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Monthly Archives : August 2015

Make a Joyful Noise, Daily…Psalm 100:1-5 ESV
Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!  Serve the Lord with gladness!  Come into his presence with singing!  Know that the Lord, he is God!  It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.  Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise!  For the Lord is good; his stedfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations. Psalms 100:1-5 ESV
      The first part of Psalms 100 describe how the Christian should live everyday.  We should be joyful, serving gladly, enjoying his presence, and knowing God is Lord of our lives.  We should alway remember that we were wonderfully made. (Psalms 139: 13-16)   God’s signature is on your heart, and you are protected as sheep by the Shepard.   We should look at everyday as the opportunity to come into gates of a new day being thankful and praising him in his presence.   To do this we must remember  three important facts.
     1. First, we must acknowledge the Lord is good.  In a day of whys and skepticism we must not falter in knowing the truth … God is good all the time!  This comes by believing in this truth  by faith.  It is not based on what we feel or the doubts that at time rear its ugly head but rather the truth of His word.  Some in this world have become angry at God and the church and have walked away or will do everything possible to eradicate God from life.  God alone has the words of life and when things become difficult and you may be tempted to walk away, remember the conversation of Peter and Jesus after Jesus had finished a difficult teaching resulting in many of his disciples walking away.   After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him.  So Jesus said to the Twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?”  Simon Peter answered him,”Lord, to whom shall we go?  You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.”  John 6: 66-69 ESV  So by faith the Christian will believe no matter what, “God is Good!   As a Christian I may be called a fool for believing this, and a fool I may be; but let me ask you a question. Whose fool might you be?
     2. Secondly, that His steadfast love endures forever .    Hebrews 13:8 ESV states, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”  Think about that for a moment… this means the Love of God is as true today as it was the day it was manifested on Calvary.   For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.  
John 3:16-17 ESV   This also means the message in Romans is as true today as when it was written.  If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.  Romans 10: 9-10 ESV  … For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved  Romans 10:13 ESV   
    Understand…. this is huge because this means something so very important….. that we are called the children of God.  See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called the children of God; and so we are. 1 John 3:1 ESV
   
 3. Thirdly, his faithfulness to all generations.  Faithfulness is a word today that has been misused and abused.  Someone to whom you gave yourself committing to a lifetime of faithfulness has walked away.   A loyal friend that had been faithful to listen in confidence just told the whole world your deepest hurts.   The employer to whom you have been faithful to has let you go for no apparent reason.
     Faithfulness for some seems like only a pipe dream. God, however, is truly faithful in every area of our lives.  God made a promise in the Bible… his word.   Jesus spoke these words to us just before he ascended into heaven…And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”  Matthew 28: 20 ESV   In Hebrews 13:5 we are reminded how we should live and think when trusting in the Lord.  Keep you life free from the love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said,” I will never leave you nor forsake you.”   Jesus said, The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.  I came that they may have life and have abundantly.” John 10:10 ESV 
     Take note that Jesus said he came to give abundant life not an abundance of things.
       Let us live out loud what we say we believe.  Let us make a joyful noise and serve him with gladness singing in his presence.  Acknowledge that he is our protector and Lord.  Be thankful for his love and never ending faithfulness.  Amen
Because of His Grace ~ Pastor David
Pleasing God … Hebrews 11:6 ESV
       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. Hebrews 11:6 ESV
      Years ago I heard a story about a farming community that was desperate for rain. The community in their desperation called for a city wide prayer meeting to pray and as God to send the much needed rain. It was agreed this prayer meeting would take place the coming Saturday at twelve noon in the town square. That Saturday people began gathering in the square, and before long the square was filled to capacity. The prayer meeting was about to start, and there was not a cloud to be seen in any direction. About that time a little girl showed up with an umbrella in her hand to which a farmer chuckled and said, “Why did you bring that umbrella?” To which the little girl replied, “I thought we were going to pray for rain.” Oh the faith of a little child.
      Let me share another story with you. One summer during my college years I served as a summer missionary in Tennessee. A pastor’s wife shared with me about her little boy that had been very sick. The doctors were confused as to the cause of the little guy’s high fever with no success in bringing it down. She told me how frightened she was because if the condition didn’t change, it would become life threatening. She said one night she took the little guy in her arms and was rocking him and with a cool wash cloth was desperately trying to bring the fever down. Then this small child looked at his mother and said, “Mommy, if you ask Jesus, he will heal me.” The mother said with emotion, “I just looked into the eyes of my small boy and prayed Jesus please heal my little boy.” She then, with excitement, told me how at that very moment she could literally feel her son cooling. She said it was so amazing …she had not experienced anything like it in her life… Oh the faith of a little child.
      There is much to be said about a child like faith. Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom”. Matthew 18:3-4 ESV
       So what is a child like faith? Is it a name it and claim it mentality? I don’t think so. Is it having a carefree attitude not worrying about a thing? No, I do not believe it to be this either. I believe child like faith is the faith that pleases God. Faith that will go beyond reason to simply trust in the words of Jesus. It is faith that trusts in God even when He may not make sense.
      It is not based on logic, reasoning or understanding…it simply believes that He exists. Child like faith is action, not just talk. It is bringing an umbrella to a prayer meeting when praying for rain.  But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. James 2:18 ESV. The question was asked of Jesus, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent,” John 6:28-29 ESV.   Action always speaks louder than words… What you believe will determine how you live. When a person says, “I’m a christian” people will look for the evidence proving the truth of this statement in their life. One evidence of this truth in a person’s life is the strong desire to live for God and to be near Him. Submit yourself therefore unto God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. James 4:7-8 ESV. The end result for this type of life is reward. Not that we live for reward, but it is promised to those who seek him. What is the reward? I believe the greatest reward is the privilege to be called a child of God. See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called the children of God; and so we are. 1 John 3:1 ESV. So let us live like little children…pleasing God with a child like faith…drawing near to him…believing and living purposely so…knowing the greatest reward is that we can call him Father.
 Becase of His Grace ~ Pastor David
Kingdom Value…Matthew 6:33 ESV
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.  Matthew 6:33 ESV
      Two words came to my mind that have significant repercussion in the Christian life.  The words…” kingdom and value.”  Shouldn’t everything have kingdom value in the life of the Christian?  Having kingdom value ultimately will, according to scripture,  bring God glory.  So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10: 31 ESV  
The Holy Spirit quickens / convicts the Christian by teaching truths that may or may not have been known, but need to be practiced as a part of daily Christian living. This world we live in is built on self gratification, and the question arises, is it even possible to have a kingdom value focus?  “For all that is in the world – the desires of the flesh and the desire of the eyes and the pride of life – is not from the Father but is from the world”. 1 John 2:16 ESV   The world is so alluring with all it offers, yet as Christians we must remember this world is passing away.  And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever. 1 John 2:17. ESV
Jesus knew the temptation of gaining this world; it was offered to Him. Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory.  And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you fall down and worship me.” Matthew 4: 8-10. ESV
You must never forget everything in life has a cost.  You pay with your time, talents, youth, health, relationships,  money, and on could go this list.  You may say, “salvation is free,” but it was not to Jesus; He paid the price for the salvation of our lives with His life.   Because Jesus didn’t accept the offer of the kingdoms of this world, He was able to pay salvations price at Calvary.  Christian, you must remember the world and all it offers is not  important. It offers no eternal value. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.  For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul?  Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?  Matt 16:25-26 ESV   Please do not misunderstand; these words are not written to make us feel guilty concerning the blessings of life nor to judge someones lifestyle.  These words are to help us reflect on what is important in life while it is the day.  What is important ……… just ask this question; what was important to Jesus?  For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost Luke 19:10 ESV  It is no understatement to say His life had kingdom value.
 By His Grace ~ Pastor David
Suffering As a Christian… 1 Peter 4:16 ESV
Yet if any suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name. 1 Peter 4:16
           What does it mean to suffer for Christ and glorify God in the suffering?  Does it involve the affliction of physical pain?  Would emotional ridicule or scoffing constitute suffering?  Perhaps these and other means of discomfort could be accredited to suffering but nothing could compare to the sufferings of Christ.  If we experience suffering, it should not surprise us. Jesus said theses words. “If the world hates you, know it has hated me before it hated you.  If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you’re not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you: Servant is not greater than his master.  If they persecuted me, the will also persecute you.”  John 15:18-20 ESV   Isn’t it interesting that the person who wrote the words of 1 Peter 4:16 is the same person that denied Jesus three times on the night before His crucifixion.  Peter, a forgiven man, according to tradition, was crucified in Rome upside down, for he did not consider himself worthy to be crucified in the same manner as Christ.  Peter, a changed man, was not ashamed to bear the name of Christ and tells all that may suffer for Christ not to be ashamed.  In fact, he goes on to say, “Let him glorify God in that name.”  Glorify God in suffering?  How?  We have examples in the New Testament showing how to glorified God in suffering.   Peter and the other apostles were beaten and rejoiced that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name.  And when they had called in the apostles, they beat them and charged them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and d let them go.  Then they left the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name. Acts 5 40-41 ESV Paul and Silas are two more examples.
The crowd joined in attacking them, and the magistrates tore the garments off them and gave orders to beat them with rods. And when they had inflicted many blows upon them, they threw them into prison, ordering the jailer to keep them safely.  Having received this order, he put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks.  About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them.  Acts 16: 22-25 ESV These are not exactly the response you might expect from those suffering, yet it brings glory to God.  Satan wants to destroy the joy in the Christian life, but his efforts are frustrated when Christians rejoice, pray, and sing to God praises in times of suffering.  The intention is to remove the focus from the suffering to the sweet blessing of serving the faithful God, Creator.  So when you face difficulty  in your Christian walk, focus upon God who is faithful and bring Him glory with prayer, rejoicing, and singing.
By His Grace~Pastor David
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