PASTOR’S BLOG

An Expected End

An Expected End

Jer 29:11  For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

We are important to the Lord. He desires to give us the best He has in all things. Yet, how often in Christianity and in our own personal lives, do we seem to focus only on the judgment of God and ramifications of sin, rather than the fact that we are special to Him? He, who gave His only begotten Son for our sins, did so because of His great love for us!

This verse reminds us of the fact that the Lord of all creation desires for us to have peace in our lives and enjoyment in our service to Him. While it is true that He will judge us for our sin and lack of obedience to Him, this is clearly not His will or plan. Our Father desires us to have the “peace that passeth all understanding” that his Word promises to us in Phil. 4:7. He wants to take care of us, to shield us from the caustic nature of sin, and brings us a life of true peace. Will we have storms? Yes. Trials? Yes. Struggles? Oh, yes. But then He brings a peace to our hearts that can truly only come from above.

Our “expected end” is the completion of His will. It will be easy for us to do His will if we first remind ourselves of His good thoughts toward us in all things. We are joint-heirs with Jesus and the Lord has good things in store for His children!


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When is Change Good

When Is Change Good?
 
We live in changing times. Many Christians, churches, and pastors, are changing with the times, rather than taking a stand for biblical sanctification. On the other hand, to never change is to become obsolete and unrelatable. So when is it proper to change?
 
  • Change should be bathed in prayer.
  • Change should be with the intent of reaching people for Christ and maintaining a proper Christian testimony.
  • Change should be guarded by a proper spirit and intent.
  • Change should never be because of the carnality of mankind.
  • Change should never be away from the Word or Will of God.
  • Change should never be at the hand and risk of compromise.
 

The Christian life is about change, both in the Christian and in the church. We are by nature sinful, tending to more ungodliness. This often takes the form of rationalizing away biblical boundaries for the sake of convenience. We desperately need to be conforming into His image, as we walk with Him each day. (Rom 8:29)

 
It is not the Lord’s job to make Himself palatable to His creation, but for us to make His creation according to His righteousness.  Have you been changing in the right direction?
 
– Pastor Crawford

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Forgiveness

Forgiveness

All of us, at some time in our lives, will be in the position of giving forgiveness. Whether someone comes to us and asks for forgiveness, or we simply offer it to someone who has wounded us, it is never an easy task to accomplish. Small offenses can seem simple to forgive, while more grievous offenses require a lot more grace.
 
But why and how should we forgive?  Ephesians 4:32 states, “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” We have been forgiven for more than we could ever begin to repay, and so we should be willing to forgive others, as we have been forgiven of God. What if Christ were like us? What if He forgave as we forgive? Thankfully, He isn’t like us. Christ has set the example of true forgiveness and encourages us to follow His lead. In Lk. 23:34, the Bible says, “Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” Even on the cross, Christ gave forgiveness.
 
It is most difficult to forgive when the wound is very deep. It is in our nature to act in our own self interest. We want to protect ourselves and often do so by harboring that hurt in our hearts. The heart then becomes hardened and cynical, as a defense against any future infraction. But as a child of God, we are still called to be tenderhearted and forgiving. This is what sets a true child of God apart from the world and it was this kind of forgiveness that brought us our salvation.
 
Let us remember to give forgiveness to those around us, and prove our Christianity by the way we live our lives, not just by the words we speak.
 
– Pastor Crawford

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Fear

Fear is a thief.

The Bible says in 2 Timothy 1:7, For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” But although we have this commendation from the Lord, sadly so many of God’s people live lives of fear and anxiety. What if I lose my job? What if my health takes a bad turn? What are my kids doing right now? (Well, that one maybe we should worry about!)
 
But why do we live in fear? Our fear is a result of our fragile existence. As we have traveled through life, we have all learned that regardless of our money, strength, or ingenuity, we are all subject to the same limitations. Let one major catastrophe take place, such as Hurricane Harvey, and we are instantly reminded of these limitations. One trip to the doctor and our life can be drastically changed. One downturn in the economy and our life savings can be diminished. And so we live in fear of the “what ifs” of life and rob ourselves of the enjoyment of peace. (Matt 6:25-30)
 
As a child of God, I can live a life absent of fear. Not that I will never experience moments of fear and trepidation, but I can know with a clear certainty that all the affairs of my life have been ordered by God. My life is not up to me and my abilities, but is left in the hands of Divine Providence. Though many today feel as though they have no need of God, the reality is that each day is a gift from Him and we should thank him for it. Let us not let fear rob us of this comfort and blessing.
 
– Pastor Crawford

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Our First Service

We had an incredible opening service October 1, 2017. We had prayed and worked, organizing services, handing out invitations, and most importantly, praying the Lord would move in hearts.  All the work in the world is useless unless the Holy Spirit would guide and direct us. 
 
Our first Sunday was a special time. I really appreciated the hard work of our Launch Team, and the vision of Grand Rapids Baptist Church, who first had the vision to start CrossPoint Baptist Church. We had a full house, with 110 people attending the service, and many people having their hearts stirred. What a blessing to see all our hard work and prayers come to fruition. 
 
We now are laboring to building a firm foundation on the work that has begun. We are confident the Lord will bless our ministry and covet your prayers as we labor forward. If you are in our community, we would invite you to join us for a service. If you live outside our area, stop in for a visit, where you will always be welcome. 

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Read about our Student Ministries

CrossPoint Kids
We believe that there is a great need to teach the Gospel message and Biblical principles to our children. At CrossPoint Baptist Church, your children will learn these truths through fun and interactive Bible Stories that are designed specifically for them. Your children will learn how to apply what God says in His Word, while at the same time having fun singing songs, playing games, and learning God’s Word.
 
Ignite Ministry
The Ignite Ministry is designed to help teenagers realize that God loves them and has an amazing plan for their life. We want to create a place where teens can come and learn about God and His Word, but also be able to come and fellwoship with other teens. At CrossPoint Baptist, we believe that serving God is fun and exciting. It is this message that we convey to our youth groupp through games, activities, trips, songs, and preaching of God’s Word. Teenagers should be able to come and have fun with friends and also learn how Jesus Christ can change their life forever.

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Pastor Crawford’s Testimony

I had the wonderful opportunity to be reared in a great Christian home. I attended church while still in my infancy, in the church where my grandparents were charter members in Galena Baptist Church. At the age of five years old, I heard the Gospel in my Sunday School class about heaven and I knew that I needed to be saved. When I arrived home from church, I asked my father about salvation and how I could go to heaven. My dad explained the way of salvation and I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Savior. I remember I was so excited to be saved that I ran to my grandmother’s house two doors down and burst in to tell her I had accepted Jesus into my heart. She was so excited for my salvation.
 
As a teen, I attended a very strict but disciplined school, where I received a quality education. Many of the classes I would later take in college were already being taught to me in high school. At the age of seventeen years old, I answered God’s call on my life to be in full-time Christian service I recall telling one of the associate pastors of our church and he simply replied, “Oh”. I guess I had a lot of growing to do! I immediately began searching my heart for where and what the Lord would have me to do.
 
I entered college with a Missions Major and began preparing for God’s call on my life. But as is often sadly the case, the devil was at work as well. The church I attended was very strict, and we began to have disagreements. I had attended for college for two years and it was becoming apparent that family, college and church began to overlap in a bad way. My family was very involved in the church and I was soon being shunned by family and friends. It was during this time that I allowed the devil to work in my heart and I soon decided to leave. I don’t blame the church or my family, as this was my decision to allow these things to distract me away from God’s calling in my life.
 
I left the church, my family, and His calling. I got married to my wonderful wife, but soon was angry and bitter at the Lord because of my upbringing and my family situation. My wife tried to remain faithful to the Lord, but I refused to speak of it. And for two years of my life, I ran from the Lord, much like Jonah of old. And God then went to work on me, bringing despair and hopelessness as only He can bring. Soon I began to come back to church, and in the process of six months, was tired of running. A missionary from the Philippines was speaking and that message was intended for me. I quickly made my way to the altar, and gave the Lord back my life, if He would have it! Oh the joy of being back in His fellowship! It was like the weight of the world was lifted off my shoulders and my life was begun anew!
 
That was 23 years ago. I have never gotten over the awe of it! I soon began working with the teens of the church I was attending, and became their full-time Youth Pastor. Over the last 23 years, I have served in 4 different ministries as a Youth Pastor, College Pastor, and Senior Pastor. Ten years ago, the Lord led my family to start a Church in South Haven, Michigan, where we have been serving the Lord as best as possible. We have seen many souls saved and baptized, great and stable attendance, and have seen 9 men surrender their lives to full-time Christian service. The Lord has truly blessed in so many ways.
 
The Lord burdened my heart to start another church in the Wyoming/Grandville, Michigan area. CrossPoint Baptist Church was founded in the fall of 2017, and will continue to go forward as the Lord leads and blesses the ministry.

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