Saturday, September 30, 2023

Pastor's Ponderings, September 30, 2023

We Are Healed Right Now


In the Sanctuary Gospel Center Church Friday Night Bible Study, we are studying Pastor Bill Winston’s book, “Redeemed From Sickness.”  Recently as I prepared to present the topic, I fell and hit the stairs at my daughter’s home. We thank God that we did not break a hip or hit my head but the continuing pain in my side is intense. 


My wife and I spoke and continued to say healing scriptures and to declare I was healed.  We declared that because of Jesus’s suffering sacrifice on the cross that I am healed (Isaiah 53:5).  We said that if any are sick, we are to call for the elders of the church and that God would raise up the sick (James 5:14-15).


The scriptures further tell us to lay our hands on the sick and that they would recover (Mark 16:18b). Therefore, whenever I am asked, I say that while I am still in pain, I am healed because God gives us what we want when we ask in the Name of Jesus (John 14:13, John 16:23-24).  I take pain medication, but I know that it is not the source of relief; Jesus is my source. 


I am preparing to run in the Detroit Free Press Marathon on October 15th.  I am asking for those who would pray to pray for my healing.  God is the eternal God, and, for Him, everything is now. We therefore have faith that we are healed, not in the future, but right now.  So, today I am declaring that nothing that comes against me including falling upon my side shall defeat me (Isaiah 54:17) and in the Name of Jesus I am healed right now. 


Isaiah 53:5

New International Version

5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.


James 5:14-15

New International Version

14 Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. 
15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven.


Mark 16:18b

New International Version

18 ... they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”


John 14:13

New International Version

13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son


John 16:23-24

New International Version

23 In that day you will no longer ask me anything. Very truly I tell you, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. 
24 Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.


Isaiah 54:17

New International Version

17 no weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and this is their vindication from me,” declares the Lord.



Saturday, September 23, 2023

Pastor's Ponderings, September 23, 2023

Our God Benefits Us Greatly


According to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention website, “Regular physical activity is one of the most important things you can do for your health. Being physically active can improve your brain health, help manage weight, reduce the risk of disease, strengthen bones and muscles, and improve your ability to do everyday activities.”  As the actor Dick Van Dyke said, “When people ask my secret to staying youthful at an age when getting up and down from your chair on your own is considered an accomplishment, you know what I tell them? 'Keep moving.'"


The benefits of physical activity are undeniable, and we should attempt to incorporate regular physical activity into our lives.  But most importantly we must put God in our lives because He really gives us great benefits that will help us now and eternally (Psalm 68:19).  He gives us everything that we need for our lives (2 Peter 1:3).  But can God really give us all that we need? He said that He would supply all our needs not according to the limitations of the world but according to His unlimited and eternal riches (Philippians 4:19). Furthermore, the Bible says that His goodness and mercy will follow us for all our lives (Psalm 23:6).


We are the apple of God’s eye, and He wants the best for us in every area of our lives.  We can continue to look to Him who is working all things together for our good (Romans 8:28).  We should enjoy His help and tell others that while other benefits will eventually end, we can enjoy the joy of His presence forever. Truly, He benefits us greatly.  


Psalm 68:19

New King James Version

19 Blessed be the Lord, Who daily loads us with benefits, The God of our salvation! Selah


2 Peter 1:3

New International Version

3 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.


Philippians 4:19

New International Version

19 And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.


Psalm 23:6

New International Version

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.


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.


Saturday, September 16, 2023

Pastor's Ponderings, September 16, 2023

Tragedies May Come But God Reigns 

According to the September 14, 2023 Associated Press, “Flooding death toll soars to 11,300 in Libya’s coastal city of Derna, aid group says.” 

“In comments to the Saudi-owned Al Arabia television station on Thursday, Derna Mayor Abdel-Moneim al-Ghaithi said the tally could climb to 20,000 given the number of neighborhoods that were washed out.”  Without warning, it seems the local dams collapsed and whole villages were washed out to sea.


We are still reeling from the earthquake catastrophe in Morocco and the over 52,000 deaths in the Ukraine war.  Despite this worldwide horror, we must still stand up and declare and decree that this is the day that the Lord has made, and we will rejoice and be glad in it (Psalm 118:24).  Our God reigns despite looming and ongoing strikes, indicted politicians, and the drug cartels dealing death blows at home and abroad.  


When the world asks how an Omniscient and Loving God could allow these disasters, we can ask God for wisdom about how to share His love and comfort. We can declare and decree that our God still loves the world so much that He gave His only begotten Son for us (John 3:16).


Despite that world’s challenges, we are convinced that nothing or no one will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:38-39). We can suffer, cry, sympathize and empathize with those who have been hit by the vagaries of life or who have lost their lives altogether.  Despite what comes or what goes, all things work together for the good for those who love the Lord and who have been called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).  God is still on the throne.


Psalm 118:24

New International Version

24 The Lord has done it this very day; let us rejoice today and be glad.


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.


Romans 8:38-39

New International Version

38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 

39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.


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.


Monday, September 11, 2023

Pastor's Ponderings, September 11, 2023

What Man Can Conceive, Man Can Achieve

One of the first known versions of this saying was by the prominent social reformer and socialist Robert Owen. He wrote, “man can conceive what man can achieve.” Others have written various versions of this saying which implies that our achievements are only limited by what we can imagine. 


When mankind began to build the Tower of Babel, God Himself came down to see their work and declared, “nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them” (Genesis 11:4-6). Perhaps we have limited ourselves when God wants us to do the exploits which are unattainable by human means, while saying that nothing will be impossible for us (Matthew 17:20).  The Bible says that we have not even conceived of the things that God wants for His children (Corinthians 2:9).  God can do immeasurably more than we can ask for or even think about (Ephesians 3:20).


It might be that when the evil one tempted Eve in the Garden by saying, “Did God say?” he directed her view away from the eternal, abundant, and limitless life in God. Today, God has given us each the measure of faith (Romans 12:3) with which one can ask for anything.  Some may ask for healing for a headache when God wants to heal cancer.  Some may give monthly to the impoverished in other countries.  This is commendable but pales in comparison to God wanting to give us knowledge of witty inventions to bring prosperity, water, and fruitfulness to the dry lands.


Let us ask God for His wisdom to fulfill our limitless potential in Him. He wants to expand our territory and extend our tents.  Let us use the unlimited mind of Christ, think His thoughts, and allow Him to use us to bring Heaven down to earth and walk in His authority to destroy the works of the evil one.  What great thing can you conceive and allow God to work with you to achieve?


Genesis 11:4-6

New International Version
Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.”

But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower the people were building. 
The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them.


Matthew 17:20

New International Version

20 He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”


Corinthians 2:9

New International Version

9 However, as it is written:

“What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived”—the things God has prepared for those who love him—


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 12:3

King James Version

3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.


Saturday, September 2, 2023

Pastor's Ponderings, September 2, 2023

Let Us Allow The World To See Christ In Us


On August 13, 2023, my dear Aunt Alice Brown transitioned into the eternal presence of Jesus Christ.  She would have been 97 on September 3rd. She was eagerly looking forward to reaching 100 having outlived two husbands, four children and three grandchildren.  Despite her many challenges in life, disappointments, and losses, she did not dwell on the negative. She seemed to be a woman that had the mind of Christ.  


She allowed the peace of God to guard her heart, meditating on things of God (Philippians 4:7, 8) and declared and decreed the word of God (Job 22:28). Truly, she was a woman who forgot those things that were behind and pressed towards her heavenly home with Jesus Christ (Philippians 3:13-14).


While listening to her eulogy and all the testimonials to her life, I was struck by legacy she leaves behind of being thankful in every circumstance. Her life example showed us all how that when He lives in you, you become more and more like Him (2 Corinthians 3:2-3)? Do people see us in our good times and our bad times exhibiting holiness or temporarily showing our evil sides?   If we want to be spread the good news of our Savior, we should be careful of our bait.


Acting in self, attacking others, engaging in juicy gossip or any other sin will not help lead others to a relationship with Christ.  Let us resolve to live so that others can see Christ in us and decide that they want to follow the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.  Let us truly be living examples of Christ.


Philippians 4:7-8

New International Version

7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.


Job 22:28

New International Version

28 What you decide on will be done, and light will shine on your ways.


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.


2 Corinthians 3:2-3

New King James Version

2 You are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read by all men; 3 clearly you are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart.