Pastor Joe’s Blog

For Unto Us: The Greatness of New Beginnings

As I begin this new journey and this new chapter in my life I am inclined to look at the beauty and tragedy of new beginnings. Scripture is loaded with new beginnings from the first passage to the final revelation. “In the beginning God…” (Genesis 1), “In the beginning was the Word…” (John 1), “For unto us is born this day…” (Luke 2), “For unto us a Child is born…” (Isaiah 9), “…the new creation has come…” (2 Corinthians 5), “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth…” (Revelation 21), and the many other instances of new beginnings in Scripture. Then there are the tragedies which follow: the fall of man into sin and separation (Genesis 3), the betrayal and crucifixion of the Son of God (Matthew 27, Mark 15, Luke 23, John 19), and the tragedy of souls eternally lost to the condemnation of hell (Revelation 20). Life seems to happen in cycles but glory be to God that on the appointed day the cycles will end in victory provided by the One True God!

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The Mystery of God’s Grace: How He Knew Me and Still Chose to Make a Way for Me

Mystery. It’s a word which conjures images in the minds of many but often leaves the thinker with more questions than answers. As humans we love a good mystery. There have been books written, movies produced, games played, and stories told about mysteries for ages. One song in particular that comes to mind is by Selah and is titled “Mystery”. The lyrics of the chorus go as follows:

Mystery, how He came to be a man
But greater still
How His death was in His plan
God predestined that His Son would die
And He still created man
                                                                                  Oh, what love is this
                                                                                  That His death was in His hands


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Priority Placement: Making Christ and His Bride #1

What is our purpose? Is there meaning to this life we live? What should be our top priority? These are questions asked often by those outside of the church but should not be questions we ask inside the body of Christ. Why? Simple. We already know our answers but in our cultural context we often forget them. We become side-tracked by the pleasures of this world while forgetting about our responsibility to the building of the kingdom to come. From fantasy football to youth travel sports, dance competitions to scholarship chasing, we’ll place our time, talents, and resources squarely in the box of things that are temporal while neglecting things which are eternal. While none of these things may be intrinsically wrong, they place an inappropriate and unnecessary emphasis on living our best life now instead of preparing for the best life God has planned for eternity.

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Suffering for Glory: Why is Often the Hardest Question

“Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation.” Habakkuk 3:17-18 ESV

Why do we suffer? To what end can we contribute the suffering of this world to the glory of the next? Why has God allowed the pain of this world in light of the completion of the sacrificial work of Christ on the cross of Calvary? Will this agony have an end? These are questions which we wrestle with constantly. For some, this is a daily struggle to find meaning in the seemingly meaningless. For others, it is the challenge of knowing how to comfort those experiencing pains which we cannot understand beyond the elementary level of sympathetic compassion. For more still, it is the deep longing to explain the inexplicable.


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