...to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power...

Revelation 5:11-13

3rd Base Coach – Pastor Matt Ragain

Posted by on Sep 26, 2018 in Blog | 0 comments

When I was learning to play baseball we would practice running the bases. I remember our coaches telling us the same thing again and again: “When you run around 1st base keep your eyes on the 3rd base coach.” When you hit the ball and start running around the bases, it becomes clear that you can’t do two things at once: you can’t run hard and watch the ball at the same time. Both things are necessary, but not possible to accomplish alone. That’s why the 3rd base coach is important. He, unlike the runner, can see everything that is happening at any given time. And if you keep your eyes on him, he will tell you to keep running or to stop. The practical upshot is, as a runner, you can run as hard as you can without having to look over your shoulder to decide if it’s safe to keep running.

This is as true in baseball as it is in our faith. Jesus is a lot like the 3rd base coach.
Jesus can see everything that’s going on, and our job is not just to run but also to
keep watching Jesus. There will be times in our lives when we feel as though we
need to take our eyes off of Jesus to see what else might be going on. This is a
mistake. When we take our eyes off of Jesus we slow down and mistakes are made.

Hebrews 12:1-2 says, “And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,
fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.”

The practical upshot of fixing our eyes on Jesus is that he has everything under
control and he can see clearly what we cannot. This allows us to live in freedom and
without fear because we are doing our one job, while Jesus is doing his. Even when
things get difficult or confusing or scary, our job doesn’t change—run hard and fix
our eyes on Jesus.

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Judas, the Betrayer – Pastor Shea Cutshaw

Posted by on Aug 31, 2018 in Blog | 0 comments

The betrayer of Jesus. Could you imagine being that person? Judas is honestly one of the characters in the Bible that most intrigues me. I mean this guy was with Jesus in the heart of his ministry. He saw the miracles performed and was even called by Jesus to be a disciple. Yet, he is the one who betrays Jesus. Jesus knew this the moment he called him. Judas betrayal wasn’t this random event that caught Jesus by storm. It was planned, and it needed to happen.

This shouldn’t have caught anyone off guard though. Judas was never actually in tune with the mission of Jesus. John 12 gives us some insight into who Judas was. He was someone who had no heart for the poor at all, and he was thief. He stole money from God. He was someone who got to see Jesus face to face and yet continued to ignore his message. John 17 tells us that he is the “son of perdition” which means he is destined for destruction.

So, in Matthew 26, Jesus was not shocked by this nor should anyone else have been. David says this would happen in Psalm 41 and Jesus quotes that Psalm at the last Passover. Luke 22 gives us a lot more insight as well when it shows us that he was actually possessed by Satan. Even before all of that though, Judas was someone who loved and was given over to his sin. He didn’t want to be saved because he didn’t think he needed to be saved.

So, what in the world does this mean for us? It’s easy for us to say that we’re nothing like Judas. We’d say things like we wouldn’t betray Him but if we’re being honest that’s not true. We have no idea what we would do in that situation. Even Peter, who Jesus said he would build His church on, denied Christ three times that night.

I think there are two things we need to take away from the life of Judas, and why it is so important for us to study him. The first is that we can hear the truth, and see it lived out before us every day but if we do not engage with this truth and make it personal and rooted in our lives it will never catch. Just going to Church and listening to sermons will give us any standing before God. Judas has the best Bible teacher ever, and because he didn’t engage and press into the truth he eventually become a hardened man who hated the things of God. Keep confessing sins, keep praying to God, keep sharing the truth, and serve one another.

The last takeaway from the life of Judas is just because someone betrays you does not mean it is over. Even when it seemed hopeless for Jesus, he kept his eyes focused on the father. Jesus knew who Judas was going to be, yet he still ministered to Him. He still shared the truth with him, and He still loved Him. So maybe there is a Judas in your life, love them and share with them the truth. I leave you with Galatians 6:9.

“Let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.”

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