Month: January 2016

Generational praise

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Psalm 145:4–9

4 One generation shall praise Your works to another, And shall declare Your mighty acts.

5 I will meditate on the glorious splendor of Your majesty, And on Your wondrous works.

6 Men shall speak of the might of Your awesome acts, And I will declare Your greatness.

7 They shall utter the memory of Your great goodness, And shall sing of Your righteousness.

8 The Lord is gracious and full of compassion, Slow to anger and great in mercy.

9 The Lord is good to all, And His tender mercies are over all His works.

From generation to generation, people are forgotten. My dad will bring up a “great” baseball player that he watched when he was kid. He will tell me about this great players stats and abilities. I have that deer-in-the-headlights look having never even heard the name of this “great” ball player he is remembering. When I was 30, I mentioned a great actor from my youth and the kids looked at me the same way. Greatness is usually and eventually forgotten. But the greatness of God is never forgotten.

 

From generation to generation we continue to be awed by God’s greatness. We gather and talk about God’s mercy and love; we compare notes about His creative genius and power; we sing old and new songs declaring His amazing grace. God never gets old and He is never forgotten.

 

It is the qualities of God that we continue to dwell on. God is gracious and full of compassion, slow to anger and great in mercy. The Lord is good to all, and His tender mercies are over all His works. We see these qualities poured out into our lives and pray for those who do not know Him to have these wonderful qualities poured into their lives so that they too can rejoice with us in the greatness of our God.

 

Praise Him today.

 

Pray for a man, Esmeraldo, who is dying of cancer. He is a patient of Sonia’s whose family asked her to call her pastor. She told them that we were not Catholic but they wanted her pastor anyway. I went to see Esmeraldo and read Psalm 23 and John 10 showing that the Lord of Psalm 23 is the Lord Jesus Christ. I pointed this man to Jesus as the Savior and Lord he needs. Pray as Sonia goes back to work today that she will be able to exalt the Lord Jesus to this family and that this man will place his full faith in Christ alone.

 

I will be bringing and important message to our church this Sunday. In this study on Spiritual Gifts I have come to realize that the only unity a church can have is unity in the Holy Spirit. Church dinners and special meetings are nice but if the Holy Spirit is absent unity is short lived if existent at all. God longs for us to be unified in Him. Come ready to look carefully at this with me Sunday morning.

 

Come praying for our church business meeting. These are not dreaded times for our church but times of determining the direction of the next year. Pray for us all to be filled with God’s wisdom as we gather.

 

 

Have a great day in the Lord,

PS

A Theme of Greater Praise

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Psalm 145:1–3

1 I will extol You, my God, O King; And I will bless Your name forever and ever.

2 Every day I will bless You, And I will praise Your name forever and ever.

3 Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; And His greatness is unsearchable.

The theme of the next five Psalms is praise to God. Some might even say that the Psalmist overdoes it and just takes this praise to God too far. We think nothing of telling the praises of a great play, a great movie, a great restaurant, or a great performer/athlete. In fact, we can talk about a favorite whatever over and over until our friends and family tell us to stop talking about that. Think about this, everything on this earth that we speak well of got its ability, its beauty, or its strength from God. In fact, there is nothing that we have that did not come from God’s elements, God’s giving someone wisdom and abilities, or God’s direct design.

 

Is it over-the-top then to bless God’s name forever and ever? Is it too much to bless Him every day and to praise His name forever and ever? Since the Lord is indeed great and greatly to be praised, and since His greatness is unsearchable, then, yes, the Lord is worthy of all of the praise that we could ever give and then some. As we look at Psalms 145-150 we will be talking a lot about praise to God. Since praise is a form of worship I hope that we all will grow to worship God with a greater intensity.

 

Last night we talked about the seraphim around the throne of God who sing day and night, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty, the whole earth is filled with His glory.” We then asked what their perspective of earth might be and how would our lives change if we could learn to view the earth from the perspective of the praising seraphim. Let’s praise the Lord today.

 

On Saturday, February 13th, my son Steve needs a few people to run a nursery. His church in Big Rock is having a one-day marriage seminar and he wants all of the church people to be in the seminar. If you have time to help out on that day give him a call or send him a text letting him know you could help. 312-505-8401

 

Sunday is our church’s annual meeting. At this meeting we will be voting on the slate of officers, voting on the 2016 budget, and voting on an amendment to the church constitution adding a position of Missions Director. We will then be hearing reports from the different church ministries while we are having lunch. The church is providing lunch we only ask you to bring a dessert. Non-members are invited to stay to have lunch and to hear the reports.

 

Have a great day in the Lord,
PS

Following the Lord brings more than we signed up for

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Psalm 144:1–4

1 Blessed be the Lord my Rock, Who trains my hands for war, And my fingers for battle—

2 My lovingkindness and my fortress, My high tower and my deliverer, My shield and the One in whom I take refuge, Who subdues my people under me.

3 Lord, what is man, that You take knowledge of him? Or the son of man, that You are mindful of him?

4 Man is like a breath; His days are like a passing shadow.

9 I will sing a new song to You, O God; On a harp of ten strings I will sing praises to You,

10 The One who gives salvation to kings, Who delivers David His servant From the deadly sword.

15 Happy are the people who are in such a state; Happy are the people whose God is the Lord!

When I came to Jesus Christ and placed my faith in Him as my Savior and followed Him as my Lord little did I know where my life would go. I did not follow Him for great peace but He gave it to me. I did not follow Him for great joy but He gave it to me. I did not follow Him to keep me from great errors but He did. I did not follow Him to make sure I was taken care of but He has taken care of me. I did not follow Him to gain great relationships in this life but He has given me those also.

Life is short and what is our short life that it would gain the attention of an eternal God? But He does pay attention to our short lives and He does care about its details. He oversees and He directs. He protects and He provides. In turn, our natural response is to worship and praise Him and to do so loudly.

This Psalm speaks to God’s protection of the king and to God’s provision to the nation. He raises their sons with strength and beauties their daughters making them secure. He fills their fields with flocks and their barns with grain. When God’s people follow Him He takes care of them in ways they never could have imagined. When we follow God by faith we too see God caring for us in ways beyond our hopes.

The end result is that we are a happy people. We are happy whose God is the Lord. Rejoice in Him with me today.

We asked Sunday for ladies to sign up for nursery duty. If you did not get to Dawn on Sunday send me a note and I can pass it on to her. We need to get the nursery schedule filled and just don’t have enough volunteers. Thanks for your help in this.

Tonight is our Kids4Truth, youth group and adult prayer and Bible study.   Join with us at 7:00 for this important part of our week.

Pray for one another. Listen to the Holy Spirit who will lead you to pray for those who need it the most.

Have a great day in the Lord,

PS

Positive self-talk because we belong to God

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Psalm 143:9–12

9 Deliver me, O Lord, from my enemies; In You I take shelter.

10 Teach me to do Your will, For You are my God; Your Spirit is good. Lead me in the land of uprightness.

11 Revive me, O Lord, for Your name’s sake! For Your righteousness’ sake bring my soul out of trouble.

12 In Your mercy cut off my enemies, And destroy all those who afflict my soul; For I am Your servant.

So often in my reading the verbs jump out at me.   Instead of giving the entire Psalm today I am focusing on the last four verses. (Feel free to read the entire Psalm.)

 

As the Psalmist struggled against the enemies of this life he always turned to the only One who could help him. Again here we see that same wonderful formula. He has enemies but he does not allow them to take control of his mind and life. He goes to the Lord for shelter asking Him to do the action of deliverance. We are usually unable to deliver ourselves and going to the Lord as our Deliverer is the best place to start. We are needy; He is able. We are powerless; He is mighty.

 

He then asks the Lord to teach him to do His will. Instead of explaining his need, the Psalmist reminds himself that God is God, His Spirit is good and He will lead him in the land of uprightness. So often self-talk is negative. Try this self-talk the next time you are being attacked by the world around you, the devil outside of you or your own flesh within. Remind yourself of God’s good teachings, His good Spirit, and His total ability as God to deliver you.

 

The next verse is another verb: revive. To ask to be revived is to assume that some level of reviving is needed. When I took CPR we learned to revive people who were not breathing or whose hearts had stopped beating. While travelling I stayed with a husband and wife my parent’s age. I was getting ready for the day when I heard the woman fall. Going into the kitchen I found her on the floor and unconscious. I administered CPR and called 911. She needed to be revived. When do we need to be revived? We sometime fall from the life God has for us and need Him to revive us with His grace and truth.

 

Finally, the Psalmist asks that in His mercy He would cut off the enemies of his soul. Why does the he think that God will help him in this way? The last phrase tells us that the Psalmist knew something about his relationship to God, he was God’s servant; that is, he belonged to God. God knows those who belong to Him and takes care of them. He always cares for His own. So the next time you need God’s help, remember this, you belong to Him. He will deliver you for He cares greatly for you.

 

Once again I am thanking God for our church. We so enjoy when we gather together with one another for the glory and praise of God Almighty. We are diverse body with people of many ages and cultures and when we can praise God together it is wonderful. Pray with me for those whom we invite to come to church. Throughout the week we are inviting people and praying for them to come. Only the Lord can get them up on Sunday to be here. Pray that those invited will hear the call of the Lord and join with us for their salvation and for God’s glory.

 

Our friend Bonnie Verway died on Saturday. Her journey here ended and her life with Christ began. She died at her daughter Kris’s home and just stopped breathing. Pray for Kris and Mike and their families as they work through the loss of their mom and grandma. Death is always painful and the separation is never easy.

 

Pray also for a friend named Dan who is in the midst of a battle with bladder cancer. He has had surgery and is in chemo treatment. Dan has a wife and two daughters. Pray that they will all see the healing hand of God.

 

Have a great day in the Lord,
PS

The works of the Godhead in the Gifts of the Spirit

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1 Corinthians 12:4-6 teach us that the Holy Spirit gifts us to serve the Lord Jesus with the power from the Father. God gets the glory and all profit. Join us as we continue the study on the church, unity in diversity.

The work of the Godhead in the gifts of the Spirit from Pastor Steve Schroeder on Vimeo.

Depression and Improvement

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Psalm 142

1 I cry out to the Lord with my voice; With my voice to the Lord I make my supplication.

2 I pour out my complaint before Him; I declare before Him my trouble.

3 When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, Then You knew my path. In the way in which I walk They have secretly set a snare for me.

4 Look on my right hand and see, For there is no one who acknowledges me; Refuge has failed me; No one cares for my soul.

5 I cried out to You, O Lord: I said, “You are my refuge, My portion in the land of the living.

6 Attend to my cry, For I am brought very low; Deliver me from my persecutors, For they are stronger than I.

7 Bring my soul out of prison, That I may praise Your name; The righteous shall surround me, For You shall deal bountifully with me.”

I find in this Psalm, which was written when David fleeing from Saul’s army was hiding in cave, a journey from depression to improvement of thought. David was in a bad way. He had been anointed as king of Israel but Saul was committed to killing him and was hunting him like one would hunt an animal. David found refuge in a cave but Saul was gaining on him. With nowhere to go and certain death seeming apparent, David went into a bout of depression.

Read the first six verses focusing on verse 4. When we listen to ourselves and allow our minds to take us to the worst possible places, I want you to see that we go to places that are untrue, places that deceive our thinking bringing us to false conclusions. David was in a bad place, no doubt. But in verse 4 he accepted false conclusions. He said that he looked on his right hand and saw no one who acknowledged him. He found no refuge. No one cared for his soul.   These are all untrue statements! On David’s right hand were the strongest and bravest soldiers alive. All around him were men who looked to him for physical and for spiritual leadership. He was surrounded by refuge both from man and from God. Had not the prophet of God, Samuel himself anointed David as king? Was Saul going to thwart the work of God? Had God not protected David all along and was God going to stop being his refuge now? Did no one care for his soul? Didn’t David have two wives back home and children and parents who cared for his soul?

Here is my point: when we allow depression into our minds it can and will take us to untrue places. These false realities, which we allow to become our realities, make us think dark thoughts that just are not so. The longer we stay there the more we focus on those dark thoughts the harder it is to come out and back into the light of the truth.

In verse 9 David realizes that he has put himself into a prison of his own making and asks God to bring him out so that he can praise His name. David sees those good people surrounding him and leans on them. He is then able to see that God has dealt bountifully with him and is not going to leave him now.

 

Learn from David that good people can fall into depression but that depressing thoughts are usually exaggerations if not outright false realities that lead us into dark places away from the light of the truth. Bring your mind into the light, rejoice in the Lord, and look at those who are there for you and be thankful.

 

After church last night I spent an hour with our friends, Fred and Bonnie. At the end of our time we had a prayer time of rejoicing, thanking God for all that He has done in our lives. You know what, even in a hospital room, a prayer of praise and thanksgiving is in order and brings peace and blessing.

 

Bobbi spent time yesterday with Bonnie Verway; caring for her while Kris slept. Bonne is not eating much at all and we are praying for her peaceful transition from here to the presence of Jesus.

 

All is well. God is God. We are at peace.

 

Have a great day in Him,

 

PS

God delivers us from the snares and traps

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Psalm 141:8-10

But my eyes are upon You, O God the Lord;

In You I take refuge;

Do not leave my soul destitute.

Keep me from the snares they have laid for me,

And from the traps of the workers of iniquity.

Let the wicked fall into their own nets,

While I escape safely.

 

Many of the themes of the Psalms are directed toward the enemies of the Psalmist. In this life we do have enemies. Ours are identified by the world, the flesh and the devil. The world around us wants to force us into its mold. Romans 12:2 tells us not to be conformed to it. Our own flesh is against God for in our flesh nothing good dwells. Even though we are redeemed by the blood of Christ and given a new heart for God, our flesh is still tied to this world and has sinful desires that must be resisted. The devil is our constant enemy ever deceiving and desiring to draw us away from God.

 

As we face these enemies we must find our refuge in the Lord. Looking to Him we are able to see the temptations for the lies that they are. God will not leave our souls desolate for He has redeemed them from destruction.

 

Snares and traps are hunters tools designed to be invisible to the prey until they step into it. In our spiritual battles we don’t always see the snares and traps until we are caught in them. We seek the Lord to keep us from those snares and traps that our enemies lay out for us.

 

In fact, the Psalmist asks that the wicked around him be caught in their own traps while he safely escapes. I envision myself walking through a mine field unscathed, looking back and seeing the ones who planted the mines unable to get to me for fear of stepping on their own traps. God does lead us through the mine-fields of life but the wicked are on their own. God brings us out of temptation’s snares so that we can live victoriously giving glory to Him.

 

“Lord, lead us not into temptation today but delver us from the evil one for yours is the kingdom and the honor and the glory forever.”

 

Bonnie Verway was sent home to her daughter’s house yesterday. Nothing has changed in her condition. Pray for them all to know God’s peace in this time of transition from here to heaven.

 

Be in prayer for our college students to remain focused on the Lord and their studies. Pray for our school age kids to walk with the Lord and remain faithful to Him and to His word.

 

Have a great day in the Lord,

PS

The Church – unity in diversity

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In this message Pastor Steve looks at 1 Corinthians 12:1-2 setting the stage for a new series on gifts of the Holy Spirit. He takes time to examine how the truth is often diluted to keep us from following Christ fully.

The Church – Unity in Diversty 1 Corinthians 12 from Pastor Steve Schroeder on Vimeo.

Cry out to God, see the enemies defeated

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Psalm 141

1     Lord, I cry out to You;

Make haste to me!

Give ear to my voice when I cry out to You.

2     Let my prayer be set before You as incense,

The lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.

3     Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth;

Keep watch over the door of my lips.

4     Do not incline my heart to any evil thing,

To practice wicked works

With men who work iniquity;

And do not let me eat of their delicacies.

Let’s begin with verse 4.  Throughout this life we still possess bodies of flesh which respond to fleshly desires.  The enemies of our soul often take legitimate desires of our flesh and weaving sin into them seek to lead us astray.  Eating is a legitimate desire.  Gluttony takes it too far. Sleeping is a legitimate desire.  Laziness takes it too far.  Sex is a legitimate desire.  Any sexual activity outside of a marriage of a man and a woman takes it too far.  However, the delicacies of the wicked sure do look good, sound good, taste good and feel good.  So the Psalmist, knowing the ability of his flesh to evil things, asks God to keep him from eating the delicacies of illegitimate desires.

Backing up to verse 1, he again cries out to the Lord as the only One who is able to give the help needed.  God alone gives an ear to our voices in times of need.  When we pray to God he even keeps our prayers!  In Revelation we read that our prayers are the incense before God’s throne.  He hears them, He sees them, He smells them; in essence, God ponders our prayers and acts upon them.   We cannot begin to understand the importance of our prayers to God. Our prayers matter to Him.

In prayer, the Psalmist asks God to put a guard, a military watch, over his mouth and lips.  So often our sin begins in what we say and we need to ask God to keep our words pure.  Who else can effectively keep us from saying the wrong things?   God alone is able and going to Him for this help is the best place to go.  Take your needs and concerns to Him.  He then will keep you from the snares, the traps of the wicked.  Traps are things you do not see until you step in them and it is too late.  Seek the Lord today as the One to keep you from the sinful traps of the enemies of your soul.

We were so blessed yesterday by our time together at church.  In our adult Sunday school hour we have been studying faith and its actions.  As we are walking through Hebrews 11 some wonderful insights to faith have come up.  Thanks to all who are walking through this study with us.  Then the morning service was an especial blessing to us as we looked at the ways the Holy Spirit manifests Himself to us, His church.  Looking at spiritual gifts as Holy Spirit manifestations has been a wonderful way to see His work amongst us.  We played a recording of a beating heart and asked what it would be like if the church could beat together as one heartbeat before God.  It was an amazing moment of realization and hope for our church. 

Bonnie Roberts, our dear friend here in Naperville, fell and broke her hip on Saturday.  They did surgery on her yesterday.  Pray with us for an especially quick and minimally painful recovery.  God is able to heal and we are calling upon Him to heal our friend much quicker than it would normally take. 

Have a great day in the Lord,

PS

God is greater than all of our enemies

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Psalm 140

1     Deliver me, O Lord, from evil men;

Preserve me from violent men,

2     Who plan evil things in their hearts;

They continually gather together for war.

3     They sharpen their tongues like a serpent;

The poison of asps is under their lips.

4     Keep me, O Lord, from the hands of the wicked;

Preserve me from violent men,

Who have purposed to make my steps stumble.

5     The proud have hidden a snare for me, and cords;

They have spread a net by the wayside;

They have set traps for me.

6     I said to the Lord: “You are my God;

Hear the voice of my supplications, O Lord.

7     O God the Lord, the strength of my salvation,

You have covered my head in the day of battle.

8     Do not grant, O Lord, the desires of the wicked;

Do not further his wicked scheme,

Lest they be exalted.

12   I know that the Lord will maintain

The cause of the afflicted,

And justice for the poor.

13   Surely the righteous shall give thanks to Your name;

The upright shall dwell in Your presence.

We revere God this morning as the only One to go to when we feel we are being attacked by the enemies of our lives and of our souls.  There is no enemy that is greater than God therefore when we are under attack going to Him is the best and the only thing to do.  God is able to deliver us from every situation of life where deliverance is needed.  God does not want the wicked of this life to overcome the righteous so we revere Him as the ultimate go-to One in our time of trouble.

We respond to God this morning with thankfulness and praise knowing that as He cared for the Psalmist in all of His trials, afflictions and attacks so He cares for us.  We respond with hope when the enemies of our lives and of our souls come against us knowing that God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in time of trouble.  We respond with greater security in the God who cares and fights our battles for us.

Our request from this passage is that God will ever show Himself strong.  We love Him as our Abba Father and rejoice in His adoption of us into His eternal family.  But we often need God as the Captain of our salvation and the First wave when we are attacked.  We ask God to be there at those times and to confirm His power when we need to see it.

This passage then readies us to go into today with confidence that whatever the day brings, whomever comes against us, God is for us.  He is beside us and before us.  God knows when the enemy is coming before we do and prepares our way into the battle and through the battle.  We are ready to face life’s enemies because God is for us.  We dwell in His presence where perfect love casts out our fears.

Pray with me for the Rivera family.  They are facing the need for major changes in their lives and the overcoming of life dominating issues. 

A woman called the church yesterday looking for a car for less than $1,000.  If anyone had any leads on this let me know. 

Dave has been coming Wednesday nights. He recently received a lawsuit against him for an accident that happened three years ago.  Pray for God to lead Dave through this trial. 

My wash machine broke and I looked into it last night and found a broken piece between the motor and the agitator.  It should be up and running for $21.  The bad news is that the laundry is stacking up.  The good news is that the part comes in Saturday.

Have a great day in the Lord,

PS

 

 

Contentedness vs Covetousness

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Philippians 4

11 Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: 12 I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

 

Hebrews 13

5 Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

 

Luke 12

3 And He said to them, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.”

 

Our county is in an uproar about a 1.3 billion dollar lottery win.  This means that the covetous public has given the government billions of dollars.  The government who already supports gambling is more than willing to take these hopeful donations into its swamp of over-spending.  There is a hype over this winnable sum that is causing deceived people to part with their hard-earned and often desperately needed money.  When people give this much money away in hopes of a win they are not able to use that money to meet their needs nor to meet the needs of the church and the society.

 

Within each of us is a spirit of covetousness that we have to fight against all the time.  Jesus told us to beware of covetousness for life does not consist of what we posses but of who we are.  Paul told us to learn to be content in all times both good and bad and that Christ is our strength enabling us to be content.  The writer of Hebrews makes a stronger statement telling us to live totally apart from covetousness for the Lord Jesus is ever with us and is better than that which we covet.

 

  • Gambling feeds our covetous desires.
  • Gambling takes away our contentedness in what we have.
  • Gambling takes our eyes off of the ever present Provider, the Lord Jesus, and puts them on the possible winnings.

 

This lottery has revealed the inner person of many people.  People are discontent.  People want something for nothing.  People wish for extreme amounts of money and are willing to pay an extra tax to the government swamp to get what they think they want.

 

I don’t play the lottery.  Contentedness is a battle for me which battle I am currently on top of.  Gambling makes me think about what I might buy if I win. Sure, you can say you will give most of it away.  But you have plans for the portion you keep.  Learn to be content.  I have never had a windfall profit and have thus had to trust God and work hard for everything I have.  I get it, winning the lottery would be really cool.  But I don’t want to feed discontent and covetousness for those are not neutral attitudes within me.  Jesus is ever with me.  He and His provision are better than the lottery.  I don’t want to lose Him. Keep your money in your wallet.  Let others pay the lottery tax.  You are not going to win anyway.  The lottery is funded by losers, not winners.  The church is funded by those who surrendered to Christ entrust their gifts to His work.  All who give to the Lord are winners, even Jesus taught that.

 

As you know, tonight we have Kids4Truth, youth group, and adult prayer and Bible study.  See you at 7:00.

 

I went last night to see our friend, Bonnie Verway.  The tube was removed and she was alert and talking with us. It was nice to see her this way.  We don’t know how long she can live apart from the IV meds but we do know that God is in control and our trust is in Him.  The family appreciates all prayers made on their behalf. 

 

Our country needs our prayers.  The next President, whomever it is, needs our prayers.  They will be inheriting a very difficult situation both nationally and globally.  Pray for those who are over us so that we can lead quiet and peaceable lives. 

 

Have a great day in the Lord,

 

PS

Thoughts, enemies and a constant inward searching

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Psalm 139

17   How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!

How great is the sum of them!

18   If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand;

When I awake, I am still with You.

19   Oh, that You would slay the wicked, O God!

Depart from me, therefore, you bloodthirsty men.

20   For they speak against You wickedly;

Your enemies take Your name in vain.

21   Do I not hate them, O Lord, who hate You?

And do I not loathe those who rise up against You?

22   I hate them with perfect hatred;

I count them my enemies.

23   Search me, O God, and know my heart;

Try me, and know my anxieties;

24   And see if there is any wicked way in me,

And lead me in the way everlasting.

As David concludes this Psalm he has three very different thoughts.  His first thought has to do with absolute amazement of how much and how completely God knows him and his life.  When we consider God’s omniscience over all of His creation we too should exclaim “How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them!”   This past year’s study on idolatry from Isaiah has shown to us the difference of our God and of the false gods and idols of history.  We have seen that there is only one true God and that all others are figments of someone’s imagination made into something to worship.  No other god has any awareness of our lives but our God has total awareness.  He never sleeps nor slumbers and is always aware of all that we do even directing us as He sees fit.  How precious are His thoughts to us and how many they are!

David then goes into a section asking God to deal with his enemies.  Though we do not have human enemies trying to kill us with any regularity, we do have enemies of our soul.  The powers of darkness would love to see us fail and they do all they can to attack the truth and drive us away from God’s perfect love.  Oh that God would rid us of these enemies of our soul.  When Jesus died He defeated our enemies making an open spectacle of them.  They hate Him for that but they cannot ever defeat the Son of God.  When we are saved Jesus sends His Holy Spirit to live in us giving us spiritual power that we did not have before.  Be aware of your spiritual enemies and seek God’s help in defeating them.  We battle from the victory side.

The last section of this Psalm is David’s plea to ever be right with God.  He pleads with God to be constantly searching his life and heart to ever rid the evil that lives there.  We have something that David did not have; we have the Holy Spirit leading us into all truth.  The Holy Spirit replaces our conscience with His holy perspective of life and using the Word of God ever brings sin to the surface so we can confess and forsake it.  We are able to go throughout every day and to face every night at peace with God having confessed all that the Holy Spirit has brought to our mind.  We are in the everlasting way by the grace of God and the work of Christ.  We are not hoping for the everlasting way but are already on it; Hallelujah!

Happy Birthday Steven!  I thank God often for you and for His leading in your life.  Seek Him mightily this year. 

Praise God with me for a wonderful day in the house of the Lord yesterday.  Some of you frighten me when you get there late thinking you are the only one doing so.  Many of you get there late and I think the cold has kept you home.  But you get there and we rejoice together.  We introduced a song new to our church but new to some of you.  We sang “Where I Belong” a newer song on our struggle here in this life against our knowledge of eternal life with our Lord  We don’t belong here but we do belong with the Lord and we are not home yet, a great song of testimony and hope.

I continued in 1 Corinthians 12 on how the Godhead gives us all our spiritual gifts.  The Holy Spirit gives us spiritual gifts to serve the Lord Jesus Christ with the power of God.  All of us who are saved have spiritual gifts and need to use them in the church to build up each other.  The power of God will be manifested and the lost will have the word of God confirmed to them. Next week we will begin looking at specific spiritual gifts that the Holy Spirit gives.

Pray for life-long friend of ours, Bonnie Verway.  Bonnie is in cardiac failure awaiting the surgeon’s decisions this morning.  We went to Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn last night and spent time with the family.  They are very dear friends, as close as family.  They know the Lord and are at peace with God hoping and praying that God would do the supernatural for their mom. 

Sande is leading a new ladies Bible study at church this morning at 9:30. She has been looking forward to this for some time. I hope you can join her.

Have a great day in the Lord,
PS

 

At the name of Jesus People Change – part3

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In this series Pastor Steve Schroeder is going through the Scriptures to examine the power of the name of Jesus and the Person behind the name.

At the name of Jesus pt3 from Pastor Steve Schroeder on Vimeo.

God made us the way He wanted us to be

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Psalm 139

13   For You formed my inward parts;

You covered me in my mother’s womb.

14   I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;

Marvelous are Your works,

And that my soul knows very well.

15   My frame was not hidden from You,

When I was made in secret,

And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.

16   Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.

And in Your book they all were written,

The days fashioned for me,

When as yet there were none of them.

17   How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!

How great is the sum of them!

There has been much said and written about self-esteem.  Self-esteem is how we feel about ourselves and a certain segment of society thinks that our self-esteem has a lot to do with our ability for personal success.

As I read this passage in the light of who God made me to be then my self-esteem is not wrapped up in my comparing myself with anyone else.  God did not form me to be like someone else whose body shape or intellect is different than mine.  God formed me the way He wanted me to be and He did so from my conception during the nine months I was in my mother’s womb.  During that time God was the only one shaping who I would become.  He determined my sex.  He determined my height.  He determined my bone structure.  He determined my skill sets and the abilities of my brain.

When we meditate upon God’s shaping of our lives we should come to the conclusion that the holy and perfect Almighty God makes no mistakes and did not make any in the forming of our lives.  Therefore, my self-esteem should be based on who God made me to be and never a comparison with someone else who makes me feel insecure.  I am who God made me to be.  I spend my life utilizing what God gave me to use to accomplish all that God made me to accomplish.  This is liberating!  Pass this along to those who are struggling with who they are and pray that they will become thankful for who God made them to be and then seek to become the person God made them to become for His glory and for our good.

Good morning Kristen! 

Be in prayer for Sunday.  I will be bringing a message on the work of the Holy Spirit, the Son, and the Father who gave us gifts to do God’s work.  1 Corinthians 12 needs to be understood so that we will serve with the manifestation of the Spirit.  Don’t miss it.

Pray for RU tonight that God will bring those whom He wants there.  Pray for them to find the hope that only God through His power and grace can give.  The word of God must be backed up by the power of God for people to put their faith in God.  Pray with us for more manifestations of the power of God.

Have a great day in the Lord,

PS

 

We cannot nor do we want to escape from God

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Psalm 139

7 Where can I go from Your Spirit?

Or where can I flee from Your presence?

8 If I ascend into heaven, You are there;

If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.

9 If I take the wings of the morning,

And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,

10 Even there Your hand shall lead me,

And Your right hand shall hold me.

11 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall fall on me,”

Even the night shall be light about me;

12 Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You,

But the night shines as the day;

The darkness and the light are both alike to You.

 

From Adam and Eve to Jonah to Judas many people have tried to escape the presence of God. There have been times in my life that I wanted to escape God’s all-seeing eye. Even when we think we have clean gotten away with something we know that God saw and that He knows.

 

In this section David puts all of those thoughts on paper and brings them clearly to our mind. No matter where we go, God is there. No matter how dark the night, God is there. No matter how high we go or how low we go, God is there. There is no place on this created planet that the Creator is not aware of and does not see His creation’s actions. There are no conversations or plans that God does not hear. From the highest to the lowest God sees and hears all for His presence is everywhere.

 

For the evil-doer this is an inescapable conscience. But for those who are living faithful to

God this is a wonderful comfort and assurance. God is aware of all of our personal and church plans and needs. He is a part of every conversation and is leading us into His perfect will. I look at this passage as a great encouragement. Wherever I go in service of Christ, God is there. Whomever I visit, God is there. I am never alone in His work for He is always everywhere giving me guidance and protection.

 

“Thank you God for your everywhere presence. Thank you for always being everywhere I need you to be.”

 

We look forward to our Wednesday night prayer and Bible study this evening. Kids4Truth meets at 7 as does the youth group. This is an important time of the week for us. Start the new year with a new commitment to joining us on Wednesday nights.

 

Have a great day in the Lord,
PS