Month: September 2016

Greater works than Jesus did?

Posted on

John 14

12 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. 13 And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.

 

The God of heaven makes a seeming strange and unrealistic promise here.  Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, who had done some amazing miraculous works in His life on earth, promised His disciples that they would do greater works than He did.  Then He told them that whatever they asked in His name for the glory of the Father would be done.

I have tried to walk on water, I have prayed over very sick people and even laid hands on them as I prayed, I have blessed countless meals and have been to many funerals.  I must confess that no, I can’t walk on water and no, I have never healed anyone nor raised anyone from the dead.   In fact, after the works of Peter and John and Paul there were not any more such miraculous works.

So what was Jesus talking about?  One of the greatest works of Jesus’ life might have been the raising of Lazarus from the dead.  After four days of death there was no question as to his lifeless condition.  The sisters were totally put out that Jesus did not come to heal their brother.  The crowd thought that Jesus had really missed this opportunity.  But Jesus, God in the flesh, called Lazarus out of the tomb-cave and back from death.  Jesus presented Lazarus alive to his sisters and sat down to eat with him.  But Lazarus did eventually die again.

When we show someone the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ’s death, burial and resurrection and that person, led by the Holy Spirit’s calling, receives the grace of God, the forgiveness of their sins, they receive eternal life.  My friends, the leading of an eternal soul to eternal life is a greater work than Jesus ever did.  When we present the gospel to someone we are attacking the gates of hell and opening for them the eternal gates of heaven.  We are on a search and rescue mission saving souls from eternal damnation.  What greater work is there?  Everything else that is done in this life is temporary including all of the miracles of Jesus.  Only when we lead someone to Jesus is an eternal miracle done.

Jesus wants us to pray for the lost to be saved.  As we pray for souls for the glory of God the Father, our prayers are answered.  Keep praying and keep talking about your Savior.  God has promised that His word will not return void but will accomplish that which He has directed it to do.  So, get out and do greater works.

 

Men, tomorrow morning is our monthly prayer breakfast at Denny’s at 7:30.

Sunday is our dinner day at church and Sunday we are celebrating Jean Wardell’s 100 birthday!  Bring her a card and a greeting for this amazing time in her life.  We are so thankful that Jean is in our church. What an amazing person and devout Saint of God.  

For any of your senior citizens, Saturday at 3:00 is the annual “Singing for Seniors” concert at Community Christian Church.  (The Yellow Box)  I mention this because Stefani and I are singing a duet. This is a free event for all senior citizens who can come. 

I will be announcing on Sunday the need for nursery workers during the Revival week.  If you can sign up for one night please do. 

Have a great day in the Lord,

PS

Three churches in one unified service

Posted on

On September 18th, a Korean church, an Indian church and an English church gathered for one service. All three congregations use the same building every Sunday but this Sunday they met together to get a glimpse of what heaven might be like. It was a glorious time. The entire service is here recorded. Join, The Lord’s Church, Bethel Prayer House, and Grace for Life Bible Church as they worshiped God as one body.

See it, then believe, or just believe

Posted on

John 14

Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.”

Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works. 11 Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves.

 

What is it about the human way that we want so badly to see something to believe it?  Missouri is called, “the show me” State.  Somewhere along the line people of Missouri became known for their need to see-it-to-believe-it.  Philip must have been the original Missourian.  He told Jesus that if Jesus would simply peel back the curtain of heaven and show them the Father on His throne they would have been sufficient in their faith.

It is easy to criticize Philip while thinking in the exact same way as he did.  If only God would make His will as plain as the eggs on my plate this morning.  If only God would completely heal my sick friend.  If only God would let me win the lottery.  If only God would fix my marriage.  If only God would bring me a spouse.  If only God would… then I would really believe in Him.  We put God up to these challenges hoping that He will want us to believe in a way that makes sense to us.

What Philip didn’t say was that he was struggling with his faith and one quick vision would really help him.  Is that not what is behind our plea for something more tangible than a clear view of Jesus?  We have more of Jesus than Philip had.  For while Philip could see and touch Jesus, he was still wanting a King Jesus not a suffering and dying Jesus.  It wasn’t until after the resurrection that any of the disciples, figured it all out.  We have the whole story unfolded for us.  We have Revelation 1 where John saw the risen King in all of His glory.  We have a better view of Jesus than Philip had.

So we too must note the words of Jesus.  If we have seen Christ we have seen the Father.  Jesus was an exact replica of the Father and showed us all of the attributes of the Father.  Jesus was God in the flesh, the incarnation of God.  To study Jesus is to study God. Look to Christ. Lift Him up.  Make Jesus important in your life and conversations.  It was Christ who said, “And I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men unto myself.”  We don’t need to see more of God; we need to have faith in the God who has already been revealed.

On Saturday we are having a youth band practice.  I announced it from 12:00- 1:00.  I need to move it forward an hour from 11:00 to 11:45.  Please be on time as I really have to leave at 11:45. 

Sunday morning I will be finishing Isaiah 66.  The last verse of the chapter deals with those who don’t make it into God’s eternal city.  The emphasis of Sunday’s message will be the eternal damnation of those who don’t believe.  Pray with me about this important biblical topic in a day when people are longing to be rid of all human and divine judgment. 

The video of the Combined church service is now on the website.  It is long but it is enjoyable. 

Have a great day in the Lord,
PS

There is only One way, truth and life

Posted on

John 14

Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?”

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

“If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.”

 

I would suppose that the Holy Spirit has used these words of Jesus to bring millions of hearts to follow Christ.  There are none other so definitive that put the full emphasis of salvation on one Person and one Person alone.  We don’t need to understand all of the world religions, no, we just need to understand that Jesus is the only way, the only truth, and the only life and that no one can come to the eternal Father except through Him.

Thomas, expressing his own humanity, was looking for an answer to Jesus’ teaching that He was preparing a place and He was coming again and they would know the way.  Poor Thomas, he struggled so with face value faith.  Thomas does, however, typify many people of all ages.  When faced with the clear teaching they look for one more answer.  So Jesus, ever patient with His own, clarifies for Thomas and for us all.   “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.“

 

My friends, we don’t need another way.  We don’t need another truth.  We don’t need another life-giver for we have all that we need in Jesus Christ.  I fear that Christmas and Easter have lessened our view of Jesus Christ.  We see Him as a helpless babe in a manger and as a suffering man on a cross.  While Jesus was those He is so much more.  He is absolutely God and can thus say that HE is the only needed way, truth and life.

 

Are you trusting Christ fully or do you have your spiritual eyes on something else just in case?  Are you enamored by some other religion that seems to have some really interesting teachings?  Are you joining Thomas in doubting the words of Christ?  Focus today on these wonderful words, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

 

The Bible teaches us over and over of the need for prayer.  History is filled with movements of God that began with prayer.  I believe in prayer’s importance.  Join me tonight as we again take time from our busy schedules to cry out to God in prayer for Him to break hearts and save souls.

 

Many of our teens were involved this morning in an annual event called,  “See you at the pole.”  It is an opportunity for high school students to meet at the school flag pole before school for prayer.  May God bless you teens for getting up a little earlier and showing up at this great opportunity for Christ.

 

Have a great day in the Lord,

PS

Jesus is preparing a place, believe it

Posted on

John 14:1–5

1 “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.

2 In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.

4 And where I go you know, and the way you know.”

5 Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?”

There are several great reasons to not allow the issues of this life to trouble us. Jesus brings the first and foremost to the top of the list: This earth, this life, is not our final home nor our final family.

 

Now, how much time, energy, and emotion is spent on trying to live here and trying to make family stuff work? I would say that it takes a boat-load of my time and energy and emotions to keep it all together, and then, when it falls apart, the weight becomes almost crushing. So, what should we do? Jesus wants us to remember that He has gone to prepare an eternal place for us and that He is coming back to receive us into Himself and to His prepared place. The goal of the Savior, His end game, if you may, is for us to be at peace with Him forever.

 

But, instead of rejoicing we usually take the attitude of Thomas, which was one of great doubt. We don’t know where Jesus went, we can’t see what He has prepared for us, we don’t know when He is coming back for us, and no one who has ever gone has come back to tell us all about it.   We are so mired in the stuff of this life that we can’t even begin to get an eternal perspective. Oh, put Thomas’s faithless objections aside and look to Jesus. He has gone to prepare a place for us and since He has gone to do so He is coming back to receive us to Himself so that we can enjoy Him and the place that He has prepared.

 

Have you ever prepared a party for someone who doubted if it was for them? Suppose you had decorations, presents, food, a cake and guests but the birthday girl decided the party wasn’t really for her so she did not think you cared. You might go to her, drag her to your house, and show here all of the preparations and the people gathered for her to make her believe that she was prepared for. Jesus has gone to prepare our eternal joy. When we get there we will know it was prepared for us. Let us not doubt the Savior’s love and care for us just because we can’t see the preparations yet.

 

My schedule has prohibited me to keep up with these devotionals. However, things are back to normal so I should be more consistent in getting them out. Thank you for your patience and even for opening and reading them.

 

We spent yesterday at Victory Academy for Boys. One of their boys has already trusted Christ this school year! Hallelujah! Pray for C. to grow in his faith and to have a hunger for discipleship. Other boys are not so interested so do keep them all in your prayers that they might hear the call of God to salvation.

 

Have a great day in the Lord,

PS

Take the Gospel to someone

Posted on

2 Corinthians 10:14–16

14 For we are not overextending ourselves, as though we did not reach you. For we were the first to come all the way to you with the gospel of Christ.

15 We do not boast beyond limit in the labors of others. But our hope is that as your faith increases, our area of influence among you may be greatly enlarged,

16 so that we may preach the gospel in lands beyond you, without boasting of work already done in another’s area of influence.

When we are the first persons to bring the gospel to people we can rejoice in that opportunity. From that first encounter our goal should be to see their faith increase.   This is our primary goal in teaching, discipleship, and edification. It is faith in God that pleases God. It is living apart from faith that is sin. Therefore, we are to ever demonstrate the need for continued and increasing faith.

 

As the faith in the new believer grows, we, the mature ones, should look with them for others to minister to. When a church stops reaching people they soon lose contact with people to reach.

 

The message of the Gospel is the greatest single message of all of history yet we seem not to have people that we know to take this great message to. If we are going to see people come to Christ then all of us are going to need to find people to whom we can take the message of Christ. If needed, take someone with greater maturity than you have with you but go with the intent of giving the message of salvation to those beyond you.

 

Tomorrow there is a very important meeting taking place in Naperville. This meeting is for the spiritual well-being of our community. Over 350 people are going to be gathering for prayer. We are gathering for the express purpose of seeking God’s face and God’s guidance and God’s power to reach our community with God’s gospel. My friends, this prayer time is more important than anything else you are doing. God is at work and we are gathering to cry out to Him as people saved by His grace and through Christ’s blood.

 

Pray! Naperville is gathering at 2:00 at the Grand Pavilion (west of Centennial Beach). There will be prayer time, worship time, and challenge time throughout the two-hour meeting. The primary goal is to listen to God and to cry out to God. There will be a band playing from 1:30-2:00. Come to pray.

 

Sunday morning I will be bringing another message from Isaiah 66 focusing on the promise of God to keep His word. The challenge that we have in believing that God will keep His word is that what God predicts seems utterly impossible.

 

Have a great day in the Lord.

PS

Let not your heart be troubled

Posted on

John 14

1 “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.”

Jesus had just said some really troubling things.  He announced that one of them was going to betray him.  In their wildest nightmares none of them ever considered that the death blow to Jesus would come from within.  They knew that the religious establishment hated the Savior but that the final attack would come from one of the twelve?  This was troubling.

Jesus told them that He was going to leave them.  You have to remember that these men were awaiting the establishment of God’s kingdom in Jerusalem and Jesus was going to be the King of it all, yes, the King that defeated Rome and set up God’s rule on the earth.  They even argued about who would be on the thrones closest to the King’s throne!  They were ready for glory, that’s for sure.  (In fact, Judas was probably the first one to figure out that it wasn’t going to happen and so in disgust he sold Jesus for something which was better than the others were going to get.)  Yes, they were troubled about Jesus leaving them.

Jesus told Peter, the loudest and most loyal of them all, that he was going to betray the Master before the dawn of the next day.  What!  Peter?  Within hours?  Had Jesus lost His mind?  None of them would betray Jesus and especially not Peter; didn’t Jesus call him the rock?  Oh how troubling this announcement was to them all.

So after Satan entered Judas and he left the room, the others thinking him on an errand for Jesus, the Lord began to speak words of comfort to his troubled disciples.  Jesus knew the events that were forthcoming and knew that it was going to be the darkest night in history and that the disciples would immediately feel it the most.  Though the disciples did not know what was ahead, Jesus did and He sought to care for them by preparing them.  The Lord still does this.  He who knows the events of your day would like to prepare you for those events.  He does not want our hearts troubled when He knows we are facing troubling times.  No, Jesus wants us to believe in Him.  “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.”

No matter what happens, never allow your faith in God and in His Son, the Lord Jesus, to waver.  We might face troubling times but we do not have to be troubled in them.  We know the Father and the Son who have all things under control and we know that they love us and have our lives at the center of their care.  Let not your heart be troubled.

While I enjoy every Sunday with our church family, this past Sunday will go down as one of the greatest days we have had. The sharing of the service with our Korean and Indian brothers and sisters truly was a “taste of heaven.”  We had people there born and come from seven different countries and three different Indian states.  Besides Indian and Korea, we had people born in Germany, South Africa, the Philippines, Mexico, and the U.S.  We heard praise to God in Korean and in Telugu and in English.  God understood it all.  We shared the Lord’s Table across all cultural lines and rejoiced together in the Lord Jesus who made this all possible.  It was a day of bringing glory to God that none of us will soon forget.  Thanks to the Lord’s Church and to Bethel Prayer House for taking their Sunday services with ours and making one great voice of praise to our wonderful Creator and God.

I asked last week for prayer for my dad’s strength.  He is getting stronger.  I think he wants to do more than he should so we have wrestling matches to see if he can or not.  I am glad he wants to get out, that is a good sign. 

Pray for Steven and the First Baptist Church of Big Rock.  Last Sunday Steven was able to preach the gospel to a few hundred people who gathered together for Sunday service after the plowing competition on Saturday.  Pray with us that some who heard will be drawn by the Holy Spirit to salvation and to Big Rock Baptist this next Sunday. 

Have a great day in the Lord,
PS

To speak up for Christ or not

Posted on

John 13

36 Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord, where are You going?”

Jesus answered him, “Where I am going you cannot follow Me now, but you shall follow Me afterward.”

37 Peter said to Him, “Lord, why can I not follow You now? I will lay down my life for Your sake.”

38 Jesus answered him, “Will you lay down your life for My sake? Most assuredly, I say to you, the rooster shall not crow till you have denied Me three times.

 

Has anyone ever told you your faults?  Perhaps they were hidden faults but when they told you it hurt.  Imagine, if you can, the Lord Jesus telling Peter, who had just promised dying faithfulness, that he was going to deny him before the sun rose the next day.  The pain in Peter’s heart must have been great as he confirmed again his dying faithfulness along with all of the disciples.

We know the rest of the story.  We know that they all forsook Jesus that night.  John followed from afar.  Peter hung around to see what was going to happen.  Before daybreak, Peter had denied the Lord to a servant girl and did so with an oath, promising that he never even knew Jesus.

Let’s take a look inside for a moment.  What has it taken for you to either deny the Lord Jesus or to remain silent when His name came up?  Have there been times when you sensed an opportunity to speak up for Christ and the Gospel and in fear didn’t?

I think that if Jesus told us that we would deny him before dawn we would take Peter’s stance and vehemently reject that prophecy.  But maybe there are times when we are just as weak as Peter and need our faith strengthened so that in the moment of opportunity we speak up for the Lord instead of remaining in cowardly silence against Him.

Tonight we are meeting for a special prayer service.  This is not gathering in groups for prolonged prayer.  This is not enduring someone up front going on in prayer.  This prayer service is designed to look at God, to listen to God, to learn from God and to respond to what God teaches us.  It is both directed and interactive with a focus on prayer.  Our focus tonight will be on our opportunity to be a light for Christ right now.  It will begin at 7:00.  If you miss the beginning you miss the needed introspection time. If you need to leave early you will miss the greatest application time.  Yes, you can come late and yes you can leave early but you will want to come for the whole time.

Sunday is our combined service with all three congregations that meet in our church.  It begins at 11:00.  This service will prove to be a blessed time of fellowship across cultural lines. 

Have a great day in the Lord,
PS

The glorification of Christ

Posted on

John 13

31 So, when he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man is glorified, and God is glorified in Him. 32 If God is glorified in Him, God will also glorify Him in Himself, and glorify Him immediately. 33 Little children, I shall be with you a little while longer. You will seek Me; and as I said to the Jews, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come,’ so now I say to you. 34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

As Jesus prepared for the Cross, He prepared His disciples by telling them to love one another as THE sign of Him in them.  They did not get the lesson at this time for their very next words were words of worry that He was leaving them.

Judas had just left to betray Jesus when the Lord said that now the Son of Man is glorified and God is glorified in Him.   What we consider to be the worst thing Judas could do Jesus saw as the beginning of His greatest glorification.  As we look back to the Cross and all of the redemptive work of God the Father and God the Son we understand Jesus’ words.  For though the life of Jesus was glorious in all of His teachings and healings, if it were not for His atoning death and justifying resurrection we would only have had an amazing life without a sin-removing Lamb.

In all of the redemptive plans of God we see His unending love for His people.  Surely they knew Jesus loved the masses for He always showed compassion on them.  But it was because of His death that Paul could write these words, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.”  Oh the love of God from which we can never be separated demonstrated and confirmed at the Cross.  Yes, Jesus was glorified from this moment on like He had never been glorified before.  Yes, now we can love one another with a love that before the Cross was not a part of the human understanding.

“By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Tomorrow night there is a special prayer time at the church.  This prayer time will cause us to look inward, upward and outward.  We will seek the scriptures to know the voice of God as we pray.  If we expect our church to continue, we must pray.  If we expect our community to come to the Savior, we must pray.  If we expect our children to follow Christ, we must pray.  Join us from 7-9 as we gather to seek God’s face, not His hand.

Sunday is a combined service of the three churches that meet in our building.  The service begins at 11:00.  I am looking forward to this day and to our time to exalt the Lord together. 

Have a great day in the Lord,
PS

 

 

Receiving Jesus is receiving the Father

Posted on

John 13

18 “I do not speak concerning all of you. I know whom I have chosen; but that the Scripture may be fulfilled, ‘He who eats bread with Me has lifted up his heel against Me.’

19 Now I tell you before it comes, that when it does come to pass, you may believe that I am He.

20 Most assuredly, I say to you, he who receives whomever I send receives Me; and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me.”

In order for us to understand this we have to understand the background. Jesus, talking to His disciples, tells them that one of them is going to betray Him. Judas has not yet been identified but Jesus knows whom he is and what he is going to do. It was prophesied hundreds of years earlier. Judas was unwittingly fulfilling prophecy.

 

Jesus wanted the others to know that He was aware of what was going to happen and that He was still God. Judas’s actions were not going to be taking Jesus by surprise.

 

But then Jesus makes a statement about receiving and being received. When we receive the messengers of Christ we are receiving Him. When we receive Jesus we are at the same time receiving God the Father. Jesus thought this teaching important enough to tell his disciples shortly before Judas’s betrayal. For in his betrayal, Judas rejected Christ as God in the flesh and rejected the Father also!

 

My friends, our faith is totally wrapped up in the deity of Jesus Christ whom when we accept we are also accepting God the Father. Conjointly, when we place our faith in the Son we are also placing our faith in the Father. If we reject the Son we reject the Father. If we reject the Father, we also reject the Son! Therefore, we cannot accept any belief system that does not allow Jesus to be equal with God the Father nor allows the Father to be equal with the Son. It is all or nothing, either we accept Christ as God and God in Christ or we don’t.   There is no acceptable-to-God middle ground.

 

Tonight we will be having our second week of Kids4Truth. We had a good turn out last week but would love to see a few more kids from VBS show up. Pray with us about this. Mike has done a great job teaching our teens on Wednesday nights and Kyle has been running the games. We are tweaking it as we go and the teens have made the transition with enthusiasm. Mike is going through the book of Daniel comparing Daniel to our teens. It is a very comparable application.

 

The adult prayer time and Bible studies start at 7:00.

 

I would ask you to pray for Pastor Bill’s recovery of his strength. While in the hospital he was five days on a liquid diet and in bed. Now at home he is eating much better, thanks to Kit, and getting some exercise every day.   Just join me in prayer for a little bit more strength to return to him.

 

Have a great day in the Lord,
PS

Serve others at the level of their need, Jesus set the example

Posted on

John 13

12 So when He had washed their feet, taken His garments, and sat down again, He said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? 13 You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. 16 Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. 17 If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.

 

All of us want to know blessing upon our lives.  When we see someone who seems especially blessed we might even wish to get near them to get some of their blessings.  At the end of the lesson on washing the disciples’ feet, Jesus told His disciples that they would blessed if they did the lesson that He taught them.  If this were just about foot washing, we would foot wash every service and would take turns doing it so that all of us would be blessed.

Christ washed their feet to teach them a lesson about serving one another.  Here was Jesus, the God of Creation, life and salvation, on His knees doing the job of a household slave.  He then tells these proud men, too proud to wash each other’s feet that day that He was teaching them a lesson by His example.  Here is the lesson: If our Master and Lord can humble Himself to serve so must we.

When we don’t want to serve God by serving someone else we make excuses for not doing it.  Quite frankly, serving others is inconvenient, costly, and humbling.  Serving someone else does not usually come at convenient time.  Think of the Good Samaritan and the priests who preceded him on the way.  We are not usually called upon to serve someone when we have nothing else to do.  But remember the lesson, if Jesus, our Lord and Master, can don the towel and wash feet on a hot day, we must do no less.  The next time you are called upon to serve someone, do so for Jesus’ sake.

Thank you, thank you for your prayers for my trip.  What a great time enjoying the fruit of our labors from twenty years ago!  God is using Keith and Janice Boss in St. John, New Brunswick to lead a church into its next chapter of ministry.  I spoke seven times in five days and loved every minute of it!  To get a glimpse of the church in Saint John or to hear the sermons, go to http://fundamentalbaptistchurch.org

Thanks to all who worked to bring the service here at Grace for Life on Sunday.  I heard that God was exalted and that His word was brought forth.  Thanks to Dave and Mary Davis, dear friends of our congregation, for coming.  And thanks to Mike Sell who agreed to lead the music at the last minute when the one who had agreed felt his voice was not able to do so.  Again, God was exalted and the service exalted the Savior. 

Remember that this Friday night from 7-10 we are having a special prayer time.  This is not a three hour prayer meeting but it is a three hour time of confession, meditation, song, and prayer with prayer being the emphasis.  Our church and our country are in desperate need of the intercession of the God of heaven.  We will be invoking God to do His work in very hard hearts. 

Have a great day in the Lord,
PS

Have you ever been treated like a servant? 

Posted on

John 13

Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God, rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded. Then He came to Simon Peter. And Peter said to Him, “Lord, are You washing my feet?”

Jesus answered and said to him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this.”

 

Bobbi came home with a quote one day.  She said, “We always talk about how we want to be servants of Christ until someone treats us like a servant.”  Boy oh boy did that ever ring true. Ever since she gave me that quote it has hit me over and over again.  Yes, I want to be a servant of Jesus Christ. No, I don’t like being treated like a servant.  A servant might not hear the words ‘please’ and ‘thank you.’  A servant might not be asked his opinion.  A servant is just expected to do what others don’t want to do.  A servant gets tired but his expectations don’t lessen.  A servant makes less than he deserves.  A servant is always expected to be serving.  A servant is always expected to be pleasant.

When was the last time you were treated like a servant?  Did you like it?  Did you gripe about it?  Or did you turn your face to God and thank Him for the opportunity to serve His kingdom?

Imagine watching Jesus put on a servants towel, fill a bowl with water, and begin to wash your smelly, dirty feet.  Imagine how humbling that would be since Jesus did this because you were too proud to get the basin and wash the feet of your companions.  Yes, the Apostles were a bunch of proud guys who were in a stand-off awaiting someone to pick up the basin.  All of them needed their feet washed.  It was a hot and dusty day.  Yes, this was a common task.  But no, none of them wanted to be the servant but all of them wanted to be served. All twelve of them failed that test.

But when Jesus picked up the basin and the towel, they were ashamed.  He did not just wash their feet with joy but Jesus also taught them an amazing life lesson on being a true servant to all people.  Whom does God have you to serve today?  Keep your eyes open, there will be someone in need of a foot-wash, that is, a task below you but something you can do and must do in your service for Christ.

My dad is supposed to come home today.  The implant of the defibrillator was successful and he is feeling good and ready to come home.  He has a strict diet because of the internal bleeding so if you want to bring food get the list from Bobbi of what he can eat.  (Basically, he can’t eat anything with whole wheat, anything with nuts or fruits with skins.  Vegetables have to be very soft and meat has to be fully cooked.)  He can’t drive for two weeks so he will enjoy visitors.

Early tomorrow I fly out to St John’s, New Brunswick to preach at a men’s retreat and to preach an installment service for Keith Boss.  Keith was one of our Victory Home boys who went on to serve the Lord.  This is an exciting event to be a part of.  Consequently, I won’t be posting devotionals for a week. 

Sunday morning, missionary Dave Davis will be bringing the message at Grace for Life.  Dave is a great missionary who spent years in Pakistan with his wife as minsters of the Gospel.  Dave has been a friend of this church for over 40 years.  You won’t want to miss Dave Davis’s message. 

Remember to pray for one another.

Have a great day in the Lord,
PS 

The results of choosing to live according to God’s word

Posted on Updated on

Psalm 112

1     Praise the Lord!

Blessed is the man who fears the Lord,

Who delights greatly in His commandments.

2     His descendants will be mighty on earth;

The generation of the upright will be blessed.

3     Wealth and riches will be in his house,

And his righteousness endures forever.

4     Unto the upright there arises light in the darkness;

He is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous.

5     A good man deals graciously and lends;

He will guide his affairs with discretion.

6     Surely he will never be shaken;

The righteous will be in everlasting remembrance.

7     He will not be afraid of evil tidings;

His heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord.

8     His heart is established;

He will not be afraid,

Until he sees his desire upon his enemies.

9     He has dispersed abroad,

He has given to the poor;

His righteousness endures forever;

His horn will be exalted with honor.

10   The wicked will see it and be grieved;

He will gnash his teeth and melt away;

The desire of the wicked shall perish.

We read this passage in church Sunday morning.  There are so many good reasons to choose to live for God and to follow His righteousness.  I hope you will take time to re-read this Psalm today and see yourself in its’ descriptions.

My dad was supposed to be going in this afternoon for his procedure to install the defibrillator.  The hospital just called and moved it up to 8:30 this morning.  This changes my schedule so I am rushing this out to you before taking my mom up to the hospital.

Have a great day in the Lord,
PS

In the rocking chair of God’s will

Posted on

John 13

And supper being ended, the devil having already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray Him, Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God,
Can you imagine knowing everything that was going on around you at all times?  Can you imagine knowing the intents of the hearts of the people around you?  Can you imagine not only knowing what was going on around you and the intents of those around you and knowing where it was all going to take you and that the very God of heaven was orchestrating it all to accomplish His divine and wonderful purposes?

Jesus did not stress over the devil entering Judas but instead reached out to Judas again in compassion and love.  Jesus did not kick Judas out of the group at this moment but left him in the group until the moment he would leave to betray Christ.  How could Jesus maintain such calmness in the presence of the one who was going to ruin His life and betray Him to the enemies who would then take and crucify Him?  The answer is simple; Jesus knew the Father’s plan and had agreed to submit fully to it.  Jesus knew that God the Father was in control of this evil situation and this deceived man.  Therefore, Jesus could be at peace.

No, we don’t have the Divine view that Jesus had.  We cannot see the omnipotent purposes in all around us.  But, we do know Him who does.  We are assured of His love for us as we read in verse 1, and then we read in Romans 8 that nothing can separate us from His love.  Therefore, we too can be at peace in the worst of situations that people bring into our lives.

Are you surrendered to the will of God the Father?  Do you trust that He has your best interest at heart and that He has the best interest of all around you at heart?  Can you believe that the worst human situation is in the middle of God’s divine purposes and at some point, maybe not until heaven, you too will see that God was indeed in control and carefully working His plans?  As I live in this rocking chair of the will of God I am able to find peace in His plans at all times.  Can you?

Yesterday, the plans for Pastor Bill changed a few times.  As they checked his heart for an ablation they realized that he needed a defibrillator.  But then they saw that he had had a fever the day before and knew that there might still be infection in his body and did not want to cut him open for the implant with the possibility of infection.  So we all agreed that it would be better to wait a week and work on treating the infection and then installing the defibrillator.  But because of his hearts propensity to tachycardia he will have to stay in the hospital for the week.  Whew, what a day.  I am taking up clothes and a razor and other toiletry items so that he can at least feel human while incarcerated at the hospital for the week.  Thank you for all of your prayers.

Saturday morning we are taking down some trees at church.  If you can come help, please do. 

Pray for the families who have lost loved ones to earthquakes, fires and floods this month.  Our world in in turmoil and people are suffering.  God is in control and is still the God of all comfort.  Let us band together to pray for the comfort of those who have lost so much.

Have a great day in the Lord
PS