Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Pastor's Ponderings, July 14, 2020

God Has Everything Under Control
What happens when everything is turned upside down and nothing is like it used to be?  On January 1, 2020, the world was celebrating the New Year, high school seniors were eagerly anticipating their graduation and post-graduation plans, people were planning their spring weddings when slowly the COVID-19 pandemic upended everyone’s plans.  The amount of deaths worldwide is rising, the cases of the virus are spiraling out of control and the economy has become unpredictable. Nothing is like it used to be.

Yet there is Someone who never will change. Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday and forever (Hebrews 13:8).  He is majestic in power, glory and authority (Jude 25) and holds all of creation (Colossians 1:17).  He is ruler of the universe; nothing is exempted. He is the great I AM and can do anything (Luke 1:37).  When His word goes forth it will accomplish anything that He pleases (Isaiah 55:11).

Those who have made the Lord Jesus Christ their Savior should have nothing to fear from the cataclysmic events that are occurring and that will occur.  Although some may enter His presence before we see the solution upon earth, we will have the joy of eternal life with Him. God is totally in charge and declares that everything that is happening is working together for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28).

The Bible assures us that we should not let our hearts be troubled (John 14:27).  God wants us to call upon Him when we are facing these challenges (Psalm 50:15).  Therefore, let us focus on the unchanging God in a changing world knowing that He will always work things out for us.  

Hebrews 13:8
New International Version (NIV)
8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

Jude 25
New International Version (NIV)
25 to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.

Colossians 1:17
New International Version
17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

Luke 1:37
New International Version (NIV)
37 For no word from God will ever fail.”

Isaiah 55:11
New International Version (NIV)
11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent

Romans 8:28
New International Version (NIV)
28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

John 14:27
New International Version (NIV)
27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

Psalm 50:15
New International Version
15 and call on me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me."




Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Pastor's Ponderings, July 7, 2020

The Abundant Life Is In Christ
Not everything is as it seems to be. "To Serve Man" is episode 89 of the anthology series, The Twilight Zone (1959 TV series).  During this episode, aliens come to earth with the ostensive purpose of helping mankind and even leave a book entitled, “To Serve Man.”  However, at the end of the episode, the language of the book is finally translated, and a member of the cryptography staff screams, “It’s a cookbook!”

Worldly delights may look good, sound wonderful, and feel great, but that is not the whole story.  The Bible warns us not to be conformed to this deceptive world system (Romans 12:2).  Since we don’t know everything, the Bible suggests that anyone who lacks wisdom should ask God.  He gives wisdom to everyone who believes Him (James 1:5-7).  For example, despite the allure of illicit drugs, they do not come with a warning label that they may hurt your body.  Promiscuity does not let people know that the Bible says it is a sin against one’s body (1 Corinthians 6:18).  Abusing alcohol does not mention that beneath the glitz and glamor, one may finally damage their organs.

The devil wants to kill, steal and destroy us (John 10:10a).  However, God wants everyone to know about life with Him.  He wants us to have an abundant life in Him (John 10:10b).  He wants us to have an escape from temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13).  He wants our bodies healed, our minds whole, and our way prosperous (Joshua 1:8, 3 John 2).  

God wants us to live with Him throughout eternity. He wants us blessed in every area.  He wants us to triumph in life. Let us decide that we will turn away from the deceptions, disappointments, and depravity of this world’s system and receive the blessings of the Lord without sorrow (Proverbs 10:22).  Let us receive that abundant life in Christ!

Romans 12:2
New International Version (NIV)
2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

James 1:5-7
New International Version (NIV)
5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. 
6 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.

1 Corinthians 6:18 
New International Version (NIV)
18 Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body

John 10:10
New International Version (NIV)
10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

1 Corinthians 10:13 
New International Version (NIV)
13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

Joshua 1:8
New International Version (NIV)
8 Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.

3 John 2
King James Version (KJV)
2 Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.

Proverbs 10:22
New International Version (NIV)
22 The blessing of the Lord brings wealth, without painful toil for it.




Monday, June 29, 2020

Pastor's Ponderings, June 29, 2020

Resting Upon the Lord
Many of us have those people in their lives who like to read the end of story before they start.  They enjoy seeing the conclusion of the movies and then later on watch the introduction of the characters and plots. I am one of those people. I skip to the chase scene; I review the plot of story before I commit to spend hours of my life. People like me want to know the end before the beginning.

Our God knows our end from our beginning (Isaiah 46:10).  He endowed us with purpose even before we were in our mother’s womb (Jeremiah 1:5).  He is not shocked or dismayed when He sees our stumbles or falls.  All of our days are laid out before Him (Psalm 139:16) so He can show us the way we should go. He will go before us in life, never leaves us (Deuteronomy 31:8) and give us directions. 

We should not be worried about what is going on in the world. He has the whole world under His control. God will set up one ruler and put down another (Psalm 75:6-7) because He knows that all things work together for the good for those who love Him (Romans 8:28).  There have been many horrible things that have happened throughout history and many good people have suffered unimaginable tragedies.  Yet God is the head over everything, and He promised that in spite of the bumps and falls of life, He would supply every one of our needs based on His riches in glory (Philippians 4:19).  

God has the future, the present, and the past under His complete control.  He is the sovereign God and when His words leave His mouth, they will accomplish what He wants them to do (Isaiah 55:11).  Let us rest in the hands of the God because He is more than enough for us. He has the whole world and all of existence in His hands.  We can have faith in Him and rest knowing that He knows the conclusion of our life story and we win in Him!

Isaiah 46:10
New International Version (NIV)
10 I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.’

Jeremiah 1:5
New International Version (NIV)
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”

Psalm 139:16
New International Version (NIV)
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

Deuteronomy 31:8 
New International Version
The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.

Psalm 75:6, 7
New International Version (NIV)
6 No one from the east or the west or from the desert can exalt themselves.
7 It is God who judges: He brings one down, he exalts another.

Romans 8:28
New International Version (NIV)
28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

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.

Isaiah 55:11
New International Version (NIV)
11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.




Monday, June 22, 2020

Pastor's Ponderings, June 22, 2020

Keep Your Eyes On Jesus
Les Brown, the motivational speaker, said, “When life knocks you down, try to land on your back. Because if you can look up, you can get up. Let your reason get you back up.”  The challenges that life has brought us today has made it difficult to even look up.  If it isn’t one horrible event, it is another.  Nevertheless, we should not allow this world system to keep us on our backs. 

The Bible says that we are looking to Jesus who is the beginner and the One who matures our faith (Hebrews 12:2).  When we look to anything else other than Jesus, we are headed for failure.  We may have been fired from our job, the doctor may have given us a sad report, or the judge may be ready to send us away to prison for years.  However, God wants us to know that we will be in perfect peace if our mind is fixed and focused on Jesus (Isaiah 26:3).  The Bible says that He will always causes us to triumph and we don’t have to fear since tyranny and terror will not come near us (Isaiah 54:14).

COVID-19 is killing people all over the world but we have to look to the word of God who said that with His stripes we are healed (Isaiah 53:5).  Millions of people are out of work and many businesses will never reopen but we are to see in His word that He will supply all of our need (Philippians 4:19).  The United States’ political system is reeling from lies, false news, inuendo and power struggles but we must believe that the heart of the ‘king’ is in the hand of the Lord (Proverbs 21:1) and people rise and fall by God’s hand (Psalm 75:6-7).

Let us continue to put our trust, our faith, our confidence and even our lives in the One who holds the entire world by His word (Hebrews 1:3).  Let us remember that Jesus is in charge of everything and He wants us to see Him as bigger than our problems. In times of joy, despair and uncertainty, let us keep our eyes focused on Jesus

Hebrews 12:2
New International Version (NIV)
fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Isaiah 26:3
New International Version (NIV)
You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.

Isaiah 54:14
New International Version (NIV)
14 In righteousness you will be established: Tyranny will be far from you; you will have nothing to fear. Terror will be far removed; it will not come near you

Isaiah 53:5
New International Version (NIV)
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.

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.

Proverbs 21:1
New International Version (NIV)
21 In the Lord’s hand the king’s heart is a stream of water that he channels toward all who please him.

Psalm 75:6-7
New International Version (NIV)
6 No one from the east or the west or from the desert can exalt themselves.
7 It is God who judges: He brings one down, he exalts another.

Hebrews 1:3
New International Version (NIV)
3 The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.




Monday, June 15, 2020

Pastor's Ponderings, June 15, 2020

The Memory Of The Just Is Blessed
William Shakespeare wrote the play, “Julius Caesar.” One of the famous lines was, “The evil that men do lives after them; The good is oft interred with their bones.”  Unfortunately, we tend to remember the bad things that people did while they lived and not the good deeds.

I recently had a wonderful conversation with an old friend from our school days.  We spoke of our lives, people who had passed, those who had done well, and those whose complete story had not been written.  In addition, I just read the obituary of a person whom I met and who seemed unimportant to me years ago, but whose life was a blessing to many. We may wonder what people will say about us when we are but a memory

God says the righteous person’s memory is a source of blessing (Proverbs 10:7).  What we have done for good or evil will impact those who think about us when we are gone.  Were we good examples of holiness or was our life a source of shame and degradation? All of those who remember our lives should be inspired to achieve their lofty goals or to avoid our misdeeds. The Bible says that our lives which we desperately cling to are but a soon disappearing vapor (James 4:14).  What we do with those moments between our birth and our passing should bring praise and glory to God.

When those who have known you are remembering your life, let us endeavor to have lived a life that glorified God and exhibited total obedience to Him.  Hopefully we will have been like a book that people read and found valuable life lessons (2 Corinthians 3:2, 3).  Hopefully our words will have been graceful, seasoned and well pleasing to God and man (Colossians 4:6). When we are being discussed years from now, let us endeavor to have those conversations bring joy, peace, and wisdom to all who remember us.

Proverbs 10:7
Amplified Bible (AMP)
The memory of the righteous [person] is a [source of] blessing, But the name of the wicked will [be forgotten and] rot [like a corpse].

James 4:14
New International Version (NIV)
14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.

2 Corinthians 3:2, 3
New International Version (NIV)
2 You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everyone. 
You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.

Colossians 4:6
New International Version (NIV)
6 Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone




Monday, June 8, 2020

Pastor's Ponderings, June 8, 2020

Let Us Be Holy Not Worldly
It is very easy to believe in the pervasiveness of evil when we see videos of those in authority physically abusing others, getting away with it and acting as if everything is perfectly fine.  As a result, when we hear evidence of crimes at the highest level, many have become cynical and tend to just shrug it off by saying that the rich and famous always get away with things.  However, as saints of the Most High God, we must make a difference between the clean and the unclean (Ezekiel 44:23).  

The Bible says woe to those who call evil good and good evil (Isaiah 5:20).  In the world system, we often see innocent people punished severely while blatantly guilty persons are able to escape penalties for their misdeeds.  When lying is elevated to an art form, it makes explicit the verse in the Bible that says liars are of their father the devil who was a liar from the beginning (John 8:44).  We get misled when our leaders “gaslight” or according to Wikipedia, engage in “psychological manipulation in which a person or a group covertly sows seeds of doubt in a targeted individual, making them question their own memory, perception, or judgment.”  

The Bible says that we are to come out from among them and be separate (2 Corinthians 6:16, 17). This means that while we will not judge other’s sins, we will not condone them either.  We must strive to live like Christ did, one of selflessness, honesty and obedience.

Let us decide that those who love the Lord must be held to a standard of holiness which is acting like God.  Because we are His children and He lives within us we need to act accordingly (Galatians 2:20). Let us do unto others as we would have them do unto us (Luke 6:31).  Let us pray for those that misuse us (Luke 6:38). As a result, the world will see our good works and glorify God in Heaven (Matthew 5:16). Let us show holiness to a wicked world system.

Ezekiel 44:23
New International Version (NIV)
23 They are to teach my people the difference between the holy and the common and show them how to distinguish between the unclean and the clean.

Isaiah 5:20
New International Version (NIV)
20 Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.

John 8:44
New International Version (NIV)
44 You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies

2 Corinthians 6:16, 17
New International Version (NIV)
16 What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said:
“I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.” 
17 Therefore, “Come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.”

Galatians 2:20
New International Version (NIV)
20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Luke 6:31
New International Version (NIV)
31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.

Luke 6:38
New International Version (NIV)
38 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you

Matthew 5:16 
New International Version (NIV)
16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.





Pastor's Ponderings, June 1, 2020

George Called Out “Mama, I’m Through
It is very painful to consider the agony of Mr. George Floyd as he lay dying on a Minnesota street observed by many, laughed at by some and killed by others.  He begged to be let up --pleading that his life was at stake; ignored until he no longer moved. Many have expressed outrage at this event as they added his death to many others over the years.  Truly our nation is in an uproar over this and other similarly grievous events.  In the midst of this horrific event, Mr. Floyd called to his deceased mother, “Mama, I’m through.” 

It is devastating to hear his pleading for help as he experiences such pain. We can never know what we will do or say or feel as our life ebbs away but hopefully as we lay down, we will also be able to look up and call to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  Perhaps we can catch a glimpse of the angels who have come to accompany those that will inherit salvation (Hebrews 1:14).  Perhaps we will hear God say, “Well done good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of the Lord” (Matthew 25:23).

Hopefully this event like Mr. Rodney King’s beating in 1991 can spur an extended conversation about the “isms” that plague our country.  These isms result in so many dying, damaged, and in distress because of fear, hatred and a lack of empathy and sympathy.  We do not need any more of our citizens laying in the street calling out of because of their pain and bewilderment.  

As we experience this darkness together, we need to cling to our only hope which is in Jesus. We need people who are willing to lay aside their own anxieties, worries, and doubts and love each other as brothers and sisters.  Let us care for those dying in the streets. Let us treat each other as God would treat them (Ephesians 4:31, 32). Please!

Hebrews 1:14
New International Version (NIV)
14 Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?

Matthew 25:23
King James Version (KJV)
23 His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.

Ephesians 4:31, 32
New International Version (NIV)
31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.
32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.



Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Pastor's Ponderings, May 26, 2020

Make Jesus Real To You
The dictionary defines “real” as actually existing as a thing or occurring in fact; not imagined or supposed. Much of what passes for reality today is simply imagined or supposed.  An ethnic group may be negatively characterized by this or that opinion. Another country’s inhabitants can be placed in a terrible category simply based upon imaginary beliefs about them. Each person’s reality is what they decide it is which may or may not have any basis on facts. People may then make poor decisions based on their own experiences, prejudices, and attitudes and denigrate or elevate others according to what they suppose is reality. 

However, John P. Kee wrote a song entitled, “Jesus is Real”.  Some of the lyrics are Jesus is real, I know the Lord is real to me. Jesus is real, I know the Lord is real to me. Sometimes when I'm feeling low, nowhere to go, Jesus comes along and He makes me strong. For I know, oh, Jesus is real.  

In spite of some people’s opinions of the reality of Jesus, the truth of the matter is that He is more real than what we see around us. The Bible says that those things that are seen are temporary while those things that are not are eternal (2 Corinthians 4:18). Our friends may be important to us, but the unseen God will be a friend when others have turned their backs.  One’s lawyer may seem real and tangible, but Jesus is our eternal advocate for us with the Father whenever we sin (1 John 2:1, 2).

Many have decided that Jesus is a fake and God does not exist. According to the philosopher, Karl Marx, Religion … It is the opium of the people".  However, we serve a real, true and living Savior who is a very present help during our troubles (Psalm 46:1).  When the things that we have depended upon for so long fade away, Jesus will be a real God for us throughout eternity (Hebrews 13:5).

2 Corinthians 4:18
New International Version (NIV)
18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

1 John 2:1, 2
New International Version (NIV)
My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.
He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.

Psalm 46:1
New International Version (NIV)
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.

Hebrews 13:5
New International Version (NIV)
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”




Monday, May 18, 2020

Pastor's Ponderings, May 18, 2020

Give Him All Of Our Cares and Concerns 
Our daughter, Denise Fair, just left our home to return to her work in Detroit.  A few months ago, we would have all hugged each other and prayed for her safe journey but now we can just pray at a social distance.  Before she left she sang a song to her niece written by Kelly Willard entitled, “Cares Chorus.”  Some of the lyrics are, “I cast all my cares upon You. I lay all of my burdens down at Your feet. And any time I don't know what to do, I will cast all my cares upon You.” 

The Bible tells us to cast all of our cares upon the Lord because He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7).  He keeps record of every tear that we shed (Psalm 56:8). We have the privilege of going to the great Counselor to share our worries, doubts, fears, and anxiety.  He is not going to laugh at our pain or doubt our concerns because He loves us with an everlasting love.  He knows that we are weak (Psalm 103:14) but through Him, we have divine strength to handle anything in life.  We are looking to Jesus, who began and continues to mature our faith (Hebrews 12:2).

The suddenness of the losses of members of our church family and friends due to COVID-19 has cast its pall upon every aspect of life.  We long to return to our casual conversations where we had no specific agenda but simply enjoying the joy of being in each other’s company. Despite this sudden change, we have determined that we will not hold onto our cares and concerns, but we will give God our anxieties and in exchange He gives us his peace. We will share our sorrow while He gives us the comfort of His Holy Spirit, the greater Comforter. Daily, let us cast all of our cares upon Him because He continues to care for us. 

1 Peter 5:7
King James Version (KJV)
7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

Psalm 56:8
New International Version (NIV)
8 Record my misery; list my tears on your scroll--are they not in your record?

Psalm 103:14
Amplified Bible (AMP)
14 For He knows our [mortal] frame;
He remembers that we are [merely] dust.

Hebrews 12:2
New International Version (NIV)
2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.




Monday, May 11, 2020

Pastor's Ponderings, May 11, 2020

Great News: We Have God’s Power, Love, and A Sound Mind
J. Moss wrote a song entitled, “Afraid”.  Some of the lyrics are “Not gonna be afraid no more. Fear don’t live here no more. Not gonna be afraid no more. Pain just walked out that door, that spirit ain't here with me. God didn't put that in me, but the spirit of power and love and of sound mind.”  

Many of us are very afraid of what can happen next in our lives.  We used to have a good handle on life but now everything seems turned upside down.  Simple family gatherings, church meetings, regular employment, and social gatherings have gone away to be replaced by a fearful waiting until COVID-19 passes us by. 

In the Bible, God promised that we would have trouble, but we were to be happy because He has overcome the world (John 16:33).  He states that nothing by any means shall hurt us (Luke 10:19). God has given us the victory over sin, sickness and disease and while many of our loved ones have succumbed to various sicknesses, He promised that even though we go through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, He will comfort us (Psalm 23:4) and that He is a very present help during our troubles (Psalm 46:1).  We don’t have to worry, stress out, be anxious or fearful.  God holds everything in the power of His word and even during this awful pandemic, all things work together for the good of those who love God (Romans 8:28).

We are in the midst of a storm but like Jesus in the Bible, He is in our boat with us (Matthew 8:23-26).  We can look to Him for our direction, our peace, our faith, and our future because He loves us and has given us His power, His enduring love, and the mind of Christ (2 Timothy 1:7, 1 Corinthians 2:16).  Let us rejoice because he is with us and He supplies all of our needs!

John 16:33
New International Version (NIV)
33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Luke 10:19
New International Version (NIV)
19 I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.

Psalm 23:4
New International Version (NIV)
Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

Psalm 46:1
New International Version (NIV)
1 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.

Romans 8:28
New International Version (NIV)
28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Matthew 8:23-26
New International Version (NIV)
23 Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him
25 The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”
26 He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.

2 Timothy 1:7
King James Version (KJV)
7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

1 Corinthians 2:16
New International Version (NIV)
16 for, “Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?”
But we have the mind of Christ.




Monday, May 4, 2020

Pastor's Ponderings, May 4, 2020

Let’s Call On God For His Help

Dominique Mosbergen recently wrote an article in Huffington Post entitled, “California City Official Ousted After Saying Old, Sick And Homeless Should Die In Pandemic.”  Apparently, many were outraged but another official made a similar statement. “Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, who is of the opinion that old people, i.e. those most at risk, should volunteer to die to save the economy.” These bizarre quotes are the considered opinion of some in this country who are willing to sacrifice the weak and the needy among us for the good of others.  

This earth is the Lord’s and all of mankind is the Lord’s, but He has given the earth to mankind (Psalm 24:1, Psalm 115:16). We have a solemn responsibility to all of us even during this challenging time. We should consider not only the feelings of the richest and most powerful among us, but also those who depend upon others to supply their daily needs. The Bible warns that those who turn their backs to those who need them most will have to face an uncomfortable Judgement Day (Matthew 25:41-46).  The Bible goes on to remind the children of Israel that they should treat foreigners well because they used to be the foreigners (Exodus 22:21).  Moreover, the Bible states that we should do to others just like we would like them to do to us (Matthew 7:12).

It is true that these are desperate times and desperate times call for desperate measures. Since nothing else seems to be the magic bullet that will suddenly save us, perhaps we should turn to God upon our knees.  Perhaps we should begin to look to Jesus who began and perfects our faith. Perhaps we should cry unto the Lord in our time of distress (Psalm 77:1, 2).  If we cry unto Him, He will hear our cries when we ask according to His will. If He hears us, He will answer our request (1 John 5:14-15).  Therefore, let us call on God during this challenging time.

Psalm 24:1 
New International Version (NIV)
1 The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it;

Psalm 115:16
New International Version (NIV)
16 The highest heavens belong to the Lord, but the earth he has given to mankind.

Matthew 25:41-46
New International Version (NIV)
41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 
42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, "
43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’
45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’
46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

Exodus 22:21 
New International Version
21 "Do not mistreat or oppress a foreigner, for you were foreigners in Egypt

Matthew 7:12
New International Version (NIV)
12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

Psalm 77:1, 2
New International Version (NIV)
1 I cried out to God for help; I cried out to God to hear me.
2 When I was in distress, I sought the Lord; at night I stretched out untiring hands, and I would not be comforted.

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.






Monday, April 27, 2020

Pastor's Ponderings, April 27, 2020

Speak God’s Word to the World

William J. Broad and Dan Levin wrote an article entitled, Trump Muses About Light as Remedy, but Also Disinfectant, Which Is Dangerous. There was a great hue and cry about these comments.  The article went on to say, “Apparently reassured that the tests he was proposing would take place, Mr. Trump then theorized about the possible medical benefits of disinfectants in the fight against the virus.”

The major issue is that the leader of the Free World said something that many found outrageous, but its impact was broad. Poison control calls for bleach and Lysol have increased across the country.  What he says impacts the economy, world opinion, politics and everything in between. While the president has the power to impact the world, our words should also have an impact. 

Jesus declared to the body of Christ that all power in heaven and earth has been given unto Him.   As a result, those in the body of Christ are to go out through the world declaring the Good News (Matthew 28:18-20).  We must say what God says about the world (Job 22:28).

We are not, must not, and cannot be simply passive observers of world events. The Bible declares that we have the power to declare things lawful and unlawful (Matthew 16:19).  We don’t simply have to bemoan our fate, we can pray for our leaders that God will change their hearts (Proverbs 21:1, 2).  

Our fight includes actions such as voting, petitioning, protesting, and letter writing which are all important tools in a democracy.  But we also have the right and responsibility to struggle on the spiritual level against evil spiritual rulers who attempt to dictate men’s affairs (Ephesians 6:12).  

When your friends, neighbors, and relatives are complaining about this or that comment or policy, we can be comfortable knowing that all ruling authority has been established by God (Romans 13:1). He will raise those who He wants in His time (Psalm 75:6-7) and all things will work together for good for those who love the Lord God (Romans 8:28). In this frightened, worried and anxious world, let us speak God’s word of victory.!

Matthew 28:18-20
New International Version (NIV)
18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 
19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 
20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.

Job 22:28
King James Version (KJV)
28 Thou shalt also decree a thing, and it shall be established unto thee: and the light shall shine upon thy ways.

Matthew 16:19
Amplified Bible (AMP)
19 I will give you the keys (authority) of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind [forbid, declare to be improper and unlawful] on earth will have [already] been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose [permit, declare lawful] on earth will have [already] been loosed in heaven.”

Proverbs 21:1, 2
New International Version (NIV)
In the Lord’s hand the king’s heart is a stream of water that he channels toward all who please him.
2 A person may think their own ways are right, but the Lord weighs the heart.

Ephesians 6:12
New International Version (NIV)
12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

Romans 13:1 
New International Version (NIV)
13 Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.

Psalm 75:6-7
New International Version (NIV)
6 No one from the east or the west or from the desert can exalt themselves.
7 It is God who judges: He brings one down, he exalts another.

Romans 8:28
New International Version (NIV)
28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.