God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.

1 John 1:5

A Friend – Pastor Matt

Posted by on Feb 14, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

A Friend – Pastor Matt

Have you ever struggled making friends?  Have you ever felt like your personality should be different?  Have you ever though that if you were like someone else, life would be better?

From time to time, we struggle with the idea that if we were just a little different we would be happy.  I have often looked closely at impressive individuals and thought, “maybe I should become more like them.”

Jesus says in John 15:15, “I have called you friends.”  That is an amazing statement.  What is a friend?  A friend is someone who likes you the way you are.  A friend is someone you don’t have to impress.  A friend is someone who just wants to be around you…period.  So when Jesus calls us friend, he is not saying we should become like someone else.  He is saying he made us a certain way for a certain reason.  Another way to put it is you, your personality, your genetic makeup are not mistakes.  You were made the way you are to live an incredible life following Jesus.

This certainly doesn’t mean we are perfect.  But it does mean that the gifts and qualities God has given us need to be redeemed for his greater purposes.  God doesn’t want you to become someone else.  God is perfecting you into a holy you, not a holy someone else.

Jesus likes you, loves you, died for you and just wants to be around you.  That’s friendship.

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“Enough” – Pastor Matt Ragain

Posted by on Feb 7, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

Screen Shot 2017-02-06 at 12.29.53 PMRecently I had a conversation with a friend.  Like many of us, she was struggling to see God in a world that is so filled with hatred, violence and injustice.  How do we square the idea that an all-powerful God is good, yet allows unfathomable evil?  This is a question that haunts believers and unbelievers today.

In 2 Corinthians, Paul talks about a thorn in his flesh.  There has been much debate about what that thorn really is (is it a physical ailment or some kind of spiritual burden).  But there are things we do know.  The thorn is painful.  The thorn is something that was given to Paul.  Satan and his minions used the thorn to torment Paul.  Finally Paul begs God to take it away, and God does not.  Paul asks God over and over to heal him, and God doesn’t.

In response to Paul’s request God says, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9).”  What Paul is looking for is relief and understanding (which isn’t bad of course).  God gave him neither; yet, he gives Paul something infinitely better…His grace.  In other words, God is enough.  Even if we don’t have all our questions answered or pains relieved, God quietly whispers “what you really need is me, and I am enough.”

In our human state, we struggle when we don’t see the full picture.  We struggle when God, in all his goodness, allows evil to be perpetuated against the innocent.  We struggle when we have physical ailments that last for years.  We struggle when we see individuals we love make poor choices.  In all that fear and weakness, God’s grace is enough.  In this life, God’s grace is all we need because it’s the only thing we cannot lose.

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