The Pastor's Page (5-23-17)

Fearing that we might run aground somewhere on the rocks, they cast four anchors from the stern and wished for daybreak.  Acts 27:29

This Scripture (Acts 27) contains the account of Paul’s shipwreck at the end of the book of Acts. Paul had warned the captain that travel was unsafe earlier in the trip. Nonetheless, the captain insisted on further sailing despite the treacherous conditions. Eventually, the storm overcame the ship and they were forced to abandon the vessel and swim for shore. Everyone made it to safety and the shipwreck resulted in no loss of life. You can read the entire account chapter 27 for further details.

What has always struck me about this scripture are the concluding words of verse number 29. Luke wrote they “wished for daybreak.” Other translations recount the words as they “prayed for daylight.” These words describe quite well the situations we sometimes face. We may not experience a literal shipwreck. However, this phrase perfectly illustrates how we feel when life is difficult. We simply long for the light when life is at its darkest point.

Many of you can relate to this language. You have wondered if the darkness will ever lift and if the metaphorical sun will ever be visible again. You feel as if your life is sinking and there is no hope. What is a Believer to do?

It sounds trite, but, KEEP BELIEVING. There is no magic formula to overcoming trials in life. There will be seasons when you simply must hold on and keep going. In those difficult hours, keep praying, keep asking, and keep the faith. Keep on traveling even when you don’t feel like it. Go forward even when it looks as if there is no hope. Forge ahead knowing that tears and trials do not last forever.

I know that “keep believing” is simplistic counsel when one is facing the complicated, gargantuan difficulties that this life offers.  There will be seasons when this attitude is the only thing that will carry you through. Make a decision and make a choice to keep going and not surrender to fear, doubt, and bitterness. When you escape the darkness you will be glad you did not give up.

Stay in the fight, dear Christians. Better days are on the way. Jesus is coming again!   Be encouraged even in your darkest hour. I’m praying for you.

Tony French

 

 


 


The Pastor's Page (5-16-17)

Today, let’s talk about the three Ls of Christian growth. We find these principles scattered throughout the Bible. Let us peruse them for a few moments.

What is the first L?  It is listen. To grow in Christ one must learn to listen.  We must listen to God’s Word, listen for the promptings of the Spirit, and listen as God speaks through others. We love to talk, but, we would do much better if would learned to listen.

Psalm 34:1 Come, you children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD.
Proverbs 12:15 The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, But a wise man is he who listens to counsel.

The second L is learn. Spiritual maturity requires us to learn more about Christ through the Scriptures. We are to be learning everyday of our lives. The growth we experience may arrive slowly. However, it will be steady if we are continually learning through the Bible, through the Church, and through the leadership of the Holy Spirit.

2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

The final L is love. To grow in Christ we must grow in love. There more we understand what Christ has done and who He is, the more we increase in love for Him. Jesus loved us more than we can ever understand (Romans 5:8-11).  Therefore, we should be continually flourishing in love day by day.

Matthew 22:37-40 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

Let us all make commitments this week to grow in the three Ls. May we master the art of listening. Let us seek to gain a greater grasp of the Word of God. And, may the end result be a thriving love for God and for others.

Tony French



The Pastor's Page (5-9-17)

Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.  James 1:17

Every good gift, every perfect gift is from the Father. We are thankful for all that God does for us. Let us recollect a few of these wonderful gifts.

The gift of eternal life…………………..
"As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”
John 3:14-16

The gift of health…………………..
The LORD will give strength to His people; The LORD will bless His people with peace.
Psalm 29:11

The gift of His presence……………….
 "I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you."
John 14:18

The gift of His power………………….
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth."
Acts 1:8

May God richly bless you today!

Tony French



Pastor's Page(5-2-17)

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.   Romans 8:28

We are going to think about a wonderful verse today.  Romans 8:28 speaks to us in the good times and bad. We rely upon this assurance and through it we are reminded that God is always moving and working. Let us take a moment and dissect this verse in this post.

“And we know”  It is a certain promise. We don’t have to guess and wonder about this promise. It is certain and sure.

“that God causes”  It is a caused promise. God uses and works all things in our life to our ultimate good. The verse doesn’t say that God is the cause of evil or sin for we know He is not the author of such things. This scripture reminds us that God is able to turn evil for ultimate good.

“all things”  It is a complete promise. God uses everything in our life to shape us, mold us, and conform us to the image of Christ. (Romans 8:29) God uses the good, the bad, the sweet, and the sorrowful to advance His cause in our life.

“to work together for good to those who love God”  It is a conditional promise. Romans 8:28 is a guarantee for believers. It is not a general pledge to all mankind. It is ONLY for those who love God and those who are called to His purpose.

“to those who are called according to His purpose”  It is a consecrating promise. God is using all things to make us holy and sanctified. He calls us to be His witness (Acts 1:8) and His workmanship (Ephesians 2:10) so that we may fulfill His purposes.

Accomplishing God’s purpose for our lives brings true joy and peace. It is what we truly desire as Christians. As a result of this promise, let us commit to trust Christ, serve Him, and rely upon Him each and every day!

Tony French



The Pastor's Page (4-25-17)

Purity is not optional in the life of a Believer. We are commanded to be holy, pure, and upright in this life. We are to live in ways that honor and please God.

We understand that we cannot be perfect. We will sin and make mistakes on a day to day basis. BUT, our imperfection should cause us to pursue purity all the more. And our imperfections should never be used as an excuse for our sin.

Why are we to pure and holy in our lives? Consider these precepts…………….

For I am the Lord, who brought you up from the land of Egypt to be your God, so you must be holy because I am holy.  
Leviticus 11:45

Flee from sexual immorality! “Every sin a person can commit is outside the body, ”but the person who is sexually immoral sins against his own body. Do you not know that your body is a sanctuary of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body.    
1 Corinthians 6:18-20

 Husbands, love your wives, just as also Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her, to make her holy, cleansing her in the washing of water by the word. He did this to present the church to Himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but holy and blameless.  Ephesians 5:25-27

But, as the One who called you is holy, you also are to be holy in all your conduct.

1  Peter 1:15

As Christians, we should strive for holiness in everyday living. We do not strive in order to gain our salvation but we strive so that we may please God and reveal our salvation to others. (Ephesians 2:8-10)  Let us commit to live holy lives in the midst of an unholy culture.

Tony French
 



The Pastor's Page (4-18-17)

“He has risen!” (Luke 24:6)  That simple, powerful phrase changed the course of history and eternity at once. Jesus death, burial, and resurrection had been predicted throughout His ministry. And now it was fulfilled just as He had said. He was no longer dead, but alive forevermore.

The resurrection is the heart of the Christian faith. Without it, Paul tells us our “faith is vain and we are yet (still) in our sins.” (1st Corinthians 15:17)  The resurrection, though an audacious claim, proved the veracity and truthfulness of the Messiah. It serves as verifiable evidence that everything He said was truth and that He is indeed the very Son of God.

What a difference the resurrection of Christ makes in our lives. Without it, we are lost and hopeless. Through the finished work of Christ, we are brought near to God through the wonder of reconciliation. (2nd Corinthians 5:18-19) The resurrection gives us “the hope that our sins are paid for (Romans 4:25), death has been defeated (Hebrews 2:14), and the hope of eternal life when we repent and turn to Christ, accepting what He has done for us.”[1]

How should we as believers respond to this hope? I would imagine that there would be many responses, but praise and sharing are two that come to mind. Our worship and praise should be centered on all that Christ has accomplished for us and in us through His completed work of sacrifice and resurrection.

Given that we have received so much, how can we not share it? Those early disciples centered their witness on Christ’s death and resurrection. We should do no less today.

He has risen indeed!

Tony French

[1] http://billygraham.org/decision-magazine/april-2011/the-resurrection-myth-or-history/

This post was first published in 2014 and has been offered annually on the Tuesday after Easter since that first publication. 



The Pastor's Page (4-11-17)

And when they came to a place called Golgotha, which means Place of a Skull, they gave Him wine to drink mixed with gall; and after tasting it, He was unwilling to drink. And when they had crucified Him, they divided up His garments among themselves by casting lots. And sitting down, they began to keep watch over Him there. And above His head they put up the charge against Him which read, "THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS." At that time two robbers were crucified with Him, one on the right and one on the left. And those passing by were hurling abuse at Him, wagging their heads and saying, "You who are going to destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save Yourself! If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross." In the same way the chief priests also, along with the scribes and elders, were mocking Him and saying, "He saved others; He cannot save Himself. He is the King of Israel; let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe in Him.” "He trusts in God; let God rescue Him now, if He delights in Him; for He said, 'I am the Son of God.' The robbers who had been crucified with Him were also insulting Him with the same words. Now from the sixth hour darkness fell upon all the land until the ninth hour. About the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, "Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?" that is, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken me?" And some of those who were standing there, when they heard it, began saying, "This man is calling for Elijah." Immediately one of them ran, and taking a sponge, he filled it with sour wine and put it on a reed, and gave Him a drink. But the rest of them said, "Let us see whether Elijah will come to save Him." And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. And behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth shook and the rocks were split. The tombs were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; and coming out of the tombs after His resurrection they entered the holy city and appeared to many. Now the centurion, and those who were with him keeping guard over Jesus, when they saw the earthquake and the things that were happening, became very frightened and said, "Truly this was the Son of God!"
Matthew 27:33-54

Oh, the agony!  Christ suffered, He writhed in pain, and He died for us.

Oh, the shame! The Son of God was made a public spectacle. He was crucified as common criminal. He died as the “just for unjust.”

 Oh, the love! Greater love has never been shown. He died for us when we were sinners (Romans 5:8) and when we were completely unworthy. No greater love could there ever be.

Dear Believer, remember the cross. Remember the cost. Remember the price that was paid. Christ gave Himself for you and for me. Remember just how much He truly loves you.

Tony French  



The Pastor's Page (4-4-17)

Have you ever considered what took place at the cross of Christ? I know we understand the horror, but, do we understand what took place from a theological perspective? Allow to mention three things that took place at the cross.
 
**Jesus took upon Himself our sin.
And He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.  1 Peter 2:24

 **Our forgiveness was secured.
When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. 

Colossians 2:13-14

**Reconciliation with God became possible.
For it was the Father's good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven  Colossians 1:19-20

As we focus upon the cross this year, may we never forget what took place from a spiritual context. Our forgiveness was secured, our salvation was purchased, and our sin was atoned for at the cross.

At the cross, at the cross,
Where I first saw the light,
And the burden of my heart rolled away,
It was there by faith I received my sight,
And now I am happy all the day!


“At The Cross”
Isaac Watts and Ralph Hudson


Tony French



The Pastor's Page (3-28-17)

The God of the Bible is the God of all comfort. God, as He is revealed in Holy Scripture, brings comfort to His people in various ways. He is good, holy, righteous, and loving.
(2 Corinthians 1:3)

Let us give thanks today for the Savior who comforts us and let us rejoice in His greatness!

It Is Well With My Soul
Horatio Spafford

When peace like a river attendeth my way.
When sorrows like sea billows roll.
Whatever my lot thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blessed assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul!

It is well with my soul,
It is well, It is well with my soul.


Tony French



The Pastor's Page (3-21-17)

God is immutable. He does not change in His essential nature and attributes. He is the same day by day!

Immutability does not mean that God does the same thing the same way in every situation. He does change His approach and working in our lives from time to time. But, in God’s essential being and in His essence, God is always the same.

We change and our world changes around us. God, however, is always the same and so shall He ever be. Consider these Scriptures……………….

God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent; Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?
Numbers 23:19

The LORD of hosts has sworn saying, "Surely, just as I have intended so it has happened, and just as I have planned so it will stand.
Isaiah 14:24

 "For I , the Lord, do not change; therefore you, O sons of Jacob, are not consumed.
Malachi 3:6

For as many as are the promises of God, in Him they are yes; therefore also through Him is our Amen to the glory of God through us.

 2 Corinthians 1:20

They will perish, but You remain; And they all will become old like a garment, And like a mantle You will roll them up; Like a garment they will also be changed. But You are the same, And Your years will not come to an end."
Hebrews 1:11-2

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
Hebrews 13:8

May God bless you!

Tony French

 


 


The Pastor's Page (3-14-17)

What then is Apollos? And what is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, even as the Lord gave opportunity to each one.  I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth. Now he who plants and he who waters are one; but each will receive his own reward according to his own labor. For we are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, God's building.    1 Corinthians 3:5-9

Let’s think about three things these verses reveal to us.

**We must plant for the harvest.  As believers, we are called to spread the gospel seed far and wide. This happens in many different ways including preaching, teaching, witnessing, sharing our testimony and ministry through the church.

Not everyone is called to the specific preaching or teaching office. However, all Christians should be sharing their faith and inviting people to Jesus in their daily lives. The Great Commission to go and make disciples is given to all.  (Matthew 28:19-20)

**We must prepare for the harvest. Apollos watered the seed after Paul planted it. We must prepare to receive the overflow in our churches and in our lives as we sow the good news into the lives of others. Preparation is needed when one “waters the seed” as being unprepared for the harvest is shameful and wasteful. Telling others that Christ died and rose again and that there is hope for reconciliation with God through the forgiveness of sin will result in salvation for others.  Not everyone will receive the message, but, some will.  Are we prepared to enjoy and accommodate the harvest?

**We must pray for the harvest. Our task is to plant and prepare for harvest. However, God must bring the harvest. God must cause it to grow and mature. We ought to pray that God will bring the harvest and that He will send laborers into the field. (John 4:35 & Matthew 9:28)

May God richly bless you!

Tony French

 



The Pastor's Page (3-7-17)

And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.    Ephesians 4:11-13

Pastors have a multifaceted calling. We are called upon to perform many tasks during the course of a week. Today, I would like to concentrate on one aspect of the pastoral task from Paul’s letter to the Ephesian church.

Mind you, what we will discuss in this article is not the only requirement of the pastorate. Many other duties are performed by those who lead in the church. But, what we will peruse in this post is the most central task of the pastor. What is that activity? The task of which we will speak is preparing the membership to minister to one another.

Paul speaks of this responsibility as a primary aspect of the pastoral calling. The “equipping of the saints”, as communicated in verse twelve, is central to work week of the minister. Pastors should teach and preach to prepare the Christian for ministry and to serve the body of Christ.

While the pastor should be involved in ministry and service to the membership, he should not be expected to do all of the ministry within the church. He is to raise up others and equip them through preaching, teaching, personal example, and training to do the work of the ministry as well.

Too often the pastor is expected to “do it all” as the church’s hired hand. This should not be! Ministers should train the membership and then release them to serve one another. The result of this service is spiritual growth, an increased knowledge of God, and Christian maturity.

As a believer, you have a calling to serve in the Church, the Body of Christ. Do not neglect that calling. Attend church, learn, and be equipped and encouraged to serve within the membership. From myself and pastors everywhere, let me make this closing statement. “We need you and we can’t do it without you. Help us!”

Tony French



The Pastor's Page (2-28-17)

“Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”
Deuteronomy 6:4-9

This portion of Scripture was called the Shema by the Jewish rabbis. It was often quoted by Jewish worshipers in the synagogue meetings. The lessons it teaches are universal and important for Christian believers in our day. What are those lessons?

**There is only one God.
The great truth of this passage tells us that there is only one true, authentic God. In a society that trumpeted a multitude of gods and goddesses, Moses declares that the only true God is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

We would do well to remember this truth in our time. Many idols still vie for our attention. Yet, for the Christian, there is only one God revealed in three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

**We must pass the Christian faith on to the young.
The Hebrew people were commanded to continually teach the precepts and principles of the Law. They were to pass on their faith to the next generation. Failure to transfer these principles from God’s Word resulted in much pain and heartache for the nation of Israel. The people of God were to continue to faithfully teach the Word of God so that future generations would not forget the miracles, blessings, and provisions that God had provided for His people.

This principle still has great import for today’s Christian. If we don’t teach the truths of Scripture through word and deed to our children and young people, who will? The world system is contrary to the truths of the Scriptures. Therefore, we must teach the truth, preach it, and live it so that our children may grow in the faith.

**We must teach the truths of the Bible by utilizing every opportunity.
The Jewish people were commanded to teach the truths of the Law in the morning, throughout the day, and in the evening. The point was this; use every teachable moment to pass along the ways of God, the truth of God, and the greatness of God to the young.

As Christians today, our command and call is exactly the same. We should be taking advantage of every occasion we are given to teach the plain truths of Scripture. Let us point out God’s blessing and goodness. May we remind our children that God is with us at all times. Let us teach them of Christ’s died and rose again for the salvation of souls.  Let us not hold onto our faith, let’s pass it on.

Tony French
 


The Pastor's Page (2-21-17)

He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?  Romans 8:32

The God we serve is a generous God. God, as He is revealed in the Bible, is not stingy or cheap. He gives, and He gives abundantly.

What has God given us? What blessings can we credit God for in our lives?  Well, all of them. The Scripture above reveals to us the truth that God gives us “all things.” A few examples are in order at this time.

God has blessed with material blessings. He has promised to supply all of our needs (Philippians 4:19) and the Lord does supply us every day. He gives us financial blessings, physical blessings, and material blessings galore. You and I may not have everything we want. But, when we examine our lives we find that we have more than we need.

God has also blessed His followers with Spiritual blessings. He has saved us. (Romans 10:9-10)  God has given us His Spirit. (Romans 8:9-11) He has promised us a home in heaven. (John 14:1-13) And, the Lord has promised to never leave us. (Hebrews 13:4-6)  What great and mighty blessings God has showered upon us.

Finally, we also have personal blessings from God’s hand. Our greatest blessing is not a thing, it is a person. Jesus Christ lived for us, died for us, was buried for us, and rose again for us. Because of this, those who trust Him by faith, are afforded a personal relationship with Christ forever. It doesn’t get any better than that!

Let us give thanks today to our God who “freely gives us all things.”

Tony French



The Pastor's Page (2-14-17)

The way of salvation is through Jesus Christ. And the way of salvation is open to all who will believe. No one is worthy. Yet, all are eligible. Consider the following statements from Scripture;

"For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.  Matthew 16:25

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”   John 3:16

For the Scripture says, "Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed."   Romans 10:11

For "WHOEVER WILL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED."   Romans 10:13

Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.   1 John 4:5

My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world. 
1 John 2:1-2

A key word in these verses is the word “whoever.”  God loves you and Christ died for you. You are a part of the “whoever” in these verses. Jesus gave His life for you and desires for you to have a personal relationship with God no matter what you have done or how you have lived. His aspiration for you is eternal life in His presence.

Will you trust in Him today for the forgiveness of your sins? Will you turn away from your sin and selfishness and accept God’s gift of salvation? Visit Find It Here for more information.

Tony French


The Pastor's Page (2-7-17)

Genesis 40: 23 Yet the chief cupbearer did not remember Joseph, but forgot him.

Do you ever feel as if you have been forgotten? Perhaps you feel you even been unremembered by the Lord?

Joseph understood this emotion. He was forgotten for over two years and languished in prison. Yet, God was faithful all along and the story of Joseph ends with him as a ruler and not as a convict. God’s plan unfolded marvelously in Joseph’s life and it change the entire course of history.

If you feel abandoned today, I cannot promise you that God will make you a ruler in the end. I cannot guarantee that your life will be perfect or trouble-free. I can, however, remind you that Jesus has not forgotten you. He promised to be with you forever as you follow Him. 

Think deeply about these Scriptures today and be blessed!

“And lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."
Matthew 28:20

"I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.
John 14:18

“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
John 14:27

Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you."
Hebrews 13:5

Tony French



The Pastor's Page (1-31-17)

“Love one another.” (John 13:34)  This command is given 15 times in the New Testament. Over and over again, we, as Believers, are commanded to love one another. It is one of the most oft-repeated directives in all of Holy Scripture.

We should love one another because Christ first loved us. (1 John 4:19)  Jesus’ love was shed abroad through His life, ministry, death, and resurrection. He loved us when we were far from Him. (Romans 5:8-11)  Therefore, we should love one another as God has loved us. Christ’s love for us should serve as an impetus for loving our brothers and sisters in Christ.

Let us also love one another because it reflects the character of God. The Scriptures teach us that “God is love.” (1 John 4:8)  Love is not optional if we desire to accurately reflect the truth of God as we seek to minister and witness to the lost. Our love for one another is a most powerful “proof” that we are in Christ. (John 13:35)  People can argue with many things. But, they can’t argue with our love for one another when it is portrays the nature of God.

We ultimately love one another because it is commanded by the Word of God.  The command is clear and direct. If we are Christians who take the Scriptures seriously, we must love our fellow believers.

Yes, we are called to love all people. Learning to love all people begins with learning to love our fellow Christian. It is not always easy, but, it is always worth the cost.  Will you make a commitment to grow in your love for one another today?

Tony French



The Pastor's Page (1-24-17)

Here are a few thoughts about our salvation for today.

Ephesians 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.
Our salvation is a gift. The gift of salvation is received by faith.  The salvation of human is all of God and is not dependent upon us!

1 Timothy 1:15 It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all.
Christ was sent into the world to reconcile sinners to God. He lived, died, and rose again for salvation and our justification. Even the worst are not beyond the reach of God’s grace.

1 Timothy 2:4 Who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
God yearns for men and women to be saved. His desire as that all would have relationship with Him. God’s heart is for all the nations of the world.

What about you? Have trusted Christ today?  He loves you and He proved it by dying for your sins. He rose again proving that everything He said is truth. You are not beyond His reach. Turn from your sins and trust Him this very moment.

Tony French

 


The Pastor's Page (1-17-17)

The simplicity of the gospel message is amazing. Children grasp this timely message and receive it with joy. People continue to hear the gospel and experience it all around the world.

Yet, while the gospel proclamation is simple, it is also powerful. God changes lives through this simple, powerful directive. God’s grace is truly amazing.

Three aspects of the gospel message come to mind. Let us examine them briefly in this space.

First, we human beings are desperately in need of help.  We are sinners who are accountable to the holy, righteous God of all ages. (Romans 3) We have broken God’s law and made ourselves into an idol.  We have become our own god who seeks to fulfill our own desires and not God’s desires. We have broken His law and stand guilty before Almighty God.

What is more, we have no recourse own our own. We have no remedy apart from Christ. We cannot “make it up” to God and we dare not try to justify ourselves. We are faced with the prospect of standing before the God of the universe in judgment and finding ourselves to be eternally guilty. (Hebrews 9:27) We cannot save ourselves and are in need of a Savior.

Thankfully, the second aspect of the gospel message makes it apparent that a remedy is available. Help has arrived, and His name is Jesus. Christ lived for our justification, died as our sacrifice, and rose from the grave to prove that He is the Son of God and that His Word is truth. ( 1 Corinthians 15) Jesus became our sacrifice, He took our place in judgment, and He paid the price for our sins upon the cross.

Where we couldn’t, Jesus did. Where we were powerless, Jesus died for us so that the forgiveness of our sin could be secured. (Romans 5:1-8)  We are needy sinners, but, Christ provides the help and hope that we need.

Assuredly, the final facet of the gospel message that we would peruse reminds us that eternal life, forgiveness of sin, and reconciliation with God is available to all who call upon the Lord. (Romans 10:13)  Today, desperate, needy sinners may trust in Christ by believing in Him and be granted eternal life. (John 3:16-17) His death, burial, and resurrection makes relationship with God a reality for all who will believe.

What about you? Have you received this wonderful gift of grace? (Ephesians 2:8-10)  Will you place your trust in Christ? Christ is your only remedy and your only hope. Call upon Him today!

Tony French



The Pastor's Page (1-10-17)

In Galatians 5:17, Paul implores us to “redeem the time”.  This phrase means more than just “make every minute count.” Though that is good advice, the idea behind the phrase is to make the most of every opportunity. (Guzik n.d.) We have limited opportunities to serve Christ. We should “buy” them and make the most of every occasion to do good to others.

Why should we “redeem the time” as believers?  Obviously, one reason is our brief time on earth. James compares our life to a cloud or “vapor” that arises for a fleeting moment and then is gone. (James 4:14) We seek to serve Christ by serving others because our lives are short and our opportunities are limited.

We should also redeem the time because of the remainder of Galatians 5:17. We are reminded that the “days are evil” at the end of this verse. The consequences of sin abound in our world and the needs these consequences reveal are endless. Many are hurting and countless people need Jesus. Abundant needs plus limited opportunities ought to make us more focused on ministry and evangelism so that the lost can be saved and the captives can be set free.

Ultimately, let us redeem the time in view of Christ’s example in the Scriptures. Jesus made the most of every moment and every day. He never hurried, but He lived His life intentionally by giving, teaching, and serving. Let us commit to examining the Gospels and learning through them how Jesus managed His time. There is no better example to follow than that of the Lord Jesus.

Friends, our time is brief and our world needs Jesus. Make we make the most of every opportunity in 2017!

Tony French
 
 http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/guz/ephesians-5.html



The Pastor's Page (12-20-16)

 
Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily. But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.
Matthew 1:18-25

It is a glorious story. Christ has come to redeem his people.

It is a wonderful story. “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.”

It is a powerful story. He is JESUS, the long awaited one.

May we give thanks and praise to Christ during this Season, and forevermore!

Tony French


The Pastor's Page (12-13-16)

 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.
Isaiah 9:6-7

The coming of Jesus was trumpeted hundreds of years before His arrival. In this passage, Isaiah declares to us Jesus’ nature and greatness. Who is the “Son” that would be given?

*Jesus is the Wonderful Counselor. He understands and empathizes with us as fellow human beings. He is the one who is “touched by our infirmities.” (Hebrews 4:15)

*Jesus is the Mighty God. He is the Son of God. He is Emmanuel, God with us. (Matthew 1:23)  And Jesus is the “Word who became flesh” for us. (John 1:14)

*Jesus is the Everlasting Father. Christ is eternal. He is, He was, and He shall always be.

(Revelation 1:8)

*Jesus is Prince of Peace. Christ offers peace in a chaotic and sinful world. The peace of Christ allows us to live without fear. He gives us His peace that enables us to serve and live for Him! (John 14:27)

May God richly bless you this as you celebrate and worship Jesus this year!

Tony French



The Pastor's Page (12-6-16)

The LORD is gracious and full of compassion, Slow to anger and great in mercy.
Psalm 145:8

As we study God’s Word, we find much encapsulated within this particular verse. This writing tells us something of the nature and character of God. What does it say to us?

**God is Gracious
God grants to us gifts and blessings which we do not deserve. He loves us when we are unloveable. And He calls to human beings everywhere to repent and receive salvation.

**God is Compassionate
He doesn’t cast us aside and He continually seeks relationship with us. God is much more compassionate than we are. When our compassion wanes, God’s compassion is just beginning.

**God is Patient
God is “slow to anger.” He patiently waits and pursues, at the same time, those who are far from Him. This is not to say that God never becomes angry, for we know He does and rightfully so. Yet, His patience and longsuffering are astounding and wonderful to behold.

**God is Merciful
When we repent and trust Christ as our Savior, God graciously forgives and spares us from what we truly deserve. His wrath was poured out upon Jesus. Therefore, He is mercifully just in keeping us from eternal separation and granting to us eternal life. (John 3:16)   Mercy says that God withholds from Believers what we truly deserve.

Friend, you are blessed!

Tony French



The Pastor's Page (11-29-16)

Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.  Psalm 100:4

We are commanded to be thankful as Believers in Christ. Thankfulness is not a suggestion, it is a command. How can we grow in thanksgiving? How can we increase in giving thanks to God? Try these three steps.

**Realize your blessings. Take a moment each day and realize just how much God has blessed you. Take a look at your material blessings, your physical blessings, and your spiritual blessings. Write them down and take inventory of God’s goodness. This first step will put you on a path of thankfulness as we become cognizant of the bounty God has heaped upon us.

**Focus on what you have been given. Too often we focus our hearts upon the things we don’t have. God’s has blessed us mightily, but, we tend to focus our minds on what we have missed. If you desire to grow in thankfulness, focusing on God’s blessings will help you to comprehend the goodness and grace of God.

**Make thanksgiving a daily part of your prayer life. As you pray each day, give thanks. Paul tells us we are to make our requests known to God “with thanksgiving.” (Philippians 4:6)  Praying with thanksgiving to God for His goodness multiplies our “thanksgiving quotient” as we grow in Christ.

Try these steps this week and it will make a difference. Let us strive, as Christians, to make Thanksgiving more than a season or a day. May we seek to make thanksgiving a way of life every day!

Tony French


The Pastor's Page (11-22-16)

Let’s look at a few thoughts about thankfulness for this week……

**For the Believer, Thankfulness is Commanded
Psalm 100:4 Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name.

**For the Believer, Thankfulness is Celebrated
Psalm 69:30 I will praise the name of God with song and magnify Him with thanksgiving.
Psalm 107:22 Let them also offer sacrifices of thanksgiving, And tell of His works with joyful singing.

**For the Believer, Thankfulness is Constructive
Psalm 107: 15Let them give thanks to the LORD for His lovingkindness, And for His wonders to the sons of men!
Psalm 18:49 Therefore I will give thanks to You among the nations, O LORD, And I will sing praises to Your name.

May God bless you with a glorious week as you live for Him!

Tony French



The Pastor's Page (11-15-16)

1 Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.

As believers, we are commanded to be steadfast and immovable in what we believe. We are urged to trust in the Word of God and to be abundant in our service for God. Why are these commands given? Let’s think about this today.

We are commanded to be immovable in the Word and the work of the Lord because Jesus rose from the dead. 1 Corinthians 15 details the eyewitness accounts of Jesus’ resurrection. His resurrection is grounded in history through these witnesses. His death, burial, and resurrection assures victory for all Christians. Therefore, we can continue to serve Him daily.

We are also commanded to be immovable because of the truth with which we have been entrusted. We understand that Scripture is given by inspiration of God (2 Timothy 3:16-17) and that is has God as its ultimate author (2 Peter 1:19-21).  These precepts allow us to keep believing and trusting the Bible even when we don’t always understand.

Ultimately, we can remain immovable because of the faith of those who have come before us. There is indeed a “great cloud of witnesses” (Hebrews 12:1) that accompany us on our journey. Down through the centuries, others have believed what we believe and have practiced what we seek to practice. It is comforting to know that others have struggled and suffered persecution and yet still kept the faith.

Their faith encourages us to go on today. Their example urges us forward in faith until we see Jesus. What about us? When our time on earth is done, may it be said of us that we were steadfast, immovable, and always abounding in the word of the Lord!

Tony French


 

 

The Pastor's Page (11-8-16)

Three thoughts for Believers today………………………………………….

God’s provision is more than enough  (Romans 8:31-32)
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?

God’s purposes are never thwarted (Romans 8:28-30)
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.

God’s love is never diminished (Romans 8:38-39)
For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Christian, you are blessed today!

Tony French


The Pastor's Page (11-1-16)

But they were startled and frightened and thought that they were seeing a spirit.  And He said to them, "Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? "See My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself; touch Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have." Luke 24:37-39

In this passage of Scripture, Jesus reveals Himself to His disciples as the resurrected Savior and Lord. He had promised that He would be resurrected from the dead. Now, they were experiencing the results of this miracle firsthand. Jesus, the one crucified just days earlier, stood before them in all of His resurrection glory.

But, contrary to the evidence in front of them, His disciples still doubted.  They were startled and filled with fear. The need for Jesus reassurance was palpable as Christ reintroduced Himself to His followers.

We often struggle with doubt as Christians today. We know what we believe, yet, we have a difficult time appropriating what we believe in the midst of the uncertainties of life. Our difficulties often lead to doubt and, if we don’t deal with it, despair.

What is the answer for doubt? Faith! To overcome doubt we must hold to the truth of God despite all that may come our way. We must continue to believe no matter how bleak the situation looks. We must continue to trust God even when it seems all hope may be lost. We must believe in what has been revealed to us, not what we can merely see. Overcoming doubt requires a strengthening of our faith.

Faith grows as we remember that God is faithful. Faith increases as we recall God’s faithfulness in the past. It doesn’t happen overnight, but, focusing on faith in God will yield results.

Mind you, overcoming doubt is not a simple task. Perhaps we will struggle with doubt for the rest of our lives. However, we don’t have to life in doubt every single moment. We can learn to live in faith and trust. Doubt and fear can be replaced with hope and trust over time.


Dear Christian, let us commit to growing in faith and vanquishing doubt today!


Tony French