Archive for May, 2013

Remembering

Today is Memorial Day here in the U.S. It is a day set aside to stop and pay our respects to those who have served in our country’s armed forces. As we pause today to remember those who have given their lives to defend our freedom, let us remember also, the One who died to free us from the bondage of sin.

Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). He said these words just hours before he was to die on the cross. I believe this kind of love can also apply to love of country and of one’s fellow man, as evidenced by the willingness of many in uniform to give their lives for their country and for their comrades in arms.

Jesus took this to the extreme when he chose to die, not only for his friends, but for his enemies. In Romans we read: “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). Reading on, we find that when Christ died for us, we were God’s enemies (verse 10). But his death reconciled us to God. By placing our faith in the finished work of Jesus on the cross, we become children of God (John 1:12).

We thank God for all those who have served our country, and especially those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. And even more, we give thanks and praise to our Lord Jesus Christ, who died so that we might live.

Remembering,
Pastor Jerry

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Wait Upon The Lord

We are at our “cabin” in Rock county this morning. I guess we will call it a mini-vacation. School is out for the summer, so we took a few days away from church duties. We are still going to be working around here, but it is with a different view. I need to include a short fishing report. We haven’t spent much time at it, but Alex and I have managed to catch a couple of fish. Nothing big, but at least we’ve had some action.

I know the next report may tempt some to the sin of envy, but we have recorded just over three and a half inches of rain since our arrival Saturday afternoon. I can’t remember the last time that happened! Maybe I should have taken time off sooner…

Rain reports indicate a wide discrepancy in amounts received in a given area. This might prompt someone to ask why did some people get inches of rain, and others only a few hundredths? I can’t answer that, except to say I believe God answers prayers, but in his way and in his time. Part of prayer is waiting for answers. The Psalmist wrote: “I wait for you, O Lord; you will answer, O Lord my God.” Isaiah said, “Blessed are all who wait for Him.” Jeremiah, also wrote in Lamentations: “I say to myself, ‘The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for Him.”

So, if your part of the world hasn’t received as much rain as is needed, keep praying and waiting. As someone once said, we can’t control the weather, but we know the One who does. A verse of scripture I committed to memory many years ago, says this: “In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation” (Psalm 5:3).

Blessings to all,

Pastor Jerry

The Cure

Hello all,
 It was beautiful for Mother’s Day here where we live. This was another of those little blessings for which we are thankful. If the weather guessers are right, it looks like we’ll go directly from winter to summer. Our forecast for the next few days looks for very warm temperatures at this time of the year.

As we in this part of the world seem to be focusing on whether or not we will receive necessary rainfall and the resulting growth of crops and pasture, we need also to look beyond our corner of the world. There are a number of issues in our larger culture that are going to affect us more and more as time passes. We are being told over and over that things we believe about morality and right living do not apply to “modern” thinking and that we need to embrace all the “new” ideas that the world is putting forth.

Years ago, I remember the thought being promoted was of a “new morality.” I believe I would be accurate in saying there is no “new morality”, it is still the old immorality. The very kind of thing the Bible calls SIN. Contrary to “new thinking”, nothing has changed in the years since the Garden of Eden, God will  judge those those who refuse to be obedient to his moral law.

I believe the time is near, although I would not venture to guess how near, when the Lord will return and judge the world. I also believe that the way things are headed, we may be picking up speed in that direction. There is a remedy. Here is how it works: Admit you are a sinner; Believe Jesus Christ died for your sin; Confess your sin and ask for forgiveness.

“That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved” Romans 10:9-10.

Your life and your way of thinking will be changed forever, and you will be assured of an eternity in the presence of the Lord.

Praying for all who will believe,

Pastor Jerry

Famine In The Land

In preparing for Sunday’s message, I was reminded that as a society, we in America have neglected our spiritual heritage so long, that we are now in what the Bible defines as a “famine of hearing the words of the LORD.”

“The days are coming,” declares the sovereign Lord, “when I will send a famine through the land–not a famine of food or a thirst for water, but a famine of hearing the words of the Lord. Men will stagger from sea to sea and wander from north to east, searching for the word of the Lord, but they will not find it. In that day the lovely young women and strong young men will faint because of thirst” (Amos 8:11-13).

I believe in many of our churches today, there is a famine of hearing the words of God. I also believe there are millions of people searching for the Word of the Lord and they are not finding it.

In truth, God gave parents the responsibility of seeing that children are brought up with a real knowledge of the Lord and of his Word. I fear that unless we begin to take charge of our families and their spiritual health, we are headed for disaster.
From the apostle Paul we read, “Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4). The word “exasperate” can mean to “provoke to anger.” Could it be that the reason for so much anger in our society is the famine of the Word of God?

Although the command is directed at fathers, in today’s family the mother can be seen as equally responsible for bringing up the children in the training and instruction of the Lord.

Finally, although this famine, or lack of knowledge of the Word of God is real, I believe it is not to late to turn it around. If we parents (and grandparents) will take back our God-given authority in the family, and return to the reading and study of the Bible, we can make a difference. And maybe, just maybe, we will again become people of the Word, and followers of the Lord.

Love in Christ,
Pastor Jerry