Pastor's Corner

February 2017

February 26th, 2017

Romans 3:3-4: "For what if some did not believe? Will their unbelief make the faithfulness of God without effect?   Certainly not! Indeed, let God be true but every man a liar. As it is written: "That You may be justified in Your words, And may overcome when You are judged."

In chapter 3 of Romans Paul is dealing with how that we are under a new covenant and the dispensation of Grace, and the Gentiles are being grafted in, then what advantage do the Jews have.  The simple answer that Paul is inspired to write is that they have a great advantage because they were God’s chosen people and it was to them that God gave the law. 

I grew up in a time where a man’s word meant everything, a man’s word was his bond.  A person because of his integrity could walk into a bank and borrow money because he was a man of integrity and his word meant something.  Deals were finalized on a handshake.

The tragedy is that is not the case today.  We have more safeguards  today than ever before and yet people still renege on what it was they were supposed to do.  Integrity means everything, not long ago I heard when Rava Zacharia was  in the finalization  stage of his worldwide ministry and they were debating on what to call the ministry.  When someone suggested that they call it by his name he gave several objections as to why not.  Yet one person said it was important that they call it Rava Zacharia because it was his integrity and faithfulness that people counted on.  How true this is, that people need to know that when you commit to something you will see it through. 

One of the greatest attributes of the nature of our Heavenly Father is He never lies. (Titus 1:2)  It is not in His nature.

The devil is called the accuser of the brethren and he will try to accuse the Lord of being merciful for you and I and then letting us slide.  God knows this. 

But the problem that the devil and the world have in accusing a child of God is the Cross of Jesus Christ.  When Jesus died on the cross it accomplished two things. .

  1. It meant that you and I were to receive mercy, but mercy is always at the price of Justice.  This is the contradiction of all other religions that they don’t understand.  Mercy is getting what you don’t deserve.  When we came to Christ God had mercy on us rather than giving us justice to pay for what we did.  Other religions will talk about Mercy and forgiveness but their problem is that they don’t comprehend the integrity of God.
  2. This brings us to the second part of the Cross.  Some will say just ask for forgiveness and that there is no need for the cross or Jesus to die.  Our Mercy is there because Jesus died, but there is something else and that is Justice.  Because of Christ dying on the Cross God can give us mercy, and the Lord can be just because Jesus paid for our sins. 

So when the devil or the world comes and says, “yea but their sins were not punished”, God can point to the cross, where His son bleed and died not only to secure our mercy but to secure justice and you find that nowhere else in any other belief system in the world, only in Christianity.

Therefore as Romans 3:4 says  “That You may be justified in Your words and may overcome when You are judged” We are free!

Pastor Lee Cruse, the pastor who is thankful for the Cross of Jesus Christ



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February 19th, 2017

Acts 2:1-2: "And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting."

The word Revival means an appreciation of God’s holiness, a passion for His word and His church. A convicting of people to do what is right or turn to the Lord and His ways. What we within the Church did was to try to control what a revival was, yet we can no more control or schedule a revival anymore than the earlier disciples could control what happened on the day of Pentecost.

I remember a time when every church had what they called a revival and they would schedule a period of time, at the same time each year, that they would have a revival. The positive thing is that there were people saved, in fact I was saved at age 14 years old when our church had a scheduled revival.

What the word revival came to be known to most Christian was that, you would schedule a week’s worth of meetings and hope people would invite others to come and people who were unbelievers would come and be saved. But that is not revival. In fact what we did was wear out the members and so gradually less and less people would come until churches quit scheduling these meetings.

So, my point is that if you asked anyone today to define the word revival I don’t think that you would get the answer that tells us what real revival is all about.

I have read about as many revivals that I can, and they don’t call them meetings or services, but they call them awakenings. Lives in the church were changed lives outside of the church were changed. People that were living great lives of sinfulness repented and burned the very things that were causing them to fall. People got upset who were benefiting from the sinfulness of people because their livelihood was being destroyed.

When I read the quote of Campbell Morgan who was the minister that God called to the Hebrides Islands off of Wales, which was one of the greatest revivals of all History. Morgan said “You met God on the meadow or the moorland, you met Him in the homes of the people, God seemed to be everywhere. It was not an organized meeting, but an awareness of God that gripped the whole community so much so that work stopped everywhere. People were crying “God are my hands clean, is my heart pure”.

You see Revival is a move of God, in which He comes in and upsets the entire apple cart. People today think they don’t have time and that they are too busy, but when true revival comes in and the presence of the Person of the Holy Spirit comes you don’t have time for anything else because God is in control.

This past week as I read Ashley Higgins letter on Face Book, I thought to myself Lord is this what we have been looking for, what we have been praying for, could this be that we are standing on the step of a move of God in our church that would spread to other churches, to our community. Could this be the time that God reaches out and those who you never thought would be on fire for the Lord are solid pillars of the Christian Faith? Oh I pray it is.

- Pastor Lee Cruse, the pastor who is looking for the next great awakening.



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February 12th, 2017

Proverbs 18:13, 15, 17: "He who answers a matter before he hears it, it is folly and shame to him. The heart of the prudent acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge. The first one to plead his cause seems right, until his neighbor comes and examines him."

I once heard a story of a family who had guest over to their house for supper. In the middle of the meal their little five year old boy screamed out, would someone please pass the rolls. The father was so incensed by his son’s lack of manners that he told the boy to leave the table and to go to his room where he was to stay for the rest of the night. After supper one of the guest who had been filming the supper and their conversation asked to play back what they had been talking about. To their surprise as they listened to the recording, in the midst of their conversation, there was this small little voice that spoke up, not once but six or seven times asking politely would someone pass the rolls.

We talk a great deal in this country about freedom of speech, but I don’t think that is the problem. The problem in our day is that no one is listening. Solomon three times in chapter 18 of Proverbs tells us to listen. He tells us first that a person who answers a matter before he truly listens to it, it is a shame and a folly. He then tells us we need to listen and how we do that is to acquire knowledge and seeks knowledge. And finally Solomon tells us we need to listen especially when a person comes and gives only his side of a matter. You need to listen and hear the other side before coming to a conclusion.

 

The worst thing that is happening in our country today is the concept of political correctness. What just happened in the last few weeks at Berkley College in California is the result where that when anyone who holds a different opinion than we do are not allowed to speak. The result was rioting in the streets and millions of dollars worth of property destroyed.

The Lord has told us that in the last day there will come a famine of hearing the word. People are just not willing to listen to hear the other side or someone’s opinion other than their own.

Most people would say “yea that is the left” but you know what, it is us as Christians too. We don’t take the time to listen and when we don’t we lose one of the greatest tools in convincing someone to come to Christ. When we don’t hear what someone is saying, first we miss on knowing what that person is thinking and then we miss where to start the conversation from.

I believe that the problem is that most Christians don’t know the word of God and they are so afraid someone will ask them something that they don’t have an answer to, or that they will be put down by the other person.

The purpose is not to win an argument, nor is it for you to come off looking good or informed. The purpose is to introduce this person to the Lord Jesus Christ. If that means me coming off looking like a fool then so be it, what I care about is them coming to know Jesus.

I, as your pastor, need to listen more, as a husband I need to listen more, as a parent or grandparent I need to listen more. Are you getting it? Our Lord spent an awful lot of time hearing what people had to say. In the mean time we need to study the word of God and ask the Person of the Holy Spirit to teach us what to say.

Pastor Lee Cruse, the pastor to whom the Lord has said to shut up and listen more.



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February 5th, 2017

Psalms 42:5-6:  "Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance.  O my God, my soul is cast down within me; therefore I will remember You from the land of the Jordan, And from the heights of Hermon, From the Hill Mizar."

Psalms 43: 5: Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall yet praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God. 

Do you ever get down and discouraged and can’t figure out why you feel the way you do.  It is amazing to me that many don’t realize that preachers or ministers have the very same feelings.  There are times that I get so discouraged that I just feel that I can’t go on.  Some become so discouraged that they don’t come back and they give up.  The statistics of ministers and preachers that are leaving the ministry are alarming. 

So, what do you do when you are discouraged and down?  C.S. Lewis once said that when you are discouraged and have doubts you don’t abandon everything.  You step back or take two steps back and then you begin to survey the surroundings and then you go back to the word of God you allow the Lord to speak to you through His word.  Many times when a person has sinned they want to give up, but the answer is to come to the Lord and confess and then go on trusting in Him and not your ability to justify yourself.  

As I read the passages of Psalms 42 and 43 I noticed, while it seems that they are saying the same things and yet there is a difference in these. 

  1. The answer first is in the future, you may be down now but it will not last.  Ephesians 6:13 that you may be able to withstand in that evil day….  Notice the word day.  The Lord will not allow you to be tempted about that which you are able.  It will last a day or a time period but not for ever.  Therefore the Psalmist says “Hope in God” and hope is futuristic.   It will end and there will come a time that you will praise Him.
  2.  The second answer is in the present.  Notice Psalms 42:5 the help of His countenance, not our countenance but His.  I believe if you will trust Him and fight through all the discouragement and call on Him He will come to you and uplift you.  In Psalms 43:5 …the help of my countenance…. Ephesians 5:19 tells us “speaking to one self in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord. 

Sometimes we have to take charge and make ourselves to have joy.We don’t rejoice because we have joy. We rejoice to get joy.

  1. The third answer is in the past.  The Psalmist writes “therefore I will  remember you from the land of the Jordan, heights of Hermon, Hill Mizar”.  When David wrote this psalm he remembered God’s gift of His Kingdom.  But I also believed that David remembered what God could do and what He had done.  That is what we need to remember that the Lord can and will deliver you in time.  Go back and remember the times that you called on Him and He answered.  Remember!!!

I am trying to tell you that I too get discouraged and I have to fight through it.  For me every Sunday there are problems that some of our families are going through.  It could be that every day, I could be discouraged but I  choose to look to the Lord not at the circumstances.

Pastor Lee Cruse the pastor whom Jesus loves and wants to carry the burdens for him. 



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