Pastor's Blog

Laboring for the Lord: (Whose job is it anyway)?

“For when one says, ‘I am of Paul,’ and another says, ‘I am of Apollos,” are you not mere men? What then is Apollos? And what is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, even as the Lord gave opportunity to each one. I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth.”
First Corinthians 3:5-7

Well, it’s Labor Day Monday! I always enjoy having the day off to rest and get ready for what promises to always be a busy Fall season. But, on this day, I would invite each one of us to reevaluate whose job it really is to make a difference in the lives of others for the Kingdom of God. In the first chapter of the book of Corinthians, Paul was addressing divisions that had occurred within the church over pastoral personalities. Verse three tells us that there was jealousy and strife among the body of Christ regarding this issue.

For example, Apollos, a very Godly man, was known as a great preacher in his day, and many were attracted to his charismatic style of delivery, whereas Paul tells us in Scripture that he wasn’t a polished orator. Anyway, you get the picture. The effect? Paul says those involved in these divisions were stunting the spiritual growth of the Body, so he provides the solution: Whether preacher or planter of churches (as Paul was) or anything else we do in service to the Lord; In and of ourselves we aren’t anything; only vessels to be used of the Lord. It is therefore not about Paul or Apollos, but all glory is to be given to God who causes the growth. Stay true to God, share the gospel, and let the Holy Spirit do the work. In this we find true rest and reward!
Pastor Louie

After the Storm

“…Then He arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and it became perfectly calm.” Matthew 8:26 (b)

Following the events of Hurricanes “Harvey” and “Irma,” I was reminded of how Jesus was very familiar with the hurricanes and tornados his day. Matthew, Mark, and Luke all record the day in which Jesus and his disciples set sail to cross the Sea of Galilee (which is 13 miles long and 8 miles wide); a day in which a calm sea instantly became a raging sea!

The Sea of Galilee sets 680’ below sea level in a cleft in the Jordan landscape which makes it a prime target for a great storm to seemingly come out of nowhere. When a cold westward wind passes through the hills and gullies on the west bank of the sea, the air becomes compressed and funnel-like. Then with amazing speed and intensity, it swoops over the bank to the surprise of anyone or any boat positioned on its waters.

The gospel writers tell us that Jesus was asleep on a cushion in the back of the boat when the storm hit; a storm so intense that it engulfed the boat within the crest of its waves, quickly filling the boat with water. Matthew then tells us the disciples woke Jesus and were pleading for Him “to save them for they were “perishing!” Matthew tells us how Jesus asked them why they were so afraid and were exercising such little faith. I don’t believe Jesus was angry with them, but was using this as one of the most important lessons ever for teaching his disciples to trust Him and His authority when undergoing the most intense situations of life!

And then our Scripture for today records Jesus speaking to the winds and the sea and their becoming “perfectly” calm. What do we see in Matthew’s account (8:23-27)? That a great Christ’s response to a great crisis is always a great calm!
What storm of life are you, a loved one, a neighbor, or co-worker encountering this time. It may a great stress over the recent storm that engulfed Florida.

“…even the winds and the sea obey Him!” Matthew 8:27
Pastor Louie