The People News, a free newspaper serving Cleveland Tennessee (TN) and Bradley County Tennessee (Tn).

Of Bradley County Tn.


                            The People News, a free newspaper serving Cleveland and Bradley County Tn.






A Matter Of Faith

very much loved....

by Pastor Joel Lawler

An endless loop is a piece of code that lacks an exit so that it repeats indefinitely. In computer programming, a loop is a sequence of instructions that is continually repeated until a certain condition is reached. Normally, a certain process is done, such as getting an item of data and changing it, and then some condition is met and the process ends. If the condition is not met, the next instruction in the sequence tells the program to return to the first instruction and repeat the process.

We want to be wanted. We need to be needed. We love to be loved. These are the conditions that our heart seeks to be met. We will find ourselves in an endless process to have these conditions met until our heart is satisfied.

I grew up in a church that was very legalistic. I was a janitor at the church in my teens. It was the 80's and was cool to have your collar up. While performing my duties, the pastor walked up to me, pulled my collar down and said "if I see an earring I will hit you." I don't honestly know if he would have hit me but it left quite an impression.

The primary message was we need to perform for God in order to receive His approval. This message will leave a heart back into seeking elsewhere for its

Pastor Joel Lawler


This pastor left the church and the new pastor brought a completely different message. He spoke out against legalism. In fact, the church split because of it. He spoke continuously on grace. We were "sinners saved by grace." He would end each message with "no matter who you are, where you have been or what you have done, God loves you."

"Amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me…"

At the end of one his messages he quoted another theologian:

"I am nothing,
You are nothing.
God is everything"

There is truth to this but it is not the whole truth. The primary message was

God's unconditional acceptance. The problem is that it still falls short of the conditions the heart is seeking to be met.

It is like being invited to a party where you have no business being there. Everyone reminds you that you do not deserve to be there and that you should be eternally grateful to the gracious host who invited you. It is just not a lot of fun.

"In Christ we are important, we are qualified, and we are loved. Satan can do absolutely nothing to alter our position in Christ and our worth to God. But he can render us virtually inoperative if he can deceive us into listening to and believing his insidious lies accusing us of being of little value to God and or other people." Bondage Breaker - Neil Anderson

Beyond covered by grace, we are important, needed, qualified and passionately loved by God.
Ephesians 1:3-8 (The Message)

"How blessed is God! And what a blessing he is! He's the Father of our Master, Jesus Christ, and takes us to the high places of blessing in him. Long before he laid down earth's foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love. Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ. (What pleasure he took in planning this!) He wanted us to enter into the celebration of his lavish gift-giving by the hand of his beloved Son.

Because of the sacrifice of the Messiah, his blood poured out on the altar of the Cross, we're a free people -- free of penalties and punishments chalked up by all our misdeeds. And not just barely free, either. Abundantly free! He thought of everything, provided for everything we could possibly need,"

These verses tell us who we are to God and how important we are to Him. We can break out of the endless loop of searching when we go to our heavenly father and trust what He has told us that we are wanted, needed and very much loved.