Monthly Archives: September 2016

“Love Like Jesus Loved”

Jesus had an amazing ministry. For some three years Jesus shared His life with the twelve! They followed Him, and He was faithful to them. It really was a beautiful relationship. It was marked by love. How do we know this? We know it because John, one the Twelve, gave us his own personal testimony in John 13. On the evening of the Last Supper John said, “Jesus knew that His hour was come that He should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved His own which were in the world, He loved them unto the end.” Those are powerful words! Jesus loved His disciples. Later in John 13, Jesus tells us that we should love each other as well. First, Jesus provides us His own perfect example. Then, He lets us know that we should love one another as He loved us. What an amazing place our homes would be if we practiced what Jesus taught us. What an amazing place Grace Church would be if we followed the example of Jesus. What an amazing place this world be if we all loved like Jesus loved. Think about it, pray about it and then go out and love somebody for Jesus sake!

HOMECOMING SUNDAY 2016 is this Sunday, October 2! Every Sunday School class will meet at 9:45 am as usual. Pastor Jon and Rebekah Bowman are headed our way. They love Grace Church. They know many of you. They are great servants, and you will enjoy being around them. I have known Jon and Rebekah for close to thirty years. Jon and I served at Grace Baptist Church together when he was the Youth Pastor there. As I said, they are great folks. I know they would appreciate our prayers as they come to minister to us this Sunday! Pray for the service and ask the Lord to speak to our hearts. Ask the Lord to revive our hearts with a passionate love for Him, for souls and for each other. The songwriter put it this way, “Revive us again, fill each heart with Thy love, and may each soul be rekindled with fire from above.” Pack your lunch, and bring it over to the church. We will eat together after we worship together. I like that!!! Also, bring a friend; they need to experience a Grace Church Homecoming!

GRACE CHURCH CHOIR will meet tonight at 6:30 pm. If you are a choir member, please be there. If you would like to join our church choir please meet with us in the Choir Room at 6:30 pm. We will be discussing future plans to sing again. We will pray together and read Scripture together as well. If you have any questions, please call me today at 252-341-4017. I am looking forward to our time together tonight. Dinner is at 5:30 pm; join us if at all possible.

Meditate on these words of Jesus today. You will be glad you did! I love you and God bless you! John 13:34-35 “A New Commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. 35 By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples, if ye have love one to another.”

Jesus is Lord!

Mike and Cheryl <><

 

 

HEAVEN!

On Sundays at 5:30 pm I am sharing a series of messages on HEAVEN! My study time has been very interesting to say the least. For some time I contemplated what I would share on Sunday evenings… HEAVEN came to mind! Join us on Sunday for this study on HEAVEN. During His last evening with His disciples Jesus talked to them about HEAVEN. In John 14:1-3 Jesus gave His disciples a brief sketch of the afterlife in His presence. Jesus said it was a “place” He was preparing for His people. He also referred to it as “My Father’s House.” WOW… “My Father’s House!!!” Let that sink in for a second… “My Father’s House.” I want to know more about what Jesus shared in John 14, and my guess is that you do too. We get so wrapped up in this life that we miss out on what we have in Christ. Brothers and sisters, HEAVEN is a prepared place for a prepared people. Someone has said that we see one HEAVEN in the daylight, another HEAVEN in the night time. Then again, there is the THIRD HEAVEN where God dwells which is called Paradise! Think about what you have read here and join me for more on HEAVEN on Sunday evenings! The Apostle Paul says, “Set your affections on things above and not on things of the earth.” See Colossians 3:1-2.

LADIES… on Friday, September 23 our Grace Church Ladies Fellowship is hosting A NATIONWIDE PRAYER EVENT FOR WOMEN. It will begin at 7:00 PM and end at 10 PM. Mark your calendars and plan to be here for this special time with other ladies from Grace Church and the area. Dinner will be served at 5:45 PM. You can contact Jessica Burdette at jdb1214@gmail.com or call Grace Church (252-355-3500) for more information. Cry Out also has a website with even more information CRYOUT16.COM. I can’t think of a better way to fellowship with others than to pray with them. We all need to pray and we all need prayer! Don’t miss Cry Out… the Lord will honor your faithfulness to Him through prayer!

Our 2016 HOMECOMING SERVICE is set for Sunday, October 2. Our special guests will be former Grace Church staff members Pastor Jon and Rebekah Bowman. Jon will be preaching, and Rebekah will be singing. You will also hear our Grace Church Choir lift up Jesus through song!!! Invite your friends and family members, and plan to eat lunch with us after our Sunday morning Worship Service! Homecoming is always a wonderful time of fellowship… don’t miss it! Jon and Rebekah are looking forward to seeing you again! Join me, and let’s pray for them as they come our way!  

On Sunday mornings I will be preaching from Romans 8. With summer in mind, I stopped this sermon series after completing Romans 7. Now it is time to continue in Romans. Romans is a Mount Everest of Biblical theology. I am excited about preaching through Romans. We are also baptizing this Sunday morning. If you would like to be baptized, please call (252-355-3500). A great day is planned… see you there! 

Enjoy your day and Psalm 150:6 says, Let everything that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD.

Mike and Cheryl <><

Chaplain Rudy Stevens at Grace Church

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Chaplain Rudy Stevens will be speaking at Grace Church this Sunday, September 11 in our Morning Worship Service… Join us!

Chaplain Rudy Stevens graduated from Wilmington Christian Academy in 1993 where Pastor Mike Meshaw coached him in soccer. He earned a B.A. in English literature from N.C. State University in 1998.

Called to the chaplaincy, Rudy joined the Army Reserves as a chaplain candidate in March of 2003. He then graduated from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, IL in December 2006.

His ministry experience includes serving as counselor and program staff at Camp Lurecrest in Lake Lure, NC, short-term staff with The Navigators at NCSU, and a volunteer leader of the young adults group at Our Saviour Evangelical Free Church in Wheeling, IL.

Endorsed by the Evangelical Free Church of America, Rudy was commissioned to Active Duty Chaplaincy in December 2007. He has served in several units: 3-27th Field Artillery (HIMARS) at Fort Bragg, 3-17th CAV (AVIATION) at Hunter Army Airfield in Savannah, GA, the 1-9th Field Artillery at Fort Stewart, GA, and the 2-504th Parachute Infantry Regiment at Fort Bragg, NC.

His military awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal (1 Oak Leaf Cluster), the Global War on Terrorism Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal (2 Combat Stars), the Overseas Service Ribbon, the Combat Action Badge, the Parachutist Badge, and the Air Assault Badge. In addition, Chaplain Stevens has deployed several times to Afghanistan.

Rudy currently serves as a chaplain for Drill Sergeants and Basic Trainees in the 1st Battalion, 81st Armor at Fort Benning, GA where he resides with his wife Michelle and their four young children: Oliver, Henry, Charlotte, and William.

Our Eternal Inheritance by Ian Hamilton

My dear friends,

There is a text in the Bible that is often misunderstood (one of many, sadly). Paul writes, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Cor.2:9). Preachers especially are prone to quote these words as if they were saying that the Christian has something gloriously and unimaginably wonderful to look forward to. However, Paul has an apodosis to complete his protasis (my homage to John Murray); he goes on to say, “these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit” (1 Cor.2:10). Christians do have something unimaginably wonderful to look forward to. But the point Paul is making here is that, in measure, God has already revealed to us just what he has prepared for his people in Christ. He has not left us in the dark to wonder what he has prepared for us.

In his First Letter, Peter gives us a passing glimpse of the astounding future that awaits all Christians. He tells us that God has prepared for all his children “an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1Pt.1:4-5).

Christians have, because of their union with Jesus Christ, ‘an inheritance’. It is usual for children to enter into their inheritance when one or both of their parents die. But the Christian’s inheritance is the result not only of their Saviour’s death, but also of his resurrection. In the previous verse, Paul tells us that God ‘has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead’. If there were no resurrection, Jesus’ death would have been the greatest anti-climax in history. But gloriously and inevitably, it was not possible for death to hold him (Acts 2:24). It is as a risen, cosmically triumphant Saviour, that Jesus bequeathed to his people the inheritance he secured for them by his sin atoning death and his glorious triumph over sin and death and hell in his resurrection on the third day.

It is this inheritance that Peter describes as ‘imperishable, undefiled and unfading’, that God is keeping for all his people in heaven.

It is an ‘imperishable’ inheritance. What makes this inheritance imperishable? It is imperishable because it is located in the imperishable Person of the God-Man, Jesus Christ. Jesus himself is our salvation. He is ‘the Lord our righteousness’ (Jer.23:6; 1 Cor.1:30). Our inheritance can no more perish than he can. It is an ‘undefiled’ inheritance. What makes it undefiled? The perfectly holy and spotless Saviour in whom our inheritance is located. It is an ‘unfading’ inheritance. What makes it unfading? By now you can anticipate…because Jesus Christ, the eternally unfading God-Man is himself the inheritance of his people.

Peter proceeds to tell us that God himself is keeping this inheritance secure for his people by his great power (1Pt.1:4-5). There is nothing uncertain about this inheritance. It is being ‘kept’ moment by moment by the omnipotent power of almighty God. But, as the NT always does, lest we drift into presumption, this divine keeping is ‘through faith’. No believer ever ‘cruises’ to glory. The inheritance is absolutely secure, but only as we evidence our true identity as God’s born again children by living by faith. The heart of living faith is believing God and trusting his promises, all of which are centred in the Lord Jesus Christ (2Cor.1:20).

All this God has revealed to us ‘through the Spirit’. Paul is not thinking about the Holy Spirit giving heavenly intuitions about the future to God’s people. The Holy Spirit made known what God had prepared for those who love him through his new covenant ministry of providing ‘God breathed Scripture’ (2 Tim.3:16). In his Second Letter, Peter informs his readers that God has spoken his sure word of revealed truth through the Holy Spirit, so informing and shaping the minds and hearts of mere men that they ‘spoke from God’ (2Pt.1:21).

It is in the Spirit-inspired pages of the Bible, the living word of God, that we learn what no eye has ever seen, or ear has ever heard, or mind has ever conceived. So, if you want to know about the future. What God has prepared for his believing people, and what he has prepared for unbelievers, read the Bible. You do not need new, supposed revelations to tell you. You do not need self-promoting, charismatic preachers to tell you. God the Holy Spirit has revealed everything you and I need to know at this time about our heavenly inheritance.

So, be much in the word. It would be a good and profitable exercise to read through the NT in particular, noting just what is revealed to us about our eternal inheritance. Peter’s three descriptive adjectives are three of many. How many others can you discover?

With my warmest greetings

Ian Hamilton

Just A Man?

Hello Grace Church!

Recently I shared with you a message from Mark 2:1-12. In this passage Jesus forgives the sins of a man and at the same time heals him of his paralyzed condition. There was a group of scribes watching Jesus touch this man’s life. They concluded that Jesus was just a “man” and He spoke “blasphemies.” After reading this and thinking about it, I asked myself this question, Am I guilty of seeing Jesus as just a “man” instead of seeing Him as “LORD” of my life? This lesser view of Jesus allows me to live and do as I please without any consequences for my behavior. Even seeing JESUS as just a “Friend” can open the door for us to see Jesus as less than “LORD” of our lives! Sure Jesus is our Friend but He is more than a Friend. The fact is this. Jesus is more than just a “man” and more than a “friend” HE IS LORD OF OUR LIVES AND LORD OF ALL! How do you see Jesus? Who is He to you? Now ask yourself, Do I see my life and live my life with Jesus as Lord?   

Ladies, on Friday, September 23 our Grace Church Ladies Fellowship is hosting A NATIONWIDE PRAYER EVENT FOR WOMEN. It will begin at 7:00 PM and end at 10 PM. Mark your calendars and plan to be here for this special time with other ladies from Grace Church and the area. Dinner will be served at 5:45 PM. You can contact Jessica Burdette at jdb1214@gmail.com for more information. Cry Out also has a website with even more information CRYOUT16.COM. I can’t think of a better way to fellowship with others than to pray together. We all need to pray and we all need prayer! Don’t miss Cry Out… the Lord will honor your faithfulness to Him through prayer!

If you have prayer requests that you would like to share with me and Cheryl please forward them to my email at michmeshaw@hotmail.com. I can’t think of a more important thing that I can do for you as your pastor. The Lord honors faithfulness in Bible reading and prayer. Neglecting these two key disciplines will hinder your spiritual growth. Spiritual life comes through these and other spiritual disciplines. Psalm 119:105 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

Enjoy your day! See you tonight at 5:30 PM for dinner and 6:30 PM for Bible study and prayer!

Hebrews 13:25 Grace be with you all. Amen.

Mike and Cheryl <><