Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Trusting God Completely

"Trust in the Lord." (Psalm 4:5)

Extending trust to others can be a complicated process. Our past experiences tell us that people have let us down before and probably will again. We have stood to the side and have witnessed many casualties who have had their trust dashed into a gazillion different pieces, with their hearts literally left bleeding. Trampled on. Passed by. Neglected. Ignored.

Trust is a difficult thing.

So, we've come up with a managed process for trust. We refer to it as "developing" trust. The more jaded we become, the harder and more strenuous the process of developing trust becomes. It is a process filled with tangled webs and hiding places. Two steps forward and then three steps back. As soon as we begin to open up, we retreat to our reclusive, safe places once again--fearing the worst.

Yet, in Scripture, we are not commanded to develop trust with God. We are simply commanded to trust Him. If we were to approach the Lord God with the same developmental system the world has accepted as the norm, we would trust in the Him only when our circumstances are favorable. If life is "good", we would trust Him. If life is "bad", we draw back again. I cannot be this way.

There are two simple biblical truths about God that make Him completely trustworthy and will help guide us out of our trust development cycle:

1) God is Faithful (1 Cor. 1:9)--He won't trample on us, pass us by, neglect us, or ignore us.
2) God is Love (1 John 4:8)--He IS love. Nothing is impossible with God, except to be/do who/what He isn't. He can be/do nothing but be loving. Even in His wrath, He demonstrates love toward the sinner. (John 3:16)

To often we fail to enjoy the friendship of God, simply because we marginalize him to human standards--withholding the full measure of our hearts' trust from Him. Yet, we are commanded to trust Him. Remember, we are to TRUST and obey. For, there is no other way to be happy in Jesus--but to TRUST and obey.

Trust God completely. He is worthy of our trust.

God's Richest Blessings,

Pastor Ross

Friday, August 19, 2016

He Will Always Lead Us

"The Lord will Always Lead You." ~ Isaiah 58:11

It must have been sometime after Thanksgiving. If memory serves me right, we were in an old, orange pickup truck. All four Kilpatricks were stuffed into the cab of the truck on an excursion to find the perfect Christmas tree. It was dark and cold, with stars occasionally bringing glimpses of light through the tree limbs that hung over the pathway. I was young and can remember being a little bit afraid of the dark, the little, old bridge that looked too feeble to drive across, and the spooky, narrow passage way that led back to the tree selection site--on the backside of the country farm.

The only comfort I remember having was that my father was driving. As long as he knew how to get there, I was going to be safe. Sure, I closed my eyes when we drove down the path and held my breath when we crossed that little bridge. But, dad was driving. Dad would get us safely there--in one piece.

Even though I'm older now, I still face situations that I am unsure of. The spooky roads and feeble bridges of life seem to become more regular the older I get. And just as my earthly father led the way through the uncertainties of a terrified child, so will our Heavenly Father lead us through the uncertain paths of life. In fact, we can take comfort in the fact that there is no place that the Lord has never been before. He knows the uphill, jagged slopes along the mountainside. He knows the dangerous pits in the valleys too.

For those who place their trust in the Lord, we can take heart that he "will always lead" us. He knows how to get us to where we are going.


Pastor Ross

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Time for a Storm?

"Jesus went to them...And they cried out in fear." ~ Matthew 14:25-26

One thing is for certain: Storms come. Life is full of them. Sometimes we can see them coming from a mile away, so we prepare. Most of the time, we have no clue that they are on their way--until they make landfall. Matthew 14 takes place in an all too familiar of a setting. We know it well, don't we? Dark skies threaten. The wind begins howling. The lightening. The thunder. The rain pelts from all directions. Our life boat begins to be battered by the storm before we can make it to shore. We had little to no warning.

An unexpected sickness threatens a family member. A financial crisis appears out of nowhere. A relationship is tested by unfaithfulness. The list goes on. The storms are overwhelming.

That's where Jesus steps in--right in the middle of the storm. Right where the waves are the highest and the winds are strongest. The disciples cry out in fear when they see him. He is walking on water. He speaks words of comfort from the center of the storm. He says,"Take courage."

I believe Jesus still speaks those words to us. The storm proved to be a valuable lesson to the disciples. It proved that Jesus was God. The storm wasn't bigger that the savior. The wind wasn't stronger than his wonderful grace. The rain wasn't greater than his rich mercy. And the disciples worshiped him for it.

One thing is for certain: Storms come. Life is full of them. If you haven't just made it through one, one is on it's way. Be sure of that. In the meantime, when you are afraid, remember the two words from the lips of Jesus. "Take courage." He doesn't wait for the storm to pass. He isn't a reluctant savior. He will meet you at it's peak intensity. He is master of it. He is bigger than the storm. He is stronger. He is greater. He will be faithful. Trust that. Take courage in Jesus and worship him in and after the storm. If so, you'll be reminded and reassured of the same thing that the disciples learned when their storm was over: Jesus is God. Jesus is greater than our storm. They had reason to take courage.


Pastor Ross

Monday, June 13, 2016

A Bride Awaits

"I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God. It was prepared like a bride dressed for her husband." (Revelation 21:2)

If there was a moment in my life that I had anticipated more, I cannot remember it. The moment that I laid eyes on my beautiful bride, coming down the aisle of the sanctuary on our wedding day, is a moment that I will cherish forever. That moment was filled with such promise. The promise of her presence in my life. The promise of love. The promise of faithfulness. The promise of friendship. The promise of purity. The promise of companionship. All of these promises and so many more!

I remember thinking that I was a very blessed young man. And, by the grace of God, I am living with the realization of those promises every day of my life.

Yet, I still look forward to another wedding day. Our Lord Jesus is going to return. And, He will claim His bride--the church. And when all is said and done, I will be anticipating another bride. I will be anticipating another set of promises. I will be anticipating the new heaven--the holy city. The new Jerusalem. The aisle will not be in a church building. The aisle will be that city's walk from Heaven to Earth. God is going to give her away to us. Our Lord has been preparing her in purity. She (the city) will be radiant and full of eternal promises. The promises of God's presence. The promises of God's love. The promises of God's faithfulness. The promises of God's friendship. The promises of purity (no more sin). The promises of companionship (no more loneliness).

All of these promises and so many more!

And, we will live with the realization of these promises for eternity. Now that is something to look forward to!

Have a blessed day!

Pastor Ross

Monday, June 6, 2016

Travel Light

"Give all of your worries to Him, because He cares for you." (1 Peter 5:7)

A lifetime of burdens can take a major toil. The weight is too much to bear. Before long, we have to make a decision that will impact how we manage life's journey. We will either own our burdens or we will drop them. Owning our burdens will rob our lives of joy, peace, happiness, and friendships. Owning our burdens is a futile attempt to control circumstances that are beyond our control. As Solomon once wrote, trying to carry all of our burdens around in life is like "chasing after the wind." Good luck catching it!

God desires for us to approach life differently. God desires for us to travel light. God has a race for us to run. God has a good, pleasing, and perfect will for our lives in His son Jesus. Free of guilt--burden dropped. Free from resentment--burden dropped. Free from bitterness--burden dropped. Free from the inability to forgive--burden dropped. Simply put--God wants us to LIVE. He wants YOU to LIVE LIGHT! So as a new week begins, go ahead and commit to dropping those worries. "Give all your worries to Him, because He cares for you." (1 Peter 5:7)

How can we lift our arms in worship, when they are so busy carrying our own burdens? How can we help others, if our own arms are occupied? As Max Lucado puts it, "For the sake of those you love, travel light. For the sake of...God...travel light. For the sake of joy...travel light. There are certain weights in life you simply cannot carry. Your Lord is asking you to set them down and trust him."

Will you give God your worries and travel light? Remember, He cares for you. Trust Him with His travel light itinerary and start enjoying His abundant life.

Pastor Ross

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Something Only You Can Do

I praise you because you made me in an amazing and wonderful way. (Psalm 139:14)

I woke us this morning in the same manner that I have gotten out of bed every day of my life--as Ross Kilpatrick. The psalmist reminds us that God makes each of us with heavenly intent--amazing and wonderful. There are things that each of us can do that no one else will ever be able to do. Unique. Amazing. Wonderful.

What does that mean? It means that I approach the tasks of my day with qualifications that no one else has. So do you. You and I are unique. Designed to express God's amazing and wonderful qualities. This means that some of us are brilliant problem solvers--architects of wonderment. Some of us are uniquely designed to parent with such grace that we just "get" it--wonderful parental insight. Others are financially keen. Amazingly practical. Super responsible. Incredibly organized. Masterful with bringing order out of chaotic situations. Bankers. Farmers. Administrative assistants. CEOs. Nurses. Doctors. Mechanics...you get the picture.

Do what you were designed to do today. Do it to God's glory, no matter how seemingly insignificant you may think that "it" is. It is something only you can do.

Have a blessed day!

Pastor Ross

Monday, May 23, 2016

Unity is Key

"May the Lord lead your hearts into God's love and Christ's patience." (2 Thess. 3:5)

Love is the glue of unity. Unity doesn't have to be created. The bible never says that we have to "build" unity. Unity is a byproduct of love. It flows naturally from this spring and it results in biblical evangelism. Jesus said, "All people will know that you are my followers if you love each other." (John 13:35)

Is it that simple? I believe that it is. Maybe the Beatles were right! Maybe all we really do need is love. Love for God. Love for others. Love for truth. The list goes on. Yet unity becomes evident when there is genuine love among the body of believers.

How do we protect it? That is the question!

We must follow the Lord's lead. Preferences and personalities must give way to the Lord's guidance in love and the patience of Jesus. Patience shown toward others. Toward those who disagree with us. Toward those who are different than we are. Toward those who just don't "get" it. We protect unity by unconditionally loving those who bring new meaning to the word longsuffering.

And, at the end of the day, people will know. The community will know. The agenda is the same, though opinions may vary. The agenda is love. Unity displays itself as the patience of Jesus is promoted.

Unity is protected. Jesus is lifted up. God is glorified.

Sounds like a good church to me.


Pastor Ross