“Old Smart Alecks”


From Pastor’s Desk:

Listen to counsel and receive instruction, That you may be wise in your latter days. There are many plans in a man’s heart, Nevertheless the Lord’s counsel—that will stand. – Proverbs 19:20-21 NKJV

***

Ever see, or know, an unwise old person? That’s probably due to them not listening to counsel and/or not receiving instruction in their earlier days.

It’s rather akin to my take on a what we used to call a “Smart Aleck.” The only thing less tolerable than a young smart aleck is an old one. One would think they would grow out of it.

The one who does not listen to counsel and receive instruction will never be wise and learned.

Sunset over Mountain Range

Advertisements
Posted in devotion | Tagged | Leave a comment

Fearing God


From Pastor’s Desk:

You shall follow the Lord your God and fear Him; and you shall keep His commandments, listen to His voice, serve Him, and cling to Him. – Deuteronomy 13:4 NASB

***

“Revere” is the meaning of יָרֵא, yârê’ (yaw-ray’), the original from of “fear.” Maybe this could come under the idea of a “healthy fear” or reverence of God? It stands to reason that if we do not reverence Him, we are certainly not going to follow Him. If we don’t reverence Him, we’re not going to keep His commandments, listen to His voice, serve Him, and, most of all, and cling to Him.

It would be a Rhetorical statement to say that life is difficult. Without God’s leading, it is so much more so. Does that mean there will be no more problems? Of course not! With His leading, we’re going to automatically be financially secure? Nope! Are all relationships gonna’ be just super-duper? Probably not! Are we going to have everything our own way all the time? Absolutely not!

Why then should we follow God and revere Him if life is going to be the same as without Him? Hold on. I didn’t say that it was going to be the same. The problems that come, with Him, are problems that He knows and cares about, and will do something about, according to His will. When finances are low (or none) we are promised that He will always provide (Matthew 6:33). In the midst of ill-fated relationships we have the assurance that though others might leave us, He won’t (Hebrews 13:5). Doing things our own way usually doesn’t work out very well, because our own way usually doesn’t line up with His way (Isaiah 55:9). It is when we accept the fact that His way is best, that we yield to His sovereignty and rest in the peace of knowing that, at the time of yielding, everything will work out, because “we know that all things work together for them who love God, who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).

To not follow Him is to not fear Him. To not fear Him is not to keep His commandments, listen to His voice, serve Him, and cling to Him.
Sunset over Mountain Range

Posted in devotion | Tagged | Leave a comment

Destroy the Body but not the Soul


From Pastor’s Desk: 10-8-17

Matthew 10:28 Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.

***

Some would say that Christians are going to face the decision referred to in this verse in the end times. But, wait! Some already are! In fact, some have already made the choice to declare their Christianity in the face of terror and have been killed for their testimony. So, once again we can see signs that the stage is being set for the imminent return of Christ Jesus.

We never know what we will do in certain circumstances until we walk in the shoes of others who have been, or are, in the same circumstances. Most people have not had to declare their faith staring down the barrel of a gun, or into the eyes of madman with a knife. We talk a good talk when we are living in the “Land of the Free” protected by military, law enforcement, etc., but what if we were called upon in a moment’s notice, or no notice at all, to live this verse, faithfully holding fast to the promise that those who might destroy the body but cannot destroy the soul?

All the disciples, and many more throughout history have died with embracing that promise. They submitted, and committed their lives, even unto death, to the “One who can destroy both soul and body…”

Just something to think about.

Sunset over Mountain Range

Posted in devotion | Tagged | Leave a comment

Life of Living Hope


From Pastor’s Desk:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, – 1 Peter 1:3 NKJV

***

Have you ever said, “I don’t know where I would be without Jesus?” Well, if you think about it for a moment, I believe you would know. You, and I, would be in the same place, and more than likely, worse, than we were before we accepted Jesus Christ as Savior.

It is only because of the mercy of God that we no longer abide in that place of no hope, but have been brought into a life with living hope through Jesus Christ.

Sunset over Mountain Range

Posted in devotion | Tagged | Leave a comment

Entrapment of Fear


From Pastor’s Desk:

The fear of man brings a snare, But whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe. – Proverbs 29:25 NKJV

***

Fear is a dreadful thing in which to be trapped. It is precious to know that when our faith and trust is placed in our Lord, there really is nothing to fear.

When we hear of turmoil, chaos, and horrible things that are happening in the world today, do you think maybe that’s just our adversary, the devil, walking about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour, as Scripture tells us in 1 Peter 5:8? .

Verse nine tells, however, that we “Resist him, steadfast in the faith…” thus we don’t have to fall into fear.

Individually, there are those times when we must wrestle with “What should I do in this circumstance?” “To whom do I turn to help me with the dilemma at hand?” “Do we go on with business as usual, or change everything we are doing to “fix” the issue?”

Sure, we need to evaluate where we are, what we’re doing, etc., but if we’re genuinely walking in righteousness, is there a need to change anything, or just be still and let God be God? These are things that naturally beset us at the onset of anxiety, which turns so quickly into fear.

One might have to weather a storm. Trials may be necessary. Friends may turn their backs and leave you all alone. BUT whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe.

Sunset over Mountain Range

Posted in devotion | Tagged | Leave a comment

Noisy Gongs and Clanging Cymbals


From Pastor’s Desk:

And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ; – Philippians 1:9-10 NASB

***

I know of no one who can tolerate, for very long, a pretentious, disingenuous person. Might it be that this is partly the reason some people don’t want to come to church?

Nothing has more of a hollow ring to it that than less than genuine love. Paul had something to say about that in 1 Cor. 13.

The last verse of chapter 12, in which he teaches and extols the gifts of the Spirit, he says, “…I show you a still more excellent way” (verse 31).

Doing anything without true love is as a “…noisy gong or a clanging cymbal” Paul says in 13:1.

I fear that in many churches, upon entering, there is nothing but the sound of noisy gongs and clanging cymbal!

Sunset over Mountain Range

Posted in devotion | Tagged | Leave a comment

Of No Private Interpretation


From Pastor’s Desk: 10-1-17

2 Peter 1:20-21 Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation. 21 For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

***

Ever felt as if you were “carried along” by the Holy Spirit? How about those times when you shared the word with someone? Or, stood before a class or congregation and words would not come, then all of a sudden what you needed to say was formulated in your mind and you spoke with authority the word of God?

The KJV uses “moved by the Holy Ghost.” Greek for moved is φέρω pherō̄ (fer’-o); to bear or carry.

Often in Pentecostal circles, and I suppose others as well, speak of the Spirit’s moving in our midst, or some person being moved by the Holy Spirit. It is, I think, the same imagery of how the Spirit moved upon the men of old.

As in olden times, as “men spoke from God,” so it is now that when God has a message for His people or the world in general, His Spirit still moves upon people to speak that message, be it through a sermon, lesson, song, or by one of the Gifts of the Spirit.

The key point of it all, I believe, is that it is not from the human mind, thus it is of no private interpretation, but rather straight from the Father’s heart. We would be wise to listen!

Sunset over Mountain Range

Posted in devotion | Tagged | Leave a comment