Body Parts

What are your gifts and talents?  In the Nazarene Church we believe that God has given every person on earth unique gifts and talents to be used for His Glory.  Why would He do that? Jesus explained that we are His body on earth.  Just as the human body has many parts that do many things, God created humanity with talents and abilities to do many different things. 

Take for example, our eyes which are designed only to see.  They can’t taste or smell or hear.  Our eyes serve us by allowing us to view the world around us.  Each of our senses performs a service to the rest of the body by doing what it was designed to do.  We don’t think about how our bodies work when everything is doing its job.  We take for granted that our feet will carry us, our hands will hold things and that our mouth will taste that wonderful burger that our eyes see on the plate in front of us. 

Our gifts and talents lie beneath the surface. They aren’t as obvious as our hands and feet.  Many of our talents appear as we grow and mature, becoming apparent in school or other activities.  Some are only released as we become better acquainted with God and His purpose.

Michelangelo was blessed with an artistic talent that required many parts of his body; his eyes to take in information about the human body, his mind to process that information and break it down into the smallest details, his hands to carve and paint, his back to lift, his feet to take him to the marble quarry or onto the scaffolding.  Because all of these diverse parts worked together for him, we have been able to enjoy his sculptures and paintings for hundreds of years. 

Just as Michelangelo created extraordinary works of art that have served as reminders of God and His creation, each of us has a unique place in God’s plan to serve in the body of Jesus.  As we grow in our relationship with Jesus, our own extraordinary gifts come forth for us to share with the world.  Are you curious to learn more about the gifts and talents that God has poured into you?  Would you like to use them as part of Jesus’ body?  We would encourage you to join us Sunday morning to hear Pastor Ann bring as she brings us a message of how God can help each of us grow in our gifts and talents. 


Pastor Ann is beginning a special series on BOLDNESS this Sunday at 10:55 a.m.  We hope that you’ll join us.

Many of us dream of being bold about something in our lives.  You know that thing that excites you; that thing that you really want to tell people about; that one thing that you truly have a burning passion for! 

Are you bold about this passion?  Do you share it with others?  Do you tell them in person or via text?  Do you use facetime or facebook?  Maybe you shout it out on twitter or Instagram or youtube or tiktok or………

Or maybe you don’t share your passion with anyone because you believe others will think you silly or weird or intolerant or _____________.  Not everyone is designed to be bold, right?  Not everyone has the courage to speak out or have a public celebration.  Some people are just shy, like you or me.  Some people just don’t want to rock the boat.

Jesus was passionate about the message of Good News that He brought to us.  After His resurrection, His apostles were passionate about this same Good News.  These men weren’t scholars or priests.  They were simple, quiet people. 

On the day of Pentecost, and all the days after that, these people became BOLD through the Holy Spirit.  They shared the Good News with everyone they met.  They prayed for boldness and confidence to speak out no matter the cost to themselves.  In the face of true persecution, Peter and the other disciples spoke out.  They were imprisoned, stoned, crucified for their passionate boldness. But they continued to boldly speak out.

It’s time to be bold.  We won’t be imprisoned, stoned or crucified in this country for speaking out about our passion for Jesus and His Good News.  We may help save a soul.  We will be a blessing to someone if we allow Him to lead us in boldness. Join us this week in speaking out.  Bless someone in Jesus’ name, offer to pray for someone you don’t know, invite a new person to church with you and ask him every day to guide you into new boldness for Him.

Jesus In Prophecy

At some point in our lives we all want to know what the future holds.  “Will I pass the test?”  “Will I get the job?”  “Who will win the election?”  You know the types of things that concern us on a day-to-day basis, causing us to wonder about tomorrow or many days down the road.  Our country’s leaders have different concerns, but even they look to the future with questions.

Wanting to know the future has led people to look for answers in many places.  Every city has palm readers and psychics, astrologists and spiritualists.  These folks will provide answers to personal and sometimes political or social questions.  But are they accurate?  Are they consistent?  Are they real? 

The test of a true prophet is this:   Are all of his/her prophecies fulfilled?  (Jer. 28:9)  Taken in that perspective it makes that palm reader or crystal ball alot less believable.

We are blessed to live in a country that has never been invaded and hasn’t been seriously threatened in a very long time.  Would our concerns and desire to know the future be different if we didn’t live here and now?  If Canada and Mexico had fallen to a super power and we had invaders standing at our borders, what sort of things do you think we’d be concerned about?  That test or promotion at work would probably pale in light of a very real danger.  We’d probably want to know if we were going to survive, both as individuals and as a nation.  Our leaders would certainly be looking for answers.

About 700 years before Jesus was born, Israel and Judah were facing an overwhelming invasion.  The Assyrian army was about to swallow them whole, expanding their empire from modern Iran to Egypt.  The kings of Israel and Judah were seeking advice from astrologists and spiritualists when Isaiah, a prophet of God, told the king and people about the coming of Jesus (Isa 9:2-7).  Isaiah spoke these words about 700 years before Jesus was born.  It was God’s way of assuring His people that though they faced calamity in their day, He would see that they survived and Light would be brought into the world through them. 

Isaiah, and God’s other prophets spoke only the words God gave them to speak, even when it wasn’t popular.  They did not speak on their own, even when it cost them personally.  ALL of their prophecies have been fulfilled, meaning that biblical prophecy is a trustworthy source.

Jesus was foretold by multiple prophets as the Messiah.  He was born to the right parents, at the right time and in the right place to fulfill the prophecies.  If you’d like to learn how Jesus is tied to the prophecies of the Old Testament, I encourage you to join us Sunday morning at 10:55 a.m. in the sanctuary or on our Facebook live-stream.

Persecution Today

Persecution is a word that is seldom used in our culture.  Instead we hear words such as bullying, disrespect, bias, prejudice.  The list goes on. These are little persecutions.  These are the ways average people deal with annoyances today.  These little persecutions break down the barriers to larger and more brutal persecutions.  We don’t see these yet in the U.S. but if we look beyond our safe little bubble we’ll see that there are much larger wrongs in the world. 

Persecution exists.  It is thriving in our world today.  Religious persecution happens every day, in every country of the world.  The persecution of Christians in Muslim countries is growing with the rise of Islamic jihad.  People pay dearly to worship Jesus and the one true God.  They pay with the loss of their families, their homes, their jobs.  People pay with their lives.  In some communist countries Christians aren’t allowed to worship God at all.  The penalty for being caught?  Death.  Over 4,000 Christians have been killed this year and 245 million are estimated to be living in areas of extreme persecution.

So what is this that is worth dying for?  According to the Apostle John, Jesus said, ” I am the way the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” (John 14:6)  Jesus was explaining that the only way to eternal life and heaven is through believing in Him.  He went on to explain that those who believe in Him would surely be persecuted, as He was.  In John 15:18-21 He says that because the world hated Him, it would hate His followers also.  The reason for this hatred stems from not knowing God. 

People who don’t know God look to themselves or other people to determine what is right and good, as well as what is evil.  Anything we don’t understand can, and often is, termed evil.  This is how persecution is born.

Are you interested in something that’s worth dying for?  Is there an emptiness within you that nothing has filled?  Join us Sunday morning at 10:55 a.m. in the sanctuary (964 W. Hwy 190 Copperas Cove, TX) or on our Facebook live-stream.  Pastor Ann will be delving deeper into the persecuted church.

Sunday evening at 5:00 p.m. we’ll be checking out a movie about the church in Iran! Please come learn with us.