Pastor’s Pen

The Garden of Gethsemane – By Dr. Glenn Cummings

My thoughts today come from Mark 14:32-42.  The word “passion” is used today in our culture in several different ways. We talk about a person who has a great passion. That means they have a great fire. They have a great love to do something. But the word “passion” literally means suffering.  When you get to the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, you have come to the depths of the Word of God.

Think with me about the agony in the garden. It had evidently been quite a long day for Jesus. He has gathered in the upper room with His disciples for the celebration of the Passover supper and for the initiation of the Lord’s Supper.  The supper is now ended and He leads His disciples out of the city of Jerusalem, down the hill eastward and moving toward the Mount of Olives.  He crosses over the Brook Kidron. Historically and seasonally, at this time of the year, the Brook Kidron was swelling in its banks. We also know that the waste from the temple was poured down into the Kidron.  The blood of the sacrificial animals that had been slain on that Passover had been poured down into the Kidron Brook so that when Jesus and His disciples came to the Brook Kidron, it must have been blood red with the blood of sacrificial animals. Surely His thoughts were turned to the cross of Calvary at this point.


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FBC Family – 7/31/18

FBC Family:  Let me use this to remind you of three things.  Church members, please share with other members.
 
First, this Saturday the church family is encouraged to meet at 9:00 in the sanctuary. This will be a focus on prayer.  There will be those who walk our community and others who remain at the church to pray.  I would like for each classroom to be prayed over for the Sunday School and Discipleship teachers. I would like to be sure that someone prays on each pew in the sanctuary for those who will be seated there in the coming weeks.

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America’s Greatness – By Dr. Glenn Cummings

Psalm 33:12 says that the nation which recognizes God as Lord will be blessed.  That is more than simply putting “in God we trust” on our currency and coins.  I think most people can see that over the past years America has been a very blessed nation.  It has not been because of technological advancement or medical discovery.  America’s greatness has not been the result of powerful and influential leaders.  I believe there are two things that have made America great:  The Christian faith and God’s Holy Word. However, at the same time, I must also say, we are witnessing the destruction of this foundation before our very eyes. 

George Washington said, “It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible.” Our thirtieth President, Calvin Coolidge said, “The foundation of our society and of our government rests so much on the teachings of the Bible that it would be difficult to support them if faith in these teachings should cease.”

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Holy Ground – By Dr. Glenn Cummings

Have you ever had a moment of knowing you were on Holy Ground?  I sure hope so because those do happen and they are often spiritual milestones in our life.  How did you respond? What did you do? What did you say? When you find yourself standing on holy ground, it is important that you respond to God appropriately.

This “burning bush” moment came in the 80th year of the life of Moses. He had spent 40 years in the house of Pharaoh and now he has spent 40 years caring for the flocks of Jethro in Midian. Here he finds himself in an isolated part of the ancient world. Busied with a very menial task, imagining what ever life might have been in Egypt is only a memory of the past. Then something happens that will change everything for this Hebrew. It was the moment of fresh encounter between Moses and the God of Abraham. There are lessons for us to learn about standing on holy ground from this incident. 


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What’s Love Got to Do With It? – By Dr. Glenn Cummings

I think to many believer’s their Christian life appears unsuccessful and they become discouraged and disgruntled, and think that living the Christian life is a total impossibility.  However, the apostle Paul reveals for us in Galatians 5 that the key to the success of the Christian life is found in the fruit of the Spirit.  The interesting thing about the fruit of the Spirit is that it is the character of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Thus, the Holy Spirit desires to control and fill us so that we may be more like the Lord Jesus. That is the Priority, the Purpose, and the Principle of Spirit fruit; to make us more like Jesus.  It helps me to understand that the fruit of the Spirit is not 9 different fruits. The noun Paul uses is singular, not plural.  It is “fruit,”not “fruits.”  Thus, it is one fruit that is manifested in 9 different ways. You could say that it is one fruit with nine flavors.  These 9 qualities are divided into 3 categories.  There is Inward Fruit, which is described as “Love, Joy, and Peace.”  There is Outward Fruit, which is described as “Patience, Gentleness, and Goodness.” Then, there is Upward Fruit, which is described as “Faith, Meekness, and Temperance.”


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It’s a New Year! – By Dr. Glenn Cummings

In November a man in Janesville, Wisconsin purchased ad space on a highway billboard and put up these words: “Enjoy life now: There is no afterlife.”In December, after this sign came down, two area churches got together and put up their own message on this same billboard: “Life is short. Eternity is not. – God.”

Life is short, isn’t it? Or, as Dr. Seuss put it: “How did it get so late so soon? It’s night before it’s afternoon. December is here before its June. My goodness, how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon?”

We can’t really slow life down, but we can slow down so that we live life to its fullest. We can’t go back to the glory or the guilt of the past, but we can move forward. My guess is that you’d like some things to change in 2018. Much of what will happen will be beyond your control but there are some things you can control. While we all want a Happy New Year, what God wants is a Holy New You. Spiritual growth is intentional, not automatic.


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Psalm 23 – Part II – By Dr. Glenn Cummings

In my last article, I focused on the importance of our knowing personally that God is our shepherd.  To claim the promises of this Psalm we must have accepted the Lord Jesus as our savior.  David knew God in a personal way and understood what it was to be a shepherd.             

Sheep have no sense of direction, that they don’t recognize landmarks, and thus need to be led.  Sheep are totally dependent on the shepherd, and not just when they are little. From birth to death they need a shepherd to lead them.  When God’s Word calls us sheep, it’s not meant to flatter us. It’s meant to remind us how absolutely dependent we are on our Shepherd, and how absolutely dependable He is!


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Psalm 23 – Part I – By Dr. Glenn Cummings

It’s probably the most familiar passage in all the Bible. It’s quoted regularly at funerals, in hospitals, and in battle zones. You read it on wall hangings and sympathy cards. If I said the first line, many, even those who don’t go to church, could join me…” The Lord is my shepherd.” What comes next? “I shall not want.”

Sometimes we get so familiar with a passage that we know the words but can forget the meaning.  Psalm 23 is a psalm of David. Prior to becoming Israel ’s king, David himself was a shepherd and lived in country full of shepherds. But there aren’t very many shepherds in our country. A metaphor that communicated volumes in David’s day ten centuries B.C. in Israel can go right over our heads in modern day America.

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Heavenly Arithmetic – By Dr. Glenn Cummings

Heaven has some strange methods and formulas for doing math.  For example, God says the way to get more is to give away what you have – that doesn’t add up.  He says that the way to win is by losing; the way to live is by dying; the way to go up is to get down.  The Christian is one who is sorrowful, yet always rejoicing.

In this article, I want to focus on “forgiveness” and the type math God says we are to use.  How many times can a brother or sister sin against us or hurt us before we can be free to hold anger and un-forgiveness toward them. 
 
Simon Peter was concerned about that so he asked Jesus how many times can a brother sin against us and we forgive him.  Believing that he was being very liberal in his estimates, he suggests a figure of forgiving someone seven times, which was more than twice the number of times that the rabbis of his day taught.  Jesus, using heaven’s arithmetic said, “Seventy times seven!”  Peter must have thought, “Man!  Who can keep that kind of score?”  But that was Jesus’ point – do not keep scores.  Do not count in order to get even, instead show compassion. 

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Confidence in the Bible – By Dr. Glenn Cummings

There are many wonderful pastors and churches in Gilmer County.  I am thankful for the fact that the Word of God is being preached and taught.  The Bible is the Word of God!  I believe it is true from cover to cover.  It is without error and it is perfect.

When I was 15 years old in Thomasville, Georgia, God placed a call on my heart to preach His Word. Everything I believe either stands or falls on the accuracy of the Bible.  Now, almost 40 years later, I have discovered God’s Word to be life changing and true through personal experience and witnessing many lives that have been changed by its truth and power.
 
When you read your Bible, you are reading the very words of God.  You can base your faith upon it.  You can trust your eternity to it.  You can embrace its message knowing that it reveals the very mind of God to man!  It cannot fail!  It cannot err.  It will never be corrected, updated or amended.  It is complete and it is perfect. As we read the Bible, God illuminates it to our hearts so that it speaks to us in a personal way.

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The Love of God – By Dr. Glenn Cummings

I can say with great confidence today from my own experience and from the Word of God that you are loved by Almighty God. I don’t think we can fully grasp His love because our love is tainted by so many things.  God’s love is pure.  We use the word “love” in so many ways.  We talk about loving food, sports, and so many things.  However, God’s love is a giving and sacrificial love.  We see that expressed in Jesus’ death on the cross.

What a contrast the love of God is to the so-called “love” of our culture. Our world loves you when you are young and beautiful; God loves you when you are old and not so attractive. Our world loves you when you are famous and a celebrity; God loves you when you are unknown and a complete nobody. Our world loves you when you are rich and powerful; God loves you when you are penniless and weak. Our world loves the extraordinary. God loves the ordinary. People like you and me.


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