Standing in Line with the crowd

John 8 (NIV)

but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.

At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.

But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.

At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”

11 “No one, sir,” she said.

“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

–>THINK ABOUT IT.

We have all sinned and fallen short from God’s Glory (Romans 3:23). We have all made mistakes, and things that have set us back in Life. Jesus came to give us Life, and brought us forgiveness of our sins.

One thing that I believe most people miss about this passage is what is seen in verse 4, “Teacher this woman was caught in the act of adultery”, “Caught in the Act”. How was she caught in the act unless those that caught her, were in line? We are quick to look to the fault of others, forgetting our own faults, mistakes, failures and sins.

A very valid point that Jesus is making here when he says, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her”. You see, this point with my point of view with the men who “caught her in the act” does make perfect since. (Of course, it made perfect since before as well.)

We, too many times want to be quick to kick someone else why they are down, grab the first stone we see, and shoot and ask questions later. Consider this, Jesus came as a redeemer for our sins, all of our sins. Anyone who would believe in Him and live for him. I AM, a Whosoever, and so are you.

Before you go out picking up stones, do as Jesus did. Jesus stood with her through this time, encouraged her, showing her forgiveness, and telling her in verse 11 “Go now and leave your life of sin”. When someone you know has fallen, pick them up and work to encourage them restoring them in Faith, share the hope of Jesus with someone today.

Blessings~
Pastor Jonathan W. Pannell III

 

Romans 3:23 (KJV)

23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Matthew 7:1-5 (NKJV)

“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

Galatians 6:1 (NKJV)

Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.

1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NIV)

11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

James 1:19 (NIV)

19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,

 

God is Love

Love is a very beautiful and interesting thing, there are many scriptures on LOVE. One thing we know from scripture that GOD is LOVE. How amazing is it that we have a Heavenly Father that Loved us so much that He paved a path for redemption. While we were lost, dying and on our way to Hell, God gave us His son as a sacrifice for our sins. The one and only way to gain eternal life.

This past Wednesday night I challenged our discipleship class and encouraged them to think deep past the normal on this Love that God has shown us. God’s Love is a vital part of our relationship with Him. Not only has God showed us Love, He has commanded us as Christians to also Love, just as He has loved us.

Of course this is hard to do at times, and you will always have those people that will be harder to love than others, however we have to push past us and love as God would desire us to.

God’s Love is an amazing thing! And something to cherish and to reflect to everyone we come into contact with.

Think about, How do you Love?
What kind of reflection have you been for Jesus?

I encourage you to continue your study on “LOVE” and God’s complete Love for each one of us. Always Remember that God is Love.

Blessings~
Pastor Jonathan W. Pannell III

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (NIV)

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.

1 Corinthians 13:13 (NKJV)

13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

1 Peter 4:8 (NKJV)

And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.”

1 John 4:7 (NKJV)

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.

Some Thoughts on the Woman’s March

Over this past weekend, Thousands to Millions of woman marched for Women’s Right. The Presidential Inauguration on Friday (January 20, 2017).

This is a bit confusing to me, what rights they are worried about. One thing that I see many folks with signs for is “My Body, My Choice”… if that’s the right you are looking for, marching the streets of cities all over America will not give you that “right”.

And if you think, “My Body, My Choice”… well YOUR WRONG!

Truth it, it isn’t even “your” body. It is actually on loan to you by God to do His work. Many women believe that they can just go out and get pregnant and then go and have an abortion just as its a “normal” doctors appointment. What they are not taking into account is the precious life, the gift, that is given through a new baby. This “fetus” as you would call it is actually a Baby, a baby with a heart beat that starts pumping blood as early as 6 weeks into the pregnancy.

You can march all you want, down any street that you want, MAN cannot give you a right that God did not give you. That Body of yours does not belong to you, neither does that unborn child, you “choose” to become pregnant with.

No matter how you look at it, or what Man’s Law states Abortion is Murder, and murder is sin, and sin separates you from God.

If you want a choice, make your choice before you lay in that bed.. The marching, is wasting your time, instead you should be praying.

There are many women out there who will, share there testimony with you, that abortion is not the way to go. Many women who have had abortions before they have came to a personal relationship with Jesus, and who now in the understanding of God’s Word, know that abortion is not the way. Find a TRUE, relationship with Jesus, through FAITH you can walk through this journey.

I encourage you, study God’s Word, and find understanding in Him, Faith in Him, Forgiveness in Him, and Love in Him…

Blessings~
Pastor Jonathan Pannell

 

Jeremiah 1:5 (NIV)

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
    before you were born I set you apart

Leviticus 17:11 (KJV)

11 For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.

Psalm 127:3 (NKJV)

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
The fruit of the womb is a reward.

Psalm 139:13 (NKJV)

13 For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother’s womb.

Exodus 20:13 (NKJV)

13 “You shall not murder.

Deuteronomy 5:17 (NKJV)

17 ‘You shall not murder.

1 John 1:9 (NIV)

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

Building the House!

What a Great Day it is to be a Child of the King!
Today, I wanted to write but to do things a bit differently than normal. Below is a message I shared with our church. This message is in my passion to see Emmanuel succeed for many generations to come. This is for all, but mostly for leaders and those that inspire to become leaders. I never want a leader to loose there passion for ministry, there Zeal or there commitment to God for His Kingdom.

Truth is, we can ALWAYS do better…Strive Harder…And Reach Farther…

A true leader, a true servant to the Lord is a person that is so humble that they will desire for there ministry area would be greater than self desires…

For example, If God WAS TO call another pastor to the church, I did say, WAS TO and IF GOD.. so Calm down… (hypothetically speaking) If God sent us another pastor, my role to God and HIS ministry is to move over… That must be the mindset that we all have, we must be so humble that we are aware that this isn’t about US but ALL about HIM. In my journey with God, I want to do MY BEST for HIM.

We have done a fantastic job with this over the years past, and I want this to always be our Goal.. “LESS OF ME, MORE OF YOU” With that, God will see your passion…

Check out the message to the church today, Be Blessed! And Look Forward to another AWESOME year at ECN!

Pastor Jonathan

—————————————————————————

Good Morning Church:
I must say that 17 days into this New Year and God is doing great works at our church. This is going to be an incredible year for ECN! Through visitors, lives being touch and the ministry outreach, God is opening up doors for us to minister to many new people.
I wanted to clue you all in on some works in progress. My goal is to always look at areas of the church to where we can improve and be better servants for our Lord. This is in or physical campus such as renovations you have seen take place and in our ministry areas such as ministries including Sunday School, Teen Ministry, Women’s Ministry and the upcoming development of a men’s ministry area.
I have recently began to email some of our leaders in various areas, this will be over a several week process one after the other. Basically in a “one-on-one” mentality. My goal is to see how I as the pastor can better assist them in growing there ministry. And to ensure that our leaders being trained and equipped for there position.
I want to keep the passion for ministry alive and for us not to ever grow stagnant in any area that we all serve. We have a great church, that is growing and I believe God wants to do great things through, and it’s my job to protect it and prepare people that can help us do our best for the Kingdom.
One thing I have in the works is the development of a Men’s Ministry area. This is important, as men will be accountable for there households and have a huge responsibility given by God. I do believe that this area is much needed. Please look for this announcement in the weeks to come.
We also are getting closer to adding two mobile units to the church campus, this will give us more flexibility in classroom space along with needed room for operating Emily’s House and our Community Food Pantry.

On a last note this morning, I want to stress the importance of Sunday School. This is an area that gives great opportunity for you to have a in depth study into God’s Word. I really want to encourage you all to make Sunday School and especially to bring your children for Sunday School. As Sunday School grows you will also see an additional growth in worship…

Focus on Him as He is Focused on You!
Blessings-
Pastor

 

Luke 16:10 (NKJV)

10 He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much.

2 Timothy 2:2 (NKJV)

And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.

Ephesians 4:11-13 (NIV)

11 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

Matthew 20:25-28 (NKJV)

25 But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. 26 Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. 27 And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave— 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

We are Looking to the Wrong Well…

There is more to the story than catches the eye…

John 4:1-26 (NKJV)

A Samaritan Woman Meets Her Messiah

Therefore, when the Lord knew that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John (though Jesus Himself did not baptize, but His disciples), He left Judea and departed again to Galilee. But He needed to go through Samaria.

So He came to a city of Samaria which is called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied from His journey, sat thus by the well. It was about the sixth hour.

A “loan for a friend”woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give Me a drink.” For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.

Then the woman of Samaria said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?” For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.

10 Jesus answered and said to her, If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”

11 The woman said to Him, “Sir, You have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. Where then do You get that living water? 12 Are You greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank from it himself, as well as his sons and his livestock?”

13 Jesus answered and said to her, Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”

15 The woman said to Him, “Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw.”

16 Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.”

17 The woman answered and said, “I have no husband.”

Jesus said to her, “You have well said, ‘I have no husband,’ 18 for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; in that you spoke truly.”

19 The woman said to Him, “Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship.”

21 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. 23 But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. 24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

25 The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming” (who is called Christ). “When He comes, He will tell us all things.”

26 Jesus said to her, I who speak to you am He.

Now. Take Another Look…
There is more to the story than catches the eye…

I truly love the story of the Samaritan Woman. In the reading above you are able to grasp a basic understanding that Jesus was on a journey and made a decision to leave the others and side track to an area that would not have been a normal stop… Jesus sits by a well, and awaits the arrival of a Woman (Samaritan Woman) and He then asks her for a drink, engaging in conversation with her.

I love the Woman’s response to Jesus when He asks her for a drink, she said simply: Why are you talking to me, you and your people (Jews) have no dealings with us… Think about it, how many times do we get into a situation and we feel as though, Why would you be concerned about me. I’m a nobody… Then Jesus, Jesus comes back if you only knew… If you only knew who you were talking to, the Gift of God!…

Jesus goes into saying after if you knew, if you knew you would have asked Me (Jesus), and He would give you Living Water… The Woman comes back and says well you have nothing to draw the water with and the well is deep…

FAR to many times we look to the World for what we should be looking to God for, we get focused on what the world can give us to provide for us, help us, numb us from out care, concerns and problems when we should be looking to God (HIM). We ALSO not only look to the world for solutions, we get into situations and focus on how big they are (or how deep they are) and not HOW BIG God is…

God knows us, our needs and is waiting on us to be honest, and come to Him with the desires of our hearts and the desire to completely submit to Him, giving Him ALL of us and not holding ANYTHING back, giving Him our burdens, our struggles and completely to trust in HIM.

Blessings~
Pastor Jonathan W. Pannell

 

Whiter than SNOW…

Winter Storm Helena Threatens South

-Winter Storm Helena Threatens South-
Southern snow is ahead. Here is what you need to know..

SNOW and other Winter Weather moves toward the South, and the milk and bread has flew off the shelves… Ashley, the boys and I went to Wal-Mart yesterday to get supplies to make Chili. When we got there, Wal-Mart was PACKED and the grocery isles were like rush hour in the middle of town. Everyone was flocking to be per-pared for the coming… They were looking for what they would need to get them through the storm.

Its amazing to me the announcement of SNOW in the south brings a drive, a fear, and a rush for the need to prepare…

I think about the Old Song: “Nothing But The Blood”
…What can wash away my Sins… Nothing But the Blood…

The talk of how, HE can was our sins away, making them as White as SNOW, God is so Good and Merciful, Faithful to FORGIVE. What we have to draw from this is that God is always Good and Faithful, HE wants us to draw to Him and to Humble ourselves before Him.

Let this “Winter Weather” be a reminder of How Good God is, and His Mercy in your life, How HE is faithful, and How HE forgives… Let’s get in a rush for HIM, and know that HIS coming is drawing near and HE can wash us Whiter than Snow…

Blessings~
Pastor Jonathan W. Pannell III

Isaiah 1:18 (NKJV)

18 “Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the Lord,
“Though your sins are like scarlet,
They shall be as white as snow;
Though they are red like crimson,
They shall be as wool.

Psalm 51:7 (NKJV)

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

John 1:29 (NKJV)

29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

 

1 John 1:9 (NKJV)

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

 

A New You…

Are you ready for a New Year?
Isn’t it amazing how fast a year can come and go… it seems like yesterday it was Christmas and before that we were camping in the warm summer air.

Truth is, yes time flies and we should know this… we need to remember this so we can always make the best out of life. God has great plans for us, and His desire is for our lives to be prosperous, not lived out in fear, doubt, worry and sadness.

The Great News is through Christ Jesus he brings is Life and a New Start. When we have fully surrendered and accepted Jesus we know that He makes a new creature with a clean start.

Jesus is a Savior, and called that for a reason. Jesus is the one who you can always be depended on, who is always faithful, and someone that we can always go to. I noticed a sign a while back that stated, “When Life Gets to Hard to Stand, Kneel”. This is a relationship with Jesus as the Lord of your life, and with Him as the Lord of your life you have to allow Him to be in full control.

In this New Year of 2017, it is my prayer that there will be a New You… This year draw near to Him, and as His Word says, He will draw near to you. Work on building a Personal Relationship with Him this year, learning to walk with Him, to talk with Him, and learning mostly to listen to Him, and to TRUST Him. God is on your side.

 

Romans 8:31 (NIV)

31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

1 John 1:9 (NKJV)

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

2 Corinthians 5:17 (KJV)

17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

James 4:8 (NKJV)

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

Isaiah 41:10 (NKJV)

10 Fear not, for I am with you;
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’

When church people complain…

Do EVERYTHING WITHOUT… grumbling.

It seems that we live in a generation of people that are fostered around complaining. We find that there will always be those that just complain about everything that doesn’t go the way they like it… When we do this and we are verbal in complaining we are voicing the Lack of Joy in our hearts…

Complainers will always find something to complain about….
-Might be: Church, the service, the leadership, there own lives, the way things
are  working, the people they are surrounded by, the people they are called to,
the area they are called to, there family, the weather, the wind blowing, the way
God Blesses others, the abundance of blessings that others have, ETC……
(Boy this could go on for ever………)

 

I mentioned in brief this past Sunday during service how the Israelites after being freed and on there long journey started complaining, seeming to forget all the good that God had already done for them…

To many times we focus on the wrong thing… If you would just stay focused on HIM and not what is about YOU, more would get done for HIM, which is what its all about in the first place…. Your called to worship, created for the purpose of serving and worshiping Him.

Its difficult to say you are fully committed to worship and doing it whole heartily, when you find yourself in a constant mindset of complaint, and bitterness.. Especially God’s word says that HE orders our steps, that HE has a plan for us, and that HE is good…

God always called us to Love, to share Hope, and to be fully committed to HIM.

There is always a positive way to look at things that you face, there is always a way to reflect Jesus in these situations. Such as if you are complaining about a particular church, stating “that church needs this, and needs that, they don’t have enough help, so many people come with problems…” that is exactly why God placed you there, and instead of complain where God has brought you (like the Israelites) do your part to share in the ministry, share hope, joy and love to those that need it.

Be that positive light of Jesus to a dark and dying world.

God has a plan, and God never makes mistakes, trust Him and His plan.

This Thanksgiving, reflect on all that you have to be Thankful for. In the sum of this you should be able to quickly realize that God has been good to you. And that what you are complaining about is probably something you can in Love and Peace work to build, grow and help verses complaining against.

Blessings-
Pastor Jonathan W. Pannell III

 

Philippians 2:13-15 (NIV)

13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.

14 Do everything without grumbling or arguing, 15 so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky

Jude 1:16 (NIV)

16 These people are grumblers and faultfinders; they follow their own evil desires; they boast about themselves and flatter others for their own advantage.

Numbers 14:2-4 (NIV)

All the Israelites grumbled against Moses and Aaron, and the whole assembly said to them, “If only we had died in Egypt! Or in this wilderness! Why is the Lord bringing us to this land only to let us fall by the sword? Our wives and children will be taken as plunder. Wouldn’t it be better for us to go back to Egypt?” And they said to each other, “We should choose a leader and go back to Egypt.”

Exodus 16:3 (NIV)

The Israelites said to them, “If only we had died by the Lord’s hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death.”

Set Up For Success.

Are you Looking For God’s Blessings in Your Life? (Most of us are…)
We all have needs that need to be met, bills to be paid, medical concerns and much more. And in all of these we are looking for God to make a miraculous move and to shower us with His blessings. But, honestly what are we doing for God?

This is not something that most of us would “like” to hear, but it is the truth. Yes, we serve a loving and gracious God, but we also serve a jealous God..

So… What are you doing to make this possible?
Are you possibly hindering your own blessings?

Are your words, your thoughts, and your actions all setting you up for God’s blessings and for faithful service to God, or are we setting ourselves up for failure, hindering our blessings by doing exactly what God has told us in his word not to do?..

Are you blessing others?
Are reaching the lost?
Are you faithful in your worship?
How is your -prayer life?
-your study time for God’s word?

These are just a few possible questions that you could ask yourself, but there could be many more. God wants us to be blessed and to live an abundant life, to many times WE are the reason that we are not blessed.

Blessings- Pastor Jonathan Pannell

With His Mind…

It’s often hard for us to have the mind of Christ, but that’s the big idea. We should think more like Him. Just as the old saying goes “What Would Jesus Do?” God’s desire is for us to have Unity in the Body of Christ and that is hard for us to do when we don’t put on the mind of Christ.

Scripture tells us that God is Love, and we know that Love hurts sometimes. Sometimes its not going to be what we want or in our best interest, and most of the time seems like its not apart of “our” plan, but God’s plan.

As things happen that we don’t like or agree with, or just doesn’t go apart of our plan in life we become bitter from time to time, truth is that happens. But, what we have to remember is that we cannot spread doubt, or negativity among one another (the church, other believers, the community). In fact, out of everything in life and from a God that “IS LOVE” scripture says there are several things that God specifically “HATES” and this is one of them… You should no matter how you feel about something focus on building “Unity” in the Body.

No matter what you face, what decision come up. No matter how up set you are about something you have to understand that our main focus is worship, and bringing glory to our Heavenly father.

Proverbs 6:16-19 (NKJV)

16 These six things the Lord hates,
Yes, seven are an abomination to Him:
17 A proud look,
A lying tongue,
Hands that shed innocent blood,
18 A heart that devises wicked plans,
Feet that are swift in running to evil,
19 A false witness who speaks lies,
And one who sows discord among brethren.

 

1 John 4:8 (NKJV)

He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

Philippians 2:3 (NKJV)

Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.

2 Corinthians 13:11 (NKJV)

11 Finally, brethren, farewell. Become complete. Be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.

Ephesians 4:3 (NKJV)

endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.