Category Archives: Light in the Darkness

Light in the Darkness: June 19, 2013

by Pastor David Grey

“So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God,  who has saved us and called us to a holy life — not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace.” — 2 Timothy 1:8-9

By any standard or measure, we can imagine, the wonderful grace that has been extended to believers in Christ Jesus, saving us from our well earned fate, demands a response.

That response can be none other than to love and hold the Savior more dear than anything else in this world.

More dear than the fear of being ridiculed by men. More dear than one’s love for father or mother or brother or sister. More dear than life itself.

To this end, Paul writes to Timothy, and of course, to us, “do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord.” When we hold the Lord more dear to our hearts than anything or anyone else this boldness to testify about the Savior simply flows.

The recognition of what He has done for us and the resulting heart full of gratitude overflows into testimony. There is no shame. I remember when I was paying for my Dad’s salvation many years ago. Mom had surrendered to Christ but Dad had not yet done so.

Late one night, Mom was clearly experiencing a terrible heart attack. One and then two nitro tabs did nothing. Dad woke my 17-year-old brother, a believer, and asked him to pray. He did. Mom recovered immediately.

The next day in a routine follow-up the Dr. compared X-rays of Mom’s heart that he had just taken with those of a previous visit. Not only was there no sign of a heart attack the night before, but all the scar tissue seen so clearly in previous X-rays was now gone!

The new X-rays showed a completely healed heart, including the absence of previous scar tissue.

To read the rest of the column, pick up a copy of The Valley News. You can subscribe by calling 598-6397 or click on the link on our home page.

Light in the Darkness: June 12, 2013

by Pastor David Grey

“If we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another…” — 1 John 1:7

My wife, Bonnie and I, along with other family members, recently traveled to the Southwest to see some of the most majestic sites in all of creation.

We visited the Grand Canyon and several National Parks and Forests. Surrounded by the scope and beauty of it all, we were constantly reminded that our God is an awesome God.

Again and again, as we drove or walked, we were surprised by some new (to us) aspect of His handiwork. In the town of Sedona, Ariz., the place where many western movies have been made, I rose very early one morning in order to hike to the highest point in the area to catch the sun rising over the desert. I made it just in time and the sight was gorgeous!

We came home with many wonderful memories, a couple of which had nothing to do with what we had traveled to see. Though I should know better, still I was surprised that the trip’s highlights included meeting three fellow believers in Christ.

The first two were brothers. They were Vietnam veterans who had served in 1965 and 1966. They were traveling the country on their last big adventure together.

We talked about a number of things and it did not take long to discover that we were brothers in Christ. What sweet fellowship we shared from that point on as we talked about the things of God. We talked of the Second Coming of Christ and what heaven would be like and many other things. Even the subject of the Anti-Christ came up.

God has given me a particular appreciation for American veterans, so, that, combined with the discovery that we were brothers in Christ made for a wonderful memory of our trip west.

The second experience came during a moment when I was feeling a little grumpy (think euphemism here). On our return trip home, our plane was delayed long enough to miss the last connecting flight to Syracuse that night. This meant that we had the choice of sleeping in the airport or paying for a motel.

To read the rest of the column, pick up a copy of The Valley News. You can subscribe by calling 598-6397 or click on the link on our home page.

Light in the Darkness: June 5, 2013

by Pastor David Grey

“Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about.  For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” – Acts 1:4-5

Samuel Chadwick, the great Methodist preacher, put it well when he said, “Christianity is hopeless without the Holy Ghost.”

Hopeless. That is a strong word, but it is true. The Holy Spirit is not simply helpful in the Christian life. He is not simply “available” should we decide to take advantage of some greater resource in our living.

He is essential. Without Him what one has is not the Christian life but a substitute powered only by self. When Jesus said, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5-6)  He meant nothing.

Who were these men to whom Jesus said, “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised”? They were men who had been with him for his entire earthly ministry. They knew who He was, understood the message clearly. They had seen Him in ministry and had joined him in it.

They had already been sent out to preach the gospel, perform miracles and cast out demons. These were trained, prepared disciples and yet, while all around Jerusalem men and women were in need of the message.

Why were they told to tarry?  The reason is that the Holy Spirit is indispensible to a believer’s life and ministry. Without the Spirit, we can, indeed, do nothing.

Think a little further about these men for just a moment. Every one of them had followed Jesus faithfully. They swore their allegiance, looked forward to serving with Him in His kingdom and one of them, Peter, had even vowed that he would die before ever denying Jesus before men.

To read the rest of the column, pick up a copy of The Valley News. You can subscribe by calling 598-6397 or click on the link on our home page. 

Light in the Darkness: May 30, 2013

by Pastor David Grey

“If you love me, you will obey what I command.  And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever—  the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” – John 14:15-19

The first command the disciples were to obey was to remain in Jerusalem and “wait for the gift my Father promised…the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 1:4).

This promise of the Holy Spirit to His disciples (and to all who believe, of course) is both amazing and wonderful. He promises that the one who would come would be their helper and teacher. He said that this one would also be exactly like Himself.

The word Jesus used did not mean “same” in the way that two “identical” Fords coming off the assembly line are alike, for an expert would easily find some material flaw or difference between them.

When Jesus said another just like Me, He meant precisely and perfectly. In other words, if something is true about Jesus it is true about the Holy Spirit. This is why we often use the Holy Spirit and Christ interchangeably as the one who indwells us. There is not the slightest difference between them.

These words must have been a comfort to the disciples, if not immediately at least later when they reflected on them. This promise was timely for Jesus had recently dropped the bomb that He would be leaving and returning to the Father.

To read the rest of the column, pick up a copy of The Valley News. You can subscribe by calling 598-6397 or click on the link on our home page. 

Light in the Darkness: May 22, 2013

by Pastor David Grey

“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price.” – 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Today, I want to focus on three things that will help every believer to know a deeper walk in the Holy Spirit. Three things that cultivate a closer walk with the Spirit in your life.

The first thing to do is to clean out your house. These may be things in your literal house (your home), or things in your earthly tent (your mind and body).

Take time to identify those things that clutter your mind with things that are counterproductive to the powerful work of the Holy Spirit in your life.

Things that feed your flesh rather than the Spirit of God within you. They include what you watch or read and sometimes even things that you do that are not wrong in and of themselves.

You might be surprised what the Holy Spirit reveals about such things.

Years ago, for instance, I realized that my motorcycle appealed far too much to my flesh and had to go. I never regretted it.

Everything that appeals to the flesh rather than the Spirit needs to be cleansed  just as Hezekiah of old rid the Temple of those things that defiled it and were offensive to  the living God.

These are things that hinder what the Spirit has for our lives and nothing short of a thorough cleansing is acceptable. Partial measures simply will not work.

It does little good to wipe the dust cloth here and there while tracking mud into the house faster than it can be cleaned up

The second thing to do is to get into the Word. It is the washing of the water of the word that cleanses our lives.

To read the rest of the column, pick up a copy of The Valley News. You can subscribe by calling 598-6397 or click on the link on our home page.

Light In The Darkness: May 15, 2013

by Pastor David Grey

“Since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead.” — Romans 1:20

Though we cannot see God, his eternal power and glory are clearly evident in all those things He has made and the tremendous works that he does. His attributes are evident not only in the creation that we see, but in the power that holds that creation in working order.

It reveals who He is so clearly that we are told in Romans 1:20 that,  “Since the creation of the world, God’s invisible qualities — his eternal power and divine nature — have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.”

The magnificent beauty of creation, the astounding diversity of living creatures and  the incredible magnitude of the cosmos all point so clearly to an intelligent, all-powerful, eternal creator that those who choose not to believe are left with no excuse for their unbelief. Even without a word spoken, God has revealed Himself to every man.

Yet even this magnificent creation with all its wonders is not His crowning achievement. For that, His only Son had to die. Nothing in all of creation has revealed the depth and breadth or quality of His character so much as the redemption of mankind through faith in Jesus Christ.

“Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care, trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you, when they spoke of the things that have now been told you by those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even angels long to look into these things.” — 1 Peter 1:10-12

To read the rest of the column, pick up a copy of The Valley News. You can subscribe by calling 598-6397 or click on the link on our home page.

Light In The Darkness: May 1, 2013

by Pastor David Grey

“For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves,  in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” — Colossians 1:13-14

The word “redeem” simply means to recover something, usually by paying a price. To redeem something costs something.

It also carries the idea of ownership and implies the restoration of something that has been forfeited, pawned, stolen or lost. That which is redeemed is restored to its rightful owner.

Jesus said in Luke 19: “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save that which was lost.”

We know that He came to redeem mankind but the little word that implies Jesus is not speaking only of men but of something else as well and it is not difficult to identify just what that is.

We have only to refer back to Genesis to know what was lost. When we do, we find that two things were lost when Adam ate the fruit of the forbidden tree.  They resulted in the death of man both spiritually and physically.

Those two things were fellowship with the Creator and the moral power to live holy lives. The loss of moral power for righteous living made communion with the Father impossible.

These are the things Christ died to redeem. The actual outworking of that redemption would be accomplished by the indwelling Holy Spirit sent at Pentecost.  He restores consistent obedience as we walk in the Spirit, thus insuring unbroken communion with the Father.

The two are inseparable. Obedience is possible only in the Spirit and communion with God results.

One of the things it seems we have forgotten in this modern age is that man’s sin did not in any way change the requirements of the moral law.

 To read the rest of the column, pick up a copy of The Valley News. You can subscribe by calling 598-6397 or click on the link on our home page.

Light in the Darkness: April 24, 2013

by Pastor David Grey

“And now I will send the Holy Spirit, just as my Father promised. But stay here in the city until the Holy Spirit comes and fills you with power from heaven.” — Luke 24:49

For the next several weeks, I will focus on a subject that has been largely neglected in the church with far-reaching consequences.

I refer to the ministry of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer. Oh, we hear much about the gifts and dramatic manifestations of the Spirit but little about His actual work in us; little about the necessity of walking carefully and consistently in the Spirit and even less yet about the holiness He desires to produce in us, though this holiness is the very reason He was sent to us.

This neglect is why we see so little of His power in the church, the body of Christ. It is why so many have fallen into the error of the Galatian believers who Paul said began their new lives in the Spirit, but were now trying to perfect their faith in the flesh.

This general failure in the church is the reason, Samuel Chadwick, writing more than a century ago, concluded that, “The Holy Spirit has been shut out from the province in which He is indispensable. Christianity has been reconstructed without Him.”

The Christian life simply is not possible without the Holy Spirit. Anything we might try to pass off as Christian without Him falls into the category Paul spoke of as having a form of godliness while denying the only power that can produce true godliness in one’s life.

Paul actually said that we should have nothing to do with people who profess to be believers but live that way. (2 Timothy 3:5). Undoubtedly this is so that the world and believers, alike, would not be confused about which life is Christian.

That the believer would have power for holy living is the whole reason for “The Incarnation of the Holy Spirit.”

This phrase may seem strange since you have probably never heard nor even thought of Pentecost in those terms. Neither have many others, evidently, for when I typed that phrase into Google, the only responses that came back related to the Holy Spirit’s role in the incarnation of Jesus Christ.

To read the rest of the column, pick up a copy of The Valley News. You can subscribe by calling 598-6397 or click on the link on our home page.