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Tag Archive | "Pastor Robert P. Smith"

Two words


Pastor Robert P. Smith

First Baptist Church 

233 Main St, Cedar Springs

 

“Thank you.” “I’m sorry.” “I do.” Words seem so ordinary. “Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit—you choose,” is the paraphrase Dr. Paul Tripp gives to Proverbs 18:21 in his book, War of Words. Paul is a counselor, speaker, and a writer, with extensive pastoral experience. It’s true. Words are important. The two most important words for me are “But God.”

“There, but for the grace of God, go I.” This is a familiar phrase, but its author is unknown. However, we open the Bible and discover several characters who received God’s grace. In the first book of the Bible, Genesis 8:1, we read, “But God remembered Noah.” What was the condition of the world at that time? In Genesis 6:5, God said, “The wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” Today is similar to yesterday. There is evil in our world. People of grace aren’t excluded from worldly evil, but it serves a providential purpose. At the end of Genesis, Joseph said, “You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good” (Genesis 50:20 ESV). But God.

When we encounter worldly evil we often wonder, “Why God?” Another Bible character, Asaph, a worship leader in King David’s court, wondered about good and evil. He thought, “Good things only happen to good people.” He thought that God’s people are excluded from worldly evil. Later he confessed, “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever” (Psalm 73:23 ESV). But God.

Who would I be if it were not for the grace of God? In Ephesians 2:4, the Apostle Paul declares, “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us…” The grace of God guarantees that God loves us in His Son, Jesus Christ, who died on the cross. But God. Think about these two words for a moment. But God.

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GERTRUDE J. GUST


 

C--obit-GustGertrude J. Gust, 99 of Cedar Springs, went to be with her Lord on Wednesday, March 15, 2017 at Metron of Cedar Springs. Gertrude was born November 27, 1917 in Grand Rapids, Michigan the daughter of Peter and Hattie (Huber) Koster. Her father died at a young age and her mother raised the children. She loved baseball and had played the violin. She enjoyed housekeeping and cleaning and for many years she volunteered to clean the Baptist Church each week. She was the oldest living member of First Baptist Church, Cedar Springs. Surviving are her son, James (Carol) Gust; grandson, Jason (Heather) Gust; two great-grandchildren; brother, Donald Koster; brother-in-law, Robert Remer. She was preceded in death by her husband, Alfred; sisters, Jane May, Madeline “Betty” Remer; brother, Robert Koster. Visitation and funeral was held Tuesday, March 21st at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs. Pastor Robert P. Smith officiating. Interment Elmwood Cemetery, Cedar Springs.

Arrangements by Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs

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All things new 


First-Baptist-church-currenPastor Robert P. Smith

First Baptist Church

233 Main St, Cedar Springs, MI 

 

New. This is a familiar word. I am the new pastor at First Baptist Church of Cedar Springs. My wife and I moved into a new home five months ago. We are new to western Michigan. We have a new mailing address. We’re meeting new friends in our church and community.

A lot of things were new to us last year. I would imagine the same was true for you even if in different ways. We faced the new experience of saying goodbye to a parent in death. Some events have to happen if other experiences are going to be new. We moved. We left friends. We left family. We left all things familiar to us to begin something new in Cedar Springs. I wonder what new thing the New Year will bring?

I believe that one day all things will be made new. I’m not talking about relocation or replacements or even repairs, but a reality that one day all things will be made new. This idea is not a figment of human imagination, but rather a fact of divine inspiration. “I am making all things new” is the record of the Apostle in The Revelation to John, which is the last book of the Bible. The Apostle John records these words as “trustworthy and true” (Revelation 21:5 ESV).

Why? Why can the Apostle claim these words are a reliable reality? John says, “Because God said so.” One thing known about God is that He tells the truth. He speaks the truth and nothing but the truth so help me—it’s true. One day all things will be made new. I believe this truth about God making all things new because God cannot lie (Titus 1:2 ESV).

New. This word is not only familiar to me; it’s a word familiar to my faith. The Bible says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV). You see, the certainty of my eternal confidence is because of an earthly change. One day God will do what He has done through the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Most of us are expecting something new in 2017. Maybe it’s a new job or a new house or a new friend, but some day those things will no longer be new. However, life in Jesus will always be new.

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