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Greetings from the Hillcrest Church of God in Cedar Springs!

Pastor Kristi J. Rhodes
Hillcrest Community Church
5994 18 Mile Rd. Cedar Springs, MI 49319

I was listening to the “Message,” (which is on XM Radio), in my car the other day and I heard one of the band members from “Tenth Avenue North” talking about one of their new songs. The song is titled “Love Is Here.” He shared their inspiration for the song and I thought “oh, how often we miss the fullness and the depth of the love of Christ for all of humankind!”
Sometimes we drift into this trap of thinking, “I’ll know God loves me if He gives me a parking spot, or I’ll know God loves me if He fixes my marriage, or if He gets me this job, or if He heals my loved one, or if this or that! Don’t get me wrong; it’s not wrong to ask for these things, but we play a dangerous game when we ask God to prove something He already proved when He died on the cross for us. Romans 5:8 (NIV) tells us, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this:  While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” He has already proven His love for us. God is love and he can’t love us any more than He does and He won’t love us any less!  Even when we mess up He won’t love us any less.
Even so, it does break God’s heart when our choices lead to destructive behavior, but that’s our doing and our choices, not His!  He’s not sitting on His throne just waiting for us to mess up! On the contrary, He’s the one who sits at our bedside just waiting for us to wake up saying, “Come on, get up!  I want to spend the day with you!” Romans 8:35, 37-39 (NIV), “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?  Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
So when you are tempted to wonder if God really loves or cares about you, please remember He has already proven His love.
The greatest man in History, named Jesus, had no servants, yet they called Him Master. Had no degree, yet they called Him Teacher. Had no medicines, yet they called Him Healer.  He had no army, yet kings feared Him. He won no military battles, yet he conquered the world. He committed no crime, yet they crucified Him. He was buried in a tomb, yet He lives today and his love endures forever and ever!
We are so blessed!

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Greetings from Hillcrest Church

Pastor Kristi J. Rhodes

Hillcrest Community Church of God

5994 18 Mile Rd. Cedar Springs, MI 49319


This spring we celebrated Easter on April 24, the resurrection of our Lord from the grave three days after He was crucified and buried. But did you also know that wasn’t the end? After Jesus arose from the grave He appeared several times in several different places and to several different people including more than 500 people all at the same time over a period of 40 days? And that’s not all! He not only appeared, He interacted with them. He talked with them; He ate with them and continued to instruct them. These people were eyewitnesses—people who saw with their own eyes the resurrected Lord! If you were an attorney in a court of law and were able to produce just one eye witness to an event, that would be enough to convince the court of the truth. But what if you traipsed more than 500 eye witnesses through the witness stand that swore to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth and testified that they saw Jesus alive after He was crucified and buried for 3 days? There should be absolutely no doubt to the validity of these events. There is even a record in writing directly from several of these eyewitnesses. Why is it that modern theories are credible, while actual eyewitness accounts are not? After 40 days from the Resurrection, while Jesus was speaking with the disciples on the Mount of Olives, Jesus was taken up to Heaven before their very eyes! (Eyewitnesses again.) But before He was taken up, He said in Matt. 28:18-20 NIV, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, even to the very end of the age.” Jesus gave the disciples this assignment, but not without preparing them and then empowering them to accomplish their task. He commanded them: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about…You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem (your city), and in all Judea and Samaria (your country), and to the ends of the earth (all the world)!” Acts 1:4-8 NIV. We were created for a purpose. There is a divine plan for our lives that we cannot accomplish apart from God. When Jesus left, He sent His Spirit to remain here until He returns. As Christians, Jesus has promised that He will be with us always. That means always. Even in the darkest of places, even when we can’t feel Him, even when we have doubts, we can be sure that Jesus is here with us. Don’t ever lose hope!

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