Archive for February, 2017

Seeing the Details

I have taken up an old hobby—photography. When I was younger, I had wanted a nice camera. I had a desire to take the kind of photos you see in magazines; pictures of nature, wildlife and scenery. Eventually I was able to purchase a nice SLR camera, and spent time (and money) photographing those things. In time, other things got in my way, and my picture taking stopped. Recently, I have acquired a digital camera, and actually have the time to renew this interest There is something about viewing life through the lens of a camera that makes me more aware of God’s creation, and causes me to want to share those views with others.

Bible study is a little like photography. We can look at the Bible and get an overview of it, but only when we examine it through careful study can we see the little nuggets we might otherwise miss. The following passage may say it best regarding study of the scriptures. “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does” James 1:22-25.

As a photo preserves the details of the moment for closer examination, so careful study of God’s word shows us details we miss when we first read it. Very many people today have little or no knowledge of the Bible. We have become biblically illiterate, and the sad thing is, Bibles are more available than ever before. Let’s commit to the reading and study of God’s inspired Word, and let it begin to change our lives as it was intended. And, as you see those details of scripture, share them with others, so that they may receive a blessing, also.

Sharing the details,
Pastor Jerry

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On Knowing Jesus

Wow! The last few days have been very spring-like, and the ice is gone from the lake. I hope you have been able to get out and enjoy the warmer temperatures. Large numbers of geese have been passing overhead, their v-shaped flight pointing to the north. However, my weather app is showing a change in the works, with a forecast of significant rain, snow and wind. Oh, well, it is still February in Nebraska. We should know it can’t actually be spring yet, although it is coming.

Someone posted this statement recently on Facebook: “Knowing me and knowing of me are two totally different things. Don’t confuse the two.” I believe he was posting from a personal viewpoint, but more importantly, this statement also has a spiritual application.

It is not enough to know of Jesus, it is of great eternal significance that we know him intimately and personally.

We may have knowledge of a person, but until we spend personal one-on-one time with them, we will never really know who they are. What husband or wife could possibly know anything about their spouse without spending much time together?

When Jesus called his 12 disciples, he didn’t call them to follow, and then say, “I’ll see you in a couple of years.” When He called them, they dropped what they were doing, and spent the next three years in constant fellowship with Him.

It is not enough to know about Jesus, the devil and his demons recognize Jesus as God’s Son, but they do not think they have to obey Him. Just believing is not enough. Faith is more than belief. By faith, you accept what Jesus has done for you, receive him as the only one who can save you from sin, and live your faith by obeying his commands. It is called having a personal relationship with Him.

There are lots of people today who talk about Jesus and assume they are going to heaven, but they have no intimate knowledge of him. No one goes to heaven because they know of Jesus. Scripture is quite clear that one must confess Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, in order to gain entrance to God’s heaven. There is no other name by which we can be saved. Period. Do not be confused. Every day someone dies without Jesus. Please don’t be one of them.

Sincerely,
Pastor Jerry

On Civility

Snow, wind, cold, and warm. All of these in one week. The snow turned out to be about 6 inches in our immediate area, but it was pretty fluffy and didn’t blow around, at least for the first day or so. The one breezy day, the temperature was near 30 degrees, so there was minimal drifting. Friday’s warm temperatures eliminated a lot of the snow.

Ice fishermen keep coming to the lake, but I feel that season may be nearing an end. As for me, I will
wait until ice out to do any fishing.

I will be returning to the dermatologist for removal of a bit more of my tissue. It turns out a biopsy taken last week returned a diagnosis of basal cell skin cancer, so more is required to be sure the cancer cells are all gone. Having gone through some of this before, it is a matter of trusting the Lord and my doctor. No worries for me.

The Bible instructs Christians to give proper respect to leaders, both secular and spiritual; in the family, in school, and in the workplace. These days there is almost a complete lack of respect for those in authority, and especially for those with whom we disagree.

There is a word we don’t hear much anymore. It is called civility. Here is an excerpt from an article found in The Complete Book of Everyday Christianity.

“Civility is not a biblical term, as such, but the idea is certainly present in the Scriptures. Indeed, taken as a way of describing respect for strangers, civility is a rather prominent biblical motif. In the Old Testament God regularly encouraged the people of Israel to show courtesy to those who were different from themselves. The theme is repeated in the New Testament. Christians are to “speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle and to show courtesy to everyone” (Titus 3:2).”

Here are some instructions: A man of knowledge uses words with restraint, and a man of understanding is even-tempered (Proverbs 17:27). Honor one another above yourselves. Live in harmony with one another. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. (Romans 12:10-18).

In other words, be nice!

In Him,
Pastor Jerry

Appointment With God

The Super Bowl is over, and no matter which team you supported, you have to admit it was an exciting game. I can’t say I had a real favorite, none of my teams made it that far. Now, I must wait for baseball season.

Friday, I visited the dermatologist for my semi-annual checkup, and a strange thing happened. After I had filled out the mandatory paperwork, I sat down to wait (that’s why they are called waiting rooms). After while a lady appeared and called out “Jerry”. Three of us stood up. Apparently, we all had appointments at the same time. Now, I ask you, what are the odds of that happening? She had to go to last names to get the right Jerry.

This got me thinking about some scriptures that talk about the Lord calling his people. “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me—just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them in also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd” (John 1:14-16).

Every person has an appointment with God, whether he believes in Him, or not. “Just as man is destined to die once and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him” (Hebrews 9:27-28). “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:10).

“For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17).

As the old song says; “When the Savior calls, I will answer. I’ll be somewhere listening for my name.” Will you be listening, too?

Just thinking,
Pastor Jerry