Monday, July 22, 2024

Pastor's Ponderings 7 22 2024

He Is Coming Soon! Joy!

         For over two thousand years, the Bible has talked about Christ’s return.  Many scriptures have talked about the end of days. While these words may bring terror to some, those who love the Lord look forward to the soon coming King.  We are to “stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” (Luke 21:25-28).  

         Clearly when one sees the inhuman treatment of mankind, when one sees greed, envy, jealousy and divisions permeate the atmosphere we can look to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2).  We can joyfully declare that for God we live and for God we die (Romans 14:8).  He has the whole world in His hands, and He has given us everything that pertains unto Godliness (2 Peter 1:3).

         Now is not the time to hide from Him who comes to judge the world.  Now is the time to run to Him who will be our comforter, our deliverer and the sustainer of our soul.  Let us not be fooled by this person or that person, this belief of that; we have the wisdom of God and do not have to be fooled by anyone especially this late in the day.  Let us look up, fess up, and declare that God reigns in our hearts and will shortly reign bodily upon the earth. 


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?


Luke 21:25-28

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. 
27 At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.

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


Hebrews 12:2

New International Version

2 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.


Romans 14:8

New International Version

8 If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.


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.

Monday, July 15, 2024

Pastor's Ponderings, 7 15 2024

Who Will You Believe?

In 1992, Ron Kenoly, the great songwriter and singer, sang a song, “Whose Report Shall You Believe? “Some of the lyrics are, “Whose report will you believe, we shall believe the report of the Lord. His report says I am healed, His report says I am filled, His report says I am free, His report says victory.”


What one believes in this world of liars, con men and trickers is crucial to survival.  We must believe what the Lord said about His word, the world, and who we are. His word declares that we are the righteousness of God (1 Corinthians 1:30, Romans 5:1).  He says that whatever we do prospers (Psalm 1:3).  


But what if we don’t feel righteous and what if we are not prospering?  We must know that we don’t make decisions by our feelings but by what we believe will happen (2 Corinthians 5:7).  For example, a woman who is pregnant may not see the baby, but she knows her offspring will come in due season.  The Bible tells us that we will reap if we don’t give up (Galatians 6:9).


Let us not be deceived by this world system whose God is their own selves (Philippians 3:19). We believe in the true and living God who can do anything but fail.  When people come against us, we must remember that if He is for us, who can possibly be against us (Romans 8:31)?  Who will we believe?  We will always and only believe the word of God.


1 Corinthians 1:30

New International Version

30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.


Romans 5:1

Common English Bible

Therefore, since we have been made righteous through his faithfulness, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.


Psalm 1:3

New International Version

That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers.


2 Corinthians 5:7

Easy-to-Read Version

We live by what we believe will happen, not by what we can see.


Galatians 6:9

New International Version

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.


Philippians 3:19

New International Version

19 Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things.


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?

Monday, July 8, 2024

Pastor's Ponderings, July 8, 2024

Let Us Love Each Other

In 1967, a British rock group called the Beatles wrote a song entitled, “All You Need Is Love.”  Some of the lyrics were, “All you need is love, love.  Love is all you need.”  Even though it was a secular song and spoke of a worldly version of love, it spoke to a powerful truth that God is love (1 John 4:8).   No matter what people say or do, if they are not loving they have no relationship to God.


We live in a world that does not promote love, but rewards self-interested behavior.  Putting oneself in the highest position is thought of as both smart and clever.  A best-selling book was entitled “Looking Out for #1: How to Get from Where You Are Now to Where You Want to Be in Life.”  How to get what you want, but not what anybody else wants is an accepted way of thinking.


The Love chapter in 1 Corinthians 13 talks about the characteristics of love.  We must look at ourselves and ask, are we patient and kind?  Do we honor others, act humbly, protect, and hope (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)?  When others wrong us, provoke us, or dishonor us, how do we respond?  


The last scripture in the Love chapter says, And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love (1 Corinthians 13:13).  That love makes up for our sin (1 Peter 4:8).  Let us invite God in our hearts and allow Him to love with His everlasting love.  All we need is God’s love.


1 John 4:8

New International Version

Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.


1 Corinthians 13:4-7

New International Version

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 
5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 

7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.


1 Corinthians 13:13

New International Version

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.


1 Peter 4:8

Amplified Bible

Above all, have fervent and unfailing love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins [it overlooks unkindness and unselfishly seeks the best for others].