June 10, 2019

Summer is in full swing which means everyone wants to go on vacation or to the pool. Let me encourage you to re-double your spiritual commitment. Why not make this summer about memorizing a new chapter in the Bible? Or maybe you could read a new book. I would be happy to give you some suggestions. Look for ways to make summer more productive in your time with God instead of just using it as an excuse to drift away from Him!!
We have begun what I am calling The Summer of Grace!! This week we will continue looking at what God’s word has to say about a topic that honestly we probably just take for granted. Do you realize how important grace is? Do you realize that without the grace of God we would be lost for all eternity? “The very center and core of the whole Bible is the doctrine of the grace of God.” –J. Gresham Machen
“Grace is the most important concept in the Bible, Christianity, and the world. It is most clearly expressed in the promises of God revealed in Scripture and embodied in Jesus Christ.
Grace is the love of God shown to the unlovely; the peace of God given to the restless; the unmerited favor of God.”
“Grace is free sovereign favor to the ill-deserving.”(B.B. Warfield)
“Grace is love that cares and stoops and rescues.”(John Stott)
“[Grace] is God reaching downward to people who are in rebellion against Him.”(Jerry Bridges)
“Grace is unconditional love toward a person who does not deserve it.” (Paul Zahl)
“Grace is most needed and best understood in the midst of sin, suffering, and brokenness. We live in a world of earning, deserving, and merit, and these result in judgment. That is why everyone wants and needs grace. Judgment kills. Only grace makes alive.”
“A shorthand for what grace is - “mercy, not merit.” Grace is the opposite of karma, which is all about getting what you deserve. Grace is getting what you don’t deserve, and not getting what you do deserve. Christianity teaches that what we deserve is death with no hope of resurrection.”
“While everyone desperately needs it, grace is not about us. Grace is fundamentally a word about God: his un-coerced initiative and pervasive, extravagant demonstrations of care and favor. Michael Horton writes, “In grace, God gives nothing less than Himself. Grace, then, is not a third thing or substance mediating between God and sinners, but is Jesus Christ in redeeming action.””
Join us this summer for The Summer of Grace!!
I posted this on Facebook this morning: “In some real sense, what we experience in worship together on Sunday morning is the closest to Heaven we come in this life.” In a very real sense I believe that is what we experienced yesterday in worship. God was moving! Could you feel it? Now don’t get me wrong, I didn’t understand a lot of the message (no offense Pastor Ernesto) but I heard God speaking to me through it. I told Andy that the Spanish sections of the music only made me more excited to get to the English part where I could sing louder and with more passion. It got me excited and that is part of what real worship does. I hope you pray every week for your church and for worship. Pray that God would show up and that we might not miss Him because we are thinking about lunch or how it’s too hot or cold or about something else. You do realize that is just Satan tempting you to NOT worship, right? Bind Satan and focus on God. Come prepared to worship this week!!
Be in prayer for our Youth as they are traveling to Camp this week. I told our church yesterday that I calculated that I have been to Youth Camp approximately 35 times during my days as a youth, as a Student Pastor, and as a Senior Pastor. I love camp. I do. It’s tiring and a lot of work for the leaders but it is also a place to get away from everyday life and focus on God. It is a place of great fun and excitement and new relationships and friendships and passionate worship and usually pretty good preaching. It is about listening to God and being quiet enough to hear Him speak. It is about focusing on what is most important in all of life . . . God! I miss it. I believe adults are missing it because we don’t go to camp anymore. Adults need it just as much as youth do. Pray this week for our youth and for Jon West and our adult sponsors as they go. I know God wants to do some amazing things in their lives. Pray that they will be open and ready to receive it!!
In case you are wondering, planning for Vacation Bible School is at a fever pitch!! Debbie West is leading and she needs lots of help! The dates are July 7-11. We have some special new Facebook advertising going on this year and we are re-doubling our efforts to reach more children. Help us by passing the word and inviting children, grandchildren, neighbor kids, and whoever!! This year’s theme is “In the Wild: Amazing Encounters with Jesus!!” VBS is gonna be better than ever!
Father’s Day Breakfast. Men, come join us this Sunday, June 16th, Father’s Day, for a special breakfast at 9:00am. We want to celebrate our Dads by giving you a delicious hot breakfast. Thanks to our ladies for making that happen because our Dads are worth it. Come join us for a great time of food and fellowship.
Last Word: I want all of us to offer up a special prayer today for Stephen Passmore and family in the going home of Elizabeth. I don’t know a single person who did not love Liz. She was a special person this world needs more of and yet obviously Heaven needed her more. She is already missed. The funeral will be at FBCWS this Wednesday, June 12th @ 10:00am.
I am ON MISSION Today! Are You?