Pastor's Corner

August 2016

August 28th, 2016

Joshua 24:15: "And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD."

Life is full of choices and this famous portion of scripture has been quoted and put on walls and plates and cups. Joshua is coming to the end of his life and he is speaking to Israel to decide which way they would go.

I believe that Joshua loved God’s people and he didn’t want them to make bad choices. Our Lord wants the same thing for you and I. He wants us to realize that a bad decision can have a lifetime effect. Proverbs 14:12, "There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death."

When you love someone and really care about them and you see them making a bad choice, or you see a person moving toward a life style that is contrary to what you believe or contrary to the word of God, what do you do? Of course you warn them!

If you truly care for someone then it bothers you when you see them going in the wrong direction, but as I have gotten older this is what I have discovered. The number one thing that Jesus expects in our relationship to anyone is that we love them. Love even those who we don’t agree with, the greatest hindrance to the message of Christ is those who deliver it, but deliver it without love, and the message becomes repulsive to the listeners. May I say that there were many that disagreed with the message of our Lord but He was never repulsive to anyone! So the number one criteria the Lord wants from us is to be loving. You can disagree with them but in a loving way.

I am hearing that many are turning to the Lord from Islam, but those who are coming to Christ are coming for two reasons. They have had a dream in which the Lord has spoken to them and they come to believe in Christ. I heard of one man who for seven years had the same dream about Jesus until finally he gave his heart to the Lord. After that, the dream went away never to be dreamed again. The other reason that people are coming to faith in Jesus from other belief systems, is because they met someone who loved them.

One of the things that has helped me dealing with people who are not believers is that God gives you and I the most sacred gift. The gift of prerogative of choice, but God does not give you the privilege of determining a different outcome from that the choice will entail. The consequences are bound to the choice and you go right back to the book of Genesis and Cain. “If you do right will you not be accepted” but if you do not, Satan is at your door desiring to have you!.

- Pastor Lee Cruse, the Pastor whom Jesus loves.



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August 21st, 2016

Romans 1:16: "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek."

One of the last things that our Lord did before He returned back to His Father in Heaven was to instruct us to share our faith with others. Matthew 28:19 He tell us to “Go therefore and make disciples… ." I have always believed the pillars of maturing in Christ were Active Bible Study, an Active Prayer Life, Faithful Church Attendance and sharing your faith.

In these days of a culture of political correctness, which tells us we can’t offend anyone, many Christians never share what Christ has done for them because they are afraid they will be looked at as narrow-minded or even a bigot.

We have even come up with a name for not sharing our faith. Its called privatization. Privatization is the process by which our modern world engenders a disconnectedness between private and public lives and which in effect mandates that we keep our most sacred beliefs private.

It is interesting that in other cultures where different religions exist, there is no problem with people expressing what they believe their religion teaches. Now, I know in many places certain religions are hostile too others.

Today in the United States if you state that you are a Buddhist or Hindu you would be accepted. The problem seems to be with Christianity.

So, when the apostle Paul was writing that he was not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, he was talking of his day, but he was also talking of our day. Throughout history men and women of faith have been the odd man out, and have had to stand many times by their selves when others were to afraid to stand.

You ask, "Why?" It is because we have an enemy that hates you and I and Satan knows that he can’t get to our Father, so He comes after His children. We truly do wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts or wickedness in heavenly places.

In this great hour of testing, you and I can not shy away.  We must stand. One of the greatest reasons to stand is that our Lord stood for us. How can you and I deny Him? How can you and I be ashamed of Him? We absolutely have no choice, but to stand.

The weapons of our warfare the Bible says “are mighty through God able to bring down strongholds.” Too many are trying to change our culture by other means rather than the weapons of God. We are trying to change it through legislation and it will not work.  But what is more important is that you and I voice our convictions.

But when we voice our convictions we must voice them in love, because when we don’t speak in love, we become repulsive to those who we are speaking to.

Some would say we are out numbered, but do you realize that when our Lord ascended back to heaven and left the early church in this world that Christians were out numbered 30,000 to one. Not great odds and yet the Church flourished because they depended on the Lord and not themselves.

So, speak up as the Holy Spirit inspires you to stand for the Lord.

- Pastor Lee Cruse, the pastor whom Jesus loves.



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August 14th, 2016

Romans 12:6: "Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith;"

When God saves a person He equips them. Jesus told us that He needed to go away because it was then that the Holy Spirit would come into all people who believe. This was good because of several reasons one was that now the gospel could be ministered to the entire world not just where Jesus was in physical form.

Under the New Covenant the Lord instructed us “you have no need for any man to teach you.” That means because the Holy Spirit would come to live in you He would teach us all things and bring all things to our remembrance.

We would also receive power because the presence of the living God would come to abide in us and give us the power to live the life that God wants for every one of us.

Now the news just gets better because each one of us, when the Holy Spirit comes to live inside of us, will receive spiritual gifts. In Romans 12, Paul lists 7 of those spiritual gifts. Prophesy, which means to speak forth the truth, service, teaching, exhortation, giving, administration, and mercy. You have one of these gifts and if you want to find out your gift then we have a form or survey that will help you find out which gift that you have. It will at least help you in your search.

Many think the gift will be something that you don’t enjoy doing and that is actually contrary to God’s thinking. You and I when God made us “we are wonderfully made.” I believe God wants to fulfill your desires and destiny and to make you do something that you hate doing would not fulfill your desires. No, I have found the very things that the Lord wants me to do are a direct result of my personality and what I love to do and am really interested in. So give the Lord a chance to work in you!

Now, here is the negative side and that is that if you take your gift like the man who only had one talent and hid it, you will answer for that. Not with your salvation or being lost, but we all must stand before the judgement seat of Christ. What we do, does not save us but our works show that we are saved. I believe how we live our life in this world will to a great degree determine what we will be doing in the life to come. Jesus said “if you will be faithful over a few things I will make you ruler over many”.

Once I find my spiritual gift, then what do I do? Let us plug you in somewhere in the church. We need people to teach, to drive, and to work in the food ministry. Service is a great need; to keep the building up and going, to keep it neat and clean. We especially need people to weed eat. We need more people in the nursery and the more we have the number of times we need you to serve goes down.

Jesus once told the disciples, “lift up your eyes for the harvest is great but the workers are few” and this is true in our day. Will you consider praying and asking the Lord, where do you want me to serve? Could it be that someone will be in Heaven someday because you were obedient to the Lord's calling?

- Pastor Lee Cruse, the pastor whom Jesus loves.



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