From the Pastor's Laptop - 04/30/2014
By Pastor FREE | April 30, 2014
Greetings ALC Fam!!!
O Give thanks unto the LORD for He is good and his mercy endures forever. Let the redeemed of the LORD say so… It is with great Jesus joy that I greet you in the strong and matchless name of Jesus our Christ! I am sending this e-mail first hoping that you all are blessed and enjoying God's favor. I want to encourage you in your daily LIFE to continue to press into God for strength, guidance and peace.
This week, I to simply encourage you to READ YOUR BIBLE! I notice more and more that we live in an age where people pervert and distort the Scriptures. I try to preach and teach directly from the bible each week and structure it in a way that you can easily follow along and know I am not inserting my own philosophies. However, there are plenty of preachers and teachers in the world who teach things as though they are the Scriptures but are really NOT. Paul warned the early church to “beware of false teachers….”
4 1-2 God’s Spirit specifically tells us that in later days there will be men who abandon the true faith and allow themselves to be spiritually seduced by teachings of the devil, teachings given by men who are lying hypocrites, whose consciences are as dead as seared flesh.
3-5 These men forbid marriage, command abstinence from food—good things which, in fact, God intends to be thankfully enjoyed by those who believe in him and know the truth. Everything God made is good, and is meant to be gratefully used, not despised. The holiness or otherwise of a certain food, for instance, depends not on its nature but on whether it is eaten thankfully or not, It is consecrated by the man who has accepted the message, and thanks God for food.
6-7 You will be doing your duty as Christ’s minister if you remind your church members of these things (false teaching), and you will show yourself as one who owes his strength to the truth of the faith he has absorbed and the sound teaching he has followed. But steer clear of all these stupid Godless fictions. Take time and trouble to keep yourself spiritually fit.
However, we cannot discern what is false and what is of God if we don’t personally spend time in the Scriptures. Those who are serious about their walk with God must be students of the WORD.
The bible uses the metaphor of food to describe the Scriptures. This suggests that without a steady and healthy consumption of the WORD the spiritual self will not grow and develop properly.
Matthew 4:1-4 - 1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry. 3 Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.”
4 But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’”
1 Corinthians 3:2 - 2 I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready,
1 Peter 2:2 - Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation,
With this in mind it is no surprise that many of us have under developed faith and still struggle with the same things we did 10 years ago. We are not growing for lack of spiritual food. Let me rush to say this is not all the job of the preacher/teacher. I thank God that as a congregation you appreciate my preaching and teaching but your spiritual growth will be limited if it is dependent on my preaching and teaching alone.
The bible is a masterfully written composition whose truths, power and timeless relevance are apparent by its longevity even if you don’t believe. It is entertaining, it is informative, it gives wise council, it reveals the nature of God to us and it explains the depth of Christ’s love for us. It is best summarized in the acronym B-I-B-L-E: Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth. Without the WORD, we don’t know how to live and make the right moves. It is literally the instruction manual from the Manufacturer that helps us understand this machine. So I encourage us all to make spending time in the WORD a part of our everyday lives. You will soon discover more wisdom, peace, joy and hope in your LIFE.
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Let’s reflect on Sunday’s WORD:
The NARRATIVE SERMON (Barabbas: One who lived because He died) was AWESOME in my opinion… I thank God for all who participated in ANY WAY to make it a success!
For those who want to check it out again… Here is the link for the“With U N Mind” Video… - http://youtu.be/SJLmU0SspGQ
I want to give special thanks to Candace Akers, Shaunte Williams and Carol Marshall for all of their creative assistance in accomplishing the Narrative Sermon… You all made it come to LIFE and I thank you for your serving with a smile!!!
In closing, please be mindful of these announcements for the coming weeks: