Thursday, March 23, 2023

Pastor's Ponderings, March 23, 2023

We Live In Wonderful Times!

 

Dave Lawle recently wrote an article in the Axios website about the friendship that Chinese President Xi Jinping developing with Vladimir Putin. He went on to write that this “visit that also underscores Russia's reliance on China to keep its economy and war machine running.”  At the same time, we are preparing to indict a former US President for the first time in history and many predict extreme violence.  For those who are closely watching these and other momentous events, there are many indications that we are in the end times.

 

The Bible speaks of anguish, perplexity, and terror as the end of times approaches (Luke 21:25-26).  However, the worse things get in the world, those who love the Lord should be happy.   Why? because we are about to get our reward (Revelation 22:12).  We should lift our heads because we are about to get redeemed (Luke 21:28). The Bible tells us that despite the world’s worsening state, we have the privilege of sitting with Christ and being alive with Him in heavenly places (Ephesians 2:5-6).

 

Let us be happy!  What should we do? We should strengthen our limbs (Hebrews 12:12). We should keep focused on spiritual things (Colossians 3:2). As the end gets closer, let us get closer to the things of God to get His peace (Isaiah 26:3), His joy, His comfort, and His wisdom. Let us share the joy that we have despite world challenges with the world.

 

Luke 21:25, 26, 28

New International Version

25 “There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. 

26 People will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken. 

28 When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”

 

Revelation 22:12

New International Version

12 “Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done.

 

Ephesians 2:5-6

New International Version

made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.

And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,

 

Hebrews 12:12

New International Version

12 Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees.

 

Colossians 3:2

Amplified Bible

Set your mind and keep focused habitually on the things above [the heavenly things], not on things that are on the earth [which have only temporal value].

 

Isaiah 26:3

Amplified Bible

3 “You will keep in perfect and constant peace the one whose mind is steadfast [that is, committed and focused on You—in both inclination and character], Because he trusts and takes refuge in You [with hope and confident expectation].


  

Thursday, March 16, 2023

Pastor's Ponderings, March 16, 2023

Let’s Claim Our Eternal Award

 

The 2023 Oscars have come and gone.  We have witnessed the “the joy of victory and the agony of defeat” popularized by Jim McKay in the 1974 ABC’s Wide World of Sport.  The whole world watched the beautifully coiffed and well-dressed inhabitants of the entertainment world.  Their every twitch, smile, frown, or words are grist for the mill of entertainment columns, discussions, and recriminations.  A fun time is had by a few.

 

While these happenings may seem life-changing, all the world is performing on a much more important stage for an audience of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  The writer, William Shakespeare, alluded to this stage in the famous speech in the play As You Like It which begins 'All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players' (Act 2, Scene 7).

 

While the world focuses on the performers, the Bible says that we must give an account in eternity for everything that we have done (Romans 14:11, 12).  We may not all be trying to win worldwide acclaim for our performances, but the whole duty of all mankind is to reverence our Creator and obey His commands (Ecclesiastes 12:13).  We may not even like each other but we should remember the Golden Rule and do to everyone like we would want them to do to us.  Why?  Because eventually we must answer for everything we have done (Ecclesiastes 12:14).

 

This is what is so marvelous about our coming before God.  We would never be good enough to meet His standards since everyone has already failed.  He gives us the answer; simply accept His Son as Savior and you have already won the eternal prize by the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. Let’s spend our time pleasing the One that put us on the Earth and less time worrying about pleasing mankind.  God wants us to sit with Him in heavenly realms (Ephesians 2:6) and to receive His crowns for us.  Let us obey Him and tell anyone about Someone who wants to love, bless, and save everyone.

 

Romans 14:11, 12

New International Version

11 It is written:

“‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will acknowledge God.’”

12 So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God.

 

Ecclesiastes 12:13-14

New International Version

13 Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind.

14 For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.

 

Ephesians 2:6

New International Version

6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,


  

Saturday, March 11, 2023

Pastor's Pondering, March 11, 2023

It’s Time for a “Check-in”


It has already been ten weeks since 2023 began; we are about one fifth of the way through this new year.  Have we kept our new year’s resolutions, or have we returned to the old ways of thinking and behaving?  The Bible tells us to forget those things that are behind us and to look to our future (Philippians 3:13-14).  

 

This year, many of us have decided to lose weight, join exercise programs, monitor our health, examine our finances, and accomplish other great plans.  We may have blueprints for how 2023 will work out. Are we making the best use of our time or are we hurtling toward a future of unresolved issues, unsolved problems, and unanswered questions?  The Bible tells us to make full use of every day (Ephesians 5:16-17).  You have been designed for this time. You have been placed in your situation to meet its unique needs.

 

God does not give you purpose without giving you the resources to handle it (2 Peter 1:3).  While many will say that their challenges are too much to bear, the Bible tells us that trouble comes to all (Job 14:1), temptations come to all (1 Corinthians 10:13) but God will always accompany us as we let Him into our lives (Psalm 23:4).

 

You may not have kept your resolutions to be all that you can be, but remember God has not forgotten you and He will give you everything you need to live a victorious life, a purposeful life, and a life that demonstrates His greatness.  So... let us take another look at our resolutions, check in with God, ask Him with sincerity about next steps, and know that He wants to be your life’s Comforter and guide for 2023 (Psalm 119:105).

 

Philippians 3:13-14

New International Version

13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 
14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

 

Ephesians 5:16-17

New International Version

16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.

17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.

 

2 Peter 1:3

New International Version

His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.

 

Job 14:1

New International Version

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

 

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 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 119:105

New International Version

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


 

Saturday, March 4, 2023

Pastor's Ponderings, March 4, 2023

Walking In God’s Purpose


On August 17, 2013, almost ten years ago and almost 500 posts, we began Pastor’s Ponderings.  The first few lines were…

 

Recently, I have had a major lifestyle change. Because of my youngest daughter’s encouragement, I have begun to run three- and six-mile races. Until I started racing, my past runs were limited to running to the refrigerator. Now I am eagerly preparing for a 13.1-mile half-marathon race this fall.

 

It is amazing how time has flown since that first blog.  At each milestone in life, one should rest, remember, reevaluate, and establish a roadmap for the future.  One thing that is so clear is that despite our failures and successes, only what we do for Christ will last (2 Corinthians 4:18). Why? Because at the end of life, we must all appear before the Judgement Seat of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:10).

 

One of the things I feel led to do by God is to pastor the Sanctuary Gospel Center Church and another is to weekly write Pastor’s Ponderings. The list of those receiving and forwarding Pastor’s Ponderings has grown over the years. Our words have been a part of their life and hopefully it has helped them to see Christ.  

 

God has called us to His purpose (Psalm 57:2).  He wants us to learn to do good and help the helpless and hopeless (Isaiah 1:17, Proverbs 31:8-9). Most of all He wants us to tell the Good News to all who don’t know His love in an intimate way (Mark 16:15-16). 

 

Everyone needs to know Him.  You may not be called to go overseas to the various countries of the world, but you can pray and support those who are called, tell the people you meet and know about Him and do whatever your hands find to do for God. Let your lifestyle be to do the works of the Creator who has sent us to do His will.

         

2 Corinthians 4:18

New King James Version

18 while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

 

2 Corinthians 5:10

New International Version

10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.

 

Psalm 57:2

English Standard Version

2 I cry out to God Most High, to God who fulfills his purpose for me.

 

Isaiah 1:17

New International Version

17 Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.

 

Proverbs 31:8-9

New International Version

8 Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute.

9 Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.

 

Mark 16:15-16

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.


 

Thursday, February 23, 2023

Pastor's Ponderings, February 23, 2023

This week’s Pastor’s Ponderings is a reprint from February 25, 2019.   God wants us to value His rewards rather than mankind's.


The Achievement Award Goes To…


On February 24, 2019, the 91stAcademy Awards ceremony awarded the best films of 2018 with Oscars.  These artists have devoted to their lives to developing their craft and last night the nation honored and praised them.  Like these entertainers, many of us have fought for, strived for, and cried for people to think well of us. If others thought we were worthy, we thought the same, but if others thought we were not worthy of honor, prizes, or fame, our whole world would crash.

In the Bible, the religious leaders in the time of Jesus also sought recognition. But Jesus said they did everything solely so that men could see them (Matthew 23:5-7).  They loved men’s praise more than God’s praise. They knew that Jesus was the Son of God, but crucified Him anyway because they were afraid of being thrown out of the synagogue (John 12:42, 43). While earthly honors are important and they can motivate us to do outstanding work, they must not supersede the importance of heavenly rewards. The Bible says that we are to focus more on our heavenly trajectory than our earthly pursuits (Colossians 3:2-4)

According to Scripture, there are five divine crowns after the Last Judgment waiting for those who please God.  These are the Crown of Life, the Incorruptible Crown, the Crown of Righteousness, the Crown of Glory, and the Crown of Exultation.  Paul triumphantly stated that he knew that after his imminent death, the Crown of Righteousness was waiting for him (2 Timothy 4:8).

Earthly treasures will fade, man-made crowns will be forgotten, but we must build our hopes, our dreams, and our focus on God’s eternal treasures.  We must hold onto God’s unchanging hand and He will reward us greatly and eternally (Galatians 6:9).

Matthew 23:5-7
Amplified Bible (AMP)
5 They do all their deeds to be seen by men; for they make their phylacteries (tefillin) wide [to make them more conspicuous] and make their tassels long.
They love the place of distinction and honor at feasts and the best seats in the synagogues [those on the platform near the scrolls of the Law, facing the congregation],
and to be greeted [with respect] in the market places and public forums...

John 12:42, 43
New International Version (NIV)
42 Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they would not openly acknowledge their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue; 
43 for they loved human praise more than praise from God.

Colossians 3:2-4
New International Version (NIV)
Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 
For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 
When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

2 Timothy 4:8
New International Version (NIV)
Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day--and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

Galatians 6:9
New International Version (NIV)
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

Thursday, February 16, 2023

Pastor's Ponderings, February 16, 2023

Our God Shows Up and Helps Us 

Bernat Armangu√© and Zeynep Bilginsoy wrote an article in the Huffingon Post Associated Press on February 14, 2023, saying Rescuers Find More Alive In Turkey On 8th Day After Quake.  198 hours after the quake there were still a few survivors.  It is wonderful to know that God is still in the miracle business.  After all those hours and huge personal losses, God is the same, yesterday, today, and forever.  Even though many perished, God still wants to seek and save (Luke 19:10).  

 

How many hopeless situations have you found yourself, but God helped you when you thought all hope was gone?  He knows the number of hairs on your head (Luke 12:7).  He still can do anything that we need (Luke 1:37).  We can decide to rely on luck, astrology, friends, personal resources, or we can turn to the true and living God who goes way beyond our expectations (Ephesians 3:20). 

 

We can feel defeated because of the terrible and continuing litany of suffering and feel that all is lost, or we can praise God that He is comforting us in times of our great need.  Lovers of God can continue to know that somehow, He will work everything together for our good (Romans 8:28).  Let us praise God for His deliverance during suffering.


Luke 19:10

New International Version

10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

 

Luke 12:7

New International Version

7 Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

 

Luke 1:37

New International Version

37 For no word from God will ever fail.”

 

Ephesians 3:20

New International Version

20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,

 

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


 

Thursday, February 9, 2023

Pastor's Ponderings, February 9, 2023

Let’s Pray For God’s Intervention

 

Mehmet Guzel, Ghaith Alsayed and Suzan Fraser wrote an article in the Huffington Post Associated Press on February 5, 2023, saying Rescuers Scramble In Turkey, Syria As Earthquake Death Toll Passes 5,000

The article says that thousands of buildings were brought down by a 7.8 magnitude earthquake and multiple aftershocks that struck eastern Turkey and neighboring Syria.  According to the Wall Street Journal, as of February 9, that number had increased to 19,000. Sad to say, some 18,000 were killed in similarly powerful earthquakes that hit northwest Turkey in 1999.

 

During these terrible events when our mankind is suffering, the usual comments are “thoughts and prayers”.  However, we should also mourn with those who are mourning (Romans 12:15). The Bible also says that we are to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17 and that there is power in prayer (James 5:16).  When we hear of such horror, the saints should take responsibility to humble themselves and turn from their ways so that God can heal the land (2 Chronicles 7:14).  

 

No one knows but God why tragedies occur, but now is the time to push past political, ethnical, racial, and geographic differences and recognize that we are our brother’s keeper.  Now is the time for us to give our anxiety, care, and concern to Him (1 Peter 5:7). We must intercede by prayer, send physical aid and resources, contact international aid organizations, and ask God how we can truly serve our suffering brothers and sisters.  He promised if we ask Him, He will share His wisdom with us (James 1:5).  Let’s pray for our brothers and sisters everywhere. 

 

Romans 12:15

New International Version

15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.

 

1 Thessalonians 5:17

New International Version

17 pray continually

 

James 5:16

New Life Version

16 Tell your sins to each other. And pray for each other so you may be healed. The prayer from the heart of a man right with God has much power

2 Chronicles 7:14

New International Version

14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

 

1 Peter 5:7

New International Version

7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

 

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


 

Friday, February 3, 2023

Pastor's Ponderings, February 3, 2023

 Let’s Trust God In Everything

 

In 2022, my dentist recommended that I have a tooth removed.  However, he shared that it would take a couple of operations and that I would not be back to full capacity for a while.  Further, COVID was still in full effect. The picture he painted, and the status of the pandemic made me delay the procedure out of fear. A one-month delay, turned into two and then seven!

 

Recently, I had the tooth removed and to my surprise and delight none of those dire predictions came to pass, and I have recovered just fine.  The Bible says that we live by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). I could have just prayed seven months ago, let God lead, and avoided months of concern.  Instead, I allowed my own wisdom to prevail.  

 

Often, we follow the wisdom of others instead of asking God for His wisdom.  He promised to give it to us generously (James 1:5).  He said that He would be light for our pathway through life (Psalm 119:105). Although we walk through challenges in life, He said that He would be with us (Psalm 23:4).

 

We face trials and tribulations in our life both small and large.  Let us decide to follow God even in the small things so that our faith will be there for the large challenges.  When we cast all of our cares upon the Lord, we can know that He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7) and will give us His direction wherever we find ourselves.  

 

2 Corinthians 5:7
New International Version

For we live by faith, not by sight.

 

James 1:22-24

New International Version

22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 
23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 
24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like

 

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.

 

James 1:5

New International Version

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 119:105

New International Version

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

 

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.

 

1 Peter 5:7

New International Version

7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

 

Thursday, January 26, 2023

Pastor's Ponderings, January 26, 2023


Let’s Begin Again in 2023

 

We began 2023 with great intentions and wonderful New Year’s resolutions.  However, according to the Insideout Mastery website, 23% quit in the first week, and only 36% make it past the first month. Only 9% successfully keep their New Year’s resolutions.

 

Eleanor Roosevelt, the wife of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, wrote, “It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan.” Many will spend their lives wishing and hoping and fantasizing about what they will do.  Mrs. Roosevelt says you can either wish or make plans to reach your goals.

 

The Bible says that the Lord instructed the prophet Habakkuk when he had questioned Him. God said to “Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it.” (Habakkuk 2:2).  We are to write the plan and not fantasize or wish our dreams into existence.

 

The Bible speaks of a person who attempted to build a house, but because he did not accurately plan, could not finish it (Luke 14:28-30).  God is a God of purpose, planning, and order.  He speaks those things that are not if they were in existence (Romans 4:17). He will accomplish those things that He speaks (Isaiah 55:11). He is the Word, speaks the Word and accomplishes the Word.

It is still in the first month of the year.  Let us ask God for His wisdom (James 1:5), write down the vision for you again, and once again begin to plan and accomplish His work for you for 2023.  We can be assured knowing He is motivating us to do His will (Philippians 2:13) so that we can be among that 9% that successfully keep their New Year’s resolutions.

 

Habakkuk 2:2

New International Version

Then the Lord answered me and said: “Write the vision And make it plain on tablets, That he may run who reads it.

 

Luke 14:28-30

New International Version

28 “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? 29 For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, 
30 saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’

 

Romans 4:17

New International Version

17 As it is written: “I have made you a father of many nations.” He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed—the God who gives life to the dead and calls into being things that were not.

 

Isaiah 55:11

New International Version

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.

 

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.

 

Philippians 2:13

New International Version

13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.


  

Friday, January 20, 2023

Pastor's Ponderings, January 20, 2023

This is a repost from January 22, 2018.  Do enjoy.

God Wants The Best For His Children


What would you wish for if you had three wishes besides, of course, more wishes?  Throughout history there have been many stories of genies, leprechauns, demons and other denizens of the supernatural that appear and make this fantastic offer.  It usually ends up badly for the victim who thinks they can get something for nothing. 

But what does God want for us?  If we would ask God about His creation, He might say that He wants the best that life can give us. He wants us to be in health and to prosper (3 John 2).  Our Creator wants us to cast all of our cares upon Him (1 Peter 5:7).  Jesus Christ has an expected end for our lives of hope and well being (Jeremiah 29:11). 

He wants us to be blessed and prosperous in everything that we do (Deuteronomy 28:8). He wants to be that go-to person that we first call upon when we are in trouble to deliver us since He will never leave us (Psalm 91:15).  The Eternal God, our Saviour, wants to guide our path through life so that we can avoid things that needlessly hurt us.  Finally, after we have lived an obedient life before Him during our earthly travails, He wants us to live with Him in His house forever (Psalm 23:6).

We can appreciate the fact that our Saviour is not trying to trick us or shortchange us or deprive us of our blessings.  He truly will not hold back on any good thing for those who love the Lord (Psalm 84:11). We have the awesome privilege of being able to joyfully go through our lives knowing that He does not want us to just have three wishes, but He wants to give us the desires of our hearts.  God wants the very best in life for us.

3 John 2
New International Version (NIV)
2 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.

1 Peter 5:7
New International Version (NIV)
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

Jeremiah 29:11
New International Version (NIV)
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.

Deuteronomy 28:8
New International Version (NIV)
8 The LORD will send a blessing on your barns and on everything you put your hand to. The LORD your God will bless you in the land he is giving you.

Psalm 91:15
New International Version (NIV)
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.

Psalm 23:6
New International Version (NIV)
6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

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.

Thursday, January 12, 2023

Pastor's Ponderings, January 12, 2023

God’s EveryDay Wisdom

 

Maya Angelou wrote, "When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time."  In the poem, Snake, a hiker picks up a snake which promised not to bite him.  When the snake reached his destination, he bit the hiker.  When the dying hiker cried out, the snake said, “Ha! You knew I was a snake when you picked me up.”

 

How many of us will make wrong decisions but feel they will never reap the consequences of bad decisions? That party with sketchy people, the employment opportunity that you kept noticing red flags, or the date with a person with shifty eyes.  To avoid those bad choices, God wants us to ask Him for His wisdom when we have an important decision to make, and He promises to give it to us (James 1:5).  God promises to be a light for us guiding our way through life (Psalm 119:105)   He even says that when we go through dark valleys, He will be with us (Psalm 23:4) and will never forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). 

 

God promises that we can trust Him with all our heart and not to allow our own understanding of things to lead us astray (Proverbs 3:5).  To avoid problems with people, places, or things, let us acknowledge Him in all our ways; He promises He will be the director of our lives (Proverbs 3:6).

 

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 119:105

New International Version

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

 

Psalm 23:4

New International Version

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.

 

Hebrews 13:5

New International Version

5 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.”

 

Proverbs 3:5-6

New International Version

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.


 

Thursday, January 5, 2023

Pastor's Ponderings, January 5, 2022

Let Us Put God’s Plans First

 

In the first Pastor’s Ponderings entry of 2023, we are looking forward to all the things that we want to accomplish this year.  It is important that we make good use of our time because our life is but a temporary mist (James 4:14).  

 

It is great to know that we have a God who is watching over us.  He tells us that He knows all about us (Psalm 139:2).  He sees all the days of our lives before Him (Psalm 139:16) and wants to give us hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11).  God wants us to accomplish His divine tasks and turn away from things that will hurt us and others.  God wants us to ask Him to meet our needs (Psalm 63:1).

 

Many of us are writing our plans, making lists, getting rid of clutter, and prioritizing our next steps.  Let us ask God for His priorities, plans, and objectives.  Some of His tasks are to be kind to one another, tenderhearted and forgiving one another like He forgave us (Ephesians 4:32). Our tasks may feel important right now, but God wants us to do the things that will last into eternity. Let’s allow God’s plans to work in our lives today.

 

James 4:14

New International Version

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.

 

Psalm 139:2

New International Version

2 You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.

 

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.

 

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 63:1

New International Version

1 You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water.

 

Ephesians 4:32

New International Version

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