SAVE THE DATE
8.10 | FLAGLER COUNTY SCHOOLS RETURN
8.16 | VOLUSIA COUNTY SCHOOLS RETURN
8.16 | ST JOHNS COUNTY SCHOOLS RETURN
Just like that the summer break for our local students has come to an end. It seems like yesterday they were released for summer and yet now it's time to hit the books again. Please join us this month in praying for our students, teachers and parents. Also pray for student ministry efforts like the Good News Clubs and the Fellowship for Christian Athletes. Please pray for the recent uptick in Covid cases and that God would have mercy and we would see the situation subside.
ARE YOU READY?
By Bill Powell
If I were asked that question, I would say, “Ready for what?” I have heard it said, “I am ready for anything.” The way things have changed over the last 20 years, there are a lot of things I don’t think anyone was ready for. I will pose the question pointed towards two things. The first thing is, are you ready for August and September, or what I would like to say, the most likely hurricane season? I know it is June until November, but I have lived in Florida long enough to know it is August and September when a hurricane is most likely to pay us a visit.
Is your insurance current? Do you have flood insurance? Do you have a plan? For anyone who knows me, I have a model I follow to get things done. Plan your work, work your plan, then follow up and follow through. It’s the follow up and follow through that gets most people. Most Floridians are used to dealing with hurricanes. Don’t be complacent; now is the time to prepare.
The second thing is, are you ready for your death? Woah! Bet you didn’t see that coming. One thing is for sure, no one short of the Lord’s return gets out alive. Yes, have a will and consider the kind of funeral- burial or cremation. Yes, your affairs, possessions, and finances. I will say far too many people live their life as though they will live forever in this temporal body. These are things to consider as we go through life, not just when we’re on our death bed. I see far too many reach the end of their life and leave others with what they should have prepared for their whole life.
With all that being said, to quote a repeated line in a sermon by E.V. Hill, “Do you know Him?” That is, the Lord God Almighty. There is much to know. Don’t wait for a death bed confession. Yes, the thief on the cross was told by Jesus as He hung on the cross, “Today you will be with me in paradise.” What if your death is sudden? What if you unexpectedly become incapacitated? The Bible is readily available, and if you don’t have one let us know and we will get you one. I asked, “Do you know Him?” He is found in the pages of the Bible. Do you read it and study it? Have you repented of your sin? Have you put your faith in Him? Do you talk to Him? Don’t assume because you go to church or have a casual understanding of Christianity that you know Him. Do you Know Him?
Here at the Cornerstone our goal is to help all who have ears to hear get to know Him. Don’t wait. Get to know Him now and every day as you journey through your life. For many of you who get it, plan to reach people, work that plan, and don’t forget to follow up and follow through. We don’t know when our end will come, but when it does or when He comes, yearn to hear, “good and faithful servant.”
(Mat 25:21 KJV) "His master said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.”
May the Holy Spirit guide you all through your journey of life.
MAN'S PLANS, GOD'S DIRECTION
By Chris Johnson
It’s hard to believe that I just began my final year of seminary. Three years have flown by and it’s amazing to thing that only one more year remains before a lifelong dream comes true. Twenty years ago, I graduated high school with high hopes of racing off to college and subsequently entering the workforce. At the time I wasn’t particularly sure what career path lay ahead but I was confident that hard work and faithful effort would pay off. The book of Proverbs has been a lifelong favorite and one of the passages that have been of particular significance is 16:9, The mind of man plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps.” As I look back upon the journey of life I praise the Lord that He’s so mercifully established my steps and altered the plans of my heart. Some of the things I longed to accomplish took far longer to achieve than I’d anticipated. Jobs that I thought I’d have mercifully didn’t come to fruition because the Lord had different plans in store. Places that I thought I would be never materialized and time and again I’ve learned to trust in the Lord and follow wherever he leads. Consistency and faithfulness pay off and as Christians we are called to follow the Good Shepherd wherever He leads. We don’t tell him where to lead. If we go at it on our own then we’re simply going astray and we can be sure that the consequences of such foolish decisions will certainly manifest themselves in due time. It’s like the great words of the old hymn say, “Trust and Obey, for there’s no other way, to be happy in Jesus, than to trust and obey.” As I begin this final year of seminary, I’m trusting in the Lord to lead and guide my every step once again. I’m so excited to learn more of His Word and grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ. I’m excited about the future plans that he has in store and only desire to be found faithful when the time comes to see His face. I’m not sure where you are in the journey of life but let me encourage you to draw near to the Lord and trust in His direction. He is surely leading and guiding you through this journey of life and let us never forget that if we are His sheep we’ve been given the greatest gift of all, eternal life in Christ Jesus.
ANSWER THE DOOR
By Denisha Stearns
“Answer the door!” How many times have we asked or told (or even yelled ) that to a family member or a roommate? While our hands were soaked in dishwater, our minds captivated by a crossword puzzle, or our bodies melted into the couch? Sometimes we can’t answer it ourselves. Other times- let’s be honest- we just don’t want to. What if we knew the person on the other side of the door was Jesus?
Jesus said in Revelation 3:20, “Behold I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come into him and eat with him, and he with Me.” It’s a familiar and well-used verse in many an altar call, a powerful and poignant invitation for someone first being saved. Yet this verse’s context seems to speak to those who have already been saved, where sin has creeped into the home of their hearts. And how easily that happens to us! Dust blows onto everything. Muddy shoes leave dirt all through. Mail and dishes and clothes pile up. Just like sin that we harbor. And the last thing we want to do is invite ANYONE in, much less the Son of God. That’s when a good housecleaning is due- an old-fashioned repenting . Maybe that is part of what Jesus comes in and does when He promises to “eat with him and he with Me.” Like He did with Zacchaeus and with Matthew and with us when He first saved us.
Opening that door will always be worthwhile. Elisabeth Elliot once said, “Jesus alone can bring order out of the chaos of our sinful lives. And we must often repeat our humble invitation to Him.” I tend to shut Jesus out at times. Do you? When we realize we have, that is the time to get up and answer the door.
KNOW YOUR WORTH
By Christina Hutchinson
If someone would have told me and explained to me that my worth in Christ far exceeded any of my circumstances, I think I would have made many different choices as a teen. Being a teen is hard! You go through all kinds of changes. Because you go through so many changes your perspective can be warped. It can cause teens to think no one on the planet likes them. These days teens think you have to live up to the standard of social media which is a whole other conversation. Then there are other surprise events you face as a young person such as parents divorcing, the loss of a family member, having to move, leaving the world you've always known behind. These traumas can reshape your identity. Whatever the case may be, it’s important to know your worth in all circumstances. It’s important to remember God’s truths and His promises.
I love the song that was written out of Psalm 62, the first verse reads:
My soul finds rest in God alone, my rock and my salvation
A fortress strong against my foes and I will not be shaken
Though lips may bless and hearts may curse
And lies like arrows pierce me
I'll fix my heart on righteousness, I'll look to Him who hears me
Fixing your heart, your eyes, your mind on Christ is the only way to overcome circumstances. To know your worth in Him and to know the healing you will receive if not here then in heaven, truly does exceed any circumstance. Through Him, you can persevere. Through Him, you can fight the good fight. We all know Satan is a liar. He can try and take away your identity, lie and tell you that because of your circumstance you're worthless. But he cannot take anything from you. If you are in Christ, you are precious! He died for you! His word is filled with verses that talk about the worth of His people. I hope that you will continue through every trial and every other moment knowing that because you love Christ and live to glorify Him, that’s the only identity you need.