Pastor's Pen
Marks of a Mighty Church - Acts 2:41-47 (Part 2)
A mighty church is not found in numbers or dollars, but is a place where God is glorified and men are edified.  A mighty church will gladly receive the Word of God (Acts 2:41).  The church grows as its members grow spiritually.  Growth is centered upon the constancy of God’s Word.  It never changes.  Hebrews 10:25: “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”
 
Christ established the office of pastor to build up and equip the saints (Ephesians 4:11-12).  Well-equipped believers (set apart, fully prepared) are unified by a proper understanding of doctrine (teachings from God’s Word).  There are four basic tools for equipping the saints.  The first is God’s Word.  The pastor is called to faithfully teach the Bible.  2 Timothy 3:16-17: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto good works.”
 
Prayer is the second tool.  A pastor’s responsibility is outlined in Acts 6:4 : “But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.”  He sets the example for others to follow.  All believers are to pray.  1 Thessalonians 5:17: “Pray without ceasing.”  We have the example of Epaphras who was one that was “always labouring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.” (Colossians 4:12)
 
The third tool is testing.  God uses testing, a purging or cleansing experience, to perfect us.  James 1:2-4: “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”  When you consider a tea bag, it is only when hot water is added that the flavor in enhanced.  God’s testing or “hot water” is used in our lives to build Christian character.  
 
Suffering is the fourth tool that God often uses to spiritually strengthen us.  2 Corinthians 1:3-4: “Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.”
Posted By: Rev. Dr. Ernest Brodie Jr.3/13/2020 4:40:16 PM

Marks of a Mighty Church - Acts 2:41-47 (Part 1)
Acts 2:41-47 indicates that God has called believers to build a mighty church; a place where God is glorified and people are edified. Acts 2 tells us of Pentecost, the coming of the Holy Spirit, and the birth of the church. The one hundred and twenty people who had gathered in the Upper Room were suddenly filled with the Holy Spirit, which gave them the ability to speak clearly in languages of all the people who had gathered in Jerusalem (Acts 2:4-12). Amazement, astonishment, and mocking caused many to question what was happening.
 
Peter rose to tell the people about Jesus. His sermon in Acts 2:14-39 was given at the birth of the church and was given mostly to the Jews who were there to celebrate the Passover. Acts 2:41 says: “Then they that gladly received his word were baptized; and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.” The foundation of the church, then as now, is Jesus Christ. It is He who establishes and builds the church.
 
One mark of a mighty church is godly leadership. Leadership for the church is pastor, deacons, and lay leaders. The Bible gives specific guidelines regarding the character of a pastor (bishop). Read 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and study carefully through the list of admonitions and requirements. The first important requisite that stands out is that it is to be a man (not a woman), and he is to be the faithful husband of one wife. The church is not built around a man, but a pastor gives direction to the church and answers to God on behalf of the church. 1 Timothy 3:8-13 lists the qualifications for a deacon. Lay leaders are those in the church who have no official office but serve in areas of ministry because of their love for Christ and the church.
 
Leadership affects the entire church. We are all to be an example to others, and the qualifications given for leadership is expected to be the standard for all who serve Christ. Failure to accept God’s standard in leadership is sin. A mighty church must have godly leadership for God to be glorified and for believers to be edified.
Posted By: Rev. Dr. Ernest Brodie Jr.2/28/2020 6:18:34 PM

Give Glory To The Lord - Psalm 96 (Part 2)
As believers in God, it is important for us to give praise to the Lord. In Psalm 96, believers are instructed in ways they can praise God.
 
5.  Reverence the Lord (verse 4).
Proverbs 1:7: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” The fear of the Lord is a healthy reverence for the Lord and the things of the Lord. This transforms our actions by making us cautious to avoid offending the Lord.
The book of Job records the suffering of Job. He lost all of his earthly possessions. He lost his children. His wife began to let him know he would be better off dead. He lost his friends. They told him he must have been a horrible sinner. He even began to question God and calls for an audience with God to plead his case. When God finally answers Job with a series of questions, Job reacts by saying he would cover his mouth because he said too much. Confronted by Almighty God, Job realized he overstepped (Job 38-40). He showed reverence for the Lord.
 
6.  Give unto the Lord glory and offerings (verses 7-8).
2 Corinthians 9:7: “Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.” In Mark 12:41-44, an impoverished widow placed all she had in the offering for the Temple. While others around put in money which was in excess of their need, she took what was essential to her survival and gave it to the Lord. God took notice. He notices not only what we give, but how we give. We are called to give with joy.
 
7.  Worship the Lord in the beauty of His holiness (verse 9).
God is holy. This means that He is separate from sin. We are to worship Him in the beauty of His holiness. This indicates that the worshipper must come to God with a pure heart.
In the Gospels, Christ appears as the beauty of God’s holiness. He is the answer to God’s holy character and His divine love. Christ came to make a sacrifice that we could not make. Christ became the means of salvation.
 
8.  Testify that the Lord reigns (verse 10).
Often, we use our tongues to complain, but God calls us to testify of His sovereign power. We are to speak of his sovereign control. This involves believing God reigns, as well as living like God reigns.
We sing the song “O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing” and yet we fail to glorify God with the one tongue we possess. We ought to testify of His goodness and His salvation wherever we go.
 
God is worthy of our praise (verse 4). All the gods of the world are nothing compared to our God (verse 5). He is a righteous judge and will judge in righteousness (verse 10). If even nature will praise and honor the Lord (verses 11-13), we as His people should give praise to His name.
Posted By: Rev. Dr. Ernest Brodie Jr.2/14/2020 3:32:16 PM

Give Glory To The Lord - Psalm 96 (Part 1)
As believers in God, it is important for us to give praise to the Lord. In Psalm 96, believers are instructed in ways they can praise God.
 
1.  Sing unto the Lord (verse 1).
Ephesians 5:19-20: “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Singing unto the Lord is a means of giving praise to God. Singing transforms the heart and the mind. Notice that the Scriptures never require us to be skilled musicians to bring God glory. We simply must give voice to our praise.
 
2.  Bless the name of the Lord (verse 2a).
Psalm 103:1-2: “Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:”
 
3.  Show forth His salvation from day to day (verse 2b).
In Nehemiah’s day, the walls of the city were completed which secured a defense around the city. Like wolves, the enemies surrounded Jerusalem waiting for the right time to pounce. The people of Jerusalem worked non-stop for weeks to do the impossible. When the job was completed, they took the time to rejoice and give praise to the Lord. Exhausted, emotionally and physically, they needed the joy of the Lord to be their strength.
Nehemiah 8:10: “Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
Choose to rejoice in the Lord.
 
4.  Declare His glory among the heathen (verse 3).
It is not enough to simply give praise to God with other believers. We are called to praise God before those who are not believers. Others must see how wonderful a relationship with God is.
Romans 10:13-15: “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!”
Posted By: Rev. Dr. Ernest Brodie Jr.1/30/2020 10:31:52 PM

Casting Our Care On The Lord - Philippians 4:6-7 (Part 2)
Prayer is often the answer to anxiety for the believer. This is a prayer of trust, not of doubt, accusation, or blame. Believers can cast all their care upon the Lord at any time. 1 Peter 5:7: “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” They must continue in prayer with an attitude of thanksgiving. Colossians 4:2: “Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving.” When all in the world goes wrong, why should we continue to pray with thanksgiving? When it seems like the devil holds the victory, why should God’s people be thankful?
 
5.  God knows that suffering leads to a believer’s perfection, establishment, and strengthening. 1 Peter 5:10: “But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.” Peter writes about spiritual growth. The process of growth for a believer does not take place without difficulties. There are growing pains at times. God often removes the dross or that which is unprofitable to Him from our life through the difficulties we face. 1 Peter 1:6-7: “Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.” In other words, there are often things in our life which we refuse to let go of until they are too hot to handle.
 
6.  God exhibits divine power in the time of need. 1 Peter 1:3-5 shows that believers are kept by the power of God: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” God possesses the power to keep us since He is worthy of all glory, honor, and power. Revelation 4:11: “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.”
 
7.  God promises to relieve our suffering. 2 Corinthians 4:17: “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.”
 
We can turn to the Lord at any time in prayer. We can turn to Him with a heavy heart and with thanksgiving knowing that He is God. He will hear our requests, and He holds the power to make a difference. As a result, we can experience peace even in the midst of fiery trials, because we know Him.
Posted By: Rev. Dr. Ernest Brodie Jr.1/18/2020 10:59:28 PM

Casting Our Care On The Lord - Philippians 4:6-7 (Part 1)
Philippians 4:6-7: “Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Prayer is often the answer to anxiety for the believer. This is a prayer of trust, not of doubt, accusation, or blame. Believers can cast all their care upon the Lord at any time. 1 Peter 5:7: “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” They must continue in prayer with an attitude of thanksgiving. Colossians 4:2: “Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving.” When all in the world goes wrong, why should we continue to pray with thanksgiving? When it seems like the devil holds the victory, why should God’s people be thankful?
 
1.  God promises to support us in His wisdom. James 1:5: “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” Apart from God’s wisdom, we are easily swayed. We must continually call upon God for wisdom, strength, and direction.
 
2.  God promises that no trial will be too difficult to handle with His help. 1 Corinthians 10:13: “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” While we may think that we cannot handle another thing, God can. There is nothing he will not carry us through. There is nothing He cannot handle. Our duty is to turn the matters troubling us over to Him.
 
3.  God promises that all which takes place will ultimately be used for good. Romans 8:28: “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” There are times when we do not understand what the Lord is doing; however, He will always accomplish good in the long run as we submit to His will in our life.
 
4.  God keeps His promises. 2 Corinthians 1:20: “For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.” There are many promises in the Bible which apply to believers and that bring great comfort. He promises to never leave us nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). He promises to walk with us through the valley of the shadow of death (Psalm 23:4). He promises His strength to us (Isaiah 40:29).
Posted By: Rev. Dr. Ernest Brodie Jr.1/5/2020 5:40:02 PM