Praying today for the peace of God to rule in our hearts, that we would live in faith not fear, and we would live our lives worthy of Jesus, keeping our eyes and our allegiance to Him and Him only.
Thanks for praying with your pastor this week. Today we will pray together as we “Sacred Read” Colossians 1.9-14.
I am thinking and rolling around in my heart and soul the words of Paul in 2 Corinthians 2.14. I have of late, been reading Scripture differently. Instead of reading to get in several chapters, I am reading to notice, messages from the Holy writings that I gloss over, and given little attention to. I am intentionally looking for lessons and messages I normally do not see. Taking this extra time and slowing down my reading has revealed incredible gems of revelation. I want to share one today.
I am reading Scripture slowly, carefully, rereading, pausing, and thinking. Selah
This thanksgiving morning I was stopped in while reading 2 Corinthians. This verse caused me to pause.
” But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us reveals the fragrance of the knowledge of Him in every place.” 2 Corinthians 2.14
There is nothing much stronger to trigger emotions than smell. Think of all the smells that give you an emotional or mental response. A smell calms your heart, triggers a memory, maybe even brings anxiety or worry. I think that’s why we love the smell of a baby, burning leaves, baking cookies, as they trigger powerful positive memories. On a holiday, we inhale the baking of a turkey, the smell of pumpkin pie and these aromas remind us of family, friends, and faith. Comfort food are mostly comforting because of smell, even more than taste at times.
As I thought about this verse I am thankful this day of Thanksgiving for Christ leading us in triumph and victory. So many things in life can go wrong, but wihtout serving Christ, we can make decisions that make life even harder and more hurtful for us and those around us.
Christ’s triumph included his victory over sin, death, bondage of people, spiritual blindness, and emptiness. We are lead by him into forgiveness, freedom, enlightenment and purpose with the Holy Spirit God in our hearts.
Because of our new standing and life in Christ we have become and are knowing Jesus more and more. I hope you are, every day. That knowledge of knowing him mentally but also relationally gives an aroma. Not just a smell but a “sweet aroma”. in “every place”.
What place are you in today? I don’t mean geographically, although this Scripture does imply that also, but what place are you in? Are you with family, lonely because of Covid restrictions? I know many people are grieving loss, missing loved ones, confused, worried, happy, discouraged, rejoicing, and disappointed. Whatever place we are in today, we have and know the might Victor that is leading us, and knowing Jesus is manifested in us by this “sweet aroma”. Smells can’t be hidden, and they do not change whether we are alone, or in a group.
Please know that even if you are alone today, or your Thanksgiving is not what it used to be, you still have that sweet aroma. You still are being led. You still know Christ. You are His. The wonderful fragrance of Christ is not just from us, but for us, for you today.
In a moment I will go to my carving shop. The familiar smell of peace will greet me. The fragrance of the wood I carve, the incense I burn, the 100 year-old garage, will always be the same, regardless of what “place” I find myself.
Christ is the same (Hebrews 13.8). Whatever “place” you are in today, inhale the sweet aroma that is manifesting through you, as that aroma is a reminder that He is present with us in every “place”. May your “place” today be blessed with the thankfulness of the sweet aroma of the peace and presence of the Lord.
NOTE: “Selah” in the Scriptures (74 times) is a Hebrew note that may mean “forever” or a notation to pause and consider what was just written.
My wife Wendy, reads daily. One of her devotionals is by an amazing missionary and teacher, Dick Brogden. His devotion is “365 days of Living and Dying with Jesus; Live Dead; Joy.”
She shared one of the devotions from last month that she said she continues to think, pray, and meditate on. It was powerful. Let me share the last paragraph:
“God revives us for His own sake. He heals that He might be glorified. He supplies that He might be worshiped. He forgives that He might be exalted. He delivers that He might be adored. He meets us that we might magnify Him. He acts to bring honor to His divine self, not to exalt man or woman. Let us stop approaching God for answers on behalf our ourselves. Let us learn to approach Him for the defense of His honor, for the glory of His name. Let us seek answered pray for His sake.” (Dick Brogden from his book Live Dead, Joy, page.255, reading for August 12).
We can become so distracted and so easily tripped up. Jesus has to remain at the center. The glory of everything must go to God. Our lives, our talk, our focus, our posting, our giving, our prayers, our families, and our lives.
Be encouraged today to center. Center your life on Christ again. Don’t let the political climate, the pandemic, and all the opinions of everyone and our own move us from wanting all glory to go to our God. I have to remind myself of this and what my wife shared with me is another great reminder. May our lives give God Glory.
Pastor Nate Elarton
This message was given by Pastor Billy Worland. Pastor Billy and his wife Karen, pastor Linton Assembly of God in Linton, IN. He is one of the most successful youth pastors I know and also an incredible pastor with a heart that hears from God and he is not afraid to share it. Billy and Karen and their family have been friends of ours for over 25 years.
This message was given after he was quarantined with his family for 2 weeks. His message starts around the 38:00 minute mark.
I listened to this while working out this morning. I was greatly moved, and I recognized it as being a word for the us all not just Linton Assembly of God. Listen, pray, share, and listen again. This is the best message I have heard addressing the church and Christians response to Covid. Pastor Nate Elarton
Teach me to seek you,
and reveal yourself to me as I see;
for unless you instruct me I cannot see you,
I cannot find you.
Let me see you in desiring you;
let me desire you in seeking You;
Let me find you i loving you;
let me love you in finding you.
St. Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109)
We are always in a hurry and sometimes for no reason. We commit to too much, overplan, set goals that are not reality, and stress ourselves into a state where peace is elusive. We are in a state of perpetual hurry. Cultivating a relationship with our Father can not be hurried. That is one of the things God has shown me the last several years.
We need to learn that “less is more” in life. To not be so busy, so weighted down by commitments, so burdened by trying to be the world’s best mom or dad. “Less is more” when we come to Scripture. Sometimes instead of reading a few chapters of the Bible read, and reread a few verses and let our loving Father reveal to you His messages and His truths to your life. Today I read, reread, prayed and thanked God for Isaiah 43.1-7. Take a moment
“But now, this is what the Lord says— he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I give Egypt for your ransom, Cush and Seba in your stead. Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you, I will give people in exchange for you, nations in exchange for your life. Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west. I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’ and to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.’ Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth— everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.”” (Isaiah 43:1–7, NIV)
- Read this a couple times
- Pray over them and ask Father to speak to your heart about them.
- Ask Who is God for me? How does He see me?
- What promise does God have for you right now in your life? What are forever?
- Respond in grateful appropriateness.
Keep in the process of spiritual formation, receiving and responding to God’s love.
Pastor Nate Elarton
In my reading this morning I have started the book of Colossians. I have been pondering and meditating on 1.19. I have been quietly thinking and praying for many, as faces and families through the years flash through my mind.
“For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves,” (Colossians 1:13, NIV)
Many have experienced this “rescue” from God. What does God rescue us from? I would say the Bible is clear, our sins, and the damage we do to ourselves when we run our own lives without Christ. Sin and being separated from God is also defined as “darkness” denoting more of losing your way than just evil, but it does apply to both.
When we come to Jesus, get saved, decide to walk with God and great rescue and deliverance takes place. We are “transferred” from this life of “darkness” waywardness, being lost, to a life of living in the love of God which is the Kingdom of God. I have watched thousands of people fully embrace and run with their new faith in Jesus. They have embraced a new life, they say no to sin, they love Jesus more than their own lives, and the lust, selfishness, and greed of this world is rejected. They live with integrity, grow in the way of Christ, and keep moving forward in their faith, even if they falter. They experience, joy and peace, only found in a life committed to God. I have seen marriages healed, addictions beaten, selfishness deserted, and love for others multiplied when a life of darkness is left.
Sadly, I have seen people return to the darkness. Back to a life of spiritual deadness. After being on the path and journey with God, many choose to venture off and lose their way, returning to a life without God. Most would admit they still believe in Him, but live with no proof that is really true.
Can I encourage you not to return back to the darkness? There is no true life there. A life with Jesus on this earth and in eternity is priceless. If you may not think so right now, pray God your loving Father would show you that so you would realize what you may be leaving. The Darkness is a life without spiritual life, enlightenment, or Godly encouragement. It is a lonely life, constantly on the hunt for some sort of experience that would bring some peace or pleasure, but after a while of forgetting about the darkness it will envelope you again.
If you are reading this and you have foot back in your “old life” or a life without Jesus, let me encourage you to seriously consider the wonderful life with Jesus you will be leaving. Don’t let anything cause you to forfeit your soul, your blessings, or the future of your family, for what appears to be an easy life without God, but sin does have a day of reckoning. Don’t let darkness flood your soul again.
Read the Story of the Prodigal Son and notice the love this dad has for his son. That is the love God has for you. This is found in Luke chapter 15. Click here to read this
If you have tasted of the Kingdom of God, then you know what needs to be done and the decisions and choices you need to make. If you have questions or want to ask me anything, please email me firstname.lastname@example.org.
I remember going out for basketball in the 6th grade. I sat on the bench until the last 2 minutes. I hated sitting on the bench watching the taller dudes have all the fun. ( Fun fact: I fouled out once in that 2 minutes.) My coach told me I would never play much basketball and wrestling was probably my sport and he accepted me quitting the team. I hadn’t said anything about quitting so I got the point. He was right.
The last 14 weekends haven’t been awesome. I feel like I have been “benched”. I never thought it would last this long, but anyhow, this last weekend was it. I really never want to hear “unprecedented” “the new normal” “we are in this together” etc. LOL. I praise God it’s over. I am a preacher and I want to preach and teach God’s Word to faces and families!
I sure got tired of the introverts saying “I really enjoyed this Covid stay-at-home.” When I read those posts on Facebook from other pastors I just rolled my eyes. I am just not like that. I am not an introvert. It was unenjoyable to not be around my Compelled Family and people. Recording on Friday and preaching to an empty room was OK, but I did not feel like a pastor regardless how many people watched online. I am thankful we could do it and that everyone helped get it done, but it’s no permanent replacement. I miss the corporate worship, prayer, smiles, children, families, friends, community and the faith when we all gather together. I love Compelled. I am thankful for that and we will continue to have our service online, on facebook and on Youtube for those of you not ready to return or that are high-risk.
I am very very very glad this is over.
This next weekend, We will be back together 3 services a weekend at Bedford and also the 11 am Sunday at Holland.
If you are ready to come back, we are ready for you. If you are not quite ready, no problem. If you want to wear a mask, please do. If you don’t want to wear a mask then don’t. We have approached our opening with wisdom and not recklessness of course, but we also want adults to be able to make their own decisions and I know we are all going to be courteous and thoughtful to the comfort level of others.
This happy pastor will be at Compelled this weekend.
Pastor Nate Elarton