You Are Not Your Own


From Pastor’s Desk:

Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (NKJV)

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A substantiating Scripture is James 1:14-15, “…each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. 15 Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.” Pretty well hits the nail on the head, doesn’t it?

Another would be Matthew 5:29-30, “If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.”

Further, Paul says in Romans 6:12-13, “…do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. 13 And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.”

It’s not a hint. Nor is it a suggestion. It is a principle that pertains to every walk of life, both secular and spiritually. If you are doing things you ought not to be doing, stop it! If you are not doing things you ought to be doing, start it! We are not our own, but rather, God’s.

Sunset over Mountain Range

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Just Do It!


From Pastor’s Desk:

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. Ephesians 2:10 NASB

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J.B. Phillips translates it, “We are born afresh in Christ, and born to do those good deeds which God planned for us to do.”

The preceding verses substantiates the foregone conclusion that we are not save BY works but save TO work: “8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” NKJV

Again from J.B. Phillips, “It was nothing you could or did achieve—it was God’s gift to you. No one can pride himself upon earning the love of God. The fact is that what we are we owe to the hand of God upon us.”

Paul wrote to the Philippian church, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” But he also wrote to the Corinthians, “I am nothing by myself.” Jesus, giving the analogy of the vine and branches in John 15, says, “…without me you can do nothing” (verse 5).

James 2:14-26 closes with “…as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.”

Ever wonder why God has you where you are? Being with certain people? Doing what you’re doing? It’s because He has prepared the tasks and set them before you (or you before them) to do for the sake of the gospel, for the cause of Christ, and for the furtherance of the kingdom.

A person that is called to do certain, specific things under the umbrella of that calling will do those things wherever, whenever, and with whomever. In other words, just do it!

Sunset over Mountain Range

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In Proper Order


From Pastor’s Desk:

I rejoice in following your statutes as one rejoices in great riches. Psalm 119:14 NIV

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When given a choice of anything he could receive from God, King Solomon chose wisdom. Doesn’t it stand to reason the king was inherently a wise man? It is doubtful that asking for wisdom would ever occur to those of average earthly wisdom, with fame and fortune being theirs for the asking.

Authorship of Psalm 119 is, by some, attributed to Ezra, the scribe, while others just admit they don’t know, and call the author anonymous. Whoever composed it, Solomon certainly falls within the parameters of adhering to the principle stated therein. Any person acting with Godly wisdom would most assuredly rejoice in following the statutes of Scripture. The fact that he chose wisdom over riches means that he knew what those statutes were. This same king wrote many proverbs that conjoined with Scripture.

Maybe Solomon knew that asking for wisdom would enable him to gain everything else, because he definitely did that. 1 Kings 10:23 records, “So King Solomon exceeded all the kings of the earth for riches and for wisdom.”

The point? There are people in the world today that have both great fame and fortune. One thing that has been proven over and again is that money or fame does not bring happiness. Following the statutes of God, however, cannot fail to bring happiness.

Proper order of things received from God includes knowing what to ask for over anything else. If riches are given, there may not be enough wisdom to know how to use them. History is full of people who didn’t know how to manage their wealth and wound up destitute, as well as unhappy.

Proper order would suggest asking for something that would enable a person to gain, manage, facilitate, multiply, and sustain all else that is needed in life. There is nothing that can do that but knowing and adhering to the statutes of God!

Sunset over Mountain Range

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Irrefutable Evidence


From Pastor’s Desk:

Acts 2:32-33 God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of it. 33 Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear.

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This verse poses a question for the church today. Is anyone seeing and/or hearing what God has poured out upon us?

We weren’t there to witness the events as they unfolded in the time of Christ Jesus. We didn’t see Him open blind eyes, and make the deaf to hear, and cause those to speak which had never spoken. We rely on Scripture for information on how He lived day by day, how He was crucified, died, buried, and rose from the grave. The words He spoke we have because they were written down by men who were inspired by the Holy Spirit. We read and receive by faith the account of Acts 2:1-4.

No, we are not eyewitnesses to all that. We are, however, privy to all that has happened within us since we accepted Christ Jesus as Savior. We do know that we are not the same, as there is clear evidence that something happened in our hearts that changed us completely.

We can, by preaching and teaching, tell others about what He did then. How much more convincing when we share what has happened to us! That is irrefutable in that it is not a story about someone else, but about something we have experienced personally.

I ask again, “Is anyone seeing and/or hearing what God has poured out upon us?”

Sunset over Mountain Range

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Unfathomable Love


From Pastor’s Desk:

Are not five sparrows sold for two cents? Yet not one of them is forgotten before God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows. Luke 12:6-7 (NASB)

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It is unfathomable how much God loves His creation. It is not clear whether He was talking only to the disciples, or as well, to the multitude that had gathered. My thinking is that He was talking to both the disciples and the crowd. I say that because John 3:16 refers to “the world.” That is all inclusive of every person who has lived, are living, and will live. John 3:17 repeats “the world” in that God did not send His Son to condemn “the world” but that “the world” through Him might be saved.

It is a continuing process of realizing how much love the Father has for us (the world). A song by David Phelps (Gaither Vocal Band), in part, says it well:

When I started my journey in fresh childlike trust
I believed that the Lord’s way was best
I would read in His Word how He mothered the bird
And grieved when it fell from its nest
How I felt His delight when I chose to do right
And I prayed I would not make Him sad
We would meet on the way in the cool of the day
What a pure sweet communion we had.

Oh but now more than ever I cherish the cross
More than ever I sit at His feet
All the miles of my journey have proved my Lord true
And He is so precious to me

Another chorus comes to mind:

Oh, how He loves you and me
Oh, how He loves you and me
He gave His life, what more can He give
Oh, how He loves you
Oh, how He loves me
Oh, how He loves you and me

Indeed, as we travel life’s journey, experiencing His mercy, compassion, grace, and love over and over again, more than ever He is so precious to me (put your name in here).

Sunset over Mountain Range

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Soul-winners or Club members


From Pastor’s Desk:

For the Lord takes pleasure in His people; He will beautify the afflicted ones with salvation. Psalm 149:4 NASB

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Often we quote Isaiah 61:1 and Luke 4:18-19a. To yours truly, I see this as the purpose of the church. But there is further purpose in the church, which follows in Isaiah 61:2b-3:

“To comfort all who mourn, to grant those who mourn in Zion, giving them a garland instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting. So they will be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.”

This is what the Lord does. What the Lord does, He does through His church. My fear is that the church has become a “Clubhouse” full of “Club members” rather than called-out ones who take their responsibility of being all the above to a lost and dying world.

Paul, the apostle, says, in Romans 10:14-15a: “How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? How will they preach unless they are sent?”

Notice that this comes right after the “Salvation verses” of 9 and 10: “…if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.”

Paul states in 2 Corinthians 4:3: “…if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing…”

KJV says it more bluntly, “…if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost.”
Is the Lord taking pleasure in His people? Is the church propagating the gospel to the lost so that He can beautify them with salvation? Are we soul-winners or club members? Before you answer, read Isaiah 61:1-3 again.

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Growing Ideal


From Pastor’s Desk:

The sum of Your word is truth, And every one of Your righteous ordinances is everlasting. Psalm 119:160 NASB

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Imagine a world with only truth being propagated! Of course, we will never see that, because of man’s inability to deal with the truth, or, in many cases, recognize it. Therefore, it may be a far-reaching hope to expect that truth could be expatiated throughout the world, but, one would think that at least it would be a norm within the church.

If we, the church, indeed are following Christ Jesus as our example, would it not stand to reason that truth would be a sure, rapid, and rampantly growing ideal?

After all, Jesus is “the Way, the Truth, and the life” (John 14:6).

Sunset over Mountain Range

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