- ReadDon't Fear the Furnace
Wow! What a story, Church!
Most likely, we have all read it before. In Daniel chapter three, we find a story that never gets old and is applicable for every generation over the last 2700 years since this story occurred. King Nebuchadnezzar and the leaders of Babylon demanded that everyone living under their leadership, including those worshippers of Yahweh, must do three things or be cast into a deadly furnace:
1) You followers of Yahweh must celebrate what you once condemned – celebrate worshipping other gods, my god, celebrate my god's morals and ethics, celebrate the god I created, not yours, says King Neb (Daniel 3:4-5).
2) You followers of Yahweh must condemn what you once celebrated – condemn and disobey your monotheistic God, Yahweh, condemn your biblical worldview, condemn your God's morals and ethics.
3) You must also condemn everybody who does not celebrate these changes – while you submit to the prevailing pluralistic culture you must also condemn, cancel everyone who continues to worship Yahweh and who does not embrace Babylon's morals and ethics. To the furnace they go! (Daniel 3:8).
The tactics of King Neb and his government officials are alive and well today, they are nothing new. The ethic, "celebrate what I celebrate and condemn what I condemn or else I will destroy you," is in full effect. The spirit of Babylon today seeks to undermine and destroy God’s people just like the Old Testament Babylon tried to destroy God’s people. The spirit of Babylon seeks to throw us into the furnace of shame and condemnation. I am sure that you experience the heat of the prevailing Babylonian world system furnace today as it demands you, as a Christian, to submit to its worldview of tolerance.
The reality is that today’s pluralistic and secular culture only practices a pseudo-tolerance. You would think that these cultures would be welcoming to those who did not want to worship their image. Secular and pluralistic cultures are opposed to religious freedom and freedom of conscious. They quickly heat up the fires of the furnace of shame and condemnation when you do not join them in worshipping their image of their subjective god. In the same way that the three monotheistic God worshippers of Daniel 3, were made to worship a god they did not believe, Christians today are told to renounce their biblical morals and to stand down on their biblical faith or to the furnace you go. These pressures surround us in the world and in the Church.
Will we respond the same way as our secular, pluralistic culture and give in to worship their man-made god or will we have a Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego moment trusting God in the flames of shame and condemnation?
Be alert and be discerning to the screaming demands of the world to redefine sin, to abolish biblical morals, and to mock God’s creative order. Stand resolute like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego saying, “we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up (Daniel 3:18).” And always remember as you stand in faithfulness, trusting in Yahweh, He will send a fourth man to join you in the flames of the furnace, Jesus Christ. He will not remove us from our troubles and trials but He always meets us there. Don’t fear the furnace!
I look forward to worshipping with you Sunday the One who joins us in the furnace, Jesus Christ, - Steve
- ReadThe Lost Discipline of Men - Empathy
Empathy—The ability to enter into a person’s world and be moved by it. Some people are good at it, others are not so good. Some people are moved by a conversation with a person they have never met and pray often for them and check up frequently. And others are barely moved by tearful pleas for engagement from loved ones. As Men who pursue Godliness we are to be men of rich empathy.
Men, we will see you tomorrow at 6am to discuss the discipline of empathy. See you then - Steve
- ReadThe Kingdom of God Crushes All Other kingdoms... Today
Once upon a time there was pastor in Scotland, his name was Andrew Mellville. The year was 1584. Pastor Andrew went to his loving church one Sunday and preached a sermon that was not approved by the government officials. That is correct, the pastor’s sermons had to be approved by the government officials. You could only preach what had been approved by the government. Pastor Andrew refused to accept the authority of the government to make judgments on his preaching as he said he was a messenger of a King “far above them” – the Lord and King Jesus Christ. The officials scolded Pastor Andrew and told him that he could no longer be pastor of his church and he must leave Scotland immediately. Pastor Andrew moved to England to be a Theology Professor with direct contact with the royal family. In 1596 Pastor Andrew made a famous speech to King James VI of Scotland who was putting pressure on the church to further conform and submit to government oversight. Pastor Andrew told the king, “Sirrah, ye are God's silly vassal; there are two kings and two kingdoms in Scotland: there is king James, the head of the commonwealth; and there is Christ Jesus, the king of the Church, whose subject James the Sixth is, and of whose kingdom he is not a king, not a lord, not a head, but a member."
Pastor Andrew declared and lived out the declaration of God’s dream given to the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 2. Daniel’s interpretation of King Neb's dream is a declaration to the King and to every other king that follows (including presidents) that your kingdom is temporal but God’s Kingdom is eternal! Daniel tells the king, God has established a Kingdom that shall never be destroyed but yours will be destroyed King Neb. God has established a kingdom that will never be defeated but yours will be defeated King Neb. Daniel shows the king through his dream that the last Kingdom standing on this earth will be the Kingdom of God. Nations will rise up against nations but they will all be destroyed. There is only one Kingdom that stands above all other kingdoms and it is not the Kingdom of men but it is the Kingdom of God.
Church, the world today ignores God and His Kingdom. They laugh at the thought of God's Kingdom being victorious against every other nation. The Kingdom that will stand in victory is rarely mentioned or acknowledged. We should not expect anything else. However, today in this world, the Kingdom of God is thriving! It is becoming stronger and stronger. It is moving further and further into all nations. The Kingdom of God is manifest in the church today as the children of the Kingdom live under His kingly rule — His reign, His action, His lordship, His sovereign governance. Can you see the Kingdom of God that breaks in pieces all other kingdoms and brings them to an end, and standing forever (Dan. 2:44)?
God's Kingdom on earth will never be defeated, and never be destroyed. Let us live like citizens of the victorious Kingdom with endless hope, joy inexpressible, and a boldness that speaks and acts with honor and love. The Kingdom of God wins, let's act like it!
I look forward to worshipping with you undefeated on Sunday, Steve
- I LOVE playing for the winning Team!!!!
- Isaiah 9:6-7 (ESV) For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.
- Grace Community Church of Topsail published a newsletterReadPlease Pray!Kim and John Zino’s family is in need of our prayers this morning.
Church family, please see the below message from Kim Zino, calling us to lift up her family in prayer this morning and this week.
Church family- my family needs your prayers right now. Please stop and pray.
The palliative nurse came to see Cindy today and is not giving her much hope for Andrew. But our God is greater and we hope in him. MIke, her husband, was moved to ICU because his pulse oxygen keeps lowering when he stands and they don’t know why.
Andrew is my nephew and Mike is my brother in law. We had a a celebration for life for Mike's sister who died this past Wednesday from Covid. My family is hurting and we would appreciate your prayers. Below is what my sister shared on Facebook asking for prayers.
Andrew is in need of pray!!! Please flood Heaven’s gate with your prayers!!! He is at a critical time. We need his lungs to start getting stronger, to get clear of this virus!!!!! Mike was moved to ICU that can figure out what is making his oxygen levels drop!! I am begging God for 2 miracles. Thankfully he is the all powerful, the great physician , healing God!!!!! My emotions are all over the place. Thank you all!
- Ephesians 3:17-19 ESV “…so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”
- Church family- my family needs your prayers right now. Please stop and pray. The palliative nurse came to see Cindy today and is not giving her much hope for Andrew. But our God is greater and we hope in him. MIke, her husband, was moved to ICU because his pulse oxygen keeps lowering when he stands and they don’t know why. Andrew is my nephew and Mike is my brother in law. We had a a celebration for life for Mike's sister who died this past Wednesday from Covid. My family is hurting and we would appreciate your prayers. Below is what my sister shared on Facebook asking for prayers. Andrew is in need of pray!!! Please flood Heaven’s gate with your prayers!!! He is at a critical time. We need his lungs to start getting stronger, to get clear of this virus!!!!! Mike was moved to ICU that can figure out what is making his oxygen levels drop!! I am begging God for 2 miracles. Thankfully he is the all powerful, the great physician , healing God!!!!! My emotions are all over the place. Thank you all!
- Praying for your family Kim. Lifting Andrew and Mike up in a prayer for healing.
- Good evening! I thought I would start here before posting on Facebook. Is there anyone who does clothing alterations? I have a dress that I would like to get hemmed before a wedding we are attending at the beginning of October. Please message me or text me if you or someone you know does alterations. Thanks :) my cell number is 910-547-9747.