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Archive for April, 2017

Grinding It Out

How much of life is about: “grinding it out?” Do you want to put a percentage on it? I don’t. I’m afraid to!

What is life? James calls it a “vapor,” a “mist.” I’ve seen that yet again this week. My great-uncle went to be with the Lord and I’m working on the funeral message that I’ll deliver tomorrow. Is it possible that he’s gone? Death comes and the finality of it is breathtaking. And that’s what makes life tough…grinding it out. Why? Because we have to keep living. People are counting on us. That’s what I plan to say to the family shortly as we meet at the funeral home. We must keep going. That’s what he would want.

Are you grinding it out? What does that mean to you? To me it means continuing to get up every morning and seek to help people. It means to write sermons, devotions, blogs. It means counseling people when you, yourself could probably use some counseling. It means taking a deep breath and saying, “Lord give me strength!” as you drive to another hospital, counsel another family, write another sermon. It means: grinding it out.

Is that okay? Is it okay to grind it out? Should I say it another way? Should I try to soften the blow of what it means to live in a world that’s filled with sin and sinners? Should I try to call “grinding it out” having “fun?” Should I? What do you think? My answer is: “No,” and here’s why. It’s okay to grind it out. That’s what Jesus did.

Remember when Jesus had heard that his cousin John had been beheaded? What did He do? Matthew 14 tells us.

13 Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat to a desolate place by himself. Matthew 14:13a

He needed to be alone. He was worn out! He was grieving! He was tired! So, He went to a desolate place on the coast of the Sea of Galilee near Bethsaida Julias. Jesus was “grinding it out.” How can I say this? Because the Apostle Matthew records the second part of verse 13…

But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns. 14 When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick. Matthew 14:13b-14

Can you imagine Jesus in that boat on the Sea of Galilee and He’s by Himself and He sees all of those people running across the northern part of the coastline to meet Him where He’ll come ashore at Bethsaida Julias? What did He do? He got out of the boat and went ashore. Why? Because He had compassion on them. The word means: “to feel it in your bowels.” Just couldn’t let His condition of being tired and grieved and worn out deter Him from doing the work. He had to grind it out. And I’m glad He did. It gives me my example…and you, your example.

Are you tired? Pray to the Lord to give you strength. His mercies are new each morning. Lean on Him. Lean into Him. He’ll sustain you and He’ll provide for you no matter what! Grind it out! He did and so can you!

You are loved!

Kevin

This week’s Two-Minute Tuesday: “Is a 4-year Degree For Everybody?”

http://subsplash.com/mpbc/v/dlepngo

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Good Friday

Caleb hit the nail on the head for what this day means. It’s “Good” Friday. What’s good about it? See below…

Happy Easter to you all!

Why We Can Call the Worst Friday ‘Good’

Today is undoubtedly the worst day in human history, and certainly on the Christian calendar.

Today is the day that we observe the brutal injustice and suffering that

Jesus endured.

Nothing else can match it. No war, no famine, no assassination, and no collapse. Not even human trafficking, genocide, or slavery.

Jesus’ suffering was more unfitting than any suffering ever endured on this earth. The injustice He endured, and embraced, was incomparable because his glory and holiness was insurmountable.

Jesus was perfect. He showed love when it was needed, and discipline when it was fitting. He was self-controlled, compassionate, humble, and full of love. A great teacher, and a meaningful friend and mentor. In every way, Jesus was holy, perfect, and glorious.

Yet, we crucified him. We flayed his body on a wooden stake. We plucked out His beard. We whipped him with shards of glass and shrapnel. We drove thorns into his skull. Then we made him carry the tool that would be used for His most cruel torture across the city to the place where His body would endure a pain none of us will ever know.

Still yet, Jesus remained perfect. Despite being spit at, betrayed, mocked, and jeered He responded with a compassion that is beyond our comprehension. He continued to hope and work towards our Salvation through His life… And, now through His death.

How can we call such a terrible Friday ‘good’?

That is precisely why, that both in life and death Jesus was securing our salvation… and His glory. But, it was through His death specifically that our justification was won, and our ransom paid.

Romans 5: 6-10

For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. 11 More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

That is why we can call this Friday- Good Friday. Because this is the day

in which we observe the God Man, Jesus Christ, endure the suffering required to win our salvation, so that we might receive the most undeserving grace ever imaginable.

We call it “good” because we are now Sons and Daughters of the King.

We call it “good” because we can now have hope in an eternity with our Savior. We call it “good” because sins that we do not have the power to justify were justified eternally on the Cross. We call it “good” because we have been reconciled, despite our sins, to the God of the universe. We call it “good” because His wrath was transformed into adoption on the Cross of Christ.

We ought to call it “adoption Friday”, because today is the day we were adopted by the Creator of the World, in the most scandalous display of love imaginable.

This is a glorious and simple truth, that only Jesus could make such a horrible day so good.

So, what remains? What do we do on this day, and every day, to celebrate this worst of days turned good?

WE CELEBRATE… but not through parties, or costumes, or silly displays of excitement.

We celebrate this day through worship, not only upon this day but every day we live this life. We celebrate through the way we live. And, we celebrate by rejoicing in Christ, by finding our sole satisfaction in Him.

Philippians 3: 1;7-11

1 Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you is no trouble to me and is safe for you. 

But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— 10 that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.

That is how we honor this day, because the worst of Friday’s was made ‘good’. Because the worst of sinners were made ‘good’ in God’s eyes.

Caleb

This week’s “Two-Minute Tuesday:” What Are Male and Female: XY and XX

http://subsplash.com/mpbc/v/cqwuxnd

Makes perfect sense to me! 🙂

Kevin

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I wanted to make everyone aware of our Schedule for the “Renewing the Family Conference” this Friday and Saturday night (6:00-8:30 pm) and Sunday morning (all services, 8:20, 9:40, 11 am) here at MPBC. We are super excited about all the Lord is going to do!

Here’s a tentative line-up so that you can plan.

Friday Night:

Session 1: “From Hell to Eternity”-Phil’s Story of combat in Vietnam (this will NOT be guts and gore and okay for children) to coming home and almost destroying His marriage, and how Susy, his wife, learned to love him again.

Session 2: “Making Your Marriage Even Stronger.” Even if you have a good marriage, there are areas that could be improved. Phil’s wit and humor will bring great encouragement in this session.

Saturday Night:

Session 1: “Resolving Conflict and Bringing Comfort to the Home.” We all struggle with busy, hectic, pressure-filled lives. So do our children. Even they feel it. This session will help to bring balance and practical Scriptural application of how to have a peaceful home.

Session 2: ““What To Do When One of Your Children Goes Crazy Wrong!” Just because you have adult children doesn’t mean you stop being their parents. In fact, it’s as they get older, they will come to lean on you and value you even more. What do you do when one goes off the rails?

Sunday Morning (All Three Services):

“Moving From Pain and Anger to Healing and Discipleship within the Home.” The process of family is never easy because we are all fallible humans. Yet, there is hope for experiencing love, nurture and joy for those we love the most. Then there is the next step of discipling (even older children) and even one another (in our marriages), even if that means you are an empty-nester. 

Phil serves as President of Discipleship Network of America. The ministry is instrumental in winning, teaching, encouraging and discipling others to become disciple makers in their work, marriage, family, neighborhood, and church.

Phil is a popular national speaker at men’s events and speaks to all branches of the U. S. military. He has been featured twice on Focus On the Family. He is the author of Eternal Impact: Investing in the Lives of Others, A Father’s Reward – Raising Your Children to Walk in the Truth, Optimize Your Marriage, Just An Ordinary Man: Principles of Godly Leadership, Brave, Strong, and Tender. He is a former machine gunner who served in Vietnam with the United States Marine Corps in 1967-1968. Phil has degrees from SMU and Emory University School of Law. Phil was a successful lawyer as senior partner of a 50-attorney law firm. Phil is on the Steering Committee of the National Coalition of Men’s Ministries, a former elder of his church.

I’m really excited about all the Lord is going to do! I just got a reply back on Facebook from a lady who has seen Phil and experienced one of his conferences, like I have. She said this:

Cindy Plotts DiMarco I have had the rich privilege of hearing him speak. Everyone that goes is in for a huge blessing!!!

Amen Cindy!

Come join us folks!

Kevin

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