The Pastor's Page (11-21-17)
Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow. James 1:17
We are blessed. We are abundantly blessed. It doesn’t always seem to be the case. But, we are blessed beyond measure. In no particular order, consider these blessings today…….
God has saved us.
God sustains us.
God secures us forever.
We are blessed with food.
We are blessed with clothing.
We are blessed with shelter.
We are blessed with finances.
We are blessed with family and friends.
We are blessed by the Church.
We are blessed with the sustaining power of Jesus.
We are blessed with the Holy Spirit’s presence at all times.
We are blessed with eternal life.
These are but a few of the blessings and gifts that God has given us. We may not have everything we want, but, we have more than enough. Dear Christian, you are blessed!
The Pastor's Page (11-14-17)
Praise the Lord! For it is good to sing praises to our God; For it is pleasant and praise is becoming. The Lord builds up Jerusalem; He gathers the outcasts of Israel. He heals the brokenhearted And binds up their wounds. He counts the number of the stars; He gives names to all of them. Great is our Lord and abundant in strength; His understanding is infinite. The Lord supports the afflicted; He brings down the wicked to the ground.
As Christians, we are commanded to praise the Lord. We should delight in worship and praise for all that God has done and all that He is. He is worthy.
We should praise God for building us up. When we are down, He is there. He strengthens us and helps us to persevere in ways that are seen and unseen. He carries us through and enables us to keep going when we would rather cease.
We should praise God for His healing power. He heals us and binds up our wounds through Christ. Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross provides the healing power we need that forgives us, cleanses us, and justifies us for all of eternity. We will still suffer in this life and we may not receive physical healing at all times. However, we acquire ultimate healing when we see Jesus in heaven.
We should praise God for His strength, His sovereignty, and His abundance. He is in control of all things even when it doesn’t seem to be the case. Our goal should be to praise Him, serve Him, and enjoy Him forever. He is worthy. He is worthy!
The Pastor's Page (11-7-17)
Adoption is a beautiful theological concept in Christianity. It is said that those who are saved are adopted into the family of God. All the rights and privileges of becoming a child of God are bestowed upon those who believe in Christ.
Let us take a moment and see what we those privileges are as they are revealed in Scripture. Our status changes when we are placed in God’s family. And the change is wonderful and marvelous.
For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, "Abba! Father!" Romans 8:15
Believers are released from the slavery of sin in adoption. This release allows us closeness with God as we now relate to Him as our heavenly father. We can grow and mature into full son-ship and daughter-ship as result of our adoption.
But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. Galatians 4:4-5
Adoption allows us to be freed from the bondage of the law. We now have liberty to seek to please God as a result of our salvation and not to try to earn our salvation. We are placed in His family and all the encumbrances of past life are washed away.
Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, "Abba! Father!" Galatians 4:6
Closeness with God is a wonderful and powerful result of adoption. Where once we were far from Him, we now have closeness with God through Christ Jesus. We have the ability to address Him as Father in the same way an earthly child calls out for his/her Daddy! What wonderful thought—we are no longer an outcast, we have closeness with God.
We should give thanks for our adoption. We didn’t deserve it. But we ought to be thankful that our heavenly Father has placed us into His family forevermore.
The Pastor's Page (10-31-17)
Psalm 33:18-22 Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him, on those who hope for His lovingkindness, to deliver their soul from death and to keep them alive in famine. Our soul waits for the Lord; He is our help and our shield. For our heart rejoices in Him, because we trust in His holy name. Let Your lovingkindness, O Lord, be upon us, according as we have hoped in You.
Thoughts about Psalm 33……………………………
God is our help. He is our sustainer, provider, and shield. Even when things go wrong, he guards, guides, and protects. We need “God our help” each day. Cling to Him and serve Him dear Christian.
God is holy. We can trust in His holy name always. I don’t know what battles you are facing this week. I do know that you can trust in God’s holy name. We should trust and rejoice because we know who is in control.
God is loving. His lovingkindness endures to His people. Paul tells that even when we are faithless, God is faithful. (2 Timothy 2:13) We can rest in Christ, put our hope in Christ, and serve all of our days because of His faithful lovingkindness.
It is so true. When Christ is all you have, you truly understand He is all you need!
Blessings upon you all.
The Pastor's Page (10-24-17)
In Exodus 25, God commanded the people of Israel to build what would be known as the ark of covenant. It was an ornate chest that symbolized the greatness and might of God. This “ark of the covenant” is featured prominently in Israel’s history at different points in the Old Testament.
The ark still teaches us much today even though we are no longer under the law. It still has meaning and teaches us principles for our time. An examination of these principles will follow.
First, the ark symbolized the purity of God. The ark was to be overlaid with pure gold inside and out. (Exodus 25:11) The purity of God would be memorialized through the purity of the gold. God is pure and holy and the ark would serve as a reminder of that fact.
Second, the ark symbolized the presence of God. The ark would dwell in the most holy place of the tabernacle and later in the same place in the temple. (Exodus 40:20-21) It would remain as a perpetual illustration to remind the people that God was with them. They would be His people and He would be there God.
Also, the ark symbolized the purposes of God. The ark would serve as an illustration of the covenant of God with His people. The mercy seat or “atonement cover” was placed on the top of the ark and there the High Priest would place the blood of the sacrifice to atone for the sins of the people. (Leviticus 16:14) The mercy of God would be found through the sacrifices remunerated each year on the Day of Atonement.
What does this mean for Believers today? We need to be in awe of the purity of God. In a world that is filled with impurity, God’s purity shines forth like the sun.
We should realize that God dwells with us as well. He indwells us through the power of the Holy Spirit. (1 Corinthians 3:16) We no longer look to an object because He is with us at all times.
Finally, the ark instructs us about Jesus. It is through the blood of Jesus that our sins are ultimately removed and we are forgiven. (Hebrews 10) His sacrifice was accepted and fulfilled the entirety of the law for us.
As Paul says “but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 15:57) Be blessed today!
The Pastor's Pace (10-17-17)
We live in a world that values power. Our culture is in love with physical power, military power, and economic power. Power is the objective and power is sought by many in our day.
God’s power is altogether different. How so? The Bible tells us.
God’s power saves………..
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. Romans 1:16
God’s power resurrects……..
So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown a perishable body, it is raised an imperishable body; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. 1 Corinthians 15:42-43
God’s power is infinite………..
I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.
Gods’ power is everlasting………..
Then the seventh angel sounded; and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, "The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ ; and He will reign forever and ever." And the twenty-four elders, who sit on their thrones before God, fell on their faces and worshiped God, saying, "We give You thanks, O Lord God, the Almighty, who are and who were, because You have taken Your great power and have begun to reign. Revelation 11:15-17
God’s power is greater than any earthly power. I don’t know about you. But, I’ll seek to live in God’s power every day. Be blessed with this thought!
The Pastor's Page (10-10-17)
I have a question for you today. Are you a daily Christ-follower in word and deed? Do you have a daily relationship with Christ?
If you are a believer then you DO have a relationship with Jesus. He has saved you and adopted you into His family. (Galatians 4:5) However, is your relationship with Christ growing on a daily basis?
How can we engage and grow our relationship with Christ? Are there practices that will help us grow closer to our Savior? Absolutely! Let us discuss them today.
First, learn to seek God daily through prayer. (1 Thessalonians 5:17) Have a fixed time and place that you can pray every day. You do not need to pray hours on end in order to see results. Just begin to pray consistently each day and you’ll see God work in your life.
He may not always answer our prayers as we hope. But He will change us through prayer. Little by little He will use the prayers of His people to help us grow in the faith.
Second, read and study the Bible. (2 Timothy 2:15) Find some systematic way to engage the scriptures each day. As you read persistently, you will notice your view of the world and your view of Christ changing and growing. It will not happen overnight, but, if we continue in God’s Word He will use it to grow us and transform us.
Finally, think about your relationship with Christ each day. Perhaps that statement is self-evident. But honestly, we as Christians have a tendency to live each day without thinking about what God has done for us and how He has blessed us. Let’s challenge ourselves to think the proper thoughts so that our thinking will lead us to a deepening relationship with Christ. (Philippians 4:8)
Following these simply practices will not make your life perfect. You will still have problems and pain. Following these precepts will give you a different perspective on life. You will begin to see things from God’s perspective and not your own. And when we begin to see things from God’s perspective, life will be more victorious and abundant. And that’s what we want, right?
The Pastor's Page (10-3-17)
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
People today are fond of saying “our times are troubled.” On certain days, such a pronouncement would be an understatement. Violence, carnage, and mayhem reign in our streets and our hearts. Each new tragic episode is said to be the worst episode that has ever taken place. Well, it’s the worst at least until the next tragedy comes around.
As each tragedy comes and goes, humans become more despondent and distressed. We ask “what causes these things to take place?” and “how do we stop this?” Unfortunately, from a human perspective, there are no easy answers. Each side on the political spectrum simply doubles down on their arguments. But nothing seems to change. Tragic, terrible, events teach us that there will never be true peace on earth until King Jesus rules and reigns.
In the meantime, what are we to do? Remember, the truth of God’s Word. When tragedy and hurt come our way, be cognizant of God’s unchanging truth and unchanging love. Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Why?
He is our refuge. Christ is the one we can turn to in every situation. He experienced pain, sorrow, injustice, betrayal, and even death for us. Turn to Him as your refuge from the tragedy, the violence, the pain. Pray, trust, and keep believing in the goodness of God despite what you see going on around you.
He is our strength. He is the reason you and I are able to keep going. Jesus is the cause of our worship, our service, and our obedience. And He is the reason you’re able to get out of bed in the morning. Trust in Him—He is your strength.
He is our help. Christ has been your help, He is your help today, and He will always be your help. He is our might and He will carry us through.
God never promised perfection in this life. Evil will always be a part of this world until Jesus returns. Keep recalling what God has declared. He is your refuge, your help, and your strength.
The Pastor's Page (9-26-17)
One of the great tenets of the Christian faith surrounds the person of Jesus Christ. We proclaim that He is all God and all man. Somehow, through the miraculous power of God, Jesus received humanity in the incarnation.
Today, let us think about the one who came to identify with us. He felt the emotions we feel and Christ experienced life as we experience it. Let us look as some examples.
**He became hungry.
Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He then became hungry.
**He became tired and rested.
So He came to a city of Samaria called Sychar, near the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph; and Jacob's well was there. So Jesus, being wearied from His journey, was sitting thus by the well. It was about the sixth hour.
**He was thirsty at times.
There came a woman of Samaria to draw water. Jesus said to her, "Give Me a drink."
"Where have you laid him?" They said to Him, "Lord, come and see." Jesus wept.
The mystery of the incarnation is deep and profound. Jesus experienced the entirety of humanity and yet remained without sin for us. He loves us today. And He understands-He’s been there.
The Pastor's Page (9-19-17)
The word “help” occurs over 185 times in the Scriptures. The word is found in the Old and the New Testament many times over. Why? God realizes that we are needy creatures and that we need His power, His love, and His mercy.
The book of Psalm contains several references to help. Let us look at three instances of the help that God provides for His people.
**Psalm 33:20 Our soul waits for the LORD; He is our help and our shield.
We are called to wait upon the Lord. This waiting is not a call to passivity but to increase in faith. Waiting means we are to do what He has called us to do until further instruction. We don’t know when our help will arrive. We only know that God is the only one that can provide it and that He is our “help and shield.”
**Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.
The help the Lord provides is present when we truly need it. Oftentimes, God doesn’t remove the trouble, instead, He helps through the trouble. He is our refuge and strength when everything else fails in our lives.
**Psalm 94:17 If the LORD had not been my help, My soul would soon have dwelt in the abode of silence.
Christ is our ultimate help. We would be separated from God forever without the salvation that He provides. As sinful human beings, we would indeed “dwell in the abode of silence” separated from God forever. Thanks be to God for the victory He has given us.
Dear Christian, these principles are for you. Look to God as your ultimate help. Trust Him through all things. It is not easy, but, He has promised to be your help!
The Pastor's Page (9-12-17)
Who is Jesus? The opinions are varied and mixed. While almost everyone believes there was a historical Jesus, there is much division about who He truly is and what it all means.
What does the Bible say about this topic? How would Scripture answer that question? It would be impossible to tell of everything the Bible says about Jesus nature and work in one blog post. So let’s examine three truth claims about Jesus from the Word of God as we seek to elucidate this quandary.
1) The Scriptures declare that Jesus is the Son of God. Peter declared Him to be the “Son of the Living God” (Matthew 16:14) in his declaration. Also, Jesus has the power to forgive the sinner (Matthew 9:1-6) and He pronounced Himself as “Lord of the Sabbath.” (Luke 6:1-5) John expressed Jesus’ deity by saying “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14) in his Gospel.
These statements make a compelling case for the deity of Jesus. The Holy Word of God thunders the truth of Jesus’ divinity from the lips of the Savior and the pen of the apostles. When one examines the Bible, we must realize that the Scriptures declare that Jesus is indeed the Son of God!
2) Jesus is the Savior of the world. Everyone who believes in Him and trusts Him for salvation shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16-17) He lived for our justification, died to pay our sin debt, and rose again to prove that everything He said was true. (1 Corinthians 15:3-4)
He is the Savior, and He is the ONLY savior. We find this truth expressed in John 14:6, Acts 4:32, and 1 Timothy 2:5. One can choose to accept this precept or reject it. However, this truth is objective and eternal and cannot be changed.
3) Jesus is the judge. He is the long promised Messiah (Matthew 16:14) and He is the one who will judge the nations. (John 5:22) All Believers will answer to Christ for the way they have lived one day. (2 Corinthians 5:10) People may choose to reject His salvation and His mercy. But, no one will escape His judgment.
Are you ready to stand before Christ? Have you trusted Him for your salvation believing He died, was buried, and rose again for you? Trust in Him today. He is the Son of God, He is the Savior of the world, and He will judge everyone at the appointed time. Trust Him today while you still can!
The Pastor's Page (9-5-17)
This Article Was Previously Published in 2015
I love the church! God has given me the opportunity, throughout my life, to serve the church as a worship leader, youth leader, a servant, and as pastor. I have given my life to the church and I have no regrets.
Those who do not participate in the corporate life of the church are missing so much. Tremendous blessings are found as one serves alongside their fellow members in the Body of Christ. We learn so much from one another simply by meeting together regularly, serving together faithfully, and living our lives in the shelter of the people of God.
The church is not perfect. This should not surprise anyone as we understand that the church is comprised of imperfect sinners. But, even our imperfections allow us the opportunity to both give and experience forgiveness. Our faults allow us the joy of experiencing a love from fellow church members that is not based on performance. We should seek holiness and avoid sin at every turn. It’s good to know, however, that when we fall, there are those who will stand with us and not forsake us in the Body of Christ.
Are you a part of the church? Are you searching for a place where you will experience true meaning and purpose? I encourage you to be a part of the local church. Jesus loves His Body and He is building the church for His glory (Matt. 16:18). It for all of these reasons that I love the church!
The Pastor's Page (8-29-17)
I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth. Now he who plants and he who waters are one; but each will receive his own reward according to his own labor. For we are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, God's building.
1 Corinthians 3:6-9
Three points from Paul’s teaching stand out in this passage. They correspond to the thoughts, “I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth.”
1) We are to plant for harvest. Let us plant each day by sowing the seed of the gospel. We plant for harvest by sharing the good news of the forgiveness of sin that is available to all who believe. Also, we plant by loving people and by inviting them to Jesus.
2) We are to prepare for harvest. We water as we continue to share the gospel and live out the implications of the gospel. Being a consistent witness is important and necessary for the harvest.
3) We must pray for harvest. Only God can give the increase and cause growth. He uses our efforts and obedience. But, Jesus is the only one that can “build His church.” (Matthew 16:18)
Dear Christian, commit yourself to these three principles each day. The harvest is ready and waiting. People need Jesus and we should be honored to be used by God to lead souls to salvation!
The Pastor's Page (8-22-17)
Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer. Romans 12:10-12
Romans 12 is filled with practical instruction for Believers. The above referenced verses contain several key points about relationships among Christians. Let us briefly peruse them during this article.
How are we to treat one another?
**We are to be devoted to one another. Loyalty is a lost concept in our world today. Loyalty needs to be recovered and practiced within the church.
**We should honor one another. Selfishness has no place within the body of Christ. Honoring one another reveals the depth of our love for those in the Church.
**We ought to be diligent, fervent, and service-oriented towards those whom God has called in the body. Our service should not be lackadaisical and half-hearted. The Christian should serve heartily and faithfully in the Church.
**We need to be a rejoicing people. We have much to be joyful about even though life is difficult. A happy people will attract others to the faith.
**We strive to persevere through all things. True Christians stay the course and keep the faith. We may stumble, but, we do not abandon the Truth.
**We are devoted to prayer. We may struggle with prayer, nonetheless, we pray. We pray believing that God hears and God knows that is best for us.
I pray God’s richest blessings upon us all as we seek to obey these truths each day.
The Pastor's Page (8-15-17)
We are living in troubled times. The divisions in our nation are stark and bleak. Radical ideology seams to find its way into the open at every opportunity. These are difficult times indeed.
The Bible is clear that these things will be with us in this world. How are we to respond? We should respond by continuing to live out the principles of God’s Word not matter what happens in the world.
Genesis 1 and 2 tell us that God created us in His image. There is some dispute about what that means in a world that is dominated by sin. Nevertheless, this Scripture instructs us that all human begins are created by God and therefore have inherent value to Him. In that sense, we are all equal. On the basis of that fact, let me make the following personal convictions:
**As a Believer in Christ and Minister of the Gospel, I denounce racism in every form and fashion. It is antithetical to biblical instruction and the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
**I denounce every form of bigotry and white supremacy wherever it is found. It is sinful, wrong, and evil. All are created in God’s image and are worthy of respect and common decency.
**I hurt for, and with, my brothers and sisters of other races who have endured abuse, scorn, injury, and ridicule as the result of racism, bigotry, white supremacy and the like. I am especially grieved that some of these actions have taken place in the church.
**I will continue to preach that God’s love sent His to the cross to die for the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:2) and “that whoever will call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:13)
**I commit to take every opportunity to build bridges and not walls. I commit to take every action within my power to stamp out the scourge of racism and bigotry at every turn.
Please hear my heart. This is not a political statement—it is a Gospel statement. As Believers, we all should denounce racism as wrong and sinful no matter where you fall on the political spectrum.
The hope we have is the gospel. Our responsibility is to preach, teach, and share the good news that God saves, changes lives, changes hearts, and changes attitudes. May God bless us as we contend for faith until He comes again.
And they sang a new song, saying, "Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation.
The Pastor's Page (8-8-17)
The word repent appears over 65 times in Holy Scripture. Repentance is a biblical concept that is imbedded deeply in the pages of the Bible. Today, let us take a brief survey of the New Testament teaching on this subject.
First, let’s define the term. Repentance means “to change the mind.”1When the word appears, especially in the New Testament, this meaning is applied and understood from the text. We change our direction, our thoughts, and our beliefs when we repent. Once we were faithless. Now we accept the truth and believe the truth by faith. It is a total reordering of the life and mind.
Repentance is required for salvation. Jesus told His followers that “unless you repent, you will all perish.” (Luke 13:3) Salvation demands that we abandon our old way of life and our sin and place our complete trust in Christ. While we may state this concept differently depending on the context, the message is clear. There is no eternal life without repentance.
We will continue to struggle with sin as long as we are on this planet. Repentance that leads to salvation does not lead to automatic sinlessness in this life. However, the truly repentant Believer will not continue in sin and will seek cleansing from the God. (1 John 1) The Christian cannot be happy in sin as their desires have been changed and reoriented towards the thing of God.
Repentance redirects the way we live and treat others. A repentant person will seek to act righteously and think Godly thoughts. Simply put, if there is no change in thought or behavior, there is no repentance and no salvation.
What about you? Have you turned from your sin? Have you repented and trusted Christ for the forgiveness of your sin? Turn away from your sin and self and trust in Christ today!
Brand, et al., Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Holman Bible Publishers, Nashville, 2003: 1375
The Pastor's Page (8-1-17)
False teaching is prevalent in our society. We shouldn’t be surprised as false doctrine has always been front and center since the time of Christ. How are we to respond to this as Christians? Let us ruminate on three thoughts about false teaching today. Let us think on these three sayings that fall from the lips of our Savior.
*Jesus predicted that this would happen. Throughout His ministry Jesus warned His followers often that there would be false teaching and false messiahs. Knowing this fact should help us to be wary and test everything we hear.
"For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect." Matthew 24:24
*We need to be prepared to deal with false teaching as Believers. We will not be able to hide from false doctrine forever. Eventually, we must confront it in love and shine for the truth.
"Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.
*We must know the truth of Scripture. The only way to be able to identify the false is to know the truth. When we know the truth, we can then call out the counterfeit gospels that are so rampant in our society.
So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, "If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.
May God bless you all as you pursue the truth that will last for all eternity!
The Pastor's Page (7-25-17)
Let’s examine a few thoughts about thankfulness today…..
**Be thankful to the Lord
Sing praise to the LORD, you His godly ones, And give thanks to His holy name.
**Give thanks to God for His goodness
Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good, For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
**God’s people are commanded to be thankful
In everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:18
**Heaven is filled with thankfulness to the Lord
And when the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, to Him who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders will fall down before Him who sits on the throne, and will worship Him who lives forever and ever, and will cast their crowns before the throne, saying, "Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed , and were created." Revelation 4:9-11
Christians should seek to grow in thanksgiving every day. I am making the commitment to become more thankful at every opportunity. Will you join me?
The Pastor's Page (7-18-17)
The word humble appears over 80 times in Scripture. Let’s examine what the Bible has to say about humility. For the sake of our purposes, I will limit this discussion to three New Testament occurrences. What does the Bible teach about this subject?
*We must humble ourselves. As Believers, we are called to rightly evaluate ourselves and be subservient under the purview of God. Christians are instructed to realize their dependence on Christ alone. We humble ourselves by growing in dependence on Him and not ourselves.
Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you. James 4:10
*God humbles us as well. While we are called to submit ourselves to God, we are also taught that God does humble us from time to time. He does so through circumstances that come upon us that are out of our control. God humbles us and helps us realize that we do not control much in our lives. This humbling is not always pleasant, but, it is always necessary.
"For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted." Luke 14:11
*Jesus is the ultimate example of humility. He is our example and what He revealed to us through the cross is what we should aim for each day. We are never more like Jesus than when we humble ourselves.
Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Philippians 2:8
Humility is not valued by our world today. It is always valued in the kingdom of God. Be humble and realize your dependence upon God. It will make a huge difference in your life with Christ!
The Pastor's Page (7-11-17)
God’s faithfulness to His people is a constant theme of Scripture. His faithfulness is demonstrated to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. God’s faithfulness is revealed in His dealings with the nation of Israel. He was faithful to the kings, the priests, and the prophets. Even when His people were not faithful, God always was.
The theme of God’s faithfulness continues into the New Testament. We are told that God is still faithful to Christians today as we peruse the pages of Scripture. Let us examine three ways that God is faithful to Believers in our day.
**God is faithful to forgive us and reconcile us through the work of Christ upon the cross.
God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
1 Corinthians 1:9
**God is faithful to help us fight temptation and overcome it.
No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it. 1 Corinthians 10:13
**God is faithful to forgive us and cleanse when we confess our sins to Him.
If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us. 1 John 1:8-10
God is faithful to us. May we live in this reality day by day. And may we give thanks for His faithfulness and declare to all generations!
The Pastor's Page (6-27-17)
Jesus and Me
I am unworthy—Jesus is worthy
I am a sinner—Jesus is perfect
I am limited—Jesus is unlimited
I was lost—Jesus found me
I am insufficient—Jesus is all sufficient
I am unlovable—Jesus loves me still
I go could go on and on. The contrast is stark. Let me simply say that Jesus Christ is worthy of all glory, honor, praise, and worship. He is worthy because of who He is and what He has done! Hallelujah, what a Savior.
Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders; and the number of them was myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing." And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying, "To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever."
The Pastor's Page (6-20-17)
God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
1 Corinthians 1:9
God is faithful. Even when we are not faithful to Him He is always faithful to us. He is faithful in so many ways.
**God is faithful to provide for us.
And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
**God is faithful to be with us.
"I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.”
**He is faithful to give us eternal life.
"My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand."My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. "I and the Father are one."
God is indeed faithful. He never leaves us, He provides for us, and we will be with Him forever. If God is faithful, what else do we need?
Blessings be upon you all!
The Pastor's Page (6-13-17)
But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, "Abba! Father!" Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God. Galatians 4:4-7
Paul teaches the wonder of adoption in this passage. As Believers, we have been “adopted” into His family. He is our Heavenly Father and we are His adopted sons and daughters.
A few thoughts about adoption are in order today. First, adoption proceeds from redemption. Human beings are born into the slavery of sin. Sin rules us, controls us, and dominates us. We may be able to keep it at bay for a time, but, we can never conquer sin in our strength.
Christ redeems us from the curse of sin by taking the curse upon Himself. He paid the price for us so that we could be free and receive this adoption. Having been forgiven and restored to God through Christ Jesus, we are now a part of His family forever. Nothing can separate us from our Heavenly Father. Nothing.
Jesus is the cause of adoption. We would be an eternally lost cause without Christ. We have eternal life and the rights of son-ship because of the Savior. What a mighty God we serve!
Ultimately, we are free through this adoption that God grants to us. We are no longer a slave to sin, self, the world, or the devil. Instead, we have been set free to love God, love others, and serve Him all of our days.
Christians have been adopted into God’s eternal family. We are set free from the past and able to serve Him for the rest of our lives. And it’s all because of Jesus.
You are blessed today!
The Pastor's Page (6-6-17)
Serving Jesus should be a burning desire within the life of a Christian. We are called, commissioned, and sent to serve Christ through serving others. This post will deal with concrete reasons we can and should serve Jesus every day. Why should we serve?
*He loves us. Christ loves us, therefore, we ought to serve Him. His love was manifested to us when were at our worst. Shouldn’t we be willing to give Him our best?
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation. Romans 5:8-11
*We should also minister to others because it is worth the cost. Service is never easy. We would much rather be served than serve our fellow humans. In the end, attending to the needs of others will cost us. However, it also gives us blessing, strength, and joy knowing that when we love others we are following in Christ’s footsteps. Serving Jesus is always worth the effort.
For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6
*Finally, let us serve out of our growing love for Christ. Giving ourselves to others is an expression of our love for God. Let us serve Him because we love Him.
Bless the Lord, all you His hosts, You who serve Him, doing His will. Psalm 103:21
And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also.
1 John 4:21
Dear Believer, commit to serving Jesus this week. After all, it’s the least that we can do!
The Pastor's Page (5-30-17)
“And lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20)
These words comprise a portion of Jesus' final instructions and serve as words of encouragement for His followers. As His time on earth was ending, He reminded His followers, all of His followers, of His abiding presence to the very end.
God’s presence is more than a feeling. It is a promise found throughout Scripture. Admittedly, most believers endure times in their lives where they do not “feel” the presence of God strongly. We should not be surprised by this as others in Scripture (David, Elijah, etc.) voiced the same feelings. Even Jesus cried out, in Matthew 27:46, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” as He suffered on the cross. God’s presence is more than a feeling.
He is with us not matter the situation. He is with us no matter the triumph. And, He is with us no matter the failure, hurt, or pain we may experience. Remember His presence throughout your day. He is always with us!
The Pastor's Page (5-23-17)
Fearing that we might run aground somewhere on the rocks, they cast four anchors from the stern and wished for daybreak. Acts 27:29
This Scripture (Acts 27) contains the account of Paul’s shipwreck at the end of the book of Acts. Paul had warned the captain that travel was unsafe earlier in the trip. Nonetheless, the captain insisted on further sailing despite the treacherous conditions. Eventually, the storm overcame the ship and they were forced to abandon the vessel and swim for shore. Everyone made it to safety and the shipwreck resulted in no loss of life. You can read the entire account chapter 27 for further details.
What has always struck me about this scripture are the concluding words of verse number 29. Luke wrote they “wished for daybreak.” Other translations recount the words as they “prayed for daylight.” These words describe quite well the situations we sometimes face. We may not experience a literal shipwreck. However, this phrase perfectly illustrates how we feel when life is difficult. We simply long for the light when life is at its darkest point.
Many of you can relate to this language. You have wondered if the darkness will ever lift and if the metaphorical sun will ever be visible again. You feel as if your life is sinking and there is no hope. What is a Believer to do?
It sounds trite, but, KEEP BELIEVING. There is no magic formula to overcoming trials in life. There will be seasons when you simply must hold on and keep going. In those difficult hours, keep praying, keep asking, and keep the faith. Keep on traveling even when you don’t feel like it. Go forward even when it looks as if there is no hope. Forge ahead knowing that tears and trials do not last forever.
I know that “keep believing” is simplistic counsel when one is facing the complicated, gargantuan difficulties that this life offers. There will be seasons when this attitude is the only thing that will carry you through. Make a decision and make a choice to keep going and not surrender to fear, doubt, and bitterness. When you escape the darkness you will be glad you did not give up.
Stay in the fight, dear Christians. Better days are on the way. Jesus is coming again! Be encouraged even in your darkest hour. I’m praying for you.
The Pastor's Page (5-16-17)
Today, let’s talk about the three Ls of Christian growth. We find these principles scattered throughout the Bible. Let us peruse them for a few moments.
What is the first L? It is listen. To grow in Christ one must learn to listen. We must listen to God’s Word, listen for the promptings of the Spirit, and listen as God speaks through others. We love to talk, but, we would do much better if would learned to listen.
Psalm 34:1 Come, you children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD.
Proverbs 12:15 The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, But a wise man is he who listens to counsel.
The second L is learn. Spiritual maturity requires us to learn more about Christ through the Scriptures. We are to be learning everyday of our lives. The growth we experience may arrive slowly. However, it will be steady if we are continually learning through the Bible, through the Church, and through the leadership of the Holy Spirit.
2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
The final L is love. To grow in Christ we must grow in love. There more we understand what Christ has done and who He is, the more we increase in love for Him. Jesus loved us more than we can ever understand (Romans 5:8-11). Therefore, we should be continually flourishing in love day by day.
Matthew 22:37-40 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
Let us all make commitments this week to grow in the three Ls. May we master the art of listening. Let us seek to gain a greater grasp of the Word of God. And, may the end result be a thriving love for God and for others.
The Pastor's Page (5-9-17)
Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow. James 1:17
Every good gift, every perfect gift is from the Father. We are thankful for all that God does for us. Let us recollect a few of these wonderful gifts.
The gift of eternal life…………………..
"As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”
The gift of health…………………..
The LORD will give strength to His people; The LORD will bless His people with peace.
The gift of His presence……………….
"I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you."
The gift of His power………………….
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth."
May God richly bless you today!
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28
We are going to think about a wonderful verse today. Romans 8:28 speaks to us in the good times and bad. We rely upon this assurance and through it we are reminded that God is always moving and working. Let us take a moment and dissect this verse in this post.
“And we know” It is a certain promise. We don’t have to guess and wonder about this promise. It is certain and sure.
“that God causes” It is a caused promise. God uses and works all things in our life to our ultimate good. The verse doesn’t say that God is the cause of evil or sin for we know He is not the author of such things. This scripture reminds us that God is able to turn evil for ultimate good.
“all things” It is a complete promise. God uses everything in our life to shape us, mold us, and conform us to the image of Christ. (Romans 8:29) God uses the good, the bad, the sweet, and the sorrowful to advance His cause in our life.
“to work together for good to those who love God” It is a conditional promise. Romans 8:28 is a guarantee for believers. It is not a general pledge to all mankind. It is ONLY for those who love God and those who are called to His purpose.
“to those who are called according to His purpose” It is a consecrating promise. God is using all things to make us holy and sanctified. He calls us to be His witness (Acts 1:8) and His workmanship (Ephesians 2:10) so that we may fulfill His purposes.
Accomplishing God’s purpose for our lives brings true joy and peace. It is what we truly desire as Christians. As a result of this promise, let us commit to trust Christ, serve Him, and rely upon Him each and every day!
The Pastor's Page (4-25-17)
Purity is not optional in the life of a Believer. We are commanded to be holy, pure, and upright in this life. We are to live in ways that honor and please God.
We understand that we cannot be perfect. We will sin and make mistakes on a day to day basis. BUT, our imperfection should cause us to pursue purity all the more. And our imperfections should never be used as an excuse for our sin.
Why are we to pure and holy in our lives? Consider these precepts…………….
For I am the Lord, who brought you up from the land of Egypt to be your God, so you must be holy because I am holy. Leviticus 11:45
Flee from sexual immorality! “Every sin a person can commit is outside the body, ”but the person who is sexually immoral sins against his own body. Do you not know that your body is a sanctuary of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body. 1 Corinthians 6:18-20
Husbands, love your wives, just as also Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her, to make her holy, cleansing her in the washing of water by the word. He did this to present the church to Himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but holy and blameless. Ephesians 5:25-27
But, as the One who called you is holy, you also are to be holy in all your conduct.
1 Peter 1:15
As Christians, we should strive for holiness in everyday living. We do not strive in order to gain our salvation but we strive so that we may please God and reveal our salvation to others. (Ephesians 2:8-10) Let us commit to live holy lives in the midst of an unholy culture.
The Pastor's Page (4-18-17)
“He has risen!” (Luke 24:6) That simple, powerful phrase changed the course of history and eternity at once. Jesus death, burial, and resurrection had been predicted throughout His ministry. And now it was fulfilled just as He had said. He was no longer dead, but alive forevermore.
The resurrection is the heart of the Christian faith. Without it, Paul tells us our “faith is vain and we are yet (still) in our sins.” (1st Corinthians 15:17) The resurrection, though an audacious claim, proved the veracity and truthfulness of the Messiah. It serves as verifiable evidence that everything He said was truth and that He is indeed the very Son of God.
What a difference the resurrection of Christ makes in our lives. Without it, we are lost and hopeless. Through the finished work of Christ, we are brought near to God through the wonder of reconciliation. (2nd Corinthians 5:18-19) The resurrection gives us “the hope that our sins are paid for (Romans 4:25), death has been defeated (Hebrews 2:14), and the hope of eternal life when we repent and turn to Christ, accepting what He has done for us.”
How should we as believers respond to this hope? I would imagine that there would be many responses, but praise and sharing are two that come to mind. Our worship and praise should be centered on all that Christ has accomplished for us and in us through His completed work of sacrifice and resurrection.
Given that we have received so much, how can we not share it? Those early disciples centered their witness on Christ’s death and resurrection. We should do no less today.
He has risen indeed!
This post was first published in 2014 and has been offered annually on the Tuesday after Easter since that first publication.
The Pastor's Page (4-11-17)
And when they came to a place called Golgotha, which means Place of a Skull, they gave Him wine to drink mixed with gall; and after tasting it, He was unwilling to drink. And when they had crucified Him, they divided up His garments among themselves by casting lots. And sitting down, they began to keep watch over Him there. And above His head they put up the charge against Him which read, "THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS." At that time two robbers were crucified with Him, one on the right and one on the left. And those passing by were hurling abuse at Him, wagging their heads and saying, "You who are going to destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save Yourself! If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross." In the same way the chief priests also, along with the scribes and elders, were mocking Him and saying, "He saved others; He cannot save Himself. He is the King of Israel; let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe in Him.” "He trusts in God; let God rescue Him now, if He delights in Him; for He said, 'I am the Son of God.' The robbers who had been crucified with Him were also insulting Him with the same words. Now from the sixth hour darkness fell upon all the land until the ninth hour. About the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, "Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?" that is, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken me?" And some of those who were standing there, when they heard it, began saying, "This man is calling for Elijah." Immediately one of them ran, and taking a sponge, he filled it with sour wine and put it on a reed, and gave Him a drink. But the rest of them said, "Let us see whether Elijah will come to save Him." And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. And behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth shook and the rocks were split. The tombs were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; and coming out of the tombs after His resurrection they entered the holy city and appeared to many. Now the centurion, and those who were with him keeping guard over Jesus, when they saw the earthquake and the things that were happening, became very frightened and said, "Truly this was the Son of God!"
Oh, the agony! Christ suffered, He writhed in pain, and He died for us.
Oh, the shame! The Son of God was made a public spectacle. He was crucified as common criminal. He died as the “just for unjust.”
Oh, the love! Greater love has never been shown. He died for us when we were sinners (Romans 5:8) and when we were completely unworthy. No greater love could there ever be.
Dear Believer, remember the cross. Remember the cost. Remember the price that was paid. Christ gave Himself for you and for me. Remember just how much He truly loves you.
The Pastor's Page (4-4-17)
Have you ever considered what took place at the cross of Christ? I know we understand the horror, but, do we understand what took place from a theological perspective? Allow to mention three things that took place at the cross.
**Jesus took upon Himself our sin.
And He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed. 1 Peter 2:24
**Our forgiveness was secured.
When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.
**Reconciliation with God became possible.
For it was the Father's good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven Colossians 1:19-20
As we focus upon the cross this year, may we never forget what took place from a spiritual context. Our forgiveness was secured, our salvation was purchased, and our sin was atoned for at the cross.
At the cross, at the cross,
Where I first saw the light,
And the burden of my heart rolled away,
It was there by faith I received my sight,
And now I am happy all the day!
“At The Cross”
Isaac Watts and Ralph Hudson
The Pastor's Page (3-28-17)
The God of the Bible is the God of all comfort. God, as He is revealed in Holy Scripture, brings comfort to His people in various ways. He is good, holy, righteous, and loving.
(2 Corinthians 1:3)
Let us give thanks today for the Savior who comforts us and let us rejoice in His greatness!
It Is Well With My Soul
When peace like a river attendeth my way.
When sorrows like sea billows roll.
Whatever my lot thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul.
Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blessed assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul!
It is well with my soul,
It is well, It is well with my soul.
The Pastor's Page (3-21-17)
God is immutable. He does not change in His essential nature and attributes. He is the same day by day!
Immutability does not mean that God does the same thing the same way in every situation. He does change His approach and working in our lives from time to time. But, in God’s essential being and in His essence, God is always the same.
We change and our world changes around us. God, however, is always the same and so shall He ever be. Consider these Scriptures……………….
God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent; Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?
The LORD of hosts has sworn saying, "Surely, just as I have intended so it has happened, and just as I have planned so it will stand.
"For I , the Lord, do not change; therefore you, O sons of Jacob, are not consumed.
For as many as are the promises of God, in Him they are yes; therefore also through Him is our Amen to the glory of God through us.
2 Corinthians 1:20
They will perish, but You remain; And they all will become old like a garment, And like a mantle You will roll them up; Like a garment they will also be changed. But You are the same, And Your years will not come to an end."
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
May God bless you!
The Pastor's Page (3-14-17)
What then is Apollos? And what is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, even as the Lord gave opportunity to each one. I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth. Now he who plants and he who waters are one; but each will receive his own reward according to his own labor. For we are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, God's building. 1 Corinthians 3:5-9
Let’s think about three things these verses reveal to us.
**We must plant for the harvest. As believers, we are called to spread the gospel seed far and wide. This happens in many different ways including preaching, teaching, witnessing, sharing our testimony and ministry through the church.
Not everyone is called to the specific preaching or teaching office. However, all Christians should be sharing their faith and inviting people to Jesus in their daily lives. The Great Commission to go and make disciples is given to all. (Matthew 28:19-20)
**We must prepare for the harvest. Apollos watered the seed after Paul planted it. We must prepare to receive the overflow in our churches and in our lives as we sow the good news into the lives of others. Preparation is needed when one “waters the seed” as being unprepared for the harvest is shameful and wasteful. Telling others that Christ died and rose again and that there is hope for reconciliation with God through the forgiveness of sin will result in salvation for others. Not everyone will receive the message, but, some will. Are we prepared to enjoy and accommodate the harvest?
**We must pray for the harvest. Our task is to plant and prepare for harvest. However, God must bring the harvest. God must cause it to grow and mature. We ought to pray that God will bring the harvest and that He will send laborers into the field. (John 4:35 & Matthew 9:28)
May God richly bless you!
The Pastor's Page (3-7-17)
And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ. Ephesians 4:11-13
Pastors have a multifaceted calling. We are called upon to perform many tasks during the course of a week. Today, I would like to concentrate on one aspect of the pastoral task from Paul’s letter to the Ephesian church.
Mind you, what we will discuss in this article is not the only requirement of the pastorate. Many other duties are performed by those who lead in the church. But, what we will peruse in this post is the most central task of the pastor. What is that activity? The task of which we will speak is preparing the membership to minister to one another.
Paul speaks of this responsibility as a primary aspect of the pastoral calling. The “equipping of the saints”, as communicated in verse twelve, is central to work week of the minister. Pastors should teach and preach to prepare the Christian for ministry and to serve the body of Christ.
While the pastor should be involved in ministry and service to the membership, he should not be expected to do all of the ministry within the church. He is to raise up others and equip them through preaching, teaching, personal example, and training to do the work of the ministry as well.
Too often the pastor is expected to “do it all” as the church’s hired hand. This should not be! Ministers should train the membership and then release them to serve one another. The result of this service is spiritual growth, an increased knowledge of God, and Christian maturity.
As a believer, you have a calling to serve in the Church, the Body of Christ. Do not neglect that calling. Attend church, learn, and be equipped and encouraged to serve within the membership. From myself and pastors everywhere, let me make this closing statement. “We need you and we can’t do it without you. Help us!”