April 30, 2018
“Nevertheless let each of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband” (Ephesians 5:33).
Last Saturday I had the privilege of officiating at a wedding ceremony at Maple Spring. That is a pastoral responsibility that can be very rewarding for me. It is a joy to witness a couple mature in their relationship with God and with each other. A wedding ceremony is not only a legal ceremony, it is a spiritual one as well. It is also a time of worship.
The first institution created by God was the home. The home was sanctified by God, honored by Jesus Christ and is to be respected by men and women. Of all the institutions on earth, there is none so important as the home. As the home goes, so goes the church and all of society. America’s problem today is not a crime problem or a drug problem. America’s problem today is the break down of the home.
There are three basic truths about Christian marriage:
- Husbands and wives are first subject to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, and then mutually subject to one another.
- The husband is to be the spiritual leader of the home the same way that Christ is the leader of the church:
- Committed and Consistent
- It is the desire of God’s heart to do whatever it takes to keep the marriage together, and for each couple to experience His love through the other.
Successful marriage is always a triangle: a man, a woman, and God. May Jesus Christ be the Lord of every home and every heart.
April 24, 2018
“But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, ‘Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore, tell her to help me.’ And Jesus answered and said to her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part which will not be taken away from her.’” (Luke 10:40-42)
In this passage, Jesus teaches the priority of grace. Martha is troubled over her inability to pull off a perfect dinner. Jesus was not impressed by her human effort and taught a valuable lesson. Do not attempt to serve God until you have first been served by Him. Mary was experiencing the grace, presence and her relationship with Jesus before she attempted to “perform.” Many people have a “performance trap” without knowing of the empowering grace of God.
Some facts about grace are:
- God’s grace is available because it is based upon Jesus’ performance – not mine.
- God does not love me and save me for what I can do for Him.
- God’s grace accepts me as I am, then enables me to live above my own ability.
- My service to God is actually greater under grace, because gratitude, not guilt is the motivation.
Experience the grace of God this day!
April 16, 2018
I love the sport of fishing. Once a week I will be on the water somewhere trying to catch the “Big Ones” and I will have an exciting time doing it. I’ve talked to many people over the years who told me that they don’t go fishing because it is “too boring.” Those people don’t catch anything and have a boring time because they probably don’t have a clue as to what they are doing. I can honestly say that I don’t ever remember having a “boring time” trying to catch the “Big Ones.” There’s a reason for that. I’ve invested much money and time learning how to fish.
Before I leave on a fishing trip I must ask myself a question. “What kind of fish do I want to catch today? I must first make that decision. The answer to that question will determine the location that I fish, the type of fishing rod I will use, and the lure or bait that I will use. If I answer that question by saying, “I’m just fishing for anything that bites,” I will be setting myself up to have “a boring time.”
Jesus said that His people were to be “fishers of men.” Do you know what Jesus means by that? It means Jesus wants us to lead others to Him. Before that can happen, I must get to know “the water.” It means that I must know the people in my community. It means that I must be able to relate to the people who live in the community that I do. It means that I must get to know the people that I work with. It means that I must get to know the people that I do business with and build a relationship of trust with them. That trust will be the “hook” or the “bait-lure” that I will need so that they will listen to me when I introduce Christ to them.
The sole purpose of the church is to “catch” people for Jesus. Take the time to get to know the people that you see week in and week out. Build a trusting relationship with them and “catch” them for Jesus. You certainly will not be bored. It is possible for you to become a very good “fisherman.” The choice is yours!
April 9, 2018
A little girl had accidentally dropped a small coin into her mother’s prized vase. Naturally, she put her little hand in to recover it, but found as she gripped the coin and held it tight, she was unable to withdraw her hand, so she screamed and struggled to get her hand out. Her cries attracted the other members of the family who all advised and pleaded with her to open her and withdraw it with ease. But no, she would hold on to her precious small coin and continued to struggle, squirm, and scream. Finally, the costly vase had to be broken; and with her fist tightly clenched, she screamed, “I’ve still got it!” The far more costly vase was sacrificed for the sake of the small coin.
What are your values? What in life is most important to you? It’s my prayer that we all see the “big picture.” Values are an issue of the heart. Where we invest is where our rewards will be. May we be a people who are investing in the Kingdom of God.
A few days ago I walked into a hospital room to visit a faithful member of the body of Christ. As I approached her bedside I asked, “How are you feeling today?” With a big smile on her face she replied, “I’m very well. I’m going to Heaven! The Lord showed me! I saw so very many beautiful angels!”
She will soon be receiving the return on her investment!
“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose,”……Jim Elliot
April 3, 2018
As Jesus tried to comfort His disciples before His crucifixion, He said to them, “It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you,” (John 16:7). Jesus also said, “I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you. A little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live also,” (John 14:18, 19).
On Pentecost Jesus did send the Holy Spirit. And Jesus also said that we would receive power when the Holy Spirit has come on us and then we would be witnesses unto Him (Acts 1:8).
Have you experienced the resurrection power of Jesus Christ?
“And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of His Spirit who lives in you,” (Romans 8:11).
Resurrection strength is a supernatural strength that is available to the children of God because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Receive that resurrection power by faith. I have learned that in nearly every conversation with others opportunities will arise to mention the Lord Jesus Christ and His resurrection power. In spite of what you may think, people are hungry for the truth. They want to know and see God.
Henry Ward Beecher once said, “The strength of a person consists in finding out the way in which God is going, and going in that way too.”