Each month at Gospel Light Bible Baptist Church, a deserving church member is presented with the “Servants Heart Award”. This is a special recognition award for a person’s faithful work in the church, work that would be sorely missed if not done. At this past Sunday morning’s service, Mateo V. presented the award to Sis. Pearl Caletz. Lydia G. was there to hand her flowers. At Gospel Light, Pearl has a well-deserved reputation of hard work, varied participation, knowledgeable mentoring, and a loving heart. God bless you Pearl.
“Sanctuary” was the song that Michael G. sang at the piano. This music special moved many to come forward to the alter. Pastor Vince Giardino commented that the song “makes us appreciate what He did for us.” Pastor asked his congregation “When was the last time you came to His sanctuary?”
Our preacher for the morning, Dr. Douglas Stauffer, was introduced by our pastor and invited to the pulpit. Brother Stauffer titled his message, “Bend Your Knees” and was to show us “things in the book of Hebrews that changed my life”. His delivery was expressive and passionate throughout. A long acquaintance with his subject was apparent; his message was clear and none to difficult to follow.
Brother Stauffer said prayer is “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you” 1 Peter 5:7. “God wants to hear from you”, he said. The world is “totally confused” and “wound up” he continued. The answer is to get on your knees and pray to God. Bro. Stauffer declared that “God answers every prayer you pray”, but sometimes the answer is “no”. However, the answer is always peace (please read Phil 4:6-7). We were told that the greatest gift God can give you is peace: peace of mind, peace of soul, and peace of heart.
Praying for your own wishes, rather than praying for the will of the Father, is not always wise. Bro. Stauffer warned that if we got our way all the time, we most likely would mess up our lives. The Apostle Paul had “besought the Lord thrice” (2 Cor 12:8) for his infirmities to be taken from him. God’s answer to him was “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness” 2 Cor 12:9. Perhaps if Paul’s “thorn” had been removed, pride may have crept in, leading Paul to be “exalted above measure” 2 Cor 12:7.
“Just because something difficult comes into your life doesn’t mean it’s bad”, Brother Stauffer explained. A thorn in the flesh may be intended for our good and for His glory. Instead of blaming God, we should use it to get closer to God. Our God is able to deliver us from trouble; but if not, we need to understand that he still cares and loves us, wanting above all to give us peace. We were sent to Dan 3:16-18 to demonstrate this very same principle with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.
“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” Heb 4:16. “Day by day”, Brother Stauffer said, we need to seek “God’s mercy” and find “living grace”. Our preacher outlined five things mentioned in Hebrews that we, as believers, need to have or need to do, things that will help us in our prayer life:
- We need to have boldness – to pray and come to God, to enter into the holy place, and past the veil, boldly. God knows we are sinners, but the matter is settled since we wear the righteousness of Christ. Likewise, we need to have boldness in the world, speaking God’s truth in love and not sitting back and letting the world go to hell. Refer to Heb 10:19-20.
- We need to have assurance – full assurance of our salvation. “Believe what you know and know what you believe”, Brother Stauffer said. Getting into our bibles each and every day is the way to obtain and maintain our assurance. “You are required to be faithful”, he counseled, by giving to and attending the local church. Refer to Heb 10:22.
- We are not to waver – in our profession of faith and in our love for God. By reading and studying the Word of God, we can be sure that our position is defensible. We know that God is faithful and He will not let us down. Refer to Heb 10:23.
- We are to provoke one another – to love and to good works. Be a blessing to others in the church body. Refer to Heb 10:24.
- We are to exhort one another – and not forsake “the assembling of ourselves together”, especially “as ye see the day approaching” Heb 10:25.