2017 is almost here. Personally, I remember as a child thinking of the year 2000 being a far off, futuristic date. But----here we are, 2017. We have a new year, a new president, a new optimism, a continuing mission-----Sharing how to have a daily life-changing walk with Jesus. He came to change hearts, mend the broken, gift us with the Holy Spirit, offer eternal life, and fill us with love. His Word is true, trustworthy and worthy of study and honor. The Apostle Peter verified that it gives us everything we need for life and godliness. A New Year, a Great Love, an Inspired Life to live----Enjoy!
Jesus called us to be salt here on the earth. We have a wonderful privilege in America to let our Christian and Biblical worldview have a blessing effect on all around us.
So, let us think about the two main directions our country could go:
The continued destruction of Biblical marriage
The continued breakdown of the family
Welfare expanded with a permanent underclass who vote for benefits
The economic nuclear bomb of $20 trillion in debt continuing to expand
The forcing of Christians by government to go against their beliefs
Christians and conservatives held in contempt and hate
The continued celebration of America's shame---58 million abortions
The continued government control and lower quality of healthcare
The worsening safety due to uncontrolled illegals flooding the country
Radical Islam celebrated and excused
A returned respect for our laws and the Constitution
Carefully controlled legal immigration
Life and babies celebrated
Encouragement for people to break out of welfare and poverty
Freedom for churches and Christians to express the gospel
Protection from those who would kill us
Restored choice, freedom, and sensible costs in healthcare
Allies abroad faithfully supported
Israel loved and blessed
It is NOT a toss-up election. It will make a TREMENDOUS difference for us,
our children, and our grandchildren----for better or for terrible.
Please! Christians-----GO VOTE!
"Hath God really said.....?" Satan
In the garden, the Word of God was doubted and the rest is history. Adam and Eve were cast into a wilderness because they bought into the lie. They had traded the pure waters of Eden, for the murky waters of the wilderness. If we begin to doubt the pure water of the Word and all that is inextricably linked, we will end up drinking the contaminated waters in the wilderness of doubt. One doctrine after another will fall. Furthermore, we will put ourselves in a very dangerous position before the Author and Judge, Jesus Christ. A. W. Tozer proclaimed:
"Let a man question the inspiration of the Scriptures and a curious, even monstrous, inversion takes place: thereafter he judges the Word instead of letting the Word judge him; he determines what the Word should teach instead of permitting it to determine what he should believe; he edits, amends, strikes out, adds at his pleasure; but always he sits above the Word and makes it amenable to him instead of kneeling before God and becoming amenable to the Word."
The discussion goes on.....who killed Jesus? The Romans? The Jews? Judas? Satan? We sinners?
Each had roles in the story of the cross---but none of them took Jesus life. Here is what Jesus said:
No one can take my life from me. I sacrifice it voluntarily. For I have the authority to lay it down when I want to and also to take it up again. For this is what my Father has commanded." John 10 NLT
His love for us---His wanting to spare us from the alternative---To be the sacrifice Lamb of God----caused Him to lay down His life.
Thank You Lord! Amazing!
Pentecost started as a Jewish festival of first fruits of the harvest. 50 days after Jesus resurrection, the Holy Spirit that Jesus promised to give---was poured out on His followers. It caused quite a stir in Jerusalem. The 120 who received the Holy Spirit were transformed from fearful doubters into bold witnesses for Christ. Peter stood up and gave a sermon and 3,000 responded in belief in Jesus as Savior. The Church was born! The promise of the Spirit was to them and to "all those far off" said Peter. That means me and you! Invite Jesus to baptize you with the Holy Spirit and be transformed today!
The name---the Man, the Example, the Savior, the Eternal One, God Almighty, Creator,
The Risen One---our Friend. To be a Christian is to accept Him and His forgiveness then
To live in obedience to Him, given the power to do so by His Spirit who comes to live
in us. It's an old story, but it is ever fresh----He is at work in YOUR life and mine right
now.....He is wooing, calling, urging us to become His follower, His worshiper, His
agent of reconciliationi, peace and joy in your job, neighborhood, family.
Jesus---The One to follow and love. Jesus.
So......how is your spiritual life doing? Content to dip your toes in the water? Is Sunday morning an annoying habit you got in to? Do you just sort of sing songs during worship instead of expressing your heart to God? Well.....this is a great time of year to shake off the spiritual cobwebs, dust off that beautiful Bible of yours and re-examine your relationship with God and His people. Lent is a 40 day period that precedes Easter. It begins with Ash Wednesday on February 10th. We will be having a special service that night at 7pm to begin the season. Many people take these 40 days to start over with God---to determine to seek Him, to express our thoughts to Him all day long, to draw near to Him, to listen for thoughts from Him, to forgive any who we have grudges against........to give up some meals, to read the Bible, to getting serious in their faith.
If the Bible is true-----life on earth is short-lived, but eternity is forever---and how we relate to Jesus and show His love to others make all the difference for eternity.
So....let's dive into the deep end of the pool and go after God!
Lost and Found
“Son, why have You done this to us? Look, Your father and I have sought You anxiously.” Luke 2:48
Have you ever been out in public and lost a child?
I am certain, from the moment we are aware one of our children has gone missing, the emotion of fear is in full control of “head-quarters.” (See the movie, “Inside Out.”)
We lost Victoria when she was three-years-old for about 30 minutes, in our house at mid-night. We honestly thought she had been snatched. I will never forget the blood-curdling screams of her mother. (She was sleeping in her brother’s hamper in their closet, of all places.)
Jesus’ parents “lost” him for three days before he was “found.” From the verse above we can see their emotions were no different than ours.
Searching for something or someone that is lost usually pushes everything else down the priority list. Whether it is our keys, our wallet, our Bible, etc., we try to quickly think and retrace our steps to find whatever of value we have lost.
In Luke 15, Jesus uses three parables of lost items to help us understand the desperation the Father feels when one of us goes missing. God panics to find where you have gone. You are of more valuable to Him than anything else and He wants you home.
Where are you, as we start 2016, in your relationship with God? We are not found of self-evaluation, but the start of New Years seem to help open us to the possibility. So go ahead. Give yourself permission to take a look at where you are with God.
Ask, Seek, Find,
There is so much to be grateful for. Personally, I have just celebrated my 40th wedding anniversary----and it has been one of the greatest blessings of my life. God invented marriage and family and I thank Him for my dear wife and kids.
In the book of Romans there is a reference to God as "Abba"-- a term of endearment to a father----like our papa or daddy. God is the original lover of family, and has an amazing heart for His people---like a groom for the bride. The Jewish marriage tradition includes first a betrothal---then the man goes back to his father's house to add on a room or two to bring his new wife to after the wedding. The husband returns to claim his bride and then take her to their new home.
If you have ever read the book of John---that story should sound familiar---Jesus told us He was going away to prepare a place for us---in His father's house there are many mansions----and He would return to claim His bride and take us to our new home.
We believers are the Bride--and Jesus is our bridegroom.
Thank You Father for your great love for us---Your family!
There's an old bluegrass tune that says "Honey, let me be your salty dog" I am not quite sure what that means, besides sweetheart, but God has called us to be salty people in a tasteless and messy world. Stand for purity, grace, honesty, and all things Bible-----let our saltiness be an influence in everything we do.
Get out there, salty dogs!
This blog is being written by James Becker--your humble webmaster. The wife Debbie, is the church secretary and keeps me in the loop so I can keep you all in the loop......