Have You Thought About this?

 

Jeremiah 17:7-8 (NIV) “Blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. 8 They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”

 

BLESSED (Bible Dictionary) 1) a blessing is a public declaration of a favored status with God, “Dude, in Christ you are BLESSED!” 2) blessing endows power for living a life of abundance hope, joy, peace and purpose; again, “Dude, in Christ you are BLESSED!”

 

Ephesians 1:3 (NLT) “All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ.”

 

So listen, if you are IN CHRIST (you trust and follow Him as Lord and Savior) you are a BLESSED BELIEVER!  Take a moment and THANK GOD right now for all of His blessings of grace, hope, peace, joy, provision, etc. that He pours out on you every day in Christ!

LISTEN to BLESSED BELIEVER (my parody of Ted Nugent’s Cat Scratch Fever)





HOPE is what we need!

80s Christian Metal Blessings!

Hey man, Pastor Brad here.

Hebrews 6:19 says that God has given us hope as an anchor for our souls!
 
“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.”
 
Anchors do two very important things for ships:
First, they keep them from drifting.
 
Second, they hold them steady in storms.
 
As Christ followers every part of our life is wrapped up in Jesus! He's our Lord our savior, our HOPE OF GLORY, and our King!  He is the One who never leaves or forsakes us.  In him we are Children of God, able to do all things, and more than conquerors!
 
Hope can be defined as confidence in God!
 
You find hope through your confidence in God's Word, faithfulness, goodness, grace and power!  And guess what, that confidence will keep you from drifting!  It will pull you in on a regular basis to spend time in the Word and prayer. It will open your heart to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit when you're confused, discouraged, and perplexed. And as you continually turn to Him your life will stay centered, strong, and at peace!  The fruit of your HOPE in Christ is that you will be a great witness, just being you, to those around you--because they will see that amazing treasure of God's power at work IN YOUR HOPE!
 
I'm reminded of what Paul said in 2 Corinthians 4:7 “…we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.”
 
And then when those storms of life come, your confidence in God and His word will hold you steady! Again, when people see that steadiness in your life it will be a witness of the goodness of God, the power of the Gospel, and the reality that when we are born a new in Christ we truly possess a joy, strength, resilience for life that is supernatural! And if you don't think that's attractive, THINK AGAIN, cuz it is man, people LONG for that kind of peach and hope deep inside!
 
So, put your hope in Christ! And let that hope be an anchor for your soul! And may God be amazingly powerful in, and glorified by, your life today!

Until next time, fix your eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith!

Metal Blessings,
pb

http://pastorbradrocks.net/

Are you a REAL Christian?

 80s Christian Metal Blessings!

Guys, we are entering a time of sifting.  Increasingly it’s not “popular” to be a Christian.  You can see it, right?  In times like these, historically, the wheat is separated from the chaff.  Posers are separated from the Real Thing.  “Church attenders” are separated from “DISCIPLES of Jesus".  So, let me challenge you to reflect on this question today, “Are you a CONVERT, or a DISCIPLE?” 


Converts are religious.  Disciples walk in relationship with Jesus.

Convers do religious things to soothe their own conscience and also in an attempt to appear righteous to others.

Disciples live for an audience of ONE; they pursue Christ with an undying passion to glorify their Lord and King in all that they do—compelled by a debt of love that can never be repaid.

Converts to the Religion called Christianity, profess belief in Jesus as Savior.  They attend religious services and often speak fluent “Christianese”---you know what I mean, they know Christian lingo---they know the titles and lyrics to Christian songs. They love to talk about “church life” – traditions, activities, programs, etc. that they’ve participated in, etc.   But all-too-often their character is exposed as unchanged by their religion.  These are those of whom Paul speaks in 2 Timothy 3.

“But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days (which began at Jesus’ ascension). 2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power.” (2 Timothy 3:1-5, NIV)

DISCIPLES of Jesus have chosen to follow Jesus Christ as Lord.  His will is their desire.   They count themselves dead to their former life of living for self and this world, and born again through faith in their Lord—to follow, honor, and love Him all of their days.  They also participate in worship with the body and in activities of fellowship, service, etc. with their church family, but their motivation is purely to glorify Christ and know Him more intimately.  DISCIPLES intentionally, and regularly pursue a closer relationship with Christ through private quiet times; reading and meditating upon Scripture, conversing with their Heavenly Father (prayer), abiding with Christ, quietly listening to His voice.  DISCIPLES increasingly demonstrate the spiritual fruits of a character that is being changed from the inside-out by the Spirit and Truth of Christ and His Word. 

The Scriptures describe DISCIPLES this way:

“The student (DISCIPLE) is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like their teacher.” (Luke 6:40)

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)

“Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ… I want to know Christ--yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.” (Phil. 3:8, 10-11)


Live for our LORD & KING, Jesus Christ today, as His DISCIPLE!
 

Until next time, fix your eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith!

Metal Blessings,
pb
http://pastorbradrocks.net/

Is God far away?

 Metal Blessings!

Hey man, Pastor Brad here.

Is God far away? Do you sometimes feel like He's far away from you? Or are you really super close to God?  The Bible teaches that God is as close to us as the air we breathe. He also transcends all of creation! He's omnipresent.

OMNIPRES'ENT, adjective "Present in all places at the same time."
  
When we talk about God being close we're talking about the experience of His presence, power, and faithfulness in in our lives. In this case James has a powerful word for us.

 James 4:8 “Come near to God and he will come near to you.”

If you’ve never received Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, that’s step one.  You can learn how to do that here:  https://80schristianmetal.blogspot.com/p/become-christian.html


If you know Christ as Lord & Savior—then you just need to draw near to Him!  How?  One of the best ways is through a REGULAR QUIET TIME with God!  Every disciple needs a regular quiet time with God.  A time to ABIDE with Him, at His feet, in His Word and in prayer, praising, petitioning, listening, pondering, engaging with Him.

John 15:5 (NKJV) “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.”

If you want to know ANYONE, you spend time with them, talk with them, listen to them, and get to know their heart and the sound of their voice.  It’s no different with God.  He draws near to those who choose to draw near to Him (spend time with Him).

If you have any questions about how to have a Quiet Time with God I encourage you to watch my NEXT three sermons!  This week (3/14) I’m teaching on WHY we need a quiet time.  Next week (3/21) we’ll look at WHAT is a quiet time?  In week three (3/28) we’ll get super practical and talk about HOW to do a quiet time!

You are as close to God as you choose to be!  He’s ready, willing and able to pour joy, hope, wisdom, encouragement and genuine power for living into your life!  Choose to draw near to Him, to ABIDE in Him today!


Until next time, fix your eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith!


Metal Blessings,
pb
http://pastorbradrocks.net/


Rockin Covid 19 for Jesus!



80s Christian Metal Blessings!

Hey man, Pastor Brad here.

REO Speedwagon has a song called Roll With The Changes. I've been thinking about that a lot lately. A year ago a tornado ravaged my city of Cookeville Tennessee. A couple of weeks later we were all hit with covid-19. Our entire world has been thrust into a blender of change.  Churches all around the world are working and praying and striving to ADAPT to the many changes occurring all around them.

I got to thinking about church history and I actually took the time to briefly study each century.  What I discovered is AWESOME!  The church has been Rolling With The Changes and ROCKING whatever challenges come their way for 2,000 years!  Here's a quick taste of some of what the church has faced and victoriously ROCKED for Jesus!

In the first century, Jesus brought massive change. First he brought a new way of relating with God, by grace through faith!  As Messiah, He was the once for all-time, FINAL, Passover lamb of God. He called us to love in a brand new way as he loves us. He called us to reach the world in a brand new way. The Pharisees had always practiced a come and see model. "Hey, we have synagogue on Saturdays.  We sing songs and teach lessons about God.  We open our doors at 10:00 am.  If you want to know God, COME TO OUR BUILDING and we'll teach you about Him." 

Jesus BLEW THAT UP!  He called His disciples to "GO & TELL!" (Mat. 28:19-20)  Jesus said you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you and you'll be my witnesses in Jerusalem and Judea Samarian to the ends of the earth.

In Acts 2 The Spirit came and filled the disciples and they went out into the streets and proclaimed the gospel and 3,000 people joined the church on day one! Talk about CHANGE!?   How would your church respond if 3,000 NEW people joined it this Sunday?!

And then Paul hit the road and all of a sudden GENTILES are coming into the church!  That totally FREAKED some of the Jews out, but the church dealt with it, adapted to it, rolled with it,  in Acts 15!

And on and on---through the second & third century the church faced two deadly pandemics with amazing FAITH and COURAGEOUS LOVE & COMPASSION for the sick!  By the fourth century the first Roman Emporer, Constantine, BECAME A CHRISTIAN!  Unfortunately, this shift of the church becoming "mainstream" was not all positive.  The church is at her best when she's under fire.  When "all is well" we have a tendency to grow complacent and our "self-interests" begin to come out---and that's exactly what happened to the church as she slid into the DARK AGES (500-1500), a millennia of popes coluding with kings and corrupt church policies driven by fleshly greed! 

BUT THROUGH IT ALL--There were many, humble, parish priests who served the "peasants" out in the villages, etc., who LOVED God and People!  These priests ROCKED IT!  The used art, creeds, rituals, etc.,  to teach biblical truths & the gospel to this illiterate segment of society who DID NOT OWN BIBLES.  As a result a faithful remnant was preserved!

Dude, I don't want to make this too long---let me see if I can condense this down.  In EVERY Century--The church has face CHALLENGES, Cultural, Technological, Scientific, Economic, Political, etc. CHANGES that changed the way people lived--and thus required the church to ADAPT and Roll... AND THEY DID---Every time!  Our MESSAGE never changes, but our METHODS have to---so we can continue to REACH a lost world with the Good News about Jesus!

TODAY: We are facing one of the GREATEST cultural changes in history. SEVERAL FACTORS are driving it.  Three of them are MASSIVE for the Church: 1) The Family is not doing well in our culture. 2) The Church, in many respects has lost sight of Jesus call to GO & TELL.  We think more in terms of "How can we get people to come to our building?" And 3) The Internet---has changed everything.  You can watch AWESOME preaching, and teaching, and worship ONLINE--ANYWHERE!  The Church has to ADAPT to, Roll with, and make the most of (as Paul says in Eph. 5:16) the changes in our culture!  COVID did not CAUSE any of this---but it sure poured gas on it!  Our church and I hope yours, is facing this head-on.  We're embracing online worship and teaching.  We're developing a culture of Small Groups and encouraging them to use resources on the web to help them worship and grow together wherever and whenever the Holy Spirit leads them to.  We NOT doing mid-week Kids programs any longer--we're encouraging families with children to engage in FAMILY SMALL GROUPS where Moms & Dads & Kids ALL worship, pray and grow TOGETHER!

The Devil loves to throw lemons at the church---but He never seems to learn that we are MORE THAN CONQUERORS IN CHRIST!  There is ALWAYS a way for the church to turn the LEMONS thrown at it into LEMONADE for Jesus!  Every challenge, hardship, struggle, threat, etc. only reveals HOW AWESOME & DESPARATELY NEEDED THE GOSPEL IS!

If your pastor is leading your church to ADAPT---pray for them, support them and ask how you can help!  We stand on the shoulders of all of the generations of Christians past, who rolled with the changes and preserved and CREATIVELY Proclaimed the gospel to their world.  May we take that mantle and faithully pass it on to those who come after us!

Until next time, fix your eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith!

Metal Blessings,
pb
http://pastorbradrocks.net/