Jesus the Groom

Ran across this in my devotion today and thought I’d share (dick to view the picture):

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Spurgeon 7/22

We are His Bride, loved by God without condition. Isn’t it amazing how much we are loved while we are yet so sinful? Let me encourage you to spend time this morning (as I did), thanking God for grace!

Pastor Fran

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Love in Action

Galatians 6:9 (ESV)

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.

Last night, I saw love in action. As 18 people filled up our living room and over-sized couch, it was nothing short of amazing. One person, a woman in her late 80s, shared the blessings of people a part of the family that is in Christ. Another person shared how she overcame her own hard feelings toward another member and sacrificially dispensed grace to that woman, who had “smiled for the first time” to the woman as a response. We heard how we are brothers and sisters bound by blood, affirming one another, praying for one another, and caring for one another. We were definitely the church last night!

Two main points came out of our evening. First, being members of one another is based on love. We love because God first loved us. God wants us to follow His example, and our love toward each other is a love that comes from Him.

From BibleScreen.com
From BibleScreen.com

Second, we express this love through serving. Our love is best shown as a living, loving object lesson as we dispense grace to the world. This means that your love expressed is not dependent on another’s thankfulness, or that they “deserve” it, or that they are a “nice” person- in fact, the opposite is true! Jesus said in Matthew 5:46, “For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?” People, all people need a love that God wants you to give- an unselfish, humble love that does not need to be reciprocated.

That said, what are you doing to show God’s love? Are you loving those who only love you, or are you willing to love the hard to love ones? Live it, express it, be the church!

Pastor Fran

A Prayer for the Prodigal Son

Dear Lord, I bow to You with all I have for this dear child,
My salty tears, my soul bitter and torn, I pray for this lost soul.

The truth has been taught, the love shown, and the life lived, though none of this seems to matter.
None of this has appeared to make a difference.

This soul has left, gone far from the land you have provided.
Covered in sin, focused on self, blinded by the god of this world.

Withering away in turmoil, this child suffers from the evil arrows.
Yet pride works, pleasure imprisons, and this soul wanders without aim.

Shake this earth, Lord, and bring this child home!
Home to the narrow path, the righteous path, the only path.

The examined life worth living
is only worth living in You.

And I will run at the sight of this child, yes, I will run to this soul!
I will embrace while trembling, I will open my home!

I will sing of Your purpose, I will shout of your grace, I will be humbled before You!
I will praise Your victory over sin’s effects, over the turmoils of life!

You are the God of light, the God of love, the God of salvation!
You are the God of a hope and a future!

You have made the difference, O Lord, You have mattered!
To live is Christ, and I know that Your love and truth reigns!

I praise You now with a renewed hope, an awe with tears of joy!
Dear Lord, I bow to You with all I have for this dear child!

See Luke 15:11-32

The Love Chapter

1 Corinthians 13 is known by many as the “love chapter.” Often, when I perform weddings, I get requests for someone to read this passage in the service. It’s a wonderful passage, and it can be applied to marriage, parenting, anything in life, but the original intent was within the context of the church. Watch this awesome video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8F9_A7XIU6k

Life as the church is a life of love- we are better together! God has preordained His church of His people to good works, ministry that we do once we are His.

We begin with love, we share with truth, and we live with joy.

How are you loving others this week?

Pastor Fran

We are blessed.

1 Peter 1:10–12 –10 As to this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the grace that would come to you made careful searches and inquiries, 11 seeking to know what person or time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating as He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow. 12 It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves, but you, in these things which now have been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—things into which angels long to look.

06022009015This was the moment that eternity had been waiting for. The prophets spoke of it, the patriarchs lived for it, and the Words of God promised it. What was it? None other than the arrival of the Messiah, Jesus.

From the very beginning of the arrival of sin and its bondage, God has been working throughout time and space to usher in the Kingdom with no end. He has used the history of Israel, the imperfections of kings and kingdoms, and the consequences of disobedience to show all that self-righteousness is a trap. The wisdom from the Word tells us that “there is no one righteous” (Isaiah 64:10).

Peter reminds us that we are indeed blessed. We have what the prophets long ago sought to see with their own eyes. He boldly tells us that these prophets were not serving themselves, but us! We have the full revelation of the Word of God. We have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. We have the complete gospel, the wisdom of the cross, and the hope of all mankind. We have the gospel, the truth and the glory of Christ, the “things into which angels long to look!”

Be encouraged, our Christ is coming again! When we look at the whole of God’s timeline and how He worked throughout the history of man, we will give Him the glory! In the meantime, we serve, we share, and we rejoice that the gospel can be a daily part of our lives!

Y’all are the church

1 Corinthians 3:9, For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.”

There are many verses in the New Testament that speaks of how we as the church are to walk together as one Body. Contrary to what many people think, we aren’t alone in our walk in a rugged individualism, we are together in unison, focused on Christ. You are never to be alone as a Christian, nor should you desire to be.

Think about it: if God chose you individually (and He certainly did before the foundation of the world), then your fellowship with God and others began with God. Yet, even though you came to Him individually, you’re hard-wired for relationships, and intimacy with God and others is God’s desire. God wants you to love one another as He loved you. This is why it is important to realize that Paul is not speaking to one person in the passage above, he is speaking to a collective you- or y’all as we like to say in the south!

This is in line with what the New Testament says about the church: Y’all are God’s field, God’s building. Y’all are “living stones…a spiritual house for a holy priesthood” (1 Peter 2:5). Y’all are Christ’s body (1 Cor 12:27), to attain to a unity of faith (Eph 4:13), under one Lord, one faith, one baptism (Eph 4:5), so that all things y’all do would be for the glory of God (1 Cor 10:31).  It’s not you that does ministry, y’all do ministry, all empowered by Christ for Christ.

I hope that this is humbling. The church, then, is not about you, it’s about God being glorified by His people. This means making serious changes in your view of the relationships with God and others as His church. This means making Christ supreme in your daily walk, discarding your own comfort and convenience for Christ’s commission of the cross. This means finding ways to intentionally serve Christ and share Christ with others, and allowing Christ’s love to permeate all that you say and do.

It means being the y’all who love each other through thick and thin, where yall revolve around Christ and not the other way around. are the church, God’s church. A church for His glory who shares His gospel of grace with the world and with  one another.

I am praying for y’all.