Featured

Greetings From The Pastor 22

From the Pastor’s Desk …..

Church Family, we face some things that seem impossible to overcome. In reality these things are the giants in our lives. This month we are blessed by almighty God, and His grace and mercy, to explore the sermon topic series titled “Overcoming Life’s Giants”

To better understand the reality of giants and how devastating they can be, God, through the blood shed of Jesus Christ, is leading us to the book of I Samuel chapter 17. It is there we are introduced to a concept whereas a real life breathing giant, by the name of Goliath, attempts to defile God’s army; but, he is defeated by God’s power and strength through the faith of a young lad named David.

Now! Before we embark upon the story in the 17th chapter of I Samuel, let us consider the giants we encounter in life that can, and will, defile God’s army of strength and power within us if we fail to walk by faith.

Unlike the nine foot human-being Philistine soldier that stood before God’s army of Israel in an attempt to defile it, we have the giants of sickness (like cancer, AIDS and now EBOLA and many others). We also have the giants of depression, worry, fear, addiction, financial trouble, failing marriages, broken relationships, lawsuits, unemployment and the list goes on and on. All of these giants are standing before us in an attempt to defile us daily.

I don’t intend in any way to give you the notion that you can get rid of these giants. God never said we would not have giants. However, Jesus did tell Peter in the 16th chapter of Matthew that hell would not prevail. The giants in our lives are nothing more than hell’s attempt to come against us to set us back. Thanks be to God, they will not prevail. We will overcome them. Yes! We will overcome them through the grace of God.

I am convinced, by the spirit of our Lord and savior Jesus the Christ, that it is for this cause we are shown in this 17th chapter of I Samuel how we can take the necessary steps, not to eradicate the giants, but to overcome life’s giants.

In this 17th chapter of I Samuel God, allows David to show us how we must face life giants head on, believing that God can and will help us overcome them.

In our text, the story goes that rather than have all the soldiers enter into a hand to hand combat, the Philistines sent a representative from their army to challenge a representative from the Israelites’ army. The decision was reached that whoever won the fight between the two, won the battle. The Philistines selected Goliath, a man 9 ½ foot tall, as their representative.

Each day for 40 days the two armies would line up at the battlefield and Goliath would come forward from the Philistine line up breathing threatening insults and challenging words. Upon hearing these insults and challenging words, King Saul and the Israelites’ army, including David’s three oldest brothers, would run in fear and hide in their camp. They had developed the mindset that there was no way they could possible defeat Goliath.
I’ll have you know, whenever we are faced with situations whereas life’s giants are too difficult for us, our God will have a ram in the bush to bail us out.

The ram God has in the bush to bail us out and to help us overcome life’s giants are many. But, for the sake of this documentary, we will address four of them as pointed out in I Samuel chapter 17.

We must!

1. Pray and face the giant

2. Ignore the doubters

3. Use what we have and

4. Walk by faith

We must pray and face the giant - I Samuel 17:17-51 tells us that Jesse, the father of David and his seven other siblings, called upon David and sent him with food to carry to his three brothers, who were on the battlefield of Israel with Saul.

Once David reached the battlefield, he heard the threats of Goliath and asked, “Who does this Philistine think he is anyway, that he would defy the armies of God?” (17:26). David was not going to hear any of it. He was not going to let this giant insult God and God’s people. He was not going to live in fear; he was going to overcome this giant. He was going to face this giant head on, and deal with it right away, not on his own, but by God’s power and strength.

We need to know that the giant wants us to live in fear. He wants us to think that our problems or situations are so big that they are impossible, even for God to help us, overcome them. We must never forget that God has already promised us through the writings of the gospel of Luke in chapter 1 verse 37 – “For nothing is impossible with God, if we believe.” We must pray without ceasing and always believe that God is a deliverer (rewarder) of those who diligently seek Him.

Yes! If we are to overcome life’s giants, we must not only pray and face the giants, we must ignore the doubters. - Our text tells us that when Saul heard that David said he would overcome the giant, he sent for David to come to him. In so doing, David asked Saul to grant him the opportunity to overcome the giant. Saul’s reply was. “You are only a boy who has never fought in a battle, wanting to fight Goliath, a nine foot tall man, who has fought in wars all of his life. You can’t do it. You are only a boy, and you are too small, you do not have enough experience.” Saul literally doubted David’s abilities and skills to fight against this giant.

against a giant? It does not make sense to do that. But! We must remember; it’s not about us or what we think. It’s about God and what he can and will do!

Let’s think about it for a moment! Any time we decide to face our giants, we will always have doubters and naysayers to contend with. So, we just have to be prayerful, ignore them and walk on in faith.

David ignored Saul’s doubting and nay-saying spirit and walked on in faith. In so doing, he was able to convince Saul that he could overcome the giant by God’s power and strength as he had done before by killing bears and lions, while shepherding his father’s sheep. He further assured Saul that as God gave him the power and strength before, God would give him the power and strength again to overcome this giant.

I’ll have you know that it is at this point, we are encouraged by David’s act of faith and courage to look to the power and strength God has given to us to overcome life’s giants rather than listen to doubters and naysayers. Doubters and naysayers are sure stoppers to the will of God.

Now! Not only are we to ignore the doubters and naysayers, we must use what you have. – We must use our God given abilities and skills to do what must be done to overcome life’s giants. We must never assume what worked for others, will work for us. And, we must not make the assumption that what didn’t work for others will not work for us. We must remember that the makeup of giants can be different, but the impact of the giants can be the same.

With this understanding, Saul took a chance, stepped out in faith and granted David the opportunity to fight Goliath. The text reads, in verse 38 of the 17th chapter of I Samuel that Saul proceeded to put his armor on David, prior to sending him out to fight the giant. Since Saul’s armor was too large for David, he chose to take Saul’s armor off and use armor and weapons he used as a shepherd, his staff and sling. David knew that his armor and weapons delivered him before, and they would deliver him again.

David had the mindset, which is a true mindset, that if God did it before, God will do it again, if he used what he had. We must use what we have, if we are to overcome life’s giants.

Last, but not least, if we are to overcome life’s giants, we must walk by faith. - When David looked at Goliath, he didn’t see a problem; he saw an opportunity to glorify God by and through walking by faith and not by sight!

One of the things we tend to do when we encounter giants is focus on the problem, rather than on God. We look at the impossibilities rather than the possibilities.

When David saw Goliath, he didn’t see a giant; he saw another opportunity for God’s deliverance.

So, in the future as we encounter the giants in our lives, and we will, let us not run in fear, hide, ignore them or blame others. Instead, let us pray and face the giants, ignore the doubters, use what we have and walk by faith and watch God, through the blood of Jesus Christ, give us the strength and power to overcome life’s giants.

Think about it! Where would we be today if Jesus had not overcome the giant at Calvary? We would be lost in a world of sin without deliverance. Thank God for Jesus and To God be the glory!


Because of Calvary,

Dr. Alexander Pope, Jr.

 

154th Church Anniversary

154thchurchanniversary

Download the Church Anniversary Book (pdf)

Members, click here to download the private Church Anniversary book.

Greetings from the Pastor

IMG 2115pastrsm

From the Pastor’s Desk .....

September 2014

As we pen this documentary from the pastor’s desk for the month of September, we are blessed by almighty God to do so under the theme “Hope in the midst of disparities.” In times like these, in which we are confounded about with many disparities with so little hope, we must look to the Lord for a means of hope in the midst of these disparities.

The question may be asked, what are disparities? Before we can attempt to address the definition of disparities, let us first take a hard look at the definition of hope. I firmly believe that once we can define hope, we will have a better understanding of the true meaning of disparities.

Hope is defined as a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen. Disparity is defined as the lack of similarity or equality; inequality; differences. Our hope rest upon the mere notion that the lack of similarities or equalities, inequalities and differences are overshadowed by and the love Jesus said we, as his disciples, would be known by. That, of course, is the love we are to have for each other as his disciples.

Now! When the love of Jesus abides in us as his disciples, and we abide in him, our feeling of expectation and desire for similarities, equalities and/or inequalities and differences are overcome, which results in our hope becoming realistic.

In the scriptural text coming from II Chronicle 7:14, God shared with the writer, who is believed to be Ezra, the four major principles that must be executed when a nation seeks hope in the midst of disparities.

We notice that the children of Israel were at a state whereas hope was almost gone, as a result of so many set backs, so many let downs and so many disparities.

In the scriptural text starting with the 11th verse of the 7th chapter of II Chronicle, we notice that after Solomon had finished and furnished the Temple, God appeared to him by night and said, “I have heard your prayers and have chosen this place for myself as a temple for sacrifices. When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send plagues among my people, if my people, who are called by my name will HUMBLE THEMSELVES, and PRAY and SEEK MY FACE and TURN FROM THEIR WICKED WAYS, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

God is saying to us, through the blood shed of Jesus Christ, that we are now living in a time when he has shut up the heavens and the rain of injustice has invaded the land; locusts of corruption has taken over our government –locally and nationally; plagues of all kind of diseases are running rampant through our communities, towns, cities, states and nation.

Now! If we are to have hope in the midst of these disparities, we must execute the four principles God shared to Solomon and the children of Israel through the writings of Ezra. Yes! We are called upon to maintain our hope in the midst of the disparities we see in the justice system; the disparities we see in the corruption of our government; and the disparities we see in the medical treatment of the diseases that are running rampant in our nation and society.

Yet! The question remains, Lord how shall we remain steadfast and un-moveable in our hope in the midst of these disparities in times like these?

The Lord’s reply is the same today, as it was in the days of Solomon and the children of Israel; “Humble Yourselves; Stop trying to be who you are not and go down on your knees and Pray; Seek My Face, ask forgiveness and Turn From Your Wicked Ways, then will I hear from heaven, forgive your sin and heal your land says the Lord.”

Read more: Greetings from the Pastor

155th Church Anniversary

2015 church anniversay image

Download the Church Anniversary Book (pdf)

Members, click here to download the private Church Anniversary book.

Greetings from the Pastor

 From the Pastor’s Desk ….. December 2017

IMG 2115pastrsm

 

Providence, we are blessed in this advent season to pause and celebrate the birth of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ. In so doing, God allowed us the privilege to acknowledge the birth of His Son with the sermon series entitled, “Let the King of Glory In.”

As we glance around the walls and the fabric of our society, in times like these, we very easily see that many of us, even though we illuminate our homes, yards, businesses, churches, and other aspects with lights, ornaments and all sorts of things to express the birth of Jesus, have not allowed Him to come into their heart.

As I pondered these thoughts and notions, I was led by the spirit to Psalm 24. It is there David said that the World and all that is in it belongs to the Lord. He further said the earth and all who lives on it are the Lords. David goes on to say in this Psalm that God built this earth on the deep waters beneath the earth and laid its foundation in the ocean depths.

David then turns and ask two questions, (1) “Who has the right to go up in the Lord’s hills?” (2) Who may enter God’s holy Temple?”

If I may use my preaching imagination, I would say, no doubt, David paused and said to himself, “The World cannot answer these questions because, # (1) They don’t know who the king of glory is, and #2, they have not allowed the king of glory to come into to their heart.” Therefore, David answered the two questions by saying, “Those who are pure in heart, pure in their actions and thoughts, and those who refuse to worship idols or make false promises, are the ones who can ascend to God’s hill, and enter His holy Temple.”

Hear me when I say that when we let the king of glory into our lives, “Can’t” goes out and “Can” comes in because we become saved and blessed by God. When we become saved and blessed by God, the gates of our heart are opened to love, and the old ancient doors of our closed mind are opened so we are enabled to do the things Satan bewitched us into thinking we could not do. And, when the gates of our heart are opened, and the old ancient doors of our closed mind are opened, we enabled by the spirit of God, through the shed blood of Jesus, to ask and answer the ultimate questioned, “Who is the king of glory?” Yes! We will be able to answer this question by saying, “He is the Lord God almighty! He is the One who was born in a cattle stall, laid in a manger, because there was no room for Him in the Inn in the little town of Bethlehem. Yes! He is the Lamb that was slain, and the Lion who now reigns. He is the One death could not hold, and evil could not control. He is the King of Kings and Lord; He is Jesus Christ, Mary’s baby, the One who is the same yesterday, today, and forever more. He is the king of glory.” So, let us lift up our heads and praise the king of glory because He is worthy of all praise.

When we lift up our heads, knowing that the Lord God almighty is the king of glory, we will be enabled, by and through His powers, to let Him come in. And, when He comes into us, He will renew our heart, rekindle our mind, soul and spirit, and turn our sadness into a joyful dance and put new songs in our heart. Some of us may sing O’ Little Town of Bethlehem; Some of us may sing Silent Night; Some of us may sing O’ Holy Night; Some may sing Please Come Home for Christmas, while others may sing Three Kings of Orient. But for me and my house, we will sing Joy to the World. Yes! We will sing Joy to the world because the King of glory has come into the world to seek and save that which was lost. To God be the glory!

I urge you to join me, and let us keep our focus on Jesus, the King of glory, who came into this world, as a baby, to seek and to save that which was lost!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!  

 

Humbly Submitted,

Rev. Dr. Alexander Pope, Jr.

Sermon Topic for December 2017

Let the King Of Glory In

Positive Thought

Be what you wish others to become