Are You Willing to Stand?

Standfast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. (Galatians 5:1)

In a world that is growing more and more corrupt and less and less concerned about the things of God, there is a need for Godly people to stand. It is not however a suggestion but rather it is our calling and our responsibility to be ambassadors for our king. Regardless of your age, gender, color. societal status or economic disposition you have been called out of darkness to be light in the world. What is your commitment to God, "Are you willing to stand?

The Apostle Paul is writing to the churches in Galatia, and he is specifically in chapters 4 and 5 speaking of the body of believers becoming free and being different from those who remain in bondage. At the close of chapter 4 he says, "So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free. If we believe that we are the children of God, the sons and daughters of the king then we must believe that we are free..

Perhaps you are successful in your career, you are popular among your family and friends, but the question is what do you stand for. Paul said we must stand in the freedom we have in Christ. Because he died, we are free to live but not for ourselves, but we are free to live for Him. Don't be entangled or get caught up with things that shackle you and take away your freedom. Sin, drugs, anger, violence, rebellion are all things that will take away your liberty.

When right is needed, when good is required, when integrity and ethics are necessary, can God ask you to stand. Will you do what you want or will you do the will of God? "ARE YOU WILLING TO STAND?

Pstor SP Courtney

Are We Preparing the Next Generation?

And also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers: and there arose another generation after them, which knew not the Lord, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel. (Judges 2:10)

When speaking with other believers, family members, and friends I often hear various negative comments about our youth and the next generation. They are always being criticized for what they are not and what they should be. However I believe that every generation is what the previous generation raised them or taught them to be. "Are we Preparing the Next Generation?

In the book of Judges beginning in chapter 1&2, Joshua is said to have reached one hundred and ten years old, at the time of his death. However prior to his death in chapter 2 vs 7, the bible says that the people served the Lord all the days of Joshua. The people who lived during Joshua's time followed  and served the Lord our God, however the bible says that the next generation arose and they knew not the Lord.

Is it the children fault when they don't have respect, and no one taught them to reverence God. Is it their fault when we don't train them up in the way of the Lord? Is it their fault that they don't know the love of God, because they were never shown love, never taught the Love of God. Why did an entire generation grow up with no relationship with God and no desire to know  him for themselves? 

It is time for every believer to be accountable to the next generation to sow into them encouraging words, lift them up and speak life over them. The question for you to ask yourself is this: Who in the next generation will know God and serve God because you were a part of their life? Who in the next generation will you mentor, help or pray for? "Are we Preparing the next Generation?

Pastor SP Courtney

Where would you be without the Blood?

But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.  (Ephesians 2:13)

Do you remember how far you were from the body of Christ? Do you remember when you were outside of the will of God? Have you ever considered all of the things that we did, and are doing in sin that separate us from our Holy and righteous God? Perhaps, you have not had these thoughts and you assume that you getting closer to God is a direct result of your own righteousness, or your many good deeds.  The reality of our relationship with our redeemer is that the only reason we are allowed in His presence is because we have been covered by the blood. "Where would you be without the Blood?

The Apostle Paul is making an attempt to both encourage and inform the church at Ephesus, look where you were, and look where God has afforded you the privilege to be. The previous verse reminded them that there was a season in your life where you were without Christ, literally you were aliens, as in not of His kingdom. Many of us simply do not allow ourselves to look back at yesterday with honest eyes. We were lost, without a GPS system, we had no ability to save or redeem ourselves from our sin. But, because of the blood of the lamb, salvation and redemption became possible. 

The beauty of the text is that we have not just been given salvation or redemption but we have been brought closer within Christ Jesus. We have been granted access to the throne of Grace, and the very presence of God. The blood has relocated us from outside the kingdom to inside His will. Praise God, for the Great things He has done!!  "Where would you be without the Blood?

Pastor SP Courtney

How will you last while you wait?

My soul waiteth for the Lord more, and in His word do I hope! (Psalm 130:5)

Sitting in the front seat of my father's truck, on our way home ice cream, graham crackers and cheese, our favorite snack in the bag, I could hardly wait! My father would say you can have extra if you do your work first. Based on my father's words, I wanted to do whatever I needed to do, because I knew my father would honor his word. If you are wondering how you will make it, in the midst of adversity, in the middle of heartache, coming out of a bad relationship or after a sickness, you are wondering how long will it take? How much longer will the pain last? You really don't mine waiting, but "How will you last while you wait? 

The Psalmist in Psalm 130 understood that despite his faults and fears, God was always near. He understood that though he faltered, yet the Lord our God was and is a forgiving God. The Psalmist however, does not reside in sin, or rest in knowing his redeemer, the text reveals that the Psalmist is resolute in his faith and tells the world that he will be able to stand because he trust in his word. Not only does he trust, but he has put his hope not in himself, his intellect, or his physical abilities but rather his hope is in God's word.   

Do you trust in His word, do you believe what the word of God has to say about the children of God? The Lord is your strength, a very present help in times of trouble. The Lord is your my shelter and my fortress, His grace and His mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.  That's how we and why we should stay on the battlefield, that is why and how we should hold on to God's unchanging hand. We will walk and not run, and we will wait patiently on the Lord! God's people, make sure you study and grow in His word, for truly "That's how you will last while you wait? 

Pastor SP Courtney

Are You In the Right Environment to Experience Increase?

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things will be added unto you. (Matthew 6:33)

The Lord our God when teaching his disciples in Matthew chapter 6, about prayer also spent time revealing to them a few solid foundational principles of our faith. Specifically as it pertains to our position in him, and our faith in who he is. Chapter six begins with the model prayer, but then he addresses our disposition as it relates to material and earthly possessions. If our focus is food, or our priority is prosperity then it is obvious that we have lost our purpose. Jesus advice was to not look to our stuff, our things to comfort or care for us for they were all temporal. He was not saying we could not have things, but he was advising not to let the things have us! "Are You in the right environment for increase? 

Putting God first is the expectation of the text, as Jesus instructed his disciples. Putting Him first means to enter into His presence by walking in and living in righteousness. Pursuing God, and following kingdom principles means that you not only know God but are known by God. To seek truly infers to go after, to desire and we must desire His righteousness and His truth not our own.

If and when we become a God chaser, a person who follows the ways of God and seeks to do what is right in the will of God, we manifest into one who is in the right environment for increase. You are in position to be blessed and have the favor of God revealed in your life, not because you are so good but because you are exercising your faith in a great and loving God. When we seek Him we reveal our faith and love in Him. Are you truly in Christ, or are you simply in church? "Are You in the Right Environment to experience Increase?  

Pastor Stuart P. Courtney