Tired of Wrestling??

Bob Mayo. Stonepoint Member

I made a blog on Facebook last night that said, “I’m tired of wrestling with God. I always get pinned. It’s time for a change in strategy.” I seemed to get some interest in it, so I thought I would try to expand on it a bit. The post was based on a couple of things. One was I was reading in Genesis 32, where it talks about Jacob wrestling all night with God. The other thing was that we have been doing a series at Stonepoint entitled re:generation. Both of these have started me on a path that I really didn’t expect.

First, a little on Jacob. Actually, it seems like to me that Jacob had been wrestling with God all his life. In Chapter 32, after being gone from his home for over 20 years, he is going to have a run in with Esau for the first time since stealing his Birthright and Blessing. He is a afraid for what Esau might do. In verse 24 of the chapter it says that Jacob was left alone and he wrestled with God all night.  At one point, the passage says God was not prevailing against Jacob so He dislocated his thigh.Toward morning, God told Jacob to let Him go but Jacob said he would not let go until God blessed him. Then we have this touching scent where God Changes Jacob’s name from Jacob (heel grabber) to Israel (one who wrestled with God). Then God blessed him.

I don’t know about you, but, especially in this last year, I feel like I have been wrestling with God. It has not been a pleasant match. 2015 was a year of being so aware of my sins and my inability to find victory, that I was at the point of giving up. Discouragement, self-pity and depression followed. And the problem was that few people knew about how much I was struggling. In my day to day encounters with people, I looked just fine and could put on a pretty good front. But down deep, I was dying inside. I don’t know if I ever thought of all this as wrestling with God, but I was aware that I was struggling with God to have my way in my life over His. I didn’t like all the struggles of the ministry and just felt like the responses of leadership to our problems were just wrong. At the same time,  I didn’t particularly like what was happening to me in the ministry. It got so bad that I convinced myself that if I were to quit the ministry or die, none of the leaders would care one bit. I was fighting against my feelings about things and reality. I could see that I was becoming angry, unloving and bitter.  I guess I could call this my time of wrestling with God. While I wanted to be godly and handle all this in a godly manner, at the same time I was aware of all the sins I mentioned above (anger, bitterness, etc.) and having no victory over them.

I apologize for making this a bit too personal and too much about me. But at the same time, I believe that we need to be honest and open about our struggles. So, all the above is the struggle. What is the answer? In my last blog, I talked about Pastor Brandon’s message last Sunday. He mentioned three steps that we need to take to begin to have victory over our sins and addictions. They were: 1. we need to admit that we are powerless to break our sins in our own power; 2. We need tobelieve that God has the power to fully restore us; and 3. We need to trust God with our lives and wills by accepting His grace through Jesus Christ.

This week’s message was a continuation of what Pastor Brandon covered last week. There are three more steps that he talked about. First, we need to take inventory. We need to make a searching and fearless moral inventory of our lives. If we don’t do this we will continue in the same sin pattern. When we do that, we hurt the people around us. God wants us to be healthy from the inside out (Ps. 51:6). But this can’t happen unless we take inventory of where we are. Second, we need toconfess. This requires that we confess to God, ourselves and others. This is not easy stuff. Why, 1 John 1:6-8 is important here. It says, if we say we have fellowship with Him yet walk in darkness, we are not truthful. Confession exposes the darkness. The passage also says, if we walk in the light, we have fellowship with one another. Finally, there is repentance. We repent when we are ready to turn around from our current pattern of sin. We make a decision that I will not remain in this sin pattern any longer. I am not talking about perfection here. But we do need to make the decision, that with God’s enabling grace, We will give up our sin and surrender ourselves totally to God.

Brothers and sisters, God wants us healed and healthy!! But as Pastor Brandon said this morning, it needs to be from the inside out. It needs to begin in our hearts. I am not pretending that this is a six step program to success. While our struggles and sins may be common to many, God works in each of us individually.

Regeneration is for all of us. It is not just for people with obvious problems like drug or alcohol addictions or other public sins. It is for us with sins of the heart and mind also. These can be so hidden from those around us. But it only causes struggles and disunity. In the movie Gettysburg (I knew I would fit something historical in here somewhere) there is this scene when General Stuart was called to General Lee’s office. Stuart was a good cavalry officer but he had let the infantry down. Stuart tried, in his pride to hand General Lee his sward. Lee retorted, “there is no time!!!” The battle was in danger of being lost and there was no time for personal pride or hurt. Sometimes I can imaging God saying to me, “Bob. there is no time for this. There is work to be done before I come back!!!” Don’t let your sins weigh you down. Do an inventory, confess them to God and to whomever else you may need to. Then repent and turn around and serve our LORD in what He has for you!!!


Bob Mayo, Stonepoint Member

ReGen Mondays

The day started out bright and sunny. I got up and got ready for church like I usually do on Sunday. I had time to spend reading the Bible before I left. I read Matthew 13 which gave 7 parables that Jesus taught about the Kingdom of God. I was really interested and told myself that after church, I was going to come home and do some study on it. I headed off to church in my new car and headed East on I-20 and then North on Texas 47 as I usually do. I saw my friends the buffalo, camels and the zebra all out in the fields enjoying the morning. I kept reminding myself that I had to stop sometime and take some pictures. But not today, I needed to get to church and serve as a greeter.

Pastor Brandon started his message from Luke 18:9-14 about the Pharisee and the tax collector. I imagine most of us have read and heard several messages on it over the years. But, as usual when I go to Stonepoint, God took an old and familiar passage and brought new light to it. I had just submitted a blog post to the church last night that I thought paralleled today’s message. The pastor started off today by saying that we tend to live in ‘the land of in between.’ We tend to feel that our walk with the Lord is not what it should be but it is not all that bad either. Our problem we have is that we would rather say that we are OK than to admit that we have sinful habits that we can’t have victory over and need help (quote from the message.)

The parable in Luke 18:9-14 says that Jesus told this parable “to some people who trusted in themselves and that they were righteous and viewed others with contempt.” The Pharisee in this parable was one of those people. But the tax collector wouldn’t even lift his eyes up and just kept saying, “God, be merciful to me, the sinner!” The parable ends by saying that tax collector went to his home justified and the Pharisee did not. Asking for God’s mercy because we are sinners is always a good prayer and we can be assured that God will hear us.

Later in the message, Pastor Brandon talked a little about a program the church has on Monday nights called re:generation. It is a program for people who know they have problems. Some are addicted to drugs, alcohol, gambling or pornography. We tend to think that these programs are for people like that. But after hearing the pastor talk about this program, I think I should be in it. Basically anyone who knows they have a sin problem would be a candidate for this program. Now, strange as it might seem, I have no problems with drugs, alcohol, gambling  or pornography. I did have a drinking problem before and after I got saved, but in time, God gave me victory over that. You see, my sins are not as obvious as the people who come to re:generation. No, my sins are more subtle. They are sins like anger, pride, lust, bitterness, attitude issues, lack of forgiveness, depression and discouragement (you may not think those last two are sins but in my life they are) and the list could go on. I also need to say, I am well aware that I have these sin problems. My struggle is that I don’t seem to have the victory over them. I am, in Pastor’s language today, “a bottom dweller.” I hang out in the area of defeat and discouragement over my sins.
Now, I talk about myself but let me ask, what about you? Are you in the same boat as me? Knowing you are not right with God, wanting to have victory but unable to get there. If you are a fellow “bottom dweller” I have good news for you. As long as we are humble before the Lord about our sins, as the tax collector was, He is for us! It is when we think we are OK that we go home unjustified. Isaiah 57:15 is a beautiful verse for us: “For thus says the high and exalted One who lives forever, whose name is Holy, ‘I dwell on a high and holy place, and also with the contrite and lowly of spirit in order to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.”‘ Do you see what God is saying? He lives in a high place totally separate from us. But at the same time he dwells with the lowly and contrite of heart. He is on the side of the meek and humble. (See Matthew 5:1-5). We just need to be honest about ourselves and surrender to Him.

I would like to leave you with three steps that we heard from Pastor Brandon’s message today that will go a long way to helping us gain victory over our sins.

Step 1–ADMIT-that we are powerless in our addictions and sins.

Step 2–BELIEVE–that God is the only one who can fully restore us.

Step 3–TRUST–we decide to trust God with our lives and wills by accepting His grace through Christ.

Brothers and sisters, while I did not do justice to the message today in this post, I pray that you will take this feeble attempt to encourage you to heart. God loves to help the humble and helpless! We just need to come to him and trust that he will work on our behalf. I would like to leave you with one more verse from Isaiah. It is Isaiah 66:1-2, “Thus says the LORD, ‘Heaven is my throne and the earth is My footstool. where then is a house you could build for Me? and where is a place that I may rest? For My hand made all these things, thus all these things came into being.’ declares the LORD. ‘But to this one I will look, to him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word.'” May we rely on God’s grace that is freely given to us in Christ and trust Him to give us victory over our sins!

David & Goliath

five-smooth-stonesBob Mayo, Stonepoint Member

I sometimes wonder why I was asked to write these blog posts. I am not a blogger, I couldn’t set one up if I had to. I don’t have any special connection with God and I am not even a good writer. But I am also glad I get to participate at Stonepoint in this way, because it gives me an opportunity to express things that I wouldn’t ordinarily do. So, if you don’t mind, I would just like to say a few things today.

Can I admit something to you? This has been a really tough year for me. It seems like there has been one struggle after another, both personally and spiritually. My main emotions all year have been discouragement and depression. Now, I know as a Christian, I am not supposed to let my emotions rule me, but that is where I have been headed. Can I admit another thing? I have been living in Romans 7 and fighting sin of late. If you have read any of my previous posts lately, you know that I have truly been challenged about being a Christ follower. But I have also been struggling with sins (and I use that term purposely) lately. Sins like self-pity, wanting to please myself, fear, pride, doubt anger and lack of faith and patience. Sometimes I forget that some of these are even sins. I write them off as character traits that I need to work on. This last Friday all this came to a crisis point. I left work just totally defeated and ready to pack up and leave the ministry. I also told a good friend that I could not talk with them any longer for fear of bringing them away from their walk with the Lord. I can’t tell you how much that hurt me, and in all honesty I did not follow through with that. I know, to you this may sound like I am a little psychotic, and I am sorry. I can assure you, that is not the case. But it is a tough spiritual battle.

So, what does all this have to do with David and Goliath at Stonepoint today? Well today I got up as usual for 8:30AM service so I could do my normal greeting. It has been a wet and dreary weekend with lots of rain (I actually really like that for the most part). I arrived at church and did my greeting like I always do. The music was nice as always, and then Pastor Brandon started the message. We have been doing a series called “Jesus the True and Better” for the past five weeks. Today Pastor Brandon spoke about David and Goliath. Now, we all have heard that story before, probably so much that we just gloss over it when we read it or just skip it all together. But, in all honesty, I have never really tried to see Jesus in this story. It was just another Old Testament Bible story to me.

As I sat there listening to the message a few thoughts came to me about my life. One thing I saw was that I have been living in a lot of fear this past year. Fear of my future, fear facing surgery for my knees, fear that God is not in control of things, fear that He even cares. Today, Pastor Brandon brought out this same thing about fear in the army of Israel from I Samuel 17. Here was this giant of a man in the Philistine army harassing the Israeli army day after day. He taunted the soldiers and King Saul to send out one man to face him in battle. The winner would win the war for his side and the loser would be their servants. There was no one man in the army willing to face Goliath.  I saw at this point that Israel was fearful of the Philistines just as we Christians are against Satan today. As I started to soak things in, I realized I was just giving in to doubt and fear. Have you been asking God, where He is right now? I have! I have asked God for specific answers to prayer for the universal church, for persecuted Christians, for myself, for the ministry and for Stonepoint. Sadly, I see things just getting worse. Thus comes the depression and discouragement.

But today I saw a little glimmer of hope in this study. Here are a few examples:

1. Daniel was the least known of his family. He was not in the army, and his brothers even asked him why he had come to them. Jesus too, the King of kings, was not recognized by the Jews upon his arrival. Isaiah 53 gives us a clear picture of this when it says, “…He has no stately form or majesty that we should look upon Him, nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him.” (Isaiah 53:2). Jesus had no earthly credentials that would make us notice Him. Yet, He was the King of kings who came to save His people.

2. Goliath was a picture of Satan in this passage as David was a picture of Christ. Goliath harassed the Israeli army and caused them to shrink back in fear. We sometimes forget we have an enemy and he is very powerful. But we cannot shrink back in fear. What did David do when the Philistine came toward the battle line? Verse 48 says that as Goliath came toward David, that David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. David didn’t run. He attacked!! This spoke volumes. Sometimes I think that Satan is winning today. So instead of standing up to him I shrink back. David did not do this, but met his enemy head on, and defeated him with a slingshot. Jesus met Satan head on and defeated him at the Cross. Do we believe that? The way I live sometimes, I wonder if I do. Sure, intellectually I know this, but in my heart, where it counts, do I really believe? Oh, God!! I believe, forgive me in my unbelief, as the scripture says.

I could go on, but let me stop here. Maybe you aren’t having the struggles I have mentioned. If so, I praise God for that! But if you are like me, a weak, struggling Christ follower wannabe, take hope. Jesus hasn’t abandoned us. I urge you to keep following the Lord and not come to the place of quitting like I almost did last Friday. Yes, we have an enemy and he is strong. But we have a King and He is stronger. We cannot live the Christian life with out faith, and we cannot have faith without the Word of God. Let’s be in God’s Word and ask the Spirit to reveal it to us in a new way. Yes, there will be hard times ahead. Yes, we will have reason to fear, doubt and run. But let’s not do that. Let’s be that man (or woman) that Israel needed to face Goliath. One thing I would suggest is that you take time today and just ask God, through the Holy Spirit to reveal sin in your life. I did this today and the Spirit revealed several things, some of which I mentioned above. Then confess them to the Lord and claim 1 John 1:9 by faith. He is faithful and will forgive our sin. God is just waiting for us to come to Him. One more thing, our future is in His hands, not ours. He will be here and will go through all things we face with us. May God strengthen us to trust Him and to walk with Him by faith. God bless you!

A Life of Works or A Life of Grace


Bob Mayo, Stonepoint Member

This has been on my mind for awhile, so I thought I would try to put it into words. Several things happened this week that made me think this through. First, I heard a speech by one of our students. She quoted Galatians 3:3 “Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?”

Another thought came to me this morning at Stonepoint Church. Pastor Brandon began a new series that tells stories of Old Testament characters and how they point to Christ. Today, being the first in the series was about the first Adam (Adam in the garden) pointing to the second Adam (Jesus Christ).

Please bear with me while I give you a little background using some thoughts from my life (sorry for doing this, but Lord willing, it will come together). I was raised in a non-Christian family. I was the second child (I guess they are supposed to try harder). I grew up in an atmosphere of always thinking I needed to do the right things and be the right child to earn my parents love. I can’t remember the word LOVE ever being used in our family while I was growing up (although it might have been). I learned early on, that if I did things that my parents approved of, they seemed pleased and if I didn’t, they would show their disapproval. My life of guilt and shame (it seemed like it was difficult to please my parents) went on until I left home at the age of 18.

Then, just before my 24th birthday the Lord graciously saved me. It was wonderful (even I didn’t even own a Bible at that time and knew nothing) and I believed that Jesus paid for my sins and that He loved me, sin and all. But soon after, I heard the word: Sanctification, which I came to know as meaning, growing in Christ and the Christian faith. Unfortunately, I took that to mean I had to work to please God and I just continued with what I had learned growing up, and was soon back into my life of works, thinking that God could only truly love me if I pleased Him. The more I tried, the worse things got. There was no way I could ever please God apart from faith and trusting Him. I prayed often asking God how He could have anything to do with me since I was so weak in my faith and such a sinner. I lived that way for several years.

So here is the point I am trying to make. If you are one like me who is somewhat works orientated (another word for this is “legalist”); if you are living like this I urge you to stop. I can speak from firsthand knowledge on this. As we learned at church today, Adam, the first Adam had a perfect environment and had dominion over all animals and plants. There was one test, one prohibition, “do not eat from the Tree of knowledge of Good and Evil.” God really didn’t explain why He had this test. He just told Adam and Eve not to eat from the tree.

Man failed the test and sin entered the world. Then came Jesus Christ, the second Adam. Romans 5:15 says, “but the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to many.” I won’t go into everything this means, but here is what it means to me. BECAUSE OF JESUS’ DEATH ON THE CROSS, WHEN GOD LOOKS AT US, HE SEES US AS RIGHTEOUS IN SPITE OF OURSELVES AND OUR SIN.

God wants us to trust Him and follow Him from our hearts, not because we need to earn His favor or make God love us. All the works and do’s and don’ts we make up for ourselves, will not make God love us any more than He already does. Our works for God need to be out of a pure motive of our love for Him and not out of a way to try to make God love us. Do we really trust God in this? Do we believe He really loves us in spite of our sins and weaknesses? Satan is an accuser and a deceiver. Let’s not be deceived by Him. Let’s believe God when He says through Paul the Apostle when He says: nothing will be able separate us from the Love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. See Romans 8:38-39.

Colossians, Week 7

Colossians Title

Bob Mayo, Stonepoint Member

Last week from Colossians we talked about some things that we were to put aside. Among them were immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed. The conclusion was that our security must be in Christ alone.

Today, from Pastor Brian, in Colossians 3:12-17, we learned about several things we must put on. In this section, Paul mentions eight graces that a Christ follower must put on:

1. Compassion–this has to do with how we feel about each other. From our hearts, We must display thoughts of tender compassion for one another.

2. Kindness–this has to do with how we treat one another. Since Christ has dealt with us in kindness, we need to show the same kindnesses to one another.

3. Humility–this has to do with how we think about others. Do we really put others ahead of ourselves? Humility was not valued in Paul’s day. I don’t believe it is valued much in our day either. But Jesus Christ was the supreme example of humility. See Philippians 2.

4. Gentleness–this is not weakness. Gentleness is like a soothing wind or a healing medicine. Our words can, and should be that to others.

5. Patience–The word means “have a long temper.” A patient person can put up with people and circumstances that provoke us without retaliating. Pastor Brian brought out the fact that we Christians are not all at the same place. We must be patient and wait for others to catch up.

6. Forbearance or bearing with one another–this means to hold up or to hold back. As God holds back His judgment with us, we need to that with one another.

7. Forgiveness–we need to forgive as God forgave. A couple of examples are that God forgave bad people and when He forgives, He also restores. It is not enough to put up with people who have wronged us, we also need to forgive them.

8. Love–all the previous virtues are valueless if they are not done in love. 1st Corinthians 13. We can go so far as to become a martyr for Christ, but if it is not done out of love for Him, it is of no profit to us.

Pastor Brian ended his message today by talking about the peace of God and the Word of God. How can we know we are out of God’s will? It is when we lose our peace. Verse 16 says to let the word of Christ dwell or rule in our hearts. Warren Wiersbe says: “The Word will transform our lives if we will but permit it to “dwell” in us richly. The word dwell means “to feel at home.” If we have experienced the grace and the peace of Christ, then the Word of Christ will feel at home in our hearts. We will discover how rich the Word is with spiritual treasures that give value to our lives.” I believe the more we treasure and let God’s word dwell in us, the more we will “put on” these eight character traits that Pastor Brian talked about today.

May the Holy Spirit teach us to live by these principles that we learned about today. God bless you all.

Character Building

Bob Mayo, Stonepoint Member

To help me gather a better understanding of the book of Colossians that we have been going over, I have been trying do some studying in it. I have been re-reading thinking about the chapters little by little and reading a commentary called Be Complete written by Warren Wiersbe. I have found some of Wiersbe’s “Be” series books to be a good and practical help to me.

Today I was reading about Paul’s prayer in Colossians 1:9-12. Specifically, what I want to write about today are verses 11-12: “strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light.”

I have heard several times that God is extremely interested in developing the character of His people. Wisdom, conduct and even service are of little value in our lives as Christ followers apart from personal character. In the above passage, Paul mentions four signs or characteristics that we are to be maturing in our walks with the Lord. They are all what we would call character development.

The first is, steadfastness or longsuffering. It means self-restraint and has to do with how we relate to people. It has been jokingly said that the Christian life would be great, if it weren’t for people. How do we get along with our fellow Christians, our spouses and the world of people around us? How do we deal with people who oppose us? The perfect example of this of course, is Jesus himself. Look at His dealings with Peter and the other disciples. How often they “just didn’t get it.” Yet Jesus never gave up. While we won’t handle this as well a Jesus, it is something we need to working toward.

The second is patience. While longsuffering has to do with people, patience has to do with circumstances. Patience is described as “endurance when circumstances are difficult.” Patience is a character trait that we Christ followers need above all else. We are to rejoice patiently in our tribulations as scripture says. One of our problems as Christ followers is that we tend to quit when things get too difficult.

Third, joyfulness. Is it possible to endure difficult times and people with joy? It is possible but not apart from the Holy Spirit. The good thing about joy is that it is not bound by circumstances or people in our lives. A joyful spirit cannot be worked up by our flesh. Joy can only come from the Holy Spirit working in us.

Fourth, thankfulness. We Christians should be thankful. Scripture says be thankful in ALL things. Is that even possible? I think it all depends on our walk with our Lord. We can confess our trust in the Lord in our circumstances come into our lives or we can go the other way and become complaining and bitter. It is a choice we make.

Longsuffering, patience, joy, thankfulness. Paul prayed that the Colossians would grow in all these things. These character traits do not come naturally to us. They are traits that can only flow our of our inner spirit. They are fruit of the Spirit of God in our lives (Gal 5:22-23) The really great news in this is that we already possess all we need to grow in these. Colossians 2:10 is a great verse that we need to memorize and live. “and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority;” As pastor Brandon says, we make it so hard. I wonder at times what would happen if we actually prayed prayers for one another like are found in Colossians 1:9-12 and other places in scripture. By allowing the Spirit to changes us internally, we as a body will grow in our love and service to one another and to the world around us.

Some Thoughts from the Apostle Paul from Colossians 1:24-29

Bob Mayo, Stonepoint Member

Today at Stonepoint we continued with week three from our series on Colossians. I must confess I am having a difficult time putting into words. These messages are really good and helpful, but sometimes the words I think of are just not adequate enough. But I wanted to cover a couple of highlights from today’s message.

Verse 24: “I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the affliction of Christ, for the sake of His body, which is the church.”

One thing is certain from this verse. We will suffer here on this earth. Life is not going to be easy. Philippians 1:29 says: “For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake.” Paul made it clear in verse 24 that he is pleased to suffer for the Body, the church. Paul is not saying that he is making up something that was lacking in Christ’s death on the Cross for the church. Rather, he is saying that he is pleased to suffer for the church because of Christ’s completed work of suffering and dying for us on the cross. Paul finishes up this section by saying in verse 25 that he commissioned by God to feed the body. The New Testament shows just how serious he took that commission. In 2 Corinthians 11:23-28 Paul mentions some of the hardships he has suffered for the body.

The second thing I would like to briefly discuss is mentioned in verses 26-29. Here Paul talks of a “mystery.” The mystery, simply put is “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (verse 27). As the church, we have so many privileges that the great saints of old never saw. Moses, David, Daniel and other Old Testament heroes, never knew the full extent of this mystery. The “good news” that we talk about today, and probably take for granted much of the time, was hidden from them. With the birth of the church at Pentecost, the mystery was revealed. Christ sent the Holy Spirit to live in us. I don’t know about you, but this is another thing that I take for granted. The mysteries of the Godhead are truly revealed to us as New Testament saints!! Like I say, it is difficult to put today’s lesson into adequate words. I would encourage you to go onto the website and listen to the sermon archive of this message.

In closing, I need to say that I have learned so much of the importance of the Body of Christ since coming here to Stonepoint. Not that I didn’t have an understanding before, but it was pretty much intellectual. Since coming here to Stonepoint, my understanding of the Body is becoming a matter of the heart. I have seen, for the first time in a long time, how important the local church is. I heard a few times in my Christian life that 100% of the work of the church is done by 10% of the people. I know for myself, when Pastor Brandon was talking at the end of the message today, that my heart was burdened for the staff of this church. I am still a relative outsider here, and I certainly am not trying to judge anyone, except maybe myself. But just having seen the heart of the pastors and leaders of Stonepoint, I know they get tired, weary and probably discouraged. But they continue to labor, run and struggle for the sake of the Gospel. I pray that God would open our hearts to get behind them in seeing the Gospel go out to the community in and around Wills Point as well as the world. May God speak to our hearts.

Heaven – Week 2


Bob Mayo, Stonepoint Member

This week at Stonepoint we discovered more about Heaven. I cannot adequately talk about this in this today. There was a lot of information. I would encourage all of us to go to the website and listen to today’s sermon again.

Today Pastor Brandon talked from Revelation chapter 21. This chapter talks about the “New Heaven and the New Earth.” We talk much about Heaven but, as good as it will be to be there, it is not our final home. Our final home will be the New Heaven and the New Earth that God will usher in at a later time. Here are a few highlights I got out of today’s sermon, in no particular order.

First, there will be a clear difference in Heaven as it is now and the New Heaven and the New Earth. Even though when a Christian dies, and is ushered into Heaven, he will not see the full glory of God. We will be with the KING, but we will still not see his total glory. That is reserved for later.

Another point I really liked was that when we as believers just see an inkling of God, we hit the floor. Isaiah chapter six is fascinating to me. When Isaiah had a vision of God and received his calling as a prophet, what was his reaction. Verse 5 says he was ruined. Basically, he was torn apart. I truly don’t believe we will be asking God a bunch of questions, like I have heard people say, when we see God in even a small part of His glory. I think we will fall on our face in worship and adoration.

A New Testament passage that follows the same thought as Isaiah 6 is in Acts 9. When Saul saw a vision of God, scripture says Saul fell to the ground. The only question he asked was “who are you, Lord?” In both these instances, neither Isaiah nor Saul saw the full glory of God. If this was their reaction to just a partial vision of God, what will it be like when we see God in all His glory? I can’t imagine!!

A final thought. When will we see God in all His fullness? It will be when God ushers in the New Heaven and New Earth! It is here that we will experience the full glory of God. I have no idea what that will look like either. But from scripture, we do know a couple of things.

God will be among us. We will actually see God face to face! See 1 John 4:12 and 1 Timothy 6:15-16.

All things will be made new. The old order will pass away. No tears, sickness or death.

Finally, There will be no Sun or Moon. The glory of God Himself will light the city! All this should blow our minds, as we often say.

So, are we ready? Do we really look forward to going to Heaven and then enjoy eternity in the New Heaven and New Earth? Or do we spend most of our time rolling around in the muck and mire of this world. There was an old saying among the people of Christ: “He is so Heavenly minded that he is no earthly good.” Personally, I don’t agree. I think the more Heavenly minded we are, the more we will accomplish here on earth. May our Lord make us all Heavenly minded.

Heaven- Week 1

Bob Mayo, Stonepoint Member

Today dawned overcast again, but no matter. It was the Lord’s day. I got up early as always, so I could make the 8:30AM Service. As I was leaving our campus I decided to drop off some things so I wouldn’t have to take them in tomorrow. I noticed the alarm was on which is usually no big thing. I have a code that can reset it and allow me in. However, I was not aware that it was no longer valid, and the alarm started blaring. I called a friend to figure out how to make the alarm stop. He said he would call the person for me, since I didn’t have the number. Finally, while I was standing outside the building, the alarm stopped. I jumped in my car and headed off to church. By the way, I never did drop anything off.

Today at church, Pastor Brandon started a new series on Heaven. I was looking forward to it. The passage for today was 2 Corinthians 5:1-10. Today was introductory but I would like to highlight a few points made by Pastor Brandon.

First, in verse 1 it talks about the fact that we are living in a temporary tent. This world is not our home and we should not just sit around and wait for Heaven, we should long for it. Am I longing for Heaven? Yes, absolutely. But when I was younger, I was quite content to just wait for heaven and go on living my life. We cannot have it both ways. We cannot want to enjoy our lives here and long for Heaven at the same time. It is important for us to remember that this is not our home. Our home is with God in Heaven.

Second, Pastor brought the point that in this body we groan and are burdened. It was not supposed to this way, but because sin came into God’s original creation through the disobedience of Adam and Eve, we suffer. There is disease and sickness, war, crime and many other things that we have to put up with. But in Heaven it will not be so! Heaven will be a pure place and there will be righteousness.

The third part I would like to leave you with is found in verses 5-10. God has given us a deposit or pledge, which is the Holy Spirit. So we press on with our lives living by faith. We prefer to be out of our body and be at home with the Lord but while we are here we should have as our goal to please the Lord. There will come a day when we will all appear before the judgment seat of Christ to give account of our of what we have done whether good or bad (V10). This judgment is not to determine our destination but our rewards, which will give back to Christ, anyway.

I hope this excites you! It does me. May we realize that however long we may live, our time here is short. Let us long to be with our Lord in Heaven. God bless you.

Living for a Different World

Bob Mayo, Stonepoint Member

I have always loved the book of Philippians in the Bible. It would take way too much to go over all the passages that have spoken to me over the years. But a few thoughts come to mind from the series on Disciple that Pastor Brandon just finished. The particular verse I am thinking of is Philippians 1:27: ”Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or remain absent, I will hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel.”

First of all, just for review we need to remind ourselves, what a disciple is. A disciple is one who follows someone or some thing with all their heart. You can be a disciple of football or some other sport. You can study games and players and make it your life work. You can also be a disciple of a person. You are a disciple of anyone you give your allegiance to. It could be a coach, or your yoga teacher, or a politician. In our case we should be disciples of Jesus Christ.

Second, what does it take to become a disciple of Christ? As you may remember, Pastor Brandon gave nine marks of a disciple. For this post I will just mention the first mark. A disciple is one who counts the cost to follow Christ, then denies himself and takes up the cross. Denying self is not the same as self denial. Anyone can implement self denial in their lives for some cause. Dieting is a prime example. You set a goal and calculate what you have to do to reach it. Self denial is usually for a specific period until the goal is reached. Then it’s time to celebrate.

Denial of self on the other hand is a day by day decision to take actions that will make you more like the one you are following, in our case, Christ. It is slugging it out in the mud day by day so that we can conduct ourselves in a manner worthy of our calling.

I have been reading a book by Matt Chandler that talks about this: He says of living a life worthy of the gospel that: “It looks like dying with Christ to one’s self and being raised in Christ to walk in newness of life with our brothers and sisters. It means living grace-filled lives that grant patience and mercy and gentleness for the spiritual journeys of others and a respect for the differences and idiosyncrasies we all bring to the Lord’s table.”

I’ll end this with another quote from Matt Chandler that is really meaningful: “The gospel of Jesus Christ is worth living for, yes, and it is worth dying for, of course, but we show it is supremely valuable to us when we deny ourselves and take up our crosses to be a blessing to the people who the gospel is calling us to. No more ideological pendulum swings. No more being swayed by every wind of false doctrine. No more being moved to and fro by speculations and myths and doubts of self-interest. Instead we (together) stand “firm in one spirit” (Phil. 1:27)”

I pray the Holy Spirit will make us all better disciples of Christ and show us how to live a life worthy of the gospel.