hunger for physical food. In fact, everyone does (both believers and nonbelievers) want, crave, and hunger for physical food. We need food or we will die of starvation. It’s the same way with Christ. “If we Confess with our mouths that Jesus is Lord and believe in our heart that God raised Him from the dead, then we shall be saved.” (Romans 10:9). If you are TRULY saved, you will desire more than physical food. You, BELIEVERS, will desire Spiritual Food. You will crave the Word of God. You will hunger for the Word of God and want more of Him and less of yourselves. God even promises us that He will satisfy our hunger for Him. Now fill in the blank: I’m so hungry I could eat ___________?

Is there someone in your life that you pray for all the time and even cry for them to be saved? Do you long to be in the presence of God so bad that you weep? If you answered yes, then remember the promise from God that your weeping will turn to laughing. This life is only for a season. Eternal Life is unending. You can either choose Jesus and go to Heaven or simply do nothing and go to Hell. It’s your choice. I pray you accept Jesus as your Lord. I plead with you to not reject the Savior Jesus Christ.

Notes from Verse: 22
22-What blessings await you when people hate you and exclude you and mock you and curse you as evil because you follow the Son of Man.

As a Christian and a Pastor, I can relate heavily to this verse. In mylifetime, I’ve been yelled at, mocked, been excluded from things because “I am the Pastor”, and many more things. My sweet wife was belittled by one of her teachers in high school because of her belief in Christ.

Yet, I love being a Christian and a Pastor. Some of you are saying is this guy crazy. I mean who in their right mind would subject themselves to any of these daily experiences? I have only this to say: 22-What blessings await you when…

Notes from Verse 23:
23-When that happens, be happy! Yes, leap for joy! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, their ancestors treated the ancient prophets that same way.

This verse is without a doubt very hard for Believers to follow. Even seasoned Believers have trouble keeping this verse in check. Yet “Jesus said, be happy! Yes, leap for joy!” I don’t know about you, but it hurts when people are mean to me.

True Christianity and Blessings God’s Way is putting into practice verse 23. “Be happy and leap for joy. For a great reward awaits you in heaven.” Jesus gives us a promise that He will reward you for your Faithful Obedience. He also reminds us in the last few words that we are not alone. “And remember, their ancestors treated the ancient prophets that same way.”

What choice will you make today that will prove to others that God is REAL?

From my heart to yours,

Pastor G

(May you be encouraged today and be an encouragement to others)
As my wise grandpa said, it doesn’t cost you anything to SMILE.

God’s Beautiful Masterpiece

Happy Weekend Readers! I love to paint and craft. We can relate our relationship with Christ–as a beautiful masterpiece.

Do you trust God as the artist that is meticulously painting on the canvas of your life? As the brush strokes of sorrow and trials sweep across your life, do you rest in the fact that He is painting a beautiful work of art? All the various colors and shades are a result of each circumstance that you have faced.

Before a painter begins a masterpiece, he will first visualize the strokes and shades that will be needed to complete his beautiful painting. God is the Great Artist of our life. God is much more meticulous than even the best artist. Every stroke that is brushed across your canvas (your life) is contemplated by the almighty God, and He has an eternal purpose for it.

I find it very intriguing that many of the famous painters only became famous after they died. Although they invested much time and energy into their paintings, they never lived to see the results. Many of them lived in poverty, and they faced numerous times of discouragement and wondered if their labor was in vain. Yet, they kept pursuing their passions and used the talents that God had given them. Because of their perseverance, their paintings have been enjoyed and have benefitted many others. They saw few results of their hard work and had no idea that their paintings would become valuable AFTER their death.

Do you wonder about the canvas of your life? Is there a purpose for the difficult and sometimes mundane events that you are encountering? If you have a short term perspective, you may become discouraged and feel like giving up. A long term perspective sees our life here on earth, as being as brief as a thought that crosses through our minds. We are created to live eternally. We may never see the results of our faithfulness while we are living here on earth. However, we can have the assurance that Jesus is the great Author and Finisher of our faith. (Hebrews 12:2) With each stroke of circumstance, God is creating a magnificent masterpiece out of our lives. The beauty and splendor of Heaven will be worth every stroke of sorrow that we face. Let’s open our hearts to the pain and suffering that comes into our lives. It will be worth it all when we present the canvas of our lives to God, and we hear His words of affirmation: “Well done thou good and faithful servant…enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” (Matthew 25:21)

Just think of it like this: when you paint, you add highlights to your paintings…kinda like when things are going well…dark spots…when we are going through hard times, sorrow, or trials in our life. As all these things are happening we tend to focus on those small parts of the painting, but We need to stop focusing on the small things and look at the bigger picture, and keep our focus on the cross.

Be blessed and be a blessing,
~M

What Do Christians Need?

What Do Christians Need?

Colossians 1:3-14 (NIV)
3 We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, 4 because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all the saints— 5 the faith and love that spring from the hope that is stored up for you in heaven and that you have already heard about in the word of truth, the gospel 6 that has come to you. All over the world this gospel is bearing fruit and growing, just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and understood God’s grace in all its truth. 7 You learned it from Epaphras, our dear fellow servant, who is a faithful minister of Christ on our behalf, 8 and who also told us of your love in the Spirit. 9 For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. 10 And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. 13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

In studying this simple passage we see a variety of things that Christians need.
• We need the Lord as our Savior. (Vs.3)
• We need Prayer, so we can communicate with God. (Vs.3)
• We need Faith in Jesus. (Vs.4)
• We need Love for God and His people. (Vs.4)
• We need Hope and Assurance of Christ. (Vs.5)
• We need The Word of God. (Vs.5)
• We need to Share the Gospel. (Vs.6)
• We need to understand Grace. (Vs.6)
• We need Christian Leaders. (Vs.7)
• We need to talk about what God is doing. (Vs.8)
• We need to pray for each other all the time. (Vs.9)
• We need to pray for an Understanding of Gods Will. (Vs.9)
• We need to pray for Spiritual Wisdom. (Vs.9)
• We need to pray our lives are pleasing to God. (Vs.10)
• We need to pray that we would bear good fruit. (Vs.10)
• We need to pray that we will grow in our knowledge of God. (Vs.10)
• We need to pray that God would give us Strength. (Vs.11)
• We need to pray for patience and perseverance. (Vs.11)
• We need to pray for the Joy of Salvation to revive us. (Vs.11-12)
• We need to pray prayers of thanksgiving to the Lord. (Vs.12)
• We need to remember why Christ came. (Vs.13)
• We need to accept Christ Redeeming Love the Forgiveness of our Sin. (Vs.13-14)

FromYour Pastor’s Heart,
Pastor G

A reminder for us all… What will you do today to encourage someone’s faith? …May God Bless you as you Serve Him.

How to stay fresh in a decaying world

Psalm 51:10 — “ Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”

Make a relationship with Christ your top priority.

Studying the Word of God daily.
Joshua 1:8 – “ Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.”

Praying about everything.
1 Thessalonians 5:17 – “pray continually”

Memorizing Scripture.
Joshua 1:8 – ““ Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.”

Sharing your Faith with others.
Acts 1:8 – “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Walking in His footsteps.
Ephesians 5:1 – “Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children”

Forgiveness must be a part of your life.

We must forgive our debtors
Matthew 6:9-13 – “This, then, is how you should pray: “‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, 10 your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us today our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”
Forgiving others is an absolute necessity
Matthew 6:14-15 – “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”

Jesus said that we must forgive often
Matthew 18:21-22 – “ Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” 22 Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.”
Luke 17:3-4 – “ So watch yourselves.
“If your brother or sister[a] sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them. 4 Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying ‘I repent,’ you must forgive them.”
We must get rid of our anger and forgive as God forgave us
Ephesians 4:31-32 – “ Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”

Jesus commands us to forgive
Mark 11:25 – “And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”

When we forgive others, we outwit Satan
2 Corinthians 2:10-11 – “Anyone you forgive, I also forgive. And what I have forgiven—if there was anything to forgive—I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake, 11 in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.”

It is sinful not to forgive
Matthew 18:23-35 – “Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants.24 As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand bags of gold[a] was brought to him. 25 Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt. 26 “At this the servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ 27 The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go. 28 “But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred silver coins.[b] He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded. 29 “His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it back.’ 30 “But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. 31 When the other servants saw what had happened, they were outraged and went and told their master everything that had happened. 32 “Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. 33 Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ 34 In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed. 35 “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”

James 4:17 – “If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.”

Produce good Fruit (the Fruits of the Spirit).

Galatians 5:22-23 – “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”

Produce Love. Produce Joy. Produce Peace. Produce Patients. Produce Kindness. Produce Goodness. Produce Faithfulness. Produce Gentleness. Produce Self-Control.

Remember God’s Promises.

I will never leave you. I will protect you. I will watch over you. I will guide you. I will forgive you. I will love you. I will save you.

Ask, Beg, Request to God that He keep you Fresh.

Psalm 51:10 – “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”

A reminder for us all…( What will you do today to encourage someone’s faith? )…May God Bless you as you Serve Him…From Your Pastors Heart. ~G

Pain Precedes Promotion

O how true this is. It has taken me 10+ years of being in full time ministry to truly grasp and understand those three words. Think about it. What did Jesus do for us all? He took the ultimate pain so we could be promoted. Read Isaiah 53:

53 Who has believed our message
and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?
2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
3 He was despised and rejected by mankind,
a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.
4 Surely he took up our pain
and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
stricken by him, and afflicted.
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to our own way;
and the LORD has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed and afflicted,
yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
so he did not open his mouth.
8 By oppression[a] and judgment he was taken away.
Yet who of his generation protested?
For he was cut off from the land of the living;
for the transgression of my people he was punished.[b]
9 He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
and with the rich in his death,
though he had done no violence,
nor was any deceit in his mouth.
10 Yet it was the LORD’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
and though the LORD makes[c] his life an offering for sin,
he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand.
11 After he has suffered,
he will see the light of life[d] and be satisfied[e];
by his knowledge[f] my righteous servant will justify many,
and he will bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,[g]
and he will divide the spoils with the strong,[h]
because he poured out his life unto death,
and was numbered with the transgressors.
For he bore the sin of many,
and made intercession for the transgressors.

Have you ever been rejected? Most people have been rejected at some point in their lives. I wonder sometimes why this happens to many of us. I have been privileged to witness rejection. Your probably thinking to yourself, “Privileged What?” I count it as a blessing from God to allow me to experience rejection. Whether it is me being rejected or seeing someone else be rejected, I get just a glimpse of what God feels each time someone rejects Him.

Rejection is painful. It shows itself in many different ways. Yet no matter the form, rejection is painful. Think with me about Joseph the interpreter of dreams. God took him from slave to second in command of all Egypt. Joseph endured the pain for years before God stepped in and PROMOTED him to be Pharaohs’ right hand man.

There are many examples of people in the Word of God that had to go through the pain before they were promoted. Some of them are Moses, Abraham, David, and Job, just to name a few. They all went through different things at different times, but they are all connected to the pain preceding promotion.

Let’s be honest, pain is something we try our best to avoid. Yet, it is through these times of pain that we become weak, tired, and broken. Every time I have gone through a dark and painful trial of life, I did not understand why. Each time I would cry out to God and beg Him to show mercy and each time He answered with love and mercy. He did not always answer immediately, but He did answer. I praise God for those painful times because He was refining me and shaping me to better reflect Him.

There is an old saying that until you walk a mile in someone else’s shoes, you will not completely understand their pain. Some of the greatest men and women of the Bible endured a pain that most of us would walk away from, but they embraced it as the Love of God. They understood that pain was only for a greater purpose. Some never received the promotions in this life, but I believe that they are receiving it in Heaven right now.

A word of encouragement goes a long way, but until you are broken before The Lord, you will not understand just how much God Loves you.

From my heart to yours,

Pastor G

Be Still

Psalm 46:10a “He says, Be still, and know that I am God;”

This verse tells us to be still and know that God is God. How often do we really set still and quiet our minds and simply reflect on the fact that God is God? Our lives here on earth are only a mere mist in the cosmic time of the universal plan that God has made. Yet we spend countless hours pursuing everything but God. I really believe that if God’s own children spent as much time with Him as they do simply watching TV, revival would not be something that we long for, it would just be. The focus of the church would be to prepare for the return of our King Jesus. We would long for His return and work at spreading the news of the Savior like He was coming tomorrow. God tells us that He will return for us at an unexpected time to surprise us with His Glory.

The question is will we be ready for His return? Will we have made preparations for His return? Will we have done all that He wanted for us to do? Today I want you to do what God is asking. Simply be still and quiet your mind. Focus on the fact that God is God.

From the Pastors Heart,
~G

From My Heart to Yours . . .

Hello Readers! I pray you are having a good week. I thought I would share a few thoughts from my heart. The Bible is filled with so many encouraging words and wonderful promises. God doesn’t promise a world free from danger and hard times, but he does promise His help whenever we face these times. God gives us a wonderful treasure—His Word, The Bible! Here are just a few of those encouraging words:

Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous fall. Psalm 55:22

I will not leave you comfortless, I will come to you. John 14:18

The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him. Nahum 1:7

“Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and His understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:28-31

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in Me. In My Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with Me that you also may be where I am.” John 14:1-4

But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ. Philippians 3:20

I hope these verses will help you and give you encouragement. Just remember, this Earth is not our home. Heaven is our home!

Be Blessed and Be a Blessing,
~M

Resolved To Obey

Psalm 119:112 (HCSB)
“I am resolved to obey Your statutes to the very end.”

This verse is a statement to God saying, Lord I will obey Your Word, Your Truths, Your Commands no matter what. Can you honestly and wholeheartedly say that you are resolved to obey God? What does resolved mean? Hear in this verse it means to be Determined. Are you determined that no matter what comes your way you will chose to live for God?

God has given us 168 hours each week to chose what we think is the most important ways we are to use this time. In one year we will have chosen how to use 8,736 hours. In one decade we will chose how to spend 87,360 hours. If you attend church every Sunday for just the Worship Service in one year you will have chosen to give God between 52 to 60 hours out of 8,736. Say it is 60 hours of church services in one year times ten is only 600 hours out of 87,360. If you have attended just church service for every Sunday for ten years and that is all the time that you have given to God. Then you have chosen to spend 87,360-600= 86,760 hours without God.

If we are resolved to obey God and live for Him, then why does the math say different? Are we really determined to spend more time developing our relationship with our Savior or is our time just our time? Each day we are given a choice on how we will spend the next 24 hours. Will you chose to as the psalmist said, “I am resolved to obey Your statutes to the very end” Psalm 119:112 (HCSB). The time we have been blessed with is extremely important. The generations to come are watching every second. So show them the you have resolved to Obey God.

From Your Pastor’s Heart,
Pastor G