Archive for April, 2014

Dusty Tools

We received a couple of showers of rain Sunday. It was not a large amount, but it was appreciated. Our prayers go up in behalf of those areas that experienced severe weather yesterday.
I had my regularly scheduled visit to the dental hygienist last week. At the end of our time she asked if I had a Water Pik. I admitted I did, and she said it would help to use it. I the asked her, “Oh, it doesn’t help to just have it sitting on the back of the sink?” Her reply– “No, not really.”
I’m reminded of some other beneficial tools in our house: The exercise equipment that no one uses, and other tools purchased with good intentions, still in their original packaging.

Here is a follow-up thought. What one item of great benefit to every person, is probably present in almost every home, yet is seldom used? Might it be the Bible? Just like the tools for healthy living mentioned above, the one tool we have available to us for improving our spiritual health is rarely put to its intended use.
If you have followed my thoughts for a period of time, you know I place much emphasis on reading and studying God’s Word. In a world that is becoming more antagonistic to the Christian faith, I believe it is imperative that we become people of the Word; that we must study the scriptures in order to know how to answer those who challenge our beliefs.
Here are a few verses in which we are encouraged, if not commanded to study our Bibles: 2 Timothy 2:15…”Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who doesn’t need to be ashamed, correctly teaching the word of truth.”
“All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 2:16-17).
A final word concerning the need for Bible study. Do not take for granted everything some preacher says. Follow the example of the residents of a place called Berea. When the apostle Paul preached to them, the Bible says, “They welcomed the message with eagerness and examined the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so” (Acts 17:11).
In His Truth,
Pastor Jerry

On Hollywood and the Bible

We received a little rain over the weekend. It wasn’t much, but we can hope this is the beginning of some late April Showers that will bring on those May Flowers.
There is a lot of discussion of new movies that have been recently released. I have some thoughts on these, and I will tell you up-front that I have not seen any of them personally. Some folks I respect have seen them, and I trust their perspective.
Here a just a couple of my thoughts based on others’ observations:
“Noah”. From what I have read and heard, there is very little material here that is actually based on the biblical account. It appears the film is grounded somewhat in environmental issues, including the idea that due to global warming there will be another flood that destroys the earth. As I read the Genesis account, God promised Noah there not be another flood. God said this in Genesis 9:15, “Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. Whenever a rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.”
What is promised, is that the earth will be destroyed by fire. Peter, writing in his second letter, says this, speaking of the flood: “By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men” (2 Peter 3:6-7).
“God Isn’t Dead”— I knew that. l didn’t even have to visit the local theater, because I read it in His Word.
This might be a good place to remind ourselves of what was revealed to John in his vision of the Revelation; “I warn everyone who hears the word of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book” (Revelation 22:18-19).
Finally, I don’t believe we need Hollywood to explain the Bible to us. The Bible does a very good job of explaining and defending itself.
Standing on His Word,
Pastor Jerry

Resurrection is Coming!

Saturday, it was 70 degrees, and a beautiful day. Sunday began with rain that changed to wet snow and high winds. The high temperature for the day was in the low 40’s, by late afternoon, it was near freezing. It must be spring in the Sandhills.

This week brings two events that mark the foundation of the Christian faith. Those two being Good Friday, and Easter. Good Friday is important because it was the day the Lord Jesus went to the cross to pay the penalty for our sins. “He was delivered over to death for our sins…” (Romans 4:25). The apostle Paul wrote, “For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3).
Easter (I prefer Resurrection) Sunday commemorates the raising of Jesus from the dead. Peter puts it this way: “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead…” (1 Peter 1:3).
Without these two, our faith would be useless, and we would have no hope for eternity. Paul sums it up in this way: “If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith…and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins” (1 Corinthians 15:14-17).
I’ll close with this little poem:
“Easter time is here again
and bunnies everywhere,
Don’t salute a substitute,
there is no holy hare.
So colored eggs and jelly beans,
don’t mean a bunny thing,
Cause bunnies do, what bunnies do
and have no gifts to bring
So Easter time’s the time to know,
a lie could not survive.
And here’s the proof in gospel truth;
[William F. Heffner]
Because He Lives,
Pastor Jerry

Debt (and Guilt) Free

Can you say spring? I believe it is finally here. Yesterday was beautiful and ended with a thunderstorm and a nice rain shower. It has been much too long since we’ve experienced anything so welcome.
In my study for last week’s sermon, the scripture caught my eye. “When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross” (Colossians 2:13-15).
Here is an experience of ours that might help explain this truth: During the agricultural “crash” of the mid-1980’s, the bank ordered us to disperse our cow herd. We had to sell everything and pay back what we had borrowed, which we did. The debt was canceled and a large sum of accrued interest was forgiven.As a condition of this, we could never do business with them again.
In comparison,when Christ died for our sins, he canceled the debt completely and forever; past, present and future. He nailed the canceled “note” to the cross. Our debt is paid and we are forgiven 100 percent, past, present and future. Not only that, we have a personal relationship with him forever.
In addition, the last verse gives assurance that the devil and his demons have no power over the Christian. His defeat was insured when Jesus’ work on the cross was finished, and an exclamation point was added when Jesus rose from the dead.
You might be interested in learning how your own sin debt can be canceled, allowing you not only freedom from sin, but freedom from guilt over sin you may have committed. Here is how it goes: Admit to God that you are a sinner, Believe Jesus died for your sins. Confess those sins and ask for his forgiveness (Romans 10:9-13). Then, obey his command to live a life worthy of the Lord, pleasing Him in every way….” (Colossians 1:10).
You will have peace with God, and the sure and the certain knowledge of spending eternity in the presence of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Pastor Jerry