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The secret to contentment is a relationship with Jesus (Philippians 4:10-13)


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    TueTuesdayAugAugust27th2013 Strategic God
    byPastor Martin Reyes Tagged No tags 0 comments Add comment
              I know that God is all powerful. The Bible shows us a God that has the power to create anything with His words and that is able to deliver victories to those who He wishes to. My understanding of this truth had led me to believe that God did not need to be strategic; since He has the power to make things happen. However, after reading a section and commentary of Pausanias’ Description of Greece in St. Paul’s Corinth by Jerome Murphy-O’Connor, and reflecting on the Church at Corinth, I cannot overlook the fact that our God is a strategic God, and the Corinthian Church was strategically important to the advance of the Kingdom.   

            First, Corinth had a geographical strategic advantage. First century Corinth was located close to the Isthmus of Corinth (about 3.7 Miles) and had two harbors which connected the eastern and western parts of the Roman Empire. The Harbor of Lechaeum, located north of the city, probably handled ships coming from Italy, North Africa, and the Adriatic Sea. The Harbor of Cenchreae, located 5.6 miles to the east of the city, probably handled ships coming at least from Macedonia, Asia, and Achaia. This made Corinth’s Agora (Marketplace) a business center that early Christians could use to disseminate the Gospel.

            Second, Corinth hosted of the Isthmian Games. These games “were one of the four great PanHellenic festivals; it ranked below the Olympic Games but above those celebrated at Delphi and Nemea. Initiated in 582 B.C. the Isthmian games took place every two years in April/May.” Although O’Connor does not mentioned an estimated number of visitors to the games, it is safe to assume that number was great because of its prestige and since many of them had to be accommodated in tents. These Games probably provided many opportunities for the church to share the Gospel with people from many nations.

            The Isthmus Games and Corinth’s Agora not only provided opportunities to share the Gospel but financial opportunities to support other churches and the mission of the Church. In Acts 18:2-3, we read that Paul, Aquila, and Priscilla were tentmakers, which “was a consistently profitable business.” In Romans 16:1-2, Paul tells the Roman church to receive Phoebe, “a deacon of the church in Cenchreae,” and to give her any help she may need, “for she has been the benefactor of many people, including” Paul. In 1 Corinthians 16 and 2 Corinthians 8-9, Paul encourages the Corinthian Church to send financial support to other churches.

            There were other strategic advantages of having a healthy church in the city of Corinth, but as I reflect on the three that I mentioned, I realize that just as the church at Corinth, we are strategically position by God, at least geographically, culturally, and financially, to “do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10). Even though God has the power to accomplish anything, He involves us in His strategic plans to redeem and reconcile His creation to Him. Look around your life, and you’ll find that you are in a strategic place to accomplish God’s work, that He is a Strategic God.
    WedWednesdayAugAugust21st2013 It takes time…
    byPastor Martin Reyes Tagged No tags 0 comments Add comment
              Have you received free vegetables lately? Or maybe you own a garden and are enjoying the literal “fruits and vegetables” of your labor. Either way, it is great to enjoy fresh vegetables or fruits, or in my case… eggs! But sometimes we forget that all of these “products” didn’t appear overnight.

              As some of you know, I bought some chicks back in march, and it wasn’t until last week that those chickens started to lay eggs. That’s 5 months of feeding them and not getting anything in return, of building a “home” for them and taking care of them without anything to show for!!!
              I told a good friend of mine that God had used those chickens to teach me more about Him. See, God uses a lot of references (and parables) to growing plants and raising animals. He taught me that it takes time, energy, and patience to get “fruits.” He also taught me that as I had for months taken care of the chicken (guided only on my hope of a harvest and my knowledge of that they were), He had been taken care of me guided by his knowledge of me and the hope of the works he had prepared for me (Ephesians 2:10).

              I know that sometimes we wonder: What is the point of our daily devotionals, going to church, and many other “spiritual” things that we do? I also know that sometimes we wonder if our ministry involvement is “producing any fruits.” But I want to encourage you to not give up.

              The truth is: if I had given up during those 5 months, I wouldn’t be eating fresh eggs today. So … Don’t focus on the empty nest, focus on the full plate!
    ThuThursdayAugAugust8th2013 The Wolverine
    byPastor Martin Reyes Tagged No tags 1 comments Add comment
           Yesterday, I went to watch the movie "The Wolverine" with the youth group.

    For those of you that have no idea who the wolverine is, he is one comic characters of the X-men, a group of mutants with different "talents." The Wolverine's real name is Logan and has the ability to regenerate pretty quick and his skeleton is of a almost indestructible metal. Logan is pretty much immortal and that fact weight heavy on him, because everybody around him has died. He has given up hope and has no reason to life.

    In one of the scenes, an older Japanese guy tell Logan that he is "a Samurai without a master, without a purpose."

    That really got me thinking about the faith walk of some of us. For years, I went to church, participated in Worship, serve others, and gave tithes because that's what Christians do. I was a "Samurai without a master," doing what I thought was good and what God may like, but never stopped to talk to Him and asked Him: "What's the point of my existence? What do you want me to do with my life?"

    I see this with many kids (and adults), specially those about to go into college. The weight every decision asking the wrong questions: "How much can be afford? Do I know people going there? What do I love to do? What are my Gifts?" Etc. Yet, most of them do not stop an ask "God what do you want me to do with the rest of my life?"

    Most of them believe that questions is reserved to "ministers and missionaries", but they don't realize that we are all ministers and missionaries. Our ministry is a profession that brings Him glory and our mission field is our place of work. For example, Tim Tebow's ministry is football and his mission field is the field and locker room. I read somewhere that Tim used his relationship in the field to introduce his faith to his teammates. Every Saturday night, when the Gators were playing, Tim used his football spotlight to shine the word of God, as he wrote Bible verses under his eyes that told everyone How he was feeling.

    I hope that we take some time to address our Master and asked Him: "What do you want me to do with my life?"

    TueTuesdayJulJuly16th2013 You are the Light...
    byPastor Martin Reyes Tagged No tags 0 comments Add comment
    “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:14-16

    "You are the light od the world." Have you ever seen yourself like that? I know I haven't in times. I have also failed to meditate on what Jesus is trying to picture in here.

    Let's start with verse 16. I think that Jesus is telling us that if we let that "light," which is inside of us, "good deeds" will be naturally come out of it, and our Father in heaven will be glorify, not only by the reflection of the light or by the good deeds, but by the people around us. Have you ever try hard to tell or show someone about Jesus? Maybe our trying hard is not the solution, but the "let it shine." We live in a "show and tell" society in which you must first show that "our way" is better so that we can "tell." We live in a society similar to the one the Apostle Paul found in Athens. Acts 17:16-33 describes the encounter and the Athenians. It says that they had many idols (verse 16) and verse 21 says:

    21 (All the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there spent their time doing nothing but talking about and listening to the latest ideas.)

    It sounds like our society today, in which "all points of views are acceptable and must be respected." We think that this is "enlighten," but when we lack the concrete Truth, we live in darkness.

    Have you ever been in a dark room or out in the woods without a light? I can get scary and disorienting. But what would you think of someone who knew you were scared and disoriented because of your lack of light and who had a light hidden? Why then are we afraid to shine the light in our darken World? Why do we hide the lap under a bowl, and only show it during Sunday worship, Bible study group, camp, or mission trips? Maybe we are scare of the light, because it will reveal things that we are hiding, or maybe we don't want people to notice us because of the light.

    As disciples of Christ, we are called to put our light on a stand and let it give light to everyone in the "house." We should not be scared of the light, but embrace it, for it is the light that helps us navigate the darkness around us, and help others see the light. When we as a church let our light shine, we are like a city on a hill ... No one can miss it.
    TueTuesdayJulJuly2nd2013 You are the Salt...
    byPastor Martin Reyes Tagged No tags 0 comments Add comment

    "You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot." Matthew 5:13

        Back in February, my wife and I went to Costa Rica on a mission trip, and I had the opportunity to teach and share Biblical truths with my brothers and sisters in Costa Rica. One of those opportunities came when I was asked to tell the parable of "The Ugly Duckling."

        The story's main character is a "duckling" that compares himself to the other duckling and finds himself to be "ugly." What he doesn't know is that he is not a duck but a swan. He doesn't find this out until he meets a group of swans. The "ugly duckling" was abused and made fun of because he didn't know his true identity.

        In the same way, we need to be reminded from time to time of who we are. Jesus says to his disciples that we "are the salt of the earth," and also says that the salt that loses its saltiness "is no longer good for anything." There are many ways that this verse can be understood, but for me, today, I feel drawn to the saltiness issue.

        Saltiness is the essence of salt; it is what makes salt to be salt. In comparison, a disciple of Christ is someone that holds his teachings (John 8:31), and in essence: a disciple is someone who wants to be like his rabbi, and is willing to do anything it takes to do so. This makes me ask myself two questions, and I invite you to ask these two questions to yourself:

        First, Have I lost my saltiness? In other words: Have I lost the desire to do whatever it takes, even to die to myself (Luke 9:23, Matthew 10:39) to follow Christ, to be like Him, and to glorify Him?

        And second, If I have lost my saltines, do I want to get it back? Am I willing to let Jesus restore my saltiness?

    Dia∙lo∙gi∙zo∙mai:(v) to reason, to revolve in one's mind, or to Dia∙lo∙gi∙zo∙mai: (v) to reason, to revolve in one's mind, or to deliberate.
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    Senior Pastor David McConnell; Youth Pastor Martin Reyes; 217.342.6797
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