Josh Greene

About Josh Greene

This author has not yet filled in any details.
So far Josh Greene has created 35 blog entries.

August Newsletter

Dear Church,

“Pray without ceasing” is one of the more familiar phrases in the Bible. However, while many people know this Biblical truth, they do not know what it means.

We know that we should pray, but we don’t know how. We know that we ought to pray, but we don’t understand prayer. We even want to pray more faithfully, but we struggle to pray.

It is in 1 Thessalonians 5:17, when Paul makes this statement. It is the end of the letter in the midst of the apostle’s final instructions and blessings, when he encourages the church in Thessalonica toward prayer.

What does he mean? What is he instructing them to do? What does intend for their prayers to be like?

Does he mean pray more? Does he mean for them to never stop praying? Is that even realistic? While “Pray without ceasing” is a nice, little, godly expression, what really does it mean?

In short, it means to be more focused and faithful in our prayers to God. It means to be more Godward, more God-centered, more sincere in faith when we are praying to God.

It does not necessarily mean to pray more, although it may point us in that direction.
It does not necessarily mean to pray more often or to pray longer, although we may need encouragement in that direction.

It is not speaking as much to the quantity of our prayer lives as it is to the quality of our prayer lives. Christians are those who understand that our spiritual lives are not marked by all that we do for God, but rather our lives are marked by our dependence upon God.

With that said, I want us to be a praying church. I don’t want us to just talk about prayer – I want us to pray. And I don’t want us to just pray – I want us to want to pray. And I don’t want us to just want to pray – I want us to want the God that we are praying to. That is the heart behind praying without ceasing! May we never cease in wanting to call out to our God through prayer!

Once again, we are coming up on our 24 Hours of Prayer event. This event is one of my favorite things we do as a church. Please be sure to sign up for a time slot to pray!

With all sincerity,

Your Pastor, Josh

July Newsletter

Dear Church,

I hope that you have been enjoying our Sunday morning sermon series in Mark. I know that I am getting a lot out of it. I thank God that He is faithful to grow us through His word!

We are growing in our understanding of God’s word, and God is growing us in our dependence and commitment to God’s word.

We are currently in chapter 12, and the importance of God’s word is being challenged.

In verses 13-17, the Pharisees come and challenge Jesus with an attempt to trap Him in a question.

In verses 18-27, the Sadducees come and challenge Jesus with a question about the resurrection.

In verses 28-34, the Scribes come and challenge Jesus with a question about which commandment is greatest.

This chapter alone shows us how often people are challenging Jesus. They question him. They doubt him. They reject him. People have problems with Jesus. Our pride gets in the way so often. Even to the point of opposing God! Church, we must not fall into this error. We must not be so proud and rebellious.

At the conclusion of those three passages, Mark tells us this truth = “And after that no one dared to ask Him any more questions.” (12:34)

Jesus is Lord. His Word is truth. As he says in John 8:31, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples.”
As Jesus says in Matthew 7:24 “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock.”

It is my prayer that we would hear these passages and believe them. I pray that we would treasure them and take them to heart. May God find us as a church who is trusting on His word!

With all sincerity,

Your Pastor, Josh

 

June Newsletter

Dear Church,

Two of my biggest desires in life are to be a praying man and a family man.

I want to pray more, because I know that I am completely dependent upon God. I want to be a family man, because I know that God has given me my wife and children. I want to lead my wife and kids to know the Lord!

I enjoy praying with my children, and my children have grown to enjoy that I pray regularly with them. With that said, I sometimes fail at being a family man and praying man. I know that God is patient with me to give me endurance and encouragement to keep striving to be a faithful man.

Over the years, I have found these 5 Simple Ways to Pray more often with my family:

Before School I have the great opportunity to take my sons to school each morning. Each morning as we approach the school, we turn the radio off and I pray for them. I pray about all kinds of things: schoolwork, classmates, teachers, safety, athletics, projects, new students, friends, field trips, etc.  This routine has become such a key piece to our mornings together. Beginning your day by seeking the Lord is wise.

Big Events As the kids grow, life gets more and more full. This season of life and parenting is so much fun. It seems we are always headed to some special event. We have been to spelling bees, speech meets, ball games, tryouts, tournaments, programs, dance recitals, services, etc. Before we hop out of the car, I like to stop my family or child and pray with them, asking God to lead us and use us. Often times, we are walking into the event, and I pray as we walk with my arm around their shoulder.

Before Meals This is a common prayer time for many people, but I want to remind us that it is still meaningful. Praying before your meal should not be neglected. Whether at home or out at a restaurant, we pause to pray and thank God for the food. We pray for the food wherever we are – in a gas station, at a park for a picnic, in the school cafeteria, in the car for a drive-thru, etc. If God has provided the meal, we want to thank Him.

At Bedtime Life is busy and fast-paced, and there are many nights when the kids are getting into bed too late. Honestly, there are many nights where I carry them to bed because they have already fallen asleep. However, as often as I am able, I love to pray with them before they go to sleep. Nearly every night, I will talk to them and then turn out the lights. Then I pray with them. Before bedtime is also one of the best times to teach them to pray and to lead them in prayers of their own. Ending your day by seeking the Lord with thankfulness is special.

In the Car We pray in the car all the time! On the way to an event, beginning a road-trip, ending a road-trip, thanking God for food, passing a bad accident, etc. When life is busy, there are not many times when we are together with peace and quiet. In the car is an excellent time to settle down and re-group. The car rides together have become a joy to our family.

With all sincerity,

Your Pastor, Josh

 

May Newsletter

Dear Church,

We need to be careful how we are living! We are representing God to the world. There is a responsibility that comes with being a part of a church.

In Titus 1:16 Paul says this about some fake church people “They profess to know God, but they deny him by their works.”

That is a scary description of a church!

How seriously do you take the fact that you are claiming to be Christians? Are you really a child of God? Are you mindful that many people are forming their beliefs, or lack thereof, about God based off of what they see in you?

I was reminded of this recently when I was up at the local community ball fields. The baseball fields in the evenings are typically a place where people are relaxed and at ease. We wear shorts and shirts and ball caps and dirty shoes, and we do not put much thought toward looking very church-like. There are many people at the Fairdale Youth League that I do not know and that I have never seen before. Well this past week, I was up around the ball fields and I had a stranger approach me and began asking me about our church. They talked to me about our church as if we were both aware of the fact that I was the pastor. To be honest, I did not know that they knew I was a pastor.

After that conversation, I began to wonder how they knew. Did someone tell them? I wonder how they explained it. Did they speak well of us at FBCF? Or was their perception of us not so positive?

I further wondered, had they seen me with a bad attitude? Had they seen me frustrated? Had they seen me prideful? Had they seen me be rude with my children or my wife?

These things matter! What they see in us is often what they think of God!

Let’s be careful to live faithful lives to God!

With all sincerity,

Your pastor, Josh

 

April Newsletter

Dear Church,

Here recently, our church has been experiencing some heavy passages, and therefore sermons, in our Sunday morning worship services. In our worship services, we are committed to preaching through God’s word.

In Acts 20:27, we hear the Apostle Paul saying to the Ephesian Elders “I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God.”

What Paul means is that he faithfully preached to them all that God’s Word contains. He did not shy away from certain topics. He did not preach the subjects he was most interested in. He did not stick with certain subjects in the Bible while neglecting other subjects.

No, Paul did not do that. He did not shrink back. In fact, He did declare to them the whole counsel of God! And that is an outstanding example for us to follow.

God has spoken and revealed himself! We can know God through the truth of His word which tells us of His Son who died for our sins and rose again!

As a church, it is our desire to live our lives faithfully to God through our faith in Christ. We do that by knowing and following His word, and we know His word by learning from the preaching and teaching of His word. In other words, the consistent, on-going, faithful commitment to God’s word is exactly what God expects us to be doing!

When we read in Acts 27 that Paul declared the whole counsel of God, we should be encouraged. We should be drawn to that type of teaching ministry. We should want to know the whole counsel of God. If there is something that God is saying, then we should be wanting to know that is.

So as we continue to walk through the Gospel of Mark on Sunday mornings, lets be eager to grow from it. Let’s be aware that it takes a long time to cover one book of the Bible and that is perfectly ok! Walking slowly through one book of the Bible means that we will cover lots of various topics – some more desirable and appealing than others – but we understand that is part of God’s counsel. And God’s whole counsel is what we are eager to know!

Church, I am thankful for your willing hearts that want me to preach to you! May God give us grace in this effort!

With all sincerity,

Your pastor, Josh

 

 

March Newsletter

Dear Church,

When this school year began back in August of last year, I was looking for a way to be Christ-focused and devotional with my sons in the morning before school. I wasn’t really sure what would be do-able. Realistically, I wanted it to be simple and easy. And I wanted it to be something that they could follow and that we could do consistently.

I decided on us reading the Proverbs. We miss some mornings, but for the most part we read the chapter of Proverbs that lines up with the day of the month. For example, on the 5th we read chapter 5, on the 25th we read chapter 25. And we repeat that every month. And that is our aim each morning.

Usually, I sit there at the table while the boys are eating their breakfast and I read and teach them about the Proverbs. We have found this small devotional time very beneficial!

Some of the more memorable moments have been:

  • Proverbs 12:1 “whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.” -The boys thought it was fascinating that God would call something stupid.
  • Proverbs 18:10 “the name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe.” -The boys like thinking of God as our safety.
  • Proverbs 23:17 “let not your heart envy sinners, but continue in the fear of the Lord all they day.” I was glad to remind the boys that we don’t want to be jealous of people who disobey God.

Verses like these three and others have sparked the boys interest in God’s ways, and it has led us into many good and fruitful conversations. I thank God that something as small as 2-3 minutes in the Proverbs each morning can impact our home and family relationships so well.

This week we entered into March, and March 1st allowed me to bring the boys back to the whole purpose of the Proverbs. Chapter 1 verse 7 says “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.” 

Life is about God, and the Proverbs each morning are helping me and my sons remember that the beginning of all godliness is fearing the Lord. May God give my family, your family and all of our church grace to begin there!

With all sincerity,

Your pastor, Josh

 

February Newsletter

Dear Church,

Often times there are some common characteristics among admirable people. Some are early-risers, some are committed to exercise, some are high-energy, some are caffeine dependent, some are introverts, some are extraverts and so on and so on. I find it fascinating to look into the lives and practices of people that I look up to.

There is no one I admire and adore more than Jesus Christ. He is the most complete man. He is the most worthy man of any and all emulation. In short, Jesus is the one we all should be like. Jesus is the standard. With that said, we should look to Jesus and his way of life. We should want to know what He was like.

Recently I was looking into just how often Jesus prayed. Wow! I knew he prayed. I knew he was faithfully committed to prayer. And I knew he prayed often. But I was totally taken back by just how much Jesus prayed. He prayed all the time. He prayed about everything.

As I look to Jesus’s life as an example to follow, I am convicted and encouraged to be more committed to prayer. I want to pray like Jesus. I want to be praying man.

I want to be a praying husband. I want to be a praying father. I wanting to be a praying pastor. I want you to know that I am praying for you. I want you to be sure of that!

In Matthew 6:5, Jesus says “And when you pray …” 

Jesus teaches us to pray, asks us to pray, commands us to pray, and even expects us to pray.

Not only do I want to be like Jesus, but I really want to be what Jesus wants me to be. Again, I want to be a praying man. And that desire for myself is the same desire that I have for our church.

This month we will do the 24-Hours of Prayer event again. We do it every six months. I want to challenge you to pray. Begin to pray and learn to pray. Commit to it. I can help you with this in any way.

I look forward to this event. And I look forward to God growing us into a praying church.

Will you join us for this event?

 

With all sincerity,

Your pastor, Josh

 

January Newsletter 2017

Dear Church,

I recently re-read the Old Testament book of Nehemiah. I was interested in two things. I wanted to study the leadership characteristics of Nehemiah. And I wanted to study the people Nehemiah was leading. I have been encouraged and challenged by this study.

The setting is that Nehemiah gets a heart to go to destroy Jerusalem and rebuild its walls. This desire and effort is met with much opposition. There were many people opposed to them doing this work. In short, it was not an easy thing to accomplish. However, by God’s strength and their trust in God’s strength, they completed the job. It is a fantastic read and an awesome story of God’s strength at work in His people for His glory and purposes.

What I want to share with our church concerning the story of Nehemiah is the response of Nehemiah and the people in the face of challenging circumstances.

In 4:1 the Bible says, “Now when Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall, he was angry and greatly enraged, and he jeered at the Jews.”

Then in 4:4 it says that Nehemiah prayed to God for help concerning this predicament.

Then in 4:6 the Bible says “So we built the wall. …for the people had a mind to work.”

Remarkable!

Their faith and resolve is remarkable. Their determination is remarkable. And their work ethic is remarkable as well!

As we continue to move forward in life, I pray that we would be a church who works hard. We may or may not be building any walls literally, but we have lots of work to do. We have prayers to pray. We have money to give. We have people to love. We have people that God wants us to spend time with. We have people that God wants us to lead to Jesus. We have relationships that we need to invest in. And we have a church here that needs a lot of work spiritually.

This is the reason why I share this with you all – that we, too, would be a people “who had a mind to work.”

Please consider how you can renew your work, involvement, and commitment to our church. May God strengthen us this year to be a church where all of our people are committed to being a part of what God is doing around here.

 

With all sincerity,

Your pastor, Josh

 

December Newsletter

Dear Church,

“How’s life going?”

That is a question that I have been asking many people lately. On one hand, it is just another way of me saying ‘What’s up?’ or ‘How you doing?’ On the other hand, it is my slight attempt to dig deeper into really how their life is going.

Life is a peculiar thing. Everyone’s life is different. Life is unpredictable. I recall Forrest Gump saying that his mama taught him “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you are going to get.”

The longer I live the more I agree. Life is short and sweet. Life is long and hard. Life is fun and happy. Life is challenging and sad. Life is up and down. Life is good and bad. Life is not so simple and easy.

James is right when he asks “What is your life?” (James 4:14) And that question is desperately something we all need to consider. We need to make sense of this thing we call life.

In my line of work it is not uncommon for me to hear people say “I love my life.” And it is also not uncommon for me to hear people say “I hate my life.”

While many people just shake their head at the various challenges of life, I want us to look a little further into life. Life is meant to be understood in light of God’s love.

Psalm 63:3 says “Your love is better than life.” God’s love is better than life. Let me say that again – Better than!

I know it is a real temptation to think life is the biggest and most important thing, but that is a mistake. God is bigger than us. And God’s love for us in Jesus is better than life.

So, whether your life is high or low, good or bad, happy or sad, look to Jesus. God loves you in such a way that Jesus died for you. Forgiveness is real. Life is better with forgiveness!

This Christmas season, may God help us all evaluate our lives not so much by just our lives, but rather by God’s love being very real and present in our lives.

Always remember, God’s love is better than life!

With all sincerity,

Your pastor, Josh

 

 

 

November Newsletter

Dear Church,

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Every pastor knows that October is Pastor Appreciation Month! And each year we wonder what that month’s experience will be like! This year you all, our church, did a super job! I felt, and I feel, appreciated by our church. Thank you!

It is hard to explain how a pastor feels about being appreciated. I want to be used by God in your lives. I want to feel appreciated by you all. I want you all to like me and love me, but your appreciation is not my goal nor my identity. God’s glory in Jesus is both my goal and my identity! And so there is something that I desire even more than your expression of appreciation — that is that you would love and obey God by appreciating your pastor! This is real and true. This is a spiritual issue and a spiritual desire of mine. I pray that God would be causing this type of appreciation in your hearts. I desire for you to love and worship Jesus by appreciating your pastor.

Hebrews 13:17 says: “Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.” 

According to this passage, I should be able to find joy in how you follow my pastoral leadership. God has given us a very unique relationship. While you believe in Jesus and follow Him with your life, God has provided me to be your pastor. And I am keeping watch over your souls because one day I will have to give an account to God for you and for my pastoring you. Wow! That is some heavy stuff, and I assure you that I do not take it lightly.

I do receive much joy from you all. I am happy and humbled to be your pastor. I thank God for FBC Fairdale. As you all expressed your appreciation for me in October, I was strengthened in my faith in Jesus and my love for Him. He has given us a beautiful relationship – Pastor and church!

Again, thank you, thank you, thank you!

With all sincerity,

Your pastor, Josh

 

Load More Posts