Saturday, February 17, 2024

Pastor's Ponderings, February 17, 2024

We Become What We Look At


Jon Bloom a writer for the website “Desiring God”, on July 1, 2007, wrote an article entitled Learn From Darwin, We Become What We Behold.  He wrote, “We condition our minds to value whatever we watch and study and contemplate the most. … we become what we behold. What absorbs our interest, what we give our attention to most, shapes our thinking and trains our affections.”


For those who have spent their time studying God’s word, practicing holiness, and trying to become like God, this is great news.  We have been looking to Jesus the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). Those of us who love the Lord know that He began a good work in us. We are His workmanship, and He will continue to work in us until He returns (Philippians 1:6).  We know that we are changed in the presence of God to become more and more like Him (2 Corinthians 3:18). Great news!


However, those of us who have not looked to Jesus, but have returned to focus on the seductive evil of the world, the weak and miserable forces (Galatians 4:9), may be concerned.  Since we may have focused on fleshly things, the lusts of the world and the pride of life, we may be afraid that we will receive destruction at the Day of Judgment (Galatians 6:8).  What can we do?


Thank God there is hope for us!  In the Bible, King David turned away from God when he committed adultery and murder. After these grievous sins, he made a firm decision that he would set no evil thing in front of his eyes (Psalm 101:3). He decided further that he would have his eyes look straight forward, would carefully consider the paths in life he was taking, and would not turn to the left or right (Proverbs 4:25-27).  The Bible lets us know that God will give us a way to escape any temptation that may come our way (1 Corinthians 10:13).


Let us decide that from now on, we will turn our eyes away from entertaining temptations of the world and focus on the word of God and our Savior, Jesus Christ.  Let us allow Him to change us to become blessed, prosperous, healed, and holy, and able to resist any devilish desires.  Let us look to Jesus Christ and become just like Him.


Hebrews 12:2 

New International Version (NIV)

fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.


Philippians 1:6 

New International Version (NIV)

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.


2 Corinthians 3:18 

New International Version (NIV)

18 And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.


Galatians 4:9 

New International Version (NIV)

But now that you know God—or rather are known by God—how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable forces? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again?


Galatians 6:8 

New International Version (NIV)

Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.


Psalm 101:3 

New International Version (NIV)

I will not look with approval on anything that is vile. I hate what faithless people do; I will have no part in it.


Proverbs 4:25-27 

New International Version (NIV)

25 Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you.

26 Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways.

27 Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.


1 Corinthians 10:13 

New International Version (NIV)

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. 

Friday, February 9, 2024

Pastor's Ponderings, February 9, 2024

God Brings Clarity In Turmoil


Those who are observing our current political turmoil may rejoice or despair depending upon their political leanings.  The Bible says when the wicked are in power people mourn (Proverbs 29:2).  What should we do?  The book of Nehemiah shares the thought that we all have done wrong and ought to turn back to God for His solution to our problems and to unite our country (Nehemiah 1:7-9).  


What should we do?  We must remember that whoever rises to power, and authority is not based upon opinion polls, political power, or even financial resources.  God controls who rises and who falls (Psalm 75:6-7).  We are not struggling against people, but against evil forces (Ephesians 6:12). 


What should we do?  We ought to always pray (Luke 18:1).  We can ask God for wisdom since He knows the future (James 1:5).  We can unite with others who love the Lord and ask for His leadings as to what we should do as a group knowing that He is there in our midst (Matthew 18:19-20). 


What should we do?  He may tell us to write petitions, vote as a block or as individuals, march in the streets, or otherwise protest. However, He could allow us to remember like He instructed King Jehoshaphat who was accosted by a large army.  He told him that the battle was the Lord’s (2 Chronicles 20:15).  Let us be patient; God will bring clarity to our turmoil.


Proverbs 29:2

New International Version

2 When the righteous thrive, the people rejoice; when the wicked rule, the people groan.


Nehemiah 1:7-9

New International Version
7 We have acted very wickedly toward you. We have not obeyed the commands, decrees and laws you gave your servant Moses.

“Remember the instruction you gave your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations, 
9 but if you return to me and obey my commands, then even if your exiled people are at the farthest horizon, I will gather them from there and bring them to the place I have chosen as a dwelling for my Name.’


Psalm 75:6-7

New International Version

6 No one from the east or the west or from the desert can exalt themselves.

7 It is God who judges: He brings one down, he exalts another.


Ephesians 6:12

Amplified Bible

12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this [present] darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) places.


Luke 18:1

New International Version

18 Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.


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


Matthew 18:19-20

New International Version

19 “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”


2 Chronicles 20:15, 22, 23

New International Version
15 He said: “Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the Lord says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s



Saturday, February 3, 2024

Pastor's Pondering, February 3, 2024

Our Social Influencer is Christ


Some of us have been staring at social media and are concerned about who are the top influencers, who is going to win what award, or what the beautiful people are doing.  However, the Bible tells us to set our affection on things above rather than on short term things of the earth (Colossians 3:2).  It is crucial that we take the perspective that we are just passing through and we are not in love with this world system.  


The Bible tells us that we are not to love the world because everything in the world can be categorized as lust of the flesh and eyes, and pride of life. (1 John 2:15, 16). The Amplified version of this scripture says pride of life is the “[pretentious confidence in one’s resources or in the stability of earthly things]


We like to think that our clothes, cars, or cash can insure us against the calamities of life so we hold onto them and like ostriches hide our heads in the sand, so we don’t have to think about problems. However, the world is quickly passing by (1 John 2:17).  Only the things that we do in obedience to Christ will last forever.


In a world that is only focused on the here and now, let us be examples of people who are thinking eternally by putting our faith in Jesus Christ. Those who love the Lord are striving to obey God’s word and are practicing living like Christ tells us to live.  We are in this world system, not of it.  We are like a ship in the ocean. Although the ship is sailing in the ocean it’s not technically a part of the ocean but simply passing through it.  It is time to live for God, resist our sinful desires, and look expectantly to Christ’s soon coming return to the earth. Let us allow God to be the greatest influencer in our lives.


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].


1 John 2:15-17

Amplified Bible

15 Do not love the world [of sin that opposes God and His precepts], nor the things that are in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 

16 For all that is in the world—the lust and sensual craving of the flesh and the lust and longing of the eyes and the boastful pride of life [pretentious confidence in one’s resources or in the stability of earthly things]—these do not come from the Father, but are from the world. 

17 The world is passing away, and with it its lusts [the shameful pursuits and ungodly longings]; but the one who does the will of God and carries out His purposes lives forever.