Carmi Emmanuel United Methodist Church
               Carmi Emmanuel United Methodist Church

From the Pastor's Heart

 JUNE/JULY 2020

April 2020

 

April has started out with the beginning of the Lenten season; a time of renewal. Perhaps you will choose to fast during the Lenten season, or give something up that you love to do or eat, but when you do that keep a few things in mind. First whatever it is that you give up must be something difficult for you to do and secondly must be something that will free up time for you to spend it in the presence of God. Maybe you will spend the time you have freed up to read your bible or a time of prayer or both. This is a time when we are reminded that we are sinners and deserving of eternal life without God. This is a time when we contemplate the mercies of God and give thanks and praise for the Lord Jesus Christ who has prepared a way for lost sinners to be reconciled to our loving God. Lent should also remind us of how serious sin is and the results that it brings with it; a time to remember that we are dust and the day is coming when we will be judged by a holy and righteous God who requires perfection.

 

Our spiritual life is much more that a belief in Jesus, but a relationship with a living God. This relationship is not like any other relationship in your life where two people learn to live with the shortcomings of the other; where you compromise and make room for the others sinful nature. No this relationship is based on the requirements of one party, God’s, and He requires perfection from you! Our Father does not compromise with us, and accept our shortcomings; rather He says be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect. Guess what we are not perfect, nor do we have the ability to be perfect. You may be able to make it a few days without sinning, but sooner or later sin comes around again and we fall.

 

The great news of the Lenten season is that our Father knows this about us and has found a way to satisfy His requirement. He has done it without compromising His demands. Sin brings with it death, not just physical death but eternal death as well. His plan was to provide a sacrificial Lamb who would satisfy the punishment we so richly deserve. He became that sacrifice in the person of Jesus Christ. His love for you was so strong that He came in the likeness of man and suffered the death, and paid the price that was ours to pay. For those who have that true relationship with Christ have been given the righteousness of Christ and has been justified (made righteous) by His spilt blood.

 

The Lenten season reminds us of something we should remind ourselves of every day; that we are saved by His wonderful grace, but that grace is received through our faith. That faith produces actions on our part;  that action is a transformation into His likeness. Today is the day to put those actions into practice and seek Him and the guidance of His Spirit; setting aside our life that we might truly live for the one who died on our behalf. Let’s join together and encourage one another on to perfection, and praise God for His tender mercies.

                                                                          

                                               Pastor Scott Baird

March 2020

 

March has started out with the beginning of the Lenten season; a time of renewal. Perhaps you will choose to fast during the Lenten season, or give something up that you love to do or eat, but when you do that keep a few things in mind. First whatever it is that you give up must be something difficult for you to do and secondly must be something that will free up time for you to spend it in the presence of God. Maybe you will spend the time you have freed up to read your bible or a time of prayer or both. This is a time when we are reminded that we are sinners and deserving of eternal life without God. This is a time when we contemplate the mercies of God and give thanks and praise for the Lord Jesus Christ who has prepared a way for lost sinners to be reconciled to our loving God. Lent should also remind us of how serious sin is and the results that it brings with it; a time to remember that we are dust and the day is coming when we will be judged by a holy and righteous God who requires perfection.

 

Our spiritual life is much more that a belief in Jesus, but a relationship with a living God. This relationship is not like any other relationship in your life where two people learn to live with the shortcomings of the other; where you compromise and make room for the others sinful nature. No this relationship is based on the requirements of one party, God’s, and He requires perfection from you! Our Father does not compromise with us, and accept our shortcomings; rather He says be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect. Guess what we are not perfect, nor do we have the ability to be perfect. You may be able to make it a few days without sinning, but sooner or later sin comes around again and we fall.

 

The great news of the Lenten season is that our Father knows this about us and has found a way to satisfy His requirement. He has done it without compromising His demands. Sin brings with it death, not just physical death but eternal death as well. His plan was to provide a sacrificial Lamb who would satisfy the punishment we so richly deserve. He became that sacrifice in the person of Jesus Christ. His love for you was so strong that He came in the likeness of man and suffered the death, and paid the price that was ours to pay. For those who have that true relationship with Christ have been given the righteousness of Christ and has been justified (made righteous) by His spilt blood.

 

The Lenten season reminds us of something we should remind ourselves of every day; that we are saved by His wonderful grace, but that grace is received through our faith. That faith produces actions on our part;  that action is a transformation into His likeness. Today is the day to put those actions into practice and seek Him and the guidance of His Spirit; setting aside our life that we might truly live for the one who died on our behalf. Let’s join together and encourage one another on to perfection, and praise God for His tender mercies.

                                                                                                    

                                           Pastor Scott Baird

 February 2020

                                                                                   

January has gone by so fast this year, and we may ask the old question we tend to ask every year, “Where did the time go?” Our biggest problem is the question normally comes in the context of not accomplishing the things we intended to do, both at home and at the office. Each year, we volunteer to do certain things around the church; we have done this by becoming part of a committee, and if we do not get started right away, at the beginning of the year, we find ourselves asking that same old question again and again, realizing that we haven’t accomplished those things that we could have or should have done. I want to encourage you to get started at doing ministry ... today.

 

I hope that you realize that the ministry you do is so very important to the spiritual life of our church and to our community. The nurture committee enhances fellowship, which brings our church family closer together and provides a sense of belonging. It also makes sure that we gather as adults/children, and as families, and without this committee, the church can become segregated and lose the desire to be involved.

 

The outreach committee does just that—it reached out to our community and makes them aware that we exist and care about their needs.  It lifts the banner of Christ for all to see as it lifts up our church so that all will recognize us as a caring church, and as we care for them, it tends to bring people through our doors. Not everyone will come to church or stay, but some may come because of our love for them or because they heard the testimony of those who we helped.

 

The witness committee might just be at the top of our list because it teaches the congregation how to love those who are outside the church and how to share our faith in Jesus Christ for the salvation of souls. This committee helps us to fulfill the great commission that Christ has given to us all, which changes the world around us and causes our church to grow.  Without this aspect of ministry, we cease to be the church, and simply become a social group, then  consequently, the church withers as our members leave us or move away.

 

Still,  there are others who do not serve on either of these ministry committees of our church, and that is ok, because it allows them to help the committees when they need volunteers to carry out their programs and ministries. When we are all involved in the ministry of Jesus Christ together, and when God’s love for His creation becomes the life of the church, God will bless us because of our faithfulness.

 

When dealing with the ministries of Jesus Christ, may we never have to ask, “Where did the time go.”.  Thank God for those who pour themselves into the ministries of God’s love because, without them you and I might not be here today. With our newly updated Sunday school program, and a need for other youth ministries, as well as, adult ministries, now is the time to put on Christ and BE the church.  Be prepared to help, wherever we can, and make sure we are willing and able for whatever opportunities comes our way.  Then, and only then, when we live out our promises, in whatever ministry that we serve, can wonderful things begin to happen. So let’s begin today to make a difference by being the hands and feet of Jesus to share His love, and prepare ourselves to receive the blessings God has in store for us.  May we never settle for where we are, rather,  let us push forward and experience all that God is calling our church to be.  Let’s accomplish great things in 2020!

                                                                              

                                          Pastor Scott Baird

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