January Month 2011

Saturday, January 15th, 2011

"Now we exhort you, brethren , warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men. See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves and to all men." -1st Thessalonians 5:14-15

There are those in our society that are being held to higher standard than others. When we consider leadership we often look to those in positions of power or those who status affords them great riches and often these are not they who have been called to a higher realm of leadership. Servant leaders are called of God and all believers are held to a standard by the word of God that requires them to lead first and foremost by example. The apostle Paul writes to the church at Thessalonica encouraging the believers to walk/lead in a certain way. When you consider your Christian walk, are you leading like Paul?

Paul advises them that they are to warn those who act unruly, who lash out as others, who cause disruption and distraction in the church and in the community rather than keeping the peace. Paul also says as a believer we are to be a comfort to those who are feebleminded and weak. These are they who don’t have enough faith to resist the devil who are not physically able to fight off the presence of sin or sickness, Paul suggest that we who are strong should be comforting and bearing the infirmities of the weak. Even when evil attacks us as we defend or comfort those that are weak, Paul says we are to handle them with love and humility and not render evil for evil. This should be our practice at church and in the community.

As we begin our fast and examine our walk with Christ, consider this: As a servant leader, in our homes and our communities are we patient with others, can they see more good than evil in our lives? Ask yourself, "Are you Leading like Paul?"

Pastor SP Courtney

Saturday, January 8th, 2011
"But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you. Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you." -Luke 6:27-28

We have seen t-shirts, bracelets and all kinds of hats displaying the catchy phrase "What would Jesus do"? Yet, I continue to see and hear about church folk doing what the world does rather than reading and adhering to what Jesus did. There is only one resource that can adequately answer this question. The bible gives us a glimpse into the earthly journey of our heavenly savior in an effort to give us a guide to how we should live each day of our life. Luke and Matthew provide us with a lesson Jesus taught the disciples concerning the treatment of our enemies. What would our world look like if the children of God demonstrated the life of Jesus instead of conforming to the ways of the world.

 Jesus said to everyone that would listen, Love your enemies, which suggest anyone that disagree or have a different belief than you, should not be disrespected, mistreated, lied on or talked about but rather you should show them love. What would it be like if republicans and democrats respected one another and spoke to each other with kindness and honor rather than with venom and hatred? What if differences among races and cultures were resolved over dinner instead of disdain and discontent? What if all arguments ended with a handshake and an agreement to comply or just to agree to disagree in love instead of slamming doors and breaking things?

 What if our thoughts of things or people that disappoint us resulted in us praying for them even when they have despitefully used us? The question "What would Jesus do, is answered with the question, What DID Jesus do?" We need to just do it His way!

 Pastor SP Courtney

Saturday, January 1st, 2011
"A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another" -John 13:34
In a New Year there is often an effort to look for something in our lives to change. We attempt to lose weight, get in shape, read more or any number of so call resolutions that involve us doing things that we really don’t want to do. May I suggest that we make a resolution that is not about us at all, but rather every born again, baptized and spirit filled believer should resolve to extend and experience real love. What is real love you ask? It is the type of love Jesus spoke of in the 13th chapter of John’s gospel. It was not the same love that Israel had grown accustom to. Jesus told his disciples that he was commanding them to give real love. Not the love that you gave to your neighbor or any friends and family, but rather Jesus said that they must love one another, as he has loved them.
This love has chosen to be a sacrificial lamb, which means it is unlimited. This love offers forgiveness over and over again which means it is unrestricted. This love is for everyone that will receive it, which means it is unexplainable. What kind of love requires your life for those you love? What kind of love forgives and does not hold grudges? What kind of love prays for those who persecutes them, saying "Father forgive them for they know not what they do"? The type of love that Jesus spoke about in John 13:34, "Real Love"!

Real love is not about what you buy or what you say, rather real love is always followed by action. God so loved the world that he gave, that is God’s love in action. Examine your relationships with humanity and the divine. Does your relationship exemplify "Real Love"?

Pastor SP Courtney