Monday, January 27, 2014

Pastor's Ponderings, January 27, 2014

I need you Lord!

The famous singer, Barbara Streisand, sang a line, “People who need people are the luckiest people in the world.” As popular culture continues to explore extrovert vs. introvert personalities, there is still a push for us to constantly seek the companionship of each other for fulfillment. However, I believe Jesus Christ would want us to value His companionship more than any other relationship in the world. People who know that they need Christ are the most blessed in the world.   

In the 91st Psalm, David speaks of God’s protection and the value of spending time alone with Him. As a leader of the Israelite army, he could easily have put his faith and dependence on the men that fought with him. Instead, David put his trust in God knowing that He was all he needed. David spent time in God’s presence, getting to know Him, and understanding His character. The more time he spent with Him, the more his need for God became evident and essential.

Although, it is good to have people around you that are supportive and loving, it is so much more important to have our supportive and loving Lord and Saviour. There is something wonderful about time spent alone with Him.  We can talk with Him knowing that He will help us in any situation (Psalm 46:1). He will comfort us, assure us, and protect us even in perilous times (Psalm 23:4).

On this week, let us be like David, and make a decision to spend quality, one on one time with our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. When we spend time with him we realize how much we need him and can not live without Him!

Please comment below and share how your time with God has allowed you to realize how much you need Him.

Matthew 6:6
New International Version (NIV)
But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father,who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

Psalm 91:1
New International Version (NIV)
1 Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
 I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.

Psalm 23:4
New International Version (NIV)
4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Pastor's Pondering, January 21, 2014

Fighting Battles

Conflict, arguments, or physical fights are not usually what many of us go looking for and often times we avoid at all costs. Some of us would rather work on consensus building and problem solving while fiercely avoiding confrontation.  We adhere to the scripture, A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger (Proverbs 15:1) to avoid situations like the 71 year old man that recently killed another after an escalation from texting in a movie theater.

Although we are admonished to steer clear of those battles with each other, we are however, encouraged to fight our spiritual battle. If you have given your life to Christ, God has won the battle over your soul but the Devil wants to make sure your days on earth are a living hell. He wants you to feel defeated, rejected, doomed and unworthy. God promised that he would give you peace, joy and meet all of your needs but the Devil wants you to believe his lie. This is a battle for your life!

Fortunately, we don’t have to fight using conventional weapons. Our weapons are truth, righteousness, faith, peace, prayer, and the word of God (Ephesians 6:10-20). These weapons are divinely powerful to fight against the evil that is in the world (2 Corinthians 10:4). This is not the time for compromise or a consensual arrangement with evil. We have to commit ourselves to prayer, studying His word, obedience to His word, and becoming more like our Saviour, Jesus Christ.  This is how we fight the good fight of faith  (2 Timothy 6:12).

In this fresh New Year, let us decide that we are going to fight the good fight by doing what God tells us to do, living like God tells us to live, and learning exactly what God wants us to do in our life. Let this year be the year that we fight on the Lord’s side by being obedient to Him.

Please comment below and share how you have fought spiritual battles by being obedient to God and encourage others in their battles.

2 Chronicles 20:17
New International Version (NIV)
17  You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you.’”
2 Corinthians 10:3-5
New International Version (NIV)
For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does.
The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
Ephesians 6:10-20
New International Version (NIV)
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 
11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.
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.
13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.
14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place,
15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.
16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
19 Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel,
20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Pastor's Ponderings January 13, 2014

My dear mother used to say, “Procrastination is a thief of time.”  We have all heard similar sayings such as, “Don’t put off tomorrow the things that you can do today” or “Tomorrow never comes.”  I believe one of the tactics used by the devil is to encourage us to waste our time on trivial things and put off important things until later.  Short term gratification is often prioritized over future benefits and procrastination sets in. 
Naturally, we have all been in this position.  We say, “I can look for that job tomorrow,” or “I can look into starting a business when I am older,” or “I’ll start eating right and exercising next week,” or “Maybe I will say hello to that man or woman when I get a better opportunity.” Unfortunately, that opportunity may never come.
In Luke 12, the parable of the rich fool teaches a primary lesson about covetousness and a secondary lesson about procrastination. The rich man had great resources and instead of sharing them with others, he decided to build bigger barns for himself.  He said to himself, “…Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.” (Luke 12:19).  He put off having a personal relationship with God who then said to him, “You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?" (Luke 12:20)
Have you put off the critical things in life and spent your time on the unimportant or have you used all of your time to the best of your ability?  God wants you to use every moment to best glorify Him by fulfilling our purpose. Since we will never know when we will run out of a future to procrastinate in, let’s ask God to give us motivation, direction, and courage to live out our purpose on earth.
Please comment below how you did not procrastinate in spite of the temptation but you pressed on and accomplished your tasks in a timely manner.  Your comments may bless others to follow your example.
Luke 12:15-20 (NIV)
15 Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”
16 And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. 17 He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’
18 “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. 19 And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’
20 “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’
Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)
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.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Pastor's Ponderings, January 6, 2014

Unfinished Business

Since I was a young child, I have always loved science fiction.  Stories of adventures in faraway planets and future inventions fascinated me.  One of my favorite authors was Isaac Asimov, one of the Grandfathers of science fiction and author of the famous I, Robot series. Although admired for years, I was saddened to discover his disturbing quote, “Properly read, the Bible is the most potent force for atheism ever conceived.” To hear that one of the authors for which I had devoted many a quiet evening never grasped the wonder of the Gospel was heartbreaking. 
As a young man, I was not able to share the Gospel with Dr. Asimov, but how many have been within my reach and I have not shared? How many of us have close friends, associates, and even relatives who have no idea of the great sacrifice Christ made for all of us?  People will go in and out of our lives without knowing what we believe, why we believe it, or even see evidence of our faith in the way we live our life.
Since he passed over twenty years ago, there is no way to be certain that Dr. Asimov knew of Christ’s love personally, but we can allow God to use us to share with those who are still around. It may not be politically correct to be a Christian these days, but in a world that is in desperate need of love, it is time we tell the greatest love story ever told.
Do you have a personal relationship with Christ and have asked Him to be your Lord and Savior (Romans 10:9, 10)? If so, let’s not have any unfinished business this year and look for opportunities to share the Good News that God loved us, Christ died for us and He wants us to be a part of His family.
Please share your personal love story or how you were able to share it with others below. If you have not accepted Christ as your Lord and Savior, please open your heart to him today and let us know!
2 Timothy 3:14-17
New International Version (NIV)
14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 
15 and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 
16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,
 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
Romans 10:9-10
New International Version (NIV)
9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.
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