Monday, October 18, 2021

Pastor's Ponderings, October 18, 2021

Our Eyes Are Fixed On The Lord

 

D├ínica Coto and Evens Sanon wrote an article in the 10/17/2021 World News section of Huffington Post entitled, “U.S. Religious Group Says 17 Missionaries Kidnapped In Haiti.”  The article went on to indicate that the gang which kidnapped the missionaries carries out kidnappings, car jackings, and extorts business owners. The organization which sent this group, Christian Aid Ministries, issued a statement. “Join us in praying for those who are being held hostage, the kidnappers and the families, friends and churches of those affected. As an organization, we commit this situation to God and trust Him to see us through.” 

 

We live in a world where even doing good can be dangerous.  Going where God said to go and doing what God said to do may not always have endings that we would like. However, we must remember that all things work together for the good of those that love the Lord (Romans 8:28). The Bible says that man is of a few days and full of trouble (Job 14:1).   Still God promised that He is working in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13).

 

We have to remember that however this challenging situation ends man is not in charge; God is still on the throne.  He sees all and nothing can happen without His permission.  The Bible says that the effectual fervent prayer of the righteous avails much (James 5:16).  The Bible declares if two or three are gathered in God’s Name, He is in the midst (Matthew 18:20). God is with these missionaries. For those who love the Lord, we must pray, intercede, lay before God, and ask for a quick and total deliverance for these children of God.  He can do anything but fail!

 

Romans 8:28 

New International Version

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.

 

Job 14:1

New International Version

14 “Mortals, born of woman, are of few days and full of trouble.

 

Philippians 2:13

New King James Version

13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.

 

James 5:16

New King James Version

16 Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.

 

Matthew 18:20 

New International Version

20 For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”


 

 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Pastor's Ponderings, October 13, 2021

God Is Our Protector


In the very popular 2020 film, The Old Guard, the heroes and heroines are centuries-old warriors with unexplained regenerative healing abilities who use their vast experience to work as mercenaries, taking on missions that help people.  These undying warriors have secretly protected humanity for centuries.  The idea that there are hidden protectors that help mankind and are with us when we are being harmed is reassuring.

 

In the Bible, God assures us that His angels do protect mankind for real.  "He gives His angels charge over us to keep us wherever we go” (Psalm 91:11-12). He promised that He would send His word to us as we make decisions on our life’s path (Isaiah 30:21).  He said that He would be a lamp for our feet and a light for our pathways (Psalm 119:105). He confirms that His eyes go through the earth to be strong for mankind (2 Chronicles 16:9).  He tells us that He will go before us and behind us to protect us (Isaiah 52:12).

 

This is not to imply that we are protected from every threat.  Time and chance happen to us all (Ecclesiastes 9:11). War, senseless acts of violence, sickness and disease, pain and suffering are common to mankind.  However, God promises that we will not be alone when we are in the valley of the shadow of death (Psalm 23:4) and that He will be with us.  We won’t need a fantasy Old Guard when we have the true Guard for our lives.

 

Psalm 91:11-12

New International Version

11 For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways;

12 they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.

 

Isaiah 30:21 

New International Version

21 Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it."

 

Psalm 119:105

New International Version

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

 

2 Chronicles 16:9a 

New International Version

9 For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. …

 

Isaiah 52:12

New International Version

12 But you will not leave in haste or go in flight; for the Lord will go before you, the God of Israel will be your rear guard.

 

Ecclesiastes 9:11

New International Version

11 I have seen something else under the sun: The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favor to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all.

 

Psalm 23:4

New International Version

4 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.


 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday, October 4, 2021

Let Us Choose Christ Before Cash


According to an article by Tommy Beer in the 10/8/2020 Forbes magazine, the top 1% Of U.S. households hold 15 times more wealth than the bottom 50% combined.  The article goes on to give an example of this concentration of wealth in Elon Musk, who recently became the world’s fifth centibillionaire.  His wealth increased over 200% during the first eight months of 2020 while the COVID-19 pandemic was wreaking havoc worldwide.

 

Many admire the uber rich and spend their lives trying to become wealthy. However, Harrison Johnson wrote a song entitled, “I Have Decided To Make Jesus My Choice.”  A few of the lyrics are, “Some folks would rather have houses and land, some folks choose silver and gold, these things they treasure and forget about their souls; I’ve decided to make Jesus my choice.”  Where our treasures are, lies our heart (Matthew 6:21). 

 

The Bible tells us to put our treasures in heaven where thieves and deterioration have no access (Matthew 6:19-20).  The Bible further advises us to desire the eternal things in heaven rather than the temporary pleasures of this world system (Colossians 3:1, 2; 1 John 2:17).  The reason is that all that is in the world is lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and the pride of life (1 John 2:16).  Only what we do for Christ will last.  

 

The Bible does not say that people should not be rich but that they should not trust their riches and instead put their hope in God. They should do good deeds and share with others so that they can attain the life that is truly life (Timothy 6:17-19).  Let us all seek God first and foremost so that He can provide all the things that we need.  Let us prioritize Christ over material things.

 

Matthew 6:21

New International Version

21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

 

Matthew 6:19-20

New International Version

19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 
20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.

 

Colossians 3:1, 2

New International Version

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.

Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.

 

1 John 2:17

New International Version

17 The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.

 

1 John 2:16

New International Version

16 For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world

 

Timothy 6:17-19

New International Version

17 Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 

18 Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. 

19 In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.