Sunday, July 27, 2014

Love Your Neighbor!

8 Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. 9 For the commandments, "You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet," and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." 10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. 11 Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed. 12 The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light. 13 Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy. 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires. ~ Romans 13:8-14

Love each other! All the commandments, all the laws are summed up in this word: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." Lets make a radical assumption for a moment and think that When Jesus said to love our neighbor as ourself that He truly meant to love the person(s) next door? The person(s) standing on the corner begging? The person(s) we work with every day? The person(s) checking us out at the market? The person(s) behind us at the market? I could go on but I think you get my point. How about we try this and love these people with the love of Christ? Do you think it might make a difference in their life? Will it make a difference in your life?

Now take a look at verse 11, "you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed." Salvation is nearer to us who believe each and every moment! We must live our lives as if Christ is returning now, in the next moment, the next breath we take will be in the presence of our Lord! We do not know the hour or minute, but He does and it could come at anytime! Are you living your life at this very moment as if it were your last? Are you ready to blink and see Christ face to face? Are we walking properly as in the daytime or are we allowing the darkness to creep into our lives? I pray that each and every person that claims Christ as their Lord and Savior, allows His Light to Shine in your life and Lights your path into His presence! Amen! <><

Saturday, July 26, 2014

By Faith?

1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. 2 For by it the people of old received their commendation. 3 By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible. 4 By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous, God commending him by accepting his gifts. And through his faith, though he died, he still speaks. 5 By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was not found, because God had taken him. Now before he was taken he was commended as having pleased God. 6 And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. 7 By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith. 8 By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. 9 By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. 10 For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God. 11 By faith Sarah herself received power to conceive, even when she was past the age, since she considered him faithful who had promised. 12 Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born descendants as many as the stars of heaven and as many as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore. 13 These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. 14 For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. 15 If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city. ~ Hebrews 11:1-16

By Faith, what a curious statement in this day and age. It seems that many people have faith in nothing. Webster's defines "faith" as: strong belief or trust in someone or something : belief in the existence of God : strong religious feelings or beliefs : a system of religious beliefs. Here the author of Hebrews defines faith as: the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. In either case people today appear not to believe in anything they can not see or explain. Yet we have a litany of instances in God's Word of people follow God just because they believed He would keep His promise. So how do we have faith in a God that we can not see? How do we have faith in a God that seems to be absent, in light of all that is going on in the world? We look to the person of Christ! We look to the miracles, to His words, we look to the empty cross, to the empty tomb, to the ascension. We look to Pentecost when Christ sent His Holy Spirit to live in and among us. Look at creation itself, at the wonders way we and all things are made and integrated together. Look at the promises of God and how He has kept each and everyone of them. Look to the promises we have yet to receive. Be assured that God is faithful be convinced that He is real and intertwined in our lives. Whether you feel Him or not know that He is there! Look at all the instances in His Word where people struggled and suffered for His sake and how He always brought them to, through and past it. Look to the day you will come face to face with Him! Oh what a glorious day that will be. read the last sentence in the passage above and let it pour over you like refreshing water flowing over a mountain water fall, "God is not ashamed to be called OUR God, He has prepared for US a city! Oh what a glorious day that will be! Amen. <><

Thursday, July 24, 2014

He Loves Me!

1 Praise the LORD! For it is good to sing praises to our God; for it is pleasant, and a song of praise is fitting. 2 The LORD builds up Jerusalem; he gathers the outcasts of Israel. 3 He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. 4 He determines the number of the stars; he gives to all of them their names. 5 Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; his understanding is beyond measure. 6 The LORD lifts up the humble; he casts the wicked to the ground. 7 Sing to the LORD with thanksgiving; make melody to our God on the lyre! 8 He covers the heavens with clouds; he prepares rain for the earth; he makes grass grow on the hills. 9 He gives to the beasts their food, and to the young ravens that cry. 10 His delight is not in the strength of the horse, nor his pleasure in the legs of a man, 11 but the LORD takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love. 12 Praise the LORD, O Jerusalem! Praise your God, O Zion! 13 For he strengthens the bars of your gates; he blesses your children within you. 14 He makes peace in your borders; he fills you with the finest of the wheat. 15 He sends out his command to the earth; his word runs swiftly. 16 He gives snow like wool; he scatters hoarfrost like ashes. 17 He hurls down his crystals of ice like crumbs; who can stand before his cold? 18 He sends out his word, and melts them; he makes his wind blow and the waters flow. 19 He declares his word to Jacob, his statutes and rules to Israel. 20 He has not dealt thus with any other nation; they do not know his rules. Praise the LORD! ~ Psalm 147

With the technology we have available today astronomers have a view of the universe that has never been seen before. They spend their time scanning the cosmos looking for clues about the dawn of time, searching the coldest gases and dust places where galaxies are forming and stars are being born and dying, trying to see the energy produced by the Big Bang.

The bible however celebrates the almighty power and infinite understand of God who "He determines the number of the stars; he gives to all of them their names." (v.4) Yet our Creator is not a remote, uncaring being, but a loving Father who "He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds." (v.3) "The LORD lifts up the humble." (v.6) and "the LORD takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love." (v.11)

Think on this for a moment; God, the Creator of all that is seen and unseen loves us so much that "He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life." (John 3:16) Our hope for today and everyday after lies in the loving mercy of our Father in Heaven who calls each start by name! The Creator who made the firmament, the deepest ocean, The God who put the stars in place and knows them by name, knows me intimately and cares for me, knows the number of hair on my head. He loves me... What greater gift can we receive than to have a Creator, a Father, a God who knows my every flaw and still loves me deeply? Amen. <><

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Our Refuge

Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us. Selah ~ Psalm 62:8 It is so hard to trust anymore. I remember when I was young our word was our bond, if we said that we would do something we would do it, if we made a promise we kept it. In todays society it seems we can trust no one, our elected officials lie to us before we even vote for them, the news media has their own agenda, our friends are unfaithful to us and yes even our families will even disappoint us. There is on person that you can always count on, if you do not believe me read the bible. God has ALWAYS kept His promises. Starting with Adam and Eve, "do not eat or you will die." Noah, "build the arc and I will protect you and your family." Abraham, "be faithful and I will make a nation from your seed." David, "there will be a savior from your seed." All of mankind, "have faith and your sins will be forgiven and you will have life everlasting with me."

God is indeed our REFUGE! An interesting point the meaning of the word Selah at the end of this verse is really unclear however some believe it to be like a liturgico-musical mark or an instruction on the reading of the text, something like stop and listen. I like this idea... Stop Listen God IS Our REFUGE... Amen. <><

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Love Your Enemy?

27 "But I say to you who listen: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29 If anyone hits you on the cheek, offer the other also. And if anyone takes away your coat, don't hold back your shirt either. 30 Give to everyone who asks from you, and from one who takes away your things, don't ask for them back. 31 Just as you want others to do for you, do the same for them. 32 If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. 33 If you do what is good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners to be repaid in full. 35 But love your enemies, do what is good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is gracious to the ungrateful and evil. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful. ~ Luke 6:27-36

All of us at one time or another have been approached by a beggar, or seen a person on a street corner with a sign describing in a few words their unfortunate position and their need for money and turned and looked the other way. We have all at one time or another cursed a person who has cut us off in traffic or been rude to us in a shopping mall. How many of us have truly been mistreated or has struck us or taken away our coat? UI do not believe that this statement from Jesus is a request for us to allow ourselves to be abused or taken advantage of, however I do believe that what Jesus is asking of us is to not judge others too quickly. We can not know where the other person is coming from unless we walk in their shoes. If we are only kind to those who are kind to us, or generous to those who are generous to us then how can we ever expect mercy to be given to us? Has there ever been a time in your life where you were having a tough go of it and a kind word or gesture from a total stranger turned your entire day around? Jesus tells us here that if we do what is good and lend and expecting nothing in return, if we love our enemies we will be sons, (and daughters) of the Most High for our Father is gracious to the ungrateful and evil just as He is to us. After all did not Jesus die for us while we are still sinners? Amen. <><

Monday, July 21, 2014


Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person--though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die, but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. ~ Romans 5:1-11

I pray that you read these words of Paul prayerfully and let them really soak into your mind and your spirit. I pray that you can fully grasp the idea that Christ justified us at, on and through the cross and empty tomb. That even though many of us did not and do not believe, while 100% of us are still sinners, Christ "chose" to lay down His life in a horrible fashion in order to pardon us of all our sins. If this does not give you cause to rejoice, then what will? If this does not propel you into His service what will? Now that we have received the Holy Spirit and have been forgiven our sins it is time to rise up and spread the Good News that is Jesus Christ, tell all what He has done for you and for all mankind! Invite everyone into this life of forgiveness and let us continue the work He started by pointing the way to Christ in all that we do! Amen. <><

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Mercy + Love

For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment. ~ James 2:13

Here James is talking about partiality, where you hold one person or group above others. If you do not love all of God's children then you are not fulfilling the law according to Christ. If you place value on one person above that of others then you are dishonoring Christ love for all of us. He died for everyone equally showing no favor on anyone above others. If you do not have mercy then love is not in you therefore Christ is not in you. Remember James words here Mercy (love) always triumphs over judgement.

Amen. <><

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

One Flesh

16 From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. ~ 2 Corinthians 5:16-21 ESV

We regard no one according to the flesh... Why do we gossip and talk poorly of one another? Therefore if any one is in Christ he is a new creation, the the old has passed away behold the new has come... Are you a new creation? Do you feel differently and act differently, showing the hope that is Christ in your daily life? All this is from God... Do you praise and thank God daily? Not counting our trespasses against us... Do you know as a new creation God does not see our sin? Entrusting to us the message of reconciliation... Are we bold to share our faith when given the opportunity? We are ambassadors of Christ... Are we pointing to Christ in all we do? God is making His appeal through us... Are we living out God's grace, showing the world there is hope and promise in Him? Be reconciled to God... Do you spend time with God every day, in His Word, in prayer,min devotion, in community and fellowship with other believers? He who had no sin was made to bear our sin... Are we thankful for the gift of life given us by Christ? We might become the righteousness of God... We are made righteous by the body and blood of Jesus Christ, has it affected you in a mighty life changing way? If you need help with any of these questions contact me our your pastor. Don't have a pastor contact me and I will help you find one. Amen <><

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

How Far Are You Willing To Go

23 Are they servants of Christ? I am a better one--I am talking like a madman--with far greater labors, far more imprisonments, with countless beatings, and often near death. 24 Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; 26 on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; 27 in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. 28 And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches. 29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to fall, and I am not indignant? 30 If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. 31 The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, he who is blessed forever, knows that I am not lying. ~ 2 Corinthians 11:23-31 Here it is again in my daily devotion this same passage that we covered in Pastor Timothy Lawson message this past Sunday. I love it when God starts putting the same scripture in front of me over a period of time. What I am seeing here is how much Paul suffered for Christ, how much hardship he endured to bring the Gospel to a people who desperately needed it but did now what to hear it. This message from Paul really parallels our world today. The question that keeps coming to my mind is, how many of us personally knows someone who has suffered this much to bring the Gospel to anyone? I know people who have gone through human trials, sickness, the death of a loved one, financial hardships, etc., but not the life threatening trials Paul suffered to bring the Gospel to people. Do you know there are people who are suffering and dying every day to teach and preach and make disciples? Visit or this is two places where you can read about and support people who do just that. Pastor Tim talked about getting out of our comfort zones to bring the Gospel to the world. My question to you is, are you will to suffer for Christ? If so how far are you willing to go? Amen <><