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Tag Archive | "Pastor Robert Smith"

Peace on Earth

Pastor Robert P. Smith of First Baptist Church, 233 Main St, Cedar Springs

The promise of Christmas is “Peace on earth.”  The key to our peace, both in our seasonal celebration of traditions and in our spiritual celebration of Truth, begins and ends with God.  This is a true statement: “No God. No peace. Know God. Know peace.” The Bible says that God himself is our peace and through His Son, Jesus Christ—the Prince of Peace—peace can be known.

World War I had been raging for only four months. It was already proving to be one of the bloodiest wars in history. Soldiers were weakened by the weather and by the war. They were trapped in trenches, 60 yards away from each other, covered in mud, and exposed to the cold, wet winter weather. In a place where blood was mingled with the mud, something surprising occurred on the front that Christmas in 1914. Men from both sides, who lay shivering in the trenches, set aside their weapons and hatred, if only temporarily, seemingly embraced by Christmas peace, and greeted each other on “No Man’s Land.”

One of our festive holiday songs says, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year…it’s the hap—happiest season of all.”  For many this time of the year is filled with anything but happiness. This season overflows with stress, grief, anxiety, and conflict.  Many people find themselves frustrated, dissatisfied, miserable, and angry even over small matters like waiting in line at the store or at the traffic signal. “There is no peace on earth,” they say. 

What about you? What do you say? Is your “Christmas peace” as fragile as a sheet of tissue paper used in wrapping gifts? Is your joy a façade like the artificial reindeer on your neighbor’s lawn? This Christmas can be different from all others. In the words of Charles Wesley’s carol, Hark! the Herald Angels Sing, “Peace on earth, and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled!” In the words of another Charles, “This is what Christmas is all about Charlie Brown.”

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A perfect storm

Pastor Robert P. Smith

First Baptist Church

233 Main St, Cedar Springs


One of my favorite gospel songs is “Turn Your Eyes upon Jesus.” I remember singing this song as a small child in church services. As a young person growing up in church, I remember hearing over and over again the Bible story of a man who took his eyes off Jesus and nearly drowned. 

Do you know this song? Is it one of your favorites? Do you remember the words to the chorus?

“Turn your eyes upon Jesus,

Look full in His wonderful face,

And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,

In the light of His glory and grace.”

According to these words, it isn’t until we “look full” into Jesus’ face that we will look away from earthly things. I believe to “look full” is to give our complete attention to Jesus. It is to see Him and only Him alone through the Bible. The earthly things that appear to offer us so much satisfaction or security will be seen as shallow and superficial compared to the eternal reward of seeing Jesus.

One of my favorite stories of Jesus is when he directed his disciples to cross over to the town of Bethsaida while he went up on the mountain to pray. It was there, alone on the mountain, that Jesus noticed the disciples’ struggle out on the water. The Bible says, “the wind was against them.” 

The human tendency during difficulty is to imagine the face of God with blind eyes, but the Bible teaches the opposite. God sees. God knows. God cares. God acts. True followers of Christ are special objects of His sovereign care and compassion. We’ll know his care when we cast our concerns on him.

The very waves that the disciples feared became the way he entered into their struggle. Jesus said, “Do not be afraid.” And when he got into their boat, the wind ceased. When “the wind is against you” do you know that he is with you? If we are not going to be beaten down by the storm we must believe in the One who can calm it. Remember his promise, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Storms will come. Who do you see in them?

“Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus,” Helen H. Lemmel, Singspiration


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A thin line

Pastor Robert Smith

First Baptist Church

233 Main St., Cedar Springs


There is a difference between a Thinline edition of the Bible and a perspective that views the Bible as thin. I view one as helpful in ministry and I view the other as harmful. One makes Truth easy to grasp and the other loses the grip on Truth.

What is meant by the perspective that the Bible is “thin?” First, the use of the word “thin” implies that the Bible lacks substance, fullness, or abundance in meaning or purpose. In other words, the Bible is irrelevant. It doesn’t really address, at least with any substantive meaning, the real issues that touch our lives.

A second matter for us to consider, which is nearly as dangerous as the first, is seeing the Bible as merely a book of rules. Yes. There are commandments in the Bible, but the Bible is not a book of do’s and don’ts. The Bible tells us what has been done for us that we cannot do. It tells us of God’s one and only Son, Jesus, and why He came into the world. It tells us of the kind of life that Jesus called “abundant.”

A third matter, which is as dangerous as the second one, is to think of the Bible as merely a resource that one might turn to in order to find comfort in a time of crisis or to find wisdom in making a decision. Those who hold this view of the Bible genuinely believe it offers some general help, but not enough for the hard issues of life.

The Bible is not thin. It’s thick. It’s substantive. It is full of meaning. It’s rich in wisdom. Its abundance overflows to address every daily matter of meaning and purpose of our lives. If this is true, and it is, then why do people not see its relevance? Or for those who do, why do they see it merely as a resource, as if the Bible is one among many voices?

The Bible is more than rules for a well-ordered life. It’s more than a resource for some of the issues of life. It is relevant in all of life’s areas. It is God’s revelation of Himself. It will awaken and revive a soul to real life!

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Will you remember?

First-Baptist-church-currenPastor Robert P. Smith

First Baptist Church

233 Main St, Cedar Springs


There are many facts in life that we are called upon to remember—names, birthdays, anniversaries, appointments, deadlines, tax day, and even historical events of national significance: September 11, 2001, January 28, 1986, April 3, 1968, November 22, 1963, or December 7, 1941. These dates bring to memory the reality of loss, suffering, and death. And the same is true for us today as we remember, April 3, 33.

In less than three days, Christians are called upon to remember not a date, not even an event of national importance, but an eternal person of significance. We remember not a change in our world, but the One who created the world, turned it upside down, and one day He will bring a new world. On Easter Sunday, will you do as 2 Timothy 2:8 says: “Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead.” 

The word “remember” is an important word if we are going to comprehend this command. A few years ago, a friend of mine returned to Michigan to reunite with his family for a special occasion. On that evening, after dinner, the family began to share some of their childhood memories when one of his sisters suggested they watch some of the old 8mm movies. At first, the idea sounded horrible, the reason for the reunion was painful enough, but to watch movies of their own growing pains was considered unbearable.

Nevertheless, they turned on the projector and my friend saw his father as a twenty-seven year old walking with his two sons. He was running alongside his son as he showed him how to ride a bike. He was a thirty-two year old teaching his kids how to water ski. But most of the time, he was not on the screen at all. He was capturing his family on film.

It was a bittersweet experience for my friend as he contrasted that young man on film with the frail man his father is now. That evening helped my friend remember his father not as the man who forgot his name or that he was his son, but as the man who for most of his years was full of life. Somehow, it helped to bring some joy in the midst of their deep sorrow.

Remembering the Resurrection of Jesus Christ is important for a number of reasons. It brings joy out of sorrow. It brings hope for tomorrow. And there is another good reason we remember: God is faithful. He keeps His promises. Jesus Christ’s resurrection from the dead is proof. Remember what the angel said to the women at the tomb? “He is not here, for he has risen, as he said” (Matthew 28:6 KJV). Notice the last three words, “as he said.” Will you remember?

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First Baptist Church to install new pastor

Pastor Robert Smith and his wife, Ronette. Pastor Smith will be installed as the new pastor at First Baptist Church in Cedar Springs this Sunday, October 9.

Pastor Robert Smith and his wife, Ronette. Pastor Smith will be installed as the new pastor at First Baptist Church in Cedar Springs this Sunday, October 9.

The congregation of the First Baptist Church of Cedar Springs is rejoicing over the call of their new pastor, Pastor Robert P. Smith. Pastor Robert and his wife, Ronette, moved to Cedar Springs from Des Moines, Iowa, a few weeks ago and are settling into their new home just south of the city.
Pastor Smith will be installed as the 39th pastor of the church this Sunday, October 9, at the 10:45 a.m. service. During the service, former Interim Pastor Daniel Currie will issue a charge to Pastor Smith, and former Pastor Stan Mohr will issue a charge to the church.

Pastor Smith received his Master of Divinity from Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary in Allen Park, Michigan, in 1984, and his Bachelor of Arts from Tennessee Temple University in Chattanooga, Tenn. in 1980. He has pastored churches in southeast Michigan, but most recently pastored Grandview Baptist Church in Des Moines, Iowa. He pastored that church for 15-1/2 years.

Both Pastor Robert and Ronette grew up in the southeast area of Michigan. They have been married for 35 years. They have two married children and five grandchildren. Daughter Lauren and her husband David Ollila live in Allen Park, Michigan with their children Carson, Coleman and Cael. Son Colin and his wife Melissa live in Ankeny, Iowa with their children, Charlotte and Harrison.

Outside of the church, the Smiths enjoy cycling and golf.

Welcome to Cedar Springs, Pastor Robert and Ronette!

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