Author Archives: jandhgort

About jandhgort

We are church planters with Biblical Ministries Worldwide. We believe God is leading us to plant a church and this is one method to make known our plans.

Restful

You wake up. You stretch. You realize that wonderful truth, it’s your Saturday. A day off. A time of rest. Relaxation.

Except, is it really relaxing and restful?

We are a weary people. Though we can make dinner in minutes, we are burdened and wore out. The deadlines, schedules, chauffereuring of kids build up our inability to rest. Sure, we find time to binge Netflix and keep Redbox movies a few days longer than we intended, but we are not finding true rest.

We can see restlessness

  • In the faces of the fellow parents in the drop-off line,
  • In the teen’s face at Old Navy,
  • On every dad who takes his kids to the park, but is not with them,
  • In marital spats,
  • In the need to be constantly entertained,
  • And in the dreaded stillness of quiet.

There is more to our weariness than staying up to late, having too much work to accomplish, or being tired. This is not how you were made to function. You need rest. You are going to burn out. Who is going to suffer?

You don’t need more “me time.” You need quiet time that turns your focus to Jesus. He said,

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

Take Him at His word. Learn from Him. Find the gentle, humble Rest Giver who offers refreshment of your soul. The rest has always been an offer to those who follow God. Why not read Psalm 103 and note any verses that lead you into His rest. 

Sin, Sinners, Sinning

What is sin? Why is there sin? Is sin a problem? If a problem, is there a solution?

These are questions that many have pondered and wrestled with over the years. For example, why do children hurt each other? Why do parents fight? Why is it so hard to keep society from crumbling? Those who believe the Bible is true find the answer “all have sinned.”

Sin is “to miss the mark.” This can only be helpful if one knows what the mark is that we are missing. Biblically, the mark is holiness (purity and not committing sin), righteousness (just, right, acting with integrity), and perfection (not erring or failing). The Apostle Peter wrote commanding holiness citing the Old Testament book of Leviticus, “since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy”” (1 Peter 1:16).

Sin entered the world, according to the Bible, through disobedience of Adam and Eve in the Genesis 3, and then spread to all mankind. We are born as sinners, who sin, and keep on sinning.

Sin is a problem because it separates us from God. Ephesians 2:1-3 describes the state of those who are in their sin, who are not removed or separated from sin. There, we discover sinners are

  • “dead,”
  • following the prince of the power of the air (Satan),”
  • “sons of disobedience,” living “in the passions of our flesh,”
  • “carrying out the desires of the body and the mind,”
  • and “children of wrath.”

This bleak picture describes the continual struggle of those who seek their own desires, live apart from the biblical instructions, and ultimately will end up separated from God for eternity (Revelation 20:11-15).

There is a remedy! Sin has a solution. Sin can be removed through One who has taken our sin. Jesus took the sin of the world to the cross. He died, not for our sin only, but also the sin of the whole world. Thus, “all who call upon the name of the Lord will be saved.”

That is the kicker. Many know of Jesus, have heard of Him, and even claim to follow Him. But only those who believe in Him will be saved. John tells us how we can know if we are saved, “Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him.”

If you are unsure if you are saved from sin or not, there is a simple test:

  1. Do you recognize you are a sinner, that is you have sinned (Romans 3:10, 23)? And that because of sin you are separated from God (Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:1-3)?
  2. Do you believe Jesus is Immanuel, God become flesh, who died on the cross for your sin and rose again?
  3. Do you love believers in Jesus?

These are 3 descriptions of those who are saved. Only those who believe in Jesus are those saved. There are 3 books in the Bible that are specifically written so those who believe might know they are saved and are have eternal life. They are The Gospel of John, Galatians, and 1 John. If you are unsure, read them, and evaluate if you believe in Jesus. If so, the problem of sin has been dealt with, you are viewed by God as a sinner no longer but as a saint (one set apart), and sinning should not be the lifestyle that defines you.

How God Has Worked!

Preparing for CBC’s first service 3.11.2012.

Psalm 105:2

Sing to him, sing praises to him; tell of all his wondrous works!

Gathering together and sharing how God has worked in our lives is a great way to encourage one another and build one another up. This Sunday, Pastor Frank is going to be preaching Acts 11. In Acts 11, Peter shares with the church in Jerusalem how God has worked.

This is a great opportunity for you to invite friends to sing together, to hear from the Bible, and to share with them the great work of God. We will see you Sunday at 10 am.

Define the Win

Football season is here! For many this is a win, because now they will watch 22 sweaty men aggressively push each other around a specially designed field on a large TV in their home while sitting in the most comfortable spot they can afford. In football, the aim is to be the team who gets the highest points scored by the time the clock counts down to 0:00 at the end of the 4th quarter. The winner is whichever team manages to accumulate the highest score. Should the winning National Football League team be the winningest in their division, they might go to be the conference champions, if they defeat the most teams, and if they can survive the playoffs, they can attend the Super Bowl and have the chance to become the NFL champions.

In football, the win is clearly defined.

As you are reading the blog at a church, you probably have guessed that we are not going to keep writing about football. How does a church define the win? What constitutes a church victory?

At Cornerstone, we count wins in terms of people coming to know Jesus as their Savior, the level at which they follow Him, and leading others to follow Him. While we track our service attendance, the treasurer tracks giving, and we enjoy the increasing website hits, they are only metrics that help us to understand what we need to do to better equip the congregation in living biblically. We state this as our purpose:

Cornerstone Bible Church exists to reach the lost with the gospel of Christ, to aid in the maturity and development of the followers of Jesus Christ, and to train leaders who will guide the church as they follow Christ Jesus.

As men, women, and children come to know Jesus as their Savior through the preaching of the Bible, our hope is to lead them to follow Jesus daily. Currently, we see a winning streak. The gospel has been steadily going out through the preaching, teaching, and opportunities to share Christ. We see believers responding to what the Bible says in positive movements towards the truth of God’s Word. Also, we are excited to have men and women who are taking ownership to lead others in walking in light of God’s Word.

Ultimately, we are guaranteed the victory, as Jesus is our Head Coach. Paul encouraged the Corinthians by writing, “But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.”

We might not running through the tunnel to battle on the gridiron Sunday afternoon (or in the evenings on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, or Monday), but we do wake up everyday to embrace the victory already given. If you don’t have a church helping you in that endeavor, join us Sunday at 10 am.

P.S. Go Blue (University of Michigan Wolverines for those unaware)! Go Detroit Lions!

Technical Hiccups

Sunday, I set up the PowerPoint to have the announcements rotating before the service. What I did not know was my attempt to be helpful was disruptive to the Sunday morning worship service. I threw off the flow, created an awkward space in the service, and had to scramble to help solve the issue.

This is not the first time I was frazzled at the start of a Church service. Sometimes I have arrived frazzled because of what happened at the breakfast table or while getting ready Sunday morning; sometimes because of the events of the past week, as I was burdened or feeling defeated; and, sometimes because of whatever was going on inside of my head left me on edge.

Just as at those other times, as I sang of God’s wonderful work and reflected upon the Bible, I was reminded that I was at church to corporately praise His name, build others up in Jesus, and find ways to speak truth into the lives of those who are present. While I could have dwelt on whatever was weighing me down, I choose instead to cast my cares upon Jesus (1 Peter 5:7).

Sunday ended up being a really great service. Both my wife and I connected with some who were hurting and with some who were serving. I don’t go to church to be perfect. I go to church be a better follower of the One who is perfect. He has promised to use flawed people to bring about His perfect will.

If you find yourself considering skipping church because you’re frazzled, don’t stay home. You might think that it is too much, and you will find that it was just what you needed.

P.S. Cornerstone is looking for someone to manage the PowerPoint slides.

Who can God save?

7.5 billion people call earth home. There are 330,000,000 who live in the US. In Utah, there are 3.1 million people. In Davis County there are roughly 350,000 people. Every one of them is guilty of sin. 100% deserve wrath, because they have turned to their own way. Not one is righteous because of their deeds. Romans 2:6 and 8 read “He will render to each one according to his works: … but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury.”

With such a bleak picture of humanity who can God save? If all of mankind is guilty, how can any of them be justified? The Bible gives the answer clearly, “For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.” And, Peter, preaching to those who many thought were beyond the possibility of salvation said “To Him (Jesus) all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins through His name.”

God can and will save all who believe in Jesus. There are no persons who are beyond the grace of God if they have breath in their lungs. For they can hear the word of God, believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and be saved! May the Apostle Paul’s request for prayer be ours as well, “that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel” (Ephesians 6:20).

Crashing

Sunday, I mentioned that the church throughout history has not always been patient while people mature in their faith. We strongly desire for people to believe in Jesus and embrace the life as a child of God. Then, we expect those new believers to act mature, though they are immature in the Lord.

Thankfully, the Bible instructs us how we might improve. “And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all” (1 Thessalonians 5:14). Like our biological family, we have an opportunity to help our family in Christ. Through patience, encouragement, and wise reminders, we can lead our brothers and sisters in Jesus to live the way the Bible teaches.

Our Lord says “let them lay hold of my protection, let them make peace with me, let them make peace with me” (Isaiah 27:5). While the church has not always done a great job, we can start now and be there for those who need help, and go to those who the Lord will use to help us.