4/26/2017 – Chris McNerney

The Bible constantly reminds us that we are to forgive our enemies. One powerful example of this occurs in the book of 1 Samuel when Saul is pursuing David in order to kill him. On one particular occasion, Saul is relieving himself in a cave and David can easily kill him. Instead, David makes himself known and attempts to reconcile with Saul. The King quickly repents (though he will again pursue David to kill him), but he also knows that his time as King is short. As he stands before the King who is to come, he asks that David care for his family and preserve their lives after he is gone. Could you imagine?! Here is someone trying to kill an innocent man, and he then has the audacity to ask for a favor. Do we ever forgive like David? Instead of caring for our enemies, we often think like Michael Corleone, who openly promises to do good to people, and behind closed doors plots their execution. But we have such a more powerful example than David. As Christians, we know that Jesus forgave his killers while he was suffocating on the cross. He looked upon them with compassion and asked God to show them mercy. We often think we deserve mercy from God, but apart from Christ we actually only deserve his judgment. How amazing it is that God chose to make a way for us to be forgiven! As a people reconciled to God, let us be gracious and forgiving to one another. What a powerful witness to the unbelieving world, when people love and forgive one another after being wronged. Let us strive to be like David, but lean on the grace of Christ as we struggle to practice forgiveness in our daily lives.

4/18/2017 – Esther Kutai

We’ve got the power!

As human beings, we are all prone to be tempted. Sin comes knocking at the doors of our hearts insisting that we open the door for it to come in. Sin can be so tenaciously persistent (as in the cases of Cain in Genesis 4 and Mrs. Potiphar in Genesis 41) that one might feel that it is better to yield to the temptation and sin than to deal with its pressure and resist it. Yielding to temptation leads us away from God.

We’ve got the power in Jesus Christ to resist temptation. Jesus Christ overcame sin and has given us the confidence to face sin (Hebrews 4:15-16). Sin also crouched at the door of His heart desiring to have Him but he resisted it. As children of God, we have the power to resist sin. May the Holy Spirit continue to remind us of who we are in Christ Jesus and the power we have in Him. May our focus be on the crown of life which God has promised to us who love Him.

We’ve got the power to resist temptation!

4/11/2017 – Wonmin Kim

What can we do to overflow with gratitude and joy? We need WHAT? We need it even though we don’t exactly know what it is. How do we get it? We go to God? How? Meditating on the Word as we meet with Him and ask Him for it and as we take communion and remember is how we receive manna for each day. We must go and gather it each day (daily actively going to the Lord to receive his provision) except Sunday because it is given for us through the preaching of the Word and communion once a month. Seeking his grace (manna)/searching for it in every moment of our lives.

Man does not live on bread alone but on every Word from the mouth of God. We need thee every hour. Jesus is the Word. Jesus said, “I am the bread of life.” We need Jesus all the time. What is maturity in Christ? A mature Christian is one who is humble and has learned to be needy before the Lord all the time. What?

4/4/2017 – Wonmin Kim

Did you take time to think upon the “manna principle?”

Do you think maybe this generation gets bored too quickly of gifts rather than enjoying them forever? A good gift of a spouse – is it easy to get critical, bitter and angry and forget to see them as gifts but become demanding and expectant? A good gift of a toy (i.e. food, phone, games, media, etc) – is it easy to unintentionally give them more value than they are worth or get bored and want something better? Teaching/education – is it easy to get use to the rich food provided by those who teach and serve rather than recognizing that it is a treasure that many long for until they have it regularly and take it for granted?

Why do we always want something and call it a need? What do we actually need? What do we want? How do we respond to waiting or the answer of NO to a gift we asked for but don’t get? If it is a gift then should we be grateful if we get it and isn’t it wrong to be angry for not getting something that was never our right to have?

Just some thoughts of why we are grumbly in our hearts…..rather than overflowing with gratitude and joy.

3/28/2017 – Tom Chang

Mark 4:26-29

As a child, I always grew up with older friends. Thus, I always wanted things immediately instead of waiting for them. At amusement parks, I wanted to go on certain rides but I wasn’t tall enough. Before I was a teenager, I wanted to watch PG-13 movies. As a freshman, I wanted to drive to school like the upper classmen. And as a senior, I wanted to go to bars and clubs but was not 21 yet. And although I still struggle with things I want right now instead of waiting, one thing I realized is, timing is everything (especially in terms of the processes of God). The bible tells us, first the seed of God’s will is placed in the ground of faith. Second, although it seems like nothing is happening, surely like all the flowers around us that God’s plan is at work and growing. And finally, in His wise and perfect timing, God promises that we will see much fruit! And this is important to understand because many times when we pray (e.g. our schooling, work, finances, addictions, health, marriage, and church) doesn’t it feel like nothing is happening and that nothing will change? However friends, His good Word tells us not to be anxious about anything but as we pray to God to find comfort in Cross. Just as Jesus did all the work in order to bless us, all we need to do is remain faithful. And as the will of God begins to unfold, surely we will begin to see and receive his blessings. Therefore Gracepoint, remember: timing is everything! And just as our children, church, and even nature grows without us noticing, let us find confidence in the invisible hands of God that are constantly at work in our life!

3/21/2017 – Chris McNerney

During the Reformation, Martin Luther struggled with the question of the sacraments. Having been a Catholic monk, he had been trained to practice 7 sacraments, but as he studied scripture and developed his thinking about what the sacraments truly communicate he ended up only retaining 2 of the 7: baptism and the Lord’s Supper. But, he struggled with letting go of the Catholic sacrament of penance. This should strike us as ironic. The man who started his revolution in response to the practice of indulgences ( a form of penance ) would want to retain the sacrament is was a part of. In the end, he did not consider it a sacrament, BUT he practiced it until he died. For Luther, the act of confessing one’s sin and having another person pronounce God’s forgiveness in Christ was a powerful and necessary reminder of the power of the gospel. Luther likened it to telling a relative or spouse or close friend that you loved them vs. actually tangibly displaying your love through action. While we may love the people in our life and say it daily, if we never demonstrate our love isn’t that a problem?Similarly, when we confess our sins to God he is faithful to forgive us. But, the fellow believer who sits before you proclaiming the word of truth has power and Luther could not shake that. While we may not agree with Luther 100%, it remains true that we are called to be members of the body of Christ. As the body, we are to care for one another, and one way we do that is by honestly sharing our struggles and allowing others to remind us of gospel truth.So the question for you is: Do you have someone you trust at GP? Someone you can share your struggles with? If not, I encourage you to pray for such a person. I believe God wants that for all His children.