Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Pastor's Ponderings, October 27, 2020

God Still Loves Us

In the movie, “The Old Guard,” one of the actors, Andy, sums up her feelings about the whole world.  She replies to another actor, Booker, who asks her what was next in light of the latest indignity that has befallen them.

“Booker: And then what?

Andy: And then nothing. The world can burn for all I care. I’m done.” 

Her group had been exposed, betrayed, and attacked.  In spite of their powers for good, she decides to simply give up, throw in the towel, and watch as the world destroyed itself.


Man has had a long history of rebellion against God’s commands, yet God loves us anyway. We should be happy that God did not have the same attitude as Andy when He saw that mankind was headed for destruction. God so loved the world that He gave His only Son for our salvation (John 3:16).  Jesus loved us so much that He went to the cross for us (Hebrews 12:2).   He makes intercession for us in Heaven for our sins (Hebrews 7:25).  For His intercession, He asks us to repent and ask for forgiveness and He says that He will forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).


Despite terrifying things all around us, we must remember that God says that He is for us and not against us (Romans 8:31).  He does not want any of us to perish but wants all of us to repent and have a relationship with Him (2 Peter 3:9). God wants to deliver us from death, hell and destruction. Let us continue to remember, God is not through with us, He loves us and wants to give us his kingdom (Luke 12:32).  Let us rejoice that God has not thrown in the towel and He still loves us.

John 3:16

New International Version

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.


Hebrews 12:2

New International Version

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.


Hebrews 7:25

New International Version

25 Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.


1 John 1:9

New International Version

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.


Romans 8:31

New International Version

31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?


2 Peter 3:9

New International Version

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.


Luke 12:32

New International Version

32 “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.





Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Pastor's Ponderings, October 20, 2020

God Is Our Leader

Nina Golgowski, in the October 18, 2020 Huffington Post, wrote an article entitled, “Infectious Disease Expert: The ‘Darkest Of The Entire Pandemic’ Has Yet To Come.”  She wrote that Michael Osterholm, an expert at the University of Minnesota, stressed that a lack of public confidence is largely to blame and that “the next six to 12 weeks are going to be the darkest of the entire pandemic.” Most poignantly he “expressed concern that the U.S. lacks a leading voice to guide the public.”


Perhaps a good answer to this concern comes from Ruth C. Jones who wrote a hymn called "The Solid Rock.”  Some of the lyrics are 

In times like these you need a Savior 

In times like these you need an anchor 

Be very sure, be very sure 

Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock 


This Rock is Jesus, Yes He's the One 

This Rock is Jesus, the only One 

Be very sure, be very sure 

Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock


Now is the time for those who love the Lord to speak with a clear voice and say that if you need a voice to guide the public, you should look no further.  Our God is a clear guide during these troubled times; He is a lamp for our feet and a light for our path (Psalm 119:105).  God said that if any person lacks wisdom (and we do lack wisdom right now), let him ask Him and He will answer us (James 1:5). God promised to be with us in our time of trouble (Psalm 50:15) so we don’t have to worry about the dearth of leaders.  He has seen many pandemics and promises that He will show us a way of escape (1 Corinthians 10:13).  God simply asks us to love Him and ask Him to guide us.  He said that He would answer us, be with, rescue, protect and deliver us (Psalm 91:14-15). God is our leader and our guide.


Psalm 119:105

New International Version

105 Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.


James 1:5

New International Version

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


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.


1 Corinthians 10:13

New International Version

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.

Psalm 91:14-15

New International Version

14 “Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.

15 He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him






Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Pastor's Ponderings, October 13, 2020

Our Setbacks Are Just A Set Up

Donnie Mcclurkin in 1996 wrote a powerful song that is very applicable to our times in 2020.  Some of the lyrics are, “What do you do when you've done all you can, and it seems like it's never enough? And what do you say when your friends turn away and you're all alone, alone? Tell me, what do you give when you've given your all and it seems like you can't make it through?”  He concludes that we should stand. “Well, you just stand when there's nothing left to do, you just stand, watch the Lord see you through. Yes, after you've done all you can you just stand.”


When the bills are due, the jobs are scarce and we see that there is no way out for us, we should just stand still and see God work (Exodus 14:13).  When true friends are few and enemies are many, we should just stand for what God says we should do.  We should still be kind, compassionate, and forgiving (Ephesians 4:32).  It can be difficult facing the day when all that you see is lack, pain, and suffering.  But we know who holds our days and sees our end from our beginning (Psalm 139:16).


Nevertheless, we must have faith to believe that God will accomplish His will in us during our lives (Psalm 138:8).  We can look to Jesus who has begun and will bring our faith in Him to maturity (Hebrews 12:2).  He began His work in us and will bring us to His expected goal (Jeremiah 29:11).  We can be confident that we will see His goodness for us while we live (Psalm 27:13).


Exodus 14:13
New International Version

13 Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again.


Ephesians 4:32

New International Version

32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.


Psalm 139:16

New International Version

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.


Psalm 138:8

Amplified Bible

8 The Lord will accomplish that which concerns me; Your [unwavering] lovingkindness, O Lord, endures forever—Do not abandon the works of Your own hands.


Hebrews 12:2

Amplified Bible

2 [looking away from all that will distract us and] focusing our eyes on Jesus, who is the Author and Perfecter of faith [the first incentive for our belief and the One who brings our faith to maturity], who for the joy [of accomplishing the goal] set before Him endured the cross, disregarding the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God [revealing His deity, His authority, and the completion of His work].


Jeremiah 29:11

New International Version

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Psalm 27:13

New International Version

13 I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.





Monday, October 5, 2020

Pastor's Ponderings, October 5, 2020

We Must Be Born Again

The Scorpion and the Frog is a classic animal fable. A scorpion, which cannot swim, asks a frog to carry it across a river on the frog's back. The frog hesitates, afraid of being stung by the scorpion, but the scorpion argues that if it did that, they would both drown. The frog considers this argument sensible and agrees to transport the scorpion. Midway across the river, the scorpion stings the frog anyway, dooming them both. The dying frog asks the scorpion why it stung despite knowing the consequence, to which the scorpion replies: "I couldn't help it. It's in my nature.  This fable teaches that most people will not resist doing what comes naturally even when it is not in their best interests to do so.


This fable demonstrates the fallen nature of mankind.  We tend to only do those things that benefit us personally while leaving altruistic work to others.  The Bible explains this perfectly. While we may want to do good things, we find that there is a tendency in us that leads us to do evil deeds (Romans 7:21-23).  Although we may feel that our good deeds outweigh our bad ones, the Bible says otherwise.  We all were born into a sinful world and we are shaped by our experiences here (Psalm 51:5).  That is why Jesus said we must be saved or born again (John 3:5-7)


No matter how much we may protest our basic goodness, God says that everyone from the most pious saint to the toughest murderer has resisted His commands. All have done and continue to sin (Romans 3:23).  But even though we can’t help wanting to do naturally selfish deeds, God says if we will change our minds about our natural lifestyle and tell God that we don’t want to live our lives like we used to do, He has a solution for us.  

We can thank God that He can deliver us (Romans 7:25) from whatever we may be dealing with. All that we have to do is believe in our hearts that Jesus is Lord and that God raised Jesus from the dead, and say this, we will be born again (Romans 10:9-10).  God wants us to have a life that pleases Him, and He welcomes all who were sinners but now want to live in harmony with Him.  He is welcoming us right now. Let us all get born again today.


Romans 7:21-23
New International Version

21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me

22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law

23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me


Psalm 51:5

New International Version

5 Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.


John 3:5-7

New International Version

5 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. 

Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. 

7 You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’


Romans 3:23

New International Version

23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,


Romans 7:25
New International Version

25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!


Romans 10:9-10

New International Version

9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 

10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.