Thursday, February 15, 2018

Our Ultimate Destination

Some of you may recognize the name Adrian Rogers. For those of you who don’t, he was a great preacher, cut from the fabric of what I like to call ‘the great Southern Baptist tradition.’ I was listening to one of his sermons where he was telling a story about one predecessor who was known as the ‘Prince of Preachers.’

He was a man of such oratorical skills and anointing of God that people were awestruck when they heard him preach. As the preacher grew older he was hospitalized and was in and out of a coma constantly. On his last day, while lying there in bed, he suddenly looked up and his eyes grew wide. He said to his daughter, “It is greater than I imagined; I never did it justice!” Then he closed his eyes and died in peace.

Now think about it: He was a great man of God, an incredibly gifted communicator of the Bible, but as he was finally at the point of stepping over to the other side of life and catching that glimpse of Heaven, all he could say was, “It’s greater than I imagined. I never did it justice!”

In our journey of faith with Jesus, we go through some tough times; difficult days, dry moments, hard circumstances, and "I do not understand" seasons. When those days happen, and they will, I want you to remember your ultimate destination- Heaven. Words can’t explain it; it’s greater than you can imagine. You will see Jesus face to face. He is greater than you imagined.

Surely there are no words that can adequately describe how incredible it will be to come face-to-face with the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Until that day, take a moment today to quiet yourself and read out loud Revelation 21:1-4. Then, try to imagine what Heaven will be like.
Blessings,
Pastor Mark "The Bru" Brunott


P.S. How is your attitude at work? Are you the same when nobody at work is watching you? Are you a complainer at your job? Are you satisfied with your employment? Why or why not? This Sunday, at 9:00 and 10:30 AM, we will allow God to give us a work makeover.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Can Good come from Bad?

George Barna, the well-known public-opinion pollster, conducted a national survey: ‘If you could ask God one question what would it be?’ the number one answer was, ‘Why is there so much pain and suffering?’

1 billion people suffer from hunger and every second someone dies of hunger. The earthquake in Taiwan left thousands without water, 170 missing, and several dead. There is terrorism unrest. The list goes on and on. Some follow-up thoughts on pain and suffering are raised: If God is all-powerful and all-knowing, yet doesn’t stop evil, why should I believe in Him? If He can’t do anything about all of this, He isn’t much of a God, is He?

Questions like these can shake our faith and grip us with fear, anger, and bewilderment. If God is all-powerful and all-good, then how can He allow so much pain and suffering? As Christians, we know that God is powerful and loving, but sometimes it feels like He doesn’t care, or that we’re all alone. I try to keep a few things in mind when I feel that God doesn’t care.

There are at least four Biblical reasons why a bad thing may be a good thing. First, we live in a fallen world. God gets blamed for a lot of man’s evil. Ironically the more victimized people are by man’s evil, the more they tend to blame God. Second, we do not heed God’s warnings (read Deuteronomy 28:1, 15). Third, we make foolish decisions. We are not computers programmed to do good or evil; like God, we can make choices. Fourth, we experience the backwash of life itself. Sometimes we are in the wrong place at the wrong time. Daniel was minding his own business when King Nebuchadnezzar’s troops marched into Jerusalem, destroyed it, and took him to Babylon as a captive. Things like that happen.

So, the question remains: Why does an all-loving and all-powerful God allow suffering and evil? No answer is adequate, but God’s main concern is that we trust Him to bring good out of the bad (see Romans 8:28). If He did it when humankind murdered His innocent son, then He can do it with all of the pain and unrest in 2018. Let’s live by God’s promises, not man’s expectations.
Pastor Mark "The Bru" Brunott
P.S. Have you ever read articles titled '5 steps to being a better parent' or '7 tricks to getting a new kid by Monday?' They always sound so good and simple but are never as easy to implement. What does God have to say about being a godly parent or child? Join us this Sunday at 9:00 or 10:30 AM to find out.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Outreach Discoveries

Pastor Nat, our Pastor of Local Outreach, has the ministry team reading a book entitled Organic Outreach for Ordinary People.  Written by Pastor Kevin G. Harney, the emphasis is on sharing the Good News naturally.

I’d like to pass on a couple of the principles I’ve been learning lately about personal outreach and evangelism. First, the roadblocks we all face in sharing our faith with non-believing friends is nothing in comparison with the joy of seeing Jesus change a friend’s heart from the inside out. Whatever risk you took to share your faith was well worth it.

The second thing I’m learning is that there really is no set program for evangelism and outreach. Perhaps the best approach is simply to invite people to join you in the regular activities of your life. If your faith is real, it will shine through in the way you live. What might this look like practically? If you’re going to an event, ask them to join you. Think of all the things you do that you could invite someone to join you! Going to lunch, going shopping, going to work out at the gym, or going to a concert.

When you get there, be yourself. You don’t have to force a conversation. Let people see the real you. If the subject of faith comes up, don’t be embarrassed. Let people see how Jesus is a normal part of who you are.

The key to outreach is casting the seed wherever we go, knowing it’s God who brings the growth (1 Corinthians 3:6). I love the way Kevin Harney describes outreach, “It’s like trying on clothes. Before making a clothing purchase, most people will try on a shirt, a pair of pants, or some piece of clothing to see how it fits. If the clothing is too tight or too loose, they’ll try another size. If the color or style really does not work for them, they may put it back on the rack. When buying clothes, we often try several options to see what works” (Organic Outreach for Ordinary People, p. 148).

He goes on to say outreach is often like that. We try something to see how it goes. If it feels natural or organic, we wear it. If it just doesn’t fit well, we try something else.

Would you be willing to try inviting your unbelieving friends to join you in the regular activities of your life? Go ahead, give it a try! To borrow the well-known phrase of Dirty Harry, “Go ahead, make my day.”