Statement of faith

2 Timothy 3:16-17 "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." (NIV)

"The Spirit of God uses the Word of God to make us like the Son of God. To become like Jesus, we must fill our lives with his Word.
- Warren

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Quiet Time Reflections

Week of: November 10, 2014                      
Guest writer: Sharon Jaynes

Don’t Give Me that Old Time Religion

What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things…I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his suffering, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead (Philippians 3:8-11 NIV).

Friend to Friend
If ever there was a group of men who knew the Scriptures, it was the Pharisees and Sadducees of Jesus’ day. And yet, time and time again Jesus called them out on their hard hearts. They knew the Scriptures, but they did not know the Scripture Writer.

These men had no passion for the God they served. They served out of duty rather than desire, and unfortunately, they passed on their obligatory rule following religion on to the men and women they were supposedly leading to God. Their head knowledge clouded their heart condition. They saw themselves as the best, when in reality, they were to be pitied most of all.

The Pharisees’ and Sadducees’ cold-hearted efforts to create rule-following clones left soul-hungry people in their wake. Rule-following religion always does. If it could have solved the sin-sickness caused by Eden, then God would have given the Law and left it at that. He didn’t. 

The Old Testament Law included 613 rules and regulations added to the Ten Commandments. I don’t know how the people were expected to remember them, much less keep them. But Jesus challenged the Pharisees’ pious traditions and condemned them for not practicing what they preached.
He called them out for making a big show to be noticed by men, for elevating themselves with titles, and for overlooking their hardness of heart. They were the most religious men of their day, and yet, they were void of any relationship with God. Their hearts were far from Him.

Then some Pharisees and teachers of the law came to Jesus from Jerusalem and asked, ‘Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? They don’t wash their hands before they eat!       
Jesus replied, “And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition...Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition. You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you: These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men’” (Matthew 15:1-3, 6-9).

Paul, on the other hand, a Pharisee lawman-turned-Christ-following grace-man, longed to know God intimately. He was willing to give up everything to experience the divine romance and sacred union. He wrote: “What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things…I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his suffering, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead” (Philippians 3:8-11, emphasis mine).

Saul, the Pharisee who had been perfectly content knowing the facts about God, became Paul the Christian who was willing to give up everything to know the heart of God. He wanted to know Jesus personally and experientially. And while God longs to have a relationship with His children, He waits to be wanted.

Let’s Pray
Lord, today I am praying the words of Paul to the Ephesians. I pray that I will be rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ for me, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that I may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
In Jesus’ name,

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Week of: November 2, 2014            
Guest writer: Pastor Mark Mavar

EVERY MAN FOR HIMSELF!!!!              Really?
Little did I know that the Lord would teach me so much from Proverbs 6:6 “Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise”: Mainly from the leaf cutter ant.  They work as a team gathering food for the nest.  Each one has his job, EVERYONE is doing something.  Some climb and cut, some gather and take back to the nest, some guard the entrance to the nest, some take care of the young, some tend the queen and on they go.  But everyone is doing something.  Just like the body of Christ is “supposed” to function. There are no free loaders in the colony of ants, nor should there be in the body of Christ. Ok, that was a challenge from about 2 years ago I know.  But here is the newest thing that the Lord taught me by means of Proverbs 6:6.  While out the other day I noticed something strange in the ant trail, ant trails are all over.  I noticed an ant sort of in the shape of a ball.  I did not pay much attention to it, I kept walking.  Then I stopped to stretch some and looked down at the activity.  I noticed that is was not just a trail of leaf cutters, but it was a convergence of  another type of ant (smaller and orangish) that was attacking the leaf cutter.  I saw the smaller ant grab the leg of the leaf cutter and the battle was on, they turned into a little ball.  I thought, this should be good, so I pulled up a seat to watch.  What I saw was chaos.  While two ants were fighting, as the next one passed by, he avoided the battle completely.  Sometimes another ant would bump the two in battle, and then immediately go off in the other direction, but one would never come to the aide of his fellow soldier.  The more I looked the more I saw the “Every ant for himself” mindset.  Wow, a group of ants that always worked as a team in everything they did, suddenly adopted the “Every man for himself” attitude.

I could not help but think back to the church.  We are guilty of doing the same thing.  We avoid the brothers and sisters that are struggling and who really need our help and completely ignore the idea of the “one body many members” Romans 12:4,5 says For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:  So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.  Then there is the biblical teaching of the “One anothers”  Be kindly affectionate to one another (Rom 12:10). Be of the same mind one toward another (Rom 12:16). Love one another (Rom 13:8). Edify one another, be kind to one another, exhort one another, support one another, pray for one another, forgive one another and on and on they go.   Yet when our brother is in the battle of his life we turn away and say “well…he deserves it” or “well… he is just reaping what he sowed” or “I am not equipped to help” and so go all our excuses.  What is the end result?  The brother or sister is taken down by the enemy and quite possibly is disabled for the rest of his life on this side of eternity.  Sin does that you know. 

Back to the ants, I decided to separate a pair from the battle field and have them duke it out away from everyone else.  The leaf cutter eventually freed himself from his aggressor (The leaf cutters are not aggressive) but as he departed from the scene, I noticed he lost one of his legs in the battle and that was taking its toll on him.  He may have been stung also, I am not sure. But the outcome of the battle was one dead ant and one that looked soon to die.  It just seems that it would have been so much easier had one of his friends helped him out in the battle.  You know…stayed by his side and fought with him instead of avoiding him. 

So what do you do when your brother or sister is in the battle of their life?  Do you turn away and avoid them and try to get out of there without getting involved in a battle yourself?  Or do you come along side and exhort them, encourage them in the Word and bear some of the burden for them and do all that you can to help them?  I tell you the church would be so different if we all worked as the one body that we are, looking out for the interest of other before our own.

Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.   Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Phil 2:3,4

Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.   Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. Gal 6:1,2

Think on these things my friends,

Pastor Marcos Mavar

For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
Mark 10:45