Pastor's Corner

April 2018

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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