Pastor’s Corner 4/20/22 “HOPE IN HIM”

   HOPE IN HIM

As we all know, our nation has taken an economic downturn. We are also living in days of war and rumors of wars. We are in a real downtrend and on the verge of a real global financial crisis. I, like many of you, have heard analysts forecast troubling times ahead. I have a real problem in these days. My problem is that as a pastor, I have a front row seat. You see, I am in the middle of God’s people and what I see is that the Christian community, God’s people, are reflecting the fears, frustrations, political polarization, and self-security maneuvering that mirrors what you can see of the society around us. We claim a relationship with the God of hope, yet we tend to view life from a hopeless perspective. Think about it… are your comments and attitudes carrying the same tone as those who do not carry this faith? If we have really placed our faith in Christ, why do we sometimes feel as though our problems have left us without hope? My calling is to give people hope. It’s not in the title “pastor” or the position. We must turn our all to Jesus. He is and has always wanted to be our only hope. In Romans Chapter 15, Paul reminds us of all about the hope in our faith. Hope is to guide the Christian life back to our center in times of trials, uncertainty, and war.  Hope in Jesus does say that I have something much better coming. We are not being a walking “pep talk,” as we place our worth, our lives into something “other” than this world. It’s much bigger than that.

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans 15:4

And again, Isaiah says, “The Root of Jesse will spring up, one who will arise to rule over the nations; in him the Gentiles will hope.” Romans 15:12

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13

Notice the “IN HIM” in verses 12 and 13.

Until the nets are full,

 Chris

Pastor’s Corner 4/14/2022 “BECOMING FRUITY”

BECOMING FRUITY

When I was at my first church, we decided to do a three night revival. In our planning, someone said they wanted T-Shirts for everyone. Then we discussed what verse of Scripture to put on the shirts. Someone said, “let’s do Matthew 7:20”.  I was very new and couldn’t recall what Matthew 7:20 even was.  So I asked,” Why that verse?” And the lady said “because we want to be known as the church with action”.  That church was active. They were very good at inviting others and making sure the church didn’t feel like a club. They would often check on one another especially if someone got down or was sick. The church grew. Our faith must be an active faith. Jesus taught His disciples that if they had faith, they could move mountains. YOU can too!

When you place your faith, your trust, indeed your life in the hands of Jesus Christ, you’ll be amazed at the incredible things He can do with you and through you. So now is the time for you to strengthen your faith through praise, through worship, through Bible study, and through prayer. Also be praying about someone that you can invite to Lakeview. The people in that first church chose friendships over drama, invitation over inaction, Light over darkness. Billy Graham, one of my heroes once said that our faith actually grows by expression. He went so far as to say that if we want to keep our faith, then we will share it.

Maybe each morning of this special time, we should pray the following: Dear Lord, I have heard Your Word and I have felt Your presence in my heart; let me act accordingly. Let my words and deeds serve as a testimony to the changes that You have made in my life. Let me praise You Father, by following in the footsteps of You Son, and let others see Him through me. Amen.

One sure way to see if a soul is heaven bound, is to look for its fruit.

“Wherefore by their fruits, Ye shall know them.”- Matthew 7:20

Until the nets are full,

Chris

PASTOR’S CORNER 4/7/2022 “WHAT IS A SAINT?”

   WHAT IS A SAINT?

I was singing that old song, “When the Saints Go Marching In” the other day.

What is a Saint?  Have you ever thought about that word which is so easily thrown around but often only reserved for a few? Although, we will often describe a child of God as a saint, we hear the term most often in a funeral setting. Merriam-Webster describes a saint as, “one who is officially recognized through canonization as preeminent for holiness.”  While a funeral is the most appropriate time to call someone a saint, the title “Saint” is not just for those who have already run their race of life. Let’s approach that word from my view:  A saint is one who genuinely loves Jesus, loves their family, and deeply loves the church family that God has blessed them with. They seem to all highly value friendships. They embrace new friendships as though a new flower has been placed in their garden. A saint always carries a thankful heart. A Saint is one who serves without complaining, grumbling, or keeping score. The saints in the church are the consistent ones who seem to float in to serve the Body of Christ. They value giving and see worship attendance as a place to weekly refuel through the Holy Spirit’s power. They see the role of the church as God’s plan for a broken world and they view the work of the church as His hand with and for His people. They also feel that this work starts within their own hearts. They embrace Psalm 116 as their relational view of life and of God’s nature. We all know that the saintly person is not immune to the heartaches and pain that this life so often brings, but you rarely ever hear the “poor Me’s” or “things are just so tough for me right    now’s.”  The saints have been given a special grit for each day. A God given, consistent grit to inspire and encourage even in the deepest valleys of their own life. A saint usually isn’t comfortable with attention given to them or to their trials. I see a life outlook out of those whom I have called saints in my life. A pattern surfaces in my mind as I sit and ponder those, I have considered to be saintly. Every one of them have called out to the Lord in their quiet times and exude a confidence that the Lord has heard their cry. They will talk to God about any affliction and then seem to get on with the day and the life that God has given them. They are also usually great peacemakers and become some of the strongest encouragers in our lives. I don’t sit here naively and believe that everyone in life will hear, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant” when we come to the end of our lives. This statement from the Lord will be reserved for those whom He calls the saints. This phrase comes from Matthew 25 and Jesus uses it in response to someone who takes risks and is faithful the whole time. Growth is usually the result of a race run well. I was talking with someone from another church who was concerned about their future. He asked me, “What I felt was my biggest role as a pastor”? My answer was, “to try my best, prepare everyone for the moment that we stand before Jesus.” The proper preparation is for all of us to follow the example of… the Saints who have gone on before us. If you think about your life, they were there. In fact, you just thought of a few. The saints that have passed away I do believe are cheering us on in some way. Are they the one’s that Paul describes as the “great cloud of witnesses” in Hebrews Chapter 12? I think so. I also want to be in that number.

Until the nets are full,

Chris