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Wait on Him, Trust in Him

Patience in service, patience in trials and patience in life.  I don’t know about all of you personally, but sometimes I lack the kind of patience I’m supposed to have.  I’m eager to see things through, to get to the end, that I often miss the best parts.  This morning I have been humming the Chris Tomlin version of the song Everlasting God.  This of course led me to the scripture that song is based on, let’s look at it now:

ISA 40:28-31 KJV

Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord , the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding.  He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.  Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall:  But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

Often times our impatience or lack of trust in God manifest itself in subtle ways.  We put half a heart into service, convinced it’s for nothing.  We are are slow to forgive because we have been wronged before.  We hesitate to follow those that lead us because we are unable to reconcile their decisions.

These verses make a really excellent point, we cannot understand God.  He does not get wore out, He doesn’t take a break.  He has no beginning and no end, his will is perfect in every way.  Yet somehow we question His wisdom.  We grow weary in service to Him. 

You see the beauty and irony of it is that as we are impatient, we begin to have doubt.  If we wait on the Lord though, trusting in Him, he gives us strength.  We will be able to rise to the challenge.  In these things, we allow the enemy to convince us that impatience is justified.  You see we cannot begin to think that we understand the will of God, but to doubt Him is to do just that, or worse, to think we know better than Him!

God has a perfect plan and a perfect purpose.  If we trust in Him, His perfection will be made evident in us.  He will strengthen us, allowing to soar like eagles.

Be patient, let your strength rise by waiting on the Lord.

God Bless

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Sermon: 12/28/2014 – Faith or Works?

Is it faith or works? Is it both?

Galatians 1:6-9, 3:1-5
James 1:2-4, 1:12, 2:26, 5:11

Speakers on Sunday December 28th:

Pastor Jason Doyle

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Read on!

John 3:16 is used and quoted a lot.  Don’t get me wrong, this is a good thing.  However, we can sometimes forget that there is a lot more surrounding that scripture, and context is important.

Let’s see what Jesus says from John 3:16 and a little further on:

JHN 3:16-21 KJV

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.    For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.    He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.    And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.    For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.    But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

So here is a prime example of what I’m talking about.  We take just the popular verse, that through Christ, we have everlasting life.  Obviously Christ is speaking truth, but stopping there is the equivalent of plugging our ears before Christ is done speaking.

He goes on to say that he did not come into the world to condemn it (and therefore we should not either).  Specifically though he explains why:  The world is already condemned in its sin.  Mens evil ways will drive us head first into condemnation, Christ has nothing to do with making that happen.  He is however here to give us a way out.  It also makes a point to say that once that light is present, evil men will cling even harder to their sin, because they love it, and because they don’t want their sin to be exposed.  Those that cling to Christ however are happy to have their deeds exposed because they bring glory and honor to God.

The final point I want to make here is one of caution.  “Single Verse Sermons” are dangerous, if not sometimes ridiculous.  Don’t buy into the concept of great meaning from a single verse, read on and understand the context from which it comes.  This circles back to a fundamental truth, you must read your bible to understand what scripture is truly saying.

God Bless

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Sermon: 12/21/2014 – Christ the Redeemer is Born

Do you know the story?  Do you really?  This evening we dived into the Christmas story from Matthew and Luke.

Matthew 1:18 – 2:12

Luke 2:1 – 2:20

The primary focus for us is seperating what the media has claimed as truth, and what the Bible says is truth.  I let you guess which one I stand by.

I’m happy we can post the sermon audio up, but boy do I wish you all could hear some of the discussion that comes about after the sermon.  One thing we really pride ourselves in at Grandview Grace Community Church is our discussions.  We absolutely love it when someone ask a question.  In fact, it will keep a pastor like me on my toes, when my congregation can make me think, I know we are really doing something here.

 

Thank you local congregation.

Remote people, please feel free to register and leave a comment with a question below, I would be happy to get some dialog going with you!

 

Speakers on Sunday December 21st:

Pastor Jason Doyle

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Speak Up!

This one is going to be a hard pill to swallow, but understand, if I give anything but Biblical truth, I would be doing you the reader, and myself a grave disservice.  In fact, this very topic is an example of this point.

So here is the scenario:  You are a Christian, comfortable in your faith.  You attend church, you help the needy and you serve God in other ways.  You go to your prayers at night feeling confident you are serving the Lord.

Now, Monday comes around, you go to work.  All around you you hear of the depravity and sin your co-workers are living in.  You laugh at the crude jokes, you join in conversations that you surely wouldn’t have around your fellow believers.

Is there something wrong with this picture?  Maybe, depending on your answer to this question:  Do you try to bring those people out of their sin?

We are going to the old testament this time:

Ezekiel 33:7-9 KJV

So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me.  When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.  Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.

I’m going to break this down as simply as possible:

If you see someone living in sin, and you do nothing, their inequity will cause their spiritual death, and it will be on your hands.

However, if you try to do something, but they continue to live in sin, they will still have their spiritual death, but it will be on them.

Here’s the point:  don’t sit back in your perceived righteousness, judging or ignoring others sin.  It is not how we should act as Christians.  However, whether they turn from their sin is on them.

God did not make us aware of sin for personal gain, it so we can build out society to honor Him.  How can we do that if we don’t make an effort to save those around us from their own sin?

God Bless

 

EDIT: 12/19/2014

I want to add something that I did not mention above.  While it is our job to pull those around us from out of their sin, we should approach this with compassion and love.  We should not point fingers, accuse or become belligerent to those we are attempting to save.

We should want them to change to escape their sin, out of love, out of true fear that they are damning themselves.  If we approach it with the mindset that we are better then them, we will only drive them away.  We cannot forget that we once lived in, and most still dabble in our own sins.

 

God Bless

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Do you Hear?

When it comes to family, friends, neighbors or other members of your congregation, do you hear?  Are you truly listening in conflict, or just waiting for your turn to yell your point of view?

Do you let your anger and hurt feelings drive your actions?  Do you often find yourself wondering why you reacted the way you did, or having to apologize for your behaviour?

Let’s turn to James:

James 1:19-20 KJV

Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:  For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.

Ahh, as usual, God has a clear plan for the way in which we conduct our lives, on how we interact with one another.

Let’s break this down:

Swift to hear:  This of course meaning that we spend a great deal of energy hearing what is being said, not just waiting for the noise to stop so we can speak.  Truly listen to what is being said in context.  Be compassionate to another’s point of view.  Listen like you are truly concerned with them being heard.

Slow to speak:  Here is the one most of us fail at.  We must NOT just fly off the handle and spout the first thing that comes to mind.  Think about our words, the effect they will have, and what we are truly trying to say.  Back in the 90s the WWJD was a big fad, but in this case, think about it like that.  Could your words come from the mouth of Jesus?  Would you speak the words to Jesus?  I would venture to say that given that criteria, most of us would not have a lot to say when angry! (This is a good thing!)

Slow to wrath:  The last and most important part.  Your anger and retaliation, at its very core.  It should take a lot for us to get to this point.  A lot of us tell everyone to be careful because we have a short fuse.  I caution you however, because we control the size of that fuse.  The Lord made us with compassion and understanding, we cannot use our decision to ignore that as a justification for laying wrath down at every opportunity.

The last line sums it up pretty well.  Our wrath can never work the righteousness of God.  To be frank, our goal here on earth IS to work the righteousness of God.  Therefore, is there ever a time when wrath is appropriate?  I don’t think so.

Please keep your emotions, your thoughts and your actions in line with the will of God.  Let not your wrath overshadowed God’s righteousness through you.

God Bless

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His Grace is Enough

When you are weak, when you suffer, do you thank God?  Do you praise Him for your trials and pain?  Do you adore Him in your infirmity?  Do you love Him in your persecutions?

All of us turn to Him in a time of need, when things are rough we ask Him to help us.  In reality, we should be thanking Him.  We should be singing songs of praise that our lives are in shambles.

Let’s look at 2 Corinthians:

2CO 12:9-10 KJV

And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

Here is the main reason why there is joy in the suffering.  In our suffering, Christ is sufficient.  He is enough for all things.

We need not concern ourselves with the way in which we deal with it, Christ alone can handle it.  We need only to follow Him.

In addition, through this process is where we are made strong in Him.  Our fleshly weakness becomes our spiritual strength.  Truly think about that, we get to trade in an inequity in ourselves for the strength of the creator of the universe.  This sounds like a sweet deal to me.

Take strength on Christ when you are weak.  He is sufficient to cover all things.

God Bless

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Sermon: 12/14/2014 – Grandview GCC Official Launch

Exciting news!  Grandview Grace Community Church had our official joint launch with our parent church Grace Community Church of Mount Vernon.  It was a busy day for all of us.  The audio here is a bit sub-par, but it’s the best we could do for the time being.  We will be working on recording and distributing all of our sermons going forward.

 

Speakers on Sunday December 14th:

Pastor Jason Doyle (Pastor of Grandview Grace Community Church)

Pastor Walt Malick (Former Paster of Grace Community Church of Mount Vernon)

Pastor Roger Tickle (Pastor of Grace Community Church of Mount Vernon)

 

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Be in Prayer

Do you pray?  Do you do it before going to bed? When you wake up?  Do you pray at the moment of necessity or file it away to be addressed later or forgotten?  I ask this because prayer is one of the most powerful tools of communication we have for speaking to our God.  Through prayer we can put substance to our hearts desires, we can open a channel for God to speak to us.

Now, the big question is, what do you pray for, and does it do any good?  Let’s read a passage from James:

James 5:13-16 KJV

Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.  Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:  And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.  Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

Notice here that James outlines when to pray pretty clearly: when afflicted, when merry, when sick, when sins need to be forgiven.  I’m noticing that given this range, the better question is, is there ever a time when we shouldn’t be praying?  Short answer, no.

In this I want to stress the need for access to a seasoned Christian, an Elder.  These men understand the role prayer plays, they know the power it posseses.

I also want to dissect this line: The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

Notice it availeth much for the righteous man.  Does that mean one must be righteous for a prayer to be addressed?  Does it mean there are qualifications to have your prayers answered?

Well, sort of.

You see the man is righteous, because he understands how to pray.  How he prays make a him righteous, his righteousness isn’t required to have his prayers heard.  Let me elaborate:  The righteous man understands that he brings his prayers before God,  he doesn’t expect God to do things a certain way.  He understands that God is sovereign, and will handle things as He sees fit.  The righteous man thanks God for His authority over all things, especially when God answers that prayer differently than expected, or not at all.  The righteous man doesn’t think himself high enough to condemn God for His choices, he accepts them at face value, with praise and thanks.

So I ask you, pray with understanding of who God is, and who you are.

God Bless

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Faith is Blind

I use to always be confounded, frustrated and jealous of those that had blind faith.  You see by trade I am software developer, my mind works like any engineers does.  Cause and effect, reason and anticipated results are my bread and butter.  Do you know how long I put my faith on the back burner because I could not rectify certain concepts (sickness, suffering, death etc.).??  Years and years is how long.

Now, to my frustration, my wife has always had blind faith.  As you might expect, this lead to a sometimes uncomfortable set of conversations for us.

God however, had a wonderful plan for Heather and I in this.  You see we were both wrong.  I needn’t over analyze my faith, God is sovereign, creator of all things, and to try to decipher His will was just pure insanity on my part.  Heather needed to be able to describe her faith, which her blind faith led her away from studying and understanding her God.

Let’s read from Hebrew on this topic:

HEB 11:1-3 KJV

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.  For by it the elders obtained a good report.  Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.

Now, that sums it up.  The evidence of things not seen.  I love that concept.  You see the way my life has changed over the years and the way my wife’s life has changed over the years is evidence of faith, even if the change causing catalyst is not visible.

Have faith, even when you can’t see the reason, don’t ignore the evidence.  The world is made from God’s will, anything we see is not made from things we can see.

The best description I can give is from the truth project series.  Things in the box try to figure out how the box was made using things in the box.  The problem is that what made the box is outside the box, so those inside will never understand, because they too are from within the box.

We cannot comprehend God, but we can follow Him, and learn about Him.  You see my wife taught me to trust in the sovereignty of God, and I taught her how to get closer to Him through studying His word.  Together we have grown closer to God, and closer to each other.

I urge you check your extremes at the door, God has revealed Himself, without the need to dissect his very being.  He has also provided us the tools to know Him better.

God Bless

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