The Family of God

  • [ ] One of the great things about Christmas is to hear from family and friends you haven’t seen or heard from in a long time. It’s all connected! All those people who influenced us to be who we are now. How nice it is to have such memories.
  • [ ] As Christians we look forward to heaven, when everyone who is in Christ will be together in community forever. Imagine that! And what’s more Jesus, who is what connects us to God and one another, will be there front and center!
  • [ ] The words “one another” occur a lot in the Bible:

Love one another (John 13:34)
Be devoted to one another (Romans 12:10)
Honor one another above yourselves (Romans 12:10)
Live in harmony with one another (Romans 12:16)
Build up one another (Romans 14:19; 1 Thessalonians 5:11)
Be likeminded towards one another (Romans 15:5)
Accept one another (Romans 15:7)
Admonish one another (Romans 15:14; Colossians 3:16)
Greet one another (Romans 16:16)
Care for one another (1 Corinthians 12:25)
Serve one another (Galatians 5:13)
Bear one another’s burdens (Galatians 6:2)
Forgive one another (Ephesians 4:2, 32; Colossians 3:13)
Be patient with one another (Ephesians 4:2; Colossians 3:13)
Speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15, 25)
Be kind and compassionate to one another (Ephesians 4:32)
Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs (Ephesians 5:19)
Submit to one another (Ephesians 5:21, 1 Peter 5:5)
Consider others better than yourselves (Philippians 2:3)
Look to the interests of one another (Philippians 2:4)
Bear with one another (Colossians 3:13)
Teach one another (Colossians 3:16)
Comfort one another (1 Thessalonians 4:18)
Encourage one another (1 Thessalonians 5:11)
Exhort one another (Hebrews 3:13)
Stir up [provoke, stimulate] one another to love and good works (Hebrews 10:24)
Show hospitality to one another (1 Peter 4:9)
Employ the gifts that God has given us for the benefit of one another (1 Peter 4:10)
Clothe yourselves with humility towards one another (1 Peter 5:5)
Pray for one another (James 5:16)
Confess your faults to one another (James 5:16)

Do not lie to one another (Colossians 3:9)
Stop passing judgment on one another (Romans 14:13)
If you keep on biting and devouring each other…you’ll be destroyed by each other (Galatians 5:15)
Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other (Galatians 5:26)
Do not slander one another (James 4:11)
Don’t grumble against each other (James 5:9)

So this Christmas, love one another as Christ loves you. , and treat your fellow believers as your family, for that is what they are…the family of God. Merry Christmas!

Pastor Greg

God Wants You to Know

  • [ ] Have you ever wondered why there is so much order in the universe? For example the stars and moon are arranged in space; there is order in the seasons of the year; there is order in all biological life; there is order in science; there is order in marriage and family for the roles husbands, wives, and children play; there is order in church worship and government ; and there is order in God’s laws.
  • [ ] It’s as if God wants to tell us something. What is it? Well for one thing the order we perceive and read about in the Bible teaches us God is highly organized and wants us to live orderly lives according to his plan. He also wants us to trust in his promises for things he is doing and will do, so we may have hope. “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jer 29:11).
  • [ ] God also wants you to know that since his fixed order won’t change, neither will his promises or his love for you. “Thus says the LORD, who gives the sun for light by day and the fixed order of the moon and the stars for light by night, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar– the LORD of hosts is his name: 36 “If this fixed order departs from before me, declares the LORD, then shall the offspring of Israel cease from being a nation before me forever.” (Jer 31:35-36).
  • [ ] Now let’s get down to the most basic thing about order you and I need to understand. God is God. We are not God. Reject any humanistic teaching that says you are a god. No my friend, you are God’s creation and his handiwork created for his glory. The first allegiance you must have is to the Lord, not yourself or anyone else. In the Bible Rev 2:4 says Christ is your first love, and you must not abandon him.
  • [ ] Someone once taught me the order in a man’s life should be your soul, then your wife, then your life. Don’t put your wife above God. Some wives might like that, but not a godly wife. Don’t put your hobbies and sports above God. Go to church on Sunday, because it is the Lord’s Day. It isn’t a day to attend your kids’ sporting events or go on some recreational activity like golf. Sunday is a day for corporate worship. Don’t put your job above your wife and family. Your job concerns your life and is third in order, not first or second. Many men make that mistake and lose the trust of their wives. And never ever abandon your wife and family. Your are there to love, protect, and provide for them. Many families these days are not comprised of both husband and wife. Living together with someone is not the same as or an acceptable substitute for marriage. Living together is not teaching your children or you about God’s order in marriage and family.
  • [ ] Some people say Christianity is just a bunch of do’s and don’ts. The way I see it is God’s laws and his order are like a fence for our protection and bring glory to his name. We are not free agents. Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit and are not our own. So many people these days believe a person has to make their own decisions and has a right to do so. Well God does teach us we must decide. But if you choose any other way than his, you will suffer much pain and regret. Why not trust the one who planned it all and sustains us all?
  • [ ] If you are one who started out well but drifted away from God, come back. He will welcome you, just like the prodigal son’s father welcomed him. Israel drifted from God but returned. “Set up road markers for yourself; make yourself guideposts; consider well the highway, the road by which you went. Return, O virgin Israel, return to these your cities (Jer 31:21). It is never too late and is always the right thing to do to make Jesus Christ the Lord and Master of your life.
  • [ ] I say all this because I love you, even if we have never met. I have many friends I haven’t met yet but one day will in heaven. These are not just words but point to Jesus who is vital for your life. “For it is no empty word for you, but your very life, and by this word you shall live long in the land that you are going over the Jordan to possess.” (Deu 32:47). I want you to know God’s peace and experience his great love. “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” (Luk 2:14).
  • [ ] If you have never participated in this ministry reach out to us and tell us how we can pray for you and what the Lord is doing in your life. May the Lord bless you richly today!
  • Pastor Greg

Faith is…

  • [ ] The Bible is full of so much wisdom, and it’s a good idea to ponder what is means and how it applies to your life. One such verse is 1Ti 6:6, “But godliness with contentment is great gain…”. What makes this verse a little curious is that in v5 it says false teachers proclaim godliness as a means of gain. So how can it be great gain in truth?
  • [ ] One false teaching today is that if you have faith, you will be prosperous and successful. That would be worldly gain, and it would be a poor reason to have faith. It is true that if you have faith, your way will be level and straight, meaning that the Lord will give you wisdom and strength to follow the paths he has for your life. He may or may not make you rich in material goods in the process, but he will make you rich in him!
  • [ ] The key to successful living is to live by faith and be content with any and all circumstances you find yourself in, knowing that when the Lord is near, it is the way he has for you to go, and he will lead you and make you a blessing. Don’t make the mistake of looking back to your old life and wishing things were like they were before. Also don’t look at the lives of others and wish your life were like their’s.
  • [ ] Psa 37:25 says this, “I have been young, and now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his children begging for bread.” In other words the Lord knows you have need of basic things. Jesus said your Father knows what you need before you ask him (Mat 6:8). Sometimes we ask for things we think we need, but we should always frame our requests to God that it would only be according to his will, for he knows what we really need.
  • [ ] Now it is hard to be content when you are lonely, estranged from loved ones and friends, or when you are being persecuted by others. But that is where faith comes in. Just trust the Lord is in control. ”Do not call conspiracy all that this people calls conspiracy, and do not fear what they fear, nor be in dread” (Isa 8:12). And then in Isa 45:7 God says, “I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I the Lord, do all these things.” Friends nothing happens in this world or to you that God does not allow.
  • [ ] My late wife had 3 children, and the youngest one has not had a father in her life for many years, because he was deported. When I came into their lives, I grew close to my step children and have been able to be a father to them. It is a huge blessing to this young girl especially, and a huge blessing to me.
  • [ ] So look for the blessings in whatever circumstance you are in today and thank God for them. Then by walking closely with Jesus be a blessing to others. “Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act” (Psa 37:5). Faith is realizing who God is and trusting in his goodness. God is good, and he always does what is good. Nothing in your life escapes his notice, no matter how small it may be to others.
    Pastor Greg