Recently I took a quick look at my Facebook page and saw this statement, “Don’t tell me Chester’s dead!” My first thought was, “Who is Chester?” So I looked into it and found out that “Chester” was Chester Bennington the front man for the singing group Linkin Park. Chester at the age of 41 had taken his life. Suicide disturbs me! But that isn’t all! A few weeks back Chester’s friend and lead singer for Soundgarden, Chris Cornell, at 53 had also killed himself. Honestly, I don’t like writing about this but I feel compelled to share a few thoughts on these tragedies. First, you would assume that these popular and gifted men would have good reasons to live, and they did. Both had families and both were very successful in their professions. Secondly, we often assume that men and women see their value when they are as popular and gifted as these musicians were. It is obvious now that this was not the case for either of these men. Thirdly, both of these singers made the decision that what they were doing was not worth the effort that life requires. So then where does this leave us? As a Christian, these deaths enhance my beliefs in Scripture and God’s offer of redemption through His Son Jesus. My heart breaks for people that miss out on God’s purpose for their lives. Instead, they choose to live for this world that is daily passing away. Life is a gift given to us by God Himself. Each of us are born for a purpose. Sin has destroyed our relationship with God. BUT through Christ, God offers us a new view of life… HIS view. His desire is for us to know Him. I had heard of Chester and Chris because of their music. Evidently their music wasn’t enough to motivate them to choose life over self-destruction. Knowing this saddens me for their families and for their fans! My prayer for each of you reading this is that you would see your value in light of the price that God paid for your redemption. I pray that you value your life because God values you enough to offer His Son as a means of reconciling you to Himself! Take a fresh look at your life and the path you have chosen to pursue. MAKE CHRIST THE CENTER OF ALL YOU LIVE FOR, AND YOU WILL FIND THAT IT’S WORTH IT ALL WHEN YOU KNOW HIM!!!
Sunday morning our Scripture is found in Colossians 1:1-14. I will focus most of my attention on Paul’s prayer found in Colossians 1:9-14. Take a few minutes to read it and reflect on it. Paul’s desire was to see his brothers and sisters grow in their knowledge of Christ. Now that is an awesome goal… to grow in the knowledge of Christ. Both Paul and Peter had this same desire! Peter made this clear in 2 Peter 3:18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and forever. Amen. Likewise, my desire is for you to “increase” in your knowledge of Christ. See you Sunday at 9:45AM for Bible study and at 11:00AM for praise and worship of our Lord!
The next two Sunday evenings are special services centered on two questions: 1) What is truth? 2) Has science disproved the existence of God? Robert Kornegay with Ratio Christi, an ECU Campus Ministry will be our guest speaker these two Sunday evenings at 5:30PM. Invite a friend, and make plans to be in both services. The singing and special music will be encouraging and uplifting… don’t miss it!
Knowing Jesus gives every believer an ever expanding view of life! Without Jesus there is no real life. Jesus is life… abundant life! Jesus said in John 10:10 The thief (Satan) cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I (JESUS) am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. Christianity does not define the “abundant life” as a life filled with things, be they possessions or pleasures. Abundant life is knowing Christ and growing and maturing in the knowledge of Christ. Isn’t it interesting how living for Jesus can become so confusing? Think with me for a moment. Just as Jesus has a plan for your life; so does Satan. Perspective here is everything! Satan shows us all kinds of things, options if please… things that glitter like a fishing lure that catch our attention and then bam we’re caught up in this world and the things of this world. We begin to think that we have something to hold on to and then poof it’s gone!!! But when we keep our focus on Christ and follow Him closely, abundant life flows in us and through us. You know Him as He knows you! Jesus said in John 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent. What is your view of life and how are you living it out? Remember, Jesus is life… real life!
This Sunday is going to be a tremendous day of worship and praise! We will have as our special guests two missionary families, the Wingroves and the Meshaws! Cheryl and I have known Mel and Jan since 1974. At one time, they were our neighbors. We taught together at Wilmington Christian Academy. They have been missionaries for more than 30 years. They bring a wealth of Christian experience with them to Grace Church. You will enjoy the Wingroves! As you know, the Meshaws have been in Kenya for almost two years. This is their first visit home since moving to Kijabe, Kenya and the Rift Valley Academy. Needless to say, we are very excited that they could make Grace Church their first stop before joining friends and family in the Wilmington area. Please be here to welcome these two missionary families. Let’s let them know that their work has not gone unnoticed!
Tonight we are having a Potluck Dinner at 5:30 pm. Our other Wednesday activities begin at 6:30 pm. Come on out and let’s fellowship together as brothers and sisters!
Enjoy your day! 2 Peter 3:18 says, But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and forever. Amen.
Mike and Cheryl <><
Have you ever been in a fight? I have! I don’t know much about fighting, but I do know this… You have to keep your guard up. If you drop your hands you are open for a left hook or maybe a right cross! If you want to get hit, drop your hands and you will probably get punched… maybe even punched out!!! What’s my point? Summer time is not the time to drop your guard! Keep your hands up and be ready to punch back. When Satan sees you with your hands down, he punches you, and he punches hard. Even an amateur fighter doesn’t want to get punched. Summer time is not the time to drop your guard and let Satan have his way with you. Be faithful to the Lord and His church… fight back! Read your Bible… fight back! Pray regularly… pray daily… fight back! The bottom line is that Satan is looking for opportunities to “sucker punch” you. Satan has a strategy for you. He knows what works with you. He knows your weaknesses!!! Be faithful this summer. Be faithful to your Lord… Ephesians 6:12 says, For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. The Apostle Peter had his own struggles with the enemy, he said in 1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.
Summer time is CAMP TIME. The Lord is at work among our families at Grace Church. We have the opportunity to participate in a camp for our children and teens. Pastor Jamin and I have been invited to be the camp speakers. We want our children and teens at Grace Church to be included. Please see Pastor Jamin for more information. Camp applications will be available this Sunday. If you have any questions, please contact Seth at the church office (252-355-3500) or Pastor Jamin at (252-902-4805). Take advantage of this opportunity for your children. They will have a great time! The camp is located in Kinston. It is close for convenience sake!
Thank you for your faithfulness to the Lord. Summer time is a season… let this season be a fruitful time in your spiritual walk with Christ. Keep your eyes on Jesus. HE IS OUR PREEMINENT LORD! 1 Peter 5:11 says, To HIM be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
I will see you Sunday for Bible study at 9:45AM and Worship at 11:00AM! God bless you and yours! Have a great day!
Mike and Cheryl <><
Wow… what a tremendous week of ministry! It has been a blast in two ways. First, everything happened sooooooo fast and furious! Secondly, this week was a blast as far as ministry and service is concerned with kids coming and going and helpers ministering to our children and also children from our community! REMEMBER, our VBS children will be singing Sunday morning. Don’t miss it! A big hearted “Thank You” to Kelly Shelby and ALL of her helpers! Praise the Lord… HE USED YOU THIS WEEK! Sharing the Gospel with those around us is our priority! Paul made this clear in 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.
Sunday morning I am sharing a message from John 3:16 entitled, “Loved By God.” Pray for the services and invite someone to join you! John 3:16 may be the most popular verse in the Bible. Yet, is it possible that some have never heard it? I think so! Join me in asking the Lord to save souls in our services, to draw people to Himself, and to give new life to Grace Church! He will answer our prayers… but we must pray!
We live in an awesome nation! The Lord has allowed each of us to be born here with all of our freedoms and liberties! Be sure to pray for our nation and for churches all over our great land! Pray for a revival among God’s people! Let’s make Jesus the Preeminent One in everything! Pause and think about John 3:30-31 He must increase, but I must decrease. 31 He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: He that cometh from heaven is above all.
Enjoy your day! God bless you and we will see you Sunday!
Mike and Cheryl <><