Gravel Hill Baptist Church
Pastor Scott Blog
Pastor Scott Blog
|Posted on 11 May, 2020 at 13:40||comments (127)|
Last night our house got turned upside down! As we got ready for bed and decided to leave the living room we went to feed the kids new fish before we turned in for the night. When we took the top off of the aquarium and started crumbling food in the tank. I noticed that we had a dead fish, the one the kids had name "Fishy McFishy Face (don't ask me) and my house went in to complete turmoil a TRAGEDISTY as my two younger kids would call it, unstoppable crying and nose blowing.
As I tried to get my kids calmed down and took the fish and bagged it and placed him i the freezer so I could return him today. My 4 year old Emily who kept saying, "I just can't stop crying cause I am just so sad." Then flipped the switch on me when she said, "Daddy can't we just put him back in the aquarium and pray over him and Jesus will raise him from the dead." MIND BLOWN, the question just kept running through my mind. I even caught Emily trying to get the fish out of the freezer to put him back in. She just kept telling me if we put him back in and pray God will make him live again.
That is where I got convicted as I did my quite time and devotion with God, and was asked where is my Faith? I kept trying to rationalize with my four and kind hearted 10 year old that it would be ok, that with everything going on I would just go get them a new one. But why did I have to hinder her faith? Mark 10:14-15, "But when Jesus say it, he was much displeased, and he said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is they kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein." As an adult I had just hinder a child's faith. I was asked what would it have hurt to place the fish back in the aquarium and let them pray over it. I have gotten so used to fish dying in aquariums growling up that I had hardened my heart to it. My 4 year old hasn't, Mattthew 17:20 says, "And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and is shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you."
My lesson from God, When I child ask to pray, PRAY! Cause they have a faith that is untainted and a faith that is unshakeable.
Children of God where is our FAITH? I think when we go through trials, struggles and hard times, we need to be like Emily and say if we just pray over him God will hear us and bring him back to life. So with that being said children show your faith and pray even over the SMALL STUFF and BELIEVE that God will do it.
|Posted on 20 March, 2020 at 15:35||comments (72)|
According to Webster’s Dictionary, husband is defined simply as “a male partner in a marriage.”
The word comes from the Old Norse word húsbóndi, “master of a house,” from hús “house” + bóndi, “occupier and tiller of the soil.” The original sense of the verb was “till or cultivate.” This shows us two concepts about husbands. First, he is the master of the house. Second, he occupies and tills or cultivates the soil. This has significant meaning when looking at the Bible definition of a husband.
The earliest reference we have according to the Bible is in Genesis 2:21-25. That text is when God made a woman from Adam’s rib. This is the first reference to husband and wife being from one flesh. Simply put, a husband is a man who is tasked with the roles of being a provider, Spiritual leader, and head of his household for his wife. He uses the example and inspiration of Jesus Christ to place the needs of his wife above his own in providing for her physical, emotional and Spiritual needs. In doing so, he glorifies God and is a living example of Jesus Christ in the home.
1 Corinthians 11:3 King James Version (KJV)
3 But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.
Men I encourage you in these times, become the head of your house. Lead your family in prayer, lead your family in Bible reading, and lead them in times of worship.
I know as a husband/father when storms arise when and things that scare my wife and kids happen. They look to me for comfort and security. So in this time of uncertainty, be the head of your wife and kids just as Christ is the head of you and God is over Christ! Be their rock and their security cause Christ is yours.
|Posted on 18 March, 2020 at 22:20||comments (34)|
Read the devotional this morning and wanted to share
Learn to Pray Like Jesus
“…Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples” (Luke 11:1).
Luke doesn’t identify the disciple who approached Jesus with this request. We can assume, however, that he was motivated by more than simply a desire to keep up with John the Baptist’s disciples. The unnamed disciple, like the other eleven, likely saw the power of prayer in Jesus’ life. He saw the priority Jesus placed on prayer. He saw how prayer energized and sustained Him. And he wanted that same source of power, energy, and sustenance in his own life.
The disciple’s bold request was met with an even bolder answer. Jesus taught His followers a blueprint for prayer that resonates as powerfully today as it did two thousand years ago. Let’s look at four parts of the prayer the Lord taught His disciples to discover how we can pray like Jesus.
Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Jesus establishes His priorities immediately in His prayer. He wants to do God’s will. Period. He emphasizes that point in John 6:38: “For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.” Jesus sets the tone of His prayer early so that everything that follows will align with His primary purpose.
They’re not easy words to say and mean. Putting God’s will and His kingdom first means sacrificing our own wants and needs. In Jesus’ case, it eventually meant sacrificing something much more precious. Matthew 26:39 records another prayer of Jesus, this one in the Garden of Gethsemane, just before He’s arrested. Jesus knows that in a matter of hours, God will turn His full wrath on Him to punish Him for the sins of the world. He’s facing unimaginable agony.
In his prayer, Jesus asks God to remove His suffering—but only if it’s God’s will to do so. Jesus’ first priority is for God’s will to be done, even it means torture and death for Him. He doesn’t just pray the words; He lives them—and dies for them. If we make God’s will our first priority, we’ll discover what it means to be used in powerful ways by Him. We’ll also discover the enormous potential of prayer that Jesus tapped into.
Give us day by day our daily bread.
Jesus emphasizes the importance of daily dependence on God. He doesn’t ask for a week’s worth of blessings. He asks only for today, because He looks forward to tomorrow’s prayerful encounter with God. He craves daily interaction with His heavenly Father.
That’s how God prefers to work too. In Exodus 16, he sends a morning batch of manna for the Israelites to gather, prepare, and eat. The next morning, He sends another batch. God wants His people to rely on Him daily for our provisions. Not only does it keep us close to Him, but it helps us maintain a constant awareness of where our provisions come from.
Staying focused on the Lord’s blessings of today also keeps us from giving in to anxiety about the future. Jesus emphasizes this point in Matthew 6:34: “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”
And forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us.
This portion of the Lord’s Prayer is for our benefit. Jesus was sinless. He had nothing to ask forgiveness for. We, on the other hand, need forgiveness daily. So Jesus helps us understand that forgiveness is a two-part process. We receive forgiveness from God and offer forgiveness to others.
In that sense, it’s similar to the apostle John’s teaching in 1 John 4:11: “Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” We love others because God loved us first. He showed us the way. It would be hypocritical to hoard His love without sharing it with others. The same goes for His forgiveness. We forgive others because God has forgiven us. Forgiveness, then, becomes common ground between us and God. It brings us closer to Him.
And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.
God always provides a means of delivery when His people face temptation. “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it” (1 Corinthians 10:13).
Jesus was no stranger to temptation. Before He started His public ministry, He embarked on a forty-day fast in the wilderness. Seeing that Jesus was physically weakened, the devil appeared to Him and tempted Him three times. Three times Jesus countered Satan’s temptations by quoting Scripture. The Word of God was His means of delivery from temptation. Satan was no match for it and had to leave in defeat.
That same means of delivery is available to us today. So our prayer should be for God to remind us of His Word when we face temptation.
|Posted on 18 February, 2020 at 20:40||comments (72)|
As I was talking with a friend this morning. The question was raised why God let’s things happen? Is it to teach us something, to break us to lean not on our own understanding, or to teach us to put complete trust in Him. As I was watching a episode of Little House on the Prairie and a question was asked.
“Why did God let my wife and daughter die?” — Mr. Edwards
Even today, I wouldn’t have a quick or simple answer to Mr. Edwards’s question. When his family died of scarlet fever, he turned his back on God. Charles wanted Mr. Edwards to join the Ingalls family at church, but he just couldn’t get himself to go.
Our questions are important—they help us communicate with God. I no longer fear asking because I know God can handle our questions. He wants us to ask! Questions begin conversations with Him. And that’s what He’s after— a relationship with us.
Pain and Loss has a way of emboldening our spirits, doesn’t it? In the Bible, Moses boldly answered God with a question in Exodus 3:11. “Who am I to go to the king and lead your people out of Egypt?” (CEV). And David, while waiting, asked the Lord, “How long will it be?” (Psalm 6:3). Even Jesus asked, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” while hanging on the cross (Matthew 27:46 NIV).
The losses and pain forces me to surrender to God’s will. I opened my tight grip and started trusting Him to lead the way, even if the road was rough. The lessons I learned prepared me for future challenges.
God is bigger than our questions, bigger than our troubles. He sees every detail and knows that every tragedy has a purpose. We may never understand the reason for our suffering. Our hearts may feel forever broken. But when our souls ache, and we have questions on our lips, we see our need for Jesus. The questioning is what eventually brought Mr. Edwards to his knees and back to God. When we question we can fully engage— with our hearts open— to receive His comfort.
What hard questions have you asked God?
|Posted on 13 February, 2020 at 22:05||comments (57)|
You aren’t the mistakes you’ve made. You aren’t the labels that have been put on you. And you aren’t the lies the Enemy has tried to sell you. You are who God says you are.
You are a child of God.
You are the apple of God’s eye.
You are sought after.
You are more than a conqueror.
You are a new creation in Christ.
You are the righteousness of Christ.
All our identity issues are fundamental misunderstandings of who God is. Guilt issues are a misunderstanding of God’s grace. Control issues are a misunderstanding of God’s sovereignty. Anger issues are a misunderstanding of God’s mercy. Pride issues are a misunderstanding of God’s greatness. Trust issues are a misunderstanding of God’s goodness. If you struggle with any of those issues, it’s time to let God be the loudest voice in your life!
God doesn’t love us because of who we are. God loves us because of who He is.
When we succeed, God says, “I love you.”
When we fail, God says, “I love you.”
When we have faith, God says, “I love you.”
When we doubt, God says, “I love you.”
Love is His answer to everything. Why? Because He is love. There is nothing you can do to make Him love you any more or any less. God loves you perfectly. He loves you eternally.
God wants us to hear what He’s saying, and we must heed His voice. But much more than that, He wants us to hear His heart. So He whispers softer and softer so that we have to get closer and closer. And when we finally get close enough, He envelops us in His arms and tells us that He loves us.
We’ve been deafened by the voice of conformity, the voice of criticism, and the voice of condemnation, and the side effects include loneliness, shame, and anxiety.
The good news? You not only bear God’s image but you know His voice. It’s His voice that knit you together in your mother’s womb. It’s His voice that ordained all your days before one of them came to be. It’s His voice that began a good work and His voice that will carry it to completion.
|Posted on 12 February, 2020 at 9:25||comments (49)|
Sunday night as we were going through Experiencing God, we learned that God still speaks to us. We learned that He speaks to us as unique individuals, in unique ways for each one of us, and that When He speaks in a way that we KNOW that is God speaking and it is clear for us to understand.
I told the church that I have worked jobs where people have to yell to be heard over other sounds. Jobs where people get in your face and yell just cause they think that is the only way to get through to people, but that is not the case. That is why when I hear God speak it is through that still small voice that whisper where he knows I have to lean in or listen very closely.
God has an outside voice, and He’s not afraid to use it. But when God wants to be heard, when what He has to say is too important to miss, He often speaks in a whisper just above the absolute threshold of hearing.
My dictionary defines whisper as “speaking very softly using one’s breath without one’s vocal cords.” The use of breath instead of vocal cords is significant. Isn’t that how God created Adam? He whispered into the dust and named it Adam.
Whispering is typically employed for the sake of secrecy. No form of communication is more intimate.
So why does God so often speak in whispers? When someone speaks in a whisper, you have to get very close to hear. In fact, you have to put your ear near the person’s mouth. We lean toward a whisper, and that’s what God wants. The goal of hearing the heavenly Father’s voice isn’t just hearing His voice; it’s intimacy with Him. He speaks in a whisper because He wants to be as close to us as is divinely possible! He loves us, likes us, that much.
When my children were young, I’d sometimes speak in a whisper so they would inch closer to me. That’s when I’d grab them and hug them. God plays the same trick on us. We want to hear what He has to say, but He wants us to know how much He loves us.
Aren’t you grateful for a gentle God? The Almighty could intimidate us with His outside voice, but He woos us with a whisper. And His whisper is the very breath of life.
There’s an old adage that those who dance are thought mad by those who hear not the music. That is certainly true of those who walk to the beat of God’s drum. When you take your cues from the Holy Spirit, you’ll do some things that will make people think you’re crazy. So be it. Obey the whisper and see what God does. Because nothing has the potential to change your life like the whisper of God. Nothing will determine your destiny more than your ability to hear His still small voice. That’s how God-sized dreams are birthed. That’s how miracles happen.
So how do you hear God?
|Posted on 10 February, 2020 at 22:40||comments (47)|
This was my devotion tonight and I thought I would share some of it with you. Enjoy and watch your toes.
Like so many people, I struggle to pray. Even with good intentions, I’d often get distracted or even bored when I prayed. For way too long, I have tolerated faithless prayers but know God wants more for me, and I want to know Him more intimately.
We serve a God who can do more than we can ask or imagine. So it’s time to stop playing it safe. We weren’t created for a life of comfort. We are passionate and powerful, charged with changing the world in radical ways! As I study the Bible more, I marvel at the variety of prayers spoken by God’s people. Not only did they pray about things that were incredibly personal but sometimes they seemed to gently whisper to a loving God. Other times they yelled at him in agony and frustration.
Their prayers were honest. Desperate. Fiery. Gutsy. Real. And here I am praying that God would keep me safe and bless my burger and fries.
Maybe you can relate. It’s not that you don’t believe in prayer. You do. But you’re stuck in a rut. You pray about the same struggles and the same requests. In the same way. At the same time. If you even try to pray at all. You probably know you should pray more. And with more passion. More faith. You want to talk to God and to listen to him, to share an intimate conversation like you would with your spouse or best friend. You really want to but aren’t sure how. So your prayers remain safe.
Flat. Dull. Predictable. Stale. Boring.
For too long, I had tolerated lackluster, faithless, and mostly empty prayers. I know God wants more for me, and I want to know him more intimately, despite my hesitation about what it would require of me.
When we’re seeking to communicate with God in real, vulnerable, and intimate prayer, he’s not wrapping us in a bubble of spiritual safety. Instead he bursts our what’s-in-it-for-me bubble and invites us to trust him when we don’t know what he will do next. Some days we feel blessed. Other days we face challenges, opposition, and persecution. But every moment of dangerous prayer will be filled with his presence.
But be warned. There will be bumps. When you start to pray things like “search me, break me, send me,” you may experience valleys. Attacks. Trials. Pain. Hardship. Discouragement. Even heartbreak. But there will also be the joy of faith, the marvel of miracles, the relief of surrender, and the pleasure of pleasing God.
It’s time to stop praying safe.
It’s time to start talking, really talking—and really listening—to God.