Friday, March 15, 2013


Don't forget that you can check out the sermon series from Sunday and Wednesday services online at

We also have plenty of apologetic resources that you can spend some time going through. We know you'll be blessed by these resources.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Advantage of Suffering

For some, the idea that suffering is advantageous might seem novel or even morbid. My reaction would be such that I would respond with, "how on earth can you say that me going through what I'm going through is an advantage?"

I like the simple, straightforward definition of suffering offered by the Dictionary of Bible themes, "The experience of pain or distress, both physical and emotional."1

Suffering is a physical or emotional response to something that, to be candid, hurts. Reading this blog post, can you relate? An illness. Physical pain. A loved one lost. Emotional pain. Persecution for your beliefs. The despair that sin creates in your life. Depression in general. You know these things, and probably more.

From here, we all are wondering, "given the gravity of those aforementioned forms of suffering, why has the title not been changed? Why would someone hold to the concept of suffering as an advantage?"

Allow me to explain.

"For our limited, temporary affliction is producing in us an eternal weight of glory, beyond all comparison." (2 Corinthians 4:17)

Given the nature of 2 Corinthians 4:7-11, we know one thing Paul isn't communicating here. He is not saying your suffering is insignificant. He knows it's a big deal. The urgency of your situation is not removed. The severity of your situation is not diminished. The pain of your situation is still acute. The biblical writers have never placed a concept of suffering minimalism upon the necks of God's people.

Instead, what they do is maximize the life that you have with Christ. Both now and forever. What you will experience can be no clearer than what is meantioned Revelation 21:4. These words are meant to minister to you as you endure:

“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; those former things have passed away.
And He who sits on the throne said, 'Behold, I am making all things better.'"
(Revelation 21:4–5)

The God who commanded oceans (Job 38:8) and told waves to stop (Job 38:11) now—more than capably—bids the tears of His beloved people cease in the future life. As He has said before to the waves, "Thus far you shall come, but no farther; And here shall your proud waves stop" God commands our tears as such. Those moments where you felt more like the Psalmist, I am weary with my sighing; Every night I make my bed swim, I dissolve my couch with my tears” (Psalms 6:6 NAS95) God Himself with the same storm-calming power but with the tender care of a Father, will wipe away your tears. No more death. No more grieving. Crying. Pain. Those are done away with. Even if it doesn't happen in this life, it will get better.

As breath-taking as that is, you may still be wondering, what is the advantage of suffering now? The starting point of the advantage of suffering is found in the removal of our sin through the suffering of our Savior:

“For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, WHO COMMITTED NO SIN, NOR WAS ANY DECEIT FOUND IN HIS MOUTH; and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously; and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.” (1 Peter 2:21–24 NAS95)

The first advantage of suffering is found in the greatest Sufferer, who suffered under the wrath of God, Jesus Christ. His suffering gave us the Gospel, and therefore salvation. But Christ suffered so as to leave us an example for us to follow, that is, that we too should suffer; and in fact, suffer as our Savior did. How marvelous a privilege to follow in the foot steps of the most valuable person in our lives? No wonder it is a gift of grace, "For to you it has been granted for Christ’s sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake." (Philippians 1:29 NAS95) The fact that suffering produced the removal and forgiveness of our sins is a monumental advantage.

Even still, we may ask, "but what about my suffering?" And with that,

“But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. AND DO NOT FEAR THEIR INTIMIDATION, AND DO NOT BE TROUBLED.” (1 Peter 3:14 NAS95)

How many of us have asked for moments in which we would have "favorable" circumstances? "If I could just get rid of this suffering, my life would be better." No one expects this to be an easy embrace, but since this is what God wants us to know, it must be stated: if you are suffering, according to the word of God, you are in a favorable circumstance. The word for "blessed" in 1 Peter 3:14, means that. It means "privileged" or "fortunate". Peter's reason? It's found in 1 Peter 4:1,

“Therefore, since Christ has suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same purpose, because he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin.” (1 Peter 4:1 NAS95)

The most favorable circumstance that a person can be in, is the cessation of sin. Of course, we're not talking about sinless perfection—such is impossible this side of heaven—but rather, a life that devalues sin, and values Christ. Suffering, particularly the suffering of Christ, is a weapon that we can arm ourselves with to find obedience (what some call victory) over sin. How many have foolishly attempted to run away from the suffering, or difficulties of situations for something that looks so much better, only to miss out on the advantage of suffering?

Peter tells us further,

“Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you [the suffering you're experiencing], which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you.” (1 Peter 4:12 NAS95)

Too many people do the exact opposite of this. We know contextually to 1 Peter, that he does inform us of suffering that we add due to sin, and that is to be avoided, but the suffering that is because of Christ isn't something to run away from. 1 Peter 4:13, states that it is something to rejoice in. How many of us have stopped in our moments of suffering and instead of thinking, "this is because God doesn't like me" or "this is because God has forgotten about me" or "this is because I've done something wrong" that maybe if you are suffering it's because you're walking in a manner that is glorifying God? Maybe it's because you're doing something right.

We can't miss that perspective; suffering for Christ, means we're right where we need to be, and we're on the right road. In a lot of ways, those who are suffering shouldn't look to those who aren't with envy; in fact, maybe it needs to be the other way around. Those who are suffering are experiencing such a significantly valuable, quality of life that it's no wonder the Author of Hebrews could say the world isn't even worthy to have such people in their midst (Hebrews 11:36-40).

And Peter's not even done yet.

“but if anyone suffers as a Christian, he is not to be ashamed, but is to glorify God in this name.” (1 Peter 4:16 NAS95)

The Greek for "ashamed" mentioned in verse 16 above means to not feel defeated. It means to not feel shame, or be disappointed. Don't be disappointed for suffering as a Christian ought to. Instead, recognize you're right in the best way to maximize the glory that God is to receive. You have reason to rejoice instead.

Still, Peter isn't finished.

“AND IF IT IS WITH DIFFICULTY THAT THE RIGHTEOUS IS SAVED, WHAT WILL BECOME OF THE GODLESS MAN AND THE SINNER? Therefore, those also who suffer according to the will of God shall entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right.”
(1 Peter 4:18–19 NAS95)

Are you having difficulty in this life as a believer? Please don't be taken off guard here, but that causes significant reason for rejoice because that's how the righteous are saved. Now you've been given occasion for something that so many people long for: assurance. The basic conclusion here is that those who suffer and are experiencing immense difficulties as believers are those who are being saved, and are on the right road, doing what is right, by the power of their faithful Creator. So much, considerably so much, is the ministry of suffering in the lives of believers.

Take heart, dear sufferer. God is more with you than you can imagine. And you yourself are being fashioned into a phenomenal vessel, well crafted and full of quality, and God is receiving what He desires from His people, His glory.

— Jeremy Menicucci

1). Martin H. Manser, Dictionary of Bible Themes: The Accessible and Comprehensive Tool for Topical Studies (London: Martin Manser, 1999).

Monday, January 7, 2013

Blog is Back

I'm excited to announce that our blog is back up and running. I know for most people it may have been peculiar to go to our website, see the blog button on the upper left hand side, click on it, and notice that there haven't been any posts in awhile.

Luckily, you will now see regular postings. Please stay tuned!

– Jeremy Menicucci

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Love or Liberties? - Pastor Travis New

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35)

“This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends if you do what I command you. (John 15:12-14)

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma. (Ephesians 5:1-2)

Have you taken the time to consider what these passages mean? How they practically apply, to your life? Have you considered how they apply the body of Christ? They’re all teaching us the same thing; to love one another even as Christ loved and continues to love us. But that raises a significant question for us doesn’t it? It begs us to ask; how did Christ love us? How does He continue to love us? The answer for that question is a simple one. He loved us sacrificially. He laid Down His life! For us! He endured the mockery of a trial, the scourging of sinful men, the long walk to Golgotha, the agony of the crucifixion, the full wrath of God and eventually death. For us! Brothers, Sisters, this is the love that these passages of scripture command us to emulate. We are to love one another sacrificially. Do you see that Christian? Do you see the clear command of your Savior?

It is to esteem the needs of others Philippians 2 puts it this way, “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.”

So, Biblical Love, Christ like Love, Christian love is to sacrifice your rights, liberties, and desires for the needs of others. Is that not what Christ did? “Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” Jesus humbled Himself! He didn’t count equality with God a thing to be grasped; He didn’t try to hold on to His divine rights or prerogatives, He laid them down, He laid them down to bring about your redemption, He laid them down to love you. Brothers, Sisters, if that is so, if that is the truest expression of Biblical Love why are we so quick to pursue our liberties? Why are we looking for our own? Why are we not considering the needs of our brothers and sisters in Christ? Why are they not more precious than our liberties? If we are called to love sacrificially, shouldn’t we be willing to give it all up for the sake of the church that our Savior bleed and died for?

Will you Christian? Will you consider your weaker brothers and sisters? Will you lay it all down and live selflessly for Jesus? That is what He commands, will you do it?

Monday, January 18, 2010

A Great Opportunity to Live the Gospel

In John 13:35 Jesus after washing the disciples feet said “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” This love is self sacrificial, not self satisfying. God has given us a huge opportunity to do just that. It comes in the form of the current disaster in Haiti. What have you sacrificed for the sake of loving the Haitian people? Many of us cannot go to Haiti, but has that even crossed your mind? What I mean is if someone gave you the means to go would you? Praying is an awesome responsibility but what about doing? We should not go on as to why this happened but because it happened what would God have us do. Remember what Jesus also said
• Matthew 25:35-45 35for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’ 37“Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 39Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’ 41“Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: 42for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; 43I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’ 44“Then they also will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’ 45Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’

This is living the gospel, would you live out with me?

1 Pray how God would use you to show the love of Christ to the Haitian people
2 In faith do what God tells you do

Samaritans Purse, Children’s Hunger Fund, Haiti Rescue Center are all gospel spreading relief organizations

Pastor Paul

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

It Has Been Awhile

So much has happened this last year. i will be posting how God has been glorified in my trials soon.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Please Pray for the Heitzigs

Please pray for Lenya (Skips wife) they have found a mass in her abdomen
for more details and updates visit