Christ by the Sea Messages

Walk through the Bible with Pastor Cliff Melvin.


Midweek Message, August 22, 2018

My brothers and sister, whenever you face trials of any kind, consider it nothing but joy, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance.

James 1:2-3

Our Florida Conference Bishop, Ken Carter, recently wrote about the difficult summer we have been through as a people of Christian faith. He mentioned the upcoming February General Conference for United Methodists to address key issues regarding the LGBQT community which has already caused rift and divide in our denomination. He mentioned the latest revelation from the Pope regarding the sexual abuse, even at the high levels of the priesthood, which continues to haunt the Roman Catholic church. He spoke about the removal and continuing allegations against the lead pastor of the Willow Creek Community Church which has been a devastating blow to many evangelical Christians.

It has indeed been a challenging summer for those who take their walk with Christ seriously. Bishop Carter shared this prayer which I hope will speak to all of us:

O God,
You are our judge and our hope.
In Jesus You have come to live among us, full of grace and truth.
Give us a faith that has integrity
and a witness that has clarity,
so that all may know You
and Your love, and the abundant life
You have come to give us,
and that Your will may become a reality on earth, as it is in heaven.
In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.



Midweek Message, August 15, 2018

“Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.’” John 6:35

The past couple of Sundays we have been looking at John 6 through the sermon teaching with its metaphor of Jesus as the bread of life. Through these weeks of preparation for preaching I have found great comfort in this “I am” saying of Jesus. Knowing Jesus desires us to be spiritually filled by Him is such a blessing. Of course, this “I am” saying has held some challenge for me as well…especially since I have been on a low carb diet and not eating any bread!

This coming Sunday as we complete chapter 6 of John, I hope you will be present as we finish unpacking the unique and complex images John shares through this inspired writing.

Lord Jesus, thank You that You are the bread of life. I hunger for more of You. Teach me. Reveal more of Your Truth to me. I need You! Amen.



·        Thank you to all who helped provide back to school clothes for the kids at the Homeless Family Shelter last week as well as those who fed the hungry at The Source on Sunday! What a giving, generous people you are!

·        I look forward to being with about a dozen church leaders this Saturday as we learn and worship together at The District Training Event.

Midweek Message, August 8, 2018

Midweek August 8 2018

“When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread. Jesus said to them, ‘Bring some of the fish you have just caught. Jesus said to them, ‘Come and have breakfast.’ Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish.” John 21:9–13 (NIV)

I occasionally watch cooking-competition shows. Skilled chefs face various challenges to prove their creativity and ability under all sorts of difficult situations. I enjoy vicarious cooking. I’m fascinated by the techniques I’ve never heard of, ingredients I’ve never tasted and the wild energy of high-tempo chopping.

My mind boggles as chefs describe an sous vide duck breast with a squid ceviche; and my mouth waters as they prepare crème brûlée or sculpt dark-chocolate delicacies. Watching the chefs at work has even inspired me to venture out of my norms and I’ve had surprising success with herb-crusted lamb chops and a chocolate cake made from beets.

As much fun as it would be to sample a meal by one of the skilled chefs on these cooking shows, I’d trade that in a second for the opportunity that the disciples had. How remarkable it must have been to come ashore and have Jesus serve up a fish fry on the beach. He fed them fish and bread, which probably stirred memories of the miraculous feeding of the five thousand.

I haven’t sat along the shore enjoying roasted fish over coals with Jesus, but He is the provider of all that is good in my life, as He was for the disciples. When I pray, “Give us this day our daily bread,” I often think of how Jesus called Himself the Bread of Life. I’m hungry for His presence—the daily bread that matters most to my survival.





Beachland Elementary teachers and staff need help as they prepare for the school year. Could you help on Wednesday or Thursday? Call Beachland at 772-564-3300.

Midweek Message, August 1, 2018

“The kingdom of the world will become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Messiah, and he will reign forever and ever.” Revelation 11:15b

I have been reading a book entitled, Canoeing The Mountain by Tod Bolsinger. It is about Christian leadership in this time of great change in culture. He writes, “The culture is changing, the world is changing rapidly, and churches are facing change on an unprecedented scale. Churches and church leaders are becoming increasingly irrelevant, even marginalized. Shared corporate faith is viewed with cynicism at best, downright hostility at worst. The cultural advantage we experienced in the seventeen centuries of Christendom has almost completely dissipated.

But, the church is also at an exciting crossroads. We are entering a new day, new terrain and a new adventure. We are not alone. The Spirit of God goes before us. The mission of Christ will not fail. A day will come when the “kingdom of the world will become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and He will reign forever and ever.” The next steps are going to be demanding. More than anything, this moment requires those of us in positions of authority (and even those who are not) to embrace an adventure or die mindset, and find the courage, and develop the capacity for a new day. We are heading into uncharted territory and are given the charge to lead a mission where the future is nothing like the past.”

Please pray for our CBTS church leaders to receive wisdom, courage, and discernment as we move into the future.


Midweek Message, July 25, 2018

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path. – Psalm 119:105 (NIV)

I find that I often allow my mood to control my day and often expect others to have to put up with my negative mood. I was reminded today in a devotion I read that we can overcome our negative mood by a clear focus on God through prayer, reading the Scripture, meditating in God’s word and being thankful to God. When we do this our moods begin to lose their power over us. I am thankful for this lesson today.

I hope you have a day filled with the joy of God’s blessing.



Midweek Message, July 18, 2018

And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete. 1 John 1:4 ESV

John was one of Jesus’ closest friends, even called the “beloved disciple.”

He heard Jesus speak, saw him with his own eyes, touched him and spent time physically with him (1 John 1:1-3); but this did not complete his joy. Just knowing Jesus wasn’t enough for him.

Some of us may be wondering why the joy Jesus said we would have (John 15:11, John 16:24) just doesn’t seem present in our life. Could it be because this joy is not intended as a personal well, but an overflowing, communal spring?

John wrote this letter to his Christian brothers and sisters to complete his joy. His joy was complete only when sharing Jesus with others, and the joy he possessed he shared. Some think we only talk of Jesus to non-Christians, and when that’s finished there are weightier matters of the faith to converse with Christians about. But Jesus is the source of our joy.

Have you been talking with other Christians about Jesus lately? Have you shared about what Jesus has done in your life with those who are not Christians? Examine your life and see if your joy isn’t complete because you have not been sharing Jesus with everyone.



Midweek Message, July 11, 2018

 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

 2 Corinthians 3:17

I was in my 5:30am Spin Class on Monday when the instructor played the Lynard Skynard song, “Freebird” as we simulated climbing a long hill. As I rode, my mind drifted and I began to think of all the ways I/we are not free. We place ourselves in self-imposed cages far too often. Sometimes it is out of past regret, or some unspoken guilt we cling to, or out of a childhood mistreatment. But, the scriptures point us to the great, good news that we are in fact to be free people in Jesus. Because of the act of Jesus on the cross we are forgiven and redeemed and set free. When we allow the love of Christ to fully enter our hearts we will know that depth of freedom. My prayer for all of us is that we will live into that freedom as disciples of Jesus.



Church News;
On July 6, during a severe storm, the sanctuary was hit with a lightening strike. We lost many electronics in the chancel area including digital lights, microphones, etc. The amazing gift is that there was not a fire. The ceiling is scorched where the lightening ran along a line of microphone wiring and you can see where the clear possibility of a fire could have happened. We are working to recover the systems, but it will take time and money to get us whole again. Please be patient as we make repairs.

Midweek Message, July 4, 2018

Happy Independence Day!

On this Independence Day we should be on our knees thanking God for all God has given us. The United States was founded upon the principle which says everyone has an equal opportunity. Thank God for a country where there is no caste or class to keep a person from choosing any path in life for themselves. If a person has a will to work and study, he or she can get ahead regardless of background. In addition, thank God, God has given us freedom of religion. Whatever you may believe, no one can close your house of worship because your religion does not coincide with theirs. A few people meeting in a small, out-of-the-way shack, worshiping God as they believe in, have the same right to religious freedom as the people who worship God in the great cathedrals on the avenues of our greatest cities.

God bless the United States of America.




·        Help feed the Homeless at the Source this Sunday. Food is still needed.

·        Join us next Wednesday, July 11, for our Covered Dish Supper and Movie Night. We will be watching “I Can Only Imagine”.

·        Help is needed any day at The Shining Light Garden. Contact Dave Althoff for more information.

Midweek Message June 27, 2018


Jeremiah 31:17 says, “there is hope for your future, says the Lord: your children shall come back to their own country.”

Last week I worked alongside 12 teens from Indian River County and several from Puerto Rico. This week I have been in Vacation Bible School with 35-40 children each day. There are many people who express concern to me for the future of our country and our world when they see this generation of kids locked into electronic devices so much of the time and, seemingly unconcerned about the world around them. I want to proclaim that, if these kids I have been with these past two weeks are any indication of our future, then our country and our world are in good hands. These were young people who thought deeply, interacted well with adults, worked hard, learned with purpose, and were seeking a relationship with God. It was a joy to be with them and to talk about spiritual concerns.

These young people gave me a deep sense of hope for the future. I can’t help but feel more positive about the next few generations after seeing the servant hearts of the teens and the respectful inquisitiveness of the children. I hope you will continue to reach out to young people and share of yourself with them. I am so thankful for our Beachland Ministry, the Youth On A Mission outreach, and the Intervarsity Ministry at IRSC. We can help mold some of the next generation with positive, Christ-based concepts as we support and interact with these young ones.




Enjoy the FOURTH of July! The Church office will be closed.

Midweek Message, June 20, 2018

You shall love your neighbor as yourself. Matthew 22:39b

This week 30 folks from Indian River County are living out this commandment from Jesus as we work alongside our neighbors in Puerto Rico to help them rebuild after Hurricane Maria. I am excited to be with them, and so, I have written this ahead of our trip.

We have been planning with the members of the Juncos, PR, First Baptist Church for months now. I have experienced God’s love through our neighbors in Puerto Rico as they have made caring and supportive preparations for our trip. I have experienced God’s love through the enthusiasm of our multi-generational team as we have met together and made plans. I have felt God’s love through the generosity of our church as donations have come in to support and underwrite this mission  trip. I feel your prayers for the mission team right now as I write this note to you.

Thank you on behalf of the team. Thank you on behalf of our “neighbors” and new friends in Juncos, Puerto Rico. My hope is that this experience is a life-changing time for each of our team members, but, especially for the 11 teenagers who are with us.




·        Please continue to pray for the staff and children who will be a part of Vacation Bible School next week.

·        Have you ever served as a part of the team providing a meal at The Source Homeless Ministry? It’s a powerful experience of sharing God’s love. Sign up at the SERVE bulletin board.

Midweek May 3 2017

Last week I was at a workshop and this poem was shared. I have never been much of a poetry kind of guy, but, these workshops have given me a deeper appreciation for the gift of poetry. This is titled “Evidence” by Mary Oliver:

Truly, we live with mysteries too marvelous to be understood. 

How grass can be nourishing in the

mouths of lambs.

How rivers and stones are forever

in allegiance with gravity

while we ourselves dream of rising.

How two hands touch and the bonds

will never be broken.

How people come, from delight or the

scars of damage,

to the comfort of a poem.


Let me keep my distance, always, from those

Who think they have the answers.


Let me keep company always with those who say

“Look!” and laugh in astonishment,

And bow their heads.

Who are those people in your life who say “Look!”, laugh in astonishment, and bow their heads? I hope and pray you have at least a few of them and that you keep their company regularly!




Church News:

  • Imani Milele Children’s Choir from Uganda in concert this Sunday at 3pm.
  • Habitat Build day, Saturday, May 6, 7:30-noon. Call Howard for more info at 772-205-2569.