Pastor’s Blog

Welcome to my weblog (which most people call a blog). The opinions expressed herein are my own personal thoughts and opinions. Check back often for my musings and updates on our church, our ministry, and my life.

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From Pastor Manning

Turn The Page

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

There was a time in my life, years ago, when I kept “reading” the same painful chapter in my life over and over. People were tired of hearing me regurgitate the same thing over and over. I wondered why I couldn’t get past it. Then one evening, alone at a cabin by a lake, the words jumped off the page…”When you run out of wood, the fire goes out..” ( Proverbs 26:20,The Message Bible). I had placed a “THE END” in a place which was simply the end of a chapter, not the end of the book! There were many more chapters in my life to be written. Re-reading over and over the hurts and pains of the past will prevent you from enjoying how “the story” really ends. There is a “happily ever after” in your book if you will read on. Turn the page. Reading on does not mean that the first few chapters never happened. It doesn’t mean they were not important. It doesn’t even mean you cannot go back and scan them from time to time. But reading and rehearsing over and over and over the same chapter is like putting wood on a fire that only ends up consuming your time, energy, joy and future. Today, turn the page and read on. Your divorce was not “THE END”. The death of that loved one was not “THE END”. That betrayal you suffered was not “THE END”. That failed ministry or business was not “THE END”. The book of your life has not been completely written. Turn the page. Stop talking about the painful past. Friends don’t want to hear it and you don’t need to hear it. What has been written has been written. You cannot erase it from the pages. What you can do is allow the rest of your book to be written…..the whole book. Do this and you will “live happily ever after”.

Where are New Blogs?

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Wondering why I haven’t blogged lately? Most of my newest comments can be found on my Facebook page. Click my Facebook link and join in on the conversation so everyone can enjoy!!

Ever Doubted Your Salvation?

Monday, June 24, 2013

Many Christians are often tormented with doubt about their salvation experience. Listening to the testimonies of others who saw bright lights, heard a great voice, were instantly delivered from cocaine or alcohol addiction or can recite the year, day, hour or second they were saved can be intimidating at times.

The important thing is that you ARE saved, not the ability of your memory faculties. For those of us who have prayed the “sinner’s prayer” a thousand times, it can be mental torture to try to figure out which time really took!

Did I say the right thing? Were my words in order? Did I pray my own words or did a pastor lead me in a prayer? Did I really know what I was doing? All these questions can so cloud the water that you have no assurance of what God did for you because you are basing your assurance on something you did or did not do or your feeble ability to remember events that happened forty years ago.

May I offer some insight that may deliver you from your quandary? Jesus said in John 6:44 that no man can come to Him unless the Father draws him. The agent God uses to draw the sinner to Himself is the Holy Spirit. The tool of this Divine Agent is called conviction. Here is the real question you need to consider. When you “got saved”,did you respond just because your friends did, because you heard a sermon on Hell that scared the Hell out of you, because someone told you that it was time to get saved, because that is what you are “supposed” to do at Vacation Bible School and because someone dragged you to the altar because they thought you needed it, without you personally feeling the inner conviction of the Holy Spirit? OR….Did you respond because you felt the tug of conviction by the Holy Spirit upon your heart?

If it was because you felt the conviction of the Holy Spirit drawing you to receive Jesus, then may I help ease your pain? God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are one. They operate in perfect harmony. They are completely unified in purpose and function. They do not each possess a separate will but are of one mind and thought.

If the Holy Spirit drew you (and that is the only way anyone can come to the Father), then it was the Father who sent the Holy Spirit to draw you, whenever and wherever you were, regardless of how old you may have been. When you responded to receive Jesus by faith, Jesus operated in harmony with the will of the Father and the drawing of the Spirit and He came into your heart. Did God will for the Holy Spirit to draw you and then Jesus say, “I am waiting for them to say the magic words in the correct order and understand everything about justification, sanctification and discipleship and clean themself up before I come in!” No. God did not offer you salvation and then Jesus refuse to cooperate with the Father’s will and the Spirit’s drawing. The Holy Trinity is not a house divided.

Rest at ease that if the Holy Spirt drew you and you responded by faith, then THAT is the moment you were genuinely born again. Your salvation is based upon God’s promise, not upon your memory or understanding. Whoever calls upon the Lord SHALL be saved. He that comes to Jesus will in no way be cast out. If you received Jesus by faith, you were given the right at that very moment to become a child of God.

Jesus did not suffer the torment of the crucifixion so that God could play cat and mouse games with your soul. No, it is Satan that plays games with our minds so that we lack the assurance of living effectively for God. If God drew you, it is because He wanted you to be His child. If you responded by faith, Jesus came in. That settles it! Now go enjoy your salvation. Your eternal salvation is founded upon the truth of the Word of God, not upon your fickle feelings. Can somebody say, “Praise God”?

A Child Shall Lead Them

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Never hinder a child from coming to the altar. I have seen small children raise their hand to respond to an invitation during an altar service and the parent put the child’s hand down as if the child did not know what it was doing. No, the child may not understand all of the theological ramifications that occur at the moment of salvation, but what adult does either when they are first saved? All one needs to know is the tug of the Holy Spirit upon their heart and that they need to respond by faith to the the offer of salvation through Jesus alone. Jesus said for us not to hinder or prevent the little children from coming to Him. Seems like adults could learn from a child since most of them have seemed to have forgotten where the altar is.

Unnecessary Frustration

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Salvation, from beginning to end, is not about my doing. It’s about Jesus’ dying. He did nothing to become sin. He committed not a single sin. I must do nothing to become the righteousness of Christ. I do not have to commit a single act of righteousness. Yet, He became what I was so that I may be what He is. This is the Great Exchange! Until you realize this truth, your performance will never match your identity in Him. Oh, you may “do right”, but your very attitude that your doing and performing to remain accepted by God will frustrate the grace of God and it will frustrate you too.

Grasping Grace

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Grace is either completely understood and grasped or absolutely misunderstood and criticized. Seems that the Apostle Paul had the same problem with people misunderstanding his grace message that we have today. Grace is radical or it isn’t grace. Grace doesn’t do away with the law. It simply shifts our motivation for obedience from a “list/have to” motivation to a “heart/want to” motivation. The moment you add a “but” to grace, you destroy grace. No “buts” are necessary if you understand that, as Paul said, “sin has no dominion over you if you are under grace”. Only grace can tranform a person from insecure to God secure. God’s grace is as unconditional as His love. The moment we add the “but” conditions, the only alternative is a system of “maintaining by works”. That which was begun by the Spirit can never be made perfect by the flesh. God doesn’t clean me up so I can be saved. He saves me so that He can clean me up. The same power that saved me keeps me. No action on my part can ever un-do what Jesus accomplihed on my behalf. Sin does not change my new nature back to the “old man”. My justification by grace is settle. It is called by standing with God. My sanctification may fluctuate. It is called my state bfore God. My justification is not interrupted every time my sanctification is. If it was, I would never have any assurance of my relationship with God. Confusing justification with sanctification produces a discouraged believer. Confusing conversion with discipleship produces a “what’s the use, I can’t do this” believer. Paul’s term, “falling from grace”, does not imply the loss of something you once had. In its context it means trusting in another means of salvation than grace…that is works. It isn’t falling from salvation. Paul never says that. It is falling away from the “means” of salvation. There is no other means by which we are saved except by grace. I have discovered that it isn’t the “Greasy Grace” crowd who are the meanest, most self-righteous and judgemental Christians. It is the “Stop in the name of the law” crowd who get their religious thrills by performing “citizen’s arrests” on those who are committing sins that they don’t themselves commit!