Author Archives: Pastor Tommy

About Pastor Tommy

Pastor Tommy is the senior pastor of Cross Community Church (PCA) in Deerfield Beach, FL. Rev. Tommy Boland is his official title. Pastor Tommy often seems too formal. Most everyone calls him "Coach".

Promises, Promises!

man praying

What if some were unfaithful? Will their unfaithfulness nullify God’s faithfulness? Not all all! (Romans 3:3-4)

The more time we spend in the Word of God, the more familiar we become with His promises. The evil one works relentlessly to sow seeds of doubt in our minds, particularly when we are wavering in our walk, to cause us to shrink back from pressing into God’s promises and living the life God is calling us to live. But today’s passage makes one thing perfectly clear: Nothing we do can nullify any of the thousands of promises God has made to His people.

Here are just a few verses from both the Old and New Testaments to encourage you today. God has promised . . .

To be near us when we pray – Deuteronomy 4:7

To be with us wherever we go – Joshua 1:9

To be our peace – Judges 6:24

To turn our darkness into light – 2 Samuel 22:29

To fill our dry valleys with water – 2 Kings 3:16

To direct our steps – Proverbs 3:6

To bind up our wounds – Hosea 6:1

To be our refuge in times of trouble – Nahum 1:7

To make us fishers of men – Matthew 4:19

To give us rest – Matthew 11:28

To give us the Holy Spirit – John 14:16

To take us to be with Him – John 14:3

Remember, what God has promised, God will do. He assures us, “What I have said, that will I bring about; what I have planned, that will I do” (Isaiah 46:11). God has never broken a promise in the past, and He is not about to start now. Look to the promises of God, and let them propel you into His perfect plan and purpose for your imperfect life.

This is the Gospel.  This is grace for your race.  NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!

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God Wants To Do More Than Bless Your Food

The Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made. (Psalm 145:9)

Our God is in the blessing business, and I can assure you He wants to do more than bless your food! Yet for far too many brothers and sisters in our family of faith, that is as far as they go when it comes to seeking the blessings of God. We serve a BIG GOD, the Creator and Sustainer of the universe, and we ought to be looking to Him each day for BIG BLESSINGS.

God wants us to come to Him with open minds, open hearts, and open hands, ready to receive all that He has in store for us. God wants us to trust more, seek more, believe more, wait more, expect more, pray more, and depend more. God wants us to pour out our lives out in service to Him for His glory and the good of all others. As we engage in advancing the cause of His big Kingdom rather than our own little kingdom, God will bless our efforts beyond our wildest imaginations.

Perhaps you are facing a challenge that seems impossible to overcome. Never forget, Christian, that with God all things are possible (Matthew 19:26). Hudson Taylor, the great 19th-century missionary to China, said this about God doing the impossible: “There are three stages to every great work of God: first it is impossible, then it is difficult, then it is done.” Remember, even when circumstances argue against all hope, we are still to have hope. Because Jesus is our Living Hope, we have a hope that nothing in this world can affect.

What would you like God to bless in your life right now? Come into His Presence and share what is on your heart. And then prepare to be blessed, because God wants to bless more than your food. Remember, He who began a good work in you has promised to complete it, and there is no greater blessing than that.

This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!

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Be Like Birds

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? (Matthew 6:26)

In this portion of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus was teaching about worry. He made it clear that the reason we are not to worry is because He has promised to meet our every need. Now, don’t confuse worry with concern. To be concerned is to be moved to action through the leading of the Holy Spirit. Worry, on the other hand, keeps you from moving at all. It simply paralyzes any meaningful forward progress.

Jesus pointed to the birds and their complete lack of any concern about their daily needs being met. Birds do not sow, reap, or store away in barns, yet their every need is met. And because we, as image-bearers of the Most-High God, are much more valuable than the birds, worry simply makes no sense at all.

Here is something an anonymous author gave us to think about:

Said the robin to the sparrow,

I should really like to know,

Why these anxious human beings

Rush about and worry so.

Said the sparrow to the robin,

Friend, I think that it must be,

That they have no heavenly Father

Such as cares for you and me.

Only by pressing into the presence of our Lord Jesus each day will our lives begin to reflect the attitude of the birds. Worry will be as far as the east is from the west when we look to Jesus, trusting in His promise to meet our every need. Jesus will always make good on every one of His promises; you have His Word on that!

So let the next bird you see remind you that God cares for you completely!

This is the Gospel.  This is grace for your race.  NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!

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Fitness For Your Faith

Work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose. (Philippians 2:12-13)

The Bible tells us that we play a vital role in deepening our faith. I call it “Fitness for your faith.” Did you ever wonder why the Word of God contains so many athletic metaphors for growing and maturing in our faith? It’s because our faith is very much like a muscle; the more we use it, the stronger it becomes. The opposite is also true; the less we exercise faith, the weaker it becomes.  

D. L. Moody, the great nineteenth-century evangelist, shared profound insight into how to exercise faith: “I prayed for faith, and thought that some day faith would come down and strike me like lightning. But faith did not seem to come. One day I read in the tenth chapter of Romans, ‘Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.’ I had closed my Bible and prayed for faith. I now opened my Bible and began to study, and faith has been growing ever since.” Spending time in God’s Word was the key that unlocked the door to Moody’s ever-increasing “faith fitness.”

Every time we read a passage of Scripture, we gain greater insight into both the Word of God and the God of the Word. As we read the Word, the Word reads us. This process strengthens our resolve to put what we are learning into practice. Jesus said, “If you love me, you will obey what I command” (John 14:15). Fitness for your faith is the desire to do what Jesus wants us to do, when He wants us to do it, and how He wants us to do it.

Will we do that perfectly? Heavens no! When we mess things up, we must remember that we are secure in our relationship with Jesus — not because of our faithfulness to Him, but His faithfulness to us. When the apostle Paul told us to “Work out your salvation,” he was not telling us our salvation is in jeopardy. Once we are saved, by grace through faith, we are always saved. Paul was encouraging the Christians at Philippi (and you and me today) to actively pursue . . . to work out . . . our obedience by going to the supernatural source of our salvation and our sanctification: the Word of God. That is how we develop fitness for our faith; that is how we “work out” our salvation.

This is the Gospel.  This is grace for your race.  NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!

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From Dreaming Dreams To Doing Them

I will pour out my Spirit on all people . . . your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. (Joel 2:28)

The Scriptures give us numerous examples of both men and women who dreamed dreams and saw visions and then brought them to life because of their faith in God. One of the best examples of these visionaries is Nehemiah. When he heard about the condition of the walls around Jerusalem, Nehemiah began praying, thinking, planning, dreaming, and developing a vision of victory. But he did not stop there. He went to work on in the strength of the Almighty. He got permission to return to Jerusalem, organized a task force, and stayed focused despite facing criticism, distractions, and opposition. In just 52 days, the walls of Jerusalem were rebuilt to the glory of God and for the good of His people.

What has the Lord laid on your heart these days? What is Jesus calling you to do to expand the cause of His Kingdom? Know this: God never gives a dream or a vision to someone without giving them every resource needed to make it come to life. God is not in the business of calling the equipped; rather, God equips the called. God will give you everything you need to do everything He is calling you to do.

Remember, if you feel ill-equipped or inadequate for something you know God is calling you to do, fear not! Moses felt ill-equipped and inadequate, and he gave God every excuse in the book why he shouldn’t be the one to deliver God’s people out of bondage in Egypt. No problem: God gave Moses everything he needed and used him to set His people free from the most powerful nation in the world at that time.

It is unlikely that God is calling you to stand in opposition against some world leader to expand the cause of His Kingdom. But He might be calling you to volunteer to help out in Sunday school or some other ministry at your church. Perhaps He is calling you to start a new ministry and you are feeling ill-equipped and inadequate. Remember, God loves taking ordinary people, people like you and me, and using them to accomplish the extraordinary for His glory and the good of others.

We simply need to go from dreaming dreams to doing them, leaving the results to the One who gave us the dream.

This is the Gospel.  This is grace for your race.  NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!

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When Tempted To Turn Back

The men of Ephraim, though armed with bows, turned back on the day of battle. (Psalm 78:9)

There are many things in this life that will tempt us to turn back and go in the opposite direction from the one God is calling us to. Sin can and often does cause us to shrink back from the call of our Lord. Forgetting the promises of God will cause us do this as well. The men of Ephraim were well armed for battle, but they were trusting in their armor and not the Almighty, and they turned back on the day of battle.

How do we keep ourselves from turning back when we are tempted to do so?

Jesus promised that we will encounter storms in this life, and we may very well be tempted to turn back when we are being battered by storms. So how can we get to the end of our lives and be able to say, as Paul did, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7)? We will be able to do that if we keep our focus on our Savior and look away from the storms.

It is hard to find anyone in sacred Scripture (other than Jesus) who endured more opposition and hardship than the apostle Paul. Yet through it all, Paul never let the waves of challenge water down His witness for Jesus. He was able to rise above his circumstances because He rested in the reality of his Redeemer.

Far too many who profess faith in Christ “turn back” from their Lord when they encounter trials and difficulties. They let the circumstances of life control the outcome of their lives rather than relying on Jesus. Regardless of what you are facing today — and I have no desire to minimize any storm that has come against you — remember this: Greater is the power that is at work within you than any power that will ever come against you. When you are tempted to turn back, trust, and keep on keeping on, knowing that He who began the good work in you has promised to bring it to completion.

This is the Gospel.  This is grace for your race.  NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!

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The Savior’s Sheep

Know that the Lord, He is God! It is He who made us, and we are His; we are His people, and the sheep of His pasture. Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise! (Psalm 100:3-4)

Inasmuch as we are known as “the people of God” . . . “children of the light” . . . “followers of the Way” . . . “more than conquerors” . . . “disciples of Christ” . . . we are also known as “the sheep of His pasture.”

Now sheep get a bad rap, and for good reason! To say it politely, sheep are not particularly intelligent. One Kansas farmer said bluntly that these creatures are “mind-numbingly stupid.” Sheep often wander away from their shepherd and get lost. They are easy prey for predators and need constant care and protection if they are to survive.

But if you are one of Jesus’ “sheep,” I want to encourage you today by pointing out a wonderful character trait of sheep; they know the voice of their shepherd and will not respond to unfamiliar voices. “My sheep hear my voice,” Jesus said, “and they follow me” (John 10:27). Jesus is our Good Shepherd, and we are to follow Him, just as sheep respond to the voice of their shepherd and follow him.

To hear the voice of Jesus is to be in intimate relationship with Him. To know and to respond to the voice of our Good Shepherd means that we are in an intimate, personal relationship with Him. Jesus calls us by name (John 10:3), and we are empowered by the indwelling Holy Spirit to listen and follow wherever He leads. As one of Jesus’ sheep, you demonstrate that you know the voice of Jesus if you are obeying Him. John wrote —

We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. The man who says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But if anyone obeys his word, God’s love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did. (1 John 2:3-6)

Remember, when Jesus says, “My sheep hear my voice,” He is affirming that there are true sheep and false sheep. The false sheep do not know Jesus, hear Him, or follow Him; but Jesus’ true sheep do know Him, hear Him, and follow Him. Never forget this: we follow Jesus like sheep – that is, imperfectly – because we are still prone to wander. We are, after all, sheep! We stray and become prey for Satan, the remorseless predator of Jesus’ sheep. But when we do stray, we can be sure that our Good Shepherd will rescue us and return us to His sheepfold.

We are His; the Good Shepherd laid down His life for His sheep. So let us enter into His presence with thanksgiving and praise!

This is the Gospel.  This is grace for your race.  NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!

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Believing Better Before Behaving Better

It is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. (Philippians 2:13)

All true disciples of Christ want to live lives devoted to Christ. The problem for many, though, is they are fixated on behaving better before believing better. Our failures in our walk of faith are not rooted in our behavior, but rather, our belief. What we believe about our salvation determines how we behave.

Please don’t misunderstand what I am saying here. I am not saying that believing is more important than behaving. Both are important; belief and behavior both matter to God. Think about it this way: What we believe determines how we behave; how we behave demonstrates what we believe.

Maturing in the faith is built upon remembering Whose we are and what He has done on our behalf. What Paul was saying in Philippians 2:13 is that God works His work in us, and that is the work that has already been accomplished by Christ. Paul was telling us that our behavior is strengthened by a deeper understanding of and belief in His behavior on our behalf. The more we believe in the finished work of our Lord Jesus Christ, the better we will do the works God has given us to do.

Remember, believing better is believing we are secure in our relationship with Jesus — not because of our faithfulness to Him, but rather, His faithfulness to us. When we have that settled in our belief, then our behavior will begin to change, and we will start living more and more for the glory of God and the good of others.

This is the Gospel.  This is grace for your race.  NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!

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Omnipotence Overcomes Opposition

The Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one. (2 Thessalonians 3:3)

The reality of opposition in this life is as promised as it is personal. Jesus made it clear that we would have trouble in this life, and that trouble will come at us from the world around us, our own sinful flesh, and the devil. Yet God is in complete control of all things, including the opposition we face. And because our God is omnipotent, no weapon formed against us will prevail.

All of the promises of God are “Yes” and “Amen” in Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 1:20). Not one promise of God will fail, in spite of the opposition we face in this life. Satan cannot overcome or overturn any of God’s promises to us or purposes in us. The Lord is faithful to strengthen us and to protect us as well. Regardless of the challenges you may be facing today, let me encourage you to receive and respond in great faith to the truth of today’s passage. You may feel that you are under relentless attack, but the Almighty has promised to lift you above it all. If you take even a moment to consider your past, do you not see how faithful God has been to you during every storm that was blowing your way?

What God has done in the past, He has promised to do in the present. Christian, never let any opposition you are facing cause you to question the validity of God’s promises and purposes in your life. Because of your relationship with Jesus and the gift of the Holy Spirit who resides within you, the power that is at work in your life is infinitely greater than any power that is coming against you. Because of the omnipotent God who is working all things together in your life for your ultimate good, you can and should receive every occurrence of opposition as simply another opportunity to cling to the omnipotent One who has promised to strengthen you and protect you.

This is the Gospel.  This is grace for your race.  NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!

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God’s Grace: Not Just Unmerited Favor, But Enabling Power

By the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them – yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me. (1 Corinthians 15:10)

God’s grace not only saves the unworthy, it strengthens the inadequate . . . and that includes you and me. God’s grace in Paul’s life was not without effect, and it is not without effect in our lives either. Always remember that God never calls the equipped; rather, He equips the called. God glories in calling the inadequate into His service. His great grace, through the work of the Holy Spirit, makes them adequate.

We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ. To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me. (Colossians 1:28-29)

Paul knew he could do nothing apart from God’s enabling grace. Nothing of any eternal value would ever be accomplished in his in his own strength. But because Paul relied on the grace of God and labored in the strength of the Almighty, his ministry changed the world. Now, Paul certainly had to do his part; he had to work and minister where God called him to go. But he knew he had to do every bit of the work he had been called to do surrendered to the strength of his Savior, Jesus Christ. The power of Christ was at work in Paul’s life, and that same power is available to each one of us.

If there ever was someone who could have relied on his own strength, upbringing, background and education, it would have been Paul. He was a Hebrew of Hebrews and a scholar of scholars. Yet he considered it all rubbish after Jesus showed up in his life. Paul surrendered everything he was in service to His Lord and Savior; and in surrendering his entire existence to Jesus, Paul not only received God’s unmerited favor, he received God’s enabling power.

How is it with you today? Is the grace that saved you strengthening you for the work God has called you to do? “By the grace of God I am what I am,” Paul said. May that be the confession of our lives also.

This is the Gospel.  This is grace for your race.  NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!

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