December 17th, 2019


Jonah 1-4


As I read the Bible, I’ve always found Jonah to be an interesting character study. Often this book is read in a negative lens with a lot of guilt and weight being placed on Jonah. We read through the story and think “how on earth could he have missed what God was trying to accomplish?” But I have found the more I read through Jonah, the more I see myself as the character of the story. Maybe you do too. Let’s look at a couple of significant portions of each chapter and pray that God would use the book of Jonah to reveal somethings about ourselves that maybe we didn’t realize.

1. Jonah knew better than to run.

Think about it for a minute. Jonah was a prophet of the Lord. He had a divine calling on his life to serve the Lord and proclaim His (God’s) word. He would have known the scriptures and the law well, he would have known the stories of God’s goodness and faithfulness. He would have known how God has taken care of His people and even some of how God pursued certain people to get their attention. Yet, he makes a decision to flee the call of God (v. 1.3a), makes a financial investment into his sin (v.1.3b), and then rests comfortably (v.1.5) We do this too sometimes don’t we? God calls us to follow his instruction or perhaps lays a specific calling on us, and we run from it giving any excuse we can come up with as to why. “I’m out of town that weekend” or “I can’t give anymore because bills are due” or “It’s weird to talk to people about Jesus”. And really we’re no different than Jonah is. Some of us are pastors, deacons, Sunday school teachers, leaders in our church, ministry coordinators, etc. We’ve got years of experience and have heard sermons, or read books. We have God’s word and know what it says. Gosh we even have the story of Jonah as an example and we still do this. We’re more similar to Jonah than we realize.

2. Jonahs Repentance wasn’t genuine.

If you look at the the wording carefully in Jonahs prayer in chapter two, Jonah focuses a lot on himself and his circumstance. He attributes the Lords work in all of these things happening to him, but it’s almost done in a “why me Lord” tone of voice. “Oh poor me” is his attitude. He never once confessed his disobedience to God’s call and never once did he ask for God’s forgiveness to his disobedience. But he’s also focused on his circumstance. He can’t see past what is happening to him right now. If you compare Jonahs prayer to other prayers in the Old Testament (Psalm 51, Psalm 34, 2 Chronicles 6) you’ll see a very different tone in those prayers. Jonah here still doesn’t get it, but uses prayer as a way to gain pity and sympathy for his current troubles and circumstance.

3. God uses Jonah in spite of Jonah for His Kingdom.

Jonah still didn’t want to go to Nineveh, but he wanted to get out of the belly of the whale even more. So God calls him again to go, and Jonah being a smart man and not wanting to be punished again does what God asks. Even though Jonah’s heart wasn’t in the right place, Jonah was still the instrument God used to change peoples lives. This should be encouraging to us! In spite of how we feel about things, God has called us to obedience. We may not like, we may not want to do it, but our obedience is what matters. And even if we have the wrong attitude, God can still move. I promise you Jonah said nothing that was inspiring or moving or touching. In fact his message was pretty depressing – “you’ve got 40 day’s left”. Not exactly a message that moves the heart. Yet it was God who moved the hearts of the people and they confessed, repented and believed. So we’re really not capable of doing anything special. In fact, we can’t do anything to save people. But we’re called to go, even when we don’t want to and God does the rest.

4. God pursues Jonah even in sin

Jonah still doesn’t get it. He laments the Lords salvation of Nineveh and then wants to die because he loses a shady spot. All this time, what the Lord is trying to teach Jonah is that he longs for a relationship with him. And not only him (Jonah) but all of mankind, including the people of Nineveh (v.4.11). Jonah here sins a great deal, several times, and yet the Lord still pursues him. That should be a great comfort to us that even in the midst of our sin and our disobedience, the Lord is patient with us and still pursues us. 3 times the Lord “appoints” a significant event to happen in Jonahs life and 3 times Jonah completely gets it wrong. Even still the Lord doesn’t abandon Jonah. The Lord may appoint things in your life to get your attention because He wants to teach you something. I heard a great quote from Dr. Eric Mason that said, “God appoints stuff, to bring out of you stuff. Not for you to talk about the stuff you’re in.” Sometimes it takes a while for the “stuff” to be brought out of us, and sometimes, Like Jonah we miss it altogether. But Praise God He is patient with us and doesn’t leave us.

In Christ,

Rev. Sam Killman

December 2, 2019


My little children, I am writing you these things so that you may not sin.

But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ the Righteous One.

1 John 2:1


I’ll never forget standing before a judge in a cold Siberian courtroom. I was unfamiliar with the legal process, couldn’t speak the language, had no knowledge of local customs, and was at the complete mercy of the court. To say the least, I had no hope of trying to plead my case. Thankfully, our adoption agency provided us an advocate. This individual would take our pleas for making little Alexey and Vadim a part of the Reed family and translate it into the language of the judge. She knew the legal ins and outs and what the judge needed to know about us to rule favorably. We sat in silence as the advocate poured through our file and explained our situation to the judge. Thankfully, we were awarded custody and our dreams of being parents to the twins became a reality
When John calls Jesus “our Advocate,” he means that our Savior stands before the Father to plead our case. But Jesus’ work as our Advocate goes far above and beyond the work of an earthly defense attorney as His case for us is based on the work He has done to secure God’s favorable verdict. For those who are in Christ, God is no longer the Judge who condemns us but the Father who adopts us into His family. We are guilty of sin and unable to meet the Lord’s demands, but the perfect righteousness of Jesus has been gifted to us which sets us right with God. Matthew Henry writes: “The clients are guilty; their innocence and legal righteousness cannot be pleaded. It is the advocate’s own righteousness that he must plead for the criminals.” Praise be to God for our Great Advocate!
-Brother Kevin Reed

November 25th, 2019


1 Peter 2:2-3


2 Like newborn infants, desire the pure milk of the word, so that you may grow up into your salvation, 3 if you have tasted that the Lord is good.”

I’ve always liked to drink milk. Even now as an adult, I still am fond of a glass of milk every now and again. But there is only one way (in my humble, but accurate opinion) to drink it. It has to be really cold. Anything less than that is no good. The taste changes. But that’s me being picky. I have the option to drink it however I desire. Peter in our passage here gives us a fascinating illustration that I find ever so relatable yet, so simple it’s easy to miss. Lets break it down a little:

“Like newborn infants, desire the pure milk of the word,” If you have ever been a parent, you most likely know what a hungry infant looks like. The cries and the screams are quick to alert you that they are hungry. And if the cries don’t give it away, the way an infant will search for its source of food should. One of the funniest memories I have from when my son was an infant is him trying to latch on to me a few times. He would be hungry and in my arms and would suck on my finger, or my shirt or anything he could get near his mouth. Obviously they were all the wrong sources of what he truly wanted, but his desire was so strong, he sought it out with everything he could.

Look at Peter’s words here; just like an infant desires milk. That word “desires” in the original Greek means to “to strain after, greatly desire, long for, to yearn for”. Think of the smallest infant. It knows that it needs milk to sustain its life. It is going to look for it where ever it can. It “needs” it, craves it, has to have it. It is at that level in which we should want God’s word. We should long to fill our lives with it because it is indeed the only source of spiritual nutrition that will sustain us. But look at the second half of the verse; “…that you may grow up into your salvation.” Babies haven’t changed in the way they grow since this letter was written. Babies need nutrition to grow; our spiritual lives need nutrition to grow. Just as babies get their nutrition from milk, we get our spiritual nutrition from God’s word. That makes a lot of sense doesn’t it? Like I said, it’s not a complex teaching of the Bible. But I want to ask you…how grown up are you?

See I think the truth is, we can see what Peter is saying here and say “well of course that’s how it works” but then when it comes time to actually live that way and apply it to our lives, all of a sudden we have all kinds of reasons why we don’t. Just like I only like my milk a certain way, we have excuses for why we aren’t letting God’s word feed us. We’re not craving it like we should. And so often what happens is we find that we aren’t growing into our salvation or into our faith, and we begin to question why. It’s because of instead of craving what our spirit needs for nutrition, we’re filling it with junk instead. See infants can’t choose what they want to eat. They don’t know any better. What they know is what is good for them. What will help them grow. What will sustain them. As adults, we get to choose what we fill ourselves with. I’m afraid (and am guilty of) though we more often fill ourselves with junk that doesn’t sustain, doesn’t help us grow, doesn’t give life.

But like Peter says here, quoting Psalm 34, when we drink in the word and truly crave it – like we can’t get enough of it – then we see that the Lord is good and we need Him more.

My challenge for you this evening is to examine your heart. Is your desire for God’s word at this level? Do you realize the necessity for life that it holds in your spiritual walk with the Lord? Are you craving God’s word or letting your spirit be filled with junk food?

God Bless!

Brother Sam

November 23, 2019


This past Tuesday I wrote a devotion from our Bible-in-a-Year reading of James 1:19-21, speaking on anger. Oftentimes, confrontation results in anger. But does that mean that we are called to always avoid confrontation? On the contrary, in Christ we are called to confront brothers and sisters in sin. Why would God call us to do this? Not for self-righteousness, not because we think we are better, not for our own egos, but out of love for the fellow believer. James 5:19-20 says,

“19 My brethren, if any among you strays from the truth and one turns him back, 20 let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.”

Think about it like this: if your young child or grandchild really wanted to go and play on the highway, if it was the thing they most wanted to do and they felt that nothing else could bring them happiness, would you let them? Of course not! You would not only forbid them from going, but if they tried to go without your permission you would discipline them to teach them a lesson. You would do everything in your power to keep them from playing on the highway because you would know that it would lead to a tragic outcome. You would not be denying their wishes to play on the highway because you hated them, but because you loved them deeply (perhaps in a way they were not yet able to understand).

In the same way, we are called to love one another. Jesus said the whole world would be able to identify Christians by our love for one another (see John 13:35). And yet we know that sin is slavery, sin brings shame, and the wages of sin is death (see Romans 6:16, 21, and 23). So why would we allow our brothers and sisters in Christ to be ensnared by sin? Jesus told us to go to our brothers and sisters and correct them. In fact, sin is so urgent that if they won’t listen we’re to take another brother or sister with us a second time to plead with them to repent. If they still won’t listen we’re to bring it before all the brothers and sisters in the local church, and if they still refuse we’re to assume they are lost and need to be saved from sin (see Matthew 18:15-18).

Some folks point to Matthew 7:1-3 and say that we should “stay out of other people’s business.” This is a false reading of Scripture. Jesus, in Matthew 7:1-3, says,

“1 Do not judge so that you will not be judged. 2 For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. 3 Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?”

But Jesus goes on to say, in the next two verses,

“4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye” (Matthew 7:4-5, emphasis my own).

In other words, Jesus says hypocrites shouldn’t correct one another. And the solution is: don’t be hypocrites. Turn from your sins, listen to rebuke from faithful brothers and sisters, and then faithfully turn other brothers and sisters away from sin when they are ensnared. Take the log out of your own eye first, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.

We are not doing each other any favors when we ignore unrepentant sin in each other’s lives. Biblically, we’re not even loving each other when we do that. May we all strive to repent of our sins together, to help one another along the way, and to hold one another accountable that we might bring glory to God and lost people to know Christ (see Matthew 5:13-16).

If you have any questions about what it means to be saved from your sins and to receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior, or about how to repent of sin in your life, please contact us at

I hope you’ll come be with us tomorrow for our Sunday services! We have something for all ages and we would love to have you and your family present with us. May God bless you!

In Christ,

Pastor Chase

November 19, 2019

James 1:19-21

We know that the way of the world, the way of the flesh, is incompatible with God’s way.  We know that we are all born into sin, that Jesus Christ saves us out of our sin when we turn to Him, and that with the help of the Holy Spirit the saved person can overcome sin and be obedient to the Lord.  Nevertheless, we still struggle with temptation.  We are tempted by food, we are tempted by money, we are tempted by untruths, and we are tempted with lust.  But we don’t often think about how we are also tempted by anger.  James 1:19-21 says,

19 This you know, my beloved brethren.  But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; 20 for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God.  21 Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls.”

    One of the first responses we have when we are confronted in any way (unjustly or justly, by an enemy or by a friend, by an authority figure or by an equal) is anger.  Anger is often one of our first inclinations when we experience something uncomfortable or something we don’t like.  And anger demands an instantaneous gratification.  The moment we feel anger it feels good to let it out.  But the Bible tells us, as believers in Christ, we ought to be “quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God.”

    Anger, like any sin, promises us the world but leaves us empty.  We often believe our anger will fix things – if someone didn’t listen to you, get angry!  If a store won’t give you a refund, get angry!  If someone disrespects you, get angry!  Just think how terrible our lives would be if our Lord treated us like that…

    The Scripture, here in James, tells us, “Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls.”  Love covers a multitude of sins.  And if we reflect on all the times we have angered the Lord by our sins, we remember very quickly that we receive a loving amount of grace every day.  This knowledge should humble us as we reflect on how many of our sins the Lord has mercifully forgiven us in Christ.  

So this week, if someone has angered you, think back to the cross.  Think back to our Lord.  Think back to your sins which have been forgiven by grace alone, and extend the same love and forgiveness that Jesus has extended to you.  The righteousness of God is not achieved by our anger, it is achieved when we are quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger – seeking to be a community of grace toward one another under the shadow of the cross.

If you have any questions about what it means to be saved from your sins and to receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior, or about how to resist the temptation of anger, please contact us at  

I hope you’ll come be with us tomorrow night at 6pm for our Wednesday Night services!  We have something for all ages and we would love to have you and your family present with us for our midweek services.  May God bless you! 

In Christ,

Pastor Chase 

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