Take a minute sometime and check out how Bible writers close their books. It is interesting to say the least! Consider this example, Luke 24:52-53 “And they worshipped Him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy: 53 And were continually in the Temple, praising and blessing God. Amen.” Keep in mind everything these men had been through. Jesus had been beaten beyond recognition, crucified, buried for three days and now He was risen. Luke tells us Jesus “was parted from them, and was carried up into heaven.” NOW HE IS GONE!!! But notice how the disciples respond! They “worshipped,” they had “great joy,” and “they were continually in the Temple, praising and blessing God.” This is remarkable! Look at these words again! It is no secret what happened here, but notice how Jesus’ disciples responded! Are you struggling with your faith? Disappointed? Discouraged? Depressed? Or maybe even doubting God’s love for you? Look again my friend, Jesus is not dead; He’s alive! He alive forevermore! The devil is a liar! Jesus is at His Father’s right hand! What is He doing? Hebrews 4:14 tells us what Jesus is doing, “Seeing then that we have a great High Priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.” Luke’s words in chapter 24:52-53 are just what we need! Yes, my friends, Jesus is alive, He is interceding for you and me and HE IS COMING AGAIN! Keep your head up and your knees down, and see what the Lord does in your life!
Our Wednesday evening prayer meetings are just around the corner. Let’s begin praying now. Let’s ask God for some big things! The Lord wants you to grow in your faith! He wants you to believe Him for guidance and direction. He wants you to have His wisdom. He wants us to have a deeper understanding of who He is and what His plan is for our church and for our families. What about that friend or family member that needs to be saved? What about that friend or family member struggling with an addiction? Moms and Dads, what about your children? Will our prayers make a difference? YES! Our Lord hears and answers our prayers. Do some soul searching, and see what the Spirit says. Everything I have mentioned here deserves prayerful attention. Hebrews 4:16 says, “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” Summer 2016 is going to be special for Grace Church! Adjust your calendar, set aside some things and devote some time for praying with your Grace Church family.
MISSION SERVE SUNDAY LUNCHEON: This coming Sunday our Faith Promise Mission Team is hosting a luncheon in support of our Mission Serve trip to South Carolina. Everything earned will be used to serve this mission effort. Many of those going on this work trip are teens. They have sold tickets for this luncheon and they need our support! We know this for sure. Missions is at the heart of everything we do at Grace Church! Enjoy lunch Sunday after our worship time and support missions at the same time! The food will be good and the fellowship better. Thank you for supporting missions at Grace Church!
Ephesians 3:20-21 “Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, 21 Unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.”
God bless you!
Mike and Cheryl <><
In January of 2001 I shared a message from Acts 3. As I recall, it was my first or second message as pastor of Grace Church. I choose the Scripture because of its theme. Let me explain! Acts 3 highlights the healing of a “certain lame man.” It is possible that Peter and John had seen him and maybe even knew him. But my focus was not upon this “certain lame man,” it was “Peter and John.” Think about that for a moment, “Peter and John.” These men were apostles, brothers in Christ and co-laborers in the first church in Jerusalem. Yet, they were totally different in their personalities and reputations. Peter was boisterous and loud. John was known as “the Apostle of Love.” Yes, they were different and yet Acts 3:1 says, “Peter and John.” How could they be so different and yet the Lord placed them side by side in His work for His glory? The answer is not difficult! Jesus did it! “Peter and John” placed the priority upon Jesus and the Gospel. This passage also points out that they were on their way “together” to the Temple for “prayer.” Their common bond was a clear focus upon JESUS and the work HE had been called them to do! “Together” for “prayer” they served Jesus and shared the Gospel with “a certain lame man.” “Peter and John” saw the power of the Gospel on display!!! This is what happened, Acts 3:8-9 “And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God. 9 And all the people saw him walking and praising God.” The Lord’s desire for Grace Church, for you and your family, has not changed since January of 2001. Yes, Jesus did it! Jesus brought them “together” for “prayer.” Their Connection was JESUS! Their focus was “prayer.” TAKE SOME TIME… apply these simple conclusions to your life and see what happens!
WEDNESDAY EVENING PRAYER MEETINGS begin on Wednesday, June 1 at 6:30 PM. Make these family oriented prayer times a priority this summer. As I have mentioned before our priority is to pray together. Throughout June, July and August we are focusing on prayer. Over the past two summers our Sunday School classes have enjoyed “prayer fellowships” together. This summer we plan to expand on these, and give emphasis to building relationships within our church family! I am excited about these special times together. Coming together around prayer will provide us all a great opportunity to grow together. A few months ago I started teaching Sunday School again. I love it! Cheryl has a ladies class and we are looking forward to our time with our classes. We will be saying more about this summer in the next few weeks.
THANK YOU… The Lord is good! A few weeks ago I gave you an update on our giving for January and February! You responded! Grace Church has a reputation for being a giving church! Our 2016 budget is $387,369.00. Our weekly goal is $7,450.00. In March and April our weekly average was $7,124.00. This is UP significantly from January and February’s weekly average of $6770.00. The Lord is good! Be faithful in your giving and in your attendance… OUR LORD IS WORTHY!
John Piper, a must read… “Christianity is not a will power religion. It is not a religion of decisions to do what you don’t want to do. It is a supernatural work of God, by which you are born again, so that you want God more than you want anything. And if you don’t want God more than you want anything, you’re not a Christian. That’s what the new birth is. It takes hearts that are in love with the world and puts them in love with Christ, and His Father, and the gospel, and the glory of being saved and promised to go into everlasting paradise of joy. And if it’s a ho hum, boring, insignificant thing to you and everything else in the world is real to you, you’re not a Christian. I don’t care how many decisions you’ve made, how many aisles you’ve walked, how many cards you’ve signed. I don’t care…what church you go to, that’s not Christianity…It is very threatening. Yes it is. It’s terrifying to learn that my heart has to be changed in order to be a Christian. I have to have values that are new, passions that are new, desires that are new, joys that are new…to become a Christian is to be given a new heart…Jesus, now, is your highest treasure…”
“Our biography is written in two volumes. Volume one is the story of the old man, the old self, of me before my conversion. Volume two is the story of the new man, the new self, of me after I was made a new creation in Christ. Volume one of my biography ended with the judicial death of the old self. I was a sinner. I deserved to die. I did die. I received my deserts in my Substitute with whom I have become one. Volume two of my biography opened with my resurrection. My old life having finished! A new life to God has begun”.