December Month 2008

 December 26, 2008

"He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him." -John 14:21

Many people have questions about their faith? How do I know God is speaking to me? How do I know what to do and when to do it? How do I know if God is leading me, or what is His plan for my life?

These are not questions of a person who has no faith, or a person who is unsure about whom God is; rather this is a person who is unsure who they are. In John’s gospel chapter 14, Jesus is encouraging and instructing His followers about the change that is coming in their relationship. He said "I will not leave you comfortless, I will come to you." He said that only those that see Him will know he is there. In verse fourteen he reveals the key to our spiritual vision being perfect.

If we are in possession of or in obedience to His commandments, we demonstrate our love for Him. If we demonstrate our love for him, we shall be loved by the Father; He will love us and manifest/reveal himself to us. If you are pondering all of the aforementioned questions, your answers are in your willingness to do His will and not your own. We make choices everyday that either improves our vision or make it worse. What are you doing to see Jesus more clearly in your life. You cannot just read the bible you have to live in the holiness therein. You cannot just show up for Church on Sunday, rather Church has to show up in you on Monday through Saturday.

Our Prayer is that you begin to walk toward God, take time to get to know God and trust in His plan for your life. If you will begin to obey His word, operate within His truth, I know he will reveal himself to you, that you might see Him and know His divine purpose for your life.

Have you seen Jesus Yourself?

Stay Blessed,
Pastor S.P. Courtney  

December 19, 2008 

"God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God." -Ephesians 2:8
Perhaps many of you are dreaming of Christmas gifts and Christmas day. What surprises will be there for you. Or perhaps you know what you desire and are sure it will be there to put a smile on your face.

I suggest that the smile should already be on your face and joy already present in your soul. The greatest gift that you will ever receive has already been given. It was not purchased with a monetary value, treasure or any other substance of value. It was not purchased by a person you know, like or claim to love.

This gift was purchased by the sacrifice of our savior as he submitted to an awful death that he might deliver us unto himself. He gave us life when we were destined to die; he gave us love when we were incapable of loving ourselves. The gift given by our Lord and Savior Jesus Chris not only saved us but He secured us until the day of redemption.

I am looking forward to something special from those who care, but I am extremely joyful and eternally grateful for the Divine Gift that I already have. I encourage you when enjoying Christmas this season, please don’t fail to tell somebody about the Divine Gift, you already have.

Pastor S.P. Courtney  

 Friday, December 12, 2008
"Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ?" - 1st Corinthians Chapter 6:15
When I was growing up my mom always said, to conduct myself as if she was present in the room. Children are more than likely to behave with some restraints when they know their parents are watching. However, many times those same children are out of control or totally different when they are not in the presence of their parents. However as children of God, we must understand that we are never out his view. 

Paul was writing to the church at Corinth and reminding them that they belong to Christ. The essence of this verse is that Paul asked them a question which suggests that they were not acting like they knew that they were a part of the body of Christ. We are members of one body, by one faith, in Christ Jesus our Lord. Unfortunately many believers find themselves living in a way that is displeasing to God. We say things that Christ would not, yet our mouth belongs to him. We go places that Christ might not go, yet our feet belong to him. We touch or do things that are hands should touch, yet despite our faults; Christ still loves us and grants us His grace and mercy. The next time you begin to speak, move, touch, or do anything, do it like you know for a fact Christ lives in you. If Christ wouldn’t then you shouldn’t.

Encourage Someone Today,
Pastor S.P. Courtney  

 Friday, December 5, 2008

  "And my soul shall be joyful in the Lord, it shall rejoice in His salvation."  -Psalm 35:9 
In these turbulent times, there are many who say they are not looking toward the Christmas season. Their reasons are many, as they complain about finances, loss of jobs, sick or deceased bodies, loved ones lost, and family members at war are all reasons that have caused them to sour on Christmas. While I sympathize with them, pray their strength in their suffering and the power of God’s grace and mercy to give them the victory I still celebrate this season. For those of us who have their hands in God’s hand, who are not relying on the decisions of others but rather the promises of an Almighty God, we must rejoice in the “Real Reason for the Season”.
The Psalmist in verse 9 of Psalm 35 is rejoicing in the Lord not just with his hand or with his mouth but he is joyful deep down in his soul. Away from weather that chills his bones, away from circumstances that confuses his mind and disappointments that crush his heart, the Psalmist says my soul will be joyful in the Lord. How can we celebrate this season despite our current calamities? The remainder of the verse suggests that our joy must be in the salvation of the Lord. The saving power of our God should be the source of our Joy. The fact that he saved me from my sin is more important than a Christmas present. Salvation that gives eternal life is more important than a gift that last a few months or years in my life. As you began to think about your Christmas of 2008, remember the “Real Reason for the Season”. There can never be a true Christmas without Christ.
Please continue to bring can goods for the Bonham Police Department food drive and Toys for the Marine Corp Toys for Tots annual toy Drive. “Give unto others and it shall be given unto you, good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over shall men give unto your bosom.”   Luke 6:38a
Stay Blessed,
Pastor S.P. Courtney