Archive for May, 2015

Of Grass and Geese

I’m writing this Memorial Day. When I was growing up, it was never this early in the month. In those days, the holiday came on the 30th of May, no matter what day of the week it was. I guess we didn’t need three or four day weekends back then.

As you know, the new lawn is up and growing. Now, the geese have discovered it, and are making it a part of their diet. The new crop of goslings are fuzzy and cute, but as those goslings grow, they have very good appetites, and one of the things they really like to eat is tender, new grass seedlings. Now, they don’t seem nearly as adorable as before.

I’m reminded of the progression of sin in our lives. At first, it seem harmless enough. It may even appear to be harmless and entertaining. But as it grows, and gains traction in our lives, we realize it is not harmless or cute. Scripture warns us to stay away from the temptation to let sin gain a foothold in our lives, even if it seems to be a good thing.

There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death (Proverbs 16:25). Flee from sexual immorality (1 Corinthians 6:18). Therefore, my dear friends, flee from idolatry (1 Corinthians 10:14). Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace… (2 Timothy 2:22).

The apostle Paul, in his first letter to Timothy had this to say regarding sinful behaviors: But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, and gentleness” (1 Timothy 6:11).

The Bible doesn’t tell me what to do about the geese on our lawn, but it does tell us how to keep sin from taking over in our lives. And, if we do sin, remember God’s promise in 1 John 1:9. Don’t blame it on God, either. James had this to say concerning temptation: When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed” (James 1:13-14).

In the case of the geese eating the lawn, it will not be to repent. Replant might be a better word.

Remembering,
Pastor Jerry

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The Importance of Worshiping as Families

Hello again,
If it seems we are stuck between the end of winter and the start of spring, you are not alone. When the overnight low is forecast to be in the thirties, I wonder. On the positive side, if you have planted a new lawn, this weather is about perfect. Our new grass is growing even better than we expected.

For several weeks, I have been preaching on the importance of being a biblical church member. We have learned that such a person is a functioning member, a unifying member, and one who loves and prays for the other members. Yesterday, we learned of the importance of leading our families to be healthy church members.

Number one: By praying together for the church. That is we pray in a family setting for the church’s leaders and all members. As families, we pray in these ways: For spiritual protection, and for protection from moral failure. We pray for the families of church leaders. For all members, we can pray for encouragement, wisdom, and discernment as they go through their day.

Number two: By worshiping together as a family. As church members, we are responsible for leading our entire family to worship together in the church. If you are married, include your spouse in your worship. Parents, include your children. Single Christians, you need to join others in worship. We need to be examples to others of people who love the church. Not the building, but the people who are part of the body of Christ.

If you happen to be the only believer in your family, don’t be discouraged. God has given your family to you for a mission field.

Finally, as leaders in our families we are to show our deep love for the church. We are not just to like our church or serve our church well. We are to fall deeply in love with our church. Unconditional love is not always easy, but we are to love other members of the church without wavering, and with an unconditional love.

Jesus has demonstrated this kind of love for us perfectly. He loves us, sins and all, so much that he died on a cross for us.

It is of great importance for us to include our families in worship at every level. As scripture says, “Let us not give up meeting together…” (Hebrews 10:15).

Blessings,
Pastor Jerry

On Staying Close

It is 38 degrees here this morning, with a forecast low tonight of 31. I fear the global warming theory will be a hard sell in this area. Last week, I reported that we had sown the grass seed. After the rain this week, I see mowing in my future.

The local Canada goose population is on the increase. Goslings of varying sizes are making their appearance on the lake. I noticed one family with 4 little ones, three of them stayed pretty close to the parents, but one always seemed to be lagging behind. Lately, that goose family has only three young ones. I suspect the little straggler became lunch for some predator.

There is a lesson here for God’s people.

Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour (1 Peter 3:8). Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as the you see the day approaching (Hebrews 10:25).

Remember Paul’s words to the Ephesian elders, as he prepared to leave them: “Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood. I know that when I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. So be on your guard! (Acts 20:28-31).

Finally, from Paul’s letter to the church at Ephesus: “Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes…In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one…be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints” (Ephesians 6:11-18).

In an age when Christianity is being challenged and attacked, I believe it is more important than ever that we remain in close fellowship, encouraging each other in our faith. As the old saying goes, there is strength in numbers. The enemy’s strategy is to divide and conquer. We must stay in close fellowship with our God and with each other.

In Him,
Pastor Jerry

The Body of Christ

Finally! We have seeded the lawn at the lake house. Now we’ll try to keep it wet with the hose, and pray for some gentle rain to help out. Someday soon, we will have actual grass instead of just dirt for a lawn.

In our current sermon series, I have been examining what a biblical church member looks like. These sermons are built around a book called “I Am a Church Member” by Dr. Thom Rainer. As I study and look at the biblical texts concerning how members of the body of Christ (the church) is supposed to function, I see application to much of life and how people should interact. Today we will look at three ways we can be better members of His church. I also believe these attitudes would benefit society as a whole.

Number One: I will be a functioning member. This gives the idea that everyone has a part in the working of the body. Each one of us is uniquely gifted to serve in the body, and only when every part does its job, is the body healthy. Concerning the church, the apostle Paul wrote, “The body is one unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ.” (1 Corinthians 12:12).

Number Two: I will by a unifying member. Everything we do in the body of believers should be done with a view of working as one unit, with a common purpose and goal. Unity in this context is a result of unconditional love on the part of everyone involved. Read 1 Corinthians chapter 13 with the body of believers in mind. “And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity” (Colossians 3:14).

Number Three: My preferences must be put aside as I serve others. We are to serve others, not expecting anything in return. Jesus’s words go counter to the ‘me first’ attitude of our current culture. “If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all.” (Mark 9:35). Again, the words of Paul; “Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:4-5).

Serving Him,
Pastor Jerry