Archive for January, 2014

Out Of Tune?

The devotional thought for this week takes a more light-hearted turn. There will be time for more serious stuff next week.

A few weeks ago, I treated myself to the purchase of a new guitar. It is a basic acoustic model, but can be plugged into an amplifier. It also has a built in-tuner, which should allow me to keep it always in tune. If you know something about music, you know that instruments are tuned to a specific standard. In the instance of this guitar, the standard is built into the instrument.

Did you know God has given Christians a built in tuner? He is called the Holy Spirit, and He keeps God’s people in tune with His will. The Spirit is in tune with God’s standard, that is, his Living Word. When we as Christians get outside of God’s standard, the Spirit reminds us that we are “out of tune” with God, and brings us back. “But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you” (John 14:26).

As a whole, when the body of believers, much like a collection of musical instruments, are in tune with God and with each other, beautiful music is made as we work together for God’s glory. “Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step (in tune) with the Spirit” Galatians 5:25).

In 1 Peter, 3:8, we read: Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble.

I’ll close with this thought; If you are not sure if you are in tune with God, read his Word. In it you will find everything you need to know about the standard he has set for his followers.

Blessings,
Pastor Jerry
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Living in Sin

I had the privilege of officiating at a wedding this weekend. Weddings are such fun times, and I appreciate the chance to be involved. While researching my message to the couple, I came across these statistics: In 1990, 50 out of 1000 divorced or widowed persons chose to remarry.

In 2011, that number was only 29 out of 1000.
Here are a few other numbers from the article in USA Today. Unmarried couples of all ages are moving in together. According to 2012 census data, 37 percent of those who live together have been married before. Between 1990 and 2012 the percentage of unmarried couples living together more than doubled, from 5.1% to 11.3%. A generation ago it was called “living in sin”, today it is called “cohabitation.”
The reason I bring this up is to remind us that God had a plan at creation, and he has never changed his plan. The Bible says to live together outside of the bond of marriage is sexual immorality (the old term was fornication). There is no exemption for the divorced or widowed. I must insert here, that Jesus said divorce is a sin. The Bible also teaches that confessed sin will be forgiven (1 John 1:9). Also, according to scripture,the death of a spouse frees a person to remarry (1 Corinthians 7:39). We who are older may try to blame the younger generation, but who is their example? Retired people are also involved in cohabitation.
As always, I must apply scripture to my thinking, so here ya’ go: “It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality…For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life” (1 Thessalonians 4:3-7). “Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral” (Hebrews 13:4).
When we deliberately disobey God’s commands and refuse to repent of our sin, we are in danger of judgment. Those are God’s words, and his word is unchanging.
In His amazing love,
Pastor Jerry

In Defense of Life

Dear friends,

It is good to return to a “normal” schedule after all the busyness of the holiday season. We’re probably not any less busy, but it is at least somewhat predictable from week to week. This week, I have an appointment with the dermatologist to see about a spot on my lip that isn’t healing. After having a cancerous spot in the same area a few years ago, I tend to be a bit cautious about these things. Also, this week, Alex hopes to get his learner’s permit to drive.

Each year, as January rolls around, we are reminded that since 1973, abortion has been legal in this country. We are also reminded of the millions of unborn who were sacrificed on the altar of convenience. It is a sad commentary on our culture when we have to have a Sunday set aside to recognize the Sanctity of Human Life. Somewhere we have discarded God’s command that all human life is sacred. From Genesis to Revelation, God placed a high value on people at all stages of life. He has not changed.

The following is from an article by Russell Moore, president of The Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, written last January: “I hate Sanctity of Human Life Sunday, because I’m reminded that we have to say things to one another that human beings shouldn’t have to say.

  • Mothers shouldn’t kill their children
  • Fathers shouldn’t abandon their babies
  • No human life is worthless, regardless of skin color, age, disability, or economic status.

The very fact that these things must be proclaimed is a reminder of the horrors of this present darkness.”

God says, “You shall not murder” (Exodus 20:13). As human beings are created in the image of God, killing a person is an attack on God: “…in the image of God has God made man” (Genesis 9:6). The Bible places a high value on all human life, including the unborn.

I pray we, the people, would repent of the sin of abortion, and return to the moral and ethical standard of our God and His Word, the Bible.

In defense of the innocent,
Pastor Jerry

We Are Not Gods

My lovely wife and I were able to get away for a few days last week. We went to Lake George on New Year’s Eve, and upon arriving, found there was no water in the house. I was convinced it must be an electrical problem, because I had “fixed” all those places where the pipes had frozen in the past. Long story short, the pipes had actually frozen, showing me that all my preparations were not as secure as I had assumed. In spite of the water issue, we had a good week, and celebrated the arrival of 2014 over a steak dinner with two of our dearest “old friends.”

Inspiration for this weekly letter often comes from some really strange sources. The following is from the label on an anti-antiperspirant sitting on my bathroom shelf: “We Are All Judges Of Ourselves And My Verdict Is Champion.” Another part of the label has this bit of wisdom: “Believe In Your Smellf”*
Therein lies the problem for many people today. We judge ourselves and declare that we are okay. We might even go so far as to judge ourselves “superior”, or “wonderful”, maybe even “excellent”, or “champion.” We are filled with pride over our “self-worth.” In effect, we are setting ourselves up as gods.

What does God think of all our self-exaltation? Let’s look at some verses from His word: “You shall have no other gods before me” (#1 of the Ten Commandments). “There is no one righteous, not even one…there is no on who does good, not even one” (Romans 3:10-12). There are numerous verses where God says, “The Lord is God; besides him there is no other.”

┬áThere has been much emphasis on concepts like “self-worth” and “self-esteem” over the years, but I wonder, wouldn’t we be much better off if we would put God in his proper place, and ultimately base our own worth on our relationship with Him? After all, he thought we were worth sending his only Son to die for us.

Just thinking,
Pastor Jerry

*[Trade Mark of Proctor & Gamble]