The Reason for Greatness


From Pastor’s Desk:

For this reason You are great, O Lord God; for there is none like You, and there is no God besides You, according to all that we have heard with our ears. 2 Samuel 7:22 (NASB)

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We are told that for everything there is a reason. חֶשְׁבּוֹן cheshbôn (khesh-bone’) is the Hebrew word, meaning, contrivance; by implication intelligence: – account, device, reason.

Could we say that reason, or intelligence is gathered, or contrived, to arrive at a conclusion of evidence in any given action/reaction? In David’s prayer of gratitude (2 Samuel 7:18-29) he shows that in his life there is enough evidence contrived to arrive at an intelligent conclusion that God is great, and there is none like Him. He not only had heard it with his own ears, but had lived a life comprised of situations in which he trusted God, and God alone, and God had come through each time and proven Himself to be great.

Think retroactively and I’m sure you will see the times when God proved Himself great to you. Then you too, along with David, can declare that “You are great, O Lord God; for there is none like You, and there is no God besides You, according to all that we have heard with our ears.”

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Correction and Instruction


From Pastor’s Desk:

My child, listen when your father corrects you. Don’t neglect your mother’s instruction. What you learn from them will crown you with grace and be a chain of honor around your neck. Proverbs 1:8-9 NLT

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This is, in my opinion, the reason for “Generational Degeneration.” Sadly, it seems that many people “in charge” today were the children who did not listen to their father’s correction, and neglected their mother’s instruction. Thank God, this does not include all of them.

Before anyone jumps to conclusions that I am offering any side of a political persuasion, it is not intended. All aspects of life in included. Unfortunately, even in the church. You see it, as well as me, I’m sure. How about the child throwing a temper tantrum in a public place, while the parent is trying desperately trying to quieten it. One can pretty well assume, as is evident, that the child is more than likely not disciplined at home. Well, that child grows up without discipline, and in fact never realizes what discipline is until they hit the older years where they are accountable to someone, and rebellion is the only way they know how to handle it.

Then, the most difficult of all disciplines, self-discipline, is simply not an option. How can a person know and exercise self-discipline when he/she has never been taught discipline of any kind?

Our nation is reaping the repercussion of generations who do not know discipline, thus do not respect it. When all could have been prevented had someone listened “when father corrects you” and did not “neglect…mother’s instruction.”

Of course, one more point, maybe the most important, must be made. We can’t always blame the younger generations. Maybe father and mother did not correct and instruct.

Review verse 9 in light of all this, and draw your own conclusion. Mine is this: When correction and instruction is not given, or correction is not listened to and instruction is neglected, a natural result is a whole lot of graceless people and people with no honor.

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All People


From Pastor’s Desk:

Joel 2:28-29 “And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. 29 Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days.

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In a previous article, Pastor Dave Whitehead says of this verse:

This passage in Joel was fulfilled during the birth of the New Testament church in the book of Acts. Notice that the outpouring of God’s Spirit occurred among men and women. There is no favoritism when it comes to God’s empowerment. It doesn’t matter if you are men or women, servants or masters. God is pouring his Spirit upon ALL people. This means that every one of us is needed if we intend to display the power and purpose of God. (Dave Whitehead, Senior Pastor, GraceNYC.org)

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An important concept, to me, is that it takes ALL people. Too many perceive that only the “Upper Echelon” of the church has the anointing from the Holy Spirit. Nothing could be further from the truth. While it is absolutely essential for ministers, leaders, etc., to have the anointing, it is not all inclusive to those who have specific callings.

1 John 2:20 declares that there is an anointing given to God’s people. The word used is unction, which in the Greek is χρίσμα chrisma (khris’-mah); an unguent or smearing, that is, (figuratively) the special endowment (“chrism”) of the Holy Spirit: – anointing, unction.

John’s words are not inclusive to a group of ministers, leaders, etc. He is writing to the church. To ALL the church. To the person who prays the benediction with the anointing of the Spirit. To the person who sits alone in an office doing administrative duties. To the person who, while cleaning the facilities, prays, praises, and worships God with an anointing that goes straight to the heart of God. How about the one who is not an “Up Front” person, never seen, but prays at home alone in a prayer closet for all others in the church.

Indeed, the message is clear from the Prophet Joel, “I will pour out my Spirit on ALL people.” That is, to ALL who will accept!

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Quietly Waiting


From Pastor’s Desk:

Truly my soul silently waits for God; From Him comes my salvation. Psalm 62:1

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It is interesting that David uses “my” salvation here. In Psalm 51:12 he uses “Thy” salvation.

The difference is in the original Hebrew wording. In 62:1 he uses yeshû‛âh (yesh-oo’-aw); something saved, that is, (abstractly) deliverance; hence aid, victory, prosperity: – deliverance, health, help (-ing), salvation, save, saving (health), welfare. In 51:12 it is yesha‛ (yeh’-shah); liberty, deliverance, prosperity: – safety, salvation, saving.

In the former, it is in the sense of God doing the saving, delivering, aiding, bringing victory and prosperity. In the latter it is that which he rests in, that is, liberty, deliverance and prosperity.

As we accept Christ Jesus as Savior, God does the saving, delivering, aiding, bringing victory and prosperity. Once we have accepted Him, and as we walk with Him spiritually, we can rest in the liberty, deliverance, and prosperity.

No wonder David said, “Truly my soul silently waits for God.” God is the only source in which liberty, deliverance, and prosperity is found.

“Patiently” is an interesting word, as well. Originally, the word is דּוּמִיָּה dûmı̂yâh (doo-me-yaw’); stillness; adverbially silently; abstractly quiet, trust: – silence, silent, wait.

Moses told the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever.”

In adverse circumstances, and situations beyond our control, it’s best just to be still, remain quiet, trust God, and let Him be God!

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Purpose That Prevails


From Pastor’s Desk:

Listen to advice and accept discipline, and at the end you will be counted among the wise. Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails. Proverbs 19:20-21 NIV

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Many are the plans that have been thwarted by some unforeseen circumstance or event! Lack of funds because of short-sighted planning is another reason some plans never come to fruition. Then, probably one of the best reasons, is that the plan didn’t take all things into consideration.

But, that’s man’s plans! God’s plan doesn’t rely on circumstances: He controls circumstances. God’s plan doesn’t revolve around any unforeseen event, simply because there is nothing unforeseen to Him. A shortage of funds is never to be considered: God is our provider in all aspects of life.

Plans are usually formed best when counsel, or advice, has been sought from others. Plans always require discipline to arrive at the final goal.

Foolish is the plan implemented without listening to advice, accepting discipline, and pursuing wisdom. Especially plans designed, initiated, and implemented in spiritual matters, and things of eternal value.

It is best if we leave those plans to God. Jeremiah shared a word from the LORD to His people: “I know the plans and thoughts that I have for you,’ says the Lord, ‘plans for peace and well-being and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11).

Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, God’s plan for you is in effect. Even if you are in a place of “captivity.” God’s people, at the time of Jeremiah’s prophecy, were in captivity, for a designated period of time.

His plan included bringing out of captivity back to the place from where He took them! His purpose will prevail! It did then, and it will now!

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Simple Criterion


From Pastor’s Desk:

You shall follow the Lord your God and fear Him; and you shall keep His commandments, listen to His voice, serve Him, and cling to Him. Deuteronomy 13:4 NASB

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Obedience is the hidden word beneath all that is in this verse that serves as the criterion for going to heaven and spending eternity with God. If we do these things, we will. If we don’t, we won’t.

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Witnesses


From Pastor’s Desk:

I, even I, am the Lord, and apart from me there is no savior. I have revealed and saved and proclaimed— I, and not some foreign god among you. You are my witnesses, declares the Lord, that I am God. Isaiah 43:11-12 NIV

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“You are my witnesses” places a great responsibility on the church. Scripture references those who are “led by the Spirit of God” as being children of God (Romans 8:14). Peter writes, “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light (1 Peter 2:9). To the Ephesian church, Paul wrote, “…Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless” (Ephesians 5:25-27).

“Grafted” into the family of God, we are included in those who “are my witnesses.” If we can do nothing but just tell our story of what God means, and is to us, then that’s what we must do.

On the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4), the Holy Spirit didn’t just come to make them feel good, and get all excited, though I’m sure that happened. The primary reason for the infilling of the Holy Spirit is found in the preceding chapter: “…you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (1:8.)

We, the church, collectively and individually, are witnesses that He is God.

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