HOPE Church of Raleigh
4911 Green Road
Raleigh NC 27616

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"Keep Your Eyes On Him!"
"Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it." Matthew 7:13-14

Many of you know that I am an avid sports fan. There are very few sporting events that I don't enjoy watching. When someone ask me what I do to have fun or as a hobby, I usually say, "Watch Sports." Yes, I know for some of you reading this you are saying, "What a waste of your time." But for me, it is truly relaxing. It's like when many of you sit down to read a book and get enjoyment, that is the way I feel.

I was watching the first inning of the 6th game of the NLCS (National League Championship Series) and watched the outfielder drop a routine fly ball. In my opinion, that play started what was end for the LA Dodgers and a win for the Cubs that sent them to the World Series. Oh, by the way, for those that don't follow sports, I'm talking about a baseball game. That fly ball was a hit that this guy or any outfielder in Major League Baseball would catch 99.9% of the time. But if you watch the replay, you can see that he took his eyes off the ball in the air and looked around him. In a prior game this same player who was running back towards the outfield wall to catch a fly ball, took his eyes off the ball to look at the wall and missed it too. In baseball, as with many other sports, if you take your eye off the ball for a split second, you are done. It is over. That play will be off the mark. There is a very narrow window for success and success will not happen when you look elsewhere when the ball is heading your way.

Folks, life is that way also. Jesus begins His ministry, as recorded in Matthew's gospel, with the Sermon on the Mount. During His preaching Jesus gives us the verses above about how narrow the way is that leads to eternal life. He states, "…the way is broad that leads to destruction…" On the other hand, "…the way is narrow that leads to life…"
Jesus says that many will travel the broad way and few will travel the narrow way. Why? Because many take their eyes off the prize, eternal life, to look all around them. They want to experience the ways of the world and all that the world has to offer. They want to see and experience what others are doing, take a glance in this direction and that direction to see if that way looks better out in the world. But Jesus says to stay focused on the way that leads to eternal life and that way is very narrow. You have to stay focused on this journey with Christ or Satan will derail you and turn your eyes off of Jesus and the gift of eternal life.

It doesn't take much. Like the Dodger outfielder who, just for a split second, took his eyes off the ball heading to his glove and missed it. It only takes a moment when Satan gets our attention and says, "Click on this website and you will enjoy. Turn to this channel and watch this movie and enjoy. Look at that young lady or young man and enjoy." Satan says, "Enjoy my world! You don't need to read the Bible, you know enough. You don't need to worry about social issues any longer, things have changed." Satan says, "Women who get pregnant really aren't pregnant, so abortion is fine." Satan wants you to take your eyes off Christ and the prize He offers, eternal life, and focus on the world around you. DON"T DO IT!!

The Apostle Paul does a twist on the seen and unseen. He states: "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

Paul is reminding us that though we have not seen Jesus face to face, He is real, He is alive and well and keeping our eyes on Him is eternal. Everything else, all the world and Satan has to offer is only temporary and will fade away.

Do Not take your eyes off of Him!!! It's worth it!

Blessings my friends,
Pastor Marty

Worship, Grow, & Serve

Monday October 31st
Tuesday November 1st
Wednesday October 26th
Thursday October 27th
Saturday October 29th
Sunday October 30th
8:00 am - Worship Team Practice
9:30 am - Worship Service
10:50 am - Fellowship
11:10 am - Sunday School All Ages
7;00 pm - Worship Team Practice Tonight
Annual Session Retreat
6:20 pm - WNSP
9:00 am - Business Incubator
2:30 pm - Carillon Bible Study

Noteworthy Dates
Now Hiring
Worship Team Leader - Part Time Position
Click HERE for more details.
Friday September 28th
Annual Session Retreat
Devotional Readings
Readings for 10/30-11/5
Oct 30 -- 2 Chronicles 5
Oct 31 -- 2Chronicles 6
Nov 1 -- 2 Chronicles 7
Nov 2 -- 2 Chronicles 8
Nov 3 -- 2 Chronicles 9
Nov 4 -- 2 Chronicles 10
Nov 5 -- 2 Chronicles 11
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Sunday November 20th
Annual Meeting & Covered Dish
Friday/Saturday October 28-29
Annual Session Retreat
Saturday November 5th
HOPE Women's Conference
9:30 AM to 3 PM
Friday November 25th
Hanging of the Greens @ 6 PM