Archive for July, 2014

Why Wait?

Hello everyone,

I ran across a statement this week that caught my attention. “The fact that we cannot ‘save ourselves’ but have to ‘be saved’ is no excuse for anyone to sit back and hope for the best. God has revealed to us the way to be saved—by trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ (Mark 16:16; John 3:16–17; Romans 10:9; Ephesians 2:8) —and that step of faith is commanded, not suggested.

I was reminded of another quote I saved several months ago. It reads: “If every person in the world had adequate food, housing, income, if all men were equal and every possible social evil and injustice were done away with, men would still need one thing: Jesus Christ! (J.W. Hyde)

If you have been a reader of these devotional thoughts for any length of time, you know I believe every person is born a sinner, separated from fellowship with God because of his or her sin, and in desperate need of a Savior.

The New Testament book of Romans says, “As it is written, there is none righteous, not even one” (Romans 3:10). “For all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).  To the church at Colossae, Paul wrote, “Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior” (Colossians 1:21).

Here is the good news: “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

Based on the verses above, for a person to think they can depend on God’s good will to get them to heaven, is just foolish thinking. Jesus paid the price, the gift is free to us. Our only responsibility it to take the gift as our possession. In the words of an old song, “Why not come to Him now?”

Simply His,

Pastor Jerry

Word Games

Hello friends,
I wonder if these are the lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer? Do you
remember 1963? That’s when the song was popular. Things were much
simpler then.  I wonder, could those lyrics apply to our present time?

We will be taking the camper for a short trip this week. We want to
enjoy some of our home-grown scenery, without the distractions of
everyday life. Who knows? There may be a few lazy, hazy, crazy days
left out there!

For our devotional thought this week, I’m going to borrow from a
publication we have at our church. Here goes: What would you think of
a doctor who, upon discovering a tumor buried deep in your body,
responded, “take two aspirin, and you’ll be just fine”? How about a
fireman,who responded to a three-alarm fire by saying, “It will
probably burn itself out soon enough”? Or a policeman who after
arriving at the scene of a burglary, shook his head and said, “Boys
will be boys”?

In each case, the response is inappropriate to the situation. Tumors
demand surgery; fires need to be extinguished; lawbreakers must be
punished for their lawless deeds.

Ours is a day in which we have lost sight of the seriousness of sin.
Character defect, error in judgment, slip of the tongue, moment of
weakness, or mistake–call it what you will, God’s Word does not play
these word games. Any transgression of God’s law is sin (1 John 3:4),
and the payment for sin is death (Romans 3:23; 6:23).

I fear that if we continue to ignore God’s moral law and the teachings
of scripture, we will find ourselves in danger of judgment, as well.
It’s time for us to heed the words of the apostle: “Examine yourselves
to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not
realize that Christ Jesus is in you–unless, of course, you fail the
test?” (2 Corinthians 13:5).

In the prophet Jeremiah’s day, God looked in vain for one person in
the city of Jerusalem who stood for justice and godliness (Jeremiah
5:1). If God were to look in your town, what would he find?

Just thinking,
Pastor Jerry

The Light of Truth

Hello friends,
Another week has come and gone. Our area got some beneficial rain, and
some places were on the receiving end of severe storms, including hail
damage to crops and other property.

In church news, Vacation Bible School was held this week. The number
of children available in our little town is small, but those attending
had a good time. We very much appreciated the two young ladies who
came to teach the lessons.

I am troubled by the increasing outcry from the more liberal voices in
our culture who seem bent on silencing those who would speak out on
behalf of Biblical truth and values. I have also been encouraged in
recent days by the Supreme Court’s ruling in the Hobby Lobby case.
Although one victory encourages us, the truth remains that the message
of salvation through faith in God and Jesus Christ is being shouted
down more and more.

God has clearly predicted these things in His word, as told by the
apostle Paul in his letter to Timothy. “For the time will come when
men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own
desires they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say
what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away
from the truth and turn aside to myths” (2 Timothy 4:3-4).

In contrast, God’s people are told to be lights, shining the truth of
God’s word into the world. “You are the light of the world. A city on
a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it
under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to
everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before
men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in
heaven” (Matthew 5:14-16).

“Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm” (1 Corinthians 15:58). “Be
on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage, be strong”
(1 Corinthians 16:13). “So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the
teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or letter” (2
Thessalonians 2:15).

Finally, in the words of James, “You too, be patient and stand firm,
because the Lord’s coming is near” (James 5:8).

Standing on the Word of God,
Pastor Jerry

Moving On

The celebration of our nation’s independence is over for another year. Ericson’s parade, and the fireworks at Ericson Lake, were great this year. I have heard there may have been a record number of entries in the parade. It’s amazing what happens when people work together for a purpose.

We continue to prepare and plan for moving our house to the lake. We don’t expect any speedy progress, but it’s moving along. There will be many steps between the conception of the idea of moving the house, and having it placed on its new location. I will try to give you updates from time to time.

This reminds me of the Christian’s journey to spiritual maturity. It is a process and usually doesn’t happen overnight. However, if the desire to change is there, God will bring about that change.

The Bible tells us that when we are “born again”, there is a new spiritual birth. In His conversation with Nicodemus, Jesus said “no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.” He then explains that he is talking about spiritual rebirth (John 3:1-8).
The person who is born again is called a new creation. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17). Following this, as with any newborn, growth should follow.
The writer of Hebrews stresses the idea of growing spiritually in this way: Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go one to maturity…” (Hebrews 6:1). We are also told it is a process “until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of god and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:13).
Moving a house isn’t a lot like the maturing of a Christian, but there is one similarity. At the end of its journey, the house will look the same on the outside, but it will be in a new place, with a new purpose, and with a new view.
The new believer looks the same on the outside, but a transformation has taken place through the working of the Holy Spirit of God. That person has a new relationship with God, a new outlook, and a new purpose in life.
Moved by Him,
Pastor Jerry