From The Pastor’s Desk

Almost Saved

From The Pastor’s Desk — Sunday, July 8, 2018

King Agrippa said to Apostle Paul, “Almost you persuade me to be a Christian.” the Apostle never persuaded Agrippa to be almost a Christian; but he almost persuaded him to be a Christian altogether. Agrippa certainly never was an almost Christian, his life and character displayed a spirit very far removed from that condition;

There is a great difference between being almost a Christian and being almost persuaded to be a Christian. A man who is almost an artist knows something of painting, but a man almost persuaded to be an artist may not even know the names of the colors. Now the great intent of Paul’s preaching, according to Agrippa’s confession, was to persuade him to be a Christian; and the apostle himself acknowledges the same design in his concluding sentence, “I would to God, that not only you, but also all who hear me today, were both almost and altogether such as I am.” In that parting word of goodwill he unveiled the desire of his heart; he did not seek release from his chains, but the deliverance of the souls of his hearers from the bondage of sin.There are many today who live in the Almost Zone. In many areas of endeavor one has to make a choice and there can be no straddling the fence. The lines of distinction in these areas are clear: hot or cold, good or bad, right or wrong. There are some however, who lay mysterious claim to a twilight zone that lies between many of the clear choices available to us.

They reside snugly in the gray areas and have become comfortable. With respect to our faith, many people choose to reside in the mystical area between being saved and unsaved, it is a zone inhabited by the “almost." 

Today a growing number of people are inhabiting the ”almost“ zone thinking that such an existence is equivalent to being saved. Today, the Church reminds the world that there is only one way to be saved and that is to repent, be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ and filled with the Holy Ghost. Let us not be Almost, but altogether saved. 

Suffragan Bishop Vernon Spinks, Pastor

Posted 1 week ago

Freedom in Christ

From The Pastor’s Desk — Sunday, July 1, 2018

As I prize my freedom as an American, I am moved to consider a greater freedom—my freedom in Christ. It is the freedom that comes with being a disciple of Jesus Christ. “If you abide in my word,” our Lord declares, “you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:31-32).

This statement was shocking to Jesus’ audience. These proud men thought they already had all the freedom they needed by virtue of being “offspring of Abraham” (8:33). Jesus proceeds to point them beyond any national, social or religious freedom they might enjoy to the freedom that comes through His person and work: “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin … So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (8:34,36). Contrary to what Jesus’ listeners thought, they were in bondage to sin and subject to the tyranny of it.

“People do not always, or even usually, realize that they are in bondage. They tend to rest in some fancied position of privilege, national, social or religious. So these Jews, proud of their religion, did not even know their need to be free.”

Even as Christians we can fall prey to the temptation to trust in other things for our freedom from the tyranny of sin: status, money, good works, associations, etc. But the true disciple finds freedom in Christ and Christ alone. 

What am I trusting in today?

The Fourth of July is a wonderful time to consider our freedom—as Americans and as Christians. Our national freedom is precious, but our freedom in Christ is of infinite worth. 

Suffragan Bishop Vernon Spinks, Pastor

Posted 2 weeks ago

Man’s Image

From The Pastor’s Desk — Sunday, June 17, 2018

The image of the man is under attack. Gone are images of the strong father of yesteryear who took nothing but grabbed a shotgun to protect his wife, children and land. Gone are the images of men so proud that they would rather die free than live as slaves. Gone are the images of the hard working, God fearing man who believed in teaching his children about God, keeping his word, and giving an honest days work for an honest day’s pay. Gone are the images of the father who understood the value of a dollar, and saved to provide a future for his children. Because that image is not shown to us in the media, it does not mean that the picture of what God requires of man has changed.

There are still millions of strong men in the world, and especially in the church. There are men who will stand in the face of adversity and defend their wives, children, and land. There are millions of God fearing men who still teach their children the importance of God, family, and giving an honest days work for an honest day’s pay. Even though it’s not shown in the media, there are millions of men who live and breathe in professional circles, and have mastered the art of investment and providing secure futures for their families.

Men, like all of God’s children must realize that they are part of the greater community of God. Gender is not a factor with God, but failure to seize the moment under the favor and blessing of God is a condemnation.   

Suffragan Bishop Vernon Spinks, Pastor

Posted 4 weeks ago

Chosen on Purpose

From The Pastor’s Desk — Sunday, June 10, 2018

Have you ever wondered why God placed you where you are today? Understanding the mysterious ways of God has been a puzzle to many over the centuries. We are no exception. We often wonder why God selected us out of all of his creation, and placed us in the unique spot that we occupy in the world today. It is humbling when we consider that God could have chosen anyone, anywhere to do what we do. Yet he chose us. We ask, Why me?
We are not alone in the query, many others before us have also asked the same question. David said in Psalm 8:3-4, what is man that thou art mindful of him? And the son of man, that thou visitest him? Job asked in Job 7:17, what is man that thou should magnify him? Psalm 144:3 asks, what is man that thou takest knowledge of him?
The humble see the place that God has given them and ask, Why me?
The humble pastor charged to shepherd a congregation asks, Why me?
The humble person who has been lifted to lead large assemblies, associations and conventions, often asks, Why me?

To those who pose this troubling question to themselves the answer comes in Psalm 89:19, I have laid help upon one that is mighty; I have exalted one chosen out of the people.
Unseen by the hand of man, God has exalted us to a station and position that would promote the building of his kingdom; and provide spiritual help for those who follow him.

Often we cannot see God’s hand, but there is no doubt that God’s hand is in the plan.
Everything that happens has a reason and purpose, according to God’s divine plan. When we are placed in a position, it is not accidental. God is in the plan.

God is doing things for us and to us for a reason!
There is an unseen hand that operates in every life work. That unseen hand guides and controls, tears down and builds up. That unseen hand is called providence, the will of God working itself out among men. The believer knows the power of God is working every day, even though he cannot see his hand directly, his presence is felt.

As Christians, I encourage you to remember that God has placed us here on purpose. He looks among the lowly, finds the mighty, who often think of themselves as unworthy, and exalts them to achieve his purpose. Today, remember that God is moving ahead of you today with an unseen hand. He’s opening doors and guiding you around traps. You won’t see his hand but you will see his handiworks and know that he has been there.

Suffragan Bishop Vernon Spinks, Pastor

Posted 5 weeks ago

Representing Christ

From The Pastor’s Desk — Sunday, May 27, 2018

The Nike Company is linked to the Swoosh symbol. As soon as you see it, you know that it’s Nike. They’re inseparable. Companies spend millions of dollars each year to associate the company logo with their name. So, at baseball parks, football fields and countless other places a company name is plastered against a billboard or wall to etch it into public mind. We are often associated with the way we package and present ourselves to others. What we wear in some ways symbolizes what we believe about ourselves and sends a message to those who do not know us that indicates who we are, who we think we are, and what we want people to think we are.

In the religious community there are also symbols that immediately identify a person’s religious orientation. The crescent moon of the Islam immediately conjures images of Muhammad, The Qu’ ran or mosques. The Star of David of the Jewish community is associated with Moses, the Torah and synagogues. The Lotus blossom or wheel of Buddhism is immediately associated with temples, large overpowering statues and meditation.

When people see us, do they see believers in Christ? Does our package represent our content? We must be concerned about the impression we give others by our own appearance. As 1 Thessalonians 5:22 says, “Abstain from all appearance of evil”

Similarly, in the parable of the wedding feast in Matthew 22, which represents God inviting people to the wedding of His Son, God throws out a guest who didn’t come dressed in proper attire. As verses 11-13 explain, “And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

Why is our appearance so important? Simply because the way we look says something about us. It often reflects to others what we really believe. Of course, our actions do this as well.

Let’s be careful that we represent the cross of Christ in everything we do and say.

Suffragan Bishop Vernon Spinks, Pastor

Posted 7 weeks ago

Bell Ringers for God!!!

From The Pastor’s Desk — Sunday, May 20, 2018 

A new generation of churches has arisen that is trying to appeal to those with no religious life, noting that they do not have to change anything they are doing; just think positive and be blessed. To attract larger crowds God is being marketed like Burger King’s slogan, Have it your way. Any way you want to come. Any way you want to dress. Any way you want to live.

Those who follow this new trend have dropped anything that is traditional from the worship such as hymns, traditional gospel music and liturgy. In its place are gospel rap, Gospel Hip Hop, praise teams, high energy praise dancers, extensive technology, laser shows and highly emotional worships. There is very little emphasis on repentance or the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ for moral atonement. Instead there is increased emphasis upon coming to worship to be blessed and to prosper.

Church bells may not ring anymore but God still needs bell ringers! He still needs witnesses in this generation. While there are many new ways to worship God, there is no reason why both the old and the new cannot be embraced. As we build new bridges there is no reason to burn those that brought us over. In this generation, God needs young people, who will ring the bell for him; who will be his witness and testify to his goodness.

As Christians, we are commanded to go to every part of the world and be witnesses for Christ. We are commanded to sound the alarm, call the lost to Christ and pronounce the glory of the Lord wherever we go. The bells on the churches may be silent but our testimony must be loud and clear: God is great and his mercy endureth forever! Today, let your testimony sound off as loud as a church bell: God is great, all of the time! Because he is great go forth today with confidence that he will not abandon you or let you down.

Suffragan Bishop Vernon Spinks, Pastor

Posted 8 weeks ago

Good Mothers!!

From The Pastor’s Desk — Sunday, May 13, 2018

Mother’s day is a celebration of motherhood. It’s a day when the entire family celebrates because every member of the family has or has had the presence of a mother or a mother figure in their lives. Today’s celebration is a celebration of the women in our lives who we have come to know as mother. These are the women of our birth and most importantly the women who have stepped into our lives after birth. Some are mothers by nature; others are mothers by nurture.

While most mothers know every detail about their children, very few children really know their mothers. What they do know is rarely a clear picture but a distortion of reality. As the years pass, many of us get to know our mothers better as we appreciate who they are and what they are to us. Most importantly, the more we know about what a mother is supposed to be, the more we conclude that in many regards we have one biological mother and many mothers who are playing a role in our lives. As Christians, we thank God for giving us good mothers. Through them we understand the purity and enormity of the love of Jesus for us all.

Today, reflect on the blessing that God has given us with the presence of good mothers. Their hands rock the cradles of the world. Happy Mother’s Day! 

Suffragan Bishop Vernon Spinks, Pastor

Posted 9 weeks ago

Humble Is the Way

From The Pastor’s Desk — Sunday, April 22, 2018

Not one of us is infallible; yet how hard it is to admit we have made a mistake! We refuse to read the assembly directions for a table or a bookcase and as a result take twice as long as necessary to put it together. In the end, we reluctantly admit we should have read the directions.

We stubbornly hold on to our version of “fact” until someone corrects us from an encyclopedia. In the heat of anger, we use harsh words with our spouse or children and refuse to apologize until relationships have been severely strained.

It takes humility to admit sins, mistakes, misperceptions, and misjudgments. And humility does not come naturally for fallen humanity.

God calls us to repent of our self-centered focus, to accept his ways without fully understanding them, and to concern ourselves even with those who afflict us, our enemies. The scripture declares “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:” Humble is the way.

Suffragan Bishop Vernon Spinks, Pastor

Posted 12 weeks ago

Caring for the Poor

From The Pastor’s Desk — Sunday, April 15, 2018 

He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the Lord; and that which he hath given will he pay him again. Proverbs 19:17

God associates Himself so closely with the poor among His people that to give to them is to give to Him. Because of this, we never need fear that giving to God-honoring, dignity-respecting programs, such as our global mission’s day, that address poverty are a waste. Our Creator will return our investment and then some, granting us eternal rewards in heaven. Almsgiving will not get us into heaven, but only the righteousness of Christ. However, God rewards the good works done to honor Him.

The Lord does not overlook what His people do to help others. When we help the poor acquire basic necessities and even to prepare and train them to eventually escape material poverty, we are doing what God finds pleasing. Caring appropriately for the poor takes wisdom, and he that winneth a soul is wise. Let us seek to aid the poor wisely, both in their material and spiritual poverty.

Wisdom has to be exercised in caring for the impoverished, but make no mistake: every believer who helps the poor for the right reasons can count on God’s blessing.

Suffragan Bishop Vernon Spinks, Pastor

Posted 12 weeks ago

No Man Left Behind!

From The Pastor’s Desk — Sunday, March 18, 2018

Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such a one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Galatians 6:1

My Brothers, if we recognize any of our brothers, family, or associates who have fallen victim to spiritual fatigue or have missed the mark and are not exactly where God wants them to be, let us restore, repair and comfort them. Many times, we add further injury to the already present wounds by criticizing and condemning them instead of rescuing.  

Our Job is to leave no man behind. Bring them back to a position of peace, wholeness or completeness, where nothing is broken, spirit, soul, or body. There are so many men that are hurting. Some are discouraged, disgusted and walking around with feelings of condemnation because they have gotten off track and feel like they cannot make it back to Christ. It is our job to share with them that it is never too late to return. There is never a time where they have gotten so far away from God that He won’t welcome them back. Let us be the one to have a heart to run after those who may be out of fellowship with God. Endeavor to speak a word of compassionate encouragement that will restore them to a position of oneness again. Let us not, Leave Any Man Behind!

Suffragan Bishop Vernon Spinks, Pastor

Posted 17 weeks ago