Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Pastor's Ponderings, November 28, 2023

Let Us Be On The Lord’s Side


The November 27, 2023 Associated Press indicated that Hamas in the Gaza Strip had released more hostages during the truce between them and Israel. This is amazing news that even during war, chaos, suffering and horror, God can open a door.  We must believe that since God has begun a good work, He can work it out to completion (Philippians 1:6).  


Many people have begun to despair.  Either you are for Israel, or you are for the Palestinians.  Both are religious countries, and many are certain that God is on their side and that He defends their cause. However, saints of the Most High God must make the quality decision that people must be on His side rather than He choosing a side.  


We are to pray for the peace of Jerusalem (Psalm 122:6-8).  We are also for each other (James 5:16). We are to go to our knees and ask God for His divine intervention in a political leader’s affairs so that we can live peaceful lives (1 Timothy 2:1-2).  We are to pray that God’s will be done in all worldwide conflicts. 


In the Bible, when Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the Ten Commandments, the people were out of control. Moses did not ask about the differing factions, groups, or opinions.  He asked who was on the Lord’s side (Exodus 32:25, 26).  In the latest Middle East conflict, we are not asking the right questions.  Who is on the Lord’s side?  He is not a supporter of political parties.  He does not run a democracy but a theocracy.  Now is the time for us to go before the Lord and intreat Him for His divine intervention and to declare that like the Levites, the priests, we will rally to Him.


Philippians 1:6

New International Version

being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.


Psalm 122:6-8

New International Version

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: “May those who love you be secure.

May there be peace within your walls and security within your citadels.”

For the sake of my family and friends, I will say, “Peace be within you.”


James 5:16

New International Version

16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.


1 Timothy 2:1-2

New International Version

I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people—
2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.


Exodus 32:25, 26

New International Version

25 Moses saw that the people were running wild and that Aaron had let them get out of control and so become a laughingstock to their enemies. 26 So he stood at the entrance to the camp and said, “Whoever is for the Lord, come to me.” And all the Levites rallied to him.


Monday, November 20, 2023

Pastor's Ponderings, November 20, 2023

God Is Happy When We Succeed


Recently, our youngest daughter, Denise Fair Razo, won the 2023 Emerging Leader Award.  It was a wonderful occasion that honored Wayne State University Mike Ilitch School of Business graduates in various business fields.  The honorees were applauded by their families, friends, and colleagues. We were very happy to be among the cloud of witnesses watching this awesome event.  


Just as we were happy, God Himself is pleased when His children accomplish tasks for and in Him.  The Bible says that He wants us to prosper in all things (3 John 2).  Just as her family rejoiced over Denise, God wants us to have peace and well-being in our lives (Jeremiah 29:11).  In fact, He promised that He would perfect those things in our lives that concern us (Psalm 138:8).


While it may be easier to think that God is too busy for us, He is with us, loves us, and delights in us (Zephaniah 3:17).  When we in turn delight in Him, He makes our footsteps firm and helps us whenever we stumble (Psalm 37:23-24). Today when many are tearing others down, setting traps for them, and plotting against them, let us know that there is the One who is in your audience and who is pleased with your work. Let us rejoice knowing that God delights in us.

3 John 2

New King James Version

Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.


Jeremiah 29:11

Amplified Bible

11 For I know the plans and thoughts that I have for you,’ says the Lord, ‘plans for peaceand well-being and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.


Psalm 138:8

New King James Version

8 The Lord will perfect that which concerns me; Your mercy, O Lord, endures forever; Do not forsake the works of Your hands.


Zephaniah 3:17

New International Version

17 The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you,


Psalm 37:23

New International Version

23 The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him;

24 though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand

Monday, November 13, 2023

Pastor's Ponderings, November 13, 2023

God Has A Breakthrough For Us


Adam Fulton and (earlier) LĂ©onie Chao-Fong, Richard Luscombe, Ashifa Kassam and Reged Ahmad wrote an article in the November 10, 2023 Guardian entitled, “WHO says a child is killed every 10 minutes in Gaza – as it happened.”  The World Health Organization has given us a painful reminder that people are implying that childhood slaughter is justified, and payback is appropriate and an eye for an eye is just a good start. Perhaps we should consider the quote that some authors have attributed to Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. “An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.”  


What should those who love the Lord do when passions are inflamed, reason has fled the room, and one can only hope to slow down the inexorable death march?  First, since politicians, military leaders, media personnel have so far not been able to know how to stop the carnage, we must look to God’s wisdom for help and who promised to give it to us (James 1:5).  Second, we must petition leadership, protest the madness, and implore those who have the power to stop the fighting. Third, we must stay on our knees and ask God for divine intervention.  In the book of 2nd Chronicles, the Moabites and Ammonites with some of the Meunites came to wage war against Jehoshaphat (2 Chronicles 20:1) and surrounded the Children of Israel. King Jehoshaphat prayed, “our eyes are upon thee.”Then God worked miraculously and defeated their enemies (2 Chronicles 20:12). 


In the book of Daniel, he also prayed, and the angel showed up twenty-one days later and explained that he had been held up by demonic forces but was helped by the archangel Michael (Daniel 10:12, 13). We must remember that this is a spiritual battle. We are not fighting against other people but against powerful demonic spirits (Ephesians 6:12). While it may look hopeless, God will show up and show Himself mighty in this conflict.  God is still in charge.


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.


2 Chronicles 20:1, 12

King James Version

It came to pass after this also, that the children of Moab, and the children of Ammon, and with them other beside the Ammonites, came against Jehoshaphat to battle.

12 O our God, wilt thou not judge them? for we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon thee.


Daniel 10:12, 13

New International Version

12 Then he continued, “Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them. 13 But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was detained there with the king of Persia.


Ephesians 6:12

New International Version

12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.



Monday, November 6, 2023

Pastor's Ponderings, November 6, 2023

Trusting God In Difficult Times


Have you found out that your goals may never be achieved?  Have you found out that the illness is very bad?  Have you ever been disappointed by those who you have trusted in and believed in?  Despite life’s disappointments, the Bible tells us to trust God with all our heart and don’t rely on what we understand (Proverbs 3:5-6).


Our great God is more than enough for all our problems.  It may seem like all is lost but He promised us that He would supply everything that we need (Philippians 4:19)It may not be now or even soon, but He will work things out for our good (Romans 8:28).  It may seem that God does not always come through for us. We know that people have, are, and will suffer catastrophes in their life even though God is All powerful. 


In the Bible, Job questioned God concerning all his trials and tribulations. In reply, God told Job what He had done and was doing.  As a result, Job repented and said that he had spoken carelessly (Job 42:1-3).  Many times, we will talk about the bigness of our problems and not consider the bigness of our God who wants to bring us hope and a successful conclusion in our lives (Jeremiah 29:11).


Let us look at our God and not focus on the world’s powerful distractions. We may not understand fully what is going on, but we must remember that God holds the whole world in His hands.  Let us have confidence in Him that He knows what He is doing.


Proverbs 3:5-6

New International Version

5 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


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.


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 42:1-3

New International Version
1 Then Job replied to the Lord:

2 “I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted.

3 You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my plans without knowledge?’ Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know.


Jeremiah 29:11

Amplified Bible

11 For I know the plans and thoughts that I have for you,’ says the Lord, ‘plans for peace and well-being and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.