The Change Agent

Matthew 5:13-16 ESV “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. (14) “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. (15) Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. (16) In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

A funny story: My wife and I were eating dinner at an elderly lady’s house that was legally blind. This lady fixed a spread for us that evening and all was well until I tried the collards. I took a bite and immediately looked at my wife who was also looking rather horrified. I am thankful that the lady could not see our expressions. Just then she chimed in by stating, “The collards might taste a little different as the salt shaker’s top came off while I was seasoning the collards.” There is no doubt that salt can change the way that food taste. Can you imagine eating your food without any salt? Light is another very important item in our life. My family and I went down in a cavern once and they turned the lights out so that we could see how dark it was. The darkness was so thick you could almost feel it. Light shines the brightest when it is the darkest. Salt seasons and enhances food when it is the blandest. When life is the darkest and sin runs rampant then the light of Jesus Christ will shine brightest. When life is the blandest and there is no joy, peace, and love then Jesus’ presence will be the sweetest. Did you know that God has placed you right where you are to be the change agent that is needed? He will continue to use you until He moves you to another place of opportunity to lead people to Jesus. Are you being the salt and light to literally change the atmosphere of those around you? Jesus stated that others need to see God working through you so that God will be glorified in heaven. Go ahead…Be the change agent!

Blessings,

Marcus Riggs

Advertisements

Blessed

Matthew 5:3-12  “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  (4)  “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.  (5)  “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.  (6)  “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.  (7)  “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.  (8)  “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.  (9)  “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.  (10)  “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  (11)  “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.  (12)  Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

There is a connection between a certain lifestyle and being blessed. However, this lifestyle is not always conducive with an easy life. Blessed are those who are poor in spirit and mourn as one carries one’s self with humility. A person who has a disposition of knowing that we are all born into sin and in need of a Savior. Blessed are those who yearn after God. This isn’t just a Sunday religion but a daily desire to experience God’s presence. Blessed are those who are full of mercy, disposition of purity from within, and those who strive for peace. Every one of these areas that God tells us is a blessing is in direct contradiction to the ways of the world. The world’s ways of living life is arrogant, self-centered, look out for yourself, and step on anyone who gets in your way. However, God tells us that if we live our lives with abandon towards Him then we will be comforted, rich, satisfied, receive mercy, see God, and blessed with His presence. It is wonderful to know that if we live our life after God then He will bless our lives beyond our wildest dreams (And No I am not just talking about money). So…how is your life? Are you blessed? You are blessed if you are living with abandon after the heart of God. Blessed!

Blessings,

Marcus Riggs

The Great People of Halifax Linen

Halifax Linen Family,

Look who is hitting it out of the park!

A little over a year ago, Halifax Linen was blessed with a remarkable new employee, Mrs. Santos Hernandez.  From her first day, Santos made a strong impression with her co-workers and continues to impress us on a daily basis. Vice President of Operations, Dusty Rose said, “Her co-workers and I are always amazed by her excellent work ethic and dedication to her position.”  Santos is a tireless worker who shares her best with us every day, and for that, we are honored to have her as part of the Halifax Linen Family.

Since she began, Santos has maintained a 100% average of standard production, an accomplishment that takes most employees months to achieve.  Santos began her training with both Violet Holt and Barbara Purnell.  The outstanding example they set and the training they provided led Santos to become the remarkable employee she is today.  Thank you, Violet and Barbara, for welcoming Santos into the Halifax Linen Family!

In addition to the Halifax Linen Family, Santos has a family of her own.  Married for 18 years to her husband Ricardo, together they have two wonderful children, Erika and David.  The entire Hernandez family enjoys worshiping together at a local Pentecostal Holiness Church in Roanoke Rapids, NC.  Santos is involved in women’s ministry, Erika sings and dances on the praise team, and David is an usher.

Thank you for all that you do, Santos.  It is people like yourself who make the Halifax Linen Family, a great family!

 

The Unpardonable Sin

Mark 3:28-29 28 “Truly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the children of man, and whatever blasphemies they utter, 29 but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin”

This verse has been misunderstood in the lives of many people. A few years back I had a gentleman approach me and ask, “Have I committed the unpardonable sin? I have blasphemed God’s name! I have lived a life full of sin! Does God want me anymore?” I have a question for you this morning. Can a person sin enough that they turn away grace? Yes, because of what Paul wrote in Romans 1:28 “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient.” This means that a person will live in such a way that they do not care about God and He will allow them to live just how they want to. This person will call good evil and evil good. However, the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is to deny the works of God because the teachers stated that Jesus was working with Satan. I have said all of this to say this. God is the God of grace and mercy, period! Do you know Him as your Savior? I do not care what you have done, where you have been, or what evil you have thought. God loves you! God loves you so much that He died upon a cross for you and wants you to come home to Him. If you do know Jesus as your Savior then we must have the heart of God and tell every person that we know that God loves them as a sinner and desires to save them (Romans 5:8). I do hope that you pray every day for those whom you know that are without Christ. If you do not then I pray that you will start today! Dear God, we pray for our lost family members, friends, neighbors, co-workers, and people we meet on the street. I pray that you touch their heart and call them to know You as their Savior. Lead them my way so that I can tell them about You. Also, please help me to be as concerned about the lost as You are. In Jesus name, Amen.

 

Blessings,

Marcus Riggs

Lifestyle Ministry

Lifestyle Ministry

John 4:5-10 ESV  So he came to a town of Samaria called Sychar, near the field that Jacob had given to his son Joseph.  (6)  Jacob’s well was there; so Jesus, wearied as he was from his journey, was sitting beside the well. It was about the sixth hour.  (7)  A woman from Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” (8)  (For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.)  (9)  The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.)  (10)  Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.”

 

When does ministry happen? Many people think that ministry happens on Sunday morning at church while the choir is singing and the preacher is preaching. We have been programmed in that manner because when someone is having problems or is new to the area we invite them to church. Now this is not entirely bad because church is a good thing. However, if we are disciples of Jesus and we fail to use the moment to touch a heart for Christ then we are missing the boat. Jesus was going to Galilee, which caused them to have to go through Samaria. The Jews and the Samaritans did not get along that well because the Samaritans were seen as a half-breed clan. However, Jesus takes his stroll to the local well because there is a divine appointment with a social outcast. You can tell this because she went to the well at noon (6thhour), which means no one else is going to be there. The truth of the matter is revealed as she has had a great number of husbands and a live-in partner, which caused her to be shunned. However, today she met Jesus who loves her where she is so that she can move to where she needs to be. This story helps me see a great deal about mercy, grace, and love. God does not pick and choose the very best to be saved but he takes of the lowest and social outcast to lead back to the Father’s heart. People like you and me. But also like the drunk, drug addict, prostitute, thief, and every other person that comes to your mind. Do we minister God’s love or leave it for someone else? I pray that God has given you an appointment today with someone who is hurting, broken, shunned so that you might illustrate God’s love to their life. Lead them back to the Father’s heart.

 

Blessings,

Marcus Riggs

A Voice

John 1:23 ESV He said, “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as the prophet Isaiah said.”

John 1:36-37 ESV and he looked at Jesus as he walked by and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God!”  (37)  The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus.

Luke 4:18-19 ESV “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, (19)  to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

Some people thought that John the Baptist was a special prophet (which he was); however, he did not see himself in that same light. The people asked him if he was the Christ or a prophet but he simply answered them by referring to himself as a voice. A voice is used to carry a message to the hearer. We also see that Jesus gives the reason for His voice. He came preaching the Good News and pointing people to the place of healing and deliverance. You are a voice. What is your voice being used to accomplish? If we are honest with ourselves and our society then we know that our voices are usually used to demoralize, damage, and destruction. I personally think that the world hears enough destruction, hate, and ridicule. There are too many people who do not want anything to do with Jesus because of damaging voices. We are a voice that has one order, which is to point people to Jesus. We are not here to judge or pick people apart because of their failures but proclaim Jesus and His desire to heal, deliver, and save. We are a voice that proclaims redemption! What does your voice say? Do those around you hear your voice pointing them to Jesus with His love, His healing, and His deliverance? Be that voice!

 

Blessings,

Marcus Riggs

Doing what he says

Luke

Luke 5:4-6  And when he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.”  (5)  And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.”  (6)  And when they had done this, they enclosed a large number of fish, and their nets were breaking.

Can you imagine this question being posed to you? What if you had already locked up the house for the night and were in bed asleep after a very long day and your spouse asked you to lock up the house again? Your answer probably would be, “I already did that and I am tired”. This maybe is the first thought that Peter had; however, Jesus wasn’t just anyone asking Peter to do something. Jesus has already proved that He is able to do the miraculous when Jesus healed Peter’s mother-in-law. Now Jesus was asking Peter to do something that defies logic in his life. Peter has already confirmed that there were no fish to be caught this morning as he remembers every cast of his net during the long grueling night. However, following the command of Jesus is the only way to live even when it defies logic. Following Jesus and His commands are non-negotiable. I know that there are some rather difficult mandates by Jesus; however, these too are non-negotiable. I think that this comes down to knowing Jesus as mere Savior or knowing Him as Lord and Master. I would beg to differ with you if you think that you are able to know Jesus as Savior unless we know Him as our Lord and Master. Jesus teaches us in this area in Luke 14:26-27 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. (27) Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.” Because of who Jesus is then we must follow Him with an abandonment of our life. It is no longer about what you or I desire but what God desires for us to do. Are you following Jesus? I mean really following Him?

Blessings,

Marcus Riggs