Patience and Trust

I can’t speak for you reader, but I find myself frequently asking God to what end He continues to make us wait for His return. Looking outside, this world is moving to a frighteningly dark place. There is so much moving away from God that it can sometimes feel like a daunting task to just serve our Lord in this world.

God has made us a promise of a new heaven and earth, where this dark world is no longer thriving. He promises us eternal salvation, but he also promises us persecution for Him. Do you believe this?

Let’s read from 2 Peter:

“But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”

‭‭2 Peter‬ ‭3:8-9‬ ‭KJV‬‬

Here is the important part we just remember: our time table, the measure of our life, is not even on the same scale as that which God uses. Our entire lifetime is but a blink of His eyes, but God could spend a thousand years in one day of our lives. Time is meaningless to God. It’s a measurement He gave us for our benefit, we cannot use this measurement to anticipate the will of God. When we look at it from this perspective, it becomes easier to understand why God does not act when we think He should (and shame on us for thinking that He should to begin with!!). 

We also need to keep in mind that God will keep the promises He made. He will not leave us to suffer alone. He promised us salvation, and it’s ours, guaranteed. He desires that all should come to Him and have eternal life. 

This is a quick way to gauge if we are thinking on God correctly. Are we assuming He is punishing us?  Are we assuming He has forgotten us?  Are we assuming He doesn’t care for us?  Are we assuming we are too far gone to be saved?  None of these meet the character or will of God. These are lies from the devil who desires us to turn away from God. 

Keep the knowledge of how God measures time, and the absolute perfect quality of His promises. 

God Bless

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Sermon: 08/02/2015 – John Chapter 8

John Chapter 8

John 8

Speaker on Sunday August 2nd:

Pastor Jason Doyle

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More Than You Can Handle

I’m sure we have all heard the saying “God will never give you more than you can handle.”  While this may give us encouragement, I think it mostly sets us up for failure. Scripture simply does not support this idea. This is not to say there is no hope, or that we are foolish for trusting God. We must however look to the character of God to understand how he provides for us in trials and temptations. 

The second thing to discuss is our resolve to resist the enemy. When we align ourselves with Christ, we become His children. After a while of service to Christ, a dangerous thing can happen. We can become over confident that we can keep the enemy at bay. There are those that hide the temptations they have fallen victim to because they feel their faith wasn’t as strong as they thought. 

Let’s read from 1 Corinthians:

“Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”

‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭10:12-13‬ ‭KJV‬‬

The first thing to address is our confidence in being able to resist the temptations of the enemy on our own. Note in verse 12, it says “thinketh he standeth”, that is incorrectly thinks. It’s dangerous for us to forget that we don’t stand against the evil one, we are held up by Christ. The moment we begin to think it’s our own feet that keep us upright, is the moment we begin to fall. 

The second part of this addresses the phrase we have heard so many times. First thing is first, there is no temptation we can face that is new. All temptations have been dealt with before. It can cause us some despair to think we are facing something new.  The key part is this:

who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

It doesn’t say the temptation itself will not be more than we can handle, the enemy will absolutely take it far above our ability to handle. God will let those temptations enter our lives that are too much for us to bear. What is important is that while it may be too much to bear, God will give us a way to escape it, that we then can bear it. 

Do you see the difference there?  We look at a situation in front of us with that old phrase in mind, and then we assume we should be able to handle all that is laid before us. We then can become frustrated because, while it’s too much for us to handle, we assume it can’t be. 

The way out of a temptation may not be to face it head on, it truly may be to run from it!  The escape God offers could be to remove yourself from the situation. We have this unfounded and terrible tendency to try to fix and make everything work. 

I ask that you approach each and every temptation in your life with the knowledge that you may not be able to plow through each and every temptation that comes your way. Don’t believe the lie that if you trust in God that it is impossible to be tempted into sin. We can and are tempted, regardless of our faith. 

When those temptations come, look for the escape God offers, discard the misconception that you must endure all the evil that comes your way. Trust in God to give you a way to bear it, whether that is resisting or fleeing. 

God Bless. 

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Sermon: 07/26/2015 – Galatians – Part 2

Galatians – Part 2

Galatians 1:10-16
Acts 9:1-22

Speaker on Sunday July 26th:

Pastor Jason Doyle

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Sermon: 07/19/2015 – Galatians – Part 1

Galatians – Part 1

Galatians 1:1-9
Deuteronomy 4:2

Speaker on Sunday July 19th:

Pastor Jason Doyle

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What do you think about?

What do you spend your day thinking about? I bet you replay that argument you had with your spouse, the things you should have said. You think about how you embarrassed yourself in public. You think about revenge and vengeance. To your credit, you think of the good things in you life as well. 

What should we be doing though?  More specifically, what should we spend our time thinking about?  Let’s turn to scripture for that answer:

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. (‭Philippians‬ ‭4‬:‭8‬ KJV)

Why is this important?  Our attitudes are directly affected by what we think about. Ever notice how when you spend a bunch of time thinking about those that have hurt you, how you become upset?  How when we think about fond memories from our childhood we become happy?

This is why it’s critical we spend a significant amount of our time thinking about good, Godly things. This puts us the right frame of mind to pursue God in our lives. It puts us in the right frame of mind to minister properly to those around us. It puts us in the right frame of mind to hear what God has to say to us. 

I urge you to set aside the crap we choose to spend so much time thinking about. Ponder on the wonderful things God does for you each day. Spend time contemplating what God will do in your life, how she will use you to further His kingdom. 

God Bless

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What do you talk about?

I’m going to take some scripture just a bit out of context here, but only because these particular verses made me think. The question is, what do you talk about?  When you are work, when you are out shopping, when you are at church?  I’ll bet very few of us spend time talking about our Lord and Savior. 

Give thanks unto the Lord, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the people. Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him, talk ye of all his wondrous works. Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the Lord. Seek the Lord and his strength, seek his face continually. (‭1 Chronicles‬ ‭16‬:‭8-11‬ KJV)

It’s not always about evangelism, it’s not always about teaching, sometimes it’s just about telling your story. How often do you tell the world what God has done in your life?  How often is a song in your heart for what the Lord has done for you?  How often do you seek His strength in sharing your relationship with God among the world?

I think we become so desensitized to the Grace God pours out on us that we don’t bother to tell anyone. We are either too backward to talk about it, or we assume everyone already knows. This can easily become a missed opportunity. How can others be excited about Christ if we aren’t?  How will people ever believe what we believe if we can’t tell them how important Christ is in our lives?  If it isn’t obvious in our praise of Him that He is working wonders in our lives?

I challenge you to seek Gods face continually. I challenge you to tell other Christians how Christ has poured out His love towards you. I challenge you to tell someone you know is a non believer how Christ has changed your life. I challenge you to tell a stranger where your joy comes from, and offer them that same joy. 

God Bless

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Bonded Together

What can separate us from the love of Christ?  What things can be done to us to cause us to fall out of favor with Jesus Christ?  What can the enemy do to us that will make our status with the Lord void?  Easy question, absolutely nothing!  Doesn’t always feel like that though, does it?

I think we often find ourselves feeling unworthy, feeling like there is no coming back from the things we’ve done. The enemy will attack us, and more often than not, he will win the battles against us.  Here is the good news, while some battles may be lost with us, Jesus Christ has already won the war. Victory is won. We don’t have to count our skirmishes with the enemy, even those that rough is up pretty good, as anything worth noting. We simply lay the lost battle at the feet of Jesus, accept His forgiveness, and continue fighting the good fight. 

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (‭Romans‬ ‭8‬:‭35-39‬ KJV)

Because we follow Jesus, we will be attacked. We are counted as sheep for the slaughter, that is, we will deal with some ferocious attacks because of whom we serve. We are killed all the day long, that is, we are brought under the sword on a regular basis, simply for whom we serve. There is a guarantee we will be persecuted for our faith. 

Here is the beautiful part, we are MORE than conquerors through Christ. The victory is already one, so the need for conquering is over. We are engaging the enemy from a place where he is already conquered. Think about that, the goal is not to defeat the enemy, but to only remain steadfast in our faith. We don’t have to throw a single blow towards the enemy, simply stand firmly on the promises of God. 

This scripture concludes with the affirmation that there is nothing that can come between us and Jeus Christ. Equipped with this knowledge, we can go into battle with the enemy with our heart and mind focused on the right things. We can stand firm on that solid rock, that cornerstone, that saving grace in Christ Jesus. 

God Bless

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Sermon: 06/28/2015 – Don’t You Know What You Have?

Don’t You Know What You Have?

Romans 3:23

Romans 5:8

Romans 10:9-10

John 8:32

John 14:6

John 3:16-17

Ephesians 2:19-22

Speaker on Sunday June 28th:

Pastor Jason Doyle

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Let’s Disagree!

Why are there so many denominations of Christianity?  I have often pondered this myself, don’t we all serve the same Jesus Christ?  I am sometimes baffled by doctrinal arguments over things that are so unimportant, yet we argue and rage over them. Entire denominations have been formed by a single dividing disagreement over scripture interpretation. Should we be concerned with all this?  Yes, yes we should, to a point.

Do we need to expend energy arguing points?  Here is one, do you think Jesus looks like He does the in the popular paintings of Him?  No, he was middle eastern, and if you saw Him as He was here on earth, you probably wouldn’t recognize Him!  Does that fact change anything in terms of what Christ accomplished on our behalf?  Not a bit. 

Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. (‭Romans‬ ‭15‬:‭5-6‬ KJV)

Uh-oh, we are to be of one mind, does this mean a multi-denominational Church structure is wrong?  Short answer, yes, longer answer:  it doesn’t matter all that much for us on a day to day basis.  Scholars should spend the appropriate amount of time researching truth, with a very large set of exceptions. 

When various Christians denominations get together, we can allagree on some basic principles, who Christ is, what He did, and who we are in relation to Him. We stand on the foundation of the Word, that is Jesus Christ. We are not too distant from each other in most areas. 

We are to glorify Him, regardless of doctrinal issues, without compromising. Now, problems arise when we allow these differences to create the ability for the enemy to stifle our faith. We are not to spend time arguing a point instead of serving God. 

Keep perspective on what’s important, it’s not important to define when the rapture will occur, it does not change salvation for you, or those you are sharing the Gospel with. Together we should all be glorifying God. Let’s agree to disagree on the finer points that don’t matter, as long as we agree to Glorify God at every opportunity. 

God Bless

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