The Best of 2013

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Article by: Minister Dr. Esther Pearson
Date: Week of December 15, 2013

Professional Development is necessary to stay current with your occupation. Many employers require its employees to spend time and money attending classes that keep their knowledge current for their jobs. Professional development benefits both the employer and the employee. Some companies have a development plan that contains a list of classes an employee must take to stay employed and to stay knowledgeable of their job requirements. Let’s take a look at the “Christian Professional Development Plan”.

Theme: “The Christian Professional Development Plan includes a class in Suffering”

Scripture Readings: Romans 5: 1-5 (NIV)

5 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

Reflection:

Romans 5 versus 1 – 5 contain a list of blessings and virtues the Christian must develop or have imputed to them by Jesus Christ. These include faith, peace, grace, and hope. As we develop or gain access to these blessings and virtues we boast in Jesus Christ and glory in the presence of Him through the Holy Spirit. But, there are additional developments we need and they only come through “suffering”. From the Scripture these additional developments are a sequence or a chain that links or builds the Christian up in Jesus Christ.

First comes suffering then there is perseverance which is to bear or hold up under pressure. Then after perseverance is accomplished, character is built. Character is who you are when no one is looking. It is easy to do what is right when someone is watching you. But can you still remain righteous when there is no one there watching to hold you accountable for your actions? Then, after character is developed hope is gained, and hope is an expectation of good things. Romans 8:28 tells us that all things work together of the good of those who love the Lord and work within the Lord’s purposes.

So, even though no one wants to suffer, it develops the Christian in ways that please the Lord and gives purpose to the Christian’s life in Jesus Christ. James 1:2 (NIV) tells us “2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds…” Why? Because you are participating in God’s Professional Development Plan for your life.
Amen…

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Article by: Minister Dr. Esther Pearson
Date: Week of December 22
Sometimes when you are invited to a dinner you are told it is a “potluck” meal. That indicates that everyone attending the meal should bring a favorite food to share with all the other dinner attendees. The rule is you must bring something to get something. In other words, the dinner host does not have to prepare all the food because each person is responsible for having food to eat and to share with others.

Well, the Lord God prepares a banquet for us, but it is not a “potluck”. Let’s read about God’s banquet invitation.

Theme: “NOT A POTLUCK”

Scripture Readings: Luke 14:16-24 (NIV)

16 Jesus replied: “A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests. 17 At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’ 18 “But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said, ‘I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me.’ 19 “Another said, ‘I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I’m on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.’ 20 “Still another said, ‘I just got married, so I can’t come.’

21 “The servant came back and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and ordered his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.’ 22 “‘Sir,’ the servant said, ‘what you ordered has been done, but there is still room.’ 23 “Then the master told his servant, ‘Go out to the roads and country lanes and compel them to come in, so that my house will be full. 24 I tell you, not one of those who were invited will get a taste of my banquet.’”

Reflection:
Luke 14:16-24 tells us in parable form that when the Lord invites you to His great banquet, it is not a “potluck”. The Lord God has already prepared everything and it is ready. All that is needed is “you”. You don’t have to bring anything but yourself. God has taken care of all the needed preparations, the fellowship, the menu, and the meal. Just come and enjoy His company. Celebrate and feast with Him.
Will you accept the Lord’s Invitation?
Amen…

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Article by: Minister Dr. Esther Pearson
Date: Week of December 29
When making purchases of tools, appliances or other electronics the sales person will offer a manufacturers service plan. The service plan is intended to provide a guarantee that if the product is defective or breaks that the manufacturer will provide a repair or replacement. But, the service plan costs an additional fee. So, when the service plan is offered in many instances the service plan will be refused by the customer. The refusal indicates that the customer is confident that the product will not breakdown or that the cost of the service plan is too expensive.

For Christians, God has a service plan. He not only provides it, but He also paid for it with the blood of His Son, Jesus. All we have to do is accept the plan. Let’s take a look at God’s Service Plan.

Theme: “GOD’S SERVICE PLAN”

Scripture Readings: Romans 10:9 – 11 (NIV)

Reflection:

God’s Word in Genesis 1: 1 says, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” So, we know that God is the creator, the manufacturer, the producer of all that exists. Furthermore, Psalm 24:1 says, “The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it”. So, we know that God is not only the creator or manufacturer; He is the owner of everything and that includes you and me. With that in mind, it is only God that can offer a Service Plan to you and me.
The Service Plan that God offers comes with a guarantee that no matter what the problem or breakdown is He can fix it or replace it. And it is sin that breaks us down. So for sin, God’s Service Plan is called “Salvation”.
Salvation provides a repair or replacement for any problem that occurs in life. Salvation was purchased by Jesus Christ on the Cross. It was this sacrifice by Jesus that paid the price for our salvation. It costs us nothing, but we have all the benefits it provides. All we have to do is request God’s Service Plan through prayer and accept it through a confession of faith. And God’s Service Plan of Salvation is yours and mine.
Amen…

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