Thank Heaven

Mark Office

Greetings In The Name of the Lord:

Philippians 3:20 says, “But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables Him to bring everything under His control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like His glorious body.” C.S. Lewis said, “If you read history you will find that the Christians who did the most for the present world were precisely those who thought most of the next.”

There are many things about heaven that Christians can thank the Lord about. While living on this earth they have to suffer the consequences of sin just as Job came to know the sufferings of this world. He lost children, possessions and knew bad health. Knowing that at the end of his life something wonderful would take place, he said, “I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end He will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see Him with my own eyes… How my heart yearns within me!”(Job 19:25-27)

 

The children of God may very well be afflicted with disease, or loss of property. They may be forsaken by their friends as Job was. However, there is going to be a day when their body will be resurrected and they will have a physical body that is healthy, not subjected to sickness, pain or death or overcome by sin. Christians can praise God, for in heaven there is going to be a perfect city where there is no crime, no homeless, no unemployment, no pollution, no corruption in city councils or government. Heaven is victorious with no civil unrest, no terrorism and no more wars. There will be fairness, truth and goodness, and God’s holiness will reign. Everyone will be upright and honest.

John Newton wrote, “When I get to heaven, I shall see three wonders there: The first wonder will be to see many people there whom I did not expect to see; the second wonder will be to miss many people whom I did expect to see; the third and greatest of all will be to find myself there.” Be grateful this Thanksgiving that God, although he allows to go through difficulties in this life, has an amazing plan in store for us. Remember the words of the Apostle Paul, “That is what the Scriptures mean when they say, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him” (! Cor. 2:9).

 

In Christ,

Pastor Mark

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Donut Shop Faith

Mark Office

Greetings In The Name of the Lord:

With all of the conflict between the Church and those attempting to squelch our voice in this nation, I thought it appropriate to share a story that I came across this week.

THE PATRIOT LEDGER REPORTS:

Tuesday, the city’s licensing board approved a plan to open a Honey Dew Donuts at the café counter inside the new $30 million YMCA … It will be the only Honey Dew store in Quincy. …Because of the Y’s focus on physical fitness, the vendor won’t sell doughnuts, said Sara Trubiano, spokeswoman for the South Shore YMCA said. …

The new Honey Dew will sell coffee, low-fat muffins, salads, sandwiches, yogurt, fruit cups and smoothies, Trubiano said. All menu items first must be approved by Y leadership. How ironic, a donut shop that agrees to sell no donuts! Sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it? But isn’t that exactly what we do when we compromise our beliefs in order to please the world? A donut shop should sell donuts, and a believer should seek to please God! “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them” (1 John 2:15). As believers in Jesus we need to take a stand against those who would seek to silence and even banish us from this nation. I applaud the five Pastor’s from Houston who took a stand, and by the grace of God, overcame the opposition to their freedom and Constitutional Rights. Let us learn a valuable lesson from this episode in our history and stand firm for the truth of the Gospel.

In Christ,

Pastor Mark

The Persecuted Church?

Mark Office

Greetings In The Name of the Lord:

Romans 12:1 (NLT)

And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.

 

There is a lot of talk in the Church these days about persecution. However, to us America we see persecution as not being able to pray or read our Bibles where we would like. A recent Face Book post by a Pastor friend of mine in Pakistan about a Christian family who was burned alive for their faith in Jesus was a sobering reminder that we do not have a clue when it comes to persecution. I ran across this story that gives the true meaning of being a living sacrifice. “History knows them as the forty martyrs of Sebaste. They were soldiers in the famed Twelfth Legion of Rome’s imperial army, around A.D. 320. One day the captain informed his troops that Emperor Licinius had sent down an edict commanding all soldiers to offer a sacrifice to his pagan god. Forty of the soldiers were followers of Christ, and they refused. ‘You can have our armor and even our bodies, but our hearts’ allegiance belongs to Jesus Christ,’ they said.  “The emperor decided to make an example of the soldiers, so in the middle of winter he marched them onto a frozen lake and stripped them of their clothes. ‘Renounce your God and you will be spared from death,’ he told them. Not one man came forward. So he left them there, huddled together to contemplate his offer. Throughout the night the man stayed together, singing their song of victory: Forty Martyrs for Christ. When morning came, thirty-nine of the men had frozen to death. The one survivor finally relented and crawled to safety, recanting his confession of faith in order to live. The officer in charge that night had been so moved by the scene that during his watch he’d come to Jesus, so he broke rank and walked out onto the ice. Stripping his clothes he openly confessed his faith in Christ. The furious emperor demanded that he renounce Jesus, but he refused. When the ordeal was over, the Roman soldiers carried forty frozen men off of the ice” (Lahaye, Tim, Jerry B. Jenkins and Frank M. Martin ed., Embracing Eternity, Living Each Day With a Heart Toward Heaven: The Persecuted,. Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, 2004).

The next time you think that giving up a bad habit or getting up earlier to spend time in prayer is difficult, remember what others are going through and remember what it really means to be a living sacrifice.

 

In Christ,

Pastor Mark