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Pastor's Word

Limitless Grace

Are there limits to God's Grace? Looking at Old Testament Scripture some may argue that there may be. There are many accounts of God's wrath being poured out on sinful man. An example of such wrath is in Genesis 13:10-13 when God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah because "the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the Lord." I would argue that God's punishment is an example of His Love for mankind, and not limits to His Grace.

Grace is undeserved, unmerited, favor found in God's goodness toward those who have no claim on, nor reason to expect, His divine favor. The principal manifestation of God's grace has been in the form of a gift. Ephesians 2:8 "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God." Salvation is not our achievement, but it is a gift from God. That truth is made stronger by contrast. It is 'not of ourselves' and "not of works."

Salvation is indeed the most extraordinary expression of God's limitless grace.

Pastor Paul Cook



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Limitless Faith

As we start the New Year it is my hope that each one of us go into this year with limitless faith. Trusting God to see us through the good and bad that each of us are bound to face this year. Hebrews 11:1 "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." This is the biblical definition of faith. We may not be able to see God standing with us when we face difficulties in life, but we must have faith and know that He is there.
 
Instead of facing challenges alone this year we need to call upon God to help us through the difficulties we are bound to face. Too often we try to face challenges alone.  We may know that God is there, but we want to keep Him in a box only getting Him out when times are difficult. God wants us to trust Him in the good and the bad...Psalm 46:1 "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble." 
 
I hope everyone has a year filled with limitless faith!
 
 
Pastor Paul Cook


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New Year's Resolutions

As this year nears an end people are already looking forward to next year. New Year’s resolutions are already being talked about, and people are making plans for the New Year. Most New Year’s resolutions are focused on self… eat healthier, lose weight, exercise more, save money, find a new job, and the list goes on and on. We live in a self-centered society, and people are so focused on themselves that they even spend time taking pictures called “selfies.”

I’m not saying that there is anything wrong with trying to be healthier, but our spiritual health is equally important. How many people make a New Year’s resolution to… go to church more, read the bible, spend more time in prayer, or walk closer with the Lord? Let’s try something different this year and put God ahead of self when making our resolutions!

People are busy, and it’s hard to find time to take care of ourselves both physically and spiritually. We must make an effort to take care of both. Diet and exercise are important for our physical health. Going to church and spending time helping and encouraging one another are vital to our spiritual health. My hope is that everyone would make a resolution to attend church this year. Hebrews 10:24-25 “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another,and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.” I hope everyone has a Blessed New Year!

Pastor Paul Cook



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Live Like You Were Dying

What does it mean to live like you were dying? If you knew that you only had one day to live, what would you do? Unfortunately, none of us know our appointed time to die. In the book of Hebrews it says “and as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” Tomorrow could be that day? Tim McGraw recorded a song in 2004 “Live like You Were Dying” after his dad; Tug McGraw was hospitalized with a brain tumor on March 12, 2003. It was revealed that he had cancer. He was given three weeks to live by the doctors. His dad survived nine months passing January 5, 2004. The message of the song was to live life with a purpose, and to live with no regrets. When my appointed time comes and I stand before the judgement seat of Christ I want to be able to say that I lived my life with a purpose and that I have no regrets. What is your purpose in life? I figured out that my purpose is more than being a good person, good pastor, or a good husband and parent. My purpose is the same as all followers of Jesus Christ, and that is to live like Jesus lived. To Love God and to share the Love of Christ daily with everyone I come in contact with. This command came from Jesus Christ in Matthew 22:37-39 “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” This isn’t always easy, but as a Christian, people are watching the way we live our lives. Live the days you have left with a purpose. Live Like you were Dying!

 

Pastor Paul Cook



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Instruction is Vital

Instruction begins in the home, and as Christians we must teach our children about the Lord. I love a church that has a good youth program or children’s ministry, but ultimately it is the job of the parents to teach their children about the Lord. The following passage of scripture was given by God to the children of Israel, but you could easily replace Israel with the word “Church.” Understanding that the church is the body of believers and not the building in which you meet. Parent’s we are the church and it is our duty to instruct our children! As you read may particular attention to verse 7.

Deuteronomy 6:1-9 “Now these are the commandments, the statutes, and the judgments, which the Lord your God commanded to teach you, that ye might do them in the land whither ye go to possess it: That thou mightest fear the Lord thy God, to keep all his statutes and his commandments, which I command thee, thou, and thy son, and thy son's son, all the days of thy life; and that thy days may be prolonged. Hear therefore, O Israel, and observe to do it; that it may be well with thee, and that ye may increase mightily, as the Lord God of thy fathers hath promised thee, in the land that floweth with milk and honey. Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.”

 

Pastor Paul Cook



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Walk the Walk

Last Sunday the message was entitled “Walk the Walk.” Too many people profess to be Christians, but looking at how they lead their life would bring about doubt. As a Christian my life should exemplify Jesus Christ, and people should know that I am different by my WALK. 2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” If you have to tell someone that you are a Christian in order for them to know then I would re-examine my walk.

D.L. Moody said “A holy life will make the deepest impression. Lighthouses blow no horns, they just shine.”

 

Pastor Paul



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How do You Spell Relief?

JESUS is the answer to all life's problems, but yet it just seems too simple. We seem to want to struggle with our heavy burdens by ourselves for some unknown reason? Jesus wants to help us with our daily struggles. 1 Peter 5:7 "Cast all your care upon him; for he careth for you." KJV We don't have to struggle all alone, Jesus Christ is there to help.

We at Bethel Free Will Baptist want to help as well. Jesus has placed us as a church here for a particular reason, and that is to be a help in times of need. We wan't to help minister to you and your family! Leave a message on our website, or email me at pcook@bethelfreewillbaptist.org. May the Lord be with you!

 

Pastor Paul



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Where is your Joy?

“Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness Colossians 1:11

What is Paul telling us in this passage? He is telling the church that we can rely on God’s glorious power to see us through difficult times. It is sometimes hard even for the believer to find joy during hardship and trials. The death of a loved one, financial difficulties, illness, and family issues drain us of our joy when we face these types of difficulties on our own. If we would first seek God’s power as we enter into difficulties we will find that even during those times we can have joy! Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Don’t face your trials alone ask God to see you through!

May God Bless You,

Pastor Paul



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It's Cold Outside

Currently it's about 10 degrees in Columbus, and that is COLD!! Later in July or August we will be complaining because the temperature will be near 100 degrees and it will be HOT!! We seem to really like that 75 degree weather, which could be described as lukewarm, and when we are talking about the weather lukewarm is okay. Where are you though on your Spiritual thermometer?

"So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth." Revelation 3:16

As a Christian being lukewarm isn't good. God would rather have you to be hot or cold. Many of us do bounce up and down on the Spiritual thermometer. If there is a revival or some Christian concert that gets us excited we become hot for God and we tell others how good God is! Other times when it seems that nothing exciting is going on we may be on the cold side of the Spiritual thermometer and not really talk about God to anyone. At least this Christian can get excited every now and then.

A lukewarm Christian may go to church, but never really gets excited and never shares the good news of what God has done for them. I picture a person just going through the motions and not really understanding how good God is. Don't be that person!

We need to get hot as Christians and share the good news of Jesus Christ!

Pastor Paul 



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New Year 2018

What are your plans for 2018? Should we even make plans when we are not given any assurance of tomorrow? This is a question that I have often pondered? Let's see what scripture has to say about this subject... In James 4:13-17 it say's this "Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”; 14 whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. 15 Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.” 16 But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.17 Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin." NKJV So as you are making plans for the upcoming year heed James advise and make plans that include God's will for your life. If your plan is truly meant to be, it will happen, as long as God is included in the planning! Tomorrow is not a guarantee, but only a hope for another day!

 

Pastor Paul



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