August 25, 2010

Honestly, are you hidden with Christ?

Photo is from Alyssa Reeves on Flickr
For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. Colossians 3:3-4

I can't ever recall someone reminding me as a new Christian that I'm dead and that my life is hidden with Christ in God. If I was told, I surely didn't understand what it was supposed to mean.

I can recall however being told that the old life that I lived, would no longer be the life that would one day stand before God. Having experienced a spiritual rebirth (John 3:3-7) and now clothed in the righteousness of Christ (Isaiah 61:10), God now sees Christ in me, as well as in every person that has become a new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Are you clothed in the righteousness of Christ?  Have you reflected recently on this unique aspect of salvation, what God has done for you?

August 22, 2010

A Year Later...

Well, a year ago today, I entered an amazing new phase of my life.  I got married.

It's true when people tell you that marriage is work and it certainly is.

Communicaiton is incredibly important, selflessness should be greater than being selfish and serving your spouse is greater than being served.

I haven't been the best at any of these things and more that could be listed, but I'm working on it and I know Kristi is too.

In this post, I want to share our vows that Kristi and I wrote for each other.  We haven't kept these perfectly, but we certainly are trying.

Our main focus is and always will be, to keep Christ at the center of our marriage and family.


Here are the vows we shared to each other, a year ago, today -  

August 17, 2010

What does it mean to repent? - Mark 1:15

Have you ever had trouble explaining what it means to repent of sin?

Right away, we think of confessing our sin before God, praying and asking for His forgiveness.  Maybe this has been heard preached by the pastor on a Sunday morning, or from a friend that has shared the Gospel with another person and this is commonly what comes to mind.

The Greek word for repent is metanoeō (met-an-o-eh'-o) and it means to think differently or afterwards, that is, reconsider (morally to feel compunction).

I found the first commentary excerpt by John Gill concerning this verse on another ministry website and thought how simple and yet profound this explanation really is.  I then looked at the other commentaries on my e-Sword program and found Matthew Henry's to be equally as compelling and a blessing to enhance my understanding of the text.

May this be a blessing to enrich your understanding of the Gospel and what it means to repent and believe the gospel.

"repent ye, and believe the gospel." Mark 1:15

He called them to repent, not only of their former sins and vicious course of life, but of their bad principles and tenets, concerning a temporal kingdom of the Messiah; concerning merit and free will, justification by the works of the law, and salvation by their obedience to the ceremonies of it, and the traditions of the elders: these he exhorts them to change their sentiments about, and to relinquish them, and give into the Gospel scheme; which proclaims liberty from the law, peace, pardon, and righteousness by Christ, and salvation and eternal life by the free grace of God. John Gill

By repentance we must lament and forsake our sins, and by faith we must receive the forgiveness of them. By repentance we must give glory to our Creator whom we have offended; by faith we must give glory to our Redeemer who came to save us from our sins. Both these must go together; we must not think either that reforming our lives will save us without trusting in the righteousness and grace of Christ, or that trusting in Christ will save us without the reformation of our hearts and lives. Christ hath joined these two together, and let no man think to put them asunder. They will mutually assist and befriend each other. Repentance will quicken faith, and faith will make repentance evangelical; and the sincerity of both together must be evidenced by a diligent conscientious obedience to all God's commandments. Thus the preaching of the gospel began, and thus it continues; still the call is, Repent, and believe, and live a life of repentance and a life of faithMatthew Henry's Commentary

Reference

Meyers, R. (2006). e-Sword. The sword of the Lord with an electronic edge (Verson 7.8) [Computer software].

August 11, 2010

Sunday Sermon: The Day of the Lord


This past Sunday at First Assembly of God in Brookfield, Pastor Phil Morgan continued his exposition of 1 Thessalonians where 1 Thessalonians 5:1-3 was the focus of his sermon.
1 But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. 2 For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. 3 For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape.
The rapture of the church is the next prophetic event that will take place as ordained by God and the task of the church is to be actively engaged in evangelistic service, winning souls to Christ.



This message can also be heard at http://sermon.net/philmorgan

The rapture of the church is our blessed hope, but for the world, it will be an indescribable terror.  Are you ready?

Old Testament references to the Day of the Lord:
Jesus said, "For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be." - Matthew 24:21.
"That day is a day of wratha day of trouble and distressa day of devastation and desolationa day of darkness and gloominessa day of clouds and thick darkness," Zephaniah 1:15
Is this what you want to live through because you have rejected Christ for the salvation of your soul?

August 10, 2010

The Reality of Heaven & Hell - "Son, remember..."

Last Wednesday night at First Assembly of God, Pastor Al Van Geersdaele taught a lesson regarding the reality of heaven and hell, from Luke 16:19-31 and the story of the Rich Man and Lazarus.

His exposition of this passage of Scripture was incredibly eye-opening to me, even though I have read this passage of text and even referred to it during evangelistic encounters with people. But last night, Pastor Al unveiled some great observations regarding the text and has really helped my understanding of it a lot more.

Hell is as much of a reality as heaven is and it certainly is a place that everyone wants to go to when they die. Many though, ignore God's requirement regarding entry and think they will be able to enter by their own merits, but that is not true.
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. Ephesians 2:8-9
Many more think that there is no consequence for not believing in the Son of God for the salvation of their souls and that is not true either.
He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him. John 3:36



This message can be downloaded at http://sermon.net/kurtmichaelson

Pastor Al provided a few fill in the blank statements to be mindful of regarding this passage and they are provided below, if you would like to follow along in this exposition of the Rich Man and Lazarus.

Three things the rich man had in Hades that we need:

August 9, 2010

Prayer for an Evangelistic Mission Trip

This past Friday, four men from our church at First Assembly of God, in Brookfield, CT, began an evangelistic mission trip, to four cities they were burdened by God, to go and preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Please pray for these men while they are out in the streets meeting with people and proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

The men are: Paul Cortese, Dave Hawkins, Aaron Van Geersdaele and Pastor Al Van Geersdaele (NYC only). 

Pastor Al is returning today and will certainly be resting quite a bit from three days of preaching and having conversations with hundreds of people.

They will be in the following cities on these dates in August:
  • 9th - New York City
  • 10th - Philadelphia
  • 11th - Baltimore
  • 12th and 13th - Washington, D.C. 
Please remember them in your prayers.

Christian Persecution Hits All-Time High Worldwide: Report

This morning, I read a story titled,  Christian Persecution Hits All-Time High Worldwide: Report , which is  about how much the persecutio...