Thursday, June 22, 2023

Pastor's Pondering, June 22, 2023

Let Us Follow God Rather Than Ourselves


Recently we were driving to Detroit and our GPS system suddenly announced that we were to immediately get off at the next exit.  Naturally I decided I knew more than the GPS system, so I continued driving on the highway.  As soon as we had gone past that exit, I realized that there was a huge traffic back up.  Obviously, the system knew more than I had known but then it directed me to get off at the next exit.  Humbled, I followed its leadings and only was a few minutes late to my destination.


How many times when we hear the leading of the Lord through circumstances, people, or an inner feeling have we decided that we know best and decided to follow our own understanding?  The  Bible clearly tells us not to follow our own way (Proverbs 3:6) but He will command His angels to guard you in our ways (Psalm 91:11 ).  There is a way that seems right, but it ends in separation from God (Proverbs 14:12).  He wants to be our director, guide, comforter, and keeper.  He really knows the paths of our lives and wants us to end up well (Jeremiah 29:11).  


God really cares for us and wants us to only go through those things that will help us.  Minister Herb Willis, a preacher in our church, recently brought an excellent message about the storms in life that God will send to perfect, protect, and correct us for our victory. Today let us resolve to trust Him with all our hearts and allow Him to take care of our life’s direction.


Proverbs 3:5-6

New International Version

5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;

6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight


Psalm 91:11

New International Version

11 For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways;


Proverbs 14:12

New International Version

12 There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.


Jeremiah 29:11

New International Version

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.


Saturday, June 17, 2023

Pastor's Pondering, June 17, 2023

God Solves Our Problems


In the June 2023 BBC website, an article was written entitled, Ukraine war: Putin confirms first nuclear weapons moved to Belarus.  The article went on to say that “Russia's president told a forum they would only be used if Russia's territory or state was threatened.”  We just avoided a U.S. government shutdown which could have cost billions while our health is threatened by smoke from Canadian wildfires. Challenges just keep coming on all sides.


It is like when one runs from danger and another danger destroys him (Amos 5:19). It is the trick of the evil one to pull us away from God and to distract us so that we will not confess what He has promised us (Hebrews 10:22-23).  He promised that nothing that comes against will be successful (Isaiah 54:17). He promised to never leave nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5).  He promised us deliverance in our lives (Daniel 3:17).


If the evil one can keep us focused on his distractions, his tricks, or his obstacles, we will not look to Jesus who began and perfects our faith (Hebrews 12:2).  We must remember that everything that is a problem in our lives has already been solved by God.  Let us let Him be our problem solver.


Amos 5:19

Amplified Bible

19 It is as if a man runs from a lion [escaping one danger], And a bear meets him [so he dies anyway], Or goes home, and leans with his hand against the wall And a snake bites him.


Hebrews 10:22-23

New International Version

22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.


Isaiah 54:17

New International Version

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.


Hebrews 13:5

New International Version

5 Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”


Daniel 3:17

New International Version

17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand.


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.


Saturday, June 10, 2023

Pastor's Ponderings, June 10, 2023

We Are In God’s Royal Family

The problem of race and ethnic divisions in America permeates much of our political, economic, and social discussions.  “And a new Pew Research poll reflects that, with a majority of Americans — 60 percent — saying that the election of Donald Trump has led to worse race relations in the United States.” Formerly rational people are now reduced to screaming their positions and producing “more heat than light” when they are in discussions about race and ethnic divisions.

While man spends an inordinate amount of time looking at outward appearances, ethnic groups, or skin color, God looks on the heart (1 Samuel 16:7).   When we accepted Jesus Christ as our Savior, we became covered in Christ.  Those surface distinctions were incorporated under “you are all one in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:27-28).”   

Yes, there has been and continues to be hatred, ignorance, mistreatment and abuse. It comes from the place inside of us that has not been submitted to God. He instead would have us look to Him for our needs and not fight and quarrel with others (James 4:1, 2).   

Let us look to the future when those who love the Lord will all be gathered together in the New Heaven in our white robes washed in Jesus’ blood and praising God. We will not be discussing what divides us, but we will be focused on our Savior, Christ Jesus (Revelation 7:9, 10). Thank God, in spite of our divisions, we are His chosen people, His royal priesthood, a holy nation, and God’s special possession (1 Peter 2:9)!

1 Samuel 16:7 
New International Version (NIV)
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

Galatians 3:27-28
New International Version (NIV)
27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.
28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

James 4:1, 2
New International Version (NIV)
What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God.

Revelation 7:9, 10
New International Version (NIV)
After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. 10 And they cried out in a loud voice: “Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.”

1 Peter 2:9
New International Version (NIV)
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.


Friday, June 2, 2023

Pastor's Pondering, June 2, 2023

Through Him We Win

Hezekiah Walker and The Love Fellowship Crusade Choir sang, “Ninety-Nine and a Half.”  Some of the lyrics are, “Lord I'm runnin', tryin' to make a hundred, ninety-nine and a half won't do. On my knees every day, Lord please hear me when I pray. Please forgive me when I stumble, Lord, I wanna be in that number.”  Thank God that we don’t have to worry, be upset, or be anxious. It is no longer us trying to make it to heaven through our own efforts, but our simply believing on the Lord Jesus Christ and we are saved (Romans 10:9-10).


It is the trick of the evil one to get us to fret that we are not good enough to meet God’s standards. That is correct, we will never be good enough in our own strength.  But the Bible tells us that it is no longer ourselves, but that Christ lives inside of us (Galatians 2:20).  He is greater than any of our tendencies, habits, perversions, or sins.  He promises to forgive us and cleanse us from our disobedience when we tell Him about them and ask for His forgiveness.


Throughout the Bible we are told repeatedly to fear not. Our Father cares for us; we are worth so much to Him (Matthew 10:29, 31).  He does not want any to go into an eternity without Him; He is waiting for our invitation to Him into our life (2 Peter 3:9).  While many seem to have no regard for themselves, their fellow citizens, or God, we can take solace in knowing that God cares for us, loves us, and wants us to live with Him eternally (Ephesians 2:6).  He certainly wants us to win with Him.


Romans 10:9-10

New Life Version

If you say with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved from the punishment of sin.

10 When we believe in our hearts, we are made right with God. We tell with our mouth how we were saved from the punishment of sin


Galatians 2:20

New Life Version

20 I have been put up on the cross to die with Christ. I no longer live. Christ lives in me. The life I now live in this body, I live by putting my trust in the Son of God. He was the One Who loved me and gave Himself for me.


Matthew 10:29, 31

New Life Version

29 Are not two small birds sold for a very small piece of money? And yet not one of the birds falls to the earth without your Father knowing it.
31 So do not be afraid. You are more important than many small birds.


2 Peter 3:9

New Life Version

9 The Lord is not slow about keeping His promise as some people think. He is waiting for you. The Lord does not want any person to be punished forever. He wants all people to be sorry for their sins and turn from 



Ephesians 2:6

New Life Version

6 God raised us up from death when He raised up Christ Jesus. He has given us a place with Christ in the heavens.