Lonely as a Cloud
Most of us are familiar with William Wordsworth poem, “Lonely as a Cloud.”
The first two lines of the poem read as follows:
“I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,”
In so many ways, especially during this pandemic, we may feel like this lonely cloud. We feel alone, unnoticed, and disconnected. As we encounter other people, many times we are unable to determine a person’s emotion or response; smiles, grins, frowns and smirks are all hidden behind masks. For some of us, in fear of the Coronavirus, it’s been a long time since we have experienced the human touch: hugs, kisses, handshakes, high-fives, knuckle punches.
Here at Evangel Church we want you to know that you are never alone or go unnoticed by God. Hagar, an Egyptian servant, in the book of Genesis (Gen. 16:13) refers to God with the name, El Roi. El Roi means He sees. Not only does God see you behind your mask, but He sees and hears you each moment of your day and night. Better yet, He loves and cares about you. And most importantly, He wants to have a relationship with you – He wants to be your father (a good father). The Bible encourages us and says, “Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will never fail you nor abandon you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6)
If maybe in the past you decided that Jesus, God’s Son and the Savior of the world, isn’t for you, perhaps you might reconsider. Although being a follower of Jesus doesn’t guarantee a pain free life, with a sincere acknowledgement of your need for Jesus, and as you surrender your life to Him, He will become your comforter through all of life’s struggles and you will live with him eternally.
One last thought: Jesus, God’s son, has another name – Sar-Shalom. Sar-Shalom means Prince of Peace. For the Bible says “He (Jesus) will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6) Surrender your life to Jesus today and He will become the source of all your peace.
If you have any questions about Jesus, you are welcome to email our church staff at
The Christian Life
"What does it mean to “die to self'?"
“It is no longer I who live..” Galatians 2:20
Dying to self is part of being born again and is described throughout the New Testament. The old self is left behind and the new self emerges as an effect of the Holy Spirit (John 3:3–7). Not only are Christians born again when we come to salvation, but we enter the lifelong process of sanctification. Ephesians 4:24 says “to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness”.
Sanctify means to make holy, to consecrate, to purify, to be free of sin, and to become like Christ. We are being sanctified when we actively pursue growing in our faith by choosing daily to fight against sin, obey our Lord, take in the preaching and teaching of His Word, and reading the Bible regularly. This work of sanctification becomes evident, but not completed in this life. We are to confess our sins daily for forgiveness and renewal to resist. The Bible says when we die the sinful and mortal body will take on a perfected and immortal body and we will be like Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:53). The Christian's perseverance in this is evidence of the presence of the Holy Spirit. Christ said that those trying to hold on to their old lives would lose their lives in the kingdom of Heaven. But those who would give up their lives for His sake would find eternal life (Matthew 16:24–25; Mark 8:34–35). Jesus emphasized the necessity when he said that those who are unwilling to sacrifice their lives for Him cannot be His disciples (Luke 14:27).
Paul says he is “crucified with Christ”. As such, Paul no longer lives, but Christ lives in him. The old life, with its inclination to sin and to follow the ways of the world, has died, and the new life is the dwelling place of Christ who lives in and through him. (Galatians 5:24). Where we once pursued selfish pleasures, we now pursue that which pleases God.
Dying to self is never portrayed in Scripture as optional in the Christian life. It is the reality of the new birth and required for salvation. Jesus also warns lukewarm followers, who try to live partly in the old life and partly in the new, by saying He will spit them out (Revelation 3:15–16). Lukewarm is how Jesus characterized believers in the church of Laodicea and is also characteristic of many in churches today. Jesus asks no more of us than he was willing to do in dying on the cross for our sin debt. He gives us the ultimate example of putting aside one’s life in obedience to God. For us, death to self is to sincerely trust and follow Jesus, the one who offers abundant and eternal life.
“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:18) Come!
Member – Colby Reeves
All are welcome – worship in person or live stream from website Sunday 10:30 am evangelchurchpca.org
Evangel Church PCA (Presbyterian Church in America)
423 Thompson Road, Alabaster
The Christian Life
Can I stop sinning?
Hebrews 10:26,” If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left,”
1 John 1:8,” If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”
Romans 6:6,” For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin”
The Bible teaches that the Christian must come by faith, repenting of his sin willing to follow Jesus in a serious and sincere manner. It reveals the genuineness of his belief. To continue in blatant sin reflects a lack of repentance. However, the Bible also teaches that, though weakened, sin is still in us and we must sincerely confess our sins for forgiveness and renewal. Some sins are accidental and some are out of stubbornness and weakness. So, we must realize that obedience in this life will be an ongoing struggle. Romans 7:15 explains,” For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate”. Our sin nature is still active and must be dealt with daily. Genesis 4:7,” sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it." The Bible teaches that struggle develops perseverance which brings growth in our journey to perfection. Jesus promised the Holy Spirit to help in our struggle. He also gave us the Church, the Bible, and the ability to go to God directly in prayer.
Church – “Do not be misled, bad company corrupts good character”. 1 Corinthians 15:33. The importance of membership in a biblically based Church cannot be over emphasized. A Church that seeks to glorify God by taking His word seriously and that shows evidence of following it. A Church dedicated to providing experienced and qualified teachers for understanding. We need our Church family for education, to encourage perseverance , and to unite with other Christians in ministry.
Bible study –How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your Word”. Psalm 119:9 We need to know and understand God’s word for living. We can’t obey what we don’t understand. Biblical knowledge doesn’t come by accident. It takes time and work. God’s revealed will comes through His word and it is our guide in all things. Bible study keeps Gods instructions constantly in our thoughts.
Prayer – “if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”. 1 John 1:9 Dedicate time to pray regularly. We must acknowledge our sin. Share your praises, requests and confessions with God. God does not call us to pray and then not listen to us. You are his child. Pray for strength. Pray with expectation.
These are the tools, along with the Holy Spirit, that men and women of faith use in their struggle to obey God. Not sinless, but determined in the fight to sin less. Jesus lastly promises. “and I am with you always". Matt 28:20.
Evangel Church PCA –Alabaster - All are welcome!
205-664-0889 evangelchurchpca.org - Live webcast
Evangel Communion this Sunday, Both Services- July 12th 2020
Drive-up option available in 10:30 a.m. service only, available until 12 noon.
The Christian Life
What does it mean to “Believe in Jesus".
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life" John 3:16
Belief in the simplest form says that Jesus was the son of God and that his death on the cross was accepted for our sins. True faith in this represents the door to salvation. Those that come in are given eternal life and promised great joy eternally with God. This is all possible because the penalty for sin that we all owe was paid by Jesus for those who truly believe in him.
However a closer look at the scriptures reveal belief as much deeper and identified with the Holy Spirit giving us a new heart that desires to please God. John 3:3-8. In Luke 14:25 Jesus confirms belief is more than just saying words when He warns to consider the cost before following him. He sums it up by saying those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples. Luke 14:33 Jesus' last command is to go and make Disciples to do my commands. Matthew 28:19
Many see the Christian life as more about ignoring sin and resting on a foggy concept of grace, but belief in scripture describes discipleship. This is giving up our sins and anything that hinders us to obey God’s commands for a transformed life through the power of the Holy Spirit. It is becoming more and more common today to avoid this truth and make it as easy as possible to join the Church. It is being taught that belief and discipleship are two different things, however biblical belief is confirmed by discipleship.
John 2:23-24 Now while he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Festival, many people saw the signs he was performing and believed in his name. But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all people. This passage shows Jesus rejecting belief without discipleship. We can understand why when they profess belief but make excuses for not doing the work Jesus calls them to do. They will have time and money for their desires but not much for Jesus or his Church.
When the Holy Spirit is given to a person their heart and mind are changed and you see the effects. Jesus explained this in John 3:8 and the first four beatitudes in Matthew 5:3-6. They become unsettled spiritually, remorseful over sin, increasingly meek or humbled and marked by a new hunger for righteousness. They begin to understand the depth of their sin and unworthiness and the great love Jesus showed in dying for them. They begin the journey of turning from sin to Godliness in faith. When our love for Jesus exceeds our love for our sins we will obey Him. If you love me you will obey me. John 14:21 This is the belief the Holy Spirit gives to those that sincerely ask. Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. Matthew 7:7. Have you truly Believed?
Evangel Church PCA –Alabaster - All are welcome!
THE CHRISTIAN LIFE
How are Christians the salt and light of the world?
"You are the salt of the earth. You are the light of the world"
Jesus Christ spent three years teaching before giving His life on the cross to pay the penalty for our sin and save those who would repent and follow Him - those referred to in Scripture as “His sheep". During that time, Jesus revealed who He was through His miracles and perfect obedience to God. He was revealed as and proved to be the Son of God and God in the flesh. What He taught revolved around exposing sinfulness and explaining how God commands us to live. The terms “salt” and “light” are first descriptions of Jesus and also those who truly follow Him.
The Scripture teaches when a person truly believes in Jesus, they begin turning away from their sin and obeying His teachings. This is known as repentance, and it is the work of the Holy Spirit in the Christian’s life. The person that obeys habitually is the one whose eyes have been opened to his sinfulness and his hopelessness. This draws him to the incredible offer of forgiveness that Jesus’ death provides and His promise of eternal life in Heaven. He or she trusts in Him and begins to separate themselves from evil and obey Jesus in a serious and deliberate manner. This reflects the new life described in Scripture.
2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come,” and Ephesians 4:24 says, “Put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.
Salt preserves and makes food taste good. Likewise the Christian’s new life is to be a blessing in society in contrast to the moral decay in our sin-infected world. Unlike the world, he or she is to be humble, faithful, caring, honest, sincere and pure. Their consistent desire to do good reveals the character of Jesus to the world.
Light, in this passage, describes enabling one to see or understand. Those around us must not only hear our good words, but they must see our good works so that they may be convinced of the truth and excellency of Jesus and the Christian faith. Seeing Christ-likeness in us, they may be compelled to believe and imitate the good works God does through us and glorify God themselves. Like the positive effects of salt and light the Christian through his or her character and good works are to be a positive influence in the world. They become a guiding light to Jesus.
Jesus said “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12). Do you have this wonderful light? Let your light shine!
At Evangel we offer various bible studies by our Pastors and Elders to learn further how to come to Jesus and be salt and light. All are welcome!
Colby Reeves - Evangel Member
Evangel Church PCA
423 Thompson Rd.
Alabaster, AL. 35007
What does Jesus mean when He calls us to "follow Me" in Matthew 16?
"If anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me for he that saves his life will lose it and he that loses his life, for My sake will save it" (Matt 16:24-25).
If self-denial is a hard lesson, it is no more than what our Master learned and practiced to redeem us, and to teach us. A true disciple of Christ is one that follows Him in duty, and will follow Him to glory. Our cross in this passage represents the self denial in our new life of submission to Jesus.
"Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies (lives) as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship" (Romans 12:1).
"If a person follows Jesus, they must voluntarily renounce everything that might hinder their discipleship."
They must follow in his footsteps as the sheep after the shepherd, the servant after his master, the soldiers after their captain; so much so that our life becomes Christ living in us. (Matthew Henry)
This passage speaks of submitting to the changed life that following Jesus demands and of those that are willing and those who are not. The Christian's call is to sacrifice or put to death, His own will and to live for Christ, His Church and His ministry. In Matt 4:17 Jesus said “repent” which is to turn from our will and trust in his. The person who preserves his old life will lose it in eternity. The one who gives up his old life to follow Christ will find eternal life and this is the meaning of our verse (see also Mark 10:28-30).
In Matt 7:20-22 Jesus says, "Many in that day (the day of His return) will cry out to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ but will not enter in (Heaven), but the one that does the will of the Father will enter. This again confirms we cannot simply follow our own will but must study and do God’s will. "Hypocrisy will be judged harshly (Read Matt 22:11-14). Jesus asked, “What is a man profited, if he gain the whole world but lose his own soul?” (Matt 16:26). Every person has a soul of their own. The soul lives in us now and will continue after death. Our life now determines the soul’s life eternally. "He is no fool that gives up a life he cannot keep for one he cannot lose"(Jim Elliot - missionary).
Jesus' first command to his Disciples was "Follow Me" and it is the path of all who truly believe. Is your name in His book of eternal life? It is if you truly believe in Jesus.
Colby Reeves - Evangel Member
At Evangel we offer various bible studies by our Pastors and Elders to learn further how to follow Jesus.
All are welcome!
Evangel Church PCA
423 Thompson Rd.
Alabaster, AL. 35007
Easter is the most important event in the Christian calendar. It celebrates God raising his son Jesus from the dead, after dying on the cross for our sins.
The foretelling of Easter began in Genesis 3 saying, "one will come to crush the serpent's head". Isaiah 53:5 gives more specific details. "But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed." The books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John in the Bible are accounts of the actual event and referred to as the gospel of Jesus. And this is the gospel....
Living with God requires the absence of sin, but
Romans 3:23 says, "all people have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God" and
Romans 6:23a, "the wages of sin is death;
The breaking of any of God's commands brings guilt, yet we break many every day. Jesus taught that sin not only refers to our actions but our words and thoughts. Jesus sees all that is in our heart. The Gospel continues....
Romans 6:23b, "but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord". Matthew 20:28, “ just as the Son of Man (Jesus) did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." God, through Jesus' sinless life and death on the cross, provided a way for humanity to live with Him forever. Jesus' perfect life qualified him as an acceptable sacrifice for our sin debt. Because of this, in John 14:6, "Jesus said, I am the way, the truth and the life; no man comes to the father but by me."
So what is required of us to have our sins forgiven and be joined with God? Romans 10:9 says, "If you declare with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." When we sincerely trust in Jesus, our sin is removed by his sacrifice on the cross and His righteousness is given to us for entry into Heaven.
Jesus' resurrection and victory over death is what Christians celebrate at Easter. For just as He was raised from the dead on Easter Sunday, we also who sincerely follow Him will be raised. Come, willing to trust and follow Jesus and he will give you true and eternal life.
At Evangel we offer various bible studies by our Pastors and Elders to learn more about receiving eternal life. All are welcome!
Evangel Church PCA - 423 Thompson Rd.
Alabaster, AL. 35007 - 205-664-0889
Sunday School 9 am - Worship Service 10:15 am