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Thought for the Week
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April 30, 2018, 10:41 AM

II Corinthians 11: 23-27 (KJV)

II Corinthians 11:23-27 states, " labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft.  Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one.  Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep;  In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;  In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness."

The more I read about the life of Apostle Paul, the more remarkable his life becomes to me.  He is the classic example of God’s grace being extended to everyone.  Think about people that say they have gone too far for God to save them.  Then think about Apostle Paul, Acts 8: 3 states, "As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison."  Before his conversion, Paul was literally imprisoning Christians, even consenting to the death of some of them.  However, in Ephesians 2: 4 we read, "But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:  Not of works, lest any man should boast."  I don’t believe any of us have ever gone that far against God.  No one is beyond the grace and mercy of our God.

Another encouraging trait of Apostle Paul was he never gave up and rejoiced in his sufferings for Christ.  Colossians 1:23-24 states, "If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;  Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the church."  The best research I can find indicates that Paul spent about five to six years total in prison.  He was imprisoned at Caesarea for two years, in Rome for at least two years and various other accounts found in Acts.  However, this did not stop him from continuing to witness for Christ.  He would talk to the Roman soldiers, the jail keepers, anyone that would listen.  He even wrote the books of Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians and Philemon while in prison in Rome. 

So, in conclusion, my thought for this week is this:  No matter where God places you, stay positive, keep trusting in him and witness to the good news found in Christ Jesus.  In Romans 8:28 we read, "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose."

Bro. Kenneth Hagan  

April 23, 2018, 11:53 AM

God's Spiritual Kingdom

Acts 1: 6-8 states, "When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?  And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.  But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth."

This is the last dialog that Jesus had with his core group before he ascended into heaven.  Once again they were still looking for him to restore the “kingdom of Israel” on earth.  On the surface, one would think that Jesus would have been weary with their misunderstanding.  On several occasions he had told them that his kingdom was not of this world.  In John 18: 36 we read, "Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence."  In Luke 17:20-21, "And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation:  Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you."

Then in Matthew 24:34, "Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled."  I am convinced that everyone in that generation has passed away.  So it has to be more than a physical kingdom.  While Jesus was on earth he was able to keep the ones that were with him.  In his spiritual kingdom, he can keep everyone, by his spirit, the Holy Ghost.  It was ten days after his ascension until the day of Pentecost.  At that time they received the Holy Ghost and they did spread the gospel throughout the known world, at that time.

In John 16: 16 we read, "The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it."  Anyone can be a citizen of this spiritual kingdom by simply trusting Jesus as their savior!  Mark 1:15 states, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel."

Bro. Kenneth Hagan

April 12, 2018, 11:13 AM

Acts 1: 2-5 (KJV)

    Acts 1: 2-5 states, “Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen:  To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God:  And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me.  For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.

    After his resurrection, Jesus appeared to his disciples, and others that were part of his inner circle.  I like the 3rd verse of Acts chapter 1 where it says, “he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs”.  The ones Jesus appeared to had no doubt that he was alive and well.  Their previous three days of despair and total loss was turned into joy and total victory.  Because of this, they could stand in the faith of Jesus and “wait for the promise of the Father”.  They were all still in Jerusalem, the same city that just a few days before had demanded that Jesus be crucified.  However, because of the appearing of Jesus, they were emboldened to “tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.”

    Has Jesus appeared to you?  Titus 2:11 states,  “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men.”  If you have received Jesus into your heart and experienced the baptism of the Holy Ghost, cherish it, hold on to it, it is truly the most valuable treasure in this life.  But more importantly, share it with a lost world.  I am convinced that this world needs Jesus as much today as it did in the days of Jesus.  Share the love of God and let his light shine.

    If you have not experienced the baptism of the Holy Ghost, then pray that Jesus will appear to you in revelation.  2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.  Jesus left his home in heaven, walked this earth, suffered and died, but he arose so he could restore communion between God and man.  He died for each and every one of us.  Even if you were the only person on earth, he would have done it all for you.  So, during this Easter season, experience the new life you can have in Jesus.  It will be the best experience you will ever have.  

Bro. Kenneth Hagan

March 26, 2018, 1:45 PM

Hope in Jesus Christ

As we move into the Easter season, I can't help but think about the reason we celebrate Easter and the hope that this brings us in Christ.  Without the death of Jesus Christ, we would have no hope - no hope of peace in this life, no hope of being victorious in difficult times or trials, no hope of a future beyond death in this life.  But with the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we can have hope in Him - hope that tomorrow may be better than today, hope that Jesus can bless our lives beyond what we could ask or think, hope that we will be rewarded with a home in Heaven when death takes our earthly body in this life.

As much as God loved us, we couldn't receive this salvation until Jesus died on the cross and was resurrected.  This hope of salvation was only available in His death and resurrection.  Let us not live with no hope when a better way is available!

I Corinthians 15:19 states, "If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable."  Let us not be miserable!

In I Peter 1:3-4 we read, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you."

Let us have a lively hope and an inheritance in Heaven!

Sis. Lynn Norman

March 20, 2018, 2:56 PM

Romans 12:2 (KJV)

In a quote by the late F.B. Meyer, he states, "God's impressions within and His Word without are always corroborated by His providence around, and we should quietly wait until these three focus into one point....If you do not know what you ought to do, stand still until you do.  And when the time comes for action, circumstances, like glowworms, will sparkle along your path.  You will become so sure that you are right, when God's three witnesses concur, that you could not be surer though an angel beckoned you on." 

Sometimes we understand the path God has put us on so plainly, and other times there is much need for prayer and verification.  At times it seems our path is so well lit that there is no hesitation that this is the way God is leading.  At other times, we question "Are you sure, God?", or "Is this my will, or yours, God?"  But as the quote above says, His impressions within, or unctions as we might call them, and His Word without, or our study of the Scripture, can be confirmed by circumstances aligning just so that we know this is the path God has set out for us right now.  If we don't have those three witnesses concurring, let us stand still and wait for God to make our path sure.  It does not bother God that we seek confirmation of His will in our lives.  He wants us to do His will and if that means asking for assurances, like Gideon, He can provide proof of His speaking in our lives.

Romans 12:2 states, "And be not conformed to this world:  but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."

Sis. Lynn Norman

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