Monthly Archives: February 2016

The Cross and You!

The Book of Romans is filled with references to the cross of Christ. These references come in many forms. For example, in Romans 5:6 Paul says that “Christ died for the ungodly.” Paul is talking about the cross. Then again, Paul says in Romans 5:10 that “we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son.” This is another reference to the cross. We can also look back at Romans 4:25 and see the cross. Paul writes “Who was delivered for our offences.” Here again, Paul points us to the cross. Jesus not only took our sins to the cross, He defeated death on our behalf! Because He lives, we shall live also!!! Thank the Lord for the cross because through it God gives us life… eternal life. I Corinthians 15:54 reminds us of our victory through Jesus. It reads, “Death is swallowed up in victory!” Paul closes I Corinthians 15 with these celebratory words!  1 Corinthians 15:57 “But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Rejoice brothers and sisters, one day we will be with Jesus! Why? Because, not only did Jesus die for our sins on cross. His death and resurrection make heaven a reality! Heaven is not just wishful thinking; heaven is the joyful expectation of every child of God. 1 Corinthians 15:22 says, “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.”

CPC BABY BOTTLE FUNDRAISER… Please bring your bottles back this week. Drop them off in the lobby area; a table is placed there for your convenience. Thank you for supporting this good work. If I remember correctly, we gave at least $1,500.00 dollars last year. Let’s do better that that this year! This good ministry deserves a generous gift!

BIBLE STUDIES AT GRACE CHURCH… Please keep in mind that we are offering studies on Sunday mornings and evenings, Wednesday evenings and at other times during the week. Our plan is to offer other options this summer. Be sure to check the website ( and our Grace Church bulletin for more information. I know you want to grow in your relationship with the Lord and with others at Grace Church. These studies are a great way to get connected!

Galatians 6:14 “But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.”

Serving the Lord with you is a great joy! Romans 11:36 “For of Him, and through Him, and to Him, are all things: to Whom be glory forever. Amen.”




Luke 23:34 Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.


Paul said in 1 Corinthians 15:3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures.

Jesus on Love! John 13:1

Jesus was known for many things. He was known as a master teacher. Early in His ministry, multitudes followed Him waiting to hear Him teach or preach. Jesus was also known for His miracles. Jesus was a healer. Jesus gave emotionally broken people their lives back! His word raised the dead. Remember Lazarus? But Jesus was also known for something else. Jesus loved people. Jesus was known for His compassion. His passion was people. He loved all kinds of people: the good and the bad! He was even mocked for loving those who were despised and hated by others. On one occasion His disciples were asked, “Why does your Master eat with tax collectors and sinners?” He ate with those who were “hated” because he loved people. Just before Jesus was betrayed, John wrote these words, “He loved them until the end.” Love defined His relationship with His disciples. My friends, Jesus was known for many things, but most of all, He was known for His love! During His last evening with His disciples Jesus encouraged them with these powerful words, A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” When people think of me and you, what comes to mind? When they hear the name of our church, I wonder what comes to mind? What are we known for? Jesus was known for His love. Let’s be like Jesus… let’s be known for loving others! 1 Corinthians 13:13 “And now abideth faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”

Carolina Pregnancy Baby Bottles: The CPC is one of our local outreach ministries. Yearly they see men and woman come to Christ through their outreach efforts. I can’t think of a work which has been more faithful to its’ calling than the Carolina Pregnancy Center. Do your part to help them raise the support they need to continue their work here in Greenville and our surrounding area. Yearly, young people decide not to abort their babies because of the CPC… let’s do our part to support their good work!

Sunday Morning Bible Study: Recently I have started teaching Sunday School again. I love it! I have a great group and we are seeing new people join us every week. If you are not involved in a small group Bible study, there is one for you. Check with your friends, a deacon or maybe a staff member, we can help you get connected. You should be in a small group at Grace Church… we can help you find a group just right for you!

Thank you for taking time to read this post. I appreciate it and I thank the Lord for you and your family! God bless you!

Together is always better!

Mike and Cheryl <><



Abraham… A Father! Genesis 17:1-8

Dr. Ray Pritchard writes, Abraham believed to the point of action. Would you like one simple proof of that fact? Abraham did something that must have seemed truly ridiculous before Isaac was born. He changed his name. In the beginning, his name was Abram, which meant “Exalted father.” That in itself was a kind of cruel joke since he wasn’t a father at all until Ishmael was born at the age of 86. But now he changes his name to Abraham, which means “Father of many nations.” But note the chronology. He changed his name not only before Isaac was born, but before Isaac was even conceived. He changed his name while his body was still dead and Sarah’s womb was still closed. He said, “I am about to become the father of many nations, so that’s what I’ll call myself.” That’s faith! If his friends thought he was crazy before, now they think he’s certifiably nuts. But that’s Abraham. His faith moved him to action.


One popular theme of God’s Word is LOVE! Jesus knew how to love! He loved even the most wicked until He took His last breath. He cried out on the cross, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” During His ministry Jesus loved those hated by others. Remember the Samaritan woman, she was rejected and hated bitterly by most first century Jews, but Jesus loved her. His love moved her to conversion! Think with me for just a moment about the Last Supper. John 13 says “Jesus loved His own until the very end.” Amazingly enough, within a few hours they all turned their backs on Him and hide for fear of their lives. Yet, His loved remained steadfast and true. I want to love like Jesus loved. I want to love others just like Jesus loved me. What about you? I realize loving others is tough at times. I also know at times it’s difficult for people to love me. Paul gives us some insight into LOVE from I Corinthians 13. Take some time to read it, and then ask the Lord to enable you to love like He loved. When asked which commandment was the greatest, Jesus said in Matthew 22:37-40 Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. This may seem like an impossible task, but it isn’t! Loving Jesus and loving others is a key birthmark of a true believer in Christ! LOVE is a powerful emotion! LOVE is even more powerful when it is lived out as an expression of our relationship with Jesus. In John 13:34-35 Jesus said, A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. 35 By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples, if ye have love one to another. Jesus knew the power of LOVE! Do I, do you? Take a few minutes and let the Lord speak this truth into your heart… HE WILL DO WHAT YOU ASK HIM TO DO!

SUNDAY SERVICES… Have you noticed who is seated around you on Sundays? Every week we are having new folks from our community join us for worship. Be sure to introduce yourself to them and make them feel at home. People are always moving into Greenville, many seek us out online and then they come on Sunday to see what we are all about. This might make you uncomfortable, but put yourself in their position and then treat others accordingly! If you struggle with this, pray and ask the Lord to give you a tender heart of compassion for those He sends your way! When all is said and done, Jesus will be honored and you will make a difference in the life of someone the Lord brought to you. I share this because weekly I am meeting new people, and I know you want to make a difference for Jesus and the Gospel. This is one simple way to do just that!

1 John 4:21 And this commandment have we from Him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.

Love by the Book!

Mike and Cheryl <><

John Calvin’s 4 Rules of Prayer

For John Calvin, prayer cannot be accomplished without discipline. He writes, “Unless we fix certain hours in the day for prayer, it easily slips from our memory.” He goes on to prescribe several rules to guide believers in offering effectual, fervent prayer.

1. The first rule is a heartfelt sense of reverence.

In prayer, we must be “disposed in mind and heart as befits those who enter conversation with God.” Our prayers should arise from “the bottom of our heart.” Calvin calls for a disciplined mind and heart, asserting that “the only persons who duly and properly gird themselves to pray are those who are so moved by God’s majesty that, freed from earthly cares and affections, they come to it.”

2. The second rule is a heartfelt sense of need and repentance.

We must “pray from a sincere sense of want and with penitence,” maintaining “the disposition of a beggar.” Calvin does not mean that believers should pray for every whim that arises in their hearts, but that they must pray penitently in accord with God’s will, keeping His glory in focus, yearning for every request “with sincere affection of heart, and at the same time desiring to obtain it from him.”

3. The third rule is a heartfelt sense of humility and trust in God.

True prayer requires that “we yield all confidence in ourselves and humbly plead for pardon,” trusting in God’s mercy alone for blessings both spiritual and temporal, always remembering that the smallest drop of faith is more powerful than unbelief. Any other approach to God will only promote pride, which will be lethal: “If we claim for ourselves anything, even the least bit,” we will be in grave danger of destroying ourselves in God’s presence.

4. The final rule is to have a heartfelt sense of confident hope.

The confidence that our prayers will be answered does not arise from ourselves, but through the Holy Spirit working in us. In believers’ lives, faith and hope conquer fear so that we are able to “ask in faith, nothing wavering” (James 1:6, KJV). This means that true prayer is confident of success, owing to Christ and the covenant, “for the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ seals the pact which God has concluded with us.” Believers thus approach God boldly and cheerfully because such “confidence is necessary in true invocation… which becomes the key that opens to us the gate of the kingdom of heaven.”

Overwhelming? Unattainable?

These rules may seem overwhelming—even unattainable—in the face of a holy, omniscient God. Calvin acknowledges that our prayers are fraught with weakness and failure. “No one has ever carried this out with the uprightness that was due,” he writes. But God tolerates “even our stammering and pardons our ignorance,” allowing us to gain familiarity with Him in prayer, though it be in “a babbling manner.” In short, we will never feel like worthy petitioners. Our checkered prayer life is often attacked by doubts, but such struggles show us our ongoing need for prayer itself as a “lifting up of the spirit” and continually drive us to Jesus Christ, who alone will “change the throne of dreadful glory into the throne of grace.” Calvin concludes that “Christ is the only way, and the one access, by which it is granted us to come to God.”

An excerpt from Joel Beeke’s contribution in John Calvin: A Heart for Devotion, Doctrine, and Doxology.

Justification – Romans 4:1-12

Dr. Robert S. Rayburn describes justification in these insightful terms! “Many of us have known this and believed this for years. We run the risk of thinking it old hat. We must take hold of ourselves and consider the facts again. Go over the ground again. Try your very best to be good, your very best; you sin still and you know it. You sin all the time. You sin in every conceivable way. You are thinking of new ways to sin every day you live. You are inventing new sins in your life every day you live, and you know it! A man attempting to meet the perfect standards of God’s holiness is like a man trying to climb out of the water on a ladder made of water. He gets nowhere! You and I were facing the wrath of God and were helpless to change our fate. And God intervened and offered us a life jacket, a rope – righteousness through faith in His Son.”

Remember…How near we were to ruin; how safe and warm we are now in the refuge Christ has provided. We take fresh heart and go on: saved but chastened; justified, right with God, deeply grateful and joyful for what the Lord has done for us, but not forgetting how close we came to utter ruin. That is what the Gospel means and what thoughts and feelings it creates in the believing heart!”