Pastor's Desk
February 27, 2018, 11:37 AM

Friends


Dear friends in Christ Jesus,

I was reading through Genesis when this verse jumped out at me: "Now Abraham was old, well advanced in years. And the LORD had blessed Abraham in all things" (Genesis 24:1, my emphasis). God recognizes no sacred-secular division, no distinction between religion and the "real world." He was able to bless Abraham "in all things."       

When last did you make Abraham's expericence your prayer?                                                       

God made "all things" and cares about "all things" today. Like any good father, He wants only the best for His children. He loves you so passionately that, no matter your circumstances, He will "rejoice over you with gladness" and "exult over you with loud singing" (Zephaniah 3:17).           

Does His care for us mean that He protects us from every hardship?                                              

Jesus warned His closest followers, "In the world you will have tribulation" (John 16:33a).  God's love for us does not exempt us from living in a fallen world where disease and disaster threaten us every day. Nor does it exempt us from misused human freedom, the pain we suffer because of our sins or the sins of others.                                                                                                                

Rather, our Father's desire to bless us "in all things" means that He is present "in all things." After warning His disciples about the tribulation they would face, Jesus assured them, "But take heart; I have overcome the world" (John 16:33b).   

Outside of Christ, I am empty; in Christ, I am full.                                                                                  

Outside of Christ, I am weak; in Christ, I am strong.                                                                            

Outside of Christ, I cannot; in Christ, I am more than able.                                                                    

Outside of Christ, I have been defeated; in Christ, I am already  victorious.                                    

Are you "in Christ" today?                                                                                                                              

Pastor Gran




February 2, 2018, 1:29 PM

Friends


Dear friends in Christ Jesus,                                                                                                                               

For decades now, our culture has denied absolute truth and objective morality. Tolerance has become the supreme value—unless, of course, we consider someone intolerant. Those who embrace Biblical sexuality face more ridicule today than at any time in our nation's history. The writer of Judges explained his culture: "In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes" (Judges 17:6). Where we have no king, we are our own king. Discouragement is the enemy of hope. You might not know it from the evening news, but the church of Jesus Christ is alive and well today.                                                                                           

A few months ago, Case Keenum was just a backup quarterback for the MN Vikings. But on January 14th he led the Vikings to an NFL playoff victory after an incredible play when he connected to wide receiver Stefon Diggs in a last-second 61-yard touchdown that gave the Vikings the NFC Championship. But the really good news is this:   "I give everything to God," Stefon Diggs told Fox Sports.  Another Vikings wide receiver, Adam Thielen, described the final play this way: "That was God. That play right there was God."                                                                 

 "God is so good," Keenum said after the game. "It's probably the third best moment of my life; behind giving my life to Jesus Christ, marrying my wife, and this one's right there close," Keenum continued.                                                                                                                                        

As present day disciples of Jesus Christ we are called and sent out to make His name known.  Mark’s Gospel chapter one, is about Jesus calling the disciples.  The writer of Mark uses the word “immediately” over forty times in sixteen chapters.  There is great urgency in making Christ known and we are to use every opportunity.                                                                                                   

I didn’t know about these Vikings players’ faith.   When we trust God in hard places, others take note and Jesus is glorified. We all must be ready to serve Jesus in every circumstance, because our chance may come when we least expect it.  Mahatma Gandhi said:  “I would have become a Christian had I met one.”                                                                                                                                       

Folks, the kingdom of God will not arrive on Air Force One.  It will when we take every opportunity to share our story of faith—and to God be the glory!                                                                             

Pastor Gran