Letter from Pastor Jimmy Fuller 5-11-2018  (about New Bible Study on Wednesdays) 
 
Harbour Lake Baptist Church
 

May 11,2018

 
 

Dear HLBC Family,

 

I have been praying for you this morning and wanted to write a note of encouragement to all of us. I know that many of you are going through a “rough patch” in your life right now. Some of you are grieving over the loss of a loved one. Others of you are struggling with financial challenges. There are also relationship issues within our families that are challenging even more of you. Some of you may even be suffering persecution from family and/or friends, for your Christian faith or even for attending our church. Actually the list is long regarding the trials and tests we face day by day. And Jesus said in this world we will have these challenges—He guaranteed it. What you may be experiencing right now is not unique, and you are not in it alone. And in those difficult times those who are born-again have definite, indisputable, and certain sure-fire promises to hold onto. Jesus promised that we can have victory over anything and everything we face, through our faith in Him, because He has overcome the world. Sometimes we simply need to activate our faith. How do we do that? I think that can be as simple as this.

 

First; we must see everything, including the troublesome days, from God’s perspective. Remember, this is not all there is. This world we live in with our flesh and blood bodies is only temporary. This is not our permanent home. The Bible says we are simply pilgrims just passing through. The Apostle Paul said, as he was recounting the lives of those in Hebrews chapter 11 that we refer to as the “Hall of Faith,”

 

Hebrews 11:13 KJV

“These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.”

 

The absolute truth is that we’re just passing through to a place now being prepared for us—a place called Heaven. And Heaven is not a subject for a fairy tale story, nor is Heaven the subject matter for a science fiction or fantasy movie. Heaven is a real place; and it’s not temporary—it’s everlasting—never-ending. Ultimately, our hope is not in this life or anything we could ever accumulate in this life. Listen to me now—our hope, the very thing that gets us through these inevitable trials and challenges, is in Jesus and the promises of His Word. The rough spots come and go in our lives, and will as long as we live on this earth with our flesh and blood bodies. Some last longer than others, but all will pass one day. Even if we were called by the Lord to suffer on His behalf our entire life on this planet, in order to bring Glory to Him through our suffering, there is coming a day when all of that will be over and we will be with Him eternally. May I share just a few verses regarding that promise and all that I’ve mentioned above. And remember what I said earlier, we need to learn to activate our faith.

 

Deuteronomy 31:6 (NIV)

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

    

Isaiah 26:3 (NIV)

You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.

 

John 14:26-27  (NIV)

26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

 

Psalm 34:17-18 (NIV)

17 The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. 18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

 

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (NIV)

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

 

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (TLB)

16 That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our inner strength in the Lord is growing every day. 17 These troubles and sufferings of ours are, after all, quite small and won’t last very long. Yet this short time of distress will result in God’s richest blessing upon us forever and ever! 18 So we do not look at what we can see right now, the troubles all around us, but we look forward to the joys in Heaven which we have not yet seen. The troubles will soon be over, but the joys to come will last forever.

 

 

So first—to activate our faith—we must see things from God’s perspective and observe our walk through this world through His lenses. This involves our head and heart. This will give us the ability to praise Him in good times and hard times because we know His grace is sufficient, (2 Corinthians 12:9). Remember, THIS IS TEMPORARY!!!  THIS IS NOT OUR HOME!!!

 

Secondly; activating our faith involves our hands, feet and mouths. We must GO and live out those certainties we have in our head and heart. We must be God’s herald for the Gospel news. This must involve the Great Commission and the Great Commandment.

 

The great commission is found in each of the gospels and in Acts 1:8. It’s in these passages that we demonstrate what we believe actually affects—influences—the way we live. Knowing that this world is temporary and Heaven is our ultimate destination, should drive and compel us to share Christ with other friends and family members and even complete strangers as God opens doors for us to share. Jesus died for the sins of mankind. Forgiveness, reconciliation with God, and Heaven is available to all who will receive this free gift of God in Jesus’ substitutional death on the cross and His subsequent resurrection. We, who have received this salvation, must make it our life’s work to tell others in order to give them the opportunity to be saved from God’s judgment on sin as we were.

 

The Great Commission tells us to go and the Great Commandment in Matthew 22:34-39 tells us how we are to go:

 

Matthew 22:34-39 (NASB)

But when the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered themselves together. 35 One of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 37 And He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the great and foremost commandment. 39 The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 

 

So there are two parts to this great Commandment—first, to love the Lord God with all your heart, soul and mind; secondly, to love our neighbor as we would love our self.

That’s how we go and actually why we go. It’s our love for Christ in what He has done for us at the Cross. He placed our sins on Himself and, as a result, God forgave us when we asked. In that forgiveness is our promise and assurance of eternal life in Heaven. How can we keep that to ourselves? It would be the height of selfishness and indifference. To truly love our neighbor, (and everyone is to be considered our neighbor—not just those next door—but all people) is to tell him what we have discovered—the good news that in Jesus is forgiveness and hope and Heaven.

 

And to be sure, we will encounter many with felt needs. It becomes imperative for us to meet those needs as God provides for us to. Often, we meet a need to earn the right to share the Good News of the Cross and forgiveness. Jesus said:

 

Matthew 10:42 (NASB)

And whoever in the name of a disciple gives to one of these little ones even a cup of cold water to drink, truly I say to you, he shall not lose his reward.”

 

Sharing God’s love in practical ways is a part of activating our faith in Jesus.

 

So I encourage you today, no matter what your struggle, Jesus has overcome. And I remind you again, this life is not all there is—it’s temporary. But the life to come in Heaven is eternal. Trust the promises of God’s Word and walk today and every day in the victory that is already yours in Christ Jesus!

 

Blessings to you all,

Pastor Jimmy