The Church is Essential

In every generation since Jesus walked on earth, there has been a spiritual battle surrounding the church of Jesus Christ. satan hates the work of the church because it is a work that directly opposes his purposes. satan wants nothing more than to seduce as many people into thinking they can live life as they please and apart from Jesus Christ and yet spend eternity in the presence of God. satan desire for people to be convinced that sin is not that bad, hell is not real and there is no real judgment day coming.

The work of the church is simply the continuation of the work of Christ while He was here on earth. Mark 1:38 says,  “And he [Jesus] said unto them, Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also: for therefore came I forth.”

After Jesus arose and before He returned to Heaven, He instructed believers to preach the Gospel everywhere. Mark 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

Contrary to what some in high offices are saying, the church, the preaching of the Gospel and the salvation of souls is essential work. Whether that happens in a safe drive-in service, over livestream, via video, via text, letters, phone calls, Zoom or FaceTime, the church (believers) must preach the Gospel in our day. Why? Jesus told us in Mark 8:36 “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” What good is your achievements (status, health, financial) in this life if you spend your eternity apart from Christ in hell.

In the book of Acts, the church began to get comfortable. Rather than taking the Gospel into all the world, they stayed in Jerusalem. They were not motivated. The were had become stagnant. God allowed persecution to scatter them and the Bible tell us in Acts 8:4 “Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word.

This is not a time for the church to wring its hands, to be silent or to draw back in fear. While we must honor those who are in authority over us, we must continue the work of Christ—preaching the Gospel. We must be faithful to deliver the Good News in every way available.

satan thinks he has slowed the spread of the Gospel through COVID-19. Jesus has promised that in every season that the church of Christ will continue to be built by Christ and upon the deity of Christ in face of opposition and persecution. Matthew 16:18  “And I [Jesus] say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

There is no doubt in my mind that more opposition to the work of Christ will come in our day. 2 Timothy 3:12 assures us, “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” However, because we are on the side of Christ, nothing will prevail against the church of Christ…we have His promise. satan thought he had won the victory over Christ at Calvary, yet on Sunday morning our Savior stepped out of the tomb in divine demonstration of His overwhelming power over sin, death, hell and satan.

May the church of the living God take courage. Our Savior is risen and we partner with Him in His essential work in the world today.

Easter Journey: Wednesday

On Wednesday of the Passion Week, Jesus is spending the final hours before His arrest with His twelve disciples. Very difficult days were ahead for them as their faith would be severely tested. Before all this, Jesus brought them to a quiet place, alone in an upper room where He celebrated the Passover with them and tenderly demonstrated some very important lessons.

In tonight’s Growth Point Service at watchGBC.com, we will look at Christ’s time in the Garden of Gethsemane as well as His arrest. Thank you for following the Easter Journey! We hope it has encouraged you!

Photo Credit: Lumoproject.com

These Have Encouraged Me

In recent days we all have had our lives disrupted. Stores, restaurants and places we normally would visit are closed or greatly restricted leaving us with no option but to be home more. I am reminded that after busy seasons of ministry and activity, Jesus often led His disciples into a desert place away from everything for reflection, rest and prayer. Though we all look forward to this crisis passing, perhaps we should look at this as an opportunity to find a place away from everything to reflect, rest and draw closer to God. I wanted to suggest some books, internet radio stations and even a college course that might help you get the most out of this time at home.

Encouraging Books

The Treasure Principle by Randy Alcorn

How to Pray by R. A. Torrey

I Am a Church Member by Them Rainer

The Crucified Life by A. W. Tozer

The Insanity of God by Nik Ripkens

Giving It All Away and Getting It Back Again by David Green

The Dangers of Shallow Faith by A. W. Tozer

Margin by Richard A. Swenson

For Men Only Shaunti Feldhahn

For Women Only by Shaunti Feldhahn

Encouraging Music —Internet Christian Radio
(Most of these have an app available at their website for smart devices)

Abiding Radio

KNVBC

Faith Music Radio

Bible Truth Radio

Educational Opportunity—Intro to Apologetics

I have personally enrolled in this class and am enjoying what I am learning! Let me know if you enroll. It would be fun to discuss it with you!

Easter Journey: Tuesday

While it is not clear from Scripture all that Jesus was doing on Monday and Tuesday of His Passion Week, it does seem that He spent time in Bethany on these days fellowshipping with friends like Simon the Leper, Lazarus and others. Among those friends was a woman who demonstrated extravagant love for her Savior. Though we do not know her name, her act lives on as a example for every believer. Jesus is worthy of our everything.

Photo Credit: http://www.LumoProject.com

Easter Journey: Monday

Today we find Jesus in Bethany with some people who enjoyed fellowshipping with Him. Even though, humanly, this would be the most difficult week of Christ’s life, He still spent time encouraging His own. Remember, Jesus wants to fellowship with you today. Will you fellowship with Him?

Photo Credit: http://www.LumoProject.com

Growing in 2020

Growth.jpg

Those who garden know that growth requires a plan along with consistent care and effort. Spiritual growth is no different. As you prepare for 2020, may I encourage you to  plan for spiritual growth. Remember, growth will not come easy. However, with some care and effort, it will come! Let me suggest some resources that you might find helpful for your spiritual growth in the New Year.

Digital Bible Reading Plan on the YouVersion App

  1. One Year Bible Group Plan
  2. My Utmost for His Highest 30 Day Group Plan

Daily Reading Bibles & Study Bibles

  1. One Year Bible
  2. Life Application Study Bible
  3. Thompson Chain Study Bible
  4. Ryrie Study Bible
  5. Kids Study Bible

Daily Devotionals

  1. Trust and Obey
  2. Rooted in Christ
  3. A Daily Word
  4. A Word to the Wise
  5. Disciple
  6. Revival Today
  7. Journey
  8. Daily in the Word in your Email Inbox
  9. My Utmost for His Highest—Oswald Chambers
  10. Morning and Evening—C.H. Spurgeon

Prayer App

Echo Prayer App