Friday, April 14, 2023

Pastor's Ponderings, April 14, 2023

Confused? Choose God’s Direction


Grace Hauck wrote an article in USA TODAY on April 10, 2023 entitled, 100 days into 2023, Louisville attack marks nation's 146th mass shooting and 15th mass killing.   Ryan Nobles, Kyle Stewart, Scott Wong and Rose Horowitch wrote an article in a March 29, 2023, ABC News website. The news article reported that Tim Burchett, a Republican from Tennessee, pronounced of school shootings: ‘We’re not gonna fix it.’


In the United States of America, an intense political battle rages for those who believe the Second Amendment of the Constitution gives everyone rights to carry all kinds of guns. Proponents on all sides of the argument believe they have the moral high ground.  Their angry voices seem to be a warning sign of future physical battles. 


But the Bible says that if any lack wisdom, let him ask of God who will give that wisdom (James 1:5).  Who is asking the Lord about the availability of guns? The Bible tells those who love the Lord to seek His face, turn from their ways and He will hear from heaven and heal our land (2 Chronicles 7:14).  


We have heard much from those who are knowledgeable, gifted, and wise in our land.  Now we must trust in the Lord with all our hearts and not lean to our own personal understanding (Proverbs 3:5). The Bible says that if we look to God in all our ways, He will direct our path (Proverbs 3:6). 


It seems easy when we are only listening to our own hearts about the way forward.  Let’s try God’s way.  When God is for us, who can be against us (Romans 8:31).  God is waiting for us to trust Him alone.  Let us sincerely ask God for His wisdom and obey when we hear from Him. 


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.


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.


Proverbs 3:5-6

New International Version

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

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


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?


Pastor's Ponderings, April 8, 2023

The Resurrection of Jesus Can Change Your Life


On April 7, 2023, we celebrated Good Friday when over 2000 years ago, Jesus went to the Cross for our sins.  He died and spent three days in the grave.  We look forward to Sunday, Resurrection Day when we celebrate His rising from the dead and declaring that all power is in His hands (Matthew 28:18).  Because of His pain and suffering on the Cross, we have the right to walk victoriously in life.


What does this mean for us?  Is His resurrection only useful for church sermons, feel good moments or does His life mean something for us in 2023?  For those who believe the Bible, He lived then but most importantly He lives now.  His death, burial and Resurrection was not simply a legend like the fables, mythology, and empty doctrines of the past, but He is a living God who lives in us (1 John 4:4). The leaders of other religions are still in their graves, but Jesus went into the grave, established His authority over the underworld and now lives through those who love Him (1 Corinthians 6:19).


Our mission today and every day is to tell everyone that the Resurrection weekend is real, is life-changing and Jesus wants to transform our lives for the better.  Since He is for us, He is more than the whole world against us (Romans 8:31).  Because of what He suffered we can face our todays and our tomorrows with hope, joy and peace knowing that the eternal God is real.  We can ask Him for anything in His will and He said that will do it for us (1 John 5:14-15).  Let us celebrate this time of blessings and tell others that He wants to do the same for everyone.


Matthew 28:18

New International Version

18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 


1 John 4:4

New International Version

4 You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.


1 Corinthians 6:19
New International Version

19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;


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?


1 John 5:14-15

New International Version

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.


Saturday, April 1, 2023

Pastor's Ponderings, April 1, 2023

Happy Resurrection Day!

On April 1, 2018, Resurrection Sunday dawned heralding an international celebration of Jesus’ coming forth from a borrowed tomb to live forevermore and is now making intercession for a desperate, depressed, disappointed and distraught world.  For many, His promise of a better life may seem like a joke appropriate on April Fool’s Day. Why? On October 26, 2017, President Donald Trump declared the country's opioid crisis a "public health emergency". In 2016, there were 44,965 recorded suicides, up from 42,773 in 2014, according to the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics. Compared to 22 other high-income nations, the U.S. gun-related murder rate is 25 times higher.  The list of life challenges goes on and on.

Thank God for Jesus who has come that we can have the abundant life (John 10:10).  He desires that we prosper and be in health (3 John 2).  He asks us to simply cast all of our cares on Him because He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7).  The world is so confusing, decisions are difficult and the implications for mistakes can be catastrophic.  But He says to ask Him for His wisdom, His guidance, and to simply acknowledge Him and He will direct our path through life (Proverbs 3:5-6).

It is true that we have many problems in this world, but in the midst of life’s problems, Jesus says to take heart because He has overcome the world (John 16:33).  It is true that April 1, 2018 is April’s Fool’s Day, but God’s promises are no joke.  He is greater than your pain, anguish, loneliness, or despair.  Let Him be your Savior by asking Him to be your Lord.  When you obey Him, He will make your way prosperous and you will have good success in life (Joshua 1:8).  Happy Resurrection Day!

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.

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.

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

Proverbs 3:5-6 
New International Version (NIV)
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.

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.”

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.