Glad Tidings Church
Lubbock, TX
Posted on August 2nd, 2018

In the world's way of thinking these two things do not go together:  "Joy and Giving". The reason for this is because we naturally look at giving as "losing" something.  God, however, says the exact opposite.  King Solomon said in Proverbs 11:24-25, that one gives away, and still grows the richer: another keeps what he should give, and is the poorer. A liberal soul will be enriched, and he who waters will himself be watered (Moffat Translation) . 

God loves, (He takes pleasure in, prizes above other things, and is not willing to abandon or do without) a cheerful, (joyous, "prompt to do it") giver (whose heart is in his giving.) ​2 Corinthians 9:7 (Amp). 

Many Christians just give enough to irritate themselves!  They give with a consciousness of their giving rather than a consciousness of God's generosity!  Some give "with a grudge" against God. 2 Corinthians 9:7 in the KJV says not to give "grudgingly".  God said it to me this way once:  "you don't have to give, you GET to give!"  If I give with a consciousness of God's generosity I won't be the one trying to "figure" my tithe down to the penny because I don't want to give God anything  more than I "have to". 

Personally, that is the kind of attitude I have when it comes to paying a bill or paying my taxes!  When I pay the electric bill I don't send an extra $100 to the company just because I think they've done such a good job.  No, I pay what is the penny!  With God, I should be so overwhelmed with His grace, His mercy, His provision, His everything in my life, that I desire to sow and give into His kingdom in a cheerful way! 

Jesus said in Matt. 6:19-21 to realize that what you give in this life into God's Kingdom of your time, talent and treasure is actually being "stored up" in eternity!  When I go get some fast food, the money I spend is enjoyed by my flesh for a couple hours but that money has left my hands to never return!  If I go and purchase a new T.V. I can enjoy it for a few years, but eventually it is going to end up in the trash.  This life is temporary and the "things" of this life are as well! 

We should enjoy this life and the things in this life.  Jesus even said he would give us the "stuff" of this life (Matt. 6:32-33);  but, in order to truly have the attitude of joy in our giving we must have the proper perspective.  If my perspective on giving is that it is leaving my hands to never return, then I will be a "grudging" giver because I see it as God "taking" something from me! If, however, I understand that what I give into God's kingdom is actually going into my future and producing a great harvest in His kingdom and in my own life, then there won't be a "grudge" to my giving, but a great JOY in my giving! 

The Lord loves a JOY-FILLED GIVER!  Keep the proper perspective in your giving and you'll find that you have plenty to "sow" and plenty to "eat" because it is the nature of any seed to multiply itself!  (2 Corinthians 9:10)

by Pastor Jessica Baker on June 15th, 2018

​We all have household chores, right? And if we don’t do our part in the house, then we might be living in a mess! Did you know it is the same with our spiritual walk?  Physically speaking, none of us really enjoy a filthy house, so why do we put up with mess in our spiritual lives?  I have come to the conclusion that my mess is only going to be cleaned up by me!  It is my responsibility to take hold of my own spiritual life... and nobody else can do that for me.

I want to encourage you to get up and let Jesus help you clean up your mess!  “Arise [from the depression and prostration in which circumstances have kept you—rise to a new life]! Shine (be radiant with the glory of the Lord), for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you!” Isaiah 60:1, AMPC.

The Lord is your strength and He will help you overcome!  Pick up your Bible and read, get on your knees and pray, sing songs of victory!  Don’t allow the enemy to lie to you another day. DON’T KEEP LIVING IN YOUR MESS!  IT’S YOUR TIME TO SHINE!

by Pastor Jessica Baker on March 23rd, 2018

Have you ever been in a real emergency?  I mean the kind of emergency that makes you dial 911?  If you have, then you probably have a sense of tremendous gratefulness for First Responders!  They are some of the most amazing people in the world.  They will pull you from a burning car, run in to a burning building, stand in between you and gunfire, and administer CPR for you to have life.  All of us should thank God everyday for people who are willing to place themselves even in harm's way if need be to rescue us!

​I have noticed something very interesting about this type of person -- they are not typically going to be the ones that have lengthy conversations with you about your emotions at the time of emergency or even your opinion of the way you should be rescued.  They are what I call "in the zone!"  They are completely focused on what needs to take place in order to ensure your safety -- whether it hurts your feelings or not!  I don't know about you, but I am thankful that they stay on point!

​Isn't it like this in the body of Christ?  Aren't ministers like these first responders for us spiritual speaking?  How many emergencies have we had that an ambulance, tourniquet or ventilator could not fix, but the Word of God through our Pastor swept in and rescued us?  Ministers are God's men and women on the job, and are just as amazing as those who come to our physical rescue.  They, through the power of the Holy Spirit, have the responsibility of rescuing humanity from things that are unseen.  They are called of God to rush into the fire of life if need be, and pull us out of our destruction!  We place too much weight on whether or not they shook our hand on Sunday.  It is time for all of us to recognize the blessing that they are and thank God that they keep their focus!

​Just as our first responders have to answer for the way they administer care to those who have been hurt, ministers of the Gospel have to answer to God for the administering of His Word for the care of His people. He is going to ask questions like, "Did you tell them the truth?  Did you tell them that I have come that they might have life?  Did you stand in the way of the destruction of sin?  Did you deliver my unfailing Word so that their hearts could be healed?  Did you feed my sheep?"  When the five-fold leadership of the church stands before God, He is not going to ask if they did a good job pleasing people, but He is going to require an account of what they did with His Word​.

​In John 21:15-17, Jesus asks Peter if he loves Him.  Peter said, "Lord you know I do!"  Jesus' response is very interesting, He says, "then feed my sheep."  One of the greatest expressions of love that your Pastor or any other minister of the Gospel can give to the Lord is His attention to delivering the Word of God to us so that we might grow.  Just as we should be thankfully praying for the strength of our community first responders, how much more should we pray for the strength of our Pastors? 

In Romans 15:30-32, the Apostle Paul asked for the church to pray for Him.  He asked them to pray specifically that he would be filled with joy and be refreshed.   It is time to change our perspective about our Pastors and begin to daily thank God for them and pray for them.  We are much better off,  when our Shepherds -- our spiritual First Responders --  are full of joy, refreshed and focused -- in the zone -- doing what they need to do to provide for our spiritual growth, safety and rescue!

by Pastor Jessica Baker on October 27th, 2017

Did you know that Jesus was the original visionary of church growth?  Oh I know, you thought church growth was a modern concept but that is just not so -- it began with Jesus.  "And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.,"  Matthew 16:18.  The rock that Jesus was speaking of was the divine revelation of who He is.  He asked Peter, "Who do you think I am?"  I ask you that question today -- WHO DO YOU SAY THAT HE IS?  Jesus wants His church to grow because He wants all of humanity to know Who He Is!  The Lord builds His church upon that mystery that has been revealed to us --  that is --  CHRIST IN US THE HOPE OF GLORY!

​How does He build His church upon this revelation?  By using the hands and feet of His people.  Church growth doesn't just happen because someone prophecies that it will happen or just because you have a good business plan -- your result will only then be customers for Christ!  Jesus did not say "Go ye therefore into all the world and make customers,"  HE SAID "GO MAKE DISCIPLES!"

​"And they continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, praising God, and having favor with all the people.  And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved!"  Acts 2:46-47.  If the Apostle Paul had written this in our day and time, it might say something like this:  "And they stayed connected every day, inviting each other over for supper, enjoyed spending time together chilling, praising God together in worship, serving in the church with one heart and vision whether that is holding babies or cleaning the church, finding favor in their community even with leaders of the city, and the Lord built His church!"  (My modern paraphrase:)  IT'S ALL ABOUT JESUS.  IT'S ALL ABOUT HOW MANY MORE WE CAN REACH WITH THE REVELATION OF OUR SAVIOR.  HE USES YOU!  

Posted on August 9th, 2017

I remember as a little kid, not wanting to grow up.    Why?  It seemed like little kids always had the most fun!  When it was time for Christmas, I didn't have to deal with the hustle and bustle of shopping in crowded stores, driving on crowded streets, counting my pennies to make ends meet  -- I just tore open the presents and made a mess!  Grown ups seemed to have so many problems and responsibilities like working a job, paying the bills, mowing the lawn and washing dishes.  Why would I want to grow up?  What I did not understand, is that there is so much joy and satisfaction in fulfilling your dreams in adulthood.  Once I grasped that concept, I never wanted to be a child again!

​Just as it is God's plan for us to grow naturally and find the joy in adulthood, it is also and even more so, His plan for us to grow up spiritually.  The joy and deep satisfaction in fulfilling the call of God far surpasses any childhood game.  There comes a point in our walk with Christ when we should no longer talk and act like a child.   Instead of feeling needy all of the time, we grow strong and confident and become the one who is nurturing others.  ​"When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me."  I Corinthians 13:11, NIV

Now, don't get me wrong,  we are always in need of His nurture and strength!  We cannot accomplish all of the will of God in our adult spiritual life without have a relationship with the One who gives us the grace to accomplish it.   The Bible tells us that as we submit to the Word of God and the Lord's righteousness (His right way of doing things) we will grow up into Christ.  He has given His ministers as gifts to the body of Christ for the purpose of perfecting our character for His glory.  His nature will dominate our words and actions.  Where we lack self-control, in Him we gain self-control.  We become grounded in our faith and strong in the Lord!

​"And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;  For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ:  That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;  But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:,"  Ephesians 4:11-15.

​Let this be our prayer today: "Lord I desire to grow up into Christ because that is Your perfect will for my life.  I turn my heart towards You and Your Word today.  I will put away childish things and allow the Holy Spirit to guide me.  I will listen to the ministers you have placed over me in the Lord and allow myself to grow up into Christ! "