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March 14, 2016, 12:58 PM

A Life that Demonstrates Grace

As a Christian, the actions of our life aught to be permeated with kindness.  Kindness is love expressed in practical ways.  Intentionally putting others before yourself.  Intentionally considering what you can do to meet other peoples needs.  

We aught also to be tender-hearted, that is keenly sensitive of the feelings and needs of others.  Being tender-hearted means showing compassion to the people around around us.  If we are  tender-hearted we will feel the pain of others in their time of need and celebrate the victories of others in their time of triumph.  

Forgiveness must rule the day and the moment for the Christian.  It should be demonstrated by us because we have experienced the greatest measure of forgiveness the world can ever know:  The forgiveness of our sin by the only one who has the ability to forgive sins through His death on the cross; Jesus Christ.  We aught to demonstrate forgiveness readily to others in every instance because there is no instance worse than what ours was when Christ first loved us.  Even in our forgiveness we often rebel against the forgiving God and Creator who lovingly, patiently forgives us for all wrongs.  

The world aught to see in those of us who are believers in Christ, a life that demonstrates grace, because it may be the only demonstration of gray, love, kindness, forgiveness and tender-hearted compassion that they will ever know. It might just be that act of Grace that will lead them to ask why we have shown them that very kindness.  It is then that we can tell of a loving God and Savior who died for them and then they can know the greatest expression of love ever known.

It is this demonstration of grace that is so desperately in need of being experienced in a world so full of hate and wickedness.  

Today and ever day let your life demonstrate grace.  You never know how it might impact someone in need.




February 19, 2016, 10:24 AM

How to Know How to Vote

As an American I believe it is my honorable duty to vote, and to have a voice.  As a pastor of a small church in America, I do not believe it is my job to tell people WHO to vote for.  Rather,  I believe as a Christian and a pastor that it is my duty to challenge them  TO VOTE and help them to know HOW as Christians they should decide who to vote for.

So as an American i say to Americans across this great and blessed land…vote.  Educate yourselves on the issues and the candidates and vote.  

So HOW should you vote?  I am glad you asked.

Pray - The second step is going to be to prepare to vote and part of preparation is prayer.  But before you even begin to prepare you must ask God to God to guide you by His Spirit not just in how to vote but in how to prepare.  Who to listen to, where and how to find your information that will prepare you.

Prepare - Prepare through prayer but pray not just as you cast your ballot, but pray as you are educating yourself on the issues at hand and the candidates at large.  

You can pray and you can study and prepare but what issues should you be looking for, what is it that will Identify the candidate that you should cast your ballot for?

Vote for the candidate that aligns himself most closely with God’s Word and the Biblical Values that God’s Word teaches. - Many of the candidates will profess to be Christian and you will hear the phrase “Christian values” and “Family Values” a great deal.  Don’t just listen to their words but follow their lives.  Does their testimony proclaim a life of Faith, honesty and integrity.  You are not trying to judge their realness of their Christianity but you must judge the character of their faith.  It is by God’s blessing and direct hand that America has been and will continue to be a great nation.  But we as a nation have strayed far from the Lord.  But it is not too late.  So what Biblical issues should I be looking for as I prepare to vote?  I am glad you asked.

We must vote for the person who will be determined to lead our nation back to God.   - Don’t buy into the argument that: “Not everyone in America is Christian so we can’t be governed by Christian principles.” While it is certainly true that America’s people has turned it’s back on God, and not “everyone is Christian”, as a Christian I want everyone to accept Christ and become a Christian.  Vote for the person who will do His best to lead America back to the Bible and back to God.  A person who will stand up to the ACLU and other organizations that want to silence the freedom of religion.  A person who believes that “Separation of Church and State” means for the Government not to interfere in the church not preventing the church from being active in government.

Vote for the person who will support Israel. - We must stand by Israel as a strong ally and not back away or undermine the nation of Israel.  - The Bible says (referring to Israel) I will bless them that bless you and curse them that curse you.  The undermining of Israel must stop or we are in real trouble.

Vote for the person who will Stand strong in support of Biblical marriage. - Marriage between one man and one woman.  The person who will support Biblical family values and not cave tot the demands of the Homosexual movement and political correctness.  As Christians we must love all people whether or not we agree with their actions.  We must learn to live peaceably with all people regardless of opposing views and positions.  But that does not mean we have to redefine what God created and defined.  

Vote for the person who will stand up for the Sanctity of life. - Abortion is murder, to assist in suicide is to be an accomplice to murder.  All life is precious in God’s sight.  We need someone to stand up and fight and speak for those who cannot fight and who cannot speak.  

Vote for the person who will lead America back to a Biblically compassionate way of thinking and living. - One of the knocks against conservative Christians is the perception that you cannot be conservative and Christian.   We must stand, speak and act for those in need and not have out actions pre-empted by greed.  We must work to develop a mindset of compassion.  Their are people in need and we have a duty to help.  This duty falls on the church to meet the need.  That includes those living in America and those who are trying come to America and even those across the world.  America was once, generally speaking, a God fearing society that believed in helping their fellow man.  At some point the Government decided it was their job to decide who gets what help and how much help they get.  Not only that but they decide who has to be the ones to help them.  The constitution of the United States says “We the People”, and we are the people.  A mindset of compassion must be fostered and it begins by putting the government putting the honous back on the people to care for others.  I believe that if that is fostered We the People will not fall short in meeting any need.  It is God that provides and his provision is not lacking.  

Are there other issues?  Yes, but if we first look to these issues in filtering our vote.  Then I believe the rest will fall in line.  

What if there is no person who meets these qualifications?  Then we must get down on our knees all the more and pray for God to have mercy and raise up Godly leaders.  

What we must also realize is that it is God who raises up Kings and puts down Kings, and that includes presidents.  We must ultimately trust God, but God leads us to fist trust Him but also be moved by Him to action.  

“If my people who are called by name, will humble themselves and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. - II Chronicles 7:14

 




February 11, 2016, 10:21 AM

Nothing is to Big for God!

The task must have seemed overwhelming to Joshua.  It surely caused him some concern.  Filling the shoes of Moses was not small mission.  

By the grace and strength of God, Moses had led the Israelites out of bondage in Egypt, parted the Red Sea on their escape from charging armies of Pharaoh, Met with God face to face on Mount Sinai,  and guided them through the wilderness for 40 years until they were finally ready to enter the promised land.  Oh, and he did and all this despite the complaining and whining of a nation.  

Joshua must have wondered how he could follow in the steps of Moses.

Ever been there?  Your task in life seems monumental.  Living life with all the ups and downs.  Raising children, providing for family, obeying and serving God and doing so with an increasingly complaining world.  Hardships come, temptations come and yet we have a high standard of parents before us or God’s word in front of us to strive for.  It can be daunting.  Especially when we get knocked down and we don’t know how we are going to get up.  

Sometimes we need reminded of God’s Word to Joshua when he was facing his  great calling:

“No one will be able to stand against you as long as you live.  I will be with you, just as I was with Moses.  I will not leave you or forsake you.”

-Joshua 1:5

Today listen to the words of God to Joshua and realize that it is not in your strength that you must face the challenges of today.  It is not alone that you must reach for the bar that is set high.  God goes with you.  

Those that have gone before you did so by their selves.  God went with them, guided them, strengthened them, and protected them.  God will do the same for you.  

Face today with the knowledge of God’s love and presence.  Be courageous as God leads you into the fray of the day to day.  Lift high the banner.  Allow God to allow you to reach new heights and raise the bar of expectations as God will work through you to fill the shoes of those that have gone before and leave a testimony to those that will come behind.

Nothing is to big for God, and as He works in you…Nothing is to big for you.

 




February 10, 2016, 10:57 AM

Why are you Weeping?

“They said to her, Woman, why are you weeping?…”

John 20:13a

Mary Magdalene could certainly remember the day that Jesus had delivered her.  That day she became His follower. (Luke 8:2)  She knew and remembered all that Jesus taught her and and done for her.  She served Him out of a deep love, because He first had loved her.

The tears began to flow.  Jesus had been her Master, Lord, teacher, Savior and friend, but now he was gone.  Not just gone but mercilessly tortured and murdered on a cross of Damnation!  Her beliefs, desires, dreams, wants, and even her very living appeared to be dashed forever on the rocks of life.  Of course the tears flowed.  

Have you ever been there?  Where something you love is taken away?  Where something you dreamed about suddenly is destroyed.  Where someone or something you care about deeply and are invested in is ripped away from you? Have you ever had things go just more sideways than you ever could have imagined?  Of course you have…we all have.

Life is not easy.  The Christian life is not easy.  Life is not fair.  Despite the preaching of some, God’s word never says it is going to be.  It will be filled with joyful moments as we walk with God and we live on a mountain top as well as points in life where nothing seems to make sense or go our way.  There is times of great discouragement.  That is life in the valley.  

Mary did not understand that Jesus, whom she loved, was risen!  He had suffered and died as He promised but He also had risen again just as he said.  When Mary learned that Her Savior and Lord was alive it put everything back in perspective.  There was joy and happiness again!  

Learning the truth about Jesus brought perspective and joy but it did not make everything fair or easy.  But it made it possible.  With Christ all things are possible.  

Today remember the reality of a risen and living Jesus Christ.  Let the perspective of the truth and hope in Jesus revive you and propel you forward.  Let it bring you joy and strength.  No, life is not easy, but because He lives, we can face the life we are called to live for Him!




February 4, 2016, 9:26 AM

Are You Hearing God Speak?


Are you hearing God speak to you? Do you hear His voice?

There are really only 3 reasons you won't hear God.

1. You are not listening. We must listen to what God is saying, not just listen for what we want to hear. Maybe God is speaking but you are just not wanting to listen to what He has to say.

2. You have strayed in your walk with him. Christians are not perfect. There are times we stray or backslide on God. We shouldn't, and we don't have too, but sometimes we do. Rarely does God shout. He speaks in a still small voice. He want to draw you closer to Himself. If you can't hear Him get closer to Him, walk with Him and He you will hear His voice.

Or could it be...

3. You don't really know Him. You do not belong to Him. The bible says that those that belong to Him will know His voice (John 10:27). Ultimately if you can not hear God's voice it is because you are not belonging to God.

John 8:47

"He who is of God hears the words of God; for this reason you do not hear them, because you are not of God."

No matter the reason you are not hearing from God, you don't have to be afraid. God wants to speak to you. He longs to speak to you and demonstrate His love for you.

Whether it be that you are not listening, have backslid, or are not really saved, turn to Jesus Christ. He loves you and died for you so that you can have a relationship with Him.


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