The Impact of Christian Love

23 06 2015

A believer in Christ is following the beat of a different drummer. The culture in which I live has never seen anything like the reaction of the family and church to the murderer of their loved ones. My attempts at love pales in comparison. The testimonies at the arraignment of Dylann Roof are an undeniable proof that Jesus lives and love is His most becoming characteristic in the lives of His followers.  Pastor Dave

EDITOR’S NOTE: What an incredibly powerful testimony of God’s love and forgiveness the people of Charleston are showing the world! It’s obviously having a great impact on secular media who expected the worst, and instead, found themselves covering the message of the Gospel being lived out in front of them. Thank you Charleston. -Aimee Herd, BCN.

 





Failures

16 05 2015

I do not have a source for this quote that I copied and taped to the wall in back of my desk. I just know that I need to be reminded of its truth.

Pastor Dave

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  • Even those with great faith can fail. Let’s not be shocked at our own or at others’ weaknesses.
  • Personal failures affect others. What we do and are always has its impact on those around us.
  • Only God can redeem our failures. Never let guilt or shame turn you away from God. He is the only One who can help.
  • God does not abandon us when our weaknesses betray us. God can and will intervene for us when we turn to Him.




Love Does

28 04 2015
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I used to want to fix people, but now I just want to be with them.

I used to think I had to act a certain way to follow God, but now I know God doesn’t want us to be typical.

I used to be afraid of failing at something that really mattered to me, but now I’m more afraid of succeeding at things that don’t matter.

I used to think God guided us by opening and closing doors, but now I know sometimes God wants us to kick some doors down.

I used to think the best teachers wore tweed jackets and smoked pipes, but now I know they flip over and leak.

I used to think God wouldn’t talk to me, but now I know I’m just selective with what I chose to hear.

I used to think I needed to pick sides, but now I know it’s better to pick a fight.

Bob Goff, the author of Love Does.





Jumping to Conclusions

26 04 2015

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Christianity is more than optimism, but we have much to be optimistic about! When God enters an equation, the odds of success/failure are thrown out the window. Don’t give up dear child of God, just surrender your five smooth stones to the One who can conquer giants.

Pastor Dave

by Charles R. Swindoll

Exodus 14–15

THE OPERA AIN’T OVER . . . ‘TIL THE FAT LADY SINGS. It was a banner hung over the wall near the forty-yard line of Texas Stadium. The guys in silver and blue were struggling to stay in the race for the playoffs. So some Cowboy fan, to offer down-home encouragement, had splashed those words on a king-size bedsheet for all America to read. It was his way of saying, “We’re hangin’ in there, baby. Don’t count us out.”

Sure is easy to jump to conclusions, isn’t it? People who study trends make it their business to manufacture out of their imaginations the proposed (and “inevitable”) end result. Pollsters do that too. After sampling 3 percent of our country (or at least they say that’s what it equates to), vast and stunning statistics are announced.

Every once in a while it’s helpful to remember times when those preening prognosticators wound up with egg on their faces. Like when Truman beat Dewey, and England didn’t surrender, and the Communists didn’t take over America by 1975.

Yes, at many a turn we have all been tempted to jump to “obvious” conclusions, only to be surprised by a strange curve thrown our way. God is good at that.

Can you recall a few biblical examples?

Like when a young boy, armed with only a sling and a stone, whipped a giant over nine feet tall. Or the time an Egyptian army approaching fast saw the sea open up and the Hebrews walk across. Or how about that dead-end street at Golgotha miraculously opening up at an empty tomb three days later?

Anybody—and I mean anybody—near enough to have witnessed any one of those predicaments would certainly have said, “Curtains . . . the opera is over!”

Unless I miss my guess, a lot of you who are reading this page are backed up against circumstances that seem to spell THE END. Pretty well finished. Apparently over. Your adversary would love for you to assume the worst, to heave a sigh and resign yourself to the depressed feelings that accompany defeat, failure, maximum resentment, and minimum faith.

But take heart. When God is involved, anything can happen. The One who directed David’s stone and opened that sea and brought His Son back from the dead takes delight in the incredible.

In other words, don’t manufacture conclusions. There are dozens of fat ladies waiting in the wings. And believe me, the opera ain’t over!

God delights in mixing up the odds as He alters the obvious
and bypasses the inevitable.





Easter Invocation

2 04 2015

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Our Father, creator of all and author of life; we worship you. We rejoice today because of the resurrection. The tears of Good Friday were turned to astonishment on that Sunday morning when the empty tomb was discovered. Since that day, the empty tomb has given us hope that we serve a risen Savior and that through Him comes life abundantly here on Earth and life eternal in Heaven. We praise you for the power of the resurrection that changed our mourning into dancing. Even our grief and sorrow are given a song in the night through the joy unspeakable that comes because He lives. We are promised that “joy cometh in the morning”, especially as we remember Resurrection morning. We praise you dear God of all mercy, who has let us see through the eyes of the witnesses of the risen Christ, that we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
We pray that others come to the cross and confess Christ as their sin-bearer. Then we pray that they walk away from the empty tomb, rejoicing in the reality of their new life in Christ. We pray for other churches who celebrate with us in our city, state, nation, and around the world. We may differ in worship style, music, language, and culture; but as one body we declare, “He is risen indeed”. We pray for a freshness and newness at this church. Resurrect us from the deadness of indifference, laxity, love of ease, and materialism. Fill us with your presence; baptize us with life, love, and unity.





Hell’s Gates

30 03 2015

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A drunken man staggered up to a New York policeman and asked how to find a night club called “Hell’s Gate.”
“See that steeple over there?” asked the policeman. “That’s the steeple of Calvary Church. Just keep going past Calvary and you’ll come to Hell’s Gate.”
See: John 19:17-19; 1 Corinthians 1:18; Philippians 3:18-19
6,000 Plus Illustrations for Communicating Biblical Truths

Calvary

Only found in Luke 23:33, the Latin name Calvaria, which was used as a translation of the Greek word Kranion, by which the Hebrew word Gulgoleth was interpreted, “the place of a skull.”
It probably took this name from its shape, being a hillock or low, rounded, bare elevation somewhat in the form of a human skull. It is nowhere in Scripture called a “hill.” The crucifixion of our Lord took place outside the city walls (Hebrews 13:11-13) and near the public thoroughfare. “This thing was not done in a corner.”
Encyclopedia of Bible Facts





Are all Sins the Same?

13 03 2015

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The Analytical and Theological Commentary

The idea is that all sins are the same through the eyes of God. The problem with this is that it goes much deeper than that. James 2:10 says, “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it” (NIV). It seems as though the phrase “all sins are the same” came from this verse. The question of whether all sins are the same or not lies in the usage of the word, “sin.” James explains that if you are a Law breaker (meaning, if you break one of the 613 commandments found in the Law of Moses), then you have sinned against God, therefore placing yourself in need of salvation. Jesus even takes these commands further and says that if you look at a woman with lust in your heart, then you are guilty of adultery (Matthew 5:28). Again, in Matthew chapter 5, Jesus explains that murder gets the same results as being angry with someone and calls him or her a fool or holds them in contempt will be in danger of Hell fire (5:21-22). So then, it is a heart thing, and not just something requiring action in order to obtain a sin nature.

With this in mind, consider a child stealing a piece of penny candy from the local candy store in contrast with a vile, sadistic murderer. God looks at both of them as sinners (Exodus 20:13, 15), but do their sins carry the same weight? Even in the eyes of God?

The thing is, there is a difference between the word “sin” and “sinner” All sinners are breakers of God’s Law, but sins definitely have a different value, even to the Lord.

Let me explain something here before we go any further. Once you sin, you are a sinner in the eyes of God. Once you are a sinner, you need to be saved from your sin. So logically, the moment you sin, you need to be saved. The difference between sin and sinner is that a sinner is someone who has broken a Law of God and a sin is a Law of God that was broken by someone.

So where does all of this mumbo jumbo take us? Though definitely not equally, the different value of sin is regarded by humans as well as the Lord. As the comparison in the example above, there is no question of whether or not they carry the same weight. Of course murder is much worse of a sin than stealing candy. For instance, Matthew 11:24 explicitly reveals that there will be more harsh judgment for those who do not repent with enough evidence to do so; James 3:1 explains that teachers will be judged more strictly; John records Jesus telling Pilate that those who handed Him over to him are guilty of a greater sin John 19:11. These examples do not take the fact away that once someone sins, they are a sinner in need of God’s grace.

The unpardonable sin (found in Mark 3:28) is not accepting Jesus as one’s savior before one dies. This blasphemy against the Holy Spirit causes someone to be guilty of an eternal sin. Romans chapter one explains that men are without excuse because of the creation that lies before them. In other words, Some Designer had to start it all, and because we see the design, we have evidence of the Creator. Secondly, men today are without excuse because they have the biblical account (the gospels) that reveals Jesus to us, who is the only way to the Father (John 14:6). Therefore we have more than enough evidence to understand the need for repentance. A thorough reading of the gospel of John will further explain these “evidences” and show its readers the light of the world.

In conclusion, all sin is equally condemning, but not all sin is equally devastating. As with the serial murderer or the small child stealing penny candy, they both are acts of breaking God’s law. Once you sin, you become a sinner who is in need of God’s grace. This is what James is talking about (James 2:10). You might as well have broken all of God’s laws once you have broken one. This does not give you the excuse to go on sinning because we are held accountable, but it is simply making a point of needing grace. In any event, all sins are the same in that they carry us to the place of needing grace through Jesus, but not all sins have the same level of affliction.