Monday, February 27, 2017

Pastor's Ponderings, February 27, 2017

Do You Want What Jesus Has For You?

What do you really want in life?  Do you really want employment, a great relationship, to be healthy, or to be wealthy? Many of us say that we would like to have these societally acceptable goals, but have no intention of really trying to get them.  We would like to practice medicine, but we are not interested in learning chemistry.  We want to be a great financier, but have no interest in mathematics.  It is difficult to be an NBA star without practicing basketball drills. Some of us are dreamers and fantasizers who have great goals, but make no attempt to do anything to improve our situation.

In the Bible, Jesus was visiting a pool where the sick lay waiting for an angel to annually come down and stir the water.  The first person that got into the pool would be healed. He noticed a sick person who had waited for almost forty years to be healthy. One might think that if you were sick for all of those years, it would seem to be obvious that you wanted to get well. When Jesus asked if he wanted to get well, instead of answering with a resounding “Yes”, the man began to explain why he had not been healed for all of those years (John 5:6-8).

Contrast this with a blind man who called to Jesus as soon as he heard that He was passing by.  In spite of those around him that wanted him to be quiet, he begged Jesus for mercy. When Jesus asked what he wanted, he answered without hesitation that he wanted to see (Mark 10:51).

Jesus healed both men, but God wants us to know that His ears are open to our requests that are in His will (1 John 5:14-15).  His will is that we are blessed (Deuteronomy 28:1-2).  He wants us healed, and He wants us to reach our goals in life (3 John 2), but God tells us that we must not doubt Him because if we do we cannot receive anything from Him (James 1:6-7). 

Let us go proactively to God and ask Him for wisdom on how to receive what we really want in our lives.  Now is not the time to be lazy or to procrastinate.  God likes diligently working people whom He says will be abundantly supplied (Proverbs 13:4). Do you want what Jesus has for you? Our answer is, “Yes, and thank you, Jesus.”

John 5:6-8
New International Version (NIV)
When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”
“Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”
8 Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.

Mark 10:51
New International Version (NIV)
51 “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him.
The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.”

1 John 5:14-15
New International Version (NIV)
14 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.
15 And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him

Deuteronomy 28:1-2
New International Version (NIV)
If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations on earth.
All these blessings will come on you and accompany you if you obey the Lord your God:

3 John 2
New International Version (NIV)
Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well

James 1:6-7
New International Version (NIV)
But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.
That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.

Proverbs 13:4
Amplified Bible (AMP)
The soul (appetite) of the lazy person craves and gets nothing [for lethargy overcomes ambition],
But the soul (appetite) of the diligent [who works willingly] is rich and abundantly supplied.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Pastor's Pondering, February 20, 2017

God Has Made You Kings and Priests

In the 1994 movie, the Lion King, Simba sings, “I'm gonna be a mighty king, so enemies beware...I'm gonna be the mane event like no king was before. I'm brushing up on looking down, I'm working on my ROAR…Oh, I just can't wait to be king!”  We must admit that we love royalty.  We are fascinated with the adventures of kings and queens.  Many of us are transfixed with stories of nobility such as Downton Abbey and the Russian aristocracy from Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace.  Like many of us, the world was greatly saddened when Princess Diana died.

While we are interested in worldly rulers, the Bible says that God has made those who love Him to be kings and priests (Revelation 1:6).  God calls us to be a royal priesthood (1 Peter 2:9). We do not have to look up and wonder at the world rulers because God declares that we are on top and not the bottom (Deuteronomy 28:13).  This is not to say that we will never go through challenges in life but it is God’s will that we overcome challenges.  Those who love God are His children who can call Him “Father” (Romans 8:15-16). We are heirs of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords (Romans 8:17).

In addition, we have been given much more authority that those titled people in the world system.  God gives us the keys of His kingdom so that whatever we bind on earth will be bound in heaven (Matthew 16:19).  Not only do we get the keys to the kingdom, but we also get His kingdom (Luke 12:32). He has given us His authority to cast out devils, and to lay hands on the sick so that they can become well (Mark 16:17-18).  The power that God gives those who love Him is greater than any king, queen, or any ruler of the earth.

While we may enjoy stories of royal nobility, let us remember that we have been chosen to be royalty for real. We have been given the right to call God our Father. We who love God can rejoice in life in spite of any temporary challenges because we have direct intimate relationship with the Almighty God Himself.

Revelation 1:6
King James Version (KJV)
And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

1 Peter 2:9
New International Version (NIV)
9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

Deuteronomy 28:13
New International Version (NIV)
13 The Lord will make you the head, not the tail. If you pay attention to the commands of the Lord your God that I give you this day and carefully follow them, you will always be at the top, never at the bottom.

Romans 8:15-16
New International Version (NIV)
15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”
16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.

Romans 8:17
New International Version (NIV)
17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

Matthew 16:19
New International Version (NIV)
19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.

Luke 12:32
New International Version (NIV)
32 “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.

Mark 16:17-18
New International Version (NIV)
17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues;
18  they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”

Monday, February 13, 2017

Pastor's Pondering, February 13, 2017

What Do You Need?

Throughout history, man has endlessly searched for easy solutions to life’s problems.  They have sought for the Philosopher’s stone, a get rich scheme to locate a substance for turning base metals into precious metals such as gold or silver. They have looked for the Fountain of Youth to reverse the aging process and cure sickness.  Also, they have dreamed about discovering Aladdin’s lamp and its’ powerful genie that could grant wishes.  While these fantasies may be pleasant ways of wiling away our hours, the Bible shares a much better way. 

The book of Psalms states that when we walk upright and blameless before God, He will withhold no good thing from us (Psalm 84:11).  You will not need a magic lamp.  If you delight in Him, He will give you your heart’s desires (Psalm 37:4).  Who needs a Fountain of Youth when God says, in addition to covering you with His love and compassion, He would renew your youth like an eagle (Psalm 103:4-5).  This is not to imply that we would never lack anything in our lives. However, our Saviour promised that He would supply all of our needs according to His eternal unlimited supply (Philippians 4:19). Our God wants to give us real riches such as healing, peace, joy and love. 

He sums it up by saying that He wants to give us His kingdom when we love Him and keep His commandments (Luke 12:31-32).  Let us seek God with all of our hearts and He will be certain to bless us with all that we need. We may never see the Fountain of Youth, touch the Philosopher’s stone or rub Aladdin’s magic lamp, but our God will give us everything that we need.

Psalm 84:11
New International Version (NIV)
11 For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless.

Psalm 37:4
New International Version (NIV)
Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Psalm 103:4-5
New International Version (NIV)
4 who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion,
5 who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

Philippians 4:19
New International Version (NIV)
19 And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.

Luke 12:31-32
New International Version (NIV)
31 But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.
32 “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Pastor's Ponderings, February 6, 2017

Are You Confused About Your Future? God Is In Control

“He who deliberates fully before taking a step will spend his entire life on one leg.” ~Chinese Proverb.  This old proverb is very important in today’s uncertain environment.  There are really more questions than answers and more problems than solutions.  What is so disturbing is that the experts are very sure they are correct and any disagreement with their facts is shunted aside as ignorant and uninformed.  So what does one do when there are so many forks in the road?

Thank God we do not have to spend our lives betwixt and between.  We do not have to waver back and forth between endless possibilities.  Since we are His children, we can pray to Him directly and ask for His divine direction (Psalm 100:3-4).  We do not have be anxious about our past life choices or our future directions since He commands us to not to worry about anything (Philippians 4:6).  In the meantime, we can just thank and praise Him because He has it all under control.

God will deliver those who love Him from their enemies because He alone holds our future.  We do not have to stand on one leg but can walk boldly and confidently knowing He is a lamp for our feet and a light for our path (Psalm 119:105). Let's all decide to face this week without worry because God is in control.

Psalm 100:3-4

New International Version (NIV)
Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.

Philippians 4:6
New International Version (NIV)
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

Psalm 119:105
New International Version (NIV)
105 Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path