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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
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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
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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
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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
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Allowing Anger to Govern Our Behavior

Dear Central Members and Friends,

I pray your week is going extremely well. But, if you are frustrated for some reason, I urge you to thank God for His marvelous grace in the midst of your circumstances. You may be facing a challenging issue right now. But remember that God has a supreme plan for your life and nothing can hinder that plan, if you obey His will for your life!

There are times when our intentions are to do what is right, but we allow anger, jealousy and other emotions to govern our behavior. This is what happened with the Pharisees (Please read John chapter 8:1-12). The Pharisees were so angry and frustrated with Jesus that they tried to ensnare Him in His words and find a justifiable reason to get rid of Him. The sad tragedy is the lengths they were willing to go to prove their point and get their desired outcome. They were willing to stone a woman, who had been caught in the act of adultery to her death! However, their issue was not with the woman for breaking the law. That was a smokescreen. Their real issue was with Jesus and their hatred for Him motivated them to use the woman as a sacrificial lamb.

You see, the Jewish law required that a person who committed adultery to be stoned to death. However, the Roman law would not permit someone to be stoned to death for such an act. So, if Jesus had said, “Stone her,” they would have accused him of being in violation of the Roman law. If He had said that she shouldn’t be stoned, they would have accused Him of violating the Jewish law, which Moses gave.

Jesus knew their real motives were to trap him, and in this case He made a profound, but simple statement: “Those of you who are without sin, cast the first stone.” They were all convicted by His statement and dropped their stones. From the eldest to the youngest, the crowd departed and the woman was left alone with Jesus. Jesus was the only person qualified to judge and punish her. Yet, despite the fact that she was in violation of Moses’ law, Jesus told her that He didn’t condemn her and to go and sin no more.

Jesus extends the same love, mercy and grace to us every day! All of us have sinned. But, thank God, forgiveness is just a prayer away (Please read 1 John 1:9)! By God’s grace, we are forgiven, and, if we ask Him, He will give us the grace we need to forgive others of even the most hurtful offenses.

Forgiveness is not optional for followers of Christ. It is an act of obedience that is necessary for our freedom and wellbeing. Our failure to practice forgiveness causes physical, mental, emotional and spiritual problems and hinders our ability to have healthy relationships.

The next time you are frustrated about something or frustrated with someone, pause and reflect on the love, grace and mercy that the Lord has extended to you, despite your shortfalls. Consider how Jesus modeled grace as referenced in John chapter 8. Just as it’s important for us to nurture our relationships with family and friends, it’s vital that we spend quality time with God. Doing so helps us overcome our frustrations and allows us to be led by the Lord instead of our emotions.

I pray that you will benefit from the slides and observations outlined in the slides on my Sermons page.

Grace & Shalom!

Pastor Perry

Rick ZimmermanAllowing Anger to Govern Our Behavior
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THRIVING OR DYING

Thu, Oct 18, 1:15 PM

Dear Central Members and Friends,

 

Sears is making headlines. The mail order catalog company that grew to become a thriving retail giant has now declared bankruptcy. The store that was once a strong, progressive American icon somehow lost its way and became irrelevant. As I read the attached Wall Street Journal article about the decline of the Sears Corporation, I recognized that similar circumstances can occur in our lives as believers when we lose our way. Sears became financially bankrupt, and we can become spiritually bankrupt if we lose our focus and buy into the death sentence of believing that we are doing enough, that we are alright as we are, and that others need to grow and develop instead of us. There is no place for complacency in the life of a Christian. We are either moving forward or backwards; therefore, we must be intentional about our spiritual growth.

In Science class we learned that living organisms are either thriving or dying; the same line of reasoning applies to us as Christians. We are either thriving or dying spiritually. Many things can help us identify where we stand, our behaviors, motives, successes and even our failures. Ultimately, our decisions and our attitude toward God reveal whether we are thriving or dying spiritually.

At one point in my life, I was dying spiritually. I didn’t recognize it because I was busy chasing everything that I thought would make me successful, but I am so grateful that God used people to minister to me and help me to realize that the abundant life I desired, the life God desired for me, could only be found in Jesus (John 10:10). Attending church and giving offerings was not enough. In order for me to experience my new life in Christ I had to make the conscious decision to make Christ the Lord of my life, deny my selfish desires and embrace a new way of living. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17). I have since learned that when we are faithful and completely dedicated to God, success is inevitable (Joshua 1:8).

We want to experience all of God’s promises, but it is difficult for us to position ourselves to receive them because our natural inclination is to be the master of our own lives. That’s why we have to surrender our lives to the Lord and obey Him daily. Jesus said, “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). As we follow Christ and make it our business to be about our Father’s business, we will thrive in every area of our lives.

 

Grace and Shalom!

Pastor Perry Stuckey

 

I thought you would be interested in the following story from The Wall Street Journal.

Sears, Once Retail Colossus, Enters Painful New Era

https://www.wsj.com/articles/sears-once-americas-biggest-store-collapses-into-bankruptcy-1539595803?emailToken=a248402cddbe17338616fa0299654bbadNkE0WN37bKSddwc1kA96qBBZfXI38SRIi0SZnTOjtuxTIYIFl2dTs6snZ8p2Qfd386vnH3nFMcXO/+6/KalBxL/PcpWaICg09ooh50YjrVfZbId6rJEQEbfW3A29Z3n&reflink=article_email_share

Download the Wall Street Journal app here: WSJ.

 

Stephanie StevensTHRIVING OR DYING
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COMPLETE JOY IN CHRIST

10/10/18

 

 

Dear Central Members and Friends

I pray your Joy is complete in Christ!! One of the important principles of our Christian journey is learning that our “Joy is made complete in Jesus Christ” and that life comes with all types of struggles. However, the key to life is struggling well when we find ourselves in a struggle!! Joseph is a great example for us in the Old Testament book of  Genesis. Joseph encountered numerous struggles early in his life. However, he kept his focus on pleasing God in the midst of his struggles and you know how the story ends!! Joseph became the Prime Minister of all of Egypt, second in command to Pharaoh only.

God loves us and His desire is to make our “Joy Complete” as noted in John 15:11. Understanding the source of your joy is the key to victory in life!! Jesus Christ is the source of your joy and you will only experience His supreme “Joy’  by putting your complete trust in Him as your Lord and Savior and by walking in obedience to His will!!

I have learned this principle over the years and it keeps me centered when I encounter struggles and the trials of life. Like you, my life is not void of struggles. However, my objective is to struggle well and trust in Christ to get me through all of my struggles over time. He has been extremely gracious to me over the years and I suspect you can say that also when you reflect on His grace and mercy!!

 I want the very best for you and your family and my desire is that you set a great example for everyone around you by allowing them to see the overwhelming “Joy” you have despite your struggles that only come from your complete trust and relationship with Jesus Christ!! What separates true believers from the rest of the world is that we don’t fall apart when we encounter life struggles. We impact the world because they see a “Joy” in us that is unexplainable by the world’s standards!!

I pray that your “Joy is Complete” and this is only made possible by understanding what Jesus truly meant in John 15:11. I look forward to seeing you on Sunday and for those of you who are located in other states, may you have a profound impact on the people around you, as you demonstrate to them and the world that “Jesus Christ is the Center of your Joy.”

Grace & Shalom!!!

Pastor Perry Stuckey

 

 

Stephanie StevensCOMPLETE JOY IN CHRIST
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Touched by the Love of God

September 17, 2018

Dear Central Members and Friends,

As each of us reflects on the many blessings God has granted us, we have much to be thankful for this week!! Please continue to keep our brothers and sisters in North Carolina who have been severely impacted by Hurricane Florence in your thoughts and prayers. We will again partner with Wal-Mart as a church to assist the victims of this hurricane. Please see the last paragraph of this letter for the details on how to give if you desire to participate with us.

We often, with the best of intentions, fail to demonstrate Christian love to the extent we should!! I know on occasions when I am busy and exhausted that I don’t always greet everyone with a smile or exhibit patience in listening to the extent that I should. I am often thinking about the next business topic that I must address at work or the next issue that is important for me to address at church. However, for the individuals who are impacted by these interactions with us, when we are not on our best behavior, they don’t quite experience the love of God through us to the extent they should!!

How do we slow down in the heat of the moment, during the crisis of the day, and behave in a loving way that demonstrates to the world we have been touched by Jesus’ love?? This is not easy to do. However, it is possible for us to do it if we maintain a relentless focus on treating every interaction with people as a precious opportunity to allow people to see that we have been touched by Jesus’ love. A great way to start is to demonstrate more kindness to the people who make annoying solicitation phone calls to you to purchase something or vote for a particular candidate. Practice being in the moment by demonstrating the “Fruit of the Spirit” as noted in Gal. 5:22 when you interact with them. Expand this to your interactions with other people that you find challenging or difficult!!

Remember we all have been touched by God’s grace and love and none of us are worthy of it!!

I hope you enjoy the attached slides from the new sermon series I started on “Touched By His Love”. We started this sermon series by examining John 15:12-13, noting that the text is extremely clear about the below items:

1.) We must understand that from God’s perspective the Supreme Command for Believers is: to Love one another

2.) The Supreme Standard for Believers is: The Love of Jesus

3.) The Supreme Bond of Friends: Relationships based on Truth and The Word of God made known by Jesus Christ

Jesus is giving us a strong message in this text about the “Relationship” He expects of Believers! John 15:12-17 is about the Relationship of Believers to Believers.

How Believers relate to other Believers is of critical importance. Division will destroy a body of people quicker than any other single thing. Division can:
* Destroy the body of Christ
* Destroy a fellowship of Believers
* Destroy the witness of Believers
* Destroy a human soul seeking God

Too many in American churches are known more for their grumbling, griping, complaining, murmuring, and divisiveness than for anything else. Nothing cuts to the heart of Jesus more than such self-centered and divisive behavior.

A.) In verse 12 We discover the “Supreme Command of Believers: To love one another.”

B.) In verses 12 and 13 We discover the “Supreme Standard of Believers: The love of Jesus.”

Jesus reveals to us in verse 12 that He gives us a new commandment and that commandment is to love one another just as He has loved us. We must understand beyond anything else Jesus is very serious about what He is saying in this text.

This is why John writes in chapter 13:34-35, “A new commandment I give unto you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one to another”. We live in a sin sick, selfish society that does not display love. Jesus is saying that If you truly are born again and “Touched by My Love” you would demonstrate love one to another!!
• We know the tree by the fruit it bears!!

In concluding, our desire must be to demonstrate the real love of the Father toward our brothers and sisters in the world. We must remember that God graciously chose us and set us apart by the Lord Jesus Christ, and because of His finished work on Calvary for us, we are to go into the world and bear fruit!!

He has sent us into the world according to John 17:18 as His personal Ambassadors to tell others about the King and His great salvation. When we witness to others and win them to Christ, this is bringing forth fruit to the glory of God.

The real evidence of true “Son-ship” discipleship (John15:8) and friendship (John 15:15) is fruit!! “Wherefore, by their fruit you should know them” (Matt 7:20).

Where there is true fruit, it remains; and man-made results eventually disappear. Fruit has in it the seed for more fruit, so the process is continuous action of fruit producing more fruit!!! Whatever is born of the Spirit of God has the mark of eternity on it, and it will last!!

Now back to how to contribute through our ministry to the victims of Hurricane Florence if you desire to give through our church website. We will update you next week via my letter on the donations made. Please visit our church web-site at www.centralbaptistkingsport.com, click on the “Give” tab and select Hurricane Florence Victims as your designation in the “To:” option field.
Our collective giving is a tangible way to demonstrate God’s love toward people, especially during a crisis like this in North Carolina.

Grace & Shalom!!

Pastor Perry Stuckey

Stephanie StevensTouched by the Love of God
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Responding to Unexpected Moments

Dear Central Members & Friends:

I pray this note finds you and your family doing well and, more importantly, engaged in activities that pleases God even if you are hit by an unexpected storm!! We often are challenged by unexpected moments that pop-up in our life when we least expect them!! I experienced this on Sunday as I left home feeling fine and for some reason during the middle of service, I found myself dehydrated, exhausted, feeling miserable, but I still had to deliver the sermon. God was gracious and got me through the 11:00 AM service and also our Sunday evening Unity Prayer service where several churches were also involved. This was one of those unexpected moments that pop-up in all of our lives from time to time and some are more severe than others. The key is how do we respond in those unexpected moments!!

We can’t always control the moments, but we can control our behavior and how we respond to the situation. I want to share three critical points that will assist you when you find yourself in an “unexpected moment.” These three points are essential for us to model grace and continue to honor God in the process.

1. We must maintain a critical focus on completing our priorities, or the task at hand. It is very easy to allow unexpected moments to get us off-track or deviate from God’s objective. When unexpected moments occur, it is more essential than ever to maintain a critical focus on completing the task or priority at hand. If we allow ourselves to get distracted or off-track, we delay getting the essential things done that are most important. Staying mentally focused is critical during moments of distractions or unexpected attacks. This will take discipline and prayer on your part.

2. Ensure we make the appropriate critical decisions. All decisions are not critical. However, the decisions that are critical must be made appropriately in unexpected moments.
It is very easy to make bad decisions during unexpected moments; we often find ourselves reacting out of emotions, making snap decisions during these times. We must maintain a relentless focus during unexpected moments and ensure we are sensitive to the guidance and direction of the Holy Spirit. In our study on Sunday we learned that Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, (John 1:37-40) made the appropriate decision to follow Jesus home and ultimately ended up being a disciple who also witnessed to Simon Peter about Jesus. We want to learn to make appropriate critical decisions in the moment as we encounter unexpected issues. In order to do this we must be led by the Holy Spirit, moment by moment, staying constantly connected to God throughout the course of our day for this to become a reality!!!

3. We must have a critical concern for others; this leads to a greater purpose than ourselves. When we are focused on ourselves, our decision making becomes all about us and what we are trying to accomplish. Andrew’s immediate concern, after he discovered who Jesus truly was and accepted him, was finding his brother Peter to ensure that he also met Jesus. This was the best decision Andrew could have made because Jesus had great plans for Peter that Peter was unaware of. Peter became a great disciple and leader in the early church and we all are benefitting today from Peter’s decision to follow Jesus. When we make the appropriate critical decision to completely surrender all and follow Jesus, we align ourselves with God’s will. We accomplish more in life when we align with God’s will and we also help others achieve more. Are you so concerned with holding on to something that you are preventing your future blessings and also limiting the blessings of others?? Think deeply about this question for the next several days as you study the attached slide deck from Sunday.

Only a few people knew I wasn’t feeling well on Sunday, but I stayed mentally focused and completed the assigned task with God’s help & guidance. Let’s all do our best to maintain our focus, make appropriate critical decisions, and have a critical concern for others!!

I hope you take the appropriate time to review the attached slide deck and allow God to minister to your heart!!

Grace & Shalom!!!

Pastor Perry Stuckey

Stephanie StevensResponding to Unexpected Moments
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Understanding the Manifest Presence of God

Dear Central Members & Friends,

I hope your week is off to an excellent start and you are modeling grace and experiencing the presence of God in your life in unique ways!! If you have been spending quality time applying the spiritual lessons in your daily life from our study series on “Understanding the Manifest Presence of God,” I am extremely confident that God has been speaking to your heart and you are more sensitive to His presence than you have been previously!!

Growing spiritually is like working out and going to the gym, you get out of it what you put into it!! God does not force His will upon us and we don’t grow spiritually and experience the abundant blessings He has for us; we don’t make knowing God and communing with Him a priority in our life!!

On Sunday we took a look at I Kings 19:1-14 and examined the major transition and contrast in Elijah’s life from I Kings chapter 18. We discovered in chapter 18 that Elijah was on top of the world and when we drop anchor in chapter 19, we find him depressed and afraid!!

We all go through difficult transitions and trials in life where we feel isolated and alone. However, the good news is that God never leaves or forsakes us during these difficult time periods. If we stay close to him and allow Him to minister to us, He will ultimately rescue us from these difficult situations as our loving and Holy Father!!!

We discovered a rich blessing on Sunday by looking at how God graciously ministered to Elijah during his moment of depression and darkness. Depression is a serious mental condition that impacts more than 100 million people around the world. It is extremely serious and impacts people from all walks of life. We see Elijah in I Kings 19, the great prophet of God, wanting his own life to be taken. The good news is God knew what He needed and ministered to him and got him back on the right track.

Elijah experienced the “Manifest Presence of God” even while being depressed!! This is a great lesson for us all that if we can look beyond our circumstances, God is always present and willing to help us if we walk by faith and not by sight!!

I pray you put these practical truths into action in your daily life as you encounter trials now and in the future.

Grace & Shalom!!!

Pastor Perry Stuckey

Stephanie StevensUnderstanding the Manifest Presence of God
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