Committed or Desperate?

Amanda Wallace, Stonepoint Member

“Are you a committed christian or a desperate christian?” I have thought a lot about this question, and even wondered what the difference might be. This past Sunday, after our message at church on James 5, I think God revealed the answer to me.

In James 5:7-12, James tells us to be patient until the Lord’s coming. He says that we need to be patient in our sufferings, trials, tribulations, and to endure.  On Sunday, we learned about patience and were provided examples, such as the patience of Job. If you look back on the story of Job you will remember how much Job went through, and although he suffered much, he never wavered in his faith. He never denounced God, although he lost everything, including his wealth, his family, and his health.  How was it that Job was able to endure all of this suffering? Job had a strong faith and trust in God. His faith was strong enough to withstand anything he came up against. I thought about this today and wondered, if we have a committed relationship with God, is it enough? We may commit to reading the Bible, to going to church, or praying daily, but can just being committed to doing these things strengthen our faith? I wondered, is being committed enough? Does just being committed to doing these things (spiritual disciplines) mean that we will put all our trust in God and relinquish control to Him when we face times of trouble?  David expressed a desperation for seeking God in Psalm 63. He thirsts for God and he expresses how his whole being belongs to God. Paul also expressed his desperation to experience the same suffering Jesus endured just so he can experience what Jesus experienced. These two men were so strong in their faith that they were able to endure anything.

As you ponder on these words, I encourage you to ask yourself the following questions:

Do we yearn for God? Are you desperate to know Him and have a relationship with Him? Does that yearning allow you to grow in your faith enough that you will be able to withstand suffering in this world?  I believe that our desperation to seek God and His grace will provide the motivation and endurance we need to seek His will and know His Word.  Our prayer for you is that when the time comes for suffering, trials, and tribulations in your life, you will have the strength to endure and live in the hope of Christ’s return.

Patch Work or a Total Remodel?

Brandon Bachtel, Lead Pastor

As many may know, Kelley and I have completed four home remodeling ventures in our eleven years of marriage. We have ripped out floors, torn down walls, replaced cabinets, trim, applied paint, and learned many lessons of things to do, and not to do in future endeavors. Matter of fact, the process of remodeling never seemed to go nearly as fast as we hoped. Our last home was built in the 1950s and needless to say, it needed a lot of updating. I remember at each turn, our project budget kept expanding and our cashflow kept depleting. Regardless of the project, it seemed that it always worked this way! Because of this fact, we realized that we could never renovate an entire house the way we would have liked. There were always some things that we couldn’t change, regardless of how much we wanted too. As much as we wanted to make everything new, we just couldn’t!

I recently read Ezekiel 36:26, “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you.” Praise God, that when He begins to renovate the hearts of His people, He doesn’t do patch work, but He starts fresh and makes all things new!  Since beginning Stonepoint Church, we have seen over 60 lives changed for the cause of Christ. We have many more who are interested in following Christ with their lives and all of this reminds me how Christ makes all things new! In 2 Corinthians 5:17 Paul writes, “Therefore, If anyone is in Christ he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” I am so thankful that Christ doesn’t do things like my past remodeling projects. When He regenerates the live of one of His followers, He makes all things brand new!