Words from the President

I used to pray God for a revival in our churches, but we need more than a revival. Revivals are wonderful, but they come and go. We need a movement from God to come and stay. We need God’s Grace!.

Grace will bring you and I out of the prison house, out of a life under the Law and take you into the “party house” of God’s grace. I feel so much better after leaving my empty religion. I was religious for many years, and I believed that was the way I ought to be. I thought a Christian had to behave in a certain way. But the Christian life is not an act. We are to rest in Christ and let Him live His life through us. The message I’ll share with you is very simple: Be yourself! Know who you are in Jesus Christ! Accept God’s Grace - “Stop trying and start trusting!”

1 Cor.15:57: “But thanks be to God, Who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Rom. 8:37: “Yet amid all these things we are more than conquerors and gain a surpassing victory through Him Who loved us.”

Know your position in Christ. We need to know our condition. We are dead to sin! We need to know our position. We are one with Christ Jesus!

How you behave and who you really are may or may not coincide at times. But though we may do things that do not coincide with who we are in Jesus, it still doesn’t change who we are in Him. I can act contrary to who I am, but it still doesn’t change who I am. I could dress up one day as a man, put on a man’s pants, suit and shoes , but that wouldn’t make me a man. In the same way, we can fail and sin, but it doesn’t change the reality of who we are in Christ Jesus. When you sin and do wrong, it doesn’t change who you are. You may act foolishly, but you’re still a child of God.

He doesn’t love us based on whether we sin or not. He loves us on one condition: we are His children.

The older son in the parable of the prodigal son was not happy about what was happening. He complained about how he had faithfully served his father through the years, but never had a party like the one that was being thrown for the other son. As a matter of fact, this brother had some of the same misunderstandings regarding his father as his younger brother. He believed the relationship between them was all about serving. God loves us, but not out of how we serve or don’t serve Him. He doesn’t love us based on whether we sin or not. He loves us on one condition: we are His children.

Some say that preaching the message of grace will cause people to sin more. The Bible tells us that grace will teach us to deny ungodliness and the things of the world. When you know how much Jesus and the Father love you, you’ll become motivated to live by a higher law, the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus. Let God give you the ability to walk in this power and behave according to who you are in Christ.

As I begin my 3rd term as President of the Western North Carolina Conference Lay Organization I encourage each of us to accept the Grace of God. It is free.

Let us work together to allow God to be lifted up and glorified, and the mission and purpose of our Lay Organization be realized:

1. To proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ (Mark 16:15);
2. To advance the present ministry of Jesus Christ, particularly as it is embodied by the mission of the African Methodist Episcopal Church (2 Corinthians 5:14-20; see mission, vision, and purposes at http://www.ame-church.com/about-us/mission.php);
3. To encourage Bible study and to uphold the Bible as our only source for faith and doctrine (2 Timothy 3:16-17; see article of faith #5 at http://www.ame-church.com/about-us/beliefs.php);
4. To promote an understanding of The Doctrine and Discipline of the African Methodist Episcopal Church 2012 as an organized source of our laws, government, and belief statements (1 Corinthians 12:4-6; http://www.ame-church.com/about-us/structure.php);
5. To teach good stewardship and respect for constituted authority (Matthew 25:14-30; 1 Timothy 2:1-7);
6. To engage the laity in social action ministry, reaching beyond the walls of the Church to champion goodwill toward all (Galatians 6:9-10);

As Songstress Luther Barnes tells us How did I make it all these years? How did I make it this far? Through the valleys and over the hills I know it had to be God. How did I make it through the storm? How did I make it through the rain? If you wanna know just how I got here, it’s so easy to explain – God’s Grace! I remember the times when I strayed away. Even tho I knew the word I still wouldn’t obey But God’s mercy and His grace stayed with me And brought me, and brought me all the way. It was God’s Grace!

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May God bless us with the true spirit of Christianity, that we may live together, not as man over man, but as lay persons working with God.