Unfailing Plans


From Pastor’s Desk:

If you plan to do evil, you will be lost; if you plan to do good, you will receive unfailing love and faithfulness. Proverbs 14:22 (NLT)

***

Can’t get much simpler than that! Notice the adjective “unfailing” pertaining to love and faithfulness. Do you think that means that unfailing also pertains to “plan to do good?” If we plan to do good but are distracted in some way, is the “unfailing” pertaining to love and faithfulness negated?

We must be careful lest our plans to do good are thwarted by something or someone, and those plans of doing good are turned into plans to do evil. It does happen, you know. Many people have fallen because of being mistreated, of having adverse words spoken about them, of having been hurt and unable to get over it, and multiple other things.

One Scripture that comes to mind here is 1 Thessalonians 5:22, which says, “Abstain from the all appearance of evil.” Many people struggle with temptation simply because they do not abstain from the appearance of it.

Guess those people don’t appearances matter. In a lot of cases, they don’t. In this instance, however, they most assuredly do.

The point? Plan to do good unfailingly, and you will receive unfailing love and faithfulness.

Sunset over Mountain Range

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Unfailing Plans


From Pastor’s Desk:

If you plan to do evil, you will be lost; if you plan to do good, you will receive unfailing love and faithfulness. Proverbs 14:22 (NLT)

***

Can’t get much simpler than that! Notice the adjective “unfailing” pertaining to love and faithfulness. Do you think that means that unfailing also pertains to “plan to do good?” If we plan to do good but are distracted in some way, is the “unfailing” pertaining to love and faithfulness negated?

We must be careful lest our plans to do good are thwarted by something or someone, and those plans of doing good are turned into plans to do evil. It does happen, you know. Many people have fallen because of being mistreated, of having adverse words spoken about them, of having been hurt and unable to get over it, and multiple other things.

One Scripture that comes to mind here is 1 Thessalonians 5:22, which says, “Abstain from the all appearance of evil.” Many people struggle with temptation simply because they do not abstain from the appearance of it.

Guess those people don’t appearances matter. In a lot of cases, they don’t. In this instance, however, they most assuredly do.

The point? Plan to do good unfailingly, and you will receive unfailing love and faithfulness.

Sunset over Mountain Range

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Love Perfected


From Pastor’s Desk:

Love contains no fear—indeed fully-developed love expels every particle of fear, for fear always contains some of the torture of feeling guilty. This means that the man who lives in fear has not yet had his love perfected. 1 John 4:18 (Phillips)

***

“…faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” declares Hebrews 11:1 (NKJV). If we factor in all things experienced temporally, that doesn’t make sense to the human mind. But is it really supposed to make sense? If we knew now the substance of things that we are hoping for, it wouldn’t be faith. If there was evidence of things unseen, it wouldn’t be faith. That’s why it’s called faith. Trusting in God for things hoped, for yet unseen, is faith. J.B. Phillips translates Hebrews 11:1 as, “…faith means putting our full confidence in the things we hope for, it means being certain of things we cannot see.”

Trusting in the love of God, and the grace that is extended from that love, fear has no place in the life of the Christian. There are things that transpire if life to cause fear, of course, and you only knows what those things are specifically in your life. Leading up to fear are those “less” severe things, such as, disappointment, discouragement, frustration, doubt, jealously, etc. None of those lead toward faith, but rather to fear, when left unattended.

The unequivocal truth is that which John opens verse 18 with, “Love contains no fear.” Further, it is a staunch principle at the end of the verse, when he says, “…man who lives in fear has not yet had his love perfected.”

Our responsibility in all this? Strive toward perfecting love, whether it be toward each other, or, if our love for God has waned, strive toward perfecting it again.

It will help you sleep better!

Sunset over Mountain Range

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Fulfillment of the Law


From Pastor’s Desk:

For this, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and if there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. Romans 13:9-10 NASB

***

It is interesting that day after day since February 10 of this year, article after article have appeared about love, and loving each other. Maybe it’s in the wake of the horrendous things that are taking place in our country and the world, terrifying things that ought not to be.

One would wish, and pray, that things are going to get better. Those of us, however, who trust the Bible, know that it very likely is not. Reading Matthew 24, even aside from all the other prophecies, Scripture tells us of things that are going to happen in the last days. Without going into specific details, we are seeing those things come to pass. Luke 21 also deals with the end time. Luke 21:28 says, “…when these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”

How does this mesh with love, and loving each other? Let’s be reminded again of some very “to the point” words of John, “We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love abides in death” (1 John 3:14).

Ephesians 2:1 infers that, without Christ, we are dead in our sins when it says, “…you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air…)

The truth is so plain and simple: If we don’t love each other, we’re not going to spend eternity in heaven. “Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.”

Sunset over Mountain Range

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My Rock


From Pastor’s Desk: 5-28-23

There is no one holy like the LORD; there is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God. 1 Samuel 2:2

***

If you trace “Rock” to its Hebrew root, you will find that it means, basically, refuge. Psalm 46:1 says, “God is my refuge and my strength, a very present help in time of trouble.”

Don’t just observe the meaning of the Hebrew words, but note the English words derived from them.

Refuge: מַחֲסֶה machaseh (makh-as-eh’); a shelter (literally or figuratively): – hope, (place of) refuge, shelter, trust.

Strength: עֹז ‛ôz (oze); strength in various applications (force, security, majesty, praise): – boldness, loud, might, power, strength, strong.

Trouble: צָרָה tsârâh (tsaw-raw’); tightness (that is, figuratively trouble); transitively a female rival: – adversary, adversity, affliction, anguish, distress, tribulation, trouble.

Note that God doesn’t just provide refuge, He IS our refuge!  He does not just give strength, He IS our strength! He doesn’t’ just send help in in time of trouble, He IS our help!

There is no “Rock like our God.”

Sunset over Mountain Range

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Completed Love


From Pastor’s Desk:

Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us. 1 John 4:11-12 NASB

***

And the lesson(s) in loving one another continues!

In prior articles, beginning February 10, 2018, Scriptures on love, and loving one another, have been the “Verse for the Day,” with today being no exception!

In verse 11 from the Scripture reference above τελειόω teleioō (tel-i-o’-o) is the Greek word for perfected, which means, to complete, that is, (literally) accomplish, or (figuratively) consummate (in character): – consecrate, finish, fulfil, (make) perfect.

We must pay close attention to that big, little word in this verse, “If.” Suffice it to say that love will not be completed, accomplished, or consummated until we learn to love one another.

Think maybe God is trying to tell us something?

Sunset over Mountain Range

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Always More


From Pastor’s Desk:

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. Romans 8:35, 37 NKJV

***

Could this verse be taken as a promise hidden behind the questions? It is declared by Scripture that God is love. He doesn’t change (Malachi 3:6), therefore will always love us. He sent His only begotten Son to die for the sin of mankind (John 3:16-17). It is an ever-lasting love (Jeremiah 31:3). Romans 8:38-39 goes further by stating, “I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

That should be enough! Yet, I see something in these verses that stands out and screams “Notice me, that’s not all of it! That is the phrase “…we are more than conquerors…” That phrase implies that there something beyond passivity going on. It suggests that there is something to be conquered. To conquer something, or someone, there is usually an ensuing battle, or warfare.

We must not make the mistake to think that everything we have is going to be given on a “silver platter.” To coin an old adage, “Nothing in life is free!” The spiritually mature individual will attest to the fact that he/she is where they are now because of what they have faced, and overcome, in life yesterday, and yesteryear. Nothing given, but fought for every inch of the way. Fought for to the extent that they became conquerors.

Let’s go a little further. That phrase includes “more than” conquerors. I read this morning an article by Chuck Swindoll, who quoted Haddon Robinson’s expression of thought on Psalm 23:5, specifically “my cup overflows” (NASB). Robinson says, “With Him the calf is always the fatted calf; the robe is always the best robe; the joy is unspeakable; and the peace passes understanding. There is no grudging in God’s goodness. He does not measure His goodness by drops like a druggist filling a prescription. It comes to us in floods. If only we recognized the lavish abundance of His gifts, what a difference it would make in our lives! If every meal were taken as a gift from His hand, it would be almost a sacrament.”

This is what we receive when we are more than conquerors. It is from God, who is love, given to us in Christ Jesus, who gave Himself, executed by the Holy Spirit. Nothing shall separate us from the love of God!

Sunset over Mountain Range

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