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As ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. KJV Matthew 10:7 -- I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. KJV Matthew 16:19 -- Ye are come Ö unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, KJV Hebrews 12:22 On my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: KJV Acts 2:18 -- That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. KJV 1 Corinthians 2:5 --
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Pastor's Corner
 

1/3/99

If you had a choice between drinking a bottle of poison or a bottle of water, which would you choose? If you had to choose between a house lit with electricity or a house glowing by candle light, which would you choose? And if you were given the choice between heaven and hell (between life or death), which would you choose? I believe that no rational, thinking person would make the wrong choice in any of these choices!

But now let me ask you this: "If you have a decision to make that involves doing what you want to do (Ďyour willí) and doing what God wants you to do (Godís will), would you make the right choice?"

I dare say that most of us have said in our heart, at one time or other, the phrases "I feel...", "but I want to...", and "I just think..." when confronted with the clear choice of doing what God wants us to do. We do not stop to realize that the same simple logic that would drive us to answer the above questions correctly, should also cause us to sacrifice our own will for the will of the One who created us. Does He not have our best interest at heart? Then our choice should be easy! Why then is it so hard to obey? The answer given in the parable of wheat and tares (Matt. 13:27-28) is the same answer needed here. Jesus said, "an enemy hath done this." You choose wrong because your enemy influences your decisions; decisions that would come easily to you otherwise! You real choice is to resist the devil, even if he should disguise himself as YOU; and in so doing you will find yourself making the right choices more and more. You KNOW Godís voice, for you are His sheep. Just stop getting distracted by the wolf cloaked in your sheep's clothing! Choose Life! Choose God! Choose right! And you will feel like you are living again.
© Anthony J. Massotti Th.M., Th.M. 1/3/1999


 
1/10/99
Have you ever stopped to consider what you life would be like today if you had never doubted God? Whom might you have become? What might you have done? How much of God would be manifest in your life?
Jesus Christ lived over thirty years and never once doubted His heavenly Father. The Bible says that Jesus did what the Father wanted done, and spoke what the Father wanted spoken.[1] It also says that He upbraided anyone who did not believe Him; claiming that the reason they did not believe was because they did not know God.[2] This is a rather strong indictment; especially to religious people. Why was Jesus so severe on this point?
To doubt is to say: "I am not sure that I can trust you (what you say, what you believe, what you claim to know, what your intentions are)." It is to say: "You are misinformed" and "I know better / more than you know." Essentially, one cannot doubt unless one is NOT WILLING TO BELIEVE the personís credibility.
To doubt God, therefore, is to say that we do not believe Him; as if He was not perfect. It also shows that we do not accept the testimonies of Jesus, the apostles, the prophets, and all the holy writers of the Holy Bible; for they claimed to only write what God said about Himself. They said that God knows all, sees all, and cannot lie.[3] They understood that to 'doubt God' was paramount to calling God a liar, a fool, or unknowing. They called all such unbelief: SIN! And the wages of all sin is death.[4] You kill yourself, your future, and your relationship with God when you sin the sin of doubt. To doubt God is to reject God.
Your next years of life can be BETTER; if you choose to stop this sin, and become a BELIEVER. Sow faith and you will reap life! Believe God, for He IS always right! He said so.
[1] Jn.8:26-27; Jn.5:36 [2] Jn.5:38,42 [3] Heb.6:18; Tit.1:2 [4] Rom.6:23
© Anthony J. Massotti Th.M., Th.M. 1/10/1999


 
1/17/99
When was the last time YOU repented? I donít mean that ĎOops, Iím sorry" kind of repentance that one does somewhere between grabbing the keys to the car and pulling out of the driveway on the way to work, but rather that last time you actually STOPPED to consciously consider your ways. When was the last time you reviewed your life with microscopic honesty and then turned to God to repent fully, openly, honestly, and filled with godly sorrow? The Bible says that repentance is crucial to our spiritual health, is a requirement for our continued state of salvation and gains us access to the Fatherís blessings. Is it possible we have forgotten to repent because we have forgotten what it really is? Here is a quick reminder of three key ingredients of true repentance.
Firstly, true repentance is based on face to face confrontation with holy truth; a generous application of Godís Scriptures to the heart of our thoughts or actions. The Word of God is the basis for all right thinking and right action; and since repentance is ultimately a return to the right way from the wrong way, true repentance must be a reaction to absolute truth. Admission of THE TRUTH makes the repentance binding. Without Godís truth affecting us, repentance is at best personal idealism. It is a ĎI hope that I am doing betterí choice. Repentance is permanent when we acknowledge Godís thoughts are higher than our thoughts.
Secondly, true repentance must come with honest admission that it was not a Ďdeedí that was incorrectly done, but rather a PERSON who was incorrectly wronged. When we sin, it is an action against ourselves, against our fellow man, or against the Creator who made us. It is personal. Repentance, therefore, is not merely admission of Ďdoingí wrong but an admission of Ďbeingí wrong. Once we admit to BEING wrong, then we have need of a Savior, a God, and a Redeemer who can enter our lives and MAKE US right.
Lastly, true repentance is from the heart; from the very seat of our will, emotions, and desires. We WANT to do right, and feel right, but mostly we want to do what LOVE demands. Actions based on Godís standard of love will never be sin. We sinned because we didnít feel enough love. Therefore, we must repent because we need to repair the wounds inflicted by our loveless acts and thoughts. Repenting frees the soul from the shackles of sin. Repenting makes us whole. Wonít you consider repenting today?
© Anthony J. Massotti Th.M., Th.M. 1/17/1999


 
1/24/99
Have you ever wanted to Ďreally belongí? Have you ever felt like you were all alone in this world? Iím not talking about the absence of a mate, or the absence of a family member which produces aloneness; but rather, the feeling of having no place to call Ďhomeí. Have you ever longed to just feel like you are a vital Ďpartí of something? That feeling is what happens when UNITY is lacking in your life. Thatís right. UNITY is the thing that is being craved.
God, who created us, did so with the thought in mind that we would need to belong! He devised His plan in such a way as to provide us with someone to belong to (Jesus Christ), somewhere to long for (our eternal home), and something to be a part of (the Body of Christ.).
Jesus prayed that we would have that sense of belonging when he said, "That they all may be one...in us" and "that they may be one even as we are one".[1] Paul explicitly told us that we are so important to each other that we cannot even say that one member of the Body of Christ is unneeded .[2] And in Ephesians it says that we all are to have unity in spirit, and in faith.[3] The feeling of ONENESS is one of the strongest feelings a human can experience; next to the exhilaration of overwhelming love. Love brings closeness; but unity brings oneness! Unity satisfies that yearning to Ďfití. Love gives us heartfelt pleasure, but unity gives us heavenly placement and purpose.
The Christianís purpose is clear - save those who are lost, set the captives free. Yet, isnít that just another way of saying, "reach those souls who have never tasted what true love and true unity is all about"? They may have sampled some meager feelings of unity (even love) from off the dinner plates of lifeís experiences, but they have never banqueted off of the feast which only God can provide. They need to become one with God and His People - people like YOU!
Do you feel like YOU belong? If not, perhaps you should consider a FULL surrender of your own inner reservations and become a participating member of His church. God has offered us something to become one with; not something that will become changed to be one with us. As WE humble ourselves (and rest willingly in the palm and plan of God) God promises that all our needs will be filled. That includes our need for unity. Working WITH Godís Spirit, Godís Son, and Godís saints is the most satisfying sense of unity that you will ever experience. Chose - to become ONE! Chose - to belong instead of to long. And chose to help others to get their longings fulfilled as well. Unity and love are Godís offerings to us all.
[1] John 17:21-22 [2] 1 Cor. 12:21,23-24 [3] Eph. 4:3,13
© Anthony J. Massotti Th.M., Th.M. 1/24/1999


 
1/31/99
Have you ever been betrayed? Have you ever been deserted, forsaken, or ignored? How about being loved one minute and then hated the next? If you have ever experienced the pain of the firebrand of emotional devastation, then you are a candidate for the healing hand of the Lord upon your soul. What you may not realize, however, is that YOU must do something first in order for the Spirit of God to reach your heart. You must FIRST forgive the betrayer, the deserter, the hater, or the one who devastated you.
Forgiveness is the act of erasure that returns our heart back to the day before the infliction of the wound. We do not understand exactly what the Lord does in our Ďheartí (the core of our memories, emotions, and will) but we do know that He has the power to turn back the effects time. He accepts our humble cry for help, in the form of our contrition and forgiveness, and multiplies that back to us in the form of deepening peace and inner change. Now for a question. Do you know the difference between saying, "Iím sorry", "I apologize", and "please forgive me"?
To say, "Iím sorry" usually is to say: "I feel bad about what I have done". To say, "I apologize" is to communicate: "I am asking you to not hold this against me". But to actually say, "please forgive" is to say, "I am at fault (partially or fully) and I request that we just erase it all as if it never happened." Requesting forgiveness defeats any attempt of the devil to inflict guilt, sorrow and shame. Giving forgiveness purifies the stream of consciousness so that the Light of God can sparkle upon itís surface. We need to forgive those who have wronged us even as we request forgiveness for those whom we have deserted, betrayed, ignored, or forsaken. [1]
Once forgiveness is given, whether it is done internally or externally, to the one who did the wrong, one last thing must still requested of the Lord. Request must be made for the healing of the heart for the specific violation. Just recently the Lord prompted me to do just that kind of prayer. I had to say, "Lord, I know that I have forgiven the ones who have hurt me, and I hold no malice, but I need you to heal me of betrayals, of desertions, and of the losses". I needed healing from the actions (and in-actions) of those whom I have loved but who have knowingly (or unknowingly) deeply wounded me." The prayer brought tears, but it also brought some cleansing.
I find that forgiveness washes out the dirt in the vase, but I think it still takes Godís loving touch to take away the scoring of our nature. Sin scratched us but God restores US. When we forgive it opens us up to Godís touch. When He touches us, we get a sense of how much we are forgiven as well. The person who is forgiven much, loveth much [2] and receives healing for the broken heart as well. [3]
[1] Matt. 6:12 [2] Luke 7:47 [3] Luke 4:18
© Anthony J. Massotti Th.M., Th.M. 1/31/1999
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Original Quote by Pastor Anthony God is All-Powerful. And He created a race of children to be like Him in likeness and image -- but at a risk.
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