Pastor Neal

Author's details

Name: Neal Abrams
Date registered: February 16, 2015

Latest posts

  1. Looking Forward to 2017 — December 31, 2016
  2. The Message of Christmas — November 30, 2015
  3. Some Things Change, God Remains the Same — October 2, 2015
  4. What Are You Afraid Of? — September 1, 2015
  5. The Influence of a Faithful Father — June 29, 2015

Author's posts listings

Dec 31 2016

Looking Forward to 2017

Without a doubt 2016 has been a very challenging year for Lighthouse Tabernacle Church.  Many of us and members of our family have had to face many kinds of trials this past year.  Some are still experiencing them even as we speak.

During this Christmas season, as I was reading about the events and experiences surrounding Mary, Joseph and the birth of Jesus (Matthew 1:18 – 2:23), I came to realize that very often those who God commissions for a special purpose face great opposition and challenges.   It could even be said that the greater the purpose, the greater the opposition.

For example, both Mary and Joseph were commissioned by God to be the earthly parents of Messiah!  Imagine what Joseph had to deal with trying to explain to his family and friends that Mary had never been with a man and was pregnant by the Holy Spirit and carrying Messiah?  Imagine what Mary had to deal with from her family and friends?   I thought about what happened after Mary gave birth to Jesus.  One minute they are visited by Magi who are worshipping Jesus, opening their treasures and showering Him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.  Then soon after, Joseph having been warned by an angel of the Lord in a dream, is fleeing to Egypt with his family! Can you imagine what was going through the minds of Mary and Joseph, especially after hearing how Herod had all boys two years old and under killed in their home town of Bethlehem in an attempt to kill Jesus prematurely?

But even if no one else understood Mary and Joseph’s commissioning or the challenges they had to endure in completing it, Mary and Joseph knew they had heard from the Lord and that God was with them and actively helping them finish the good work that He had given them to accomplish.   That good work resulted in “the sins of the land (the whole world in fact) being removed in a single day.” (Zechariah 3:9).

Whatever trials and difficulties 2016 may have brought, I urge you to remember and hold fast to what the Lord has spoken to you regarding your purpose and the purpose of the Lighthouse Tabernacle Church family.   The devil has attempted to kill the work (and me personally), but the Lord has not allowed it because God has not changed His mind!  Just as He said He would do, He restored me to perfect health after having been diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer.  He will do no less, bringing His word to pass for Lighthouse Tabernacle Church in 2017!

So as it is written:

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.  Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. – James 1:2-5

May the New Year be filled with God’s best for you and your families!

Pastor Neal

Nov 30 2015

The Message of Christmas

merry-christmas-nativity-300x214Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. – Colossians 3:16

As we enter into the Christmas season this year, we once again are hearing about complaints and threats of boycotts against companies and malls that continue the trend of removing traditional and even non-religious symbols of Christmas from their stores and retail spaces.  Though this might be disappointing and even ridiculous as to why anyone would be offended by a nativity scene or a Santa parade, it really should not come as any surprise.   Jesus clearly stated that since the world hated Him, the world would also hate those who belong to Him, and by extension anything that, religious or not, communicates Christmas (see John 15:18).  This shows that even the world knows you really can’t remove Christ from Christmas.

Fortunately, there is a better and truly sustainable way to get the message about Christ and the true message of Christmas out into the stores and malls.  It the same method that has worked without fail from the time the Church came into existence.  The method is to simply let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill our lives.

The message of Christmas is the message of Christ’s entry into this world in order to rescue and transform people and families from slavery to sin to the power and freedom to live for God!   This is why there is no greater or more effective symbol of Christmas than you and I who are the recipients of that deliverance and power to live for God!  This is what Paul, the Apostle, was referring to when he wrote the Church:

“Clearly, you are a letter from Christ showing the result of our ministry among you. This “letter” is written not with pen and ink, but with the Spirit of the living God.  It is carved not on tablets of stone, but on human hearts.”  (1 Cor. 3:3)

So let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives.  Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives.  Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts.   And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.  – Colossian 3:16

Also, remember and be encouraged because the Gospel (the Good News) and the message of Christmas is….

  • The only message that has the power to liberate people, families and nations from slavery to sin and the powers of darkness.
  • It’s the only message that causes mercy to triumph over judgment.
  • It’s the only message that brings sight to the blind, and hearing to the deaf.
  • It’s the only message that brings healing to the sick and handicapped.
  • It’s the only message that heals the broken-hearted.
  • It’s the only message that brings a joy that this world cannot rob you of.
  • It’s the only message that brings life to where death once has reigned.

 

May God abundantly bless you this Christmas!

Pastor Neal

Oct 02 2015

Some Things Change, God Remains the Same

Mal36“I am the LORD, and I do not change. – Malachi 3:6 (NLT)

As I think about Lighthouse Tabernacle Church approaching its 22nd anniversary, it is amazing how quickly 22 years passes and how much has changed in that time.  For example, many of our children are adults now, some with families of their own.  Some families have moved on, while new families have joined our flock.  Some of us who were just starting out in our walk with the Lord are now ministering in divine callings we discovered in our going, while God has moved others into new and different divine assignments, all according to His will and good pleasure.  Culturally speaking, we live in a nation whose values have shifted dramatically.  Things and ideas that are accepted today would have been considered unthinkable and even ridiculous 22 years ago.

The good news however, is that God never changes!  With that, God’s plan for our individual lives and the way He has created us to neatly and perfectly fit into the body of Christ (His Church) doesn’t change; this includes His plan and purpose for Lighthouse Tabernacle Church and the other churches that make up the body of Christ on Staten Island.   The only question is whether we will allow Him to take us through the process of building and refining our character so that we’ll be able to fulfill and sustain those plans until Jesus returns, bringing glory not to us, but to God the Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ!

Though we have seen changing and challenging times over the past 22 years, and I expect that will continue to varying degrees, I am fully persuaded that the best days of Lighthouse Tabernacle Church are ahead of us because the Lord has told us as much!   As we’ve continued to pray and intercede for our people and families, our community, our city and our nation, the Lord has encouraged us to not be afraid, but to be courageous and to keep building what He has called us to build from the day Lighthouse Tabernacle Church was founded.

“Now I will rescue you and make you both a symbol and a source of blessing. So don’t be afraid. Be strong, and get on with rebuilding the Temple!” – Zechariah 8:13

So I’m passing on to you that which we have received from the Lord.  Wherever you are in your walk with Jesus, don’t be afraid!  Instead, be courageous because He has chosen you and called you by name!   Be ready for the Lord’s return by being “dressed and ready for service”, discovering and doing the Kingdom work God has entrusted you with in integrity (Zechariah 8:16-17), and in accordance with the abilities He has gifted you with (or where the need is) as you go!

Because of who God is, we have every reason to be optimistic and believe His report!  Remember, the Kingdom of God is an eternal Kingdom—Christ’s Kingdom shall have no end (Isa 9:7; Dan. 2:4) and the Kingdoms of this world have and will in fact become the Kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ!  (Rev. 11:15).

God bless you!

Pastor Neal

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