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Pastor Rudy Sheptock

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Too many believers are contradicting the Savior they claim to follow when they bad-mouth the church. 

Jesus designed and still defines the body that He is the pronounced Head. Revelation reveals that His devoted followers are part of the bride that will one day be joined together with Him. To trash talk the people Jesus sacrificed Himself for is like sharing how much you love me before trouncing Terri with verbal bombs.  

Maybe, the watching world has a hard time receiving our faith's reality because we are inconsistent, and our activity cancels out our creed. We keep screaming about what is wrong with the world, but we don’t prioritize all that Jesus wants us to do right. 

How much faith, hope and love is visible in the miniature print as we Christians perform our daily duties? Is our seriousness being dismissed because the place where God’s supporters are supposed to be easily found is filled with too many jokers in the deck?  

This is not the time to try controlling how others are living because God wants us to fix our eyes upon Him. If at the cross we lay down our agendas and humbly use our precious moments to follow Him, the crowd will get a glimpse of the Way, Truth and Life, whether they want to or not. 

Charles Colson once shared a story about Mother Teresa. Do you know there are still many legalists who dare to doubt the Christianity of this woman? All that matters most was exhibited when Mother Teresa took her bold belief to Washington. You can talk all you want and complain about sin, or you can follow Jesus.  

Those who attended the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, in 1994, will never forget the sight of the frail, tiny nun who had to stand on a box to be barely seen over the podium. On one side of her were President Bill Clinton and First Lady Hillary, and on the other were Vice President Al Gore and Second Lady Tipper. 

In his book, “Being The Body,” Colson writes, “As Mother Teresa began to speak, her voice was as strong as her demeanor was frail. 'I feel the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion because Jesus said, ‘If you receive a little child, you receive me.’ So every abortion is the denial of receiving Jesus, the neglect of receiving Jesus,'' she said. Mr. Clinton and Mr. Gore both turned crimson. The crowd was at first dumbstruck. Then, applause began, continuing and building until some people, forgetting the decorum of the event, actually stood on their chairs. No one else in the world had the moral authority to speak that way, in that setting, to that pro-choice administration, and there was no rebuttal. As Mr. Clinton said later, ‘No one can argue with a life so well lived.'” 

Are we living lives that exemplify the grace and truth of our Lord, Jesus? If we aren’t investing our behavior into making the Body of Christ come alive, what is our excuse? How can you deny and defy what the Bible says we are a participant of despite how much we rationalize that faith is possible as a solo effort? 

It is God’s created assembly, so technically, we cannot put down the church that Jesus has promised He will raise. Do not wait for a someday that could be today. If you hear the Holy Spirit's voice, don’t file it, fulfill it. 

The church's triumphant is alive and well. God is moving and working all around us. One of life's greatest tragedies is when we ignore God’s presence in front of us because we are tied to the lie that the only way to find Him is by going somewhere else.  

On Wednesday nights, Terri and I lead a Bible study with high school students. The wrong question is, “What is God’s will for my life?” The right question is, “How can God use my life for His will?”  

Standing on a street corner screaming at people about what they are doing wrong is not the way Jesus went about inviting others to His banquet. If you read the Scriptures clearly, He offers us a seat at this gathering of grace and His banner over us is a love bigger than our sin, wrongdoings, and the surrounding mess of society. 

This new year is an extremely exciting season to be walking with the Lord. This is no time for the church to be going AWOL when the Lord has plans to use us in what heaven has cooking for this planet. This is also no time to not be the church when it still is the church that God speaks to and speaks through.  

When are we going to stop leaning upon our understanding and let Jesus take the wheel all the time, not just when we are in trouble? 

We need to open our eyes and let Jesus fill our hearts, which transforms our ways before we even say a word.  

No more noise that does nothing more than give everybody headaches. It is time for us to show a spiritual poise that explodes with Jesus' joys. 

This is my 24th year as senior pastor of The Lighthouse Church. We are not the only church in town, nor even the best option for everyone. I pray great success and blessings on all the churches in Cape May County that preach and live the Gospel's truth.  

As I have said, everyone who calls themselves a believer must be connected to a local family of like-minded individuals. The Bible does not give us a choice of if we should become part of His community, but it does give you freedom to decide where.  

I can tell you that as long as I remain pastor of The Lighthouse Church, I refuse to give in to excuses and apathy. My calling is not from the crowd; it is an anointing and appointing from the Christ. 

Even though many scars and bruises were caused by being in the ministry, Jesus is not to be blamed, but only be proclaimed. It is about Him and will always be about knowing Him and living with Him.  

Therefore, whosoever will may come, and my prayer is that our fuel gets ignited by prayer, our fellowship is intentional with praise, and our faces reflect the facts that we have been with Jesus. 

ED. NOTE: The author is the senior pastor of The Lighthouse Church, 1248 Route 9 South, Court House. 

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