On our Pastor’s mind

Full of Grace and Truth

As believers, we all want to be like Jesus. That is what it means to be a Christian. So what was He like? The Apostle John gives us that answer in John 1:14:

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth (NKJV).

Jesus was “full of grace and truth.” So as believers and as Christians, we too should be full of grace and truth. We are not just to exemplify grace and truth; we are to overflow with grace and truth.

The problem is that some of us believers overdo truth, or maybe we just underdo grace. Either way, we begin to think that just because we happen to excel at one point in our Christian walk that means we are experts and should dictate to others how to live. We reason that if others would listen to truth and obey it then they too will become great Christians like us. So we forget about humility, and we forget about the grace that God poured out on us. And instead, we pursue them with the “standard of truth.” And here is that crux of the problem: without grace, truth becomes perverted. Without grace, our “standard of truth” is simply just legalism. It is a form of intolerance.

Others of us underdo truth. We attempt to show grace to others without pointing them back to God’s truth. But grace without truth is not really grace; it is just a different kind of perversion. It is a mutant-grace which our world prefers. Grace without truth is really just tolerance.

Jesus was full of both grace and truth. That is 100% grace and 100% truth. We must deliver both, maybe not at the same time, but definitely both. By displaying the grace of Christ, we can provide an opportunity for the truth of God’s Word to sink in and for the Holy Spirit to bring about conviction.

Jesus was full of grace and truth. We too must be full of both grace and truth.

On our Pastor’s mind

Love Loud

This next year the Tennessee Baptist community outreach theme is Love Loud. They encourage the TN churches to make a focused effort sometime during the 3 weeks leading to Easter. We will join them in this effort, but I plan to champion this theme through the year.

Love Loud!

Sunday, I challenged us to love people. I want us to ask ourselves the following question:

What is the most loving thing I can do right now?

People are everywhere. They need love. So I want us asking ourselves this question. This question consistently demands that we take action and points us toward taking the right action. The idea is that these acts of kindness may open the door for us to share, maybe not immediately, but if we consistently show people the love of Christ, then eventually we will have opportunities to say something about our hope in Christ Jesus.

Random Acts of Kindness

Our society speaks of “random acts of kindness.” I guess the randomness could be seen from the receiver’s point of view, but I don’t believe the love of Christ is shown randomly. I believe we must be purposeful.

Ideas: Demonstrate the love of Christ

At first, it may be hard to think of ways you can demonstrate the love of Christ. Here are two ideas for this week:

umbrella
Idea 1: Umbrella Escort – next time it rains, go to one of the local grocery stores, to Target, or to Walmart, and walk people out to their cars under a huge umbrella. You might want to have on a church T-shirt and hand out a church business card. Note: Perhaps, someone in our church would donate some money to have some umbrellas made with our church name on them.

Mentor

 

Idea 2: Mentor for Elementary School Student – Belle Morris Elementary School sent word this week that they need mentors. They are having a meeting on Wednesday, September 3, 8 to 9 a.m. Being a mentor means committing to 1 hour a week during school hours. The commitment is weekly, but the pay-off is huge.

What is the most loving thing you can do right now?

LOVE LOUD!

Children’s SS Campout

Help!

Our Sunday School Children’s Department is planning a camp-out on the playground Friday, September 26.

We need some camping equipment, especially sleeping bags.

campout

Please help!

If you have any items we may borrow, please see Linda B. or Sherry C.

This will be a new adventure for some of them.

On our Pastor’s mind (8-24-14)

Name Association

What comes to mind when your name is mentioned? There are several directions I want to go with this question over the next couple weeks.

Last Sunday night, we started looking at the calling of Gideon to deliver the Children of Israel from the Midianites. When the Angel of the Lord came, Gideon was threshing wheat in a winepress, so the enemy would not see him. He did not look like a “deliverer,” but the Angel called him a “might man of valor” or “mighty warrior.” God knew who Gideon would be in the future. So, the Angel basically calls him,

Hero!

Later, during the reign of King Saul, Saul was being troubled by a distressing spirit from God. (Saul had not been obedient to God.) After consultation, Saul’s staff recommended that a man skilled in playing the harp should be sought to play for the king when the distressing spirit was upon him. The question is who should be sought.

Well, one servant had the answer; he recommended a young shepherd boy named David. The servant said,

I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, who is skillful in playing, a mighty man of valor, a man of war, prudent in speech, and a handsome person; and the LORD is with him. (1 Samuel 16:18)

He was describing a

Hero!

Of course, we know that David becomes “a might man of valor” and “a man of war,” but this was before David slew Goliath. Up until this point, he had been a shepherd, a good shepherd. He had killed both lion and bear while protecting his flock, but that’s not the same as being a “man of war.”

My point is that I believe God lets others see a glimpse of who we are becoming in Christ. I believe the key is the last description about David: “the Lord is with him.” When God is with us and we are growing in Christ, then our name can be associated with heroic characteristics. God is preparing us for an incredible present and future. But we must trust Him, walk with Him, and serve Him as He leads us.

On our Pastor’s mind (8-17-14)

Every day

If we are watching, we can see new ways God is working. Since early July, we have been talking about “God Moments.” What are they? God does not just happen in a moment. God is at work in and through and around us all the time. He is also working and doing when we do pray and when we do not know how to pray. “God Moments” are those moments when we see God’s ongoing work intersecting with our lives.

Not to belittle our “God Moments” but to enhance them, I want us to experience “God Days” or “God Years.” I want to see God at His work all the time. I want each of us to experience Him every day…all the time. I want us to experience, not just “God Moments” but “God Lives.”

Trust me

I am excited that we are seeing Him at work in our lives even in short bursts. Those bursts or “moments” are thrilling. One way we can see Him is by praying and then watching. Since we know that He is always at work, we may see answers to our prayers or we may see something completely unexpected. I believe God has some unexpected things He wants to do in our midst: in our church, through our church, and in our community.

Imagine for a moment that God stirred a person’s heart for our community 15 years ago and that person, a lady, committed herself to let God prepare her for ministry. Now imagine that God has continued to equip her and develop a vision for such a time as now. Imagining this kind of story seems somewhat like imagining the story of Joseph.

Well, God is doing just that. God is drawing people to our community to do ministry and to partner with us in reaching the people of this community for the sake of the Kingdom. I am excited and will share more details later!

The question for each of us:

What is God putting on your heart? How does He need to prepare you? How do you need to be praying?

The first answer is:

Begin praying and say:

Yes! Send Me!

Special Forum with Light Supper

Changing Times

This forum concerns our changing times. Guest Speaker, Pastor Matt Giles, will share the Biblical view of sexuality and same-sex attraction, helping equip us to engage and minister to struggling people in a Biblical and loving manner. The forum is titled: Parents, Children, and Homosexuality.

Please plan to attend: Sunday, September 14, 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall. Light supper is included!