by Rev. Clarence V. Boyd Jr., Senior Pastor on April 8th, 2018

​Possessing the land has always been the will of God. Possessing the land was never an option. There was never an alternative to this promise in the heart of God. The Father planned that His chosen people would one day possess the land He had promised to their forefathers. In Gen. 15:13, 14 - God revealed to Abraham the future: “Then the Lord said to him, know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own, and they will be enslaved and mistreated four hundred years. But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves, and afterward they will come out with great possessions.” Then in verse 18 of the same chapter, we read: “On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram and said, to your descendants I give this land…” Notice, that from God’s perspective, He had already accomplished this. God did not say He intended to give them the land. Rather, The Lord declared: “I give them this land.” It was always their land. It made no difference that they were not yet living in the land. The land was theirs!
 
Whether we realize it or not, this is a challenge for most believers. Many believers are committed to following Jesus but have no understanding of what it means to think like him. In other words, before one can end up in a specific place, he or she must have some revelation of where they are going and why. Why one follows is as important as knowing the one they follow. Jesus knew that the cross was in his future. As a result, he was mindful of the cross in everything he did. When he was confronted by those who did not receive him, he never lost sight of the cross. He was convinced that at one point in time he would encounter the cross, or the cross would encounter him. In his mind, this was a reality and every day of his life was simply preparation for the day the cross would become real. The cross would not be a surprise to him. He would not allow anything at that moment to distract him from the call to bear that cross. The cross represented the will of his Father and the purpose of his presence in the earth.
 
God spoke to the children of Israel concerning the promise land. He revealed it to their fathers who, in turn, shared it with them. Even though they had forgotten the promise, the time would come when they would again be reminded of what they had been told. It took four hundred and fifty years of slavery and mistreatment for the children of Israel to cry out to the Lord in hopes that He would keep his promise. In response to their predicament, God sent Moses with the message that there was a promised land that belonged to them. Moses had the responsibility to lead the people of God from bondage in Egypt to the land representing freedom and blessing. It was at this exact moment that they were to possess the land. The promises of God must be received by faith. Once this becomes a reality in the hearts and minds of people, they simply wait for the moment to enter the land. They are not confused about who owns the land because they are persuaded that the land belongs to them. They own the land in spite of the fact that they have never seen the land.
 
Believers face this challenge every day. God reveals his promises confirming his will. Believers hear and believe the word, but fail to possess it by faith. As a result, they come to the promise land without any true conviction that the land is theirs. They are not convinced that the land belongs to them. Because they are not sure of whose land it is, the slightest distraction can cause them to forfeit the land. This is what happened to the Israelites. The giants became a distraction to them, and they withdrew in fear. They never possessed the mindset that the land was their land. They failed to internalize that the land belonged to them – including the giants. It is sad that this mistake is yet being made today. God is the same God today as he was yesterday. The land belongs to the people of God, but we must be driven by the truth and motivated by faith if we are to possess the land. God has not changed his mind. Let us pray that we change our minds and have the mind of Christ!

​In His Service, 
Clarence V. Boyd, Jr. 
Senior Pastor

by Rev. Clarence V. Boyd Jr., Senior Pastor on January 26th, 2018

​In Deuteronomy, chapter one, Moses testifies of God’s command to the children of Israel. It is a historical account which is both personal and educational. Moses is talking to a new generation equipping and preparing them to possess the land promised to their forefathers by the Lord. Verse three states: “In the fortieth year, on the first day of the eleventh month, Moses proclaimed to the Israelites all that the Lord had commanded him concerning them.” Two things stand out and point a picture of both the reality the Israelites were facing at this time, as well as the challenges that lay ahead of them.
 
The first statement made to the children of Isreal by Moses is found in verse six: “The Lord our God said to us at Horeb, you have stayed long enough at this mountain.” This statement is timeless because there are those in every generation that become stagnant. The result is always the same—they remain in the same place too long. It is apparent that if one remains where one is, he or she will never reach the place they are pursuing. Put another way; goals are always ahead of you. One can never achieve a goal without pursuing it. Thus, the goal is always beyond the present position.
 
It is possible that the Lord was aware of this concerning the children of Israel. God has always had a plan for His people. His plan can never be limited to a place or to time. God is eternal! This is the way God thinks. He purposes to accomplish something that will always transcend the present generation. In our text, this generation of Israelites was called to possess the land. “See I have given you this land. Go in and take possession of the land that the Lord swore He would give to your fathers—to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—and to their descendants after them.” Notice that God’s promise was not limited to one generation. God promises will always include multiple generations. This is true because it will always require more than one generation to fulfill the Father’s promise.
 
In the context of our day, it is important that we are sensitive to generations before us as well as discerning of those generations following us. The promise was always meant to be passed on. Whenever one generation loses sight of the eternal promise, they forfeit their role in fulfilling it. Moses reminds the current generation of the mistakes made by past generations. “And the little ones that you said would be taken captive, your children who do not yet know good from bad—they will enter the land. I will give it to them and they will take possession of it.” (Deut. 1:39) May we, as the current generation, keep our eyes on the eternal promise. If we are successful, then both our children and we will enjoy the promises made to our forefathers.
 
The Church can no longer afford to forfeit the opportunity to impart to succeeding generations the awesome promises of God. The current generations of believers must ensure that the next generations know the promises of God and that they have a role to play in fulfilling it. Each generation must take ownership of God’s promise for His people and work hard to teach their children not to lose sight of God’s promises to them. This will ensure that one generation will one day possess the land and praise God for those who prepared them to experience this great victory.

​​In His Service, 
Clarence V. Boyd, Jr. 
Senior Pastor

by Rev. Clarence V. Boyd Jr., Senior Pastor on November 11th, 2017

​At the heart of God is a shepherd. God has always been the supreme example of a shepherd. All of us are familiar with the 23rd Number of the Psalms. It reads:

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death. I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”

The Father serves as a Shepherd and then is followed by the Son. John, in his Gospel, confirms the fact that the Father passed on His heart to the Son. John 10:11 summarizes the heart of the Father. Jesus proclaims: “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.” It is a fact that Jesus gave His life for humanity. Jesus went to great lengths to ensure that His followers knew His heart. More importantly, Jesus was keenly aware of the presence and the intentions of the thief or robber. Everyone knows that a wolf is a threat to sheep. The wolf has always been a thief and comes only to steal, kill, and destroy the sheep. In reality, the shepherd is the only one who truly stands between the sheep and the thief.

Ezekiel captures the depth of this revelation when he writes: “Thus they shall know that I, the Lord their God, am with them, and they, the house of Israel, are My people, says the Lord God. You are My flock, the flock of My pasture; you are men, and I am your God, says the Lord God.” (Ezek. 34:30-31) The Prophet Ezekiel sheds light on this eternal truth that all men are like sheep; and as such, belongs to God, who is their shepherd. God’s will is that every man, woman, boy, and girl have shepherds in their lives who are responsible for their wellbeing. So we conclude that the Father also desires that the heart of a shepherd be passed on to humanity as well. One might conclude that everyone who is responsible for another human being is a shepherd. Most people do not see themselves as shepherds. They missed the spiritual connection that they are to represent the Father’s heart because all people are sheep of His pasture and He wants them protected.

If we ever needed shepherds, we need them today. We are living in an age when wolves are more intentional about destroying the lives of sheep. Recent incidents in our nation only confirm the need for shepherds. The Bible draws attention to the need for shepherds in the context of the church. However, the church must draw attention to the need for shepherds on every level of relationships. Families need shepherds. Students need shepherds. Everything done in life involves relationships. No relationship is exempt from the need for a shepherd. May we remind ourselves and the generations that follow us that shepherding must be the priority of all. I remind you that we may be the only one standing between the sheep and the thief. Thank God He is our Shepherd!  

​In His Service, 
Clarence V. Boyd, Jr. 
Senior Pastor

by Rev. Clarence V. Boyd Jr., Senior Pastor on September 22nd, 2017

​Genesis 2:18 the Father shared this revelation: “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”  All of us are familiar with this scripture and the context that it represents.  In this sense, God was revealing a truth that could not be missed or overlooked. He had created the man to fulfill a divine purpose, and it was evident that His plan for the man would require some assistance. It was the Lord who perceived the necessity of a companion for the man. The calling upon his life and the responsibility that he would assume would be too much for him to handle alone. It is amazing that God already had a solution to this challenge.  His answer was to make a helper suitable for the man. In other words, God knew the man would need someone by his side that could complete him—or assist him in completing the plan of God for their lives.
 
The principles of God are never limited to one context. In other words, a principle works in multiple contexts where they are applied. In the above text, the context for the principle is marriage. God would make a woman from the rib of the man and then present her to him. The conclusion is history! Adam saw the woman as his wife since she was flesh of his flesh and bone of his bones. God made the woman from the man. This reality was only the foundation for the greater purpose that God had in mind. God built the family on a foundation that required a man and a woman. It was the family that God had in mind from the beginning, and it is obvious that He took the necessary steps in time to ensure that the end represented His original purpose.
 
This principle also works in the context of the church.  In the same way that is not good for the man to be alone, no one in the church can fulfill the will of God alone. The Bible reminds everyone that it is the responsibility of leadership to prepare God’s people for works of service. The works of service involve everyone and exclude none. God has called the church to represent His ways in the earth. The Father has not changed His ways. Jesus understood what it meant to serve.  He was fully aware that serving would involve sacrifice. There was no way of escaping this reality. Service is something that people, in general, seem to avoid. Most people expect payment for what they perceive as service.  However, one is not paid for service, but for work. Jesus realized that His work was different.  It was not different because He did not work, but because His service was His work.
 
The fact that service is work reveals a very important revelation that believers must understand. The people of God must see differently. The church must accept the truth that it is called to serve. There is no alternative to this calling. God is the source of all good and perfect gifts. The Lord has promised to provide for all of mankind’s needs. The Father wills to use men and women to meet the needs of others? The meeting of needs is a joint venture and is more often successful when everyone participates. The participation of everyone remains a witness of the influence God has on all He has created. The will of God is for mankind to come together for His glory. Some things can be accomplished by an individual while other things require the contribution of everyone else. Working together to accomplish God’s will for others must be the priority of the church. As has been said: “Together we stand or divided we fall.” Let our prayer be that we stand together for the glory of God.

​​In His Service, 
Clarence V. Boyd, Jr. 
Senior Pastor

by Rev. Clarence V. Boyd Jr., Senior Pastor on July 15th, 2017

​Matt. 4:18-19 “And Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. (19) Then He said to them, Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”  It is no surprise that Jesus called both brothers. In fact, Jesus called a number of additional disciples because the task at hand would require more than one man could accomplish. This really is a reflection of the ways of God. Even if He calls an individual, what that individual is to accomplish will most likely require help from others. Jesus was called to birth the Kingdom of Heaven in the earth and to become a sacrifice for our sins.  However, this task could not have been accomplished without the help of those who chose to follow Him.
 
The Father knew that even though Jesus was unquietly qualified for the task at hand, the work would still have to be shared.  Jesus did not fall into the trap of thinking that He could do everything Himself. It is early in His ministry that we witness Him calling men to follow Him.  Even today Jesus continues to call men. He calls teams, families, and churches to first come together and then to work together for a cause that represents the heart of God. Often times the call of God upon an individual or a group will outlast the life of the one called. This is important for every leader to know because it demands that the leader impart the vision into others. This is necessary so that the vision will continue past the life of the one called. This must be the priority of every leader. Jesus demonstrated this by spending the majority of His time with the disciples. One must never get too excited about multitudes because multitudes will never be able to receive vision in the way that confirms its continuation and ultimately its fulfillment.
 
As a church, there are two lessons that every one of us must learn and then practice. First, each one of us must become mature to the place where we realize that it is not prudent for us to attempt to do “the work of the ministry” alone. Like the disciples, we must learn that success is achieved quicker as a result of our working together. It is apparent that the disciples had their challenges and we can safely assume that we will also have our challenges as well. However, there came a point in time when all of the disciples realized that team work was required to fulfill the vision. This is true for us as well and we prayerfully anticipate that point of revelation by every member. Kingdom work will require everyone to be in his or her place because each one is valuable and our collective witness will always speak louder than any individual effort.
 
The second lesson that must be learned will always test the level of commitment of every member. From reading the Gospels, it does not appear that the disciples missed any of ministry lessons provided by Jesus. At the least, they were committed to His calling to the point that it became their own. They begin to understand the value of the opportunity afforded them. They were not just followers of Jesus, they were the ones He was investing in. They saw Jesus before the crowds as well as in His own quiet times. They witnessed His prayer life, observed His consistency in lifestyle, and were also amazed by His teachings and His wisdom. At some point, they begin to realize that the costs was heavy and the price would require all. They not only realized this as it related to Jesus, but begin to discern that it also would apply to them. This brought them closer together because each of them had to confess that the work was too big for each of them alone.
 
Let us pray as a church that we will also come to the point where we realize that this work will also require all of us. Let us commit that the absence of one in the body always means that the body is not whole. As a result, let us work together to trust that one day the entire body will move as one and that this will become our norm. In the same way that we take all of our members with us as it relates to our physical body, may we work to see all of our members present when the spiritual body moves. May this be our prayer in the mighty name of Jesus!

​In His Service, 
Clarence V. Boyd, Jr. 
Senior Pastor

by Rev. Clarence V. Boyd Jr., Senior Pastor on May 13th, 2017

So often the revelation of the Father is revealed in such simplicity that we just miss it. Put another way, we are more often guilty of taking the simple things of life for granted. We focus more on the bigger things of life and tend to forget how important the smaller blessings really are. In fact, God is a God who takes nothing for granted. In His eyes everything is important and everything is a blessing. From the Father’s point of view there is really no difference between what we perceive as little or as big. God created everything with a divine purpose and that purpose is so important that it prevails regardless of the size of the created thing.
 
This concept is also applicable to principles. In other words, every principle, every truth that God reveals is important. It is important regardless of its impact. If a principle is applied in the life of just one person that is precious to the Father because it carries the potential to change that one life. If a word is spoken and transforms multitudes that is monumental to the Father because His desire is that truth impacts everyone. God desires that everyone would be impacted by His Word! His Word is truth and has the ability to transform every living human being. His Word can transform adults as well as children.  It makes no difference what a person’s background was or how old an individual may be. The Word of God reveals truth to any and everyone who receives it.
 
One must meditate on the fact that even the Word of God has a purpose. The greater purpose for the Word of the Father is to produce a witness for His glory and of His presence in the earth. God has always wanted His presence represented in the earth. Jesus, His only begotten Son, demonstrated this truth in His own life as well as in His calling of disciples. In other words, Jesus knew that He was never called to represent His Father’s presence alone. He understood that the whole world was called to know the Father and then to represent His will in the earth. This is “the bigger witness.” What the church must come to understand is that even though we are each called to be a witness, the greater impact will always come from our unity and our collective witness.
 
This is why the writer of Ecclesiastes took great liberty in reminding us:
 
“That two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work. If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”
 
Let us remind ourselves that these verses serve only as an illustration of a greater principle. The writer is attempting to make the reader aware of a principle that will work if the reader only applies it in his or her life. Simply put, what one can do, two will always do better. What one can accomplish, a multitude can complete quicker. The life that one individual lives for the glory of God will always be superseded by the testimony of many.
 
One of the hardest things to realize in this life is unity! It makes no difference what the context might be, the struggle is always the same. We tend to do things individually.  We think this way because we are more mindful of ourselves rather than of others. Our own individual needs tend to come first as opposed to the needs of others. We think this way and ultimately live this way. However, from the beginning God thought in terms of humanity, all of mankind. Even though God is mindful of each of us as individuals, His purpose was always to save the world—every human being who would believe in His Son, Jesus Christ. The bigger witness will always be the result of the body of Christ operating as one! May the day come quickly when every man and woman, every husband and wife, every family, every church, and every entity where people live and work together—may they realize “that two are better than one.” May we hasten the day when what we do together is more important than what we do alone. May the Father’s vision finally be realized, that “a cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”
​​In His Service, 
Clarence V. Boyd, Jr. 
Senior Pastor

by Rev. Clarence V. Boyd Jr., Senior Pastor on March 20th, 2017

Should anyone be surprised that when God first spoke to Abraham he directed him to “leave his country, his people, and his father’s household and go to the land he would show him?” (Gen. 12:1) If we seriously study the Word of God, we find that God was always telling those who followed him to move. No one could realistically possess the promises God had for them from where they were. God is a God who is moved by faith and faith always requires obedience. But obedience is not the only thing involved. In fact, obedience must always be coupled with discipline. Discipline is required if one is to make the journey required to receive the promise. As a result, it can be concluded that the journey is necessary in order for faith and discipline to truly be tested. Then, were one ends up testifies of whether or not they learned the lessons that came with the journey.
 
The same thing happened with the children of Israel as they moved from Egypt to the Promise Land. After 450 years of slavery they relished in the opportunity to leave Egypt with the intent to inherit the land God had promised to their forefathers. But this trip would also require faith and demand discipline. This move was different because it would require that the entire Israelite family learn the lessons together. It would not be profitable for some of them to learn the lesson while others did not. This point was tested when Moses sent spies into the land to see that it was everything the Lord had promised. The problem was that the majority of those who were sent to spy out the land failed to learn the lessons of faith and discipline. As a result, those originally sent returned divided. The greater challenge manifested as their influence was duplicated by the people, and they in turn, were divided. This created a monumental crisis resulting in an entire generation failing to enter the Promise Land.
 
Paul reveals that this need for unity even involved Jesus. Phil. 2:6-8 declares: “Who being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, (7) but made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. (8) And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross!” Jesus also had to leave where he was and come to where we were in order to fulfill the purpose for which he came. He also had to exercise faith and learn discipline in order to finish the work assigned to him. His task was even more complicated because he had to share his purpose with men with the goal being that his purpose would also become theirs. This would demand unity and so we witness the final prayer of Jesus: “I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one. (23) I in them an you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” (John 17:22-23) Even Jesus was subject to the journey if He was to realize the promise.
 
Finally, we come to the church, the followers of Jesus who would be the supreme test of the call to unity. Jesus allowed the Father to use his influence for his glory. The church must also understand that this is their calling as well. The church must realize that its influence is always multiplied by what they do together as opposed to what they do individually. Both forms of witness are important, but unity always results in multiplied influence. Acts, chapter 2, verse 1 reads: “When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. We cannot miss the significance of this revelation. The Bible confirms that they were “all together” in “one place.” This would be equivalent to every church member showing up at church at the same time—not to mention—consistently. This would be a miracle all by itself. Acts 4:32a affirms that “all the believers were one in heart and mind.” This represents a glorious journey that must involve some serious lessons of faith and discipline. Of course, none of this would ever be realized without unity. May our prayer be that we would become a unified people to the point that being together in one place would become our normal while being of one heart and one mind would be our witness. This is what unity really looks like!
​In His Service, 
Clarence V. Boyd, Jr. 
Senior Pastor

by Rev. Clarence V. Boyd Jr., Senior Pastor on January 7th, 2017

According to William Mounces, the word new has two distinct meanings. First, this word new “denotes the state of being different, new, and superior to a previous state.” An example of this meaning is best understood from the biblical example of ‘a new covenant.’ (Jer. 31:31) In this sense, the new covenant is not only different from the old covenant but is much more superior in its promises to those who believe. Next, this word new carries the meaning of “new in contrast to something old.” Here it can carry the meaning of ‘new’ in the sense of something unused. For example, Matthew (9:17) talks about ‘new wineskins that can only hold new wine.’ In other words, old wineskins do not have the capacity to hold new wine. The application of this definition simply implies that ‘as new creations in Christ Jesus’ we are so different that old habits are no longer able to manifest in us because we are no longer the persons we used to be.
 
In similar fashion, it is our tendency to make ‘New Year’s resolutions’ as we transition from the old year to the New Year. However, all too often we fail to keep the commitment necessary to experience the fruits of the resolutions made. This is not because we don’t believe in the resolution itself, but rather our failure to appreciate the value and benefits that come with being committed. Put another way, one must be more committed to the vision (the end result) than the challenge of getting there. The resolution represents the goal but requires a commitment to sacrifice in order to accomplish it. From a spiritual perspective, faith allows us to see ourselves as having accomplished the goal even though we are still in the process of achieving it. God is faithful in that He is committed to the goal in spite of our struggle to achieve it. From the Father’s position, we have become new and the old has passed away. Let me say it again, “we have been made new.”
 
This is “the newness of new!” This point must be understood because every person sincerely wants to become new. This is the reason why we make resolutions in the first place. It has always been the Father’s will that each one of us truly experiences the newness of life. But one cannot experience this newness if he or she is still bound by the mentality and experiences of the old person. This perception is usually tied to one’s successes or failures. This attempt to gauge whether one is new or not (or able to make progress towards the new goal) is always limited by the reality of either failure along the way or a lack of ability to remain focused on the goal. However, when it comes to this concept of newness from a spiritual perspective, God has already finished what we are attempting to begin. He has made us new! Whether we succeed or fail, we have been made new. When one realizes that they are new and this has been done for them in Christ, they also should realize that they can experience this newness in every aspect of their lives. One’s ability to accomplish the goal no longer depends on whether one fails along the way. This revelation requires a change of mind and focus.
 
In this New Year may your mind be renewed and your focus shifted to the truth that all is new because God has already completed this process in your life. As a result, there are certain things in your life that cannot remain because they no longer represent the new person you are becoming. This is “the newness of new.”  God has already completed this work in you by declaring and justifying you. Now you must allow Him to help you experience all the promises that are yours in Christ Jesus. In this New Year may your motivation no longer be limited to the resolution, but to the one who empowers and enables you to achieve it. May you focus on God’s faithfulness, not just His promises…And may you be new as well in this New Year! 

In His Service, 
Clarence V. Boyd, Jr. 
Senior Pastor

by Rev. Clarence V. Boyd Jr., Senior Pastor on December 10th, 2016

Hopefully everyone is somewhat familiar with the Christmas story. Caesar Augustus had decreed that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. As a result, Joseph left Nazareth with his wife Mary who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. It was in Bethlehem, the town of David, where Mary gave birth to her first-born son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. The story continues that shepherds were visited by an angel who encouraged them to not fear, but revealed to them the good news that would be for all people. This good news revealed that a Savior had been born in the town of David.  This Savior was Christ the Lord! Luke continued this revelation by testifying that “suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying: Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom His favor rests.”
 
The Bible also shares the good news that “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son” providing the opportunity for every human being to find personal salvation. It was John who shared this reality and how each man, woman, boy and girl could share in God’s grace revealed in Jesus. The point being that whoever would believe in the only begotten Son of God would not suffer condemnation, but would find God’s favor that was intended to rest on every man.  However, the failure to believe on the only begotten Son of God would forfeit the opportunity of salvation which represented the heart of God for all mankind. From the beginning it was God’s plan to redeem man unto Himself. Matthew confirms the very purpose or need for Jesus to be born.  Again, it was the angel who appeared to Joseph and proclaimed the revelation of God concerning the birth of Jesus. Speaking of Mary who was pledged to Joseph, the angel said: “She will give birth to a son, and you are to give Him the name Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins.”
 
This is the treasure of Christmas – that Jesus was born to save us. This is the treasure of Christmas – that God loved us so much that He would allow His only Son to be born to die in our place. This is the treasure of Christmas – that Jesus would bear all of our sins on the cross that we might have a right to the Tree of Life. Yes, this is the treasure of Christmas – that God, Himself, would provide for all humanity a means by which we could be reconciled again to the Creator. And yet, in spite of this great sacrifice, there are still those who will not accept the goodness of the Father shown to them. But for those who have, and for those who will, may the Word of the Living God be fulfilled in your lives: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom His favor rests.”  May your Christmas be a Merry One, and more importantly, may you be one of those on whom God’s favor rests.
 
Have a Merry Christmas and we wish you a Happy New Year!

In His Service, 
Clarence V. Boyd, Jr. 
Senior Pastor

by Rev. Clarence V. Boyd Jr., Senior Pastor on November 4th, 2016

Everyone has been told at one time or another that they should be thankful. Of course, November is the month when we celebrate Thanksgiving.  This is a time when families come together to count the many blessings the Lord has bestowed on them.  It is also a time when many attend a Thanksgiving Service and join in with others to give God thanks for His faithfulness in their lives through the year. It becomes apparent that God has been good if we simply are alive to celebrate another Thanksgiving holiday. If the truth were told, all of us have a reason to celebrate and say thank you to the Lord of all life who continues to bless us—often in spite of us.
 
In 1Cor. 15 Paul is writing to the Church in celebration of the resurrection of the Lord, Jesus Christ. He begins by sharing the finished work on the cross.  He testifies that all are saved by the Gospel. He continues by communicating that Christ died for man’s sins according to the Scriptures and that He was raised on the third day. He then becomes venerable in that he confesses that he is the least of the apostles and does not even deserve to be called an apostle. But the fact is that God called him and used him in spite of himself.  This should be each of our testimonies because there is literally nothing that we have done of ourselves that qualifies us to be used by God. No man or woman is exempt from this revelation. There is nothing that anyone can do to merit the approval of the Lord on their own. In spite of how hard one may work, it is still grace that provides all the opportunity to be reconciled with the Father.
 
Pau then applies this concept to each of us.  The reality is that our salvation rests on the foundation of Christ’s resurrection from the dead. The point is made that if Christ has not been raised from the dead our faith is futile. In contrast, because Christ has been raised from the dead, we also have the assurance that we will also experience resurrection life. For those who believe, this will result in their experiencing a resurrected body. This body will definitely be different from the physical body that we have now. The physical body is limited in so many ways. Paul points out that the physical body, made up of flesh and blood, is not able to inherit the Kingdom of God.  Only a new body will be able to remain in the presence of God for all eternity.  Paul concludes that all of this is a reality because death has lost its victory and also its sting.
 
Paul does not stop here.  He draws this conclusion: “But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Cor. 15:57)  Be encouraged because this statement is comprehensive.  It implies that regardless of one’s situation or circumstance, the Lord has already given us the victory.  Paul reminds us that Jesus had to go through trial and temptation before He could reach this position. He also reminds us that we can also experience the victory because it has already been achieved for us by Christ. His work is completed and His battle has been won. We can be thankful as well because our victory has been achieved even though we may struggle.  If we can learn to celebrate the victory in advance this will bring God glory and strengthen our faith. Regardless of what we may be going through, we can be thankful that God will give us the victory somehow and someway. So let us always be thankful to our God who continuously gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.  I exhort you to be thankful in this moment, in this month, and in every day to come. “You already have the victory.”
​In His Service, 
Clarence V. Boyd, Jr. 
Senior Pastor