Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Pastor's Ponderings, May 26, 2014

Blessed Are They That Mourn

A college student commits suicide following cyber bullying. A lone gunman opened fire on streets full of students. Phoenix Coldon, a junior at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, has been missing since Dec. 18, 2011 and her parents have spent countless hours and their entire life savings on the search for their daughter. A relative of our former church member recently committed suicide.

When one observe the media, it is very easy to find horror stories that stop you in your tracks.  It seems that all over the world, people are committing heinous unspeakable acts. What is the responsibility of those that love God to those who are mourning losses?

Our responsibility is to intercede in pray for those who have lost loved ones and to express words of comfort (Proverbs 25:11, 1 Peter 3:12, Matthew 5:4).  We have to assure them that God is a present and He will help comfort them in the midst of their pain (Psalm 46:1).  We must not be like the friends of Job who tried to blame him for his misfortune (Job 1-31).  Instead, we should speak helpful words to each other (1 Corinthians 14:3) and pray for each other.

As we close another Memorial Day weekend, please remember to pray not only for the families of fallen soldiers but also for those who are mourning for their lost ones and offer words of comfort to those in need.

Please comment below.

Proverbs 25:11
11 A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.

1 Peter 3:12
New International Version (NIV)
12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous
and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.

Matthew 5:4
New International Version (NIV)
4 Blessed are those who mourn
for they will be comforted.

Psalm 46:1
46 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

1 Corinthians 14:3
New International Version (NIV)
But the one who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, encouraging and comfort.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Pastor's Ponderings, May 19, 2014

Spring Cleaning Time!

There is always something refreshing about spring-cleaning. We rake our lawns, clean out our basement, remove cobwebs and empty our garages. We also discover things that we have misplaced during the winter and discard items that are no longer important to us.

This is also a good time for evaluating our relationship with God and other people.  This is a time to look into the word of God so that we can be more like Him (2 Corinthians 3:18).  We do not want to be like people who see junk, soiled items, and non-working things in their lives and do nothing about them (James 1:22-24).

While you are busy spring-cleaning your natural homes, please do not forget your spiritual homes.  God is coming back for a church without a spot or wrinkle (Ephesians 5:27).  It is time to evaluate whether we have wrong relationships, things in our lives we have swept under the rug and refused to discard, or indulgences we know we should give up.

The change in season prompts us to clean house in our lives and put on those things that please God (Romans 13:12).  The book of Ephesians says that we should put on the new self by adding such characteristics as kindness, compassion, and forgiveness (Ephesians 4:24, 32).

Let us start this season without the weights of our past and with a determination that our relationship with God is of utmost importance!

Please comment below with any spring-cleaning tips.

2 Corinthians 3:18
New International Version (NIV)
18 And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

James 1:22-24
New International Version (NIV)
22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.
23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror
24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.

Ephesians 5:27
New International Version (NIV)
27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.

Romans 13:12
New International Version (NIV)
12 The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.

Ephesians 4:24, 32
New International Version (NIV)
24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Pastor's Ponderings, May 12, 2014

God’s “Help Wanted” Sign

There are mixed feelings about the newly released unemployment rate in this country. Are we really better off or have people stopped looking for jobs? Are we so discouraged by the financial state of our nation that it is not worth it anymore to keep trying? Although, political commentaries argue about these concepts, the heavenly job market has not faltered.  God's kingdom is open for business and He is looking for a few good workers to carry out His mission (Luke 10:2).

The heavenly job market started with Adam in the Garden of Eden. He was given a job to do, but he was distracted and when God came looking for him, he was hiding (Genesis 3:8).

In the book of Ezekiel, God was lamenting the fact that His priests were not doing their job. They were hurting His people and then lying about His own words.  The people were unkind to each other and He looked for someone who would pray to Him for the people. However, He found no one to prevent destruction upon the land (Ezekiel 22:26-31).

Thank God for Isaiah who saw a vision of God, a voice cried, … “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!” (Isaiah 6:8).

Today God is still looking for people to pray, to intercede for our nation and our world, to serve the poor, pray for the sick, to lay hands on the sick, and spread the gospel.  He is still looking for someone that He can depend upon to do His will in spite of challenges, ridicule, loneliness, or personal sacrifices. He is still employing workers for His harvest and the benefits are fantastic (Psalm 68:19, 103:2-5)!

Will you answer God’s "Help Wanted " sign today?

Please comment below and share how you decided to work for God.  You may help someone who is hearing God’s voice to work for Him.

Luke 10:2
New International Version (NIV)
He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.

Ezekiel 22:26-31
New International Version (NIV)
26 Her priests do violence to my law and profane my holy things; they do not distinguish between the holy and the common; they teach that there is no difference between the unclean and the clean; and they shut their eyes to the keeping of my Sabbaths, so that I am profaned among them.
27 Her officials within her are like wolves tearing their prey; they shed blood and kill people to make unjust gain.
28 Her prophets whitewash these deeds for them by false visions and lying divinations. They say, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says’—when the Lord has not spoken.
29 The people of the land practice extortion and commit robbery; they oppress the poor and needy and mistreat the foreigner, denying them justice.
30 “I looked for someone among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found no one.
31 So I will pour out my wrath on them and consume them with my fiery anger, bringing down on their own heads all they have done, declares the Sovereign Lord.

Psalm 68:19 
19 Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah.