From the Pastor’s Heart
March 17, 2019
Good morning and welcome to Sunday morning worship service at Enon! First, let me shout out a big welcome to Bro. Doug Garrison and his awesome family as they join us today to begin their ministry here at Enon!
Sharing our faith should be natural response of a child of God. It doesn’t take a degree or any specialized training, but simply a willing heart to share what the Lord has done for you! Jews in Jesus’ day had a hard time understanding how Gentiles could be saved. To the Jews, the Gentiles were considered vile, cruel, and godless with no concept of anything of God. This is why it shook them so much when Paul says “yes, salvation is for them as well.” Here is how he put it in Romans 1:16: For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
Salvation is for everyone!! There is nobody, in any circumstance, that is alienated from the power of God! You may say, “But my life is really messed up.” May I say this: He created the universe in six days, he has raised the dead, caused blind to see–He can handle your mess!! No wonder Paul was ready to preach the gospel; (Romans 1:15: So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also), when you have experienced power like that.
I recently heard a story of a young man who started a flag football team with some of his buddies, hoping to share the gospel with each of them. Luke tried several times, but they had “zero spiritual interest!” Luke was ready to give up, especially when he saw several of the guys getting into fights with the opposing team. But he decided one last time to share his testimony, share the gospel, and share why- as a Christian — he didn’t want to be part of a team known for brawling with opposing teams. He was afraid it went on deaf ears, but a couple of weeks later he invited them all to a campus outreach service to which he was speaking. They heard him give the message and invitation, and one of them — the ringleader of the fighting issues gave his life to Christ. But that wasn’t the end of it! Later that night, this young man who had just accepted Christ began to share his new life with the other guys. He only knew about three verses in the Bible, so when his friends asked, “How did you get saved?” he googled it!! He googled, “How to become a Christian,” and through that he found the Romans Road online and lead two more of his friends to Christ!!
Charles Spurgeon once said-, “When you understand what Jesus has done for you, you will not be able to keep the good news to yourself! You see church, you don’t need a public speaking course. You don’t need to go to seminary. When you have Jesus, you become the most eloquent speaker there is, because you are talking about something that comes from your heart. When the gospel becomes real to you, then you will be eager to share it with everyone around you!’! May He richly bless each one here today!
-Awaiting the Shout, Pastor Drew
From the Pastor’s Heart
March 10, 2019
Good morning to everyone and welcome to Sunday morning worship at Enon! You and I are not facing the same kinds of persecution the Apostle Paul was when the Lord appeared to him in a prison cell on the Isle of Patmos. In many parts of the world, this type of persecution is still common. Compared to the average believer in Afghanistan, Libya, or China, our lives are pretty easy. And yet, we have more in common with Paul than we’d like. Most of us are facing situations in life that overwhelm us, we can see storm clouds on the horizon of our lives. If we don’t see those clouds now, it is only a matter of time. Your storm may come in the form of a chronic illness. You may be walking through a family issue. Maybe you are fighting a battle to addiction. Or maybe there is just a dark cloud of mental anguish, anxiety and depression, that colors everything in your life. Whatever the storm, you may feel like you are long past hope. You may feel ready to give up. If this is you, I can guess what you would like me to tell you. It’s the same thing I want to hear when I am suffering, “Don’t worry, God is going to end all your problems!” But the tough truth is, that at least in the short run, suffering may last a little longer.
God’s victory promises that suffering won’t last forever, but it may last far longer than we would like. In fact, it may last an entire lifetime. Sometimes we want a theology that promises if we are a good person, then God will remove all the problems of our life. But here is the problem with that–You will never come to a close relationship with the Lord that way. He didn’t come to give “good” people a little pep talk so they could overcome their problems. He didn’t come as a life coach promising good advice. He came as a doctor to the hurting, sick, and the dying. He came as a comforter to the crushed and broken!! If you are suffering, pressing toward Jesus may not mean your suffering goes away. It might just mean you get more of Jesus in the midst of your suffering. I know this is not the most popular preaching–but it is the truth!! You see; it is through these problems God makes you stronger!
Isaiah says that, “God wants to turn us into ‘oaks’ of righteousness.” I recently read that oak trees in storm-rich areas are the strongest because the winds and storms cause their roots to grow deeper. That, my friends, is what the Lord desires of us–for us to grow deeper in Him through the storms!! The problems we face in life are real, but may I submit to you today that Jesus is real too!! And He is bigger that any problem we face! In the midst of tribulation in our lives, may we remember the words to this grand old song–“When peace like a river, attendeth my way. When sorrows like sea billows roll. Whatever my lot, thou has taught me to say, It is well, It is well with my soul.” With Jesus, all things are well!! May He richly bless each one here today.
-Awaiting the Shout, Pastor Drew
From the Pastor’s Heart
March 3, 2019
Good morning Enon Church family and welcome to Sunday morning worship service! Many times our lives do not look picture perfect. Loss, loneliness, relationships, health concerns, financial issues, and other problems take no holiday! Sometimes these problems can come when many people around are living joyously thus leaving us to feel even more discouraged and defeated. When we see no way out of despair, many of us want the company of someone who has gone through a similar situation and understands our struggle. Maybe that is why we identify with biblical characters like David and Paul who have experiences the discouragement of afflictions. In 2 Corinthians 1:8, Paul writes of one of the most difficult times of his life when he says, “………we were burdened excessively, beyond out strength, so that we despaired even of life;” This experience was so overwhelming for Paul that he saw no way out. He says in vs. 9: “indeed, we had the sentence of death within ourselves……….” Whether you feel slowly pressed into hopelessness by the accumulation of many everyday stresses or life has been upended by an overwhelmingly difficult and painful situation—friend you need encouragement!!
The Greek word translated for comfort or encouragement is “paraklesis,” which means “a calling to one’s aid.” Isn’t that what we need when we are overwhelmed—someone who will stay when we grow weak! When Paul was at his weakest, “……… the Father of mercies and God of all comfort” came along side to encourage him in the midst of his affliction (2 Corinthians 1:3). God’s comforting nature is displayed in all three members of the Trinity, not simply by the “Father of Mercy.” Paul said “For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ.” (2 Corinthians 1:5). And in John 14:16, Jesus described the indwelling Holy Spirit as “another Comforter.”
The entire Godhead is at work lifting us up, giving support and comfort in adversity!! Upon salvation, we aren’t expected to fend for ourselves. God tenderly cares for us as His children and He’s promised never to leave us or forsake us. Even if we feel as if we are all alone in our struggles, God is there, carrying us through when we have no more strength to continue. If we never had troubles, we would never know the comforting aspect of God or depend upon Him as we should. In fact, He sometimes allows us to go through suffering and hardships that are beyond our ability to bare so,” ……… that we would not trust ourselves, but in God………….” (2 Corinthians 1:9). He rules over all our situations with the purpose of bringing us through and looking more like His Beloved Son and having a closer relationship with Him. We serve an amazing God!! May He richly bless each one here today. -Awaiting the Shout, Pastor Drew
From the Pastor’s Heart
February 24, 2019
Good morning church family and welcome to Sunday morning worship at Enon. In II Corinthians 12:7, Paul has something he called a “thorn in the flesh.” Whatever that thorn was, it was a tool of the Enemy who surely sought to discourage Paul. God, however, was sovereign over Paul’s life, and he had a purpose for allowing the thorn. Sometimes God allows the thorns into our lives for a specific reason. Here are some reasons I believe the Lord leaves thorns in our lives.
- To keep us humble. This is clearly the case in II Corinthians 12. Paul had been taken into the heavens, but God would not let him get arrogant about his experiences. In fact, the text says twice that God intended to keep Paul humble.
- To make us weak. Paul learned the lesson God intended for him to learn: when Paul was at his weakest, God would be his strength—and He’s all the apostle would need. Sometimes, our strength may stand in the way of God working through us.
- To make us pray more. We can assume from his writings that Paul had a vibrant prayer life, but he nevertheless prayed multiple times for God to remove the thorn. God did not respond to what Paul wanted, but He surely was pleased that the apostle turned to Him in prayer during his pain.
- To make us witness to the world. It’s not when we are rejoicing on the mountaintop that we are the strongest witness of God’s love and empowerment; rather, it’s when we rejoice even when we are in the deepest valley. The world takes notice when our thorn is incredibly painful, yet we still sing God’s praises through it!
- To teach us the power of His grace. We speak often about grace, but that doesn’t mean we really appreciate it. We don’t know just how sweet that grace is until it’s all we have left!! When God’s grace is all we have, it’s ever present, always available and sufficient for all we need.
- To teach other—which we are doing right now. Because of this story in a Paul’s life, you and I can learn today to trust God better when we bear our own thorns. When we learn like Paul to rejoice in whatever state we find ourselves in, we have gone a long way in defeating the devil’s purpose against us!
Whatever thorns the Lord allows in our lives, let us keep our eyes on the Lord through it all and He will make the unbearable bearable!! May He richly bless each one here today!! -Awaiting the Shout, Pastor Drew
From the Pastor’s Heart
February 17, 2019
Good morning and welcome to Sunday morning worship service at Enon! Years ago, I remember seeing a picture in a church supposedly of Jesus. It looked like an Olan Mills portrait. Jesus had surprisingly fair skin, full lips, beautiful braided hair. He had an expression on his face like he was watching a bird fly by. I’m not sure where we get this image from – not the Bible. Jesus was a carpenter which would mean he would be more rugged and buff not soft and flowy. More important than his earthly profession is the way He is depicted in Revelation 1. His hair was white and as wool and His eyes were like fire, His feet burned like a furnace, and His voice sounded like many rushing waters. If we take this description at face value, this would not be a character we would want to run into in a dark alley! But John, when he wrote this in Revelation, didn’t want us to take this image literally. He was using symbolism to try and show just how powerful and awesome Jesus is!! In Revelation 17:1, John says: “And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead.” Jesus and John wee close friends on earth. John actually refers to himself as “the one whom Jesus loved.” John was not trying to say he was better than the others. He was saying that He was amazed that Jesus kept on loving him despite how bad John had failed Him. Jesus and John were so close at the last supper, John laid his head upon Jesus’ chest (John 13:23).
Now I have some close guy friends, but none close enough to lay their head upon my chest at dinner! But you know who would do that? —my children!! John has a love for Jesus as a loving child toward a parent! When John sees Jesus in Revelation 1, it has been decades since he last saw him. How did this reunion go? Well it was no warm and fuzzy meeting. Instead, John falls at His feet as though he was dead! Is this Jesus who appears to John different than the One he had known in the past? No!! It’s just when Jesus was on earth, this part of Him was veiled. That same power was there; we just couldn’t see it. Now John is seeing Jesus in all His power and glory!! Why is Jesus appearing this way to John now? Because Jesus is showing John that His plan is not to deliver His church from persecution and pain—things are not going to get better! Instead He shows John His true power, His majesty, and His love, so that the church would know the power we have from Jesus through any trial or storm we could ever face in these last days!!! You see church, in times of trouble and persecution, Jesus is not like some therapist, or some life coach. He is strong and mighty and sovereign over all other powers in this world! He can and will help you make it through till the end!! What a mighty God we serve!! May he richly bless each one here today. -Awaiting the Shout, Pastor Drew
From the Pastor’s Heart
February 10, 2019
Good morning to everyone and welcome to Sunday morning worship. I recently had the question asked, “What are the top things a new Christian should learn within the first year of becoming a Christian?” This is a wise question, because if you are off by a few degrees at the start, you will be off by miles later down the road. I know that from my experience. I have been saved for over 34 years, and God has had to redirect me on multiple things because of what I mistakenly believed early on about being a Christian—and it is better to learn sooner than later! I believe there are some good answers to this question, and I want to list a few of those.
- The one thing the Bible emphasizes more than us loving God is “God loving us!!” God is not in heaven plucking a daisy while saying, “I love them” – “I love them not.” His love is never ending!! (I John 4:16).
- Your motivation for and the purpose of your learning, serving, worshipping, giving, and praying is to grow more in love with God and with people (Matthew 22:36-40).
- You are not only saved by grace, but you grow by it as well. A common trap with new and growing Christians is trying to clean up their lives without God’s help. I heard a false teaching that says, “the less you sin, the less you need God’s grace.” Beloved, may I say, you cannot sin less and love more without the strength of God’s grace.
- Don’t trample all over the Great Commandment (love God, love people). Lead people to Jesus by loving people to Jesus. If these people ask you why you live the way you do, simply share with them why you put your hope and trust in Jesus!
- Focus on Jesus, His cross, His resurrection, and His kingdom. When you confessed Jesus as the living Lord and Messiah, you never said, nor will you ever say anything more meaningful and important!! All the world’s greatest gifts – love, life, truth, grace, etc. have a name – Jesus.
- God cares about your whole life, not just your spiritual life. It is a mistake to think God is only concerned about a section of your life – personal, emotional, social, family, and so on. Lastly, and what I feel to be most important, is your daily communication and communing with the Lord through reading His Word and in prayer. This must happen daily. Give the Lord the first part of your day and ask His guidance and fellowship throughout your day. After all, this is what He truly desires – your fellowship!!
These ideas are not just for new Christians but for all Christians! May we desire to fellowship and follow our precious Savior! May He richly bless each one here today! -Awaiting the Shout, Pastor Drew
From the Pastor’s Heart
February 3, 2019
Good morning Enon church family and welcome to Sunday morning worship service! Ephesians 6:10-12 reads: Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. The enemy will do everything possible to thwart God’s plan for His church. But in Christ, we are called to win this battle!! To do this, we must consecrate ourselves to Jesus and His mission. We must understand that we are in a battle with principalities and powers that will not be defeated through merely human efforts producing merely human results. We must actively use the armor of God as the body of Christ to win this spiritual battle. How do we prepare for this battle? We must continually train our people to understand that the church is not just a building – it is a body! The church is not driven by event but an everyday mission in all of life – that being:
- Love God and love others.
- Serve God and serve others.
We must disciple and train each one in the body of Christ to be able to stand strong in the Lord to guard against the Enemy. As we move closer to the return of Christ, we will definitely see an increase of spiritual wickedness in our world. This past week not only were the New York legislators rejoicing and applauding over the hideous abortion laws passed, but so was Satan and all his demonic forces!! Now this week, North Carolina liberal legislators are vowing to pass the same law as in New York! Even in the midst of all the evil there is good news though!! Luke 21:28 tells us: And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads, for your redemption draweth nigh. It can’t be long before the return of our Lord!! Let the body of Christ stand strong together in these last days and bodly proclaim the Word of the Lord!! May He richly bless each one here today! -Awaiting the Shout, Pastor Drew
From the Pastor’s Heart
January 27, 2019
Good morning to everyone and welcome to Sunday morning worship service at Enon! When you put your faith in Christ, God commissions Himself to protect, provide, and care for you (Phil.4:19). God always provides for His children, though not often the way we expect or hope. The challenge is for us to see the provision and care, even when it is different than we expect. Because God is God, and His ways are higher than our ways (Isa 55:9). I have heard it said, “God is always doing 10,000 things in your life, even though you may be only aware of two or three of them.” Over and over again, Jesus’ disciples missed what He was doing right in front of them. They missed the point of the miracles. They missed the point of the lessons. This should give us hope for our own lack of clarity today. Here are four important encouragements about how God provides and cares for you.
- God may provide differently than we expect. Even with God’s supernatural provision for the children of Israel in the desert, they still grumbled and complained. They longed for the food in Egypt. God was literally providing bread from heaven every day, yet they wanted His provision in a different way—they wanted it “their way.” This lesson has spoken to me over the years. Ask God to provide for you in whatever way He deems fit. Don’t grumble against God’s supernatural, unexpected ways!
- God provides more of Himself. Our greatest need is for more of God, and this is something He gladly gives us! The Bible tells us to make the pursuit of God the primary function of our lives. Matt. 6:33 says, Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you. Psalms 37:4 says, Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. We need to ask ourselves these questions: “What is the deepest root of my joy? Is it what God gives to me? Or is it what God is to me? God graciously guides us into a greater realization that our ultimate need is far more of His Word, more of His ways and more of Him!”
- God’s ultimate provision has already been given in His Word. James 1:7 reminds us, Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. Every truly good thing in our lives come straight from the Father. The ultimate good He provided us, through whom much of the other good things come to us, is Jesus! Jesus is the ultimate treasure!!
- Finally, God provides eternity. This life is fleeting. This life is fragile. This life is but a vapor. The next life, the age to come is where all God’s provision and care for us will ultimately make sense and come together as a whole! We may not receive healing in this life, but we will receive perfect healing in eternity!! We may not see answers to our prayers in this life, but we will understand fully in eternity!! Some days God’s provision and care may seem distant, but it will be ever present in eternity!! Sometimes our hearts ache under the pressures of this life, but it is only because we were made for another world – our home in eternity! May He richly bless each one here today. -Awaiting the Shout, Pastor Drew
January 20, 2019, Church Service Canceled – freezing rain & snow.
From the Pastor’s Heart
January 13, 2019
Good morning Enon Church family and welcome to Sunday morning worship service! Becoming a Christian is about the easiest thing a person can do! After all, all the work has already been done! Jesus died on the cross to pay for sin. He rose from the dead to give us life. He ascended back to Heaven to make intercession for us before the Father. The Father accepted the sacrifice of Jesus at the cross. He sent the Holy Spirit to draw sinners to Himself, and when sinners do come, He gladly receives them and saves them by His grace! All the sinner has to do is believe!! Acts 16:31 says: Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved. However, after we are saved, that is when the struggles begin.
Before I was saved, I never understood the struggles that Christians are forced to deal with on a daily basis. I mean, here we are, saved, ready to go to Heaven and be with Jesus, yet we are expected to live in a sinful world. Here we are surrounded by temptations and trials all around and at the same time, God expects us to be busy working for His glory. Oh, it is the best life possible!! I wouldn’t trade one minute of Christian life for 1000 years of a life of sin! This is far better, but you have to admit that at times, we all just want to go home!! This is the problem Paul faced. In his letter to the Philippians, Paul had reached a point in his life that he just wanted to go be with Jesus. I suppose he was tired of the trials and struggles and longed for the happy city of rest where he could be with the Lord he loved so dearly. After all, he is in prison when this letter is being written. I think Paul suffered from the save mixed emotions that many Christians feel in our day and time. Just like Paul, we are ready for Heaven, but needed on Earth!! In Philippians 1:23, Paul says, “for I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ, which is far better.” Paul uses the word “strait” which is used of a prisoner, who is unable to go as he pleases, but is confined with the walls of his cell. When Paul uses this word, he is telling us that he feels like a prisoner in this world. In other words, his body is here, but his heart is elsewhere. He feels the pressure of this life and longs for the freedom of Heaven.
There are times, if we are honest today, that we would just like to go home to be with the Lord! Sometimes we may feel trapped by circumstances or situations beyond our control and just want to be free. We may desire to go to Heaven, but may I submit to you today that – you have a purpose for the Lord while you are here!!! God saved us to work. Ephesians 2:10 says: “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” Every Christian has a job to do. I Corinthians 12:7 says: “But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.” As Christians, we have been created for good works to be a profit to the Kingdom of God!! Beloved, I believe the Lord is soon coming and we will be home with Him. Until then, let us keep on serving our Lord so that many more around us will come to know Him as Savior!! May He richly bless each one here today! -Awaiting the Shout, Pastor Drew
From the Pastor’s Heart
January 6, 2019
Good morning to everyone and welcome to Sunday morning worship at Enon! Reading the Bible more is high on the priority list for most Christians in the new year. Many will start reading the Bible with great enthusiasm but fizzle out before the next page of the calendar is turned. I’ve been there. My guess is that you have been as well. Why do so many struggles to simply read the Bible consistently? It has much to do with our motivation. It is important to pay attention to the desires of the heart when we set out on a spiritual endeavor. I want to list three reasons that should not motivate us to read the Word followed by three reasons that should motivate us.
- We should not read the Bible simply to make God happy with us. If you are in Christ, God is already happy with you. He looks at you with unending, unconditional mercy, love and grace because he sees the righteousness of Christ. It’s not about being obedient to impress God—Christ has already been obedient on your behalf! It was part of the great exchange on the cross—your sin for His righteousness!!
- We should not read the Word to impress others. We live in a performance-based culture. We are fearful about what people think of us and are driven to make people think better of us. It’s not about performance in our spiritual lives. What we do ultimately does not matter in eternity if our motivations are more about pleasing mankind instead of worshipping our Savior.
- We should not read the Bible simply because it’s what “good Christians” do. Christianity is not a long list of do’s and don’ts making us into a better Christian. Following Christ is about making us more into the image of God. Obedience is not about making people say, “wow, look at them!” They should be saying, “wow, look at their God!”
Now, three reasons that should motivate us to read the Bible.
- Read the Bible to build the habit. One of the biggest reasons people are not in the Word is lack of habit. Before we can experience the Word of God in a life-changing way, it must be an integral part of our day. Make a daily habit or reading the Word! It’s not just reading, it’s fellowship with God!!
- Read the Word to understand God and His plan for your life. God’s Word is meant to be delighted in—savored and enjoyed as a way to know God better. Reading the Bible to “check it off my list” is a chore. Reading the Bible to know God better is a joy!!
- Read the Bible to worship God and respond to what you learn. We study the Bible to give God glory and proclaim his goodness. Like the moon which reflects the sun’s glory into the night, we are here to reflect the glory of God into the darkness around us.
The end goal of our salvation is not just our salvation. If that were the case, we would have been taken up to be with God immediately after receiving Christ. Instead we are still here to praise Him, Worship Him, share Him, and live for Him!! May we desire to fellowship with our Lord by studying His Word with a renewed fire this coming year!! May He richly bless each one here today!! -Awaiting the Shout, Pastor Drew
From the Pastor’s Heart
December 30, 2018
Good morning and welcome to the last Sunday morning worship service of 2018! It doesn’t seem like another year has passed! About two years ago, our youngest son was suddenly facing a life threatening health crisis when, in turn, shook our entire family. The crisis did not dive us away from God but to God. I remember calling our family together and gathering around our son and praying over him for God’s healing. I don’t remember the exact words we prayed, but they were not processed or refined. Honestly, before God, with fear we had rarely known before, poured out of our hearts! Fears and tears eventually turned into faith and peace!! When this crisis unexpectedly entered our lives, we chose prayer!! We depended on God, not just this time, but time and time again—He has showed Himself mightily!!
Prayer must always be our first choice—not your last option! Prayerlessness must not prevail!!! Each follower of Christ must pray with confidence, and each church must pray with power! As we depend on God personally and collectively, we will grow in our walk with our Lord daily. I believe this is only possible when we stand on God’s Word as we pray, knowing that God has given us prayer as a means of communication with Him. Prayer is grounded upon deep theological truths. For example, the foundation of a building goes much deeper than what’s on the surface. We see the concrete of the structure. Yet, deep below lies the evidence of work that took hours, days, and weeks. The bigger the structure, the bigger and deeper the foundation must be. The same principle applies to prayer. Beyond what we see with our human eyes, the depths of God’s Word contain deep theological truths that shape our lives and perspectives.
We can pray with confidence based on God’s character:
- The Sovereignty of God. God is all over, in all and through all. God is supreme in this universe and beyond. He is God!! He has no beginning or ending! Most importantly, He is involved in the affairs of this world and in our lives!
- The Trinity of God. God is one in three divine persons—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. AS Father, He knows our needs and cares for us deeply. As son, He died for us to be saved from our sin. As Holy Spirit, He empowers us to live the Christian life. We pray to the Father in Jesus’ name in the power of the Holy Spirit.
- The power of God. God is all powerful, and He is able!! He can do more for us in a moment than we can do in our own strength in a lifetime!!
Whatever your situation may be, talk to God about it! Search the Scripture. Stand on the Word when you pray! By faith, believe that God can and will do above and beyond what we believe He can do!! May He richly bless each one here today! -Awaiting the Shout, Pastor Drew
From the Pastor’s Heart
December 23, 2018
Good morning to everyone and what a blessing to be in the Lord’s house today at Enon! A family who was going out of town for Christmas loaded up their car with luggage, took the dog to the neighbor’s house, and loaded all the necessities for their trip. Everything was ready, and they were finally relieved to be in the car. They were halfway down the street when the mother suddenly cried out to her husband, “We forgot the baby!” This is certainly a picture of the modern-day Christmas! We trim the tree. We make our list—and check it twice. We shop till we drop. We go to endless Christmas productions and parties. Then it dawns on us that we forgot the baby: the baby Jesus, the One whom Christmas is all about!! It is possible to celebrate Christmas and forget all about Christ. It is possible to lose Jesus at Christmas. It is possible in this celebration of Jesus’ birth to forget all about Him. Thankfully, even when we forget about Him, He never forgets about us! The story of the birth of Jesus is the greatest of all stories. The Bible tells us, “But when the right time came, God sent His son, born of a woman, subject to the law (Gal. 4:4). Jesus came to the earth at the perfect time, when the time was right.
These were dark days for the nation of Israel. The Jewish people had not heard from God in over 400 years—not a single prophet, not one angelic appearance, not one miracle. There was nothing but silence. Then suddenly the silence was broken when God sent the angel Gabriel to a godly man named Zechariah.
The Christmas story starts with a tree—not a Christmas tree but a family tree. The gospels of Matthew and Luke start with genealogies. Genealogies were very important to the Jewish people. Both Mary and Joseph traced their genealogy back to King David. It is interesting to note that the Christmas story does not begin with the words, “Once upon a time,” as many fairy tales do. That is because the Christmas story is a factual, historical event!! All other stories we have every heard of are, at best, pale imitations of the greatest story ever told. The story of the birth of Jesus started in heaven and unfolded on Earth. Jesus is the most influential person in human history! It has been said that history swings on the hinge of a stable door in Bethlehem. When we look back at the first Christmas story, we need to remember that the real Christmas tree wasn’t decorated with lights. The real Christmas tree was a cross that Christ hung on for you and me. We must realize that we do not just need Christmas—we need Christ!! We don’t just need “presents”—we need His “presence!!” May we never forget Christ at Christmas—He truly is the reason for the season!! May He richly bless each one here today!! -Awaiting the Shout, Pastor Drew
Source of Poem: Mosteller, Angie. Christmas Book. “Twas the night before Christmas.” @2008.
December 9, 2018, No Service–Snow
From the Pastor’s Heart
December 2, 2018
Good morning to everyone and welcome to Sunday morning worship service at Enon! In last week’s bulletin we talked about the “good news” that Jesus brought to this world and of the Kingdom of Heaven, this good news spoke of. There are not enough words to describe the beauty that awaits the children of God in our heavenly home!! This week I want to look at the “Kingdom of Earth.” Things are not going quite as well in this Kingdom! Violence, betrayal, and thousands of babies murdered daily because of abortion! People killing others in the name of religion. Vows of fidelity constantly being broken. Racial tensions constantly smoldering and often exploding. Fear, depression, and isolation. God’s creation has been polluted by sin!
Who does it look like is running the show here? There is not much good news in the Kingdom of Earth! But Jesus has a plan! He describes in in the world’s most famous prayer: “Our Father, which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, in earth, as it is in heaven.”o In other words, Jesus says, “I’m going to bring this down here!! Many Christians have been taught that we were supposed to ask God to get us out of this messed-up world so we can be in heaven. But Jesus taught a different prayer. Not “get me out of here so I can go up there,” but “make up there come down here.” “Make things run down here the way they do up there!” Jesus tells us to ask God to bring heaven— “thy kingdom” and “thy will” down to my family, my church, my neighborhood, and my country—and start with my life in my little corner of the kingdom.
You see, Jesus’ gospel (good news) involves the greatest offer of all time—the salvation of mankind!! Not just getting you into heaven but getting heaven into you!! When you accept the offer of the Savior, you accept the greatest treasure ever given to man!! When Jesus was born the Romans had an inscription about Caesar Augustus when read: “The birthday of god was the beginning for the world of glad tidings (good news) that have come to men through him.” May I say, this was the earliest form of “fake news!” Glad tidings (good news) did not come from Caesar Augustus but came from a little baby born in a manager two thousand years ago; the Son of God, the Savior of the world, our Redeemer–Jesus Christ!! No mere kingdom of man can transform and redeem the earth. Only King Jesus can do that!!! The Good News is here!! May He richly bless each one here today!! -Awaiting the Shout, Pastor Drew
From the Pastor’s Heart
November 25, 2018
Good morning to everyone and welcome to Sunday morning worship service at Enon! You can tell a lot about people by where they get their news. If people are on one side of the political spectrum they might get their news from one source; if they are on the other side, they might get it from another source. Where do you get your news? Jesus, among other things, was in the news announcing business. That may sound odd, but lets look at the Scripture. Matthew 4:23-24 says, Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness among the people. There is a key distinction we can miss. Jesus teaches–he gives instructions on how to live – but He also preaches or proclaims. Today we associate preaching with the church. But this term was not used that way in Jesus’ time. It was a “news” word. Jesus went around announcing that something had happened—and it wasn’t just news—it was good news!! That is what the word gospel means—good news.
So what is good news that Jesus proclaimed? Not only did He come to take the sin of humanity upon Himself, but He also came to bring the good news of the Kingdom of God! His purpose was to model the reality of that kingdom in His life, death, and resurrection. His command to us was to pursue the kingdom. His plan for us was to extend the kingdom—go into the highways and hedges and compel them to come in.
So what is this kingdom? Let me try to describe it for you! It is the place where everything that happens meets with God’s approval and delight. Everything is precisely as God wants it to be—where the greatest, humble themselves like little children. There are no big shots—no arrogant egos. No one ever has an anxious thought. Every encounter between people causes them to walk away with more joy than they had before they met. As the apostle Paul says, “The kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.” Watching over this whole realm as its greatest servant and joyful caretaker is God Himself, who will be endlessly celebrated for His love, grace, and mercy shown to His creation!! Can you picture this place? This, Jesus said is the Kingdom of God—and it exists right now!! Loved ones who trusted in Jesus as Savior and have left this life on earth are experiencing this place right now!! May we all desire to bring the “good news” of our Lord and Savior to a hurting world! Jesus is the Light, the Hope, and the Good News to the world!! May He richly bless each one here today!! -Awaiting the Shout, Pastor Drew
From the Pastor’s Heart
November 18, 2018
Good morning to everyone and welcome to Sunday morning worship at Enon! This time of year we tend to focus on thankfulness and for good reason with Thanksgiving and Christmas occurring this time of year! Sometimes, we leave out one key component of thankfulness—that being “joy!!” It is easy to be thankful without joy. For example, many would say that they are thankful to live in a free nation like ours but are quick to complain about the government or problems in our society. Joyful thankfulness is grateful, but also content with the blessings and will of the Lord—even though things may not go our way all the time. Galatians 6:9 says: And let us not be weary in well doing, for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. Often times we grow weary. Things at work are hard. Ministry may be difficult. Raising children may be a challenge. Our health may not be good. Our schedules may be crazy! Through it all, we are to have a joyful thankfulness!! The Bible talks a lot about being thankful, and it also talks a lot about “why” we should be thankful. If we focus on what Jesus went through so we could have eternal life, it would be hard not to be joyful and thankful!! Even on our worst day, none of us have or will ever face what Jesus went through—yet He did it for you and me!! Focusing on what the Savior did will bring joy and thankfulness to your life! Also, we must always realize that He is always in charge of everything! That means the bad day you are having was designed by God for your benefit and His glory. It is not a random occurrence but rather a divine appointment orchestrated by the King of kings.
The Bible tells us that God has numbered the hairs of our head, and if He is concerned enough about us to know the amount of hair on our head, then we can rest assured that we can take joy and be thankful for any situation He has ordained for our lives!! Finally, we must keep eternity in mind. While we may be caught up in the here and now, we should always remember that the here and now is nothing compared to eternity. That situation in your life that may be robbing your joy—will not last!! As God gives you opportunities to show thankfulness to Him and to others; do you take it with eternity in mind or are you focused on the temporal that will keep you from being joyous and thankful? My encouragement to you, no matter what situation you are going through in life, is to be joyfully thankful!! Why? Because you serve an amazing God who loves you and cares for your every need!! May He richly bless each one here today! -Awaiting the Shout, Pastor Drew
From the Pastor’s Heart
November 11, 2018
Good morning and welcome to Sunday morning worship service at Enon! What makes someone a follower of Jesus? When asked that question, people will generally give a wide variety of answers such as: going to church, donating money to good causes, or trying to be a good person. The answer is actually much simpler; all we have to do is follow the leader!! This includes walking in the footsteps of Jesus, surrendering our lives, and mirroring His life in prayer, service, and sacrifice! To determine if someone is truly following Jesus, we must use biblical guidelines. When Jesus walked by the Sea of Galilee, He called Simon Peter and Andrew to leave their occupation as fisherman and follow Him (Matt. 4:18-19). Their response demonstrates what following Jesus involves; immediately they left their nets and followed Him (Matt. 4:20) This was a whole life commitment, not merely a religious activity.
What are the characterizes of a follower of Jesus? In order to evaluate whether we too are following Jesus, we must understand what experiences are true of those who are genuine followers. First, and most important, a follower must be born again! Jesus says in John 3:3, verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Being a Christian is not just becoming better or improving ourselves, its’s an entirely new life born of the Spirit. Next, if we are to be a follower of Jesus, we much be a person of prayer just as He was. For prayer to become a priority, we much make it a daily habit to have a quiet time alone with God. Next, we much take time to listen to Him! As the sovereign Lord and Master not only of the universe but of our individual lives, God requires our submission and obedience to His will. That is why we much take time to listen to Him while we read His word and pray. Next, we must have obedience to be a follower. In John 8:12 Jesus says, I am the light of the world, He who follows Me will not have darkness, but will have the light of life. When obedience is the desire of our hearts, we will realize how foolish it is to go our own way. It is always good to obey Him because He is the source of every good thing! Finally, are to love God with all our heart, and with all our soul, and with our mind, and with all our strength (Mark 12:30). The love we are to have for Christ involves our entire being. We cannot follow Christ with a divided heart – half in the world and half with God! Let us all be true followers of Christ!! May He richly bless each one here today!!
-Awaiting the Shout, Pastor Drew
From the Pastor’s Heart
November 4, 2018
Good morning Enon church family and welcome to Sunday morning worship. The Lord had a great calling for Moses — to free more than 2 million Israelites from Egyptian bondage. And this future liberator of Israel seemed very qualified for the task. As Pharaoh’s adopted grandson, he would have had access to royal privilege, power, and education. But Moses also had a strong independent spirit that could get in the way of his obedience to the Lord. God’s plan required a broken spirit that would follow Him and rest on His divine power. Killing an Egyptian soldier for beating a slave was God’s opportunity to teach Moses an important on obedience. Realizing that the murder has been witnessed by others, Moses fled into the wilderness to escape Pharaoh’s wrath. It was there that Moses came to the end of himself!
Like Moses, we are all born with the tendency toward selfishness and stubbornness and want things done our way. But God gives us the opportunities to bring every area of our life to Him in submission. Through few will be given the task of Moses, the Father has a calling in mind for each believer. Whether His plan is that we raise a godly family, reach out to a neighbor, or run to run a business with integrity and consideration. He wants us to do so in His Power!! To prepare us for this work, He sometimes uses brokenness. That probably would not be our chosen method, but Moses had to be broken, but look what the Lord had for him afterwards!!
David had to be broken, but still God called him, “a man after God’s heart.” Paul had to be broken, yet he was used by God to preach to the multitudes!! Just because you may be going through the brokenness, don’t ever think that God is through with you, or He is mad at you, or He doesn’t care for you — He is simply preparing you!!! Preparing for what? Possibly for a closer relationship with Him. He could be strengthening your ministry for His service. Or He could be using you as an example and help to others of how to handle the brokenness in their life! The main idea is that He knows us and He knows what is best for us!! He has a plan for each one of us if we will allow Him to work through us. Do you want to achieve what God has planned for you to do? Ask Him, humbly, to bring any brokenness that He deems necessary to make us more in His image! May He richly bless each one here today! – Awaiting the Shout, Pastor Drew