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Pastor's Word

Christian Character

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23
 
Christian character is not mere moral or legal correctness, but the possession and manifestation of nine graces. Character as an inward state is revealed in the believer through love, joy, and peace. The outward expression of a Christians character toward our fellow man is longsuffering, gentleness, and goodness. Christian character toward God is expressed through faith, meekness, and temperance.
 
Putting these characteristics together they present a moral portrait of Christ, and may be taken as the apostle's explanation of Galatians 2:20 "not I, but Christ." These characteristics are possible because of the vital union a believer has with Christ; and is wholly the fruit of the Spirit in those who are yielded to Him.
 
Pastor Paul Cook


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Encouragement and Warning

The Bible is a wonderful book of encouragement and it's also a book to be revered. With all the troubles we face as a Christian people it's nice to open the Bible to passages of encouragement and hope. This week as I was reading in Revelation I read a passage that I've read many times, but it was a passage that I needed to read again as it encourages me to continue to be faithful to the Lord. John wrote " And He said to me, "It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son." Revelation 21:6-7
 
Continuing in this passage there are words of warning. As Paul Harvey used to say "And now the rest of the story." John goes on to warn against unbelief and wrong living. The society we live in as Christians has become increasingly immoral in nature, and the things that were once frowned upon have become the norm. We must turn from all wickedness or face the consequences. "But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death." Revelation 21:8 We as Christians need to share both the "Good News" of the Gospel, but we also must give warning so that nobody perishes.
 
 
Pastor Paul Cook
 


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Guard Your Heart

In each one of us there is a physical heart and a spiritual heart, and the two are parallel. Physically speaking, the heart is the most important bodily organ. When the heart becomes sick we experience physical death. Spiritually speaking the heart is the most important aspect of the spiritual body. When the spiritual heart becomes sick we experience spiritual death or seperation from God.

There are many conditions of the heart, some are positive, some are negative. Proverbs 4:23 "Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life." This means that we should guard our hearts like a soldier guards a city to keep out invaders. The enemy will attack, and we must stand ready. The Bible tells us that the enemy has come "to kill, steal, and destroy." Understanding the condition of your spiritual heart is important because there are a lot of things in our hearts that should not be there.

The heart attitude is a major issue for many believers. It is not the lack of ability or potential that prevents most people from making progress and enjoying fulfillment in life; it is the wrong condition of the heart; it is the wrong heart attitude.

 

Pastor Paul Cook



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Controlling our Thoughts

Our mind or our thoughts often times become our own worst enemy. When we allow ourselves to think or dwell on things we shouldn't we open the door to possible sinful actions? We can also allow ourselves to become depressed or worried about things beyond our control. I've heard it said that worry is like sitting in a rocking chair. It's something to do but it doesn't get you anywhere. When given too much time to think we or at least I can get myself into trouble. I have to stay busy doing something, idle hands are the devils workshop I've heard said. I would go further and say that idle minds are the devils playground. How do we control our thoughts?
Paul wrote "Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy-meditate on these things." Philippians 4:8 We need to meditate or think about things that are of value to ourselves. Good and pure thoughts lead to a good and pure lives. This Sunday I would ask that you find a church that can feed your mind with good edifying thoughts.
Pastor Paul Cook


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Get to Know the Father Through the Son

As we finish our series on relationships I want to look at the most important relationship that each one of us should have. A relationship with God. There isn't another relationship as important as that relationship. If we have a relationship with God then all our other relationships tend to be better. So the question then arises, "How do I have a relationship with God?"

I remember when we moved to the Columbus area, I didn't know anyone here. The way that I became familiar with people was through my sons. I signed them up for baseball and football. I volunteered to coach or help coach, and through that experience I met many people. I now have friendships or relationships with other dad's in the community through their sons.

We can have a relationship with God if we have a relationship with His Son. Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." John 14:6 Our relationship with God is dependent on us having a relationship with Jesus Christ. That relationship begins by reading the Bible, and through prayer. If you don't know the Son you can't get to know the Father. This Sunday I urge you to find a church that preaches the Word, and that can introduce you to God's Son, Jesus Christ.

 

Pastor Paul Cook



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Choose your friends wisely

We are continuing February looking at relationships. This week I want to look at our relationship with those outside of our families, which brings us to the question. Is it okay for Christians to have a relationship with non-Christians? To answer that question we have to look at what Paul wrote to the church in Corinth. "Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever?" 2 Corinthians 6:14-15
We all have people we know who are not Christian, and do not have the same beliefs that we have. Some are good people, so it is easy to be friends and to have a close relationship with them. Paul warns against this type of friendship or fellowship. Why? Paul warns against this type of fellowship because it can be easy to slip back into our old sinful lifestyle. People are easily influenced by those they are close too. We must continually guard against this.
However, as a Christian we need to witness to those old friends so that we may lead them into a relationship with Christ. How do you do that? By allowing others to see the change that has taken place in your life. Once you enter into a relationship with Christ your life should be different. "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new." 2 Corinthians 5:17 This change or transformation should be noticeable, and your old friends should see a difference in your life. This will allow you to witness more effectively than just the words you may speak. "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven." Matthew 5:16
Pastor Paul Cook


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Marriage Relationship is God Ordained

God created man for His fellowship, but soon realized that the man He had created needed someone to make him whole. The bible say's in Genesis chapter 2 that God took a rib from the man and made a woman. This was the beginning of a unique relationship between a man and woman. "Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh." Genesis 2:24
 
The relationship between a husband and a wife can be challenging, but also very rewarding. Some studies show that people who are happily married actually live longer than people who are single or divorced. A happy marriage requires love, and a commitment to work through the difficulties that your marriage is bound to face. Couples that pray and worship together, I believe, stand a greater chance of surviving. Commit this week to your relationship with your spouse, and may God bless you and your marriage!
 
Pastor Paul Cook


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Make Children a Priority

With the first month of 2019 in the books we begin February looking at relationships. As adults we are busy, and we are pulled in many different directions. Sometimes we just need to slow down, and take a moment to work on our relationship with others. One relationship that sometimes gets ignored is the relationship between a parent and a child. Our children need to be higher on our priority list. Unfortunately, we sometimes let them fall down the list and allow work and other activities to take a higher priority in our lives. As parents we have an obligation to care for and love our children and to spend time with them. Parents in Jesus day understood the importance of bringing their children to Him.
 
"Then they brought little children to Him, that He might touch them; but the disciples rebuked those who brought them. But when Jesus saw it, He was greatly displeased and said to them, "Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God. Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it." And He took them up in His arms, laid Hishands on them, and blessed them." Mark 10:13-16

Whether it is with Jesus feeding the five thousand through the help of a young boy, or Jesus as we see in this passage encouraging the children to come to him, it is evident that Jesus loved children. It is important that we bring our children to Christ today maybe more so than any other time in history. As a parent our relationship with our children is greatly improved when Christ is in the center of that relationship. Show your love for your children this week by taking them to church and introducing them to Jesus.
 
Pastor Paul Cook


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Limitless Love

“That Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:17-19 God is Love. His love is so great it cannot be fully comprehended. We can only imagine the “greatness of God.”

As we near the end of the first month of 2019 it is my hope and prayer that each of us experiences “the fullness of God.” In order to do that, this passage of scripture tells us that we must allow Christ to dwell within our hearts. We do that when we accept the free gift of salvation offered upon the cross. “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8 The gift of God’s love is limitless and available for all!

Pastor Paul Cook



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Limitless Wisdom

We live in a tech age where the answer to nearly any question is right at your fingertip. Most adults and many children carry a little pocket computer with them at all times in the form of a “cell phone.” Is this good or bad? I believe that when it comes to spiritual questions we really need to be careful what source we use for the answers. When you ask Google for answers to spiritual questions you get many different responses. Which answers are right?  Google may be a good source for some things, but when it comes to life and death questions we should be careful. If you were to ask Google “How do I get to Heaven” you may find the correct answer, but you will also find many wrong answers as well.

The correct answers to spiritual questions can only be found in scripture. “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” James 1:5 The Bible is the Inspired Word of God and all Truth can be found in the pages of that Book. If you want to know “How do I get to Heaven” go to the God for the answer, not Google.  

Pastor Paul Cook



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