Monday, January 27, 2020

Pastor's Ponderings, January 27, 2020

Let Us Continue With Christ

What does one do when they feel very spiritually and physically strong and it is time to write their blog?  They write their blog.  What does one do when they feel totally down, physically sick and only want to curl up in bed with hot tea and soup, but it is time to write their blog?  They write the blog anyway.  Similarly, God is looking for people who will remain with Him despite the vagaries of life.

Jesus stated that the truth would free His disciples if they listened to His teachings and followed Him (John 8:31-32).  In addition, Paul wrote to the Colossians that Christ had reconciled them back to Him, but they must continue in the faith and hope of the gospel (Colossians 1:22-23).

Despite the good times or bad times, having faithful friends or unfaithful acquaintances, enduring times of prosperity or times of suffering, we must remain following Christ.  Let us continue in our well doing with Christ because we will finally reap His rewards if we do not give up (Galatians 6:9).  Let us continue with Christ.

John 8:31-32
New International Version (NIV)
31 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples
32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” 

Colossians 1:22-23
New International Version (NIV)
22 But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation— 
23 if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.

Galatians 6:9
Amplified Bible (AMP)
Let us not grow weary or become discouraged in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap, if we do not give in.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Pastor's Ponderings, January 21, 2020

I Don’t Feel No Ways Tired

James Cleveland wrote the song, “I Don’t Feel Noways Tired.” Some of the lyrics are, I don’t feel no ways tired, I’ve come too far from where I started from. Nobody told me that the road would be easy. I don’t believe he brought me this far to leave me.  These poignant lyrics point to total reliance on God, complete obedience to Him, and the absolute belief that God would always be with us (Deuteronomy 31:6).

We can rest in Him knowing that He is the solid Rock on which we stand (Psalm 18:2). Our strength is in Him.  He holds our past, present and future.  All of our failings and all of our successes were already written in His book (Psalm 139:16) and He promises to bring us safely on our eternal journey to live with Him throughout the ages to come (Ephesians 2:7).  

Our bodies may be racked with pain, our emotions may be fraught with our cares, and our minds may be full of concern about those things for which we are responsible, but we can run and not be weary; we can walk and not faint (Isaiah 40:31).  He cares for us. He takes our cares, our pain, our concerns and He carries us through the storms and the challenges of life.

We will not let life run us down. We can declare today that while we have seen much and are enduring much, we will not be weary in obeying God because we know that we will reap His blessings if we do not give up (Galatians 6:9). Let us remember that we can do all things through His strength. We are therefore in no way tired.

Deuteronomy 31:6
New International Version (NIV)
6 Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Psalm 18:2
New International Version (NIV)
2 The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield[a] and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold

Psalm 139:16
New International Version (NIV)
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

Ephesians 2:7
New International Version (NIV)
7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.

Isaiah 40:31
New International Version (NIV)
 but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Galatians 6:9
New International Version (NIV)
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Pastor's Ponderings, January 14, 2020

Feeling Doomed?

I recently learned that having a sense of impending doom is actually a real medical symptom that can be linked to life threatening illnesses such has having a blood clot om your lungs. Dr. Lynne Eldridge, MD in the Website, VeryWellMind, wrote an article entitled, “Is a Sense of Impending Doom a Real Symptom?” A sense of impending doom is a feeling of knowing that something life-threatening or tragic is about to occur. …this symptom may actually precede other obviously critical symptoms.  In other words, how one feels about major life-threatening possibilities may precede their actual occurrence.  While this feeling may alert the medical community of the diagnosis, we cannot apply this strategy to our everyday lives. 

Often times we can be influenced by people, situations or the media that predict doom and gloom. We can accept it for ourselves and brace for when something bad will happen.  However, the Bible says that as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he (Proverbs 23:7).  God wants us to prosper and be in health (3 John 2) and He gives us everything that pertains unto life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3).  The evil one wants us to think negative thoughts about ourselves when God says we are to think only good, honest, just, pure, lovely and positive things (Philippians 4:8).  These fears of doom did not come from the Lord because God is love and His perfect love casts out all fear (1 John 4:18).

This year when the devil speaks to our minds about coming disaster, looming catastrophes, and destructive storms, we must speak back to him and say that my God will take care of me.  God tells us not be anxious about anything. but rather than worry about the future, we are to give thanks to God for what He has already done, is doing, and will do in our life (Philippians 4:6).  We are not to allow our feelings to determine our destiny because we live by faith in God and not by our feelings (2 Corinthians 5:7).  We are victorious in God.

Proverbs 23:7
King James Version (KJV)
7 For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.

3 John 2
King James Version (KJV)
2 Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.

2 Peter 1:3
New International Version (NIV)
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 4:8
King James Version (KJV)
8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

1 John 4:18
New International Version (NIV)
18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

Philippians 4:6
New International Version (NIV)
6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

2 Corinthians 5:7
New International Version (NIV)
7 For we live by faith, not by sight.

Monday, January 6, 2020

Pastor's Pondering, January 6, 2020

In Scary Times, God Is Still In Control

My recently born granddaughter has a favorite place, her grandfather’s shoulder.  When she has been fed, cleaned, and there is no real reason for crying, she can always rest on me.  She has no issues of bills, employment, shopping, dating, or any of the adult mundane endeavors.  All that she really wants is to be taken care of by those who love her.

In the Bible, God demonstrates his love for us when He surrounds us with His divine protection (Psalm 91:4).  Since we are under His protection, He declares that no weapon that is formed will prosper against us (Isaiah 54:17).  Despite our problems, failures, sins, rebellion, He declares that we are always accepted (Ephesians 1:6).  Our relatives, friends, neighbors may turn their backs upon us, but we can still look to Jesus the author and the finisher of our faith. Even though I have to fight sleep holding her in my arms, our God does not slumber nor sleep (Psalm 121:2-4).  

We are hearing the drumbeats of war and enemy nations have declared that they will strike American interests.   Just like my granddaughter who doesn’t worry about whatever is going on outside of her world, we must not worry about anything because our God is a very present help in our times of trouble (Psalm 46:1, 2).  

In 2020, let us be more like my granddaughter and less like worry warts.  He holds the dictators and the masses, He has the rich and the poor, and the known and the unknown.  Let us rest on Him who is the same, yesterday and forever (Hebrews 13:8). God has us all under His protection.

Psalm 91:4
New International Version (NIV)
4 He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.

Isaiah 54:17
New International Version (NIV)
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.

Ephesians 1:6
King James Version (KJV)
6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

Psalm 46:1, 2 
New International Version (NIV)
1 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,

Psalm 121:2-4 
New International Version (NIV)
2 My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip—he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.

Hebrews 13:8
New International Version
8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.