Monday, August 27, 2012

" A Challenged Testimony "

" Then answered I, and said unto them, The God of heaven, He will prosper us; therefore we His servants will arise and build:"
Nehemiah 2:20

Thoughts from Pastor's Message:
What a glorious service we had last week as Mercy's Bridge came to minister in concert at our church. We celebrated with Dr. Goerndt and honored her 26 years with us at Commerce. We were thankful to God that she has continued strong in the "Teaching of the Word of God" in our Sunday School College Hour each week.
We have been talking about our testimonies and looking at the men and women of the Old Testament whose testimonies have encouraged us. It is a wonderful Testimony to exhort the Word of God faithfully for many years! We love the Word of God at Commerce! We also love Anointed Music and the Blessed fellowship of the saints! Psalms 133 comes to mind as I mention our fellowship-- " Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious ointment... as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the Lord commanded the blessing, even life for evermore."

We continue the Testimonies of the Old Testament today as we see Nehemiah Challenged by His Testimony. In this moment and time, we also are challenged to be a 'Living Testimony'. There was a lot of devastation in Jerusalem, Ezra had returned to rebuild the temple, but the walls of the city were in ruin. Nehemiah declared in 2:17, "... Ye see the distress that we are in, how Jerusalem lieth in waste, and the gates thereof are burned with fire: come, and let us build up the wall of Jerusalem, that we be no more a reproach."
As I prepared this message and realized the conditions of our country, I felt like Nehemiah... in 1:4, "He sat down and wept, and mourned, and fasted and Prayed before the God of Heaven:" Fasting and Prayer and weeping before the altar is what it will take to alleviate the distress of our nation. We are challenged by our Testimony!
                         Loving you, Pastor

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Welcome to this Special Service....

Mercy's Bridge is with us today in Worship & in Concert! 

Thoughts from Pastor Rice:
What a glorious day to fellowship together in our Lord's House! It is always an Awesome day when the Family of God gathers together to praise His Holy Name! Today is a great day for Rejoicing! Let us therefore rejoice in the goodness of the Lord as we sing His Praises! Music is strength to the soul as the Lord is magnified in song. The Book of Psalms is full of singing and rejoicing, and this is a day when the saints of God need the Song of the Lord in their spirit! The good old fashioned songs of the ancients that glorify The Father, Jesus and the Holy Ghost. I have learned in these days, it is the Song of the Lord that keeps us from evil, stirs our heart, and nourishes our inner man. Right this moment, the strains of this song runs through my spirit: " I will sing of the mercies of the Lord forever I will sing..." I am so grateful for the Mercy of the Lord, and as I sing it in my spirit, I am overwhelmed with His Presence! Think of this glorious song: " This is my story, this is my song, Praising my Savior all the day long..." Christianity needs to beef up their songs of Praise until their heart is stirred and worship becomes the theme of their life. After all, God said in Psalms 81:10, " I Am the Lord thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt: open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it." Egypt is a type of the world and God has surely brought us out of the world and set our feet on solid ground, the Rock! How can we not open wide our mouths in songs of Praise? This is a great cause for Praise and Worship! When the depth of Praise comes from within and rises before the throne of God, the heavenly language kicks in and we are caught up in the Presence of our Lord and Savior~ then "Worship comes forth!" Let us meditate upon the songs of the Lord that glorify Him and encourage our inner man. It is in the midst of great trial that David's songs burst forth, full of thanksgiving, sometimes singing of the vexation of his soul, but declaring the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living, like: "My soul, in sad exile, was out on life's sea so burdened with sin and distressed, Till I heard a sweet voice saying, 'Make Me your choice,' and I entered the Haven of Rest! I've anchored my soul in the Haven of Rest, I'll sail the wide seas no more; The tempest mat sweep o'er the wild stormy deep, In Jesus I'm safe evermore..." Let the Songs of the Lord sweep o'er your soul today as we enjoy this special occasion and fellowship together in His Presence!
                                           Loving you, Pastor

To honor Sunday School month, Commerce Community Church honored Dr. Phyllis D. Goerndt for her service over the past 26 years in teaching Sunday School and imparting the Word of God to us.
She also serves as Prayer Leader, Ministry of music [piano], is Department Head for the Nouthetic Counseling, teaches & grades for the Shalom Bible College, serves in the Food Cupboard, and is a Deacon/Elder for visitation. 
   We Love you Dr. Goerndt! Blessings to you! 

Sunday, August 12, 2012

" Testimonies Continue! " Part 2

"Quicken me after Thy lovingkindness; so shall I keep the Testimony of Thy mouth.  For ever, O Lord, Thy Word is settled in heaven.  Thy Faithfulness is unto all generations: Thou hast established the earth, and it abideth."                                           -Psalm 119:88-90

Thoughts from the Pastor's Message:
O the glorious testimonies of scripture!  As we focus on the awesome acts of God in the Old Testament, we are overwhelmed with His presence and the glory of His wonderful dealings with mankind.  Most saints know the stories that have been told to the children down through the ages in Sunday School.  But somehow when they are under the theme of His glorious testimonies, we are renewed in our spirit and strengthened in our faith.  The saints of the Old Testament were humans such as we are, but they dared to follow the commands of God; and when they did, they beheld His awesome hand delivering them.  God's acts were glorious; however, He desired that we come to know His ways and to follow hard after His instructions.

For those who have served the Lord for many years, we wonder how anyone can exist without Him, yet there are multitudes that reject our Saviour.  This is why some of Jesus' last Words to His followers were:  "Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth."  Our Father God sent His Only Begotten Son with a great purpose, that we would be a witness of the Glory of God, and that we would then go forth into all the world and declare His "so great a Salvation."

This is a defining moment in our history, a time to stand up for the Gospel, for the sacrifice of our Lord and be His witness in the earth.  This is the moment to testify of how He has worked in our lives, the moment to be a faithful witness of His glorious acts among humanity!

                                                            Loving you, Pastor

Sunday, August 5, 2012

"Living the Testimony"

" I will sing of the mercies of the Lord forever; with my mouth will I make known Thy faithfulness to all generations. " Psalms 89:1

Thoughts from Pastor's Sermon:
We have been studying about testifying-- testimonies and sharing our faith. Over and over in scripture we find the the testimonies of the patriarchs, the prophets, and the Psalmist, but until we isolate the testimonies and read the scriptures, we perhaps never realize the greatness of the individual's testimony before the Lord.  For example, Daniel's great witness standing up for prayer when it would cost him his life.  He "lived" his testimony.  An adverse circumstance arose and he was thrown in the lion's den.  When the king came to the lion's den, he cried out with a lamenting voice, "O Daniel, servant of the living God, is thy God, who thou servest continually able to deliver thee from the lions?"  And Daniels' testimony was, "O king, live for ever.  My God hath sent His angel and hath shut the lions' mouths, that they have not hurt me."  (Daniel 6:20-22)  Then we have the three Hebrew children who again stood up for the worship of God and not the gods of this world.  they, too, lived their testimony and when threatened with the 'fiery furnace,' this was the three Hebrew children's testimony:  "If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us out of thine hand, O king."  Consider Naaman, the king's captain, full of leprosy he came to the Prophet Elisha and was told to dip in the Jordan seven times: He was "wroth, and went away," but his servant encouraged him to obey and when he obeyed the prophet of the Lord, his testimony was: "Behold now I know that there is no God in all the earth, but in Israel."  (2 Kings 5:15)  It is one thing to testify and witness for Christ; it is still another thing to live the testimony.  Consider Abraham who God asked to sacrifice his only son of the wife he loved so much.  His testimony was: Isaac said to his father, Abraham, "Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?"  And Abraham's testimony was: "My son, God will provide Himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together."  (Genesis 22:7-8)  The beloved Mary, not understanding at all what was happening to her when she found out she was with child by the Holy Ghost, gave this testimony: "My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoices in God, my Saviour.  For He that is might hath done to me great things; and Holy is His name.  (Luke 1:46-49)
                                            Love you much, Pastor