JULY BLOG- Unconfessed Sin

JULY BLOG- Unconfessed Sin


23 So if you are presenting a sacrifice at the altar in the Temple and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you, 24 leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God.
—  Matthew 5:23-24, Holy Bible, New Living Translation (NLT)

Later the Lord said, “Tomorrow will bring its own worries (Matt. 6:34).” In other words, baking in the heavenly oven is a batch of problems with your name on it and tomorrow’s date. Those problems, along with a corresponding batch of blessings and joys, have been perfectly planned by sovereign God to help you grow both closer to Him and become more like His Son.

I encourage you to consider whether now is the time to exercise the power in the words “Please forgive me.” Schedule the meeting. Pick up the phone. Send the email. Keep it short, simple, and to the point. No attacks. No excuses. Just say, “I sinned against you in such and such a way and I’m sorry I did. I wish I had never done so. Please forgive me. I am committed to growing in this area and never intend to treat you that way again.”1 And then, when you’re finished, do something most find incredibility hard to do, be quiet (see Proverbs 10:19).

Asking forgiveness IS worshipping God because you are admitting that His Word is true and that you (and me) need His help.

I remain grateful,

Pastor Mark


1 Redeeming Your Past, Stephen Viars, New Growth Press, newgrowthpress.com


JUNE BLOG- Note from Pastor Mark

JUNE BLOG- Note from Pastor Mark

A COUPLE WEEKS AGO WE HAD A FLOOD in our sanctuary.  And then I personally witnessed another flood! But not the water kind.  We had a flood of the glory of God through the attitudes and actions of practically everyone in our church!  To glorify God means to give others the right opinion of God. The Scripture that comes to mind is;

“Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it for the glory of God.” [emphasis mine]                                                          1 Corinthians 10:31, Holy Bible, New Living Translation (NLT)

▪   I saw God’s mercy as people selflessly responded to the accident.

▪   I heard God’s holiness in words and tones used in the midst of the mess.

▪   I saw God’s patience in our people as the situation went from bad to worse.

▪   I heard God’s truthfulness as we interacted with our neighbors (who were also affected by the water).

▪   I saw God’s faithfulness as people continued to rally after the worst was over.

▪   I saw God’s grace. Not once did the pastors of the other churches become harsh, unreasonable or demanding even though ALL services were disrupted.

Jay, John, Gina, Penni, Steve, Wendy and JC, you led well.  I saw God being glorified in each of you. For the many others not named, you are the reason I wrote this piece.  I saw God’s glory in so many.

I remain grateful,

Pastor Mark


MAY BLOG- Remember and Tell

MAY BLOG- Remember and Tell

The angel said to John: “…I am a servant of God, just like you and your brothers and sisters who testify about their faith in Jesus. Worship only God. For the essence of prophecy is to give a clear witness for Jesus.”  Revelation 19:10b NLT  

We all can remember the wonderful things God has done in our lives. And beyond that, we recall the testimonies of other people we have known, and accounts from Biblical and Christian history.

Bill Johnson writes in his book, Releasing the Spirit of Prophecy: “What I have discovered is that our ability to fulfill this calling and commission (to reach and disciple nations) depends largely on one vital thing— remembering.  Our capacity to remember what God has said and done in our lives and throughout history—the testimony—is one of the primary things that determine our success or failure in sustaining a Kingdom lifestyle of power for miracles.”

The next, and logical, step is to tell.  Our words are much more powerful than we realize.  Telling our testimony of Jesus releases our faith and the power of the Holy Spirit in the lives of those who listen. God has done mighty things—remember and tell!


APRIL BLOG- We Serve a Risen Savior!

APRIL BLOG- We Serve a Risen Savior!


A Dead Savior is No Savior at All!

Now if the rising of Christ from the dead is the very heart of our message, how can some of you deny that there is any resurrection?  For if there is no such thing as the resurrection of the dead, then Christ was never raised. And if Christ was not raised then neither our preaching nor your faith has any meaning at all.

                                                                                             1 Corinthians 15:12-13 (Phillips)

In 1 Corinthians 15 we again see Paul’s amazing grasp on truth as he argues for the resurrection of the body. Verses 12-19 defend the view that the doctrine of the resurrection is the central theme of the Christian faith.  In essence, Paul writes: a dead savior is no savior at all. But since Christ has been raised, the belief in resurrection and the Christian faith rest on a strong foundation indeed. Therefore, we live in real hope based on the truth that Christ lives!

                         Pastor Mark


MARCH BLOG- A Seed, a Branch and a Grain of Wheat

MARCH BLOG- A Seed, a Branch and a Grain of Wheat

In Matthew, Mark, Luke and John agricultural facts served as imagery for truths Jesus taught.  Case in point, Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the soil and dies, it remains alone.  But its death will produce many new kernels (John 12:24, NLT).”

He also taught of seeds needing to be planted and branches being attached to the vine to “produce much fruit” (John 15:5[b]).  Ordinary imagery is used to imply a fundamental truth: believers are to make a conscious decision on a regular basis to stay put, embrace Jesus.  

“Stay put, embrace Jesus?” What does that look like?  The first thing that comes to mind is that the Holy Spirit, if allowed, will grow attitudes and characteristics (see Galatians 5:22-23) in you that look and sound like Jesus.  It’s pretty tough to fake those character traits! Secondly, ask yourself, “Am I continuing to believe and accept the sound teaching of the church?” (see 1 John 4:6) Church is where we’re taught the important things about God and ourselves from God’s point of view.  Another way we believers embrace God is by humbling ourselves and obeying His commands. When you sin, do you ask for God’s forgiveness? When offended do you offend back or turn to God to fight your battles? Are you a generous giver? Do you serve others? Scripture is brimming with God’s commands for our good!  

The Holy Spirit indwells every believer at the moment of atonement, then it’s up to the believer to begin embracing their Lord.  God will not make you do this. Get a move on, begin to embrace Jesus now. Staying put isn’t a one-way street, it’s God and you.  Initially it will take continual effort until you grow some roots, then it really will become a way of life lived nearly without hesitation.


JANUARY BLOG- Genuine Worship

JANUARY BLOG- Genuine Worship

“The time is coming – indeed it’s here now – when true worshippers

will worship the Father in spirit and in truth.” John 4:23, New Living Translation (NLT)

Tradition, technique, and even talent are not what our worship to God at Hope is about.  And, is it safe to say that Hopers know that worshipping God isn’t just singing? Or that our worship shouldn’t be “saved up” for a once a week happening on Sunday mornings?  Has God answered one of your prayers? Great! Now give Him praise. Have you sinned? Then did you go to God and ask for His forgiveness? Did your conscience become more carefree?  Well, then, thank God from a full heart. Worship given to God in the Bible is always about God, not about human effort.

“Let my people go, so they can worship me in the wilderness.” was the word of the Lord to Pharaoh. Mary said, after being given the heavenly news that she would give birth to the Savior of the world, “Oh, how my soul praises the Lord.” (Luke 1:46, NLT)  

Of course, one of the most prolific worshippers in the Bible is David who wrote:

•    “Because you are my helper, I sing for joy...” (Ps 63:7, NLT) This was the praise of David during a difficult time in his life. David didn’t just worship God when things were going well.

•    “The LORD is good and does what is right; he shows the proper path to those who go astray.” (Ps. 25:8, NLT)  This psalm was the result of David confessing sin to God, and sensing God’s favor once again, he penned this praise.

•    “David danced before the LORD with all his might wearing a priestly garment. So, David and all the people of Israel brought up the Ark of the LORD with shouts of joy and the blowing of rams’ horns.” (2 Sam. 6:14 – 15, NLT) The Presence of the LORD caused everyone’s heart to overflow in great worship!  

Because God was an integral part of David’s life, worship of God was central to who he was. Is worship and praise to God difficult for you at times?  Yep, me too. It’s called being human. But, there’s good news; God always accepts even my most meager offering, and He doesn’t take lightly that I’ve come to Him with less than I truly would like to give.  

Jesus said, “True worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth.”  That’s the folks who don’t wait for Sunday or for someone talented to lead them.  True worshippers see God in so much of their lives, and give Him praise for His loving kindness to them.

Wendy Lampier,

Worship Ministry Leader


FEBRUARY BLOG- Your Eternal Reward

FEBRUARY BLOG- Your Eternal Reward

And it is impossible to please God without faith.  Anyone who comes to Him must believe that God exists and that He rewards those who sincerely seek Him.
— Hebrews 11:6, New Living Translation (NLT)


The subject of our Wednesday Evening Bible Study is “Your Eternal Reward, The Reality of the Judgment Seat of Christ.”  If you have been attending, you already know that learning what the Bible has to say about what will happen when we stand before Christ will change the way we look at the way we conduct our life here on earth.

“Rewards are God’s doing.  They were His idea, not ours. God is the One who developed the rewards, determined the criteria for awarding them, and demonstrated His grace by providing them for faithful service.  Rewards arise from the heart of God…Fathers love to reward their children. They do it out of love. Don’t rob God of the joy of being a rewarding heavenly Father because you tell him you don’t care.  You should care. It’s okay to think about your heavenly reward. God does.”

Woodrow Kroll in Facing Your Final Job Review


Why Does God Want Us To Pray?

We do not pray so that God can find out what we need, because Jesus tells us, “Your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask Him!” Praying in humble dependence means that all of who we are as a person is relating to all of who God is as our Father.

1. God delights in your trust. For example, Jesus compares our praying to a son asking his father for a fish or an egg (Luke 11:9-12) and then concludes, “If you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him.” God our Father is prepared to provide for His children in the same way that children look to their fathers to provide for them.

2. God delights in fellowship with you. The God of the Bible places an emphasis on a relationship with His people. He enjoys spending time with his children who have made time to come to him.

3. God delights in including you in His activities. God gives us the opportunity to be involved in a meaningful way in the work of His kingdom when we exercise our privilege to come to Him in prayer.

James tells us, “You don’t have because you don’t ask for it from God” (James 4:2). He implies that failure to ask deprives us of what God would otherwise have given to us. Similarly, Jesus in 

Luke 11:9-10 makes a clear connection between seeking things from God and receiving them. When we ask, God responds. On the basis of these few Scriptures plus the overwhelming number of other texts from the Bible that demonstrate God’s remarkable responses to prayer, may I suggest we all go to Him much more often in prayer. He awaits your arrival!

Pastor Mark