Continuing A Great Heritage

IMG_1679_edited-1

Greetings In The Name Of The Lord:

Acts 1:8 New Living Translation (NLT)

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Today we are celebrating 20 years of heritage for the church family known as New LIfe Assembly of God. Established as a new church plant in 1997, this church family began to meet for the purpose of fulfilling the Great Commission in Morrow County, Ohio. However, that is not where our heritage began. As Dr. William W. Menzies stated in his book, Anointed To Serve, “In 1914, following a period of baffling rejection by all segments of the American church world, with great reluctance, but recognizing the urgency of the task, farsighted men gathered in Hot Springs, Arkansas, to establish a “cooperative fellowship” for the conservation of the work of God. There have been other organizations, as well, that carried a similar burden, and that God has wonderfully blessed, but the Assemblies of God has enjoyed a role of leadership in the American Pentecostal Movement that places it in a strategic position historically” (7-8). For the last twenty years this congregation has taken up that same mantle to bring the Pentecostal witness of Jesus Christ to Morrow County. It has been my great honor to be a part of that heritage, and I look forward to continuing on in that move of God for the next twenty years should the Lord tarry.

In Christ.

Pastor Mark

Advertisements

Prayerlessness

IMG_1679_edited-1

Greetings In The Name Of The Lord:

James 4:2-3 (NLT)
2  You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. 3  And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure.

“The true man of God is heartsick, grieved at the worldliness of the Church…grieved at the toleration of sin in the Church, grieved at the prayerlessness in the Church. He is disturbed that the corporate prayer of the Church no longer pulls down the strongholds of the devil.” (Ravenhill, Leonard).

In Christ,

Pastor Mark

What Difference Does It Make?

IMG_1679_edited-1

Greetings In The Name Of The Lord:

Mark 10:45 (NLT)
For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE?
The job of the church is not to impact the church, but to impact the world.
It’s like a huddle in a football game. 67,000 people don’t pay $50.00 a ticket to watch the Browns huddle. What if you went to a Browns game and for 2½ hours you watched 11 men stand in a circle and talk? That’s not what you pay for!! 67,000 people pay $25 a ticket to see what difference the huddle makes. What they want to know is, having called the play in secret, does it work in public?

The challenge for the church is not what we do when we call our Sunday morning huddle, but what we do when we break our huddle and head to our Sunday morning assignment. When Satan lines up against us, what difference does it make that we are Christians?

In Christ,
Pastor Mark

Acting In Times Of Crisis

Greetings In The Name Of The Lord:
James 2:19-20 (NLT)
19 You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God. Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror. 20 How foolish! Can’t you see that faith without good deeds is useless?

A story about a crisis in Holland. Many Christians believed that Sunday was like the Sabbath and that it is wrong to work, play or do anything but worship and rest. Much of Holland is below sea level but the Dutch reclaimed the land by construction an ingenious system of dykes and canals to hold back the seawater. On one particular Sunday, storms raised the water level to a dangerous height and the water threatened to overflow the dikes and flood a particular city, ruining the crops. Many residents went to the dikes to add sandbags but there were too few workers to stop the rising tide. The local constable appealed to the local Dutch Reform Church for help. He knew there were hundreds of able-bodied men who could make the difference. He went to the church to persuade the members to come and help. The leaders quickly met and decided it would be sinful to break the Sabbath rules by working on Sunday. The pastor appealed to the leaders to change their minds and help with the work. He referred them to this passage where Jesus broke the Sabbath rules of His day for the good of others. The reply of the chief church elder leader is classic. He said, “I have always had a hard time accepting what Jesus did on the Sabbath, too!” It would be funny if it were not so tragic. The town flooded and most of the crops were ruined—but many of the Christians felt pious because they hadn’t desecrated the Sabbath Day.

In Christ,
Pastor Mark

Don’t Tell Me About Your Faith, Show It To Me!

IMG_1679_edited-1

Greetings In The Name Of The Lord:

James 2:18 (NLT)

18 Now someone may argue, “Some people have faith; others have good deeds.” But I say, “How can you show me your faith if you dont have good deeds? I will show you my faith by my good deeds.”

The way this works out in each of our lives is going to be different. You may not be a boxing fan, but you’ve got to admire George Foreman, the former heavyweight boxing champion. A few years ago, at the age of 42, he came out of retirement for one last fight. Was it for the glory? Not according to Foreman. Was it for the fame? No again. Was it because of the Lord? As amazing as it may seem the answer is yes. You see he’s a preacher who works with troubled young boys. He gets them off the streets and tells them about Jesus. Few boxing experts thought he would last more than 3 rounds against 28 year old Evander Holyfield. George Foreman didn’t win the fight, but he lasted all 12 rounds and he got paid for the fight which was what he wanted all along. I don’t know what God’s got for you to do, it may be as strange as what He had for George Foreman, or it may be as expected as sharing your faith with your neighbor, but I do know He wants you to believe Him & then put your faith into action.

In Christ,

Pastor Mark

Racism Is A Sin

IMG_1679_edited-1

Greetings In The Name Of The Lord:

James 2:8-9 (NLT)
8 Yes indeed, it is good when you obey the royal law as found in the Scriptures: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”[a] 9 But if you favor some people over others, you are committing a sin. You are guilty of breaking the law.

In light of the recent events in our country, I wanted to share a story with you. A first grader went on her first day to a newly integrated school at the height of the segregation storm. An anxious mother met her at the door to inquire, “How did everything go, honey?” “Oh, Mother! You know what? A little black girl sat next to me!” In fear and trepidation, the mother expected trauma, but tried to ask calmly: “And what happened?” “We were both so scared that we held hands all day.” Racism doesn’t come naturally, it is a learned behavior. James is clear that looking down on someone based on the color of their skin, their ethnic heritage, or how much money they have is a sin. If you have displayed that sort of attitude toward someone then you need to repent. Regardless of who you are or what color your skin is we are all in this together! The truth is we all need Jesus!

In Christ,
Pastor Mark

The Lord Looks At The Heart

IMG_1679_edited-1

Greetings In The Name Of The Lord:

James 2:1 (NLT)
1 My dear brothers and sisters, how can you claim to have faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ if you favor some people over others?

A number of years ago, when we were Pastoring in Yellville, AR, there was a tiny, but famous town just down the road from us called Zinc, AR. So what was Zinc’s claim to fame? It was the home of the Grand Wizard of the KKK. This man wondered down to our local cafe for lunch one day and made the statement, “if there are any “(expletive)” in heaven then I don’t want to go!” Since that day, it has always been my contention, that unless he repents of his attitude God might just take him up on his offer! With all the racial unrest going on in our country these days the church should be leading the fight for racial reconciliation. It’s time to stop looking at what people are on the outside and start looking at what they are on the inside. As the Lord said to the prophet Samuel, “The LORD doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7).

In Christ,
Pastor Mark