November Month 2010
"He said, "I came naked from my mother's womb, and I will be naked when I leave. The Lord gave me what I had, and the Lord has taken it away. Praise the name of the Lord!" -Job 1:21
There is no one on earth that is exempt from difficult and disappointing days. In fact, Jesus told His disciples that we, (believers) would have trials and tribulations, so we should expect that sooner or later trouble will come. Storms will rise, whether financial, relational, or physical, we will encounter difficult times. It is my humble opinion, that whenever we are faced with difficulty God is watching. It's not how much trouble we are going through that should concern us but rather how we respond to that trouble.
Unfortunately many believers spend the majority of their time casting blame rather than counting it all joy. Job, the upright and faithful servant of the Lord was in the middle of the worst season of his life. He had lost everything he had including his 10 children who were all killed at the same time. Yet Job's response was not to blame anyone. What Job says suggest he understood God's expectations for those that truly believe. Job assessed his life and arrived at the conclusion that God was the source of all his substance. Everything he had and everything he had become was because of God. Since God gave it, it was his to take away, and although he took it from me, I am going to Praise Him for allowing me to have it in the first place. I won't complain and I won't give up, I will just Praise Him for all that He has done.
Make sure you remember what God has done before deciding, Who you will blame?
Pastor SP Courtney
Beloved as we fall into another season and prepare to close out another year, I pray that all is well with you and yours. As the seasons change eventually we will begin to experience the harshness of a cold winter. Being inside our homes and riding in our cars we enjoy the warmth of heaters and the comfort of warm air. Abiding in these safe havens is much better than being on the outside in the bitter cold. We should consider this when reading Psalm 15 as the Psalmist asks us who shall abide.
The Psalmist is saying master who has access to the safety and loving care of your tabernacle. Who shall reach the peace and serenity of your Holy hill? Perhaps many of us have made plans to spend eternity with God. We have already claimed out place in the heavens. I suggest reading verse two of the 15th number Psalm and ask yourself will you abide? Are you one that is walking upright and doing Kingdom work, through the righteousness of God? When your mouth opens, do you speak the truth from your heart, or is false accusations and misinformation the order of the day.
We all have to die, but the Psalmist wanted to know, who will abide? Our daily actions on earth will have an everlasting impact on our eternal existence. When you consider what you have done today, ask yourself the question, "Who shall abide?"
Pastor SP Courtney
What a great time of the year! The season of thanksgiving is a time when many people reflect back over the preceding days and months of the year. They take inventory of the many events and experiences that have shaped this season of their life. It is an opportunity to consider what has happened, why it happened and give thanks to who is responsible for the many blessings they have experienced. The question I present to you today, is why is Thanksgiving an annual event and not a daily practice. Looking back and giving thanks to our God would cause us to have a more frequent encounter with God and a more positive one with those who share our relational circle. What about you, when do you look back?
The Psalmist in Psalm 103 is suggesting that remembering the benefits of God should be done by every believer. Looking back and considering everything He has done in our lives. We have benefitted from His goodness, His kindness and His mercy. There are countless reasons on a daily basis to acknowledge the benefits of our relationship with God. Without God, we would not have the air that we breathe, the water that we drink the food that we eat and those are just the obvious benefits. Did you consider Calvary today? Time itself is a benefit, for God is the author of time. He is the author and finisher of our faith and our life. It is nice to tell God thank you during this season, however He deserves our thanks daily as we reflect on how we made it through yesterday.
Find time in your busy schedules, to stop on a daily basis, look back and see what God has done, and simply say thanks.
Pastor SP Courtney
My family and I are extremely grateful for the many cards, words of kindness, deeds, gifts and the extraordinary efforts put forth by so many during our 4th anniversary celebration. The anniversary committee and many others worked tirelessly to make our day special and for that we are eternally thankful. The apostle Paul was always writing words of encouragement to the churches. Today I encourage the members of Bethlehem to Never Give Up, or as the Apostle Paul put it "Faint Not"!
The apostle Paul was comparing the ministry of the New Testament church to the period of Israel under Moses. His words in verse one of chapter four was both a confirmation of God's allegiance and exhortation to the believers to hold on. Paul said we have been given this ministry, knowing that it comes with problems, persecution and disappointment but we also have mercy. We will face challenges, setbacks and difficulty but we have mercy. We will make mistakes, feelings will get hurt, people will get upset, but we have God's mercy. Paul's confidence in God's mercy propels him to command the believers to "faint not"! Bethlehem that is our prayer for you, that in the days, months and years ahead, we "faint not". In this ministry that God has given us, we must never give up, we must never quit!Members of Bethlehem, you are more than conquerors through Jesus Christ our Lord. Through good days and bad days, don't quit, and don't waver, God is not through with us yet! Our destiny is achievable, our goals attainable, keep pressing towards the mark, never give up, this is "OUR PRAYER FOR YOU"
Pastor SP Courtney