Just Ask!


Sunset over Mountain Range

From Pastor’s Desk:

“Thus says the Lord who made it, the Lord who formed it to establish it (the Lord is His name): ‘Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.’ – Jeremiah 33:2-3 NKJV

***

What a promise! “I will answer” and “(I will) show you great and mighty things…”

There’s only one thing standing in the way of Him doing as He promised: a call from His people! Therein is the qualifier for the verse. The question that arises, of course, in the human mind, is that if God has promised something, why doesn’t He just simply do it? The answer to that, in my opinion, is that even though all the promises of God are yea, and amen (1 Cor. 1:20), they are conditional.

The “great” promises of God include those found in 2 Chronicles 7:14. This one begins with “IF my people” and concludes with “THEN will I hear…” In between the IF and the THEN are four things that His people must do in order for Him to fulfill the promise: “humble themselves and pray and seek His face and turn from their wicked ways.” IF we do that, He WILL.

In the New Testament, we have one that has been my favorite for many, many years, Matthew 6:33. Note that it begins with BUT, indicating a transition from previous verses that teaches and admonishes to not be anxious in life. We have, naturally, the tendency to worry. Further, the devil plays on that natural tendency and makes it worse. Jesus then says, “Stop worrying about mundane things. If you will just seek the kingdom of God, all these things you are worrying about will work out. After all, haven’t I promised that I will work all things out for you” (My paraphrase).

May be that we are not receiving because we are not asking!

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Heavenly or Earthly Minded?


From Pastor’s Desk: 8-6-17

Luke 12:33-34 Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

***

Even non-Christians know the last part of this passage is true. What you strive after, your heart is going to be in. Now, in that context, that’s actually a good thing, because that for which you are striving will never be achieved if your heart is not in it.

It holds absolutely true in a spiritual sense as well, but, to some, that is a detriment. For example, if one is striving for things of this world, or material goods, they are going to spend all their effort in order to possess them. And if the heart is seeking after “treasures” of this world, there will be no desire, thus, no pursuance of things of eternal value.

It is sad that people (yes, Christians also) seek after material so fervently that most of, is not all, their energy is put into seeking things that are only temporary. Scripture declares hat all our needs will be provided, but too many are not satisfied with that, going beyond needs to desires. Admittedly, the Bible also says that God will grant the very desires of our heart, but, looking closely at that principle one will see that those desires must line up with God’s word and His sovereign will.

I’ve known people who use very little, or not at all, things they have striven for. Things that took so much to get now sit around collecting dust and/or rust. Money spent on them could have been so much more wisely spent.

The point? Some have said, “Don’t be so heavenly minded that you are no earthly good.” Maybe it would be good to reverse that, for “…where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”Sunset over Mountain Range

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What’s in the Heart!


From Pastor’s Desk:

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” – 1 Samuel 16:7 NKJV

***

Don’t you wish that everyone in the world would adopt this principle? More people would be ‘judged’ for who they are rather than the way they look. We’ve come a long way in the church pertaining to this, but there is still much room for improvement. We yet tend to pay more attention to the way a person dresses, what kind of hairstyle they have, etc. Admittedly, some people’s inner thoughts, purpose of heart, and spiritual level can be seen by what they portray outwardly, but not always.

Maybe the church could operate under the same principle of our nation’s law, that is, a person is innocent until proven guilty. I fear that often when someone walks in the doors of our churches, they are looked upon as someone they are not, and the essence of who they are is missed, simply because of the way they are dressed.

Should we not follow God’s principle and look on the heart? Be assured what is in the heart will show up, usually sooner than later.

Until the “proving time” has been allowed, may we be careful in our judgment of others!

Sunset over Mountain Range

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Deceivers!


From Pastor’s Desk:

But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. – James 1:22 NKJV

***

There’s a sign hanging in a restaurant that says, “When everything is said and done, there’s more said than done.”

Think we, the Church, ought to see that doesn’t happen? In my opinion, this is maybe the foremost fault of many, even in the church, that is, verbally committing but never following through. Little things, I have learned, mean a lot. The problem with that is, we usually don’t give thought to something “little” promised, when, in fact, to the person to whom it was promised it is “big.”

Relationships have been affected greatly by someone telling someone else that the first someone would do something for the someone else and never doing it. There goes the relationship! How about changing? A person vows to change some things that is detrimental to a productive lifestyle, but never does. On and on he/she continues, never able to have a lasting relationship, simply because more is said than done.

“Practical-minded” James deals with those who hear a good word, accept the reasonableness of it, commit to carrying it out, but ensuing actions do not match the commitment made.

Where does “deceiving” come in? Others, to whom promises were given, after some promises are broken, begins to know the person who promised. The person making them, however, is usually totally unaware of what they are doing. On and on they go, deceiving, not others, but themselves.

Sunset over Mountain Range

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Hope in God’s Word


From Pastor’s Desk:

You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in Your word. – Psalm 119:114 (NKJV)

***

Hope here is יָחַל yâchal (yaw-chal’); to wait; by implication to be patient, hope: – (cause to, have, make to) hope, be pained, stay, tarry, trust, wait.

How does hope factor in to God being our hiding place and shield? Sometimes it seems that we are not being shielded from the fiery darts of the enemy. Often we are, it seems, exposed to the onslaught of his tactics, schemes, and trickery, When the going gets rough we don’t necessarily feel tough enough to keep going.

However, coming out on the other side of the trial, stronger than before we entered into it, we find that, as we waited patiently on God, He proved Himself in ways that we would never have imagine.

Why? Because He had hidden us in a place unknown to anyone else. Even the devil didn’t know where we were because God has places to hide us that only He knows.

Point of the verse, in my opinion, is that we need to come to a place, spiritually, in which we can “hope” (wait patiently) in His word. He said it, He’ll do it! If it couldn’t be done, He would not have said it.

Sunset over Mountain Range

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It’s That Simple!


From Pastor’s Desk:

But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. – John 1:12-13 NKJV

***

“…as many as received Him…”

Him, Jesus, our Savior. Him, who laid down His life for us that we have eternal life in, and with, Him. (John 3:15)

Him, who was in the beginning, is in all the in-between, and will be throughout eternity. (John 1:1)

Him, Emmanuel, God with us. (Matthew 1:23)

Him, our High Priest who was tempted in all points as we. Hebrews 4:15)

Him, who is seated at the right hand of Majesty, beside God the Father, forever making intercession for us. (Hebrews 1:3)

Him, the Lion of Judah. (Hosea 5:14)

Him, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. (Revelation 21:6, 22:13)

Him, besides whom no other name is given among men in heaven and earth. (Acts 4:12)

Such a simple truth! “As many as received” and believe in His name, God has given the right to be children of God.

It cannot be simpler than to “confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead” (Romans 10:9). As Paul and Silas told the Jailer in Acts 16:31, “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved.”

Just stop what you’re doing, center your mind on God, realize you are a sinner, confess your sin to God, ask forgiveness of Him, and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.

Yes, it is that simple!

Sunset over Mountain Range

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Righteousness, Peace, and Joy


From Pastor’s Desk: 7-30-17

Romans 14:17-19 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, 18 because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and approved by men. 19 Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.

***

Just imagine what an impassable force the church would be if everyone makes “…every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.” The influence of hell would stand no chance of gaining control.

In fact, a church with this kind of unity, doing things that lead to peace and building each other up, will cause the devil and all his demons to tremble every time we go to prayer, simply because all that is suggested is done in Christ and in the power of the Holy Ghost.

Three words, righteousness, peace, and joy, sets the tenor of the verse:

Righteousness, because it is solely contingent upon God counting our faith as such through Jesus Christ, who IS our righteousness.

Peace, in that one of the names of God is Jehovah Shalom, our peace. Christ Jesus is the Prince of Peace.

Joy is that aspect of our lives wherein lies our strength. Nehemiah said, “The joy of the LORD is your strength” (8:10).

So, by seeking righteousness, achieving it, living in it, and being established in it, there is an element added to the church that cannot be overridden by the enemy.

Accepting nothing but the peace of God as a determining factor in all that we do will bring unity that cannot be divided. There is no path in which there is lack of or no peace that can be of God, for “God is not the author of confusion but of peace…” (1 Cor. 14:33).

Strength derived from joy that righteousness and peace affords is insurmountable.

Indeed, then, should the priority of the church be, “Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.”

Sunset over Mountain Range

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