Pastor's Corner

October 2016

October 30th, 2016

Proverbs 13:12: "Hope deferred makes the heart sick, But when the desire comes, it is a tree of life."

I have had many times in my life where I have hoped for something but then been disappointed and yet there have been many times that I have desired to have something and it came true. I can agree with this verse that when we have hoped for something and it doesn’t come true it does make the heart sick. The same can be said when a desire is realized we feel a sense of joy and euphoria.

Some people think that whether or not something comes true or not is just a matter of chance. It depends upon what you trust in, if you are trusting in chance then life just becomes a gamble. And if things don’t work out then it was just fate.

But you and I are not like the rest of the world, for we don’t walk by our feeling or by what we see. No we walk by faith and that means that we trust in the loving character of God. When I have desires that are good and wholesome and would not only benefit me but others, I believe that my loving Heavenly Father put those desires in my heart.

You say but what about those time when hope is deferred, then yes my heart gets sick or disturbed but I also must remember that I am trusting in His love and His character. That means that no good thing will He withhold from me. That means that He loves me with an everlasting love He tells me that if I will trust Him that He will open up the store house of heaven and He challenges me to see if this is not what He will do.

But in those times when the desire I had didn’t get realized then I must understand that He has what is best in mind for me. It might be hard for me to understand but His plans are always better for me. So there are times He says No and there are times He says wait. But once again the thing that keeps me from becoming sick is I know He loves me and He has my best interest at heart.

I heard a story of a young man who was really trying to walk with the Lord in every area of life. He didn’t like his job and felt he wasn’t going anyplace. Another company had an opening, a better job, more money so after much prayer he applied. The job came down to him and another guy, the company called and asked do you want the job, the problem with it was every time he prayed he could not get peace about taking this job. So he told the other company he needed more time for he was hoping that the Lord would give him peace in taking the new job. The other company said no they couldn’t give any more time. So the young guy in obedience to the Lord didn’t take the job. This was a time that hope had been deferred and his heart was sick. He even felt the Lord had let him down and he was a little angry with the Lord.

One year later the young man had been promoted in the company he was with, to a job he really enjoyed, making more money than he could have ever imagined. And the other company went belly up and shut down. He realized that if he had taken the job he would have missed the opportunity with his company and he would have been out of a job. But he also realized why that God had not given him peace in his decision at that time.

Are you trying to make a decision, then what is God telling you. When He gives you peace in an area then He is saying go ahead, but when He has not given you peace, He is saying wait. May the Lord give us discernment in our life!

- Pastor Lee Cruse, the pastor Jesus Loves.

 



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October 23rd, 2016

John 15:15: "No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you."

I believe that no pastor anywhere could be as blessed as I am to preach here at Grace. I have the freedom to preach whatever the Lord lays upon my heart without any fear. I am not saying that all of you agree with me on everything I say but the one thing that all of us have in common is the Love of the Lord.

I feel sorry for those pastors who don’t have what I have and I especially feel sorry for those congregations that rather than being about their Father’s business they are in a congregation where there is strife and turmoil.

The greatest thing is that I can call you friends. When I study the scriptures Jesus had three types of people in His life. He had hirelings, He had servants and He had friends.

A hireling according to scripture is one who is being paid to watch the sheep but when the wolves come the hireling, because he only cares for his pay and not for the sheep, flees and allows the sheep to be devoured. Who was the hireling with Jesus, it was Judas who sold out Jesus for thirty pieces of silver.

Then the Lord had servants and who were they? They were 8 of the disciples. They were the ones that Jesus loved and yet we hear Him continually saying to those 8, you wait here while we go over to pray. He loved them but they were not a part of the inner circle.

But the Lord had friends and they were Peter, James and John the inner circle. They were the ones that while he told the other 8 to wait, He took them with Him. They saw Jesus at His best, the transfiguration and they saw Him at His worst, where His sweat became as great drops of blood.

You and I in our life have the very same type of relationships. We have hirelings and those are the ones that we don’t share the intimated details of our life for if we did it would be on face book. We have servants and these are acquaintances people who we know and like but we just don’t have the closeness with.

Then there are those who we know are Friends, they are those that will stand by you when everyone else is going south on you. When people are saying things about you to them, they speak up and defend you honor. They are the ones that we could call in the middle of the night and they would come. I believe that in your life you will have many acquaintances but few friends. Someone has said “if in your life time you have 3 or 4 friends you are rich”.

It is also interesting that we don’t get to choose who our parents are and we don’t get even to choose our children. We go to the hospital and they just hand you a baby and say this is yours and there is no return policy. We do get to choose who we marry. But the one relationship that we get to choose is the friendship relationship, who we will allow into our lives and who we will stand with no matter what.

Sometimes people will say “well no-one will speak to me” I am sorry for snobby people but do you make an effort to be friendly. The Bible says Proverbs 18:20 A man who has friends must himself be friendly, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” May I ask if you have made an effort to make friends or to develop a friend relationship?

I don’t take it lightly to call you my friends! I thank God for each of you and I pray that the Lord will bless you as He has with me.

- Pastor Lee Cruse, the pastor whom Jesus has blessed.



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October 16th, 2016

Romans 8:26: "Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered."

The Holy Spirit is not inside you to point out your faults or nag at you when you do wrong. God’s word tells us that He is inside us to help us in our weaknesses. In areas where we are without strength, He is there to help us. When we don’t know how to pray, “the spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

If the Holy Spirit, without our participation, makes intercession for us, then every Christian would be living victorious lives automatically! But we know that there are many Christians who don’t seem to be walking in the fullness of God’s blessings. So obvious, Romans 8:26 is not saying that. What is it saying?

In the first part of the verse, the word “helps’ is sunantilambanomai in the original Greek text. It means “to take hold together against.” Now together means that our participation is required. In other words, the Holy Spirit sunantilambanomai or takes hold together with us against the problem.

So, if you just sit back and don’t take hold of the problem, the Holy Spirit has nothing to “take hold of” with you. If you don’t pray, He has nothing to pray. If you keep quiet, then if He wants to pray through you, He can’t. He will take hold together with you against the problem, and pray the perfect prayer through you because “He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God” (vs. 27)

And you and I can be confident that when you ask anything according to the will of God, He hears you. And if you know that He hears you, whatever you ask, you know that you have the petitions that you have asked of Him! (I John 5:14-15).

- Pastor Lee Cruse, the pastor whom Jesus loves

 



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October 9th, 2016

Lamentations 3:22-23: "Through the LORD'S mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness."

I wish I could say that I had always followed the Lord and that I had always been faithful. That I had never doubted and ask the Lord where He was. But that would not be true. Many times I have questioned and many times I have turned my back on Him and acted as if He didn’t exist.

The one constant that I can say was in my life that has always been there was His faithfulness. He has never given up on me and many times He probably should have but the “Lord’s mercies are new every morning”. He is love and what a mighty loving God we serve.

Jeremiah who wrote Lamentations, if you read about his life as a prophet it was awful. The messages that God called him to deliver, the people hated him. But Jeremiah was relentless in telling people if they did not repent the consequences would be terrible. Jeremiah loved and cared for people regardless of what it cost him.

What would keep a man going in a world that was going south and God was telling them to go north? I think Jeremiah saw the love and faithfulness of God. He was inspired to write “His compassions fail not; they are new every morning: great is Your faithfulness.”

God is faithful. How does that affect us? God is faithful. How will that help us this week? God is faithful. How will that explain what is going on in our lives?

Here are a few realities worth remembering:

1. Because God is faithful, we can have confidence when we pray.

2. Because God is faithful, we can conquer evil and temptation.

3. Because God is faithful, we can praise Him.

4. Because God is faithful, we can have courage when we are afraid.

The prophet Jeremiah’s point was: when you do not understand what is going on and when things are not going as you would like, you can have courage in the time of trouble—if you understand that God is faithful.

What a mighty God we serve, what a loving God we serve, what a forgiving God that we serve. Praise God for who He is. That He is Immutable and that means He never changes.

- Pastor Lee Cruse who is weak and powerless, but whose religious philosophy is summed up in this one phrase “Jesus loves me this I know for the Bible tells me so”



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October 2nd, 2016

I Samuel 8:5: "And said unto him, Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways: now make us a king to judge us like all the nations."

I love this country but I am afraid for it and the reason is that we have rejected God almighty and replaced Him with humanism and the wisdom of this world. The Bible says in I Corinthians 10:11: Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. In other words God allowed things to happen in the Old Testament and then had them written down as examples for us to learn from.

Samuel was a great man of God but he was not a very good father for his sons didn’t walk in his ways or the ways of God. The people who wanted to be like all of the other nations of the world wanted a King.

The Lord God Almighty had told Israel that they would be a peculiar and special people and that they would be like no other because they would be His people and He would be their King. But they rejected Him and wanted a king that they could see and a king that other nations could see.

Nathan became upset with them, but the Lord told Nathan “for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them”.

Samuel warned Israel of the consequences of this decision. He said “the king would take your sons and appoint them for his own chariots and to be his horsemen and some will run before his chariots”. “He will have you plow his fields and reap his harvest, some to make weapons of war, take your daughters to be perfumers, cooks and bakers. He will take the best of your fields and your vineyards and olive groves and give them to his servants. He will take a tenth of your grain and your vintage, take a tenth of your sheep”.

And then Samuel said “and you will cry out in that day because of your king whom you have chosen for yourselves and the Lord will not hear you in that day. But the Bible says “Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel and they said, no but we will have a king over us”.

I believe through-out the history of our country there have been times when we could have chosen the Lord, but instead we wanted to be like the rest of the world and look where it has gotten us.

The Lord asks for 10 percent and yet how much does our government take just in taxes? I have heard that for many if we had to pay our taxes up front we would not get a pay check until April or for some May. The Bible tells us that when we put the Lord first that we will not be a borrower but a lender. Yet to day our countries deficit is 20 billion dollars and we owe much of that money to people who hate us.

One of the slogans that have come out of this election is “make America great again” and yet I think the slogan should be “Make America a Godly Nation Again”.

We have chosen the wrong path and the Bible says “there is a way which seems right to a man but the end leads to death”. We have sown to the wind and we are reaping the whirlwind” God have mercy on this Nation.

On October 28th, we are having a 24 hour prayer vigil, starting at 8:00am on Friday and will go through to 8:00 am on Saturday. Come and spend some time praying for this country and other concerns that we have.

- Pastor Lee Cruse, who knows the Lord loves the United States of America.



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