Saturday, March 30, 2024

Pastor's Ponderings, March 30, 2024

God Is In Charge of This Election


In this election year when distortions, deceptions, and distractions drown out truth, we may ask what kind of leaders we should have in office.  If one needs wisdom about our choices, the Bible says to ask God (James 1:5).  The Bible established the criteria for God’s kind of ruler.   It says that the leader must judge with justice and righteousness.  The leader must defend the afflicted, save needy children, and must crush the oppressor (Psalm 72:1-4, 7) so that the people can prosper. 


We have a responsibility in this tumultuous election season. The Bible tells us that petitions, prayers, intercession, and thanksgiving be made for the kings and those in authority (1 Timothy 2:1-4).  If we do not pray for them, we should not be surprised that the temptations of leadership may lead them astray. 


We can complain about the leadership, or we can talk to the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.  Millions of dollars will be spent in this crucial election, but the outcome depends upon God who will raise up some and put down others (Psalm 75:6-7).


Let us pray, protest, write letters, and support those leaders that God has chosen.  To do this we must vigorously seek the face of God that He may send us His leaders.  Let us also ask for wisdom that that we will recognize their worth when they arise.


1 Timothy 2:1-4

New International Version

1 I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— 

for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 

3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior,

4 who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.


Psalm 72:1-4, 7

New International Version

1 Endow the king with your justice, O God, the royal son with your righteousness.

2 May he judge your people in righteousness, your afflicted ones with justice.

3 May the mountains bring prosperity to the people, the hills the fruit of righteousness.

4 May he defend the afflicted among the people and save the children of the needy; may he crush the oppressor.

7 In his days may the righteous flourish and prosperity abound till the moon is no more.


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. 

Sunday, March 24, 2024

Pastor's Ponderings, March 24, 2024

Our Secret Place


On Mar 22, 2024, the Associated Press wrote an article entitled, Russia Says 115 Killed In Concert Hall Raid; Islamic State Group Claims Responsibility.  Even though Russia is a controlled society where real dissent is not tolerated, this attack still took place. In the world, there is no safe hiding place.


However, in God, there is a secret place. This is your refuge where you can hide, protected from the attacks from outside. The Bible tells us that those who are in God’s secret place can rest in His shadow (Psalm 91:1).  When we know that God is protecting us, our perspective about world events, personal crises, and unexpected events changes.  


Even our language changes when we can say that God, not man, is our refuge, our fortress, and our God that we can trust as a deliverer (Psalm (91:2, 3). Challenges will still severely impact those who love the Lord. Indeed, the Bible says that the righteous have many challenges, but He delivers them out of them all (Psalm 34:19).


He is a very present help in our trouble (Psalm 46:1).  He tells us that we do not have to be afraid of nightly terrors or daytime horrors (Psalm 91:5, 6).  This is not to say that the righteous will not suffer but the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords tells us that He will be with us (Psalm 91:15).


We live in an uncertain world.  That is why we need the protection, peace, and hope of a relationship with the God that can do anything.  Rather than man’s temporary and uncertain shelter, let us seek God’s eternal protection in His secret place. 


Psalm 91:1-3

New International Version

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

2 I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”

3 Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence


Psalm 34:19

New International Version

19 The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all;


Psalm 46:1

King James Version

46 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble


Psalm 91:5, 6

New International Version
5 You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day,

6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday.


Psalm 91:15

New International Version
15 He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.




Saturday, March 16, 2024

Pastor's Ponderings, March 16, 2024

God Has The Final Word


In an article published by The Hill on 3/13/24, Tara Suter wrote an article entitled, “Russia ready to use nuclear weapons if sovereignty is threatened: Putin.”  Since many nations are supporting Ukraine’s defense against Russia, this comment seems terrifying.  The use of nuclear weapons and their retaliatory escalation could then lead to the end of the world.


In the Bible Jesus’ disciples also were concerned about the end of the age and they asked Jesus about what would happen (Matthew 24:2).  He said that people would increase in wickedness, but those who stand firm, not temporarily, not from time to time, but to the end would be saved. What should those who love the Lord do?  He emphasized that the Good News of His salvation would be shared all over the world before the end comes (Matthew 24:12-14).


Those who love the Lord should not  put our faith and trust in our political leaders, academicians, ecclesiastical leadership, or social influencers.  We should look to Jesus who began and will mature our faith (Hebrews 12:2).  We should be supportive of and join those who are sharing the Gospel at home and abroad.  The end of the world will not be determined by worldly rulers, but it will be determined in God’s timetable.  


Let’s not be anxious about threats to our safety or livelihood. Let’s decide to follow Jesus’ directive to go into all the world discipling mankind to believe and obey Him (Mark 16:15-16).  Despite their pretentions, mankind can only go so far as God allows us to go.  Let us pray for mankind to turn to God. We must remember that God raises up leadership and disposes of others and He alone knows the time and the seasons for all things (Daniel 2:20-22).


Matthew 24:2, 12-14

New International Version

2 As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”
12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 
13 but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. 
14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come


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.


Mark 16:15-16

New King James Version

15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. 

16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.


Daniel 2:20-22

New International Version

20 and said “Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; wisdom and power are his.

21 He changes times and seasons; he deposes kings and raises up others. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning.

22 He reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what lies in darkness, and light dwells with him.

Saturday, March 9, 2024

Pastor's Pondering, March 9, 2024

We Really Need God’s Direction in 2024


In 2024, the United States of America is engaged in a high-stakes election where the vision of this country will determine the future. We must get past the rhetoric about who will have bragging rights for the next few years, get serious, and seek God.  Whatever one’s political persuasion, people are dying at home and abroad.  However, many seem more focused on their group’s talking points and less about what is good for the overall country (Isaiah 5:20, 21).


What is God saying about this election?  Most will argue that God is on their side. Notwithstanding, this is what the Bible says. As the children of Israel approached Jericho, Joshua saw an armed man whom many commenters say was Jesus. He asked the armed man on whose side was He.  The armed man said, ““Neither,” he replied, “but as commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.”


Joshua understood quickly that he had had to get on the Lord’s side and responded,“What message does my Lord have for his servant?” (Joshua 5:13-14). This is what our leaders, followers, and all of those in between must say during 2024.  What is God truly saying?  He may not be saying what we think He is saying to support our agenda. The Bible tells us that the Spirit of Truth will give us direction (John 16:13).  God advises us to ask for His wisdom (James 1:5).  God promised to guide our steps (Psalm 32:8).


It is long past time for posturing. Now is the time to pray. We need to stop arguing with each other and start entreating God. We must cease looking to our own interests and to look to Jesus who began and will mature our faith (Hebrews 12:2).  Since we really need God’s direction, let us not depend upon temporary worldly leadership, but implore His eternal leadership.


Isaiah 5:20, 21
New International Version

20 Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.

21 Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight.


Joshua 5:13-14

New International Version

13 Now when Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with a drawn sword in his hand. Joshua went up to him and asked, “Are you for us or for our enemies?”

14 “Neither,” he replied, “but as commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.” Then Joshua fell facedown to the ground in reverence, and asked him, “What message does my Lord have for his servant?”


John 16:13

New International Version

13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.


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.


Psalm 32:8

New International Version

8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.


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.