Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Pastor's Ponderings, August 31, 2022

Let Us Be Rich In Our Relationship With God

A musical singing group, the O’Jays, sang a song in 1973 entitled, “For The Love Of Money.”  A few of the catchy lyrics were, “For the love of money, people will lie, Lord, they will cheat. For the love of money, People don't care who they hurt or beat for the love of money.”   The Bible declares the love of money is the root of all evil (Timothy 6:10).


In the book of Luke, Jesus spoke a parable about a rich man who decided to tear down his barns that he thought were too small for his wealth to build bigger ones.  Yet he died without enjoying his prosperity.  The Bible says that this is how it is when one is not rich in his relationship with God (Luke 12:15, 21). 


God wants us to prosper. In the Bible, John, the apostle, writes, “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth (3 John 1:2)God wants His children to be successful in life. Strong’s Concordance says, in this verse,  “prosper” comes from the Greek word, “euodoƍ” which means to be successful.  


In fact, He became poor so that His children could become rich (2 Corinthians 8:9).  While many may be consumed with striving for personal wealth at any cost to themselves or others, God’s blessings bring wealth without painful toil (Proverbs 10:22). 


God has done so much for us; He gave us His Son and with Him will give us all things (Romans 8:32).  Because of what He has done, is doing, and will do, let us not think only of our own interests but be rich in our relationship with God. 


Timothy 6:10

New International Version

10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.


Luke 12:15, 21

Amplified Version

15 Then He said to them, “Watch out and guard yourselves against every form of greed; for not even when one has an overflowing abundance does his life consist of nor is it derived from his possessions.”
21 So it is for the one who continues to store up and hoard possessions for himself, and is not rich [in his relationship] toward God.


3 John 1:2

King James Version

2 Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.


2 Corinthians 8:9

New International Version

9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.


Proverbs 10:22

New International Version

22 The blessing of the Lord brings wealth, without painful toil for it.


Romans 8:32

New International Version

32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?






Thursday, August 25, 2022

Pastor's Ponderings, August 25, 2022

Let Us Listen To Wise Advice

We are constantly being beset by an incredible cacophony of calamitous causes that threaten our minds, emotions, and wills.  Reasonable arguments are poised against quite insane statements, and we must distinguish between which makes sense and which are gibberish.  


God can direct us to true sources of wisdom. It is crucial that people listen to good advice (Proverbs 12:15).  If we are serious about being wise amid the unwise, the Bible tells us that we can successfully ask God for His wisdom (James 1:5).  God promised Joshua that if He was obedient that He would have good success (Joshua 1:8).


We cannot let the world system tell us to do, feel, or act in any way unless we have had a talk with God.  He wants to direct our way (Proverbs 3:5-6), comfort us when things are bad (Psalm 23:4) and deliver us from trouble (Psalm 91:15).  When people are talking loudly and saying nothing, let us look to Jesus who will give us His pure wisdom (James 3:17).


Proverbs 12:15 

New International Version

15 The way of fools seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice.


James 1:5

Amplified Bible

5 If any of you lacks wisdom [to guide him through a decision or circumstance], he is to ask of [our benevolent] God, who gives to everyone generously and without rebuke or blame, and it will be given to him.


Joshua 1:8

New International Version

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.


Proverbs 3:5-6

New International Version

5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;

6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.


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.


Psalm 91:15

New International Version

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


James 3:17

New International Version

17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.







Saturday, August 20, 2022

Pastor's Ponderings, August 20, 2022

Jesus Is Our Truth

On Sunday, August 19, 2018, on “Meet The Press”, the moderator Chuck Todd and the president’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, had an amazing exchange.  Part of the official transcript of that conversation was, “Look, I am not going to be rushed into having him testify so that he gets trapped into perjury,” Giuliani said. “And when you tell me that, you know, he should testify because he’s going to tell the truth and he shouldn’t worry, well that’s so silly because it’s somebody’s version of the truth. Not the truth. He didn’t have a, a conversation …”
TODD: Truth is truth. I don’t mean to go like…
GIULIANI: No, it isn’t truth. Truth isn’t truth. The president of the United States says, “I didn’t…”

The Bible states that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6).  He will not contradict Himself; He is truth.  The Bible says that that truth that we know will set us free (John 8:32). We need an absolute truth and not truths that slip and slide and change according to the situation.  Jesus said the when the Spirit of Truth or the Holy Spirit arrives; He will guide us into all truth (James 16:13).

This is the world in which we live. To paraphrase Mark Twain, "There are three kinds of lies: lies, deceptions and statistics.” The devil, the Father of lies has no truth in him (John 8:44) and always tries to lead us away from the truth in Christ. In spite of who says what, let us seek the truth in Christ’s word, His commandments, His promises, and His love. Unlike the lies of the world system, the truth in Jesus never fails. His truth will set us free.

John 14:6 
New International Version (NIV)
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

John 8:32
New International Version (NIV)
32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

John 16:13
New International Version (NIV)
13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.

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.

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Pastor's Ponderings, August 9, 2022

Blessed Are The Peacemakers

The Beatles wrote a song entitled, “We Can Work It Out.”   Some of the lyrics were, “Think of what you're saying. You can get it wrong and still you think that it's alright. Think of what I'm saying, we can work it out and get it straight, or say good night. We can work it out.”


We live in a world where many seem to take joy from saying outrageous things to provoke others to witty retorts or worse.  Is it possible that we have allowed our personal interests to override civility and kindness towards one another?  Isn’t it worthwhile to stifle that arrogant sarcasm and angry reply and do what the Bible suggests that we do?  The Bible suggests that we follow peace with all men (Hebrews 12:14).  It further says that love covers all kinds of sins (1 Peter 4:8).  In addition, the Bible declares that the peacemakers shall be called God’s children (Matthew 5:9). 


There is a great satisfaction in “owning” one’s opponent. Satisfaction with making the other get angry was a staple in the black community when one played the “dozens.” The loser was the one who lost his composure to the great amusement of the audience.  Sadly, this art has given away to violent confrontations.  But we don’t have to continue the escalations. 

Let us decide here and now that despite others’ hurtful words, angry diatribes, or savage rejoinders that we will receive our blessings from being peacemakers.  As Rodney King said in May 1992 after a public beating, “I just want to say – you know – can we, can we all get along?” Let’s be peacemakers and not peace takers.


Hebrews 12:14
New International Version

14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord


1 Peter 4:8

King James Version

8 And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.


Matthew 5:9

New International Version

9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.







Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Pastor's Ponderings, August 2, 2022

We Go Forth And Conquer

Atticus Poetry wrote “Go forth and conquer for the world is small and you are the giant and in every step you take will make the ground shake

as it rises to meet you.”  We have never been designed to be people skulking around and afraid of our shadows.  We are children of the King, and we are to valiantly go where we have been designed to go. As children of God we share the inheritance God gave to Christ (Romans 8:16, 17) and we are made in his image.


In the Bible when the Lord was giving Joshua his marching order, He told Joshua that every place he put his feet would be his (Joshua 1:3). The evil one needs quiet captives who will accept their defeat, curl up in their disasters, and discourage themselves and others from doing anything to get free from their captivity.  But the Bible declares that we are more than conquerors through Him who loves us (Romans 8:37).  We overcome by the blood of the Lamb and our testimony about Jesus (Revelation 12:11).  Our purpose is to allow God to use us help share the knowledge of His glory all over the world (Habakkuk 2:14)


We can go out powerfully, victoriously, and boldly on our assignment and the Lord promises that He will work with us and confirm His incomparable word (Mark 16:15, 16, 20). What is your assignment that you are to go forth and conquer?  Is it raising funds for the people experiencing homelessness, visiting those who are sick, providing legal advice for those who find themselves in legal trouble, or telling the world about God’s everlasting love.  In Shakespeare’s comedy, The Merry Wives of Windsor, the actor states ‘The world’s mine oyster.’  Let us go forth and conquer the world.

Romans 8:16, 17

New International Version

16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 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


Joshua 1:3

New International Version

I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses.


Romans 8:37

New International Version 
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.


Revelation 12:11

New Living Translation

11 And they have defeated him by the blood of the Lamb and by their testimony. And they did not love their lives so much that they were afraid to die.


Habakkuk 2:14

New International Version

14 For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.


Mark 16:15, 16, 20

New International Version

15 He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 
16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 
20 Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.