PASTOR’S BLOG

 
BE BLESSED BY GOD’S WORD THROUGHOUT THE WEEK

“New Things”

Forget the former things, do not dwell on the past. Behold, I do a new thing! Now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert” Isaiah 43:18-19

Many of us if we are honest with ourselves would admit that we have areas in our lives where we are dissatisfied; made promises we haven’t kept; or experienced failures and set backs. The beauty of Isaiah’s words in this passage are quite simple-”It’s not over until God says it’s over” and “God is more interested in your future than your past.”

In this narrative Israel is being held captive in Babylon and at their lowest point. They are not just discouraged, but fully defeated, deflated, and depressed. At this low point, God sends a word through prophet Isaiah because God knew that His people needed some reassurance. Several truths that give us hope for today from this passage are:

Put the Past Behind You
The prophet tells Israel two things they need to do in verse 18. First, they must forget the former thingsthe miracles, signs, and wonders of yesterday. The Israelites focused so much on what God did yesterday that they did not believe what God wanted to do for them today. Too often, we continue to look to the past victories that we fail to see what God desires to do in the future.

Do Not Dwell on the Past
The second truth Isaiah taught was not to dwell on past mistakes. Their forefathers has rebelled against Moses at Mount Sinai; failed to believe God to provide food and water in the wilderness; and failed to seize the opportunity to conquer the Promise Land. The keys to dealing with mistakes is recognizing them, learning from them and moving on.

A wise proverb says, “If you are looking behind you, you cannot see where you are going”. Whatever your past may be whether it is regrets, mistakes, and failures, ask God to help you forget it and put it behind you. Perhaps, you have some regrets in 2018. Don’t dwell on them, but ask God to forgive you and move ahead in 2019 with victory.

Trust God’s Path Before You In verse 19 the Lord days, “ I am doing something new”. Notice, it is God who does the new work and continues to do the work. While God blessed Israel in their past, He assured them He would do something new and fresh in their future. Sometimes, it may not seem like God is working in our lives, but it doesn’t mean He is not.

Isaiah said it would “spring up” like a blade of grass coming up out of the ground or the opening of a flower. Be watchful and ready for the new things God has for you in 2019. Those things will suddenly spring forth.

One of the things God says He will do is to make a road through the wilderness. The wilderness is untamed, uncharted territory and making a road through it is extremely difficult. God promises to make a path or a road so you can follow Him through the wilderness. You see, God can do the impossible in extremely difficult things. What God is about to do for you and Life Church is more wonderful than He did before.

A second new thing God will do is make a river in the desert. Deserts are dry and desolate places. Perhaps, you feel your life is dry, barren, and not growing. Be encouraged because God is doing a something new. He can make a stream of water flow in you and transform your barrenness into fields of blessings and abundance.

Throughout this year individually and corporate, let us be watchful and ready for the new things God will do in 2019. God wants to give you an abundant life in Christ. Let us not settle for mediocrity. Thirst for the new roads and rivers God has and delight in Him! Until then, let us continue…

Seeking God For New Things!

Pastor Terry & Tina Richardson


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“God’s Christmas Gift”

For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting, Father, Prince of Prince.” Isaiah 9:6

Over the years, the legendary Neiman Marcus Christmas catalog has featured some pretty extravagant gifts. The 1963 catalog offered ‘his-and-her submarines’ for $18,000. In the 1964 catalog, you could buy a hot air balloon for $6,000. In 1967, the catalog’s offerings included a pair of camels for $4,000. And in 1971, an actual mummy case was selling for $16,000. But in 2006, Neiman Marcus upped the ante with a trip to outer space for $1.7million. Maybe a ticket to space isn’t at the top of your wish list this year, but perhaps you have certain expectations of what you hope to find waiting for you under the Christmas tree. If you put your hope in what Christmas offers, however, you will be very disappointed. But if you can get past that to what Christmas is really all about, it truly can be “the most wonderful time of the year”. The wise men brought the rather unusual gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh to Jesus. But the first Christmas gifts were not gifts to the Child. The first Christmas gift was the gift of the Child. The prophet Isaiah described hundreds of years before the coming of Christ who Christ is. Each of the names of Jesus mentioned deals with an important area of our lives. They are like five Christmas gifts that we can open, and each is special and unusual. First, His name is Wonderful. That takes care of the dullness of life. “Wonderful” comes from the root word “wonder”. And as I contemplate the fact that the Almighty God made this sacrifice for me, it will produce in my heart a sense of bewilderment, awe, and finally, worship.

Second, His name is Counselor. That takes care of the decisions of life. We all have very important decisions that we have to make. The God who is Wonderful wants to give us counsel and direction. God has a plan for each of our lives-an individual plan, not a one-size-fits-all plan. When you are overwhelmed with the decisions of life, remember that there is a God who wants to counsel you. Third, He is the Mighty God. That takes care of the demands of life. We need to be reminded that Jesus was not just a good man. He was the God-man. And this God who is Wonderful, this God who wants to be your Counselor, will give you the strength to live the life He has called you to live. Fourth, His name is Everlasting Father. That takes care of the destiny of life. We believe in an Everlasting Father with no beginning and with no end. It reminds us that life on Earth is temporal, that Heaven is so much better than anything this world has to offer. Also, this hope of an Everlasting Father resonates with those who have never had an earthy father. Because of what Jesus did for us, we can now refer to the Almighty God, Creator of the universe, as our Father who is in Heaven. Fifth, His name is the Prince of Peace. That takes care of the disturbances of life. Life is filled with disturbances and, quite frankly, Christmas can be one of the most stressful times of the year. Friction, stress, and problems that you are having with various family members can be at the forefront of your life at this time of year. But here is One who is the Prince of Peace, One who will help you with the disturbances of life. Whatever gifts you may have waiting for you this Christmas, they pale in comparison to God’s gift for you. It is better than anything in the Neiman Marcus catalog can offer. It is the only gift that truly keeps on giving: the gift of eternal life. Praising God for the God of Christmas!
 
With Love,
Pastor Terry & Tina Richardson

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“Enter His Gates With Thanksgiving”

“Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise: Be thankful unto Him, and bless His name! – Psalm 100:4

Some believe Thanksgiving did not originate with the Pilgrims and Indians. Actually, the spirit of thanksgiving is ingrained in the Word of God, and should be a part of our lives on a daily basis.

Here is some food for thought as related by Robert E. Bruce:

“While walking along a busy street one day, I heard someone singing. His sweet voice was distinguishable even above the noise in the traffic. When I located him, I noticed he had no legs, and was pushing himself through the crowd in a wheelchair. Catching up with him, I said ‘I want you to know, friend, to hear singing from a person in your condition gives everyone else a lift.’ He answered with a grateful smile, ‘When I stopped looking at what I had lost and began concentrating on all I had left, I found much for what I could rejoice and be happy. ‘”

When we think about it, we all have much to be thankful for. God has been good to each of us. He has demonstrated to us time and time again His faithfulness. Some people are appreciative by nature, but some are not. We should remember every good gift comes from God, and He is the source, support, and end of all things. The very breath in our mouths is the free gift from God.

This is why the hymn writer wrote, “Count your many blessings, and name them one by one.” What are you thankful for?

 The taxes I pay because it means I am employed

A lawn which needs mowing, windows in need of cleaning, and gutters which need fixing because it means I have a home

The spot I found at the far end of the parking lot because it means I am capable of walking

The alarm clock which goes off in the early morning hours because it means I am alive

Weariness and aching muscles at the end of the day because it means I have been productive

Let us continue to be thankful to God and bless His name! God has blessed us with His presence and faithfulness! We love and appreciate every one of you! Many you have a blessed thanksgiving season with family and friends as we thank God for His faithfulness and goodness.

Changing Lives for Eternity!

With Love,

Pastor Terry & Tina Richardson


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