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Showing posts from February, 2016

Ordained Difficulty

As Christ-followers we have our trials. It was never designed by God, when He chose us that we should live untested. We’ve been selected in the fiery furnace. We’ve never been intended for worldly peace or enjoyment. "Anyone signing up for the kingdom of God has to go through plenty of hard times.” (Acts 14:22 MSG)
The Bible never guarantees an exemption from sickness or the pressures and pains of everyday life. Jesus authored the contract for believers’ privileges; He included correction among the things to which Christ-followers would inevitably be recipients. Trials are a part of the journey. They are apart of our heritage in Christ. As sure as the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, so are our trials allotted to us. God has designated their season and their time and place., He calibrated their intensity and how they affect us.

As Christ-followers we must never expect to escape troubles. Biblical history leaves no question that none of our predecessors were without th…

LIKE or KNOW

Facebook is a popular social media website allowing users to experience a sense of community online.  About 1 billion people from all over the world log-on daily and share stories, pictures and interesting facts about themselves among their cyber world of friends.   You can find vacation pictures, graduation news, music, hobbies, classifieds and more.  Each person carefully crafts a personal profile page showcasing him or herself to other users.  These pages represent what each person is known for, or perhaps more accurately, what he or she wants to be known for.  In essence, these pages are the “likes” about each user.

Each one of us lives a life in which we want to be known or “liked” for certain things.  Maybe you want to be “liked” as a good mother or father, a good spouse, a hard worker, a good athlete, a faithful volunteer or a prayer warrior.  All these things, in and of themselves, are not bad.  The problem comes when we start caring about what we are “liked” for more than we c…

RECOGNIZE YOUR NOTHINGNESS

The other night I was asked if I ever find myself not wanting to get up before the congregation and preach the Word. I didn’t take long to respond, “No not even once.” I’ve had some excuses not to do it. Like the time my youngest son, at age twelve, contracted juvenile diabetes and I stayed with him around the clock for a week. Even then, though I had not spent time in study, I spoke of God’s faithfulness to the church on Sunday.

I consider it a great privilege to be allowed to preach the gospel. I don’t look upon my calling as drudgery but look upon it with extreme happiness. Of all the people God could have picked, He picked me! Knowing this, I am greatly humbled. I echo Paul’s words with the same humbleness; “Though I am the least deserving of all God’s people, He graciously gave me the privilege of tell the Gentiles about the endless treasures available to them in Christ.” (Ephesians 3:8) It didn’t take long to learn and own my weaknesses. This is the key if you want to live for Jes…

HAND IN HAND 25 YEARS

As I look back through 25 years as pastor of Olive Place and think of the way whereby the Lord God has led me, from being a newbie pastor to where I am today and how He has grown me every day and how He and you have tolerated all my miscues and put up with all of my whining and all my longings, I am humbled. I realize more than ever that His grace has been sufficient.

Church, this past Sunday afternoon, your love refreshed my soul. To hear of your expressions of gratitude toward the call God placed on my life to lead you into His green pastures and beside His still waters as you live for Jesus was a delight the likes of which I am not able to measure except by the love of the Lord that burns in each of your hearts. My mind will hold in memory snapshots of each face gathered and every decoration used to dress up Integrity Hall along with the smell and flavors of the vast amount of food prepared for the occasion of this fellowship banquet. No stone was left unturned by those who planned …

GRACE FULL

Grace is God’s approval and compassion imparted on those who do not deserve it and cannot earn it. “And of His fullness we have all received, grace upon grace”— John 1:16.If God dealt with us only according to truth, none of us would survive. Thankfully, He deals with us on the basis of grace and truth. Jesus Christ, in His life, death, and resurrection, met all the requirements of the Law, now God is free to share the fullness of grace with those who trust Christ. Grace without truth would be deceitful and truth without grace would be condemning.

Christ-follower there is a fullness of life that satisfies the body and soul because this grace and truth has come through Jesus Christ. It has brought you a full and complete pardon from sin as it regenerates and sanctifies you into His perfect will for your life. You are promised this fullness by His grace regardless of comfort or discomfort, or times of weakness or strength, wealth or poverty. All of His wisdom, power, and love are but a f…