Pastor's Corner

May 13th, 2018

Proverbs 31:10: "Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies."

Proverbs 31:27-28, 30: "She watches over the ways of her household. Her children rise up and call her blessed … But a women who fears the Lord, she shall be praised."

There are many relationships in life and they are all precious to us but there is something different about the relationship of a mother. When a women comes to the place that they are enlightened that God has given them this wonderful relationship of being a mom.

It is almost like a calling that you accept the role of mother. I know that it is a natural event to give birth and you are considered a mother because you gave birth. But when a women realizes what responsibility the Lord has called them too and they accept it, what a difference. It is like dropping a rock in a pond or lake and the ripples flow outward effecting all things around it.

I have seen big strong men break down to nothing with the voice of their mother. Men who said they didn’t care about what people thought and yet were scared to death their mother would find out what they were doing.

I have seen women who were barely five foot tall and barely weighed a hundred pound and yet they carried so much influence over their sons.

We today live in a world where that kind of women is no longer the norm. The women who is independent, career minded, who would fit more on the cover of Cosmopolitan seems to be the norm.

There is nothing wrong with that kind of life style but if you are not careful you miss out on one of the greatest callings the Lord has for a women to be called mother.

I believe the devil and the world have tried to diminish or downgrade the role of being a mother. What a shame that we have allowed the lie that some believe the role of women or mother to be less than who God created them to be.

Is there any other greater calling than to pour your life into a boy or girl who calls you mom? To some day look and see a strong young man or refined young women standing before you. To know that you raised them up in  the admonition and the love of the Lord.

Of course, we need to realize that the reward for that kind of sacrifice of life will not be recognized in this life but in the next life to come.

Today, if you are fortunate to be raised by this kind of women, then you need to tell her how much you love her and appreciate her. Now comes the time in her life that she needs to see the fruits of her labors. For you her son or her daughter

should demonstrate how Christ lives in you, is there any greater reward that her children should rise up and call her blessed.

I can’t say this for sure but I believe that when we get to Heaven mothers will have a special place. Someone will ask what did she do on earth, well she was a mother and that person will be blown away, what an honor.

Pastor Lee Cruse, who looks forward to someday to be with his mother again in Heaven.



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May 6th, 2018

 

Jeremiah 1:4-5  Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying:      "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations."

It is hard to believe that it has been 14 years since the very first service of Grace Bible Church.  We met in a home and had 18 people and then in the old church on the corner of Lexington Ave. and Highland for 3 to 4 months.  The Lord then lead us to Main St. across from the Post Office. Until 4 years ago when we purchased the property that we are now in.  

It is by faith that we started this journey and it is a whole lot easier to look back, for when we do what we see is the Lord’s hand, and how all along He was working and leading.  It was 19 years ago when the Lord began to lay upon my heart to get a building to start an independent work. When the Lord begins to move upon your heart, the first thing you think is that this is just you or your ego, or the pizza you ate the night before.  But for me the thought would not go away.

When the Lord begins to impress upon you His will and the thoughts persist then you need to pay attention.  When I finally expressed what the Lord was laying on my heart to Crickett she thought I was nuts. But 5 years later He did the work in her heart as well.  I think the 5 years before Crickett came on board was for me alone, because timing to the Lord is everything.

What I am saying is that God had a plan for us, just as He has a plan for your life.  When the Word of the Lord came to Jeremiah, notice God’s plan for Jeremiah started before He was even born.  The Lord said, “before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations”.

The Lord in my life, laid it all out in front of me, before I ever saw it for myself.  He helped me become the Principal of Fannie Bush Elementary because He wanted this ground to some day be a light house of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  He wanted a place where the Grace of God would be expounded, where those who had failed and sinned found a refuge and hope for the future. A place where it didn’t matter how much money you had or your status in life everyone was equal.  A place where the down trodden and the poor could get a good meal or their kids could find good clothing to wear. Where those that were addicted to drugs or alcohol could be helped to overcome.

I want you to realize that the Lord wants to do the very same thing in your life, in your family or your business.  If we will but only put Him first within our life.

When we at Grace look back over the history of this church we have a rich history of what God has done.   But He is not done with us yet, the future is bright and the possibilities are immense. My prayer for us as a Church is that we will look to the Lord and what His will is, and not take a step until we know He has told us to go to the left or to the right.  I also pray that the impact that we will have on this town will grow greater and greater.

Pastor Lee Cruse and Crickett; who are blessed to be the pastor for these past 14 years and in the years to come, of Grace Bible Church.  



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April 29th, 2018

 

Isaiah 40:31 But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.

I believe one of the hardest things for us as Christians to do is to wait.   We pray about something and if the Lord doesn’t answer us within a few minutes we get anxious. Anxiousness is the opposite of prayer, and I get that from Philippians 4:6 it tells us to be anxious for nothing but in everything in prayer and supplication.

I believe that when we are anxious, then we haven’t prayed.  Oh, we may have thrown some little “now I lay me down to sleep” type of prayer, but we have not gone to our closet, gotten alone with the Lord and poured our heart out to Him.  I believe He knows whether we are sincere or not, and according to the book of James He knows our motives and when we are not sincere we are usually asking for the wrong reasons.     

So, what do we do when we have really prayed and sought the Lord, in that time we are waiting.  I have had people to ask me, once I have prayed for something do I keep on asking. I believe that it is ok to keep going back to Him but when we do our words that we use demonstrate if we truly believe He is the answer.  

I think we can learn a lot from Jesus prayer when He raised Lazarus from the grave.  He prayed but He thanked the Lord for raising Lazarus before Lazarus was raised. I would say once you have asked the Lord for something, then your next prayer is thanking Him for hearing you and what He is about to do for you. When you begin to think about what you have asked the Lord to do, your first words ought to be Thank you Lord.  

    

I also believe that when we have asked the Lord for something, the problem is never whether or not the Lord will hear you, for He has promised to do that, but the problem is in time.  The time from when you asked, until the manifestation of the answer. So, in the time while I am waiting for the Lord to move. I find me an anchor verse that God has spoken to me through, and every time I get anxious or nervous, I quote that verse until it goes deep into my heart and it becomes part of me.  Remember that the Bible says that “faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God”.

One of the great verses about praying and having to wait on the Lord is, I John 5:14-15 and you should memorize it.  There is a phrase in vs. 15 “we know that we have the petitions that we have asked from you”.  That means that God will come to you and give you confirmation that He has heard you and the answer is on its way, it just hasn’t arrived yet.  

Why does the Lord make us wait?  Because for one thing He doesn’t want you to think of Him as a bell-hop, no He wants a Father Son-Daughter relationship with you. He wants you to trust in Him.  He also knows how we need to mature and grow and waiting helps us to grow up into the image of our Lord Jesus Christ.

And how do I wait?  First Ask Him, Second Continue to Pray but thank Him for what He is about to do each time you pray. Third find that anchor verse and allow that verse to penetrate your being.  Then get ready for the Lord to answer in a great and mighty way.

Pastor Lee Cruse who also has problems of waiting.   



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April 22nd, 2018

 

Matthew 27:51 Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split,

When our Lord died upon Calvary and before He bowed His precious head, He said it is finished.  At that moment on a direct line from the cross to the temple the curtain that separated the Holies from the Holies of Holies was torn from the top to the bottom.  

This was a miracle because that curtain was so heavy that it took Oxen with ropes to put the curtain up.  But that was only one thing and I am not sure that was not the most important. Let me give you reasons as why this was so important.

First, the Old Testament religious ordinances were put away and like worn out clothing, torn and laid aside. Then the sacrifices ended when Jesus died because they were fulfilled in Him.  The tear also represented the hidden things of the old dispensation: the mercy seat could now be seen, and the glory of God shone above it. By the death of our Lord Jesus Christ, we have a clear revelation of God- He was not like Moses, who would put a veil over His face (2 Corinthians 3:13).

Life and immortality were brought to light, and things which had been hidden since the foundation of the world were made clear in Him.  The annual ceremony of atonement (Leviticus 16) was abolished. The blood that made satisfaction for sin, sprinkled behind the curtain once a year, was offered once for all by the great Hight Priest.  So, the place of this symbolic ceremony was broken up. No blood of bulls or lambs is needed now since Jesus entered the curtained room with His own blood.

For this reason, we now have access to God- it is the privilege of everyone who believes in Christ Jesus.  This is no peephole through which we squint at the mercy seat; the tear in the curtain reaches from top to bottom.  We can come boldly to the throne of heavenly grace.

Do we make a mistake, if we say that this marvelous opening of the Holy of Holies, with our Lord’s dying cry, was a symbol of how His suffering opened the gates of paradise to all saints?  Our bleeding Lord has the key to heaven- He opens and no one shuts. Let us enter with Him into the heavenly places, sitting there with Him until our common enemies “should be made a footstool for His feet.”  

When the Bible tells us “let us come boldly to the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy and grace in time of need”.  Oh, my friend Jesus has made it possible that we no longer have to tip-toe into the presence of God but that we now can run into His presence.  

Pastor Lee Cruse, who is thankful for the great privilege that our Lord Jesus Christ has presented to us that we may approach the presence of the Living God.



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April 15th, 2018

I Corinthians 16:13  Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong.

 

Matthew 5:44 "But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,

These two verses almost seem like opposites and yet this to me is exactly how we as Children of God are to live in this world.  Paul writing to the Corinthians tells them that they are to watch and stand fast. We are to stand on the word of God. Then Jesus tells us that we are to love our enemies and that includes those that don’t know the Lord.  

Here is the balance that I believe we are to bring in life, we are to stand on the word and take it for what it means, we are not to cherry pick the Bible because the entire Bible is the inspired word of God.  So, while I am to stand on the word I am to be loving and kind to those around me and that includes even those who don’t believe the Bible and those who come to us with questions.

There are too many Christians and even preachers, because of the pressures of society and being politically correct that when issues come up, that are diametrically opposed to a scripture and God’s word, they cave in.  

The Bible tells us to stand firm on the word, to hold fast to what God says.  But as a follower of Jesus we are to do it in love. I think part of the problem that many have with the church, is that when someone disagrees with a matter in which the Bible is plain, we answer in a condescending tone, or we get into an argument, and that is exactly what Satan wants and we lose that person.  

The problem for us as Christians is that we don’t know the word of God, people that get into arguments are not allowing the Spirit of God to lead them.  I’m not saying you should not voice what the word says, but when I don’t know the word, then all I have is my opinion. But when I can quote the Bible and just leave it there, this is a powerful technique that the person you are talking to will not forget, because God has said, that His word will not return back to Him void, but it will accomplish what He set it out to do.  

Another problem I think many Christians have is that they treat unbelievers as if they were a mark for them to add up another hit.  Almost like fighter pilots going in for another kill.

Jesus loves these people, He died that they would have the opportunity to be saved for all eternity.   Jesus wept over Jerusalem, because they would not come to Him. The question for you and I is, do we love those that we are trying to bring to Jesus?  Or is this something that we do and then brag about to our Christian friends, of how many we have won to the Lord. Remember you and I were there once.

The key is to study, to show yourself approved, being a worker that doesn’t need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.  We also need to be able to give an answer to the hope that is in us, when we are asked a question and we are trying to answer the question.   Once again stand, but there will be those who will walk away and maybe even get mad, just do what the Lord wants, and say what He wants, always in love.

Pastor Lee Cruse, who can not depend upon his own intelligence or abilities but must depend upon the Holy Spirit to lead another person to my Lord.      

 



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April 8th, 2018

 

Isaiah 63:7  I will recount the steadfast love of the Lord, the praises of the Lord, according to all that the Lord has granted us.  

Can you do this?  Haven’t you experienced mercies? Though you are sad and depressed now, could you ever forget that blessed hour when Jesus met you and said, “Come to Me” (Matt. 11:28)?  Can’t you remember that thrilling moment when He snapped your shackles, threw your chains to the earth, and said, “I came to break your bonds and set you free”?

Or if you have forgotten your earliest love for Jesus, there must surely somewhere along the road of your life, be some precious milestone, not quite grown over with moss, on which you can read a happy remembrance of His mercy toward you.  What? Have you ever had a sickness like the one you’re suffering now, and He didn’t restore you? Were you ever poor before, and He didn’t supply for your needs? Were you ever in dire straits before, and He didn’t deliver you?

Get up-go to the river of your experience and pull up a few reeds.  Weave them into a basket like that of Moses, in which your infant-faith-may float safely on up stream.  Don’t forget what God has done for you; open your book of remembrance and consider the days of old. Can’t you remember the hill Mizar, or did the Lord never meet you at Hermon (Ps. 42:6)?  Have you never climbed Bunyan’s Delectable Mountains? Have you never received help in time of need?

No, I know that you have. Go back, then, just a little way, to the sweet mercies of yesterday.  Though all may be dark now, light up the lamps of the past- they will glimmer through the darkness, and you will trust in the Lord till the day breaks and the shadows flee away.  “Remember, Lord, your great mercy and love, for they are from of old” (Ps. 25:6). Charles Spurgeon.

Pastor Lee Cruse the pastor who needs to remember just how good the Lord has been to him and how He has never failed Him.



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April 1st, 2018

Matthew 28: 6-7: "He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold I have told you."

One of the greatest encouragements in all the world is to receive good news. Today we live in the information age and I have to say that for the most part, 75% of the news we here, especially from the media, is negative. I believe that this has a profound effect upon our peace of mind. I believe there is a great need to filter what we hear.

To hear some good news, news that makes our heart jump for joy, news that makes the darkness disappear and we see the sun coming up over the horizon. When we think about the disciples, and Mary Magdalene and the other Mary who had come to see the tomb. They had come to prepare the body of Jesus.

How many of us are like these two ladies, the bad news that Jesus had been crucified and was dead had trumped all their hope and belief that a better way of life is ahead. But most important they loved Jesus, they looked to Jesus. Now all their hopes and dreams had been dashed and now it looked like hopelessness. We are like them, that we trudge on, even when the news is bad, and that was Mary Magdalene and the other Mary, but oh how that is fixing to change.

They go to the tomb and an Angel is waiting for them to tell them the greatest news the world has ever heard, He is alive, He is not here. That great news was not just for those in Jesus day but it was for you and me and the whole world.

Because of this news, “He is not here, for He has risen,” you and I have nothing to fear. The sting of death has been taken out and we are never to be separated from God ever again. Because of this news, we will see our loved ones for they are in the safe keeping of the Lord. Because of this great news we never have to go through the storms of life by ourselves again.

I think that most of the bad news we hear today produces or is motivated by fear. Yet the Bible tells us in I John 4:18 “perfect love cast out fear”. Those who produce the news know that they can motivate most people by making them afraid. If you will notice the Angel said to them “do not be afraid” because the greatest news in all the world does not bring fear but joy and hope.

\My friend who stands afar off, this wonderful news is for you and your family. Jesus came to give us life and to give it to us abundantly. Will you on this Easter Sunday, humble yourself down, and tell the Lord, I want this great news to be applied to me and my family.

Pastor Lee Cruse, who longs for Heaven and to see what awaits, until then I must work while it is day.



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March 25th, 2018

Matthew 21:7-10: "They brought the donkey and the colt, laid their clothes on them, and set Him on them. And a very great multitude spread their clothes on the road; others cut down branches from the trees and spread them on the road. Then the multitudes who went before and those who followed cried out, saying: "Hosanna to the Son of David! 'Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!' Hosanna in the highest!" And when He had come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, "Who is this?"

This Sunday is Palm Sunday and is celebrated in many places today. Historically Palm Sunday is when Jesus came riding a donkey into Jerusalem and people laid palm branches down in front of Him thus fulfilling the prophesy of Zachariah 9:9.

But I want you to understand there is much more to this prophesy for this was the last time that Jesus offered Himself as Israel’s King, but they rejected Him and had Him crucified. Daniel 9 is very important to Jesus riding in on a donkey.

Daniel is given a message by Gabriel that we know of as the 70 weeks, which is a view down through History which was given to Daniel in 6th Century. Verses 26 and 27 of Daniel 9 are the keys. Notice in Verses 26 the messiah would be cut off and also notice the words “but not for Himself”. This is the crucifixion of our precious Lord. Now also notice another event that is close to the Lords death, verse 26 and it says “Shall destroy the city” that is the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans that took place in 70 A.D. Does not these two events together show us that Jesus was the Messiah.

Now in Vs. 25 it says there shall be 7 weeks and 62 weeks together that makes 69 weeks. The 70th week will be the great tribulation that happens after the rapture of the Church. Now here is what I want you to see.

Verse 25 also says “from the going forth of the command to restore and build Jerusalem. This took place in Nehemiah 2:1 in the twentieth year when King Artaxerxes allowed Nehemiah to go back and start the rebuilding Jerusalem. We know that King Artaxerxes took the throne in 465 BC. So take 20 years from that then we have a starting point of 445 BC..

So, if you take 69 weeks x’s 7 it equals 483 years. Now understand that the Hebrew calendar had only 360 days in it not like our 365 day calendar. So if you take 483 years and multiply it times a 360 day a year you end up with 173,880 days. So if you take 445 B.C. and add to it 173,880 days you come up with the exact day that Jesus road into Jerusalem on a Donkey. My 6th grade math teacher would be amazed at me, well the truth is she is probably turning over in her grave.

Pastor Lee Cruse, who thinks the evidence of the Lord Jesus Christ who is soon coming grows day by day.



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January 7th, 2018

Colossians 1:17-18 And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.  And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.

In Colossians 1 verses 15 through 19 are the first part of the Apostles Creed.  The beginning points for building a world view is the confession that we believe in God the Father, maker of Heaven and Earth.  That we recognize that in Him all things hold together, for all knowledge flows from the One Creator to His one creation. 

Along with this is Hebrews 1:3: "who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,"

I believe that what this is teaching is that everything in this world or in existence is held together by the word of Jesus Christ.  He spoke all things into existence and if the Lord would ever go back on His word then everything that we see would implode. 

What is the Christians World View?  The Christians World View is how we see everything, every situation, every circumstance.  It is our filter to the world that we look through to decide which way to go, whether to get involved or not or whether we can support a decision or not.

There is an old Chinese proverb that says, “If you want to know what water is, don’t ask the fish.” Water is the sum and substance of the world in which the fish is immersed. The fish may not reflect on its own environment until suddenly it is thrust onto dry land, where it struggles for life. Then it realizes that water provided its sustenance.

We are the same in that Jesus taught us that we are to be in the world but not of the world.  Yes, we must live in this world and the Lord doesn’t want to take us out of the world because then we could not influence it.  But our World View is to come from the Lord so then we can have an effect on those that are in the world. 

This is so important because I don’t need a god in the box, I need a God outside of the box.  One that is not affected by the things of this world, but one outside that He then can affect what is going on. 

What peace there is from standing with God and viewing what is going on in my life and believing that He is in control, no matter what is happening around me.  I must learn to make decisions based upon what the Bible says.  For instance, in dating what kind of people should I date? I want someone who has a world view like me, if not I am heading for trouble.  My finances, my work life in every area of my life I seek first the Kingdom of Heaven and how I do that is looking through the lens of the Christian’s World View.   

Pastor Lee Cruse the pastor that Jesus Loves



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November 26th, 2017

Psalm 100:4 Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.

During this time of the year probably the number one verses is Psalm l00:4 or I Thessalonians 5:18 “In everything give thanks or Psalms 136:1 Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.  And there are many more than these that tell us to give thanks.

I love what Peterson does in his translation of the Message with Psalm 100:4 in the message it says, “Enter with the password: “Thank you!"

Throughout the scriptures it seems that the key that opens the door to God’s presence and help is when He sees’ a thankful heart. 

One of my favorite portions of scripture is found in Philippians 4 verses 4 through 8 for when we are faced with a storm in our life these verses tell us how to approach that difficulty in our life.  But notice in verse 6 it tells us “ to be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer”.  So this tells us that when we are faced with any difficulty or situation we are to pray.  But notice the rest of that verse for it says “with thanksgiving, let your requests be made to God.”

It makes me think that whenever we encounter the presence of God He is looking at our heart and looking for the thanksgiving that resides there. 

We seem to talk about this subject only during the holiday of Thanksgiving but we need to talk about it all year round.

May I ask are you healthy, and is your family healthy? Then be thankful because there are many that are not.   Do you have a job, and even though it may not be what you wanted and the environment may not be the best but give thanks because there are many who are out of work!

Maybe you complain about all your husband does is set at home and watch TV but be thankful, I can tell you of several women who would give anything if their husband would just come home. 

Are your kids driving you nuts, then be thankful, because too many families today have a wayward child and don’t know where they are. 

Now maybe you are saying, "Lee in all the illustrations that you gave it doesn’t fit my situation we do have some in our family that are sick, I am that one who doesn’t know where my child is or my husband."  You say, "I have been hurt by others and am having a tough time getting over it.  Or I did pray but I lost my loved one what am I to be thankful for?"

I remember in the darkest time of my life and I cried out to God the one thing that kept me going was hope, I found that when I had hope I could endure what I was going through.   Where does that hope come from, Psalm 33:20-22 Our soul waits for the LORD; He is our help and our shield.  For our heart shall rejoice in Him, Because we have trusted in His holy name. Let Your mercy, O LORD, be upon us, Just as we hope in You.

You see Jesus has told us that with men things are impossible but with God all things are possible.  He is the answer, Oh what a hope that we have that He and He alone will intervene in your situation. 

For those who have lost someone you loved, you have the greatest of hope for in the world to come what a day it will be.  Begin to look up all those verses that speak of Heaven and the death of Christians.  Underline those words of Jesus that tell you of that great day that is coming.  Read it every day until it becomes a reality in your life.

Pastor Lee Cruse who is so thankful for the congregation of Grace Bible Church.  



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