Road Map

Greetings In The Name Of The Lord:

2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NLT)
16  All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. 17  God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.

Think of the Scriptures as an absolutely accurate map. A map tells you how to get to a certain destination. But just looking at a map won’t automatically transport you to Arizona or England or Peru. Getting to those places means you have to make the effort…pay the cost…take the time for travel…stay at it until you arrive. In a word, persevere. So it is in the Christian life. God’s map is reliable and available. It is also clear and direct. But there is no hocus-pocus in its pages that automatically sends its reader by way of a magic carpet (Perseverance, Condensed from Three Steps Forward, Two Steps Back by Charles Swindoll, 1980).

In Christ,

Pastor Mark

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The Nature Of Love

Greetings In The Name Of The Lord:

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NLT)
4  Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5  or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6  It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7  Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

Love is one of the most powerful emotions we have. The actress Joan Crawford once said “Love is a fire but whether it warms your heart or burns your house down, you can never tell!” Love can motivate, give pleasure, hurt even destroy. It can make us do bold, even stupid things. During the 17th century, Oliver Cromwell, sentenced a soldier to be shot for his crimes. The execution was to take place at the ringing of the evening curfew bell. However, the bell did not sound. The soldier’s fiancé had climbed into the belfry and clung to the great clapper of the bell to prevent it from striking. When she was summoned by Cromwell to account for her actions, she wept as she showed him her bruised and bleeding hands. Cromwell’s heart was touched and he said, “Your lover shall live because of your sacrifice. Curfew shall not ring tonight!” As Christians, portrayed in the bible as brides of Christ, who is the Bridegroom, we too have a lover who gives us life because of his sacrifice. We are told that one day the Bridegroom will return and we shall be reunited and honeymoon, so to speak, in heaven.

In Christ,

Pastor Mark

What Is Lent?

Greetings In The Name Of The Lord:

 Matthew 4:1-2 (NLT) 

1  Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted there by the devil. 2  For forty days and forty nights he fasted and became very hungry.

 Lent is a time set aside in preparation for the two most important days in the Christian calendar, Good Friday and Easter Sunday.  Just as we set aside time to prepare spiritually for Christmas Day, it makes sense to set aside time to prepared for Easter Sunday.  Lent is a time that offers us an opportunity to come to terms with the human condition we may spend the rest of the year running from and it brings our need for a Savior to the forefront.  Like Advent, Lent is a time to open the doors of our hearts a little wider and understand our Lord a little deeper, so that Good Friday and eventually. Easter comes; it is not just another day at church but an opportunity to receive the overflowing graces God has to offer.  But unlike the childlike joy of Advent, with it’s eager anticipation of the precious baby Jesus, Lent is an intensely time of examining our sinful natures and return to the God we have, through our own rebelliousness, hurt time and again.  Lent is also an opportunity to contemplate what Christ really did for us on the Cross – and it wasn’t pretty!  But ultimately, the purpose of Lent does not stop at sadness and despair – it points us to the hope of the Resurrection and the day when every tear will be dried (Rev. 21:3).

 In Christ,

 Pastor Mark

The Good News Brings Hope

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Greetings In The Name Of The Lord:

Colossians 1:5 New Living Translation (NLT)

which come from your confident hope of what God has reserved for you in heaven. You have had this expectation ever since you first heard the truth of the Good News.

Hope is a strange thing. It will give you confidence in the bleakest of times. But hope is not any good unless you have your hope in someone that will not let you down. There are a lot of things that we hope for, and a lot of things that we wish for. The hope I am talking about is the hope that we have as believers. This hope has its foundation in what Jesus did for us on the Cross, and what He will do when He takes us out of this world. When you have this kind of hope, you can face anything. Listen to what is happening in Bangladesh:  “We have never seen days like this in Bangladesh! On average, ONE NEW ASSEMBLIES OF GOD CHURCH IS PLANTED EVERY THREE WEEKS! In 1980, Bangladesh had 12 Assemblies of God churches; today that number is more than 400! Much of the astounding growth is happening through God- called men and women who have been trained and sent out from the Assemblies of God Bible School in Dhaka, the nation’s capital. Sentu and his wife are two of those sent. Not every new church planter faces the opposition this couple has endured. In an attack by radicals, Sentu nearly lost his life. Shot in the face, stabbed nine times, his throat slit four times-his recovery took 18 months and numerous surgeries. During that time, in spite of grave personal danger, his wife remained faithful in ministry. As soon as Sentu was able, he convinced everyone that he intended to continue serving at the same place where he was attacked” (Source: “Faces of Eurasia” November 2008, Omar J. Beiler).

In Christ,

Pastor Mark

Love Mercy

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Greetings In The Name Of The Lord:

Micah 6:8 (NLT)
8  No, O people, the LORD has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.

A high school basketball player’s mom passed away on the day of a game. He made it to the game and his coach invited him to sit on the bench. But he wanted to play.  Since he arrived late, putting him in the game was a technical foul and the other team would shoot two free throws. Knowing the situation, the other team refused to shoot the free throws. But the officials persisted.  The coach asked for a volunteer to shoot the shots and the captain raised his hands. His first shot went about two feet, his second went about one foot.  The other team showed mercy to this player by sharing his pain with acts of kindness.

In Christ,

Pastor Mark

Saved To Serve

Greetings In The Name Of The Lord:

Ephesians 2:10. NLT)

For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

We serve Jesus by serving people. A wealthy American traveler visited a hospital in Southeast Asia. He walked in just as a young missionary nurse was cleaning the sores of a sick, dirty, elderly man who had been found lying in a gutter. The rich man said to the nurse, “I wouldn’t do that for a million dollars.” She answered quietly and firmly, “Neither would I.” Money couldn’t buy her extravagant devotion to Jesus. Her life was broken and spilled out for the love of Christ. How are you serving Jesus?

In Christ,

Pastor Mark

 

 

The Power Of Service

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Greetings In The Name Of The Lord:

 Luke 10:33 (NLT)
33  “Then a despised Samaritan came along, and when he saw the man, he felt compassion for him.

Aristides, a Christian apologist in the first-century Athens, described Christians to the Roman Emperor Hadrian this way: “They love one another. They never fail to help widows; they save orphans from those who would hurt them. If they have something they give freely to the man who has nothing; if they see a stranger, they take him home, and are happy, as though he were a real brother” (Charles Colson, Loving God, 176). Does this describe the church today? Is this a description of you? We can make all the excuses we want as to why we can’t, won’t or don’t live like this today, but the bottom live is if were not living like this we are not following Jesus!

In Christ,

Pastor Mark