The Light of Life!


From Pastor’s Desk: 7-3-22

Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” – John 8:12 NKJV

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As one who, as a child, was afraid of the dark, I can relate to this verse. Growing older I realized I wasn’t so much afraid of the dark as of what was in the dark.

In John 3:19 Jesus spoke of men loving darkness rather than light because their deeds are evil. Evil things, done under the cover of darkness, are not easily detected. That is why homes, business, parks, and various other venues, install lighting that illuminates the area concerned.

There are some perpetrators that will boldly break in where an area is well lighted, but more so where there is no light.

Dark, by definition, is: “…devoid or partially devoid of light: not receiving, reflecting, transmitting, or radiating light.” It also addresses the traits of a person: “…arising from or showing evil traits or desires: evil.”

I’m sure you, as I, remember the times before the “Light” of the word revealed the hidden sin in our sin-darkened heart. How lost we were, wondering around in darkness! How dark (evil) were our deeds! How confident we were that our sin would never be revealed!

I’m sure you, as I, am thankful that one day someone shared the gospel, or maybe the Holy Spirit just drew us to God through some situation, and our pathway was lighted by the glorious word of God.

Jesus is, as John 1:1-4 tells us, the Eternal Word: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

I’m sure you, as I, are grateful and thankful for the day when you accepted Jesus Christ as Savior and stepped from darkness into His glorious, wondrous light!

Sunset over Mountain Range

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Heirs with the Son


From Pastor’s Desk: 6-26-22

God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; – Hebrews 1:1-2 NKJV

***

“Heir of all things.” WOW! That’s a pretty big little word, ALL. As human beings, we cannot grasp the enormity of that. As Scripture states, we only see in part (1 Cor. 13:12), so, in reality, we can only know and do in part.

Romans 8:16-17 sheds clear insight to our status in God, that is, we who have accepted Jesus Christ as Savior. Paul says, “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.”

If the human mind could conceive the “ALL” concept, we could know of what we are joint-heirs. For instance, Matthew 28:18 declares that Jesus has been given all authority in heaven and on earth. We are joint-heirs of that authority. When writing about faith and works, James 2:19 says, “Even the demons believe—and tremble!”  Jesus cast demons out of many people. The disciples were given the authority to cast out demons, as is seen in Matthew 10:1, Mark 6:7, and Luke 9:1. Being in the same dispensation (Grace) do we not have the same power, since we are joint-heirs with Christ?

It is a long-time observation of mine that the church is living far beneath its potential. For instance, we authority, we just don’t use it. We already have victory, but too often we concede to the tactics of the enemy, thereby living in defeat. That which the church has and doesn’t use, is far too long to list here.

All that the church has is given through Jesus Christ, and we are joint-heirs with Him in all things.

Sunset over Mountain Range

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God with Us!


From Pastor’s Desk:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God…And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. – John 1:1-2, 14 NKJV

***

Emmanuel, Emmanuel,                                                                                                                   His name is called, Emmanuel                                                                                                      God with us, revealed in us                                                                                                             His name is called, Emmanuel

Had He not come from heaven to earth, had He not laid down His robe of glory and put on the robe of flesh, how lost we would be! But He did come, and we don’t have to be lost, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” (John 3:16-17).

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Taste and See


From Pastor’s Desk: 12-3-17

From Insight for Living:

Taste . . . Enjoy It! by Chuck Swindoll – 1 Timothy 4:4-5

Not enough is said about taste. Hunger and thirst may begin in our brains, prompting the digestive salivary enzymes to start flowing . . . but the satisfying part of the digestive process happens in the mouth. We have those tiny taste buds to thank for allowing us the pleasure of enjoying everything we eat and drink. Whether it be a cold, refreshing glass of lemonade on a hot summer day or a juicy, flavorful steak cooked on the backyard grill or a delicious bowl of spicy, homemade chili served with a dash of cheese and chopped onion or perfectly seasoned, fresh vegetables that crunch in our mouths, there are few pleasures more satisfying than slowly enjoying a well-prepared meal.

Don’t rush too quickly past the keyword slowly. Food is meant to be savored, chewed slowly and thoughtfully . . . not wolfed down like a big croc ferociously gulping the hind leg of a zebra! When we choke down our food too quickly, we not only fail to chew it long enough, failing to break it down so that it can be properly absorbed into the body, but we also bypass one of the most delightful senses God created us to enjoy: taste. It’s amazing how much food we can chew and swallow yet not take enough time to glean the satisfying benefits of lingering over its delicious taste.

In speaking of food, the apostle Paul reminded Timothy: “For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer” (1 Timothy 4:4–5 NIV).

***

I don’t usually add or subtract anything from Dr. Swindoll’s comments, but allow me to today at the end of his article.

This article, looked at in a spiritual perspective, will be of great benefit.

Not being an avid reader, and, further, having a mind that “wanders” as I am reading, I find myself often having to return to a previously read portion of whatever I’m reading to properly assess what I’ve just read.

Where I’m most vulnerable is in reading the Bible. Consequently, I use an audio Bible program along with my reading to “slow” me down, not wanting to miss key points in a passage in which the Holy Spirit may desire to speak to my heart. I have to force myself to slowly and thoughtfully “chew” in order to savor and properly digest what I’m reading. The Psalmist said in Psalm 34:8 “O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.”

Apply this to Dr. Swindoll’s thoughts in the second paragraph and I think you’ll find it fits rather nicely. Sometimes we just “…chew and swallow yet not take enough time to glean the satisfying benefits of lingering over its delicious taste.”

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Hastening the Return of Christ


From Pastor’s Desk:

But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, – 2 Peter 3:10-11 NKJV

***

You’ll notice the comma at the end of verse 11. The straight, matter-of-fact question Peter begins in verse 11 continues in verse 12: “…looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?”

The bottom-line question is, are we looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God?

Most likely every child of God who is convinced from Scripture that Jesus is coming soon, is looking for His return. But what about the “hastening” part? The Greek for “hasting” (KJV) is σπεύδω speudō (spyoo’-do); to “speed” (“study”), that is, urge on (diligently or earnestly); by implication to await eagerly: – (make, with) haste unto.

The last chapters of Matthew depicts things that will happen approaching the end time. There is, however, one verse rather hidden among all the others that gives us a clear-cut, specific thing that must happen before the coming of Christ Jesus: “…this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.” (Mt. 24:14).

Can we not assume then that the preaching of the gospel is first and foremost priority in the overall scheme of hastening the return of the Lord Jesus Christ? In order to do that we, the church, must take account that we must not only live in a manner of holy conduct and godliness, but preach the word to others that they might do the same.

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Enduring Mercy


From Pastor’s Desk:

Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. Oh, give thanks to the God of heaven! For His mercy endures forever. Psalm 136:1, 26 NKJV

***

Initial salvation, sustained salvation, completed salvation: Sounds rather like a quandary, doesn’t it, but please stay with me as we examine it together.

There are those who have the concept of a one-time salvation. That is, that once one has accepted Jesus Christ as Savior, salvation cannot be lost. If you are among those who believe this way, just allow me some leeway. Those readers who believe this way, just allow me some leeway.

First let me say that I believe in eternal security, as long as that security is in Christ. I’m not prone to argue Scripture, rather just let me offer my thoughts.

I remember the time when I was “saved.” I mean, really saved, not just coming to an altar to pray off the conviction of the Spirit then continuing to live as I did before. However, I also remember the time when I strayed from the “narrow path.” In that time I knew in my heart that had I died in that spiritual condition I would not have gone to heaven, my premise being that there is no sin that enter into heaven. Further, Hebrews 10:26-27 says, “…if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries.”

Whatever persuasion of which we are, we all must concede that there are many times where we have to throw ourselves on the mercy of God. I, for one, am glad that His mercy endures forever, and that it is, has been, and will be extended to me every time I (put your name in here) need it.

Why should we not give thanks for His goodness? Why should we not give thanks for such mercy? It might be well if we just pause today to give Him thanks!

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The Word Richly Dwelling


From Pastor’s Desk:
 
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. – Colossians 3:16 NKJV
 
***
 
“Richly” is from the Greek word πλουσίως plousiōs (ploo-see’-oce), which means copiously: – abundantly, richly.
The meaning of “Copiously” is, “yielding something abundantly: full of thought, information, or matter: present in large quantity: taking place on a large scale.”
 
It takes much time, effort, purpose and determination to dwell in anything richly, or to have something dwell richly in a person. Paul’s letter to the church at Colossae also includes, in the same chapter, verses 1 and 2, “If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.”
 
To dwell in something, there must be vehement pursuit: it doesn’t just happen! So it is with things of eternal value, and certainly the word dwelling richly in us is of eternal value, or, “things above”. The very gist of Col. 3:16 is that the only way we receive wisdom, whereby we teach and admonish each other, is by the word of God dwelling richly within us. We will not able to do so otherwise.

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