I'm sure you've heard that phrase before. I'm smiling even as I glance at the title. My new church home is where I'm glad to be every day of the week. I'm sure there's something going on every day, but since joining last Sunday I've been to 8 a.m. church service, a volunteer meeting and Bible study. If I could live at church I would. Just church. Any of the churches I've visited in the past year... I could just dwell there. That's why it's so important to be involved in church services and activities. When we get involved we have a place in the church, a sense of belonging and worth; it's where we are operating in our gifts and participating in ministry. Our identity is in Jesus Christ, from whom all blessings come, but our ministry is our gift from God, offered up to God, where our blessings and inheritance stem from. For a long time I didn't participate in any ministry within the church because I hadn't a clue where the Lord wanted to activate my gifts, so I just sat on the sidelines; I didn't want to be out of place-- or worse, in the wrong place/ministry [for me]. Some of it was procrastination too, so Lord forgive me. But now I have direction. Well, I've always had direction, for the Lord tells us to acknowledge Him in ALL of our ways, and HE will direct our paths (emphasis added) [See Proverbs 3:6]. Glory to God. But, I mean "direction" in the sense of belonging to the "right" church in terms of where the Lord wants me to be. Again, that's why it's so important to seek God, listen and wait on HIM to tell you where you need to be [as far as a church home, ministry, where to live, etc]. Trust in Him and He will take care of you. I'm a living witness.
Now, back to "Pastor sure can preach."
Lol. I love Pastor Nichols. He always tells it like it is-- I know, I talk like I've been attending the church for a long time, but the Spirit of the Lord allows me to feel as though I've known Him forever... because we're all brothers and sisters in Christ and the Spirit of the Lord recognizes those that are His [Christ's]. There's nothing like true and sound doctrine. I love it and the body of Christ needs it. I thank God for my Shepherd and I pray that the Lord Jesus keeps him in perfect peace, grants him the confidence to carry out His [God's] will and gives him endurance and strength for the long haul. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.
On Sunday morning Pastor spoke on expectations. The message was "Don't lose hope." Psalm 146 was the passage and he was discussing covenant vs. contractional relationships. Here are a few quotes from the sermon and Bible Study to the Saints of God, since the messages were intertwined. Brackets added by me for clarification and additional depth. All glory to our Father which art in Heaven.
- "When the world is turned upside down [in turmoil, heartache and uneasiness], you know that you [Child of God,] have Jesus Christ and His righteousness."
- "Human love [relationships] fails because it is imperfect [and oftentimes not God-ordained]."
- "The world cannot curse [undo] that which is blessed [by God, Saints]."
- "The only way people [the world] can get this [mood-changing, emotional] power [over us] is if we give it to them."
- "Don't lower your expectations [of people], shift them [to God because He will never disappoint, leave or forsake you]. "My expectation is in God."
- Relegate means to deduce in importance. The only way to relegate, as Pastor said, is to dwell on the past. Dwelling in the past delays the future. [Glory, glory this is good and very true. I'm a witness].
- Elevate means to go higher [in the Lord]. We must elevate our minds. Our body accomodates our mind; wherever your mind goes, your body will follow also. [What's that scripture? "Whatever a man thinketh in his heart, so shall he be."] Elevate your mind from the flesh to the spirit; meaning think and meditate on the good things of our God [spiritual] and leave that which is fleshly [carnal] behind. [If you do this, your body will follow your mind-- your actions will follow your thoughts... Selah!]