First United Methodist Church Roanoke Rapids

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"I AM . . .Not Moved by What I See!"

Posted by Pastor Cory B. Oliver on February 15, 2014 at 8:55 AM

Dear Children of the Most High God,


II Corinthians 4:18 because we look not at what can be seen; for what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal. (NRSV)


Our eyes must be ever set and fixed, not on the things that are seen, but on the things that are unseen. The things that are seen, the things of this world, have their day cease to be; the things that are unseen, the things of heaven, last forever (Barclay).


I don’t know where you are personally with God; because for the most part, as your Pastor I pray generally for the “needs.” But I'm sure to tell you today, that how you're doing is probably different than five, ten, or maybe even 50 years ago. The truth is we will not always be able to go and do for ourselves like we would like or even hope to do. Why am I saying this? Well, it’s because in some future day you will stand (or bow) before your Maker and the unseen will be made clear. Paul explains to the believer push-in and dream; look for the supernatural to come alive. It can if you would only believe. You know what? God just wants you! He wants you to pursue pleasing Him! Don’t worry about traditionalism or any other stumbling block that holds you back, because that is simply what it is, “something that holds.” 



Opening the Spiritual Eyes of Faith - From the Heart of the Pastor . . .

 

Pastor Cory

(It's All about Jesus)

 

6th Sunday after the Epiphany Lectionary Readings: Deuteronomy 30:15-20 / Psalm 119:1-8 / 1 Corinthians 3:1-9 / Matthew 5:21-37


 

LOVE JESUS - LOVE OTHERS - TEACH OTHERS TO LOVE JESUS

 2014 Theme: The Year to Abide In Christ and Bear Much Fruit

"I AM . . . Blessed with All Spiritual Blessing"

Posted by Pastor Cory B. Oliver on December 3, 2013 at 6:05 AM

Dear Saint of the Most High God,


Ephesians 1:3 May blessing (praise, laudation, and eulogy) be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah) Who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual (given by the Holy Spirit) blessing in the heavenly realm! (Amplified)


Here is the fact and the challenge that the modern Church has been very slow to face. In the early Church the Christian never had doubt that he must be different from the world; he (Paul), in fact, knew that he must be so different that the probability was that the world would kill him, and the certainly was that the world would hate him (Barclay).


It’s yours - take it and receive it! Blessings come from God and only from God. For God gave us Jesus Christ; God has given us each other, and I can surely tell you, there wouldn’t be a need for me if there were not a YOU. You see the truth is that we need one another! I have needs, and I’m positive that you have needs as well. The question is “how are those needs met?” They are met through the blessings of God above, which are passed (transferred) by His people. Almighty God has blessed the Church! The Church is you and me. Remember, don’t steal my blessing. I need you! The rest of the church needs You! Live in the blessings of God through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.


P.S. I LOVE YOU - From the Heart of the Pastor . . .


Pastor Cory


This Weeks Lectionary Reading: Isaiah 2:1-5 / Psalm 122 / Romans 13:11-14 / Matthew 24:36-44 

LOVE JESUS - LOVE OTHERS - TEACH OTHERS TO LOVE JESUS

"I AM . . . An Heir of Eternal Life"

Posted by Pastor Cory B. Oliver on November 23, 2013 at 11:45 AM

Dear Saint of the Most High God,


1 John 5:11-12 And this is that testimony (that evidence): God gave us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. (12) He who possesses the Son has that life; he who does not possess the Son of God does not have that life. (Amplified)


The essence of the Christian life is eternal life. What, then, is eternal life, and what are its gifts and characteristics? There is only one person to whom the word eternal may properly be applied, and that one person is God. Therefore, eternal life can only be explained by the life of God Himself. What we are promised is that here and now there can be given to us a share in the very life of God (BARCLAY).


PRAISE ALMIGHTY GOD PEOPLE! How do you receive that? Please read over that Scripture and commentary again. We have ETERNAL LIFE! Why? The reason why is because we have the Son of God given, not from the outside, but from within. Oh how I pray that you will be able to understand this truth. This past week I was speaking with a parishioner and they shared, that their young child had ask, “What does heaven look like?” What a question, especially for someone so very young. After that discussion we realized that is the whole idea of why we exist as a people, to seek and find our purpose in God and God in us. DO YOU REALLY WANT TO KNOW YOUR PURPOSE? If you do, and are willing, come and join the journey - to Love Jesus - Love Others - Teach Others to Love Jesus! Let’s (TOGETHER) live life to the fullest with no regrets in Christian service. If you're not sure, ask me how? I’m available for you!


With Jesus Christ, I’ll take you there!


Pastor Cory

(It's All about Jesus)


This Weeks Lectionary: Jeremiah 23:1-6 / Luke 1:68-79 / Colossians 1:11-20 / Luke 23:33-43


LOVE JESUS - LOVE OTHERS - TEACH OTHERS TO LOVE JESUS

"I AM...Blessed In and Blessed Going out"

Posted by Pastor Cory B. Oliver on November 23, 2013 at 11:35 AM

Dear Saint of the Most High God,


Deuteronomy 28:6 Blessed shall you be when you come in and blessed shall you be when you go out. Amplified


The Blessings are here put before the curses, to intimate, that God is slow to anger, but swift to show mercy: he has said it, and sworn, that he would much rather we would obey and live than sin and die. It is his delight to bless (Matthew Henry).


So the question is, “What’s keeping us from the fullness of God’s blessings?” Is it because we still don’t want to let go and let God? Or is it in our own thoughts that we don’t deserve God’s blessings? Whatever is holding us back is truly not the way God planned for us to live. God so desperately wants to bless you coming in and going out! That is the “whole ball of wax,” all you have to do is allow God to be active in your life, by saying, "yes" to His Will and His peaceful way. Celebrate this truth statement with me: attitude is everything! I encourage you to live the blessings of God in your life today! I know you can, I’m praying for you! Remember attitude IS everything and during this season of Thanksgiving - rejoice by giving thanks with a grateful heart, and by giving thanks with an attitude of humility knowing that God is so good . . . All the time!


Blessings On You - From the Heart of the Pastor . . .

Pastor Cory

(It's All about Jesus)


This week’s Lectionary Readings: Isaiah 65:17-25 / Isaiah 12 / 2 Thessalonians 3:6-13 / Luke 21:5-19

"I AM . . . Observing and Doing the Lord's Commandments"

Posted by Pastor Cory B. Oliver on November 23, 2013 at 11:15 AM

Dear Saints of the Most High God,


Deuteronomy 28:12 The Lord will open for you His rich storehouse, the heavens, to give the rain of your land in its season and to bless all your undertakings. You will lend to many nations, but you will not borrow. (NRSV)


Our constant supplies we must see coming from God’s good treasure, and own our obligations to Him for them; if He withhold His rain, the fruits both of the ground and of the cattle soon perish. We depend upon God and His blessing, not only for our yearly corn (our income) out of the field, but for our daily bread out of our basket and store, and therefore are taught to pray for it every day (Matthew Henry).


I was given a bumper sticker that says “God Has Blessed American, Worship Him.” I thought it was perfect! From the President of the United States all the way down to advertising campaigns, the logo God Bless American has (at least in my life time) always been proclaimed. We are richly blessed; God has given us a great and mighty storehouse to celebrate Him and to advance the mission of the God to make disciples. That storehouse of blessing is found in the person of Jesus the Christ, for He IS the source of all that is good and true. Just look around at the rest of the world with such hardship, famine, violence, etc.; we are truly blessed! That is not to say we do not have troubles or problems in our land, we do, however, our abundance exceeds that which we are deficient. As you read this I would pray that you try your best to share a blessing with someone this week, whatever away that blessings may appear: a card, a call, a visit, a kind smile to a stranger. Friends you just don't ever know sometimes what your ministry, work, service, blessing may do for someone else!


Below I want to share you with a testimony from a dear colleague and friend. This testimony proves we are blessed, and that God deeply cares.


"My husband died recently. Two weeks after he left us, I stopped at the drive-through of a local restaurant to get a sandwich. It was a particularly difficult day for me emotionally, and I just wanted to get my lunch and go. When I got to the window to pay, I was greeted by a young, tall slender black man who cheerfully said, “Lady, this is your lucky day! This is YOUR lucky day! I wasn’t feeling cheerful or interested in conversation, so I mumbled “What do you mean?” He replied, “The customer in front of you has paid for your lunch.”


Unexpectedly, I burst into tears, which startled him. He kept asking “Lady, are you OK? Are you OK?” He was clearly and genuinely concerned. When I gathered myself and explained to him, he said, over and over again, Ma’m, I’m so sorry. It’s going to be alright. You are going to be alright. I’m so sorry. I am going to be praying for you. Ma’m, it’s going to be alright. I’m going to be remembering you. Ma’m, I love you.” I told him that he could not possibly know what his compassion—and the kindness of that customer who paid for my lunch--meant to me. I thanked him, and said…” I love you, too.”


Such caring from 2 strangers….there is goodness in the world. God appears in places and persons we often take for granted…..Shalom." Rev. Carrie Parrish, 11/02/13


This week I challenge you to do likewise . . . Just see how the GIVER, will give even more, when you step out by faith. Count your many blessings, count them one by one with a attitude of gratitude. And as Rick Gilstrap reminds the Men's Prayer Breakfast attendees, "Go out and do good!"


Because He first love me - From the Heart of the Pastor . . .

Pastor Cory

(It's All about Jesus)


This Weeks Lectionary Readings: Haggai 1:15b-2:9 / Psalm 145:1-5, 17-21 / 2 Thessalonians 2:1-5, 13-17 / Luke 20:27-38

"I AM . . . An Heir of God and a Joint Heir with Jesus"

Posted by Pastor Cory B. Oliver on October 25, 2013 at 6:55 PM

Dear Children of the Most High God,


Romans 8:17 and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ - if, in fact, we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with him. (NRSV)

 

We are heirs of all that God has to bestow, which means that we are fellow heirs with Christ, to whom the Father has given all things.

 

But to be joint heirs with Christ means to be a fellow sufferers with Christ. The tense is present: since indeed we are suffering together. Suffering was the role that God had appointed for Christ (WYCLIFFE).


Are you proud to be a part of Gods family? It is clear many times when you meet different folks whether or not they are proud of their own family name. The name associates who you are. To some, it can be a very difficult duty to live up too. An example: trying to live up to what your grandfather/grandmother might have accomplished in the past, or what your parents might had successfully completed in their lives. Sometimes getting away from a name can be just as hard! In the Bible, Jesus taught us that not all that call Me Lord will see the kingdom of Heaven. Being a part of something by a group doesn't always mean that's what you are. No matter how long I stay in the woods, I'll never be a tree.

 

Those who are fellow-sharers with Christ in suffering will also be fellow heirs with Him in glory. The experience of suffering precedes the experience of glory. "I rejoice greatly in the Lord that at last you have renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you have been concerned, but had no opportunity to show it. I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances (Philippians 4:10-11 NIV). What is important to note in this passage is that Paul had learned through Jesus Christ that he was able to be completely confident in God. He says, "I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want." He follows up by saying (and you can also resolve to declare the same), "I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength" (Philippians 4:12b-13 NIV).


So, today and in preparing for this weekend worship celebration, open yourself to the Name above all names, and living with confidence that the Almighty has given you the gift of holy-family identity - joint heirship in Christ!

 

Your Heavenly Father is God - From the Heart of the Pastor . . .


Pastor Cory

(It's All about Jesus)

 

LOVE JESUS - LOVE OTHERS - TEACH OTHER TO LOVE JESUS

 

Lectionary Reading for this week: Joel 2:23-32 / Psalm 65 / 2 Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18 / Luke 18:9-14

"I AM . . . Doing All Things through Christ who Strengthens Me!"

Posted by Pastor Cory B. Oliver on October 19, 2013 at 9:15 AM

Dear Children of the Most High God,


Philippians 4:13 "I have the strength to face all conditions by the power that Christ gives me." (TEV)

 

We have need of strength from Christ, to enable us to perform not only those duties which are purely Christian, but even those which are the fruit or moral virtue (Matthew Henry).

 

Please don’t ever think to yourself that all you have has come from your own hands. God is the giver of All good gifts: prosperity, health, and earthly achievements that help us through this life. For the Christian, we should know in season and out of season where our true strength comes from - that, being through Christ! When you feel that you are in a situation that is way over your head, or when you are in a place of desperation, remember Philippians 4:13. This passage has been a true help for me and a valuable source of strength during chaotic times in my life. Just knowing and trusting that God is in control gives us all the hope we need to be confident concerning today and for the rest of our future.

 

I will lift up eyes to the hills - My help comes from the LORD - From the Heart of the Pastor . . .

 


Pastor Cory

(It's All about Jesus)


THIS WEEKS LECTIONARY READINGS: Jeremiah 31:27-34 / Psalm 119:97-104 / 2 Timothy 3:14-4:5 / Luke 18:1-8


LOVE JESUS - LOVE OTHERS - TEACH OTHERS TO LOVE JESUS

"I AM . . . Strong in the Lord and in the Power of his Might!"

Posted by Pastor Cory B. Oliver on October 10, 2013 at 8:45 AM

Dear Children of the Most High God,


Ephesians 6:10 "In conclusion, be strong in the Lord [be empowered through your union with Him]; draw your strength from Him [that strength which His boundless might provides]." (Amplified)

 

Here is a general exhortation to constancy in our Christian course, and to encourage in our Christian warfare. Is not our life a warfare? It is so; for we struggle with common calamities of human life. Is not our religion much more a warfare? It is so; for we struggle with the opposition of the powers of darkness, and with many enemies who would keep us from God and heaven. We have enemies to fight against, a captain to fight for, a banner to fight under, and certain rules of war by which we are to govern ourselves (Matthew Henry).

 

We have all the strength and power at the tip of our tongue. The Apostle Paul said of a Christian it was our duty to apply ourselves to work and duty as a Christian soldier. Jesus Christ has giving all the tools we need to live a victorious life (for Him). So for day begin to put on your “full armor” and see just how much more successful your life will be! The Christian is not to be controlled by things other than Christ's Word living in them. Attitudes and habits that do not reflect Christ are not to hold us captive. Instead, we are to be "filled with the Spirit." "Do not get drunk with wine, for that is excessive; but be filled with the Spirit" (Ephesian 5:18. Listen dear friends, the Spirit-filled life is the normal way of a christian's life! It is not for the few, the super-spiritual, or the upper class. It is God's plan for every christian to live abundantly and full of His grace, power, and love.

 

My prayer for you today - you will seek Almighty God [in] a fresh and new way; that's what the 40 Days of Transformation invites us to do! My prayer is for you to become thirsty for the living water of Christ - " . . . If any one is thirsty, come to Me and drink. Whosoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, 'out of the believer's heart shall flow rivers of living water" (John 7:37-38.


That’s a promise from the Scriptures . . . From the Heart of the Pastor

 

 Pastor Cory

 (It's All about Jesus)

 


This Weeks Lectionary Reading: Jeremiah 29:1, 4-7 / Psalm 66:1-12 / 2 Timothy 2:8-15 / Luke 17:11-19


LOVE JESUS - LOVE OTHERS - TEACH OTHER TO LOVE JESUS

"I AM . . . Casting All My Cares on Jesus"

Posted by Pastor Cory B. Oliver on October 3, 2013 at 6:35 AM

Dear Saint of the Most High,

1 Peter 5:7 Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully. (Amplified)


“Throw your cares, which are so cutting and distracting, which wound your souls and pierce your hearts, upon the wise and gracious providence of God; trust in Him with firm composed mind, for He cares for you. He is willing to release you of your care, and take the care of you upon Himself. He will either avert what you fear, or support you under it. He will order all events to you so as shall convince you of His paternal love and tenderness towards you; and all shall be so ordered that no hurt, but good, shall come unto you (Matthew Henry).”


I know a Savior who knows our names. He knows every tear you cry, He knows your pain. Even before the beginning of time He knew your name. He is a Savior that will never leave you; He will never let you down. He loved you so much that He gave us His only begotten Son for you. So remember this week and the weeks ahead, “that just a little talk with Jesus makes it right”, and enjoy the journey of a transformed life!


Jesus is Concerned about us - From the Heart of the Pastor . . .

 Pastor Cory

(It's All about Jesus)

 

This Weeks Lectionary: Lamentations 1:1-6 / Psalm 137 / 2 Timothy 1:1-14 / Luke 17:5-10


THE VISION OF FIRST UMC: LOVE JESUS - LOVE OTHERS - TEACH OTHERS TO LOVE JESUS

"I AM . . . Getting All My Needs Met by Jesus!"

Posted by Pastor Cory B. Oliver on September 21, 2013 at 9:10 AM

Dear Saints of the Most High,

 

Philippians 4:19 And my God will liberally supply (fill to the full) your every need according to His riches in glory forever in Christ Jesus. (Amplified) 

 

As you have responded to my needs, so my God shall supply all of yours. A tit-for-tat arrangement that offers little comfort for “close” Christians. In glory. Either “in a glorious manner,” or eschatologically, “in the glorious future age.” According to His riches. On a scale commensurate with His wealth. In Christ Jesus. In union with the One who mediates God’s blessings to man (WYCLIFFE).

 

We truly can have all our needs met from the Lord! Paul is speaking here that through Christ Jesus our supplies are given entirely, and we are no longer living in a place of spiritual poverty. What does it mean for us to be rich? With God’s help, surely that question can be answered. Don’t give me a shallow answer, but the answer that you know is in your heart to be true. We have in Christ not a debt, but a grace; for the more we do for God the more we are indebted to Him, because we receive the more from Him, that is the abundant grace of the more - we having written within our hearts the Name that is written above all names - Christ Jesus - The More.

 

He Provides - From the Heart of the Pastor . . . 

Pastor Cory 

(It's All about Jesus)

 

This Week's Lectionary: Jeremiah 8:18-9:1 / Psalm 79:1-9 / 1 Timothy 2:1-7 / Luke 16:1-13 


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