Kotinna Thompson

Letter From Pastor Stuckey

Dear Central Members & Local Friends,

I pray your week is going well and you are walking by faith and trusting God despite any issues you or your family may be encountering!! Please know that you and your family are constantly in my thoughts and prayers. One of the most significant callings as a Pastor is to be an Under-Shepherd for God’s flock and I take this job and calling seriously. This is the primary reason why I am always calling, checking-in, writing, encouraging and praying for God’s people. Jesus is the Chief Shepherd and he said “My sheep know My voice.” I pray you are listening to Jesus’ voice through the Word of God and following the leading of the Holy Spirit moment by moment and day by day. This will be the hallmark of your success as a Believer listening to the will of the Father instead of the voices in our society and on many occasions your own voice.

Allow me to share some insight with you that will help you prepare for the sermon series on the book of Revelation that I will minister and teach on for the next several Sundays. There are several things highlighted below that will help us get the most out of this series.

We must first understand that the book of Revelation is the Revelation of Jesus Christ given to John the Apostle to be shared and studied by all Believers. The author John identifies himself four different times ( Rev. 1:1, 4, 9, 22:8). He calls Jesus Christ the “Logos’ which means the Word.

God gave John three primary purposes for writing Revelation:

  1. The Immediate Purpose: to allow Jesus Christ to proclaim, “Behold, I come quickly”  as noted in ( Rev. 2:16;3:11; 22:7. 12, 20). The reason for this was that the seven churches of Asia and their world needed a word of encouragement, of counsel, and of warning.
  2. The Historical Purpose: to allow Jesus Christ to proclaim to His followers and to the world of every generation “Behold, I come quickly”  (Rev. 2:16; 3:11; 22:7, 12, 20).  God knows that every generation needs a word of encouragement, of counsel, and of warning.
  3. The Godly purpose: to give the church and to the world, “The Revelation of Jesus Christ” (Rev. 1:1). This revelation is both the unveiling of the person of Jesus Christ as the central figure of history and the unveiling of the message of His heart. He is both the content and the unveiler of the revelation. What is the revelation of Jesus Christ? The revelation concerns “things which must shortly come to pass by God’s standards” (Rev. 1:1). It concerns the Lamb, the Lord Jesus Christ Himself who is the Lamb of God, who alone is worthy to open and oversee….

* the book of destiny.

* the book of the future of the world

* the book of God’s redemptive purpose.

Revelation is “An Apocalyptic Book.” It is the only book of Scripture that is often classified as Apocalyptic.

All of this will be covered as we examine the seven churches in this study series. In order to get the most out of this sermon series it is important that you come with a pen and notepad every Sunday to take notes and pray in advance for the guidance of the Holy Spirit to give you insight. This  will be a deep study series that is paramount for the serious believer.

Please note that my objective for this series will be to only present what the Scripture says, not to give personal opinions. The beat of my heart in approaching this series is to be true to the Word of God and to let the Word speak for itself. Please pray for me that I do this to the best of my ability. We will not engage in the declaration of denominational and theological positions that can often cloud what the Word is saying.

We will allow this book of Revelation to speak for itself. Jesus clearly indicated in this book, not to add nor take away from the message of Revelation. We must do exactly what Revelation says. We must always be mindful and remember the great danger that we face in adding to or taking away from the Word of God as Believers of the bible. Those who disbelieve the Word of God tend to deny certain parts and teachings of the Bible. But we who believe the Word of God face the danger of adding to the Word and going beyond what God has actually said. This is the reason Scripture warns us to guard against adding to as well as taking away from the message of Revelation. Some of you have heard me quote the phrase “ a good steak makes it’s own gravy.” This is what we will allow this study series to do as we exegete on this sermon series starting on Sunday. I am highly confident that God will unpack new things for you that will enhance your spiritual walk if you come prepared and allow the Holy Spirit to speak to your heart. Please remember to bring a friend or guest!!! 

Remember our 2019 church theme: “Everyone Reach One.” If you gave yourself a report card grade on how well you have personally done this year on outreach and making our theme a priority, what grade would you give yourself?

As we celebrate Independence Day in the United States, remember that as much as we love America, it is Jesus Christ who should be the central figure in history for us as Believers. Please keep this deeply in your thoughts and mind as you celebrate with family and friends on the 4th of July. I can’t wait to see you on Sunday!!

May God overshadow you with His Loving Grace!!!

Your Brother In Christ!!!

Pastor Perry Stuckey

 

 

 

Kotinna ThompsonLetter From Pastor Stuckey
read more

Character Matters

Dear Central Members & Friends,

As I reflect back on our Father’s Day service and the lesson I taught from Philippians 2:19-30 we discovered that Timothy and Epaphroditus had two significant attributes that stood head and shoulders above other men that Paul encountered in his ministry.

They were distinguished by Paul for their obsession with doing the things that pleased God and for being trustworthy. These two attributes distinguished their character and put them in a category of men where it doesn’t take long to call the roll.

There are two questions all of us should be asking ourselves about our own character. 

  • What does my character reveal about me in my private moments when I am not in the

public eye?

  • What is my real obsession? What am I spending the vast majority of my time on?

Character is who we are when we think no one is watching. What we are obsessed about is revealed by looking at what we spend the vast majority of  our time doing. By taking an honest inventory of ourselves and answering the above questions we will gain a lot of insight about what we need to work on in our spiritual transformational journey.

All of us have work to do in order to be more like Christ in our character. Therefore, please realize this is not an attempt to embarrass anyone or make you feel unworthy. However, it is a note geared to make you focus on being more serious about your spiritual walk and to respect the Holiness of God. Our greatest blessings occur from our obedience to God.  Why don’t you focus on enhancing your spiritual walk by examining your current spiritual level utilizing these basic questions in your life today. You will be amazed at the impact it will have on your transformational journey.

Remember character does matter and our character is revealed in every interaction we have with people!!

I hope you enjoy the slide deck from my sermon on Sunday and study them in more detail during your personal devotional and quiet time!!

Grace & Shalom!!

Pastor Perry Stuckey

Kotinna ThompsonCharacter Matters
read more

The Good Guys | Gary Thomas

Dear Church Family & Friends of Central

I apologize upfront for allowing my schedule to become so hectic and busy that you have not heard from me in quite some time. Like many of you summer has landed on my door step and I haven’t had the opportunity to enjoy it as I should. Please take some time this summer to rejuvenate, relax and rejoice about the many blessings God has bestowed upon us!!

As we approach Father’s day I wanted to take a moment and share with you an article that was sent to me by one of the women in our church. The below article deeply touched me and should be read by all of us. We live in a society that consistently points out individuals who are deeply flawed, and are ridiculed on social media about their mistakes and bad decisions.

The below article is meant to draw attention to the good guys that are often overlooked in our society. Please read the article in detail and ask God to help you become less critical and take a moment to acknowledge “A Few Good Men” as the Marines would say.

Grace & Shalom

Pastor Perry Stuckey

http://www.garythomas.com/the-good-guys/

 

Kotinna ThompsonThe Good Guys | Gary Thomas
read more

What It Means To Be Profoundly Grateful

Dear Members and Friends of Central,

Although I have not had an opportunity to pen a letter to you in a number of weeks, please know that you have been in my thoughts and prayers. I am extremely grateful for all that I see God doing in and through us.

I started a new sermon series last week about what it means to be profoundly grateful. In our text (Luke 17:11-19), we discovered that Jesus healed ten lepers. But, only one of them was grateful enough to return and give Jesus praise and thanks for healing him. I’ve often wondered why the remaining nine didn’t have the same response.

But before I delve into that, I must first acknowledge the faith of these men. They knew that Jesus possessed the power to heal them. So, they cried out for His help. When Jesus “saw” them, He told them to show themselves to the high priest. His instructions served more than one purpose:

  1. It informed them of what they needed to do to be healed of their dreadful disease. Faith without works is dead (James 2:26). Jesus gave them instructions and they demonstrated their faith in Him by obeying Him.
  2. The priest would “see” that they were healed and grant them the legal access they needed to return to their homes and resume normal lives.

All ten of the men followed Jesus’ instructions and were cleansed as a result of their obedience. However, when one of them “saw” that he was healed, he was profoundly grateful.

As I read the scriptures about this miracle, forms of the word, “see” stood out to me. I recognized that our perspective–the way we “see” people and things affects how we respond to them. I believe that the man who returned to thank Jesus realized that his healing would not merely help him physically, but it would positively impact every aspect of his life. In those days, it was customary for lepers to be cast out of their villages, considered unclean and treated as spiritually dead. Since this man was a Samaritan, life had been even harder for him. That’s why he was profoundly grateful for the Lord’s mercy and miraculous power on his behalf.

Likewise, many of us praise and thank God when blessings first manifest in our lives, such as when we receive a job offer; when we say, “I do”; when we recover from an injury; when we receive a favor from a friend or family member; or when we confess Jesus as our Savior. We are profoundly grateful when these events initially happen because we “see” the benefits of these blessings. But, as time goes by, the newness wears off and we are tempted to take our blessings for granted because we aren’t “seeing” through the same lens. When we see through a lens of gratitude, we can clearly see our blessings as benefits, advantages, victories and miracles. But, when we see through a lens of pride or selfishness, our perspective is clouded because we are focusing on shortfalls, imperfections, irritations and frustrations. It seems that the more some of us get, the more ungrateful we become.

We have to be intentional about maintaining an attitude of gratitude. Just as it takes effort and energy to maintain our appearance and good physical health, it requires effort for us to enhance our spiritual health and express gratitude to God and the people He uses to bless us.

There is a deep warning within this text to everyone, especially those of us who reside in America, where there is an abundance of resources. The warning is: Appropriately acknowledge your blessings.

Let’s collectively and individually put forth the effort to maintain a grateful heart; to “see” our glasses as half-full instead of half-empty; and ask the Lord to enable us to show Him and others that we are truly and profoundly grateful for all of our blessings, especially the gift of eternal life! This will require us to become more diligent, thoughtful and spiritually sensitive than we are today. But, thank God, we can do all things through Christ which strengthens us!

I hope that you will take on the challenge of becoming profoundly grateful and enjoy the attached PowerPoint slides from my sermons over the last two weeks on this topic.

Grace & Shalom!

Pastor Perry Stuckey

Kotinna ThompsonWhat It Means To Be Profoundly Grateful
read more